I’ve been in tears a lot recently. Not sad tears, but passionate ones. Every next second I’m awake the burden of the Lord lays more heavily on my heart as I continue to have my ‘burning bush’ experience with Him. He tells me he is using me to do something, I say ‘surely not me’ and He replies ‘of course, its you I’m talking to, isn’t it?’
I’ve just been to the UK Territorial Congress were only 3 or 4 people out of around 2000 responded to the call to ‘rededicate themselves to the Salvation War.’ That brought me tears. There were maybe 12 or so who had responded to a call on a different subject, but only 3 or 4 responded publically. The Commissioner invited people to come and be changed from glory into glory, to see Jesus, to live to please God and let our glory shine as we fight in our Salvation War and only a handful responded. Sure, people may have responded in their seats, but when the calls was to be bold and step forward as an act of spiritual declaration and intention, I struggled to understand why there was no response.
I came face to face again with something that reflects the spiritual temperature of the Army in Scotland and the UK. The ‘notion’ that resounded loud in my heart was simply ‘the glory has departed from this gathering.’ The response was spiritually flat, there was no or little glory to be had, sought or found in that prayer meeting after the message. The heavens were like brass and I cried out silently to the Lord. I was stuck to my seat, I couldn’t move and the response I wanted to make myself just sank into the pain of the lack of response from the 3/4 full hall.
Don’t get me wrong, there had been some good moments in the congress. The morning message was powerful and the response was good, but it was led, immediately, by the African Salvationists from Manchester Central corps who as soon as the call was given, responded to Jesus. I believe it would have been a tougher meeting if the Lord had not used those brothers and sisters to lead the way.
I just have had to spend the time coming to terms with the spiritual climate of the territory once again. To be honest, I briefly questioned whether I should remain an officer in this movement. To be even more honest, its not the first time I’ve considered it in this last year, but the one thing that keeps my is my covenant. However, even that can be difficult to work out in the context of the Army.
But no, no, no. I will not forsake my calling to the lost and to the Army. Instead, I’ve re-signed it. They lost and the Army both need saving! My heart is for the renewal of God’s Army, that he would restore to us the joy of our salvation that comes from humble repentant hearts before him. My heart is for the hope that when God has done that work, he will then move us in our compassion to seek and save that which is lost.
I must simply grasp the nettle of what God is asking me to do. He is asking me to speak words that people don’t want to hear from a kind of person like me and the only reason that I’ll do it is because God has promised to go with me and speak for me and because God has shown me again and again the ‘plight of my people’ and I’m moved to respond.
God gives us grace
PS Keep praying for General and Commissioner Clifton