My Calling to Service Came with the Territory
By: Captain Lars-Otto Ljungholm
I invited Jesus into my heart when I was 15 years old at a Salvation Army camp in Sweden. My journey since then has had its bumps, but the ride is exciting!
Music has always been an important part of my life, and for over 20 years I was working as a music director for The Salvation Army, both here in the U.S. and in Sweden. During those years I was praying for God’s perfect plan, and I thought that being a music director was the plan God had in mind for me. However, I was constantly looking for “the next step” in my life and did not feel fully at peace.
The book “The Prayer of Jabez” by Dr. Bruce Wilkinson became an important help to my prayer life, but
it was not until I read the book a third time that I slowly started to get it.
1 Chronicles 4:10 says, Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain. And God granted his request.
The first two times I read the book, in which Dr. Wilkinson explains that Scripture passage, I was excited about praying for my territory. Unwilling to give up anything in order for God to transform me, I prayed that God would bless only those things that I had in mind for my territory. I had yet to fully grasp that communicating with God is a two-way conversation that involves listening.
When my wife Ingrid and I faced a life crisis that involved the loss of employment, we prayed, “Lord, would you enlarge our territory and help us understand what you want with our lives?” We started to listen, and through prayers, Scripture and people close to us, we heard God calling us to become Salvation Army officers.
We are now six years into our officership, and I am now fully convinced that this is surely what God wants me to do for the rest of my life. I have peace in my heart!
In Matthew 7:7, Jesus promised, Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
My encouragement to you, my friend, is to ask, seek and knock, because Jesus will answer. May God bless you!