Summary: My wrap up message at officer councils, 2021, Fiji Division.
Being Intentional: Shunning dependency, inviting people, relying on God, serving the other servants, avoiding distractions.
I’ve already discussed my view that the Fiji Division can be a leading light within The Salvation Army within the NZFTS Territory.
While we are currently dependant on the funds that we receive from offshore there is an opportunity for us, opportunities for us to move away from this dependence.
General Andre’ Cox wrote:
I Dream …
I dream of a committed, effective and joyful Army, rooted and confident in the Word of God and on its knees.
I dream of an Army that truly reflects the mind of Jesus in our commitment to the poor and the marginalised.
I dream of an Army that practices what it preaches from the top leadership down, an Army that is a visible and living example of kingdom values.
I dream of an Army that values its youth, where our young people feel that they have a voice.
I dream of an Army with strong, relevant and streamlined administrative structures and much more effective use of our financial and material resources.
I dream of an Army where all cultures are equally accepted and celebrated through the spiritual ties that bind us all together.
I dream of an Army that shuns the dependency culture. (Repeat)
We can put our own names in the place of Army let me read that again and change that up a little. You may wish to follow my example.
In addition to this; breaking away from dependence allows greater independence and mobility of resource of freedom to engage.
If I am not dependant I can move with less restriction, a little like growing from childhood to independence as an adult. Being able to focus on goals that we want to achieve for God’s Kingdom, intentionally focused.
Another thing that has come to my mind this time, these last two days is the intensity of interest that Jesus has in all of us, that picture of him on his feet cheering us on for me is a great encouragement as are his words, from John 4:35, Jesus said this: “Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.” Now some translations say ripe for the harvest. But when a field of grain is ready to harvest it has an appearance of whiteness [pp]. There is a tip in these words of Jesus that we will know those who are ready for the word of God, not by their colour but that their appearance, their desire to connect with The Salvation Army is an indicator, remember they could have gone somewhere else for help, people have a desire to connect with Jesus and as we are his servants, we are those peoples servants, serving those people to bring them into his kingdom, too salvation. One thing that I know works is that when people come to us, we can invite them to belong, come to a meeting, a group that is relevant to them. These people are our future soldiers and officers, and some of them still need to meet Jesus.
You might ask, How do we do what might be beyond our own current strengths and abilities?
We have been reminded where our help comes from, “My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. indeed, he who watches over Israel [The Salvation Army] will neither slumber nor sleep.” The first few lines of that Psalm, “I look unto the hills, where does my help come from?” that the Psalmist wrote talks about the idols he saw on the hills, the Asherah poles and images of Baal. These things made by the hands of men. But his help came from God, from the maker of heaven and earth. Let’s remember that while we have man-made support structure and supports, that our help whatever it is, is part of God’s plan but first and foremost our reliance as individuals, as Corps communities and as a movement should be on God.
Let us serve those who are currently worshipping idols and bring them to the Lord. Let us be, servants, Tamata Dauveiqarvi [Tamata Dau Vae Garave] phonetic English] to all people. There is a whole other community of people who are currently lost who can be saved from the fires of Hell. Let us do this with an intention that burns hotter than those Hellfires, fuelled by the fire of The Holy Spirit. Let us all live like Jesus could return today, but plan well into the future.
I want to now finish with a short message about staying intentional and not being distracted from our mission.
Things at our first Corps (church) were happening. There were new people coming to the Corps for help, for prayer, to assist in the work. People were real with one another, God’s hand could be seen at work. People with addictions were seeking God and finding sobriety, the unloved and the lonely were being befriended, brought into the community and people were being saved and healed by the grace of God.