A General’s Resource

2 Corinthians 4:16

As a lad in Australia, I was converted as unexpectedly as was Saul on the Damascus road. My life was turned upside down and inside out by the convicting and saving power of the Holy Spirit. Responding to the voice that spoke in my soul I yielded, thus taking the first step in a career which has grown more and more dependent upon the guidance of God as it has developed beyond my wildest imaginings [George Carpenter was General of The Salvation Army from 1939 to 1946].

Were I not able to ask for this strength and guidance, and to receive it, I should never have the resolution to face the demands which any one day now brings to me. But as I awake in the morning I can, and do, know the sense of God’s presence. So I come to my desk to spread my affairs before God, and throughout each day I am conscious that His Spirit is with me.

He illuminates the Word of God. As I read, my heart is suddenly warmed, my mind sees deeper import in a truth with which I have been familiar for years. Often one word or text is, as it were, carried before me through the hours.

He gives me to see the inward significance of my daily business. Perhaps more than any would suppose, I am called upon to deal with matters not usually regarded as spiritual matters of business, finance, property and personal affairs. But the Holy Spirit reminds me that all these things are tools to be used skillfully and reverently for the building of the kingdom of God. He gives me patience with myself, with others and with the unending frustrations of each day. He warms my heart, averting the ever-present danger of a cold professionalism.

To His glory alone I would say that He does direct, control and suggest each day. Sometimes I want to get on more quickly, to see the road ahead. Especially do I find need for patience and faith because of war-time hindrances to make contact with our worldwide forces. By day and by night I seek for wisdom in the matters to which God has called me.

He keeps before me the vision which won my heart as a youth. I cannot thank Him enough for this constant renewing. Let no one imagine that, because of divine aid, life for me is merely like riding on an escalator up to mansions in the skies. Life is warfare. I have to struggle. I know the effects of unceasing strain upon brain and heart and body. The flight of time appalls me; the battle with human sins and frailties burdens me. But in the darkest hour there is still the unquenchable conviction that if I trust God and seek only to do His will I shall come out all right.

George Carpenter, War Cry

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