The unpredictable move

Words by Colonel Jostein Nielsen.

Ten years ago, I was called to preach at the Youth Congress in Norway. The theme for the Congress was ‘Ground-breaking’ – and since I was preaching in three meetings, I decided to preach on ground-breaking faith, hope and love. Stine, who was in charge of decorations for the hall had asked me for ideas, and I suggested that she could use the three symbols: Cross, Anchor and Heart – however, I also said that she could feel free to do as the “Spirit leads”. 

A couple days before the Congress, I felt a strong urge to use a game of chess as an illustration-base for my preaching without changing the content of the sermons. I wished that I had received this inspiration earlier so that I could have informed Stine about this option. Now it was too late. 

When I entered the hall for the first meeting, I was struck with awe, because the scene was decorated with a big chess-board and elements related to the game. When I found Stine, I asked “How did you know?” – tears filled her eyes, and she said: “I felt led by the Spirit!” 

If you want to win a game of chess against an experienced player, you need to make unpredictable moves. In spiritual warfare we have an experienced counterpart, and therefore the leading of the Spirit is indispensable. Jesus focused on this in his conversation with Nicodemus: 

“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
John 3:8

When we let the Spirit lead us, the devil is scared because our moves become unpredictable. He knows that from his own experience. He thought it was a good move to kill the King. However, in doing so he sealed his own fate. Because the King conquered death and rose again to bring new life. By his Holy Spirit the King gives life to whosoever want to become his child. Now these children are flooding the world’s chess-board to overcome evil with good with unpredictable moves. 

‘Manna’ for today: 

As the Spirit leads! *

* This blog is posted on the day The Salvation Army farewells the General and welcomes The High Council that next week will elect the next General to lead our mission. Please pray that it will be as the Spirit leads! The Welcome to the High Council and Farewell to the General and Commissioner Cox will be streamed live at or at 3.30 BST (GMT+1)