A couple of weeks ago, I decided, after much prayer, to accept a Human Resources leadership position with the Salvation Army in Augusta. This is the organization with the red kettles and bell ringing at Christmas time, helping the poor in providing food and shelter, while offering other services to get people back on their feet following personal and financial calamities.
The origins and culture of the Salvation Army have a distinctive, military-like character, with the motto of “Blood and Fire” emblazoned on crests, flags, and displayed on other materials. The underlying thrust is all about putting on the full armor of God, as the apostle Paul implores us to take heed, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of the dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground” Ephesians 6:10-13.
Blood and Fire is described as “the war cry” of the Salvation Army, which is bolstered by the salvation of all people through the shed blood of Jesus, with believers made pure by the sanctifying light and fire of the Holy Spirit. This isn’t just sharing the good news of salvation, but more an evangelization of saving souls from the ravages of Satan, knowing it takes hard work to fight the wiles of a corrupt culture, which can defeat the tepid believer. Preparing for spiritual warfare, officer/leaders of the Salvation Army hold military-type ranks, including Captain, Major, and so forth.
This battle-ready approach to Christianity has an appeal, reminding all that being a committed Christian is not a walk in the park. If having a credible walk with Christ is a comfortable experience, then we should be concerned, as Satan is likely lurking nearby, ready to devour us. (After all, Satan needs to eat too!)
Today, consider the mission of the Salvation Army, “to preach the gospel of Christ and meet human needs in his name with discrimination”. Perhaps if we spent more time helping our neighbor and conveying the gospel message of hope through our care and concern, we too could take the high ground in our own battle against the evil one, helping bring along a few souls, as well as our own, to know the infinite love of Jesus!
Have a Blessed Sunday!