Return To Me
by Captain Jessica
When thinking about the Salvation Army
today, 1 Corinthians 12:26 comes to mind, “If one part
suffers, every part suffers with it…”.
There is no way to ignore the malaise
affecting officers in recent years: many of us are burnt-out,
overwhelmed, and disenchanted. Quite a few have handed in
their resignation. How do we go forward?
The body is suffering and at the same
time there is as big a need as ever, if not more, for
covenanted warriors to serve suffering humanity in His name.
The forced standstill caused by the pandemic was in many ways
an opportunity to pause and regroup and yet, our need to be
Martha saw us galloping ahead relentlessly.
God’s desire was
to “allure [the Salvation Army]” and “lead her into the
wilderness and speak tenderly to her” (Hosea 2:14): “Martha,
Martha… you are worried and upset about many things, but few
things are needed—or indeed only one” (Luke 10:41). “Return to
Me,’ declares the LORD Almighty, ‘and I will return to
you.” (Zechariah 1:3).
In trying to keep up with trends,
statistics, reputation, and donors a huge burden has been put
on the new generation of officers. We were called to be
shepherds in the wilderness, led by the Spirit to become ‘all
things to all people’, walking closely and intimately with
Jesus under His yoke and we find ourselves instead like
hamsters in a wheel, torn between our calling and the
expectations of our leaders. Why are they conflicting? Why
does officership hurt? Why do we feel not heard and broken to
the point where, as much as it pains us, some choose to leave?
I think the enemy has managed to make
us believe that we are fighting alone and that things are
hopeless. They are not.
me’, return to the wilderness. The
time is now.
To stop the hemorrhage of the Body, we
need to tend to the wounded and ask them questions. We need to
take a moment to pause and seek Him away from distractions.
Very shortly, leaders from around the
World will meet to elect the new General of The Salvation
Army. He or she (!) will determine our path for the next
years. How do we pray? The Lord’s prayer seems fitting.
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your
You are the Holy One, Creator,
Preserver, and Governor of all things.
This holiness movement was birthed from
Your heart - set it apart once again.
Your Kingdom come, Your will be done,
on earth as it is in Heaven.
Your Kingdom come in our ranks, in our
covenanted lives, in our Corps.
Your will be done by each one of us,
individually and as an Army.
Your will be done as leaders gather to
elect the newest General.
Give us today our daily bread.
We need You.
Give us hunger and thirst for You, only
then, will we be satisfied.
Forgive us our debts, as we have
forgiven our debtors.
Fill our hearts with the Spirit of
Give us courage to put our egos to
death, to not get easily offended, to turn the other cheek,
and offer second chances.
Give us the humility to support those
who come ‘under’ us, to equip them, to share the burden and
serve joyfully alongside them.
And lead us not into temptation, but
deliver us from evil.
Jesus, we want You. We repent of the
times we have sought anything else. You are our reason for
being. Close our eyes to temptation. Purge our hearts from
evil. Give us clean hearts, Jesus.
For yours is the Kingdom and the power
and the glory for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Corinthians 12:26 does go on. “if
one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it…” And
so, if Jesus is honoured (valuing Him for who He really is)
as the head of the Body and of this Army, if each covenanted
warrior is honoured (ascribed weight by recognizing
real value) we will be able to fulfill our calling to
serve suffering humanity and advance God’s Kingdom on earth
and in each one of us.
We have a divine war to fight and we
will claim the victory if we tend to our wounds, purge our
hearts of sin, and fight together!
Let’s persevere in this sacred
covenanted life and let’s win the world for our Jesus!