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Helping the Salvation Army to hear God

We’re sitting here tonight talking in the living room. Clint Bokelman is telling a story about how he teaches the officers at the Salvation Army in Atlanta to hear the voice of God and Andrew Shearman is egging him on.  So here it is:    Every year they bring Clint in to speak t…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
We’re sitting here tonight talking in the living room. Clint Bokelman is telling a story about how he teaches the officers at the Salvation Army in Atlanta to hear the voice of God and Andrew Shearman is egging him on.  So here it is: 
Every year they bring Clint in to speak to their leaders.  So he came in with no particular agenda and waited for God to show up.  The Salvation Army people had their suits on – they have a certain way of doing things.  But Clint is not that, so something had to give.
Clint isn’t afraid to wait on God, so he got up in front and began strumming the guitar waiting for  God to speak and finally God spoke to him and said, “Share the dream you had this morning.”
He’d had a dream and in the dream he saw God wearing a Salvation Army uniform.  Shafts of light shot out of the arms of the coat… it was too small; it didn’t fit.  Then God took off the coat because he wasn’t a Salvationist.  Then he saw God wearing a U.S.A. jacket and he took it off because God wasn’t an American.  And the final jacket made Clint feel uneasy – he saw God wearing a “Christian” jacket.  And he took it off because God wasn’t a Christian.
After sharing this, Clint said, “Let’s just wait on the Lord and see what he says this means.”
Silence ensued and an officer in the back spoke up and shared a vision he’d just had: “I saw Jesus going into a thrift store.  He was going through the rack of clothes and at the rack of shirts he took off a long sleeve shirt, the worst one there – raggedy and old, and took it off the rack.  He brought it up to the counter to buy it.  He took it outside and began to wear it.  As he put it on, rips began to mend, holes disappeared, stains dropped to the ground and it became a brand new shirt that fit him.  And then he told me, “You are the shirt. And you fit me.”
The officer sat down and Clint said, “Can we please just wait on the Lord?”
Another officer got up and confessed to the Lord, “God, if you’re not a Salvationist, I don’t want to be a Salvationist.”
Another officer got up and said, “I confess the way I’ve had you in a box.”
One after another the officers continued to repent – God moved powerfully. 
So now, every year they invite Clint back and something like this happens.
And the question for us today is, “Are you the shirt that God wears?” 

Comments (6)

  • this is just awesome,two days ago i was having a conversation with my friend on a similar topic and its just amazing how God can confirm a situation and speak out loud and clear.well,this has just added up my belief in the one whom i serve.praise be to his name.

  • Dear Seth,

    Having been raised in the Salvation Army and having had a Mom/ Dad, an Aunt and Great Aunt officers in this organization (or a segment of the Body of Christ) it delights my soul to be aware of God’s continuing pruning in this place that God has so mightedly used in and around the world. I am so grateful that I had this exposure at such a young age-a mother and father who often put on their “uniforms” (the shirt that God wears)to minister to those on the street, in the bars, and amongst the homeless. General Booth had such a profound vision of renting store front builtings in the less desirable places in town in order that those who would would feel less than comfortable in a formal church atmosphere would be welcomed and loved “just as they are”.

    Having just spent several days with my 95 year old mother whose “tent” is slowing deteriorating, thank you for reminding me of my beginnings and the encouragement that God is still moving amongst those who I have a special place in my heart for.

    Thank you, Seth, for walking in obedience and sharing your heart so openly. May God continue to give you and Karen
    great wisdom and strength as you minister to this next generation.

    Bunches of love,

  • Couldn’t get this out of my head. I have been chewing on this picture all day because I found it deeply disturbing. Not for the reasons you might think! I love the Sally Army and I fully agree that Jesus doesn’t mold himself to our image, we get molded into His.

    It was the astonishingly intimate image of Jesus wearing me as a shirt. It’s the traditional “clothe yourselves in Christ” image of the NT in reverse. Us wearing the robe of His righteousness, yes, but not Him wearing me in my unholy rags. Couldn’t help thinking why on earth someone as stunningly beautiful and wonderful as Jesus would want to wear the scruffy, torn pieces that are me. Why He would want me that close. How anything that’s me could possibly be adequate to clothe Christ, even temporarily.

    But then I guess that’s His deliberate choice. That’s His grace. That’s the overwhelming truth that actually He comes that close, dies my death and does dress in my rags. His goal isn’t to stay that way but to restore, just as the picture progresses to say. Exchanging the ashes for His beauty. Sometimes this whole gospel message just re-strikes me as so unlikely, so bizarre, and so utterly impossible. I could never have dreamed up a plan like that! You couldn’t ask that of God. And yet He does it.

    Awesome God, eh? Still slight stunned of England, Carol xxx

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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