So I’m just back from my ‘Into Officership’ Seminar…a thing us newbies have to go to for the first 5 years of our ministry. It was a thoroughly excellent time away. Wasn’t too enamoured about going at first…we have had a weeks holiday AND a divisional retreat in the first part of this year and I really wanted to be at home, but as always God has something to give us.
There were so many good things about the weekend…Commissioner Norman Howe spoke very excellently about biblical Holiness in today’s church…a bundle of stuff to take in and work through. His son Phil is our predecessor at Pill and he has some links with out corps because of that…was nice to experience the commissioner first hand.
Anyway, as if I really needed it, the highlight of the week was the encouragement to be captured, consumend, moved and motivated with the passion of our heart…that thing that gets us passionate and to which we know God has called us.
I testified, probably unclearly to those listening, that I often feel like I have Elijah syndrome. I am a bundle of passions, holy discontentment and always calling down the fire. Yet the next day I can be a complex bundle of depression and self doubt.
I have a fair bit of doubt right now…I guess I’m losing faith that our corps review will cut the necessary mustard, fearful that we won’t be willing to count the real cost of moving on for greater kingdom effectiveness. Fearful that I’ll have failed in my leadership task to effectively move this mission on.
Its also a fear of man problem. I know that some of the stuff we are working through right now doesn’t have easy answers and will not be easy to establish and secure.
But what do I do? I passionately believe in the purpose of our corps in its context of being the Salvation Army God called us to be. Every closed corps, every de-motivated officer, every half-hearted soldier and every lost hurting community fans the flame of my passion for my calling to be a promoter and agent of spiritual renewal (both for the first time and again if we’ve lost it!!).
I passionately believe there is more of the Spirit to be revealed amongst us at Pill and that we have to continually move back barriers to his presence being manifest.
I am consumed with the plight of the lost. As we were encouraged to focus on our holy discontent…my mind flashed straight to Dreghorn Crematorium as I burried my aunt last year…about £500 unsaved persons greiving a 39 year old cancer victim. That breaks my heart and to be honest, everything else pales in significance when you remember these things.
As if I really needed it?!? Yes, I did. I mustn’t lose my bottle. Oh God will you help me. This keeps me up at night. God’s heart breaks for these things…my heart must beat with the same things his does.
Like Elijah I sit under my tree…I know that the rains of refreshing are out there, but I’m also aware of the things that war against me…will I be consumed with hope or with despair? What will the still voice of God whisper? I think I know.