Dear Salvation Army,
What we do day in and day out matters in our world.
Don’t ever forget why we do what we do.
If we ever lose sight of this relationship that we have with Christ, His Holy Presence with us, I fear we will lose our way completely!
This work is arduous.
This work is often without reward – we don’t seek rewards or earthly recognition…do we? The mission we have been given is to provide hope, to show others the way to Christ, to instill the deep need for Holiness in our corps and in our lives. We are, at times a gateway for those who have never set foot into a church, let alone those who have never left the door open to a Christ that cares.
The Salvation Army doesn’t exist to feed ourselves, it should never be an organization sold out to the almighty dollar and the stipulations assigned to those funds. Sometimes when compromise happens, one wonders where our “walk by faith” went? We aren’t in this mission to merely survive…we will thrive and be faithful in all seasons including those in which we struggle.
Programs & Lies We Buy…
If all we do is programs and our hearts remain at home, we will have a soul-less building devoid of people seeking spiritual growth, holiness and this new creation we are to become. Sometimes I fear we settle for what is instead of what could be…or what SHOULD be. Soldiers, in essence we listen to the lies of the Great Deceiver when we buy into the acceptance of where we are right now and that we are incapable anymore of growing in the grace that Christ offers. We convince ourselves that we aren’t good enough to receive entire sanctification, or we must become biblical scholars to get there. We make every excuse in the book to NOT change that we run the risk of becoming stagnant and meaningless. This is exactly where Satan wants us to remain. If we remain here, we are no longer fit to be called an Army of Salvation, but instead the Army of Stagnation. This is pretty harsh, because I believe we buy the lie that we cannot grow, or that we are limited in our growth. I believe we stunt our growth and the workings of the Holy Spirit when we don’t allow Him access to EVERY corner of our hearts, minds and lives.
Discipleship of the Heart…
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” John 14:26
We need to understand that what our corps do – matters.
What WE do as Soldiers in and out of the buildings we frequent MATTERS! This matter of the heart – means that we are living intentional lives both for the benefit of other believers and future seekers of Christ, as well as for our spiritual growth and development.
Dear Salvation Army Soldier,
Be teach able.
Allow not only the Holy Spirit to instruct you in continual growth, but also other believers in the faith. Do not allow your hearts to become hardened. Do not become stiff necked people, who reflect more of the Pharisees of old than Christ himself. When we lose sight of whose reflection we ought to emulate, we will have lost our reason for being an Army of Salvation.
The words your choose, the friends you empower, the content (both visual and literary) you consume, the attitude you have around your community…IT ALL MATTERS. If you cannot recognize the need for continual spiritual growth in your life, then beware. We cannot become an army of arrogance and ignorance in regards to the matters of the heart.
In word and deed – be holy. Strive to be Christ-like.
Don’t take the short cuts, don’t sell out your faith or cheapen it in anyway. Recognize that what you do on Monday through Saturday is just as important as what you do on Sunday in the Holiness meeting…it just might be more important.
This message is for Adherents, Soldiers, Officers, Commissioners as well as the General. It MUST be a matter of the heart. We cannot only rely on “the law” to prop up what we do – we must first be HIS, and from that everything else must flow. How is your heart? Have you been guilty of listening to the lie? Have you sold your need of Holiness short? Is it incomplete? Are you stagnating right now in your faith journey? Perhaps this is my wake call…perhaps this is yours. It is a matter of our hearts. Forget all the programs that we throw around to “attract people”, forget all the “doing” that we are good at…it means absolutely nothing if our hearts are not completely His.
Something more for our Army world to ponder today.
To God be the glory.
*Disclaimer: the thoughts and opinions express on Pastorsponderings are the writer’s own thoughts and opinions and are not necessarily the thoughts and opinions of The Salvation Army.*