Send the Fire!
by Marilyn Gregory, Major –
Major Gregory submitted the following article to New Frontier along with this note: “The Western Bible Conference was the most fantastic experience I have ever had in The Salvation Army…and I have been “in the Army” since infancy, serving as a soldier, and for nearly 45 years as an officer.”
While fires raged out of control, bringing devastation to the central California coast, another kind of “fire” swept through Asilomar Conference Grounds where 500 Salvationists (plus support staff) gathered for the Western Territory’s first Western Bible Conference (WBC). It was the fire of the Holy Spirit, touching our hearts with renewing and refreshing truths, intended to mold us into what and who God wants us to be. These were fires sent by God himself to touch our hearts as we pondered his awesome power in our lives!
Commissioner Israel Gaither, our National Commander—delivered the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit during the evening sessions. In the morning Bible teachings, Dr. Bill Ury led us through the Gospel of Mark.
At the opening meeting Gaither proclaimed: “It is our time to seek a fresh heart. We need to be God’s holy people!” Refreshment came to us as we listened, prayed, and absorbed all God had for us.
Each day the worship center included a new focal point, as we meditated on the daily teaching: Fresh Bread, Fresh Water, Fresh Wind, and Fresh Fire. We were reminded we need “a Holy Spirit tsunami to sweep over us!”
The experience of “fresh fire” sweeping into my heart and over my spirit was overwhelming. I thank God for that experience at WBC. I felt a real desire to carry home that precious fire, so that I may share it with others, in my neighborhood, and in my corps.
The final day Commissioner Eva Gaither delivered a challenging message on the Valley of Dry Bones. We believe that God still has the power to “breathe life” into dry bones, but we each need to do our part. “After receiving a fresh encounter with the Spirit as we did at WBC, we have to do something!” In the power of God’s Holy Spirit, we are enabled to “walk into any valley of dry bones and walk out victorious!”
May it be so!