Messengers of the Gospel encouraged to surrender their all to the Lord at Commencement

By: David Ibata

To those of the Messengers of the Gospel Session who might still wonder if they have what it takes to be Salvation Army officers, a commissioner from South America had words of encouragement for the graduates: “God uses what is in your hand.”

Commissioner Deise Eliasen, territorial president of women’s ministries for the South America West Territory, spoke at the Friday, June 1, Commencement service. She cited God’s words to Moses in Exodus Chapter 4: “What is that in your hand?”

A wooden stick, Moses tells God.

“The Lord says, ‘Throw it on the ground.’ It becomes a snake. … When (Moses) does what the Lord has asked him to do, he saw a miracle. From a simple, no-value thing, he saw this great miracle.”

“Over the next 40 years of Moses’ life, God uses that simple stick to free his people from Pharaoh, open the Red Sea, defeat the Amalekites, and bring water from a rock. Who would have thought of it? God does not ask you to use what you do not have. God uses what’s in your hand.”

Commissioner Eliasen also cited the accounts of Elisha, the widow and the oil in 2 Kings Chapter 4; and of Jesus, the boy with two fish and five loaves and the feeding of the five thousand in John Chapter 6.

God can do a lot with a little, Commissioner Eliasen said; the widow gave all her oil, and the boy gave all his food, and both saw their meager offerings multiplied many times over. “That’s how God’s work gets done: By people who surrender whatever they have to the Lord.”

In faith, offer to God what he has given to you. “No matter how simple, God will use it – sometimes supernaturally – to do his work.”

Cadet April Davis, the session speaker, had straightforward words of advice: “Move it! Get out of the way!” God’s plan “wants to move mountains and raise up valleys, and he wants to use us to do it. But in order for him to do these amazing things, we must be obedient and not get in his way.”

Cadet Davis cited Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”