Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Danger for Every Salvation Army Soldier



I want to highlight something that is critical if you are part of The Salvation Army. I became a Salvation Army soldier just over a decade ago, and one of the reasons was this: I loved the pragmatic nature of the Salvos. I am not saying this was everything for me (there was commitment to fighting for the cause, acceptance in a community of faith and loads more), but this one thing rang true.

Some call it, 'Faith with the sleeves rolled up.' Which is good if you wear long sleeves.

When someone was in need, I saw The Salvation Army had a desire to help. Not that other faith communities didn't, I just became involved in a church community that sought to transform their local community. It had me hooked. I was in. Jesus inside of me; motivating me to make a difference. Salvation for my whole community. Salvation for the whole world.

But there is a danger that I believe is pertinent to Salvation Army soldiers and officers.

Let me highlight a scripture for you. Hebrews chapter nine outlines some Old Testament practices of the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place. When a tabernacle was set up, there were customs and religious duties that the priests fulfilled within the Holy Place. Once a year the High Priest was able to enter the Most Holy Place (behind the curtain), and offer blood on behalf of the sins of the people. Now stay with me for a minute. Hebrews 9:6 says that the priests entered regularly into the outer room (Holy Place) to carry on their ministry. Jesus became the High Priest and his death on the cross (as mentioned in the book of Hebrews) became a sacrifice for us once and for all. This is the good news: We are now able to enter the MOST HOLY PLACE all the time! That is, because the Spirit of Jesus is inside of us, we can be in that most intimate, close place with God.

Here is the danger.

As a Salvation Army sometimes (in my opinion), we can be so busy doing the work of ministry in the outer courts, so to speak, and neglect the importance of entering the most holy place with God.

Prayer coupled with ministry precedes revival, not ministry in and of itself. We cannot allow the pragmatic nature of The Salvation Army to hinder us from spending significant time with Jesus and to allow time to intellectually consider all that we are doing and its subsequent impact upon our community.

In a rapidly changing global environment, one must not simply 'do something' as William Booth once asserted, but also, spend time in the presence of God.

The danger for every Salvation Army soldier is that you spend so much time serving God, you forget to rely on the God you serve.


Hebrew 10:19-25
19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

4 comments:

  1. Well said! Thanks for sharing this. My favourite verse above is "...let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings..." such a good verse. This is an important subject for any Christian. Thanks again for reminding us.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Kathie. I also love, 'Draw near to God and he will draw near to us...'

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  3. Yes, without daily intimacy with the living, resurrected Jesus; we might produce smoke, but we won't have God's fire! Here's a link to an article I wrote about Christimacy (intimacy with Christ): http://stevesimms.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/a-new-emergent-andor-organic-name-for-christianity-christimacy/

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  4. Hi Kathie and Steve, I just did a new blog. An open letter for Salvation Army Soldiers. Just letting you know.
    http://www.petebrookshaw.com/2014/10/an-open-letter-to-salvation-army.html#.VC0FeVfp98E

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