Christian Life 

The Transit Camp

Trained and ready to go. But what's happening; where are we heading and when?
 
First published in 2004
On this website 20/11/2008


Transit Camp“So how’s the church where you are?” That was the big question posed to me last week by a visitor from other parts. And I had to think for a moment to come up with a concise response.

“It feels a bit like a transit camp” I replied. “Of course we mainly know where the church has been - over recent years and even centuries. But I am not entirely sure of where God is taking it to now.”

And three thousand years ago I might have given the same reply.

At that time the Israelites had pestered God to give them a king. Whilst God warned them of the consequences of rejecting Him, he nevertheless acceded to their insistent demands. And they got King Saul as their first (earthly) monarch.

 

In the position, but impotent

 


But while Saul started well, he finished badly. And there was a period towards the end of his reign when he was still on the throne, but had lost God’s favour. He was therefore impotent. He was yesterday’s man but remained, for a while, on the stage.

This position is not unique in history, and ten years ago an embittered cabinet minister thrust a caustic barb into his Prime Minister. But what Norman Lamont said in his resignation speech could equally have been applied to King Saul. With powerful rhetoric, the departing Chancellor accused John Major’s government of being “in office, but not in power.” It was indeed the case.
Sadly, it is also true of much of the Christian church in the West today. The religious structures are still in place, but the spiritual authority - as in King Saul’s final years - has departed.

 

In the place of preparation

 


But even as Saul’s reign was moving to a close, God anointed an heir. However David was then just a shepherd boy. And for a time he had to remain out of sight; hidden in a cave until the time of his accession arrived. So for a period the nation of Israel was in a rather unsettled position. The “old”, while still there, was fading; but the “new” had not yet come. So too today. And yet there will be many, just like David, who are being groomed by God; but, for the moment, are still waiting in the wings.

Only time will reveal who they are, but there could be a few surprises. In the anointing of David as Saul’s successor, the prophet Samuel confounded David’s father and his other sons. God chose the youngest of the family with the reminder; “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." He chooses the “foolish” to shame the “wise”; and the “weak” to shame the “strong.”

Those that God will use are those whose hearts are set on the things of God. Kingdom builders rather than empire builders. Those who will reject the worldliness that has crept into the church of God. Those who will turn away from the idolatry of “success” as judged by “numbers” and “buildings”.

But if the future is yet unclear, what is certain is that the status quo is being dismantled. For some, impending change may appear threatening. In others, the sense of expectancy and opportunity is palpable and dynamic. So “How’s things in the church?” It will be even more interesting tomorrow than today.

 
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Postscript: Awaiting the order
Invasion of EuropeImagine the scene prior to the Normandy landings and the invasion of Europe. Thousands of troops were gathered in the south coast of England: they had been trained to be soldiers with the prospect of battle in mind, yet their commanding officer(s), for reasons of keeping the enemy guessing, withheld the precise battle plans from the men on a 'need to know' basis.

These soldiers would nevertheless have guessed that 'something was up'; but they had to be patient and wait to be told what part they each would play.

The warriors knew that they had been prepared for a task: they knew that something major was in the immediate offing, and they knew that where they were being assembled was merely a 'staging post'. But they had to wait; wait until the order came.

The church knows where it has been for the past 2000 years, and believers know that this is not their final destiny. But we meanwhile pray: "Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."  Those whose hearts are set on God's glory and His Kingdom are effectively in a transit camp awaiting orders from on high.

 
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Footnote:
The main article above was published by the Press and Journal in a regular column entitled 'A View from Here' in 2004 (published with permission)

 

Christians Together, 09/12/2015

Feedback:
Desmond Decker (Guest) 20/11/2008 19:38
There is certainly something in the air! Lets hope that it is quite different to what has gone before in recent decades. The church in too many instances has been quick to judge those out with its walls, when it should have been more concerned with the 3 fingers pointing back at itself.

Thankfully our Trinitarian God has His finger on the pulse, even when we don't!

The next 2 to five years could prove highly significant, particularly with the fall of major human strongholds recently!
Editor 08/10/2010 14:41
From David Wilkerson (08/10): published with permission -

>>>>
GOD's SPECIAL FORCES
-David Wilkerson.

You've heard of the U.S. Army's Special Forces—a highly trained army-within-an-army, an elite unit of dedicated soldiers. Special Forces are made up completely of volunteers, fighters who have been noticed and called out by their superiors.

Before the war in Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden had said American soldiers were weak, cowardly, not trained for mountain warfare. He predicted the Taliban would send U.S. troops home in shame, but he hadn't counted on America's Special Forces. This fearless unit invaded Afghanistan with a mere 2,000 soldiers. Within days, it had located all the enemy's strongholds.

I believe God is doing something similar in the spiritual realm.
While in prayer, I was impressed by the Holy Spirit with the concept—God has been at work in the heavenlies on a covert operation. He's raising up an army-within-an-army, searching his regular troops to form an elite unit of volunteers. This special force is made up of warriors he can touch and stir, to do battle with the enemy. We see a picture of this in the Bible, with Saul's special militia. The Word tells us, "There went with him a band of men, whose hearts God had touched" (I Samuel 10:26).

God's special forces today include the young, the middle-aged, even the elderly. They've been training in their secret closets of prayer. Their intimacy with Jesus has taught them how to fight.
Now they know how to do battle on any spiritual plane, whether in the mountains or in valleys.

God's army-within-an-army is in place in every nation. Its activity may be covert now, but soon we'll see it doing exploits in the name and power of Christ. God's Word is coming forth, and the famine is ending. The Lord will prevail. His Word shall conquer all.

"The people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits" (Daniel 11:32).

"They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint" (Isaiah 40:31).

-SOURCE:
http://www.worldchallenge.org/en/devotions/2010/gods-special-forces

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