It was my privilege to one again be part of the Prayer team at Roots this year. We had a great time and I am delighted to say that in the Prayer Room alone we saw God deliver people, restore people and get saved. I know that there were other conversions, people responding to the call for officership and freedom found in Christ in other settings at this event.
This did not happen without a quite intense spiritual battle taking place, which we believe was won through prayer. Whilst I was praying for the event, I believe that the Lord gave me a word about Salvationists finding their voices. This was given me in part before, expanded this week-end and this afternoon confirmed in my mind and heart.
Here it is.
Salvation Army. Sing to the Lord! Sing, sing, sing.
Release praise from your hearts. You must find your voices. Where are your songs?
You say that the Army is full of singing but I am not talking about the borrowed words from others, but the songs of love that are hidden in your hearts but never find their way to your lips. You know I am not talking just about music here, but expressions of love, the release of joyful hallelujahs and the testimony of agreement through a vocalised Amen!
You have lost a freedom you were known for. You were a people whom other Christians looked to for an example of a people who have the ability to voice prayers from the heart, rather than read from a book.
If you are embarrassed by my love, when among God's people, how will you stand for me when the world is hostile? If you stifle joy in worship, who will release it in the wider community? If you are worried about affirming that you believe the word of God by the shout of your amen before each other, how will you find the courage to declare my word with confidence when your belief is questioned in the workplace or the leisure centre?
My word says "There is a time to be silent and a time to speak." You often mistake the time. Of course I want you to listen but I am grieved by the times that I have to wait so long for my presence and my name to be acknowledged when you meet together.
It has been said that we are called to live as holy examples of love and compassion and "if necessary use words" It is often necessary to use words. I gave human beings the unique gift among my creation of being able to communicate through words. I want you to use them to speak to me, I want you to use them to speak for me on behalf of the voiceless millions living in poverty and under injustice. I want you to use them to speak about me and my promises. There are many speaking words in our generation but saying nothing very much. It is my word that brings hope and salvation.
Is this too hard for you? Hear again what I said to Moses
"What I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, "Who will ascend to heaven to get itand proclaim it to us so that we may obey it? Not is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, "Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so that we may obey it?" No the word is very near you, it is in your mouth and in your heart so that you may obey it." (Deuteronomy 30:11-14)
Yet I know your hearts. I know that there are many among you who long to speak out their praise, their testimony and to speak for those who are silenced through oppression. You want to speak but you are tongue tied. You want to speak but you feel you cannot. It is not lack of ability to articulate that prevents you but the bondage of fear. Will you recognise that we have an enemy whose business it is to silence worship, testimony and the word of God? Satan has gagged worship, testimony and protest for too long.
There was a man that Jesus met who couldn't speak because a demon silenced him and he was mute. But here this good news, "And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute, spoke." (Matthew 9:33)
Hear this Salvation Army. We need to go to Jesus and he will deliver us too. Then it will be said of us, "THE ARMY THAT HAD BEEN MUTE SPOKE!"
And then it will be rumoured among the people of God, "Nothing like this has ever been seen."
God bless you