Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Light That Never Fails

"We all, with unveiled face, beholding... the glory of the Lord..." (2 Corinthians 3:18).


A servant of God must stand so very much alone that he never realizes he is alone. In the early stages of the christian life, disappointments will come- people who used to be lights will flicker out, and those who used to stand with us will turn away. We have to get so used to it that we will not even realize we are standing alone. Paul said, "... no one stood with me, but all forsook me.... But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me..." (2 Timothy 4:16-17). We must build our faith not on fading lights but on the light that never fails. When "important" individuals go away we are sad, until we see that they are meant to go, so that only one thing is left for us to do- to look into the face of God for ourselves.

Allow nothing to keep you from looking with strong determination into the face of God regarding yourself and your doctrine. And every time you preach make sure you look God in the face about the message first, then the glory will remain through all of it. A Christian servant is one who perpetually looks into the face of God and then goes forth to talk to others. The ministry of Christ is characterized by an abiding glory of which the servant is totally unaware- "... Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him" (Exodus 34:29).

We are never called on to display our doubts openly or to express the hidden joys and delights of our life with God. The secret of the servant's life is that he stays in true with God all the time.


[from "My Utmost for His Highest" Oswald Chambers]

Monday, April 21, 2014

Don't Hurt The Lord

"Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip?" (John 14:9).


Our Lord must be repeatedly astounded at us- astound at how "un-simple" we are. It is our own opinions that make us dense and slow to understand, but when we are simple we are never dense; we have discernment all the time. Philip expected the future revelation of a tremendous mystery, but not in Jesus, the Person he thought he already knew. The mystery of God is not in what is going to be- it is now, though we look for it to be revealed in the future in some overwhelming, momentous event. We have no reluctance to obey Jesus, but it is highly probable that we are hurting Him by what we ask- "Lord, show us the Father..." (14:8). His response immediately comes back to us as He says, "Can't you see Him? He is always right here or He is no where to be found." We look for God to exhibit Himself to His children, but God only exhibits Himself in His children. And while others see the evidence, the child of God does not. We want to be fully aware of what God is doing in us, but we cannot have complete awareness and expect to remain reasonable or balanced in our expectations of Him. If all we are asking God to give us is experiences, and the awareness of those experiences is blocking our way, we hurt the Lord. The very questions we ask hurt Jesus, because they are not the questions of a child.

"Let not your heart be troubled..." (14:1,27). Am I then hurting Jesus by allowing my heart to be troubled? If I believe in Jesus and His attributes, am I living up to my belief? Am I allowing anything to disturb my heart, or am I allowing any questions to come in which are unsound or unbalanced? I have to get to the point of the absolute and unquestionable relationship that takes everything exactly as it comes from Him. God never guides us at some time in the future, but always here and now. Realize that the Lord is here now, and the freedom you receive is immediate.


[from "My Utmost for His Highest" Oswald Chambers]

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Can A Saint Falsely Accuse God?

"All the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen..." (2 Corinthians 1:20).


Jesus' parable of the talents recorded in Matthew 25:14-30 was a warning that it is possible for us to misjudge our capacities. This parable has nothing to do with natural gifts and abilities, but relates to the gift of the Holy Spirit as He was first given at Pentecost. We must never measure our spiritual capacity on the basis of our education or our intellect; our capacity in spiritual things is measured on the basis of the promises of God. If we get less than God wants us to have, we will falsely accuse Him as the servant falsely accused his master when he said, "You expect more of me than you gave me the power to do. You demand too much of me, and I cannot stand true to you here where you have placed me." When it is a question of God's Almighty Spirit, never say,"I can't." Never allow the limitation of your own natural ability to enter into the matter. If we have received the Holy Spirit, God expects the work of the Holy Spirit to be exhibited in us.

The servant justified himself, while condemning his lord on every point, as if to say, "Your demand on me is way out of proportion to what you gave to me." Have we been falsely accusing God by daring to worry after He has said, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you"? (Matthew 6:33). Worrying means exactly what this servant implied- "I know your intent is to leave me unprotected and vulnerable." A person who is lazy in the natural realm is always critical, saying, "I haven't had a decent chance," and someone who is lazy in the spiritual realm is critical of God. Lazy people always strike out at others in an independent way.

Never forget that our capacity and capability in spiritual matters is measured by, and based on, the promise of God. Is God able to fulfill His promises? Our answer depends on whether or not we have received this Holy Spirit.


[from "My Utmost for His Highest" Oswald Chambers]


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Beware Of The Least Likely Teptation

"Joab had defected to Adonijah, though he had not defected to Absalom" (1 King 2:28).


Joab withstood the greatest test of his life, remaining absolutely loyal to David by not turning to follow after the fascinating and ambitious Absalom. Yet toward the end of his life he turned to follow after the weak and cowardly Adonijah. Always remain alert to the fact that where one person has turned back is exactly where anyone may be tempted to turn back (see 1 Corinthians 10:11-13). You may have just victoriously gone through a great crisis, but now be alert about the things that may appear to be the least likely to tempt you. Beware of thinking that the areas of your life where you have experienced victory in the past are now the least likely to cause you to stumble and fall.

We are apt to say, "It is not at all likely that having been through the greatest crisis of my life I would now turn back to the things of the world." Do not try to predict where the temptation will come; it is the least likely thing that is the real danger. It is in the aftermath of a great spiritual event that the least likely things begin to have an effect. They may not be forceful and dominant, but they are not there. And if you are not careful to be forewarned, they will trip you. You have remained true to God under great and intense trials- now beware of the undercurrent. Do not be abnormally examining your inner self, looking forward with dread, but stay alert; keep your memory sharp before God. Unguarded strength is actually a double weakness, because that is where the least likely temptations will be effective in sapping strength. The Bible characters stumbled over their strong points, never their weak ones.

"... kept by the power of God..."- that is the only safety (1 Peter 1:5).


[from "My Utmost for His Highest" Oswald Chambers]

Friday, April 18, 2014

Readiness

"God called to him.... And he said, 'Here I am'" (Exodus 3:4).


When God speaks, many of us are like people in a fog, and we give no answer. Moses' reply to God revealed that he knew where he was and that he was ready. Readiness means having a right relationship to God and having the knowledge of where we are. We are so busy telling God where we would like to go. Yet the man or woman who is ready for God and His work is the one who receives the prize when the summons comes. We wait with the idea that some great opportunity or something sensational will be coming our way, and when it does come we are quick to cry out, "Here I am." Whenever we sense that Jesus Christ is rising up to take authority over some great task, we are there, but we are not ready for some obscure duty.

Readiness for God means that we are prepared to do the smallest thing or the largest thing- it makes no difference. It means we have no choice in what we want to do, but that whatever God's plan may be, we are there and ready. Whenever the duty presents itself, we hear God's voice as our Lord heard His Father's voice, and we are ready for it with the total readiness of our love for Him. Jesus Christ expects to do with us just as His Father did with Him. He can put us wherever He wants, in pleasant duties or in menial ones, because our union with Him is the same as His union with the Father. "... that they may be one just as We are one..." (John 17:22).

Be ready for the sudden surprise visits of God. A ready person never needs to get ready- he is ready. Think of the time we waiste trying to get ready once God has called! The burning bush is a symbol of everything that surrounds the person who is ready, and it is on fire with the presence of God Himself.


[from "My Utmost for His Highest" Oswald Chambers]

Thursday, April 17, 2014

All Or Nothing?

"When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment... and plunged into the sea" (John 21:70).


Have you ever had a crisis in your life in which you deliberately, earnestly, and recklessly abandoned everything? It is a crisis of the will. You may come to that point many times externally, but it will amount to nothing. The true deep crisis of abandonment, or total surrender, is reached internally, not externally. The giving up of only external things may actually be an indication of your being in total bondage.

Have you deliberately committed your will to Jesus Christ? It is a transaction of the will, not of emotion; any positive emotion that results is simply a superficial blessing arising out of the transaction. If you focus your attention on the emotion, you will never make the transaction. Do not ask God what the transaction is to be, but make the determination to surrender your will regarding whatever you see, whether it is in the shallow or the deep, profound places internally.

If you have heard Jesus Christ's voice on the wave of sea, you can let your convictions and your consistency take care of themselves by concentrating on maintaining your intimate relationship to Him.


[from "My Utmost for His Highest" Oswald Chambers]