3 : 9 September 2004

Steve Harrison

I feel in my spirit that I am called to serve the urban poor and the immigrants who, for various reasons, reach our shores. We live in comfortable homes, and we are secure in our realtionships as members of established churches. But many of these poor and needy people need help both material and spiritual. They also do not know Jesus. How can I avoid them or not serve them, if I am really a believer in Christ?

The Lord Jesus Christ met me and took me to be his child. And this raised a question in my heart: What I should I do with my life?


One of my favorite spiritual heroes is General William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army. It wasn't until I went into ministry full-time that I discovered who he was and the rich spiritual heritage of the Salvation Army.

Many early publications of the Salvation Army's exploits are out of print. But without a doubt, a hundred years go, these men and women were spiritual radicals bent on conquering the world for Jesus. With their distinctive uniforms and dynamic message they loyally followed Booth's command to, "Go for the lost and go for the worst."

In sixty years of dedicated service, William Booth traveled five million miles and preached 60,000 sermons! He gained worldwide fame and glory, yet maintained a fiery dedication to God and the downcast of this world.

Near the end of General Booth's life, a young Christian worker asked him a question that has been voiced countless times since:

"What should I do with my life?"


Here is William Booth's answer:

I would offer my life up, without a moment's hesitation, on the altar of redeeming love. I would place myself - body, soul, and spirit - at the feet of Jesus Christ, ready and willing to live, suffer, fight, and die for Him.
I did that at the early age of fifteen as far as my limited knowledge would allow. But knowing what I know now, I would make the same offering only far more wholeheartedly than I did then - and here is what I would say to God:
'O God, let me do nothing and allow nothing in my heart or in my life but what is calculated to promote your interests on earth, to make you famous among men, to answer the purpose for which I am entrusted with my being. No silly wasting of time or strength of facilities or good or opportunities would satisfy me.'
To further my design, I would do the following:
  1. By night and by day, I would read and ask and plan and scheme and experiment until I could do this work, either as a leader or as a follower, as God should decide. I would do it up to the full level of my highest natural powers.
  2. I would be a man of sacrifice. I would accept a life of ridicule, sacrifice, and work as being my heavenly Father's way for me. I would struggle until I reach that state of mind that would enable me to endure hardship without murmur or complaint.
  3. I would be a man of prayer. Oh, when I look back over the course I have traveled through the world, what a precious and valuable privilege prayer has been to me. If I were writing this again while standing on the threshold on my earthly life, whether long or short, I would at once start to pray. I would pray alone in my chamber. I would pray in my home, and with my friends when I met them, with strangers in halls, open air meetings, or elsewhere. Indeed, I would pray in public and in private, yet, everywhere I would pray until my every thought was prayer and my every breath was praise.
  4. I would be a man of holiness. I would rejoice in being known, admired, and feared everywhere for truth and honor, for purity, and generosity. A truly righteous man, I would say 'O my God, my God, let me in deed and truth be a holy man that I may make people know what the kingdom of heaven is really like.'
  5. I would be a man of compassion for human suffering. I would cultivate the spirit of sympathy with human distress wherever and whenever I might find men, women, and children in sorrow. It wouldn't matter whether their trouble had been brought about by their own evil conduct, by the evil of others, or by some reason for which they were not responsible. As far as I had opportunity, I would try to give them practical assistance. In this, I would only be copying the example of my heavenly Father who makes the sun to shine on the evil and the good, the just and the unjust.
  6. I would be a man of faith. To that end, I would cultivate the holy habit of trusting in God in season and out of season. I would practice believing.
  7. I would be a man possessed of the Holy Ghost. When people heard my name, they would think about God. When they knew I was coming their way, they would feel here is another chance of salvation.


William Booth wrote:

Whether young or old, this then is my standard of love and duty. It shall continue to be until I utter my last word and breathe my last breath on earth, and I am not sure that I shall find any higher standard in heaven.
Will you join me in this consecration? Long years may yet be yours. The world is before you. God is on your side. Men, angels, and devils are everywhere speculating on your future. Humanity needs you. A great deal of religion around you is in a poor state, robbed of its strength by worldliness, sensuality, and unbelief. It is rapidly approaching a condition of respectable superficiality.
So hurry to the rescue, lift up your heads, fix your eyes on the future, rise to your opportunities, the biggest and grandest and most pregnant with blessing of any that have come to anyone in these last days. Away with fear; trample hesitation and mediocrity under your feet. Forget the failures of the past, leave them behind you, let the Devil have them, and having taken your stand - then on and on and still on.


There was a time when I had to answer the same question, "What should I do with my life?" If you don't know what to do with your life, please consider world missions to prepare yourself "to hurry to the rescue" of the millions and millions who still don't know that Jesus died for them, and that He gives eternal life.

We are committed to world missions not only because it is our duty but because it is our passion. Without this zeal of the Lord motivating us and the people we send, we are only "sounding brass and tinkling cymbals." And the world missions are at your door steps.

O God, let me do nothing and allow nothing in my heart or in my life but what is calculated to promote your interests on earth, to make you famous among men, to answer the purpose for which I am entrusted with my being.


Steve Harrison