Tag Archives: Oswald Chambers

Faith

31 Oct

“Your earlier life of faith was narrow and intense, settled around a little sun-spot of experience that had as much of sense of faith in it, full of light and sweetness; then God withdrew His conscious blessings in order to teach you to walk by faith. You are worth far more to Him now than you were in your days of delight and thrilling testimony. Faith by its very nature must be tried, and the real trial of faith is not that we find it difficult to trust God, but that God’s character has to be cleared in our own minds. Faith in its actual working out has to go through spells of unsylabled isolation.” (Oswald Chambers, October 31st)

Encouragement for those finding themselves in spells of unsylabled isolation. Encouragement for me.

 

Day 8 – when God speaks

30 Aug

Do you ever have those moments when God’s voice is just so wonderfully clear? I had one of those this morning that came with a precursor last evening before bed.

I often struggle with wondering if I’m doing God’s will for my life. Or if I’m making a difference in anyone else’s. It’s been an exhausting battle at times, but I’ve made a lot of strides in this area of my life as of late. Even so, those times of doubt and insecurity show themselves from time to time. One of those times being last evening. I can’t place my finger on why, but the feeling of ‘what am I doing with life? Am I really glorifying God in what I’m doing?’ unexpectedly crept in and set into my soul, pulling at my heart like a bad hangnail.

But this morning during my devotional, God spoke to me. I’ve been doing the Oswald Chambers devotional book, ‘My Utmost for His Highest.’ Oswald Chambers is the man. The insights and analogies he has come up with, blow my mind. Sometimes I have to re-read one of his entries four or five times before I scratch the surface of understanding what he’s getting at. I love it. It’s challenging and thought provoking. However, this morning’s devotional was quite straightforward to me. In writing about serving God, Chambers offers this: “Keep your relationship right with Him [Christ], then whatever circumstances you are in, and whoever you meet day by day, He is pouring rivers of living water through you, and it is His mercy that He does not let you know it.”

I read this and literally felt the burden being lifted off my heart like when helium filled balloons are released from those fancy little weights that hold them down. It’s really that simple. I so often want to complicate it. I think if it (it being serving Christ) doesn’t present itself in the ideal package of what our North American society has made Christian service out to be (sorry to come across somewhat cynical), then I must not be serving God. But that’s just not the case. By making the choice to follow Christ before all, then we immediately open ourselves up to Christ and the infinite possibilities of Him revealing His glory.

And it also makes perfect sense that generally, He wouldn’t let us know the works that are being completed through us. Why? Well I think if we know the glory that God is achieving through us, we run the risk of starting to think it’s more about us than it is about God, completing defeating the purpose in the first place. I know there is a good possibility that this would be the case for me. Could this get discouraging? Absolutely. But if we trust in Christ and have faith that He will follow through on His promises, then we can find hope and encouragement in the valleys.

Day 5 – elusive discipline

27 Aug

It’s just after 11pm on Friday and I was this close (bring your index finger within a millimetre of touching your thumb to get a visual) to not bothering to write a blog today. My 30-day challenge of writing a blog post everyday almost came to an end before the week was over. I had the excuses all lined up – “I’m tired. It’s been a long week. My shoulder hurts. I don’t feel inspired. No one will even notice.” blah blah blah.

So I’m not writing today because I have something particularly insightful, intelligent, funny or inspirational to share, but rather for the sake of being disciplined. Discipline is  something that often eludes me. But that in itself is a bit of a cop out, because discipline is straight up, a choice – a choice that I constantly struggle with. Whether  in school, sports, music, my Christian walk, behaviours, working out, new skills or a multitude of other things, I have often been guilty of cutting corners or even laziness. It’s embarrassing to write that, but it’s true.

I feel very blessed to have had the experiences that I did over these past few months and for the inspiration and dreams that were born from it. But these dreams will never come to fruition unless I learn to practice consistent discipline in my life. My devotional this morning spoke of something similar and was a welcome reminder to not let gifts go to waste. “The most difficult person to deal with is the one who has the smug satisfaction of an experience to which he can refer back, but who is not working it out in practical life (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest – August 27).” I do not want to be this person. So today I write this post as a tiny step towards discipline.

my thirsty soul

7 Jul

“God gives us the vision, then He takes us down to the valley to batter us into shape of the vision, and it is in the valley that so many of us faint and give way. Every vision will be made real if we have patience. …The vision is not a castle in the air, but a vision of what God wants you to be.” – Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

“The parched ground will become a pool, and springs of water will satisfy the thirsty land. Marsh grass and reeds and rushes will flourish where desert jackets once lived.” – Isaiah 35: 7

I have been loving the book of Isaiah lately. It is laced with poetic verses that when the layers are peeled back reveal resounding truths and beautiful meaning. When I first read this last night, I didn’t think much of it. Then I read it again in context with the entire chapter and was overwhelmed by its relevancy to me. It never ceases to amaze me how God reveals himself through His word.

Before I left on this journey, I had a vision for how I thought it would play out. God placed this idea, this vision on my heart back in January and I have been running with it every since. During the months of planning and preparation, the countless reasons for taking this journey have been revealed to me in various ways affirming my decision to go. Many of these reasons exposing a driving desire to gain a better understanding of who I am in Christ. If I’m really honest though, this vision to chase who I am in Christ formed over a year ago when a significant event in my life left me reeling and lost and with the daunting realization that for a long time, I had been seeking my identity and value in people, rather than Christ. My heart was broken and my soul was dry.

What I realize now is that this was Christ’s way of taking back what belonged to Him – my heart and soul. I willingly agreed for no other reason than I didn’t know what else to do. Since then, I have been trying to seek His vision – to discover my identity in Christ. But like Chambers says, this process has not been without its painful valleys of trials and struggles that have often left me on the brink of giving up and reverting back to my old ways. But through the valleys and the hopeful hill tops along the way, God has been breaking me down, washing me clean and  shaping me into His ideal and vision and I actually don’t wish for it to have happened any other way.

Looking back (and even now), my soul was (is) parched ground, thirsty for the quenching springs of water of knowing Christ’s love and the image that He created me in. This refining process is not over though. There have been many times throughout this journey that Christ has offered His springs of water to me – and with each drink I accept, another part of who I am is revealed to me. And as my soul allows His water to pool in its empty cracks, I can feel it begin to come alive as the thirsty desert land of my soul is replaced with marsh grass and reeds. I will say that it is not how I have expected it to be, but I have peace in knowing that it is His way.