Tag Archives: Oswald Chambers

there’s something to be said for…

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I’m beginning to notice a pattern as I get older.

Life is becoming more complicated.  More decisions need to be made. More responsibilities are  graciously bestowed.  More time is requested.  More attention needed here.  More detail needed there. More bills come monthly.  All in all, more experience is available to be had, whether you went looking for it or not.  And that experience than needs to be filtered; it needs to be  unpacked and repacked into something useful.  Like perspective.

There’s something to be said for perspective. There’s something to be said for being able to seeing beyond your circumstance and considering that where you are not is now where you’ll always be; you’re only passing through and for some reason you may not understand, the Lord saw fit to take you on a scenic route.

There’s something to be said for perspective and how it’s ultimately undergirded by faith. Oswald Chambers illustrates it this way:

God called Jesus Christ to what seemed absolute disaster. And Jesus Christ called His disciples to see Him put to death, leading every one of them to the place where their hearts were broken. His life was an absolute failure from every standpoint except God’s. But what seemed to be failure from man’s standpoint was a triumph from God’s standpoint, because God’s purpose is never the same as man’s purpose.

If we are in fellowship and oneness with God and recognize that He is taking us into His purposes, then we will no longer strive to find out what His purposes are. As we grow in the Christian life, it becomes simpler to us, because we are less inclined to say, “I wonder why God allowed this or that?” And we begin to see that the compelling purpose of God lies behind everything in life, and that God is divinely shaping us into oneness with that purpose. A Christian is someone who trusts in the knowledge and the wisdom of God, not in his own abilities. If we have a purpose of our own, it destroys the simplicity and the calm, relaxed pace which should be characteristic of the children of God.

There’s something to be said for perspective.

There’s something to be said for understanding and  accepting the fact that we are simply not our own. And if we’re not our own, then where we go, what we do, and how we get there isn’t up to us. But what is up to us, is what we do with everything we encounter along the way to being drawn closer to the heart of God.

Will we look for the mysterious ways that the Lord has woven together a tapestry beyond our wildest imagination?  Or will we see only the other side of the pattern? The knotted and messy strings being pulled and poked here and there without realizing what lies on the other side?

Making It Our Aim

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We make it our aim . . . to be well pleasing to Him —2 Corinthians 5:9

We make it our aim. . . .” It requires a conscious decision and effort to keep our primary goal constantly in front of us. It means holding ourselves to the highest priority year in and year out; not making our first priority to win souls, or to establish churches, or to have revivals, but seeking only “to be well pleasing to Him.” It is not a lack of spiritual experience that leads to failure, but a lack of working to keep our eyes focused and on the right goal. At least once a week examine yourself before God to see if your life is measuring up to the standard He has for you. Paul was like a musician who gives no thought to audience approval, if he can only catch a look of approval from his Conductor.

Any goal we have that diverts us even to the slightest degree from the central goal of being “approved to God” (2 Timothy 2:15) may result in our rejection from further service for Him. When you discern where the goal leads, you will understand why it is so necessary to keep “looking unto Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2). Paul spoke of the importance of controlling his own body so that it would not take him in the wrong direction. He said, “I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest . . . I myself should become disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:27).

I must learn to relate everything to the primary goal, maintaining it without interruption. My worth to God publicly is measured by what I really am in my private life. Is my primary goal in life to please Him and to be acceptable to Him, or is it something less, no matter how lofty it may sound?

The Shadow of Agony

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Despite the brutality of truth and amidst the harshness of daily reality, grace, peace, hope, redemption, and salvation wait to receive those who humbly surrender self-reliance and willingly accept the divine intervention of faith.

To those who have had no agony Jesus says, “I have nothing for you; stand on your own feet, square your own shoulders. I have come for the man who knows he has a bigger handful than he can cope with, who knows there are forces he cannot touch; I will do everything for him if he will let Me. Only let a man grant he needs it, and I will do it for him. (Chambers)

 

Where The Battle is Won & Lost

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Special thanks to Mr. Chambers…

Our battles are first won or lost in the secret places of our will in God’s presence, never in full view of the world. The Spirit of God seizes me and I am compelled to get alone with God and fight the battle before Him. Until I do this, I will lose every time. The battle may take one minute or one year, but that will depend on me, not God. However long it takes, I must wrestle with it alone before God, and I must resolve to go through the hell of renunciation or rejection before Him. Nothing has any power over someone who has fought the battle before God and won there.

I should never say, “I will wait until I get into difficult circumstances and then I’ll put God to the test.” Trying to do that will not work. I must first get the issue settled between God and myself in the secret places of my soul, where no one else can interfere. Then I can go ahead, knowing with certainty that the battle is won. Lose it there, and calamity, disaster, and defeat before the world are as sure as the laws of God. The reason the battle is lost is that I fight it first in the external world. Get alone with God, do battle before Him, and settle the matter once and for all.

In dealing with other people, our stance should always be to drive them toward making a decision of their will. That is how surrendering to God begins. Not often, but every once in a while, God brings us to a major turning point— a great crossroads in our life. From that point we either go toward a more and more slow, lazy, and useless Christian life, or we become more and more on fire, giving our utmost for His highest— our best for His glory.

Chambers Says it Better

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From “My Utmost For His Highest.”

If you have faith as a mustard seed . . . nothing will be impossible for you —Matthew 17:20

We have the idea that God rewards us for our faith, and it may be so in the initial stages. But we do not earn anything through faith— faith brings us into the right relationship with God and gives Him His opportunity to work. Yet God frequently has to knock the bottom out of your experience as His saint to get you in direct contact with Himself. God wants you to understand that it is a life of faith, not a life of emotional enjoyment of His blessings. The beginning of your life of faith was very narrow and intense, centered around a small amount of experience that had as much emotion as faith in it, and it was full of light and sweetness. Then God withdrew His conscious blessings to teach you to “walk by faith” (2 Corinthians 5:7). And you are worth much more to Him now than you were in your days of conscious delight with your thrilling testimony.

Faith by its very nature must be tested and tried. And the real trial of faith is not that we find it difficult to trust God, but that God’s character must be proven as trustworthy in our own minds. Faith being worked out into reality must experience times of unbroken isolation. Never confuse the trial of faith with the ordinary discipline of life, because a great deal of what we call the trial of faith is the inevitable result of being alive. Faith, as the Bible teaches it, is faith in God coming against everything that contradicts Him— a faith that says, “I will remain true to God’s character whatever He may do.” The highest and the greatest expression of faith in the whole Bible is— “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15).

Revelation Numero Uno

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It’s an odd paradox, coming to the realization of a massive stronghold or failure.

On the one hand, it is a sweet sort of relief to know what stands in your way; to see clearly what is blocking your progression.  Once you understand what the obstacle is, you  can more effectively and efficiently manuever around it. 

On the other hand (for me at least) is always brings about disappointment in myself.  I am quickly and easily discouraged when I realize that, yet again, I have been distracted or deterred from my ultimate goal, which is more of Jesus.  I think I have spiritual ADD. My mind is an endlessly wandering thing, and while all my thoughts begin with the best of intentions, they end up somewhere very different.  Then I wonder how I got there, to this place where suddenly nothing is familiar and I feel a little claustrophobic.

Today, thanks to an email I got from my friend, I think I discovered just why I get so easily distracted and as it turns out it’s really quite simple.

Isaiah 26:3 says “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”

Trust. It keeps coming back to trust.

Do I trust God with my whole heart? Do I trust God with my physical and mental well-being? Do I trust Him with the things that I cherish now? Do I trust Him with the things that I desire for the future?  Do I trust Him to be enough when I have nothing else to hold onto or hope in?

Do I really trust Him to be who He says He is?  If I claim to be a Christian (i.e. saved by grace through faith in one perfect and sovereign Being) then technically and theoretically, I should answer all of the above questions with a loud and resounding “Yes!”

But I can’t. And I know why now.

I have, albeit unintentionally, mistaken other Christians for little gods, placing hopes and trust in their faith, their abilities, their prayers, thinking that because they love Jesus too, they wouldn’t/couldn’t let me down.

Ooops.

Ever heard of Oswald Chambers? He’s a giant of the faith, and coincidentally, one of my favorite writers. I read the following entry the other morning:

Put God First in Trust. “Jesus did not commit Himself unto them . . . for He knew what was in man.”  John 2:24-25

Our Lord trusted no man; yet He was never suspicious, never bitter, never in despair about any man, because He put God first in trust; He trusted absolutely in what God’s grace could do for any man. If I put my trust in human beings first, I will end in despairing of everyone; I will become bitter, because I have insisted on man being what no man ever can be – absolutely right. Never trust anything but the grace of God in yourself or in anyone else.

Put God’s Needs First. “Lo, I come to do Thy will, 0 God.”  Hebrews 10:9

A man’s obedience is to what he sees to be a need; Our Lord’s obedience was to the will of His Father. The cry to-day is – “We must get some work to do; the heathen are dying without God; we must go and tell them of Him.” We have to see first of all that God’s needs in us personally are being met. “Tarry ye until. . . .” The purpose of this College is to get us rightly related to the needs of God. When God’s needs in us have been met, then He will open the way for us to realize His needs elsewhere.

Put God’s Trust First. “And whoso receiveth one such little child in my name receiveth Me.”  Matthew 18:5

God’s trust is that He gives me Himself as a babe. God expects my personal life to be a “Bethlehem.” Am I allowing my natural life to be slowly transfigured by the indwelling life of the Son of God? God’s ultimate purpose is that His Son might be manifested in my mortal flesh.

*blank stare* So… that’s heavy.

 If He keeps my mind in perfect peace so long as it is stayed on Him, then what might be the first step in making sure my mind stays where it ought?

Personally, I think I’ll start with gratitude– being thankful for everything He is to me and all that He has done for me.

That should keep my busy.

Where would you start? How would you keep your mind fixed on Him?

I believe in Destiny.

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Every woman's crazy for a sharp-dressed man... is that wrong?

Every woman's crazy for a sharp-dressed man... is that wrong?

I’d like to introduce you to Mr. Oswald Chambers, a spiritual giant in the faith and an intellectual forefather to thinkers all over the world and over the course of the last century.  One of his books, “My Utmost for His Highest,” a compilation of his thoughts and reasonings he discovered and wrestled with over the course of his ministry, was transcribed by his wife, “Biddy” and published in 1927.  You could take my word for it, or read a more legit biography here

Why am I using my blog as a book report portal? I’m not.  I told you all that to tell you this: I was reading from that very devotional book this morning and today’s entry was exceptionally moving to me.  And I thought you might care

For Sepember 1st: “Destined to be Holy” 

“…it is written, be holy as I AM holy.” ~ 1 Peter 1:16

We must continually remind ourselves of the purpose of life. We are not destined to happiness, nor to health, but to holiness. Today we have far too many desires and interests, and our lives are being consumed and wasted by them. Many of them may be right, noble, and good, and may later be fulfilled, but in the meantime God must cause their importance to us to decrease. The only thing that truly matters is whether a person will accept the God who will make him holy. At all costs, a person must have the right relationship with God.

Do I believe I need to be holy? Do I believe that God can come into me and make me holy? If through your preaching you convince me that I am unholy, I then resent your preaching. The preaching of the gospel awakens an intense resentment because it is designed to reveal my unholiness, but it also awakens an intense yearning and desire within me. God has only one intended destiny for mankind— holiness. His only goal is to produce saints. God is not some eternal blessing-machine for people to use, and He did not come to save us out of pity— He came to save us because He created us to be holy. Atonement through the Cross of Christ means that God can put me back into perfect oneness with Himself through the death of Jesus Christ, without a trace of anything coming between us any longer.

Never tolerate, because of sympathy for yourself or for others, any practice that is not in keeping with a holy God. Holiness means absolute purity of your walk before God, the words coming from your mouth, and every thought in your mind— placing every detail of your life under the scrutiny of God Himself. Holiness is not simply what God gives me, but what God has given me that is being exhibited in my life.