'The desire and the power': New Year letter from Commissioner Bronwyn Buckingham
As we turn our hearts towards the promise of 2024, I am reminded of the profound words of Paul in Philippians: ‘For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him’ (2:13 New Living Translation).
These words are highlighted and underlined in my Bible, bringing hope and encouragement through days of change and challenge. With hearts full of anticipation, General Lyndon and I have both stepped into our next ‘yes’ to God and the Army. We do this as an act of confident faith, for we have witnessed the hand of the Almighty guiding us through years past. We trust that he will faithfully continue to work in us, providing both ‘the desire and the power’ to keep doing what pleases him.
Even with this promise, not one of us is exempt from days when the desire and the power to keep doing what pleases God are low. We each carry personal pain, concern and anxiety, as well as our own longings and dreams. We may wander and drift from the centre of his will. There are days when we wonder just how much more the Lord requires from us, days when we question and wrestle with ourselves and with God. But his gracious presence and patience allows for every human feeling, and these are the times when the Holy Spirit reminds me again of the peace and joy that follow surrender.
Our choice to submit to his way brings us into a new experience of his abundant love and faithfulness. Friends, what would The Salvation Army look like if we all committed afresh to total and true surrender? What could The Salvation Army accomplish in his name if we trust in the promise of his equipping power to carry out what is being asked of us? How might The Salvation Army transform the lives of others if we all commit to reflecting the joy of surrender to God’s desires in our own lives?
I believe that God has kingdom purposes that he still desires to be fulfilled through the mission of The Salvation Army in the world. I believe we have a generation rising up to take their place in this Army, and I want to be amongst their loudest, most encouraging supporters.
I believe that Jesus is the only hope for this world, and I want to be part of a movement that is finding exciting and relevant ways to show and tell that truth. I believe that, as followers of Jesus, we must keep going deeper with him. I want to be part of a Salvation Army that prioritises ‘being’ as highly as ‘doing’. And I believe that, as we devote ourselves to loving each other as Jesus told us to, the differences that threaten to divide us will become stepping stones to growing and learning together.
My prayer, as we welcome this New Year, is that we will allow the Holy Spirit to keep working in us both personally and corporately. My prayer is that this will lead us to being a Salvation Army that stands confidently in both the desire and the power to keep doing what pleases our Heavenly Father! I am committed to doing my part, all for God’s glory. Are you?
Commissioner Bronwyn Buckingham (World President of Women's Ministries) shares reflections on Philippians 2:13 to mark the beginning of 2024. On 3 September 2023, the World President of Women's Ministries was welcomed alongside her husband, General Lyndon Buckingham, as the international leaders of The Salvation Army. During Commissioner Bronwyn's address at the meeting, she spoke of the same scriptural passage, emphasising its significance in her life during these months of leadership transition.Tags: WM News, WM Resources, Women's Ministries