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Thread: "My Utmost for His Highest". . . . . Oswald Chambers

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    April 13th

    What to do under the conditions

    "Cast thy burden upon the Lord." Psalm 55:22.


    We must distinguish between the burden-bearing that is right and the burden-bearing that is wrong. We ought never to bear the burden of sin or of doubt, but there are burdens placed on us by God which He does not intend to lift off, He wants us to roll them back on Him. “Cast that He hath given thee upon the Lord.” (R.V. marg.) If we undertake work for God and get out of touch with Him, the sense of responsibility will be overwhelmingly crushing; but if we roll back on God that which He has put upon us, He takes away the sense of responsibility by bringing in the realization of Himself.

    Many workers have gone out with high courage and fine impulses, but with no intimate fellowship with Jesus Christ, and before long they are crushed. They do not know what to do with the burden, it produces weariness, and people say—‘What an embittered end to such a beginning!’

    “Roll thy burden upon the Lord”—you have been bearing it all; deliberately put one end on the shoulders of God. “The government shall be upon His shoulder.” Commit to God “that He hath given thee”; not fling it off, but put it over on to Him and yourself with it, and the burden is lightened by the sense of companionship. Never dissociate yourself from the burden.

    Oswald Chambers
    "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;" Philippians 2:15 (KJV)

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    April 14th

    Inspired invincibility

    "Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me." Matthew 11:29.


    “Whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth.” How petty our complaining is! Our Lord begins to bring us into the place where we can have communion with Him, and we groan and say—‘Oh Lord, let me be like other people!’ Jesus is asking us to take one end of the yoke—‘My yoke is easy, get alongside Me and we will pull together.’ Are you identified with the Lord Jesus like that? If so, you will thank God for the pressure of His hand.

    “To them that have no might He increaseth strength.” God comes and takes us out of our sentimentality, and our complaining turns into a psalm of praise. The only way to know the strength of God is to take the yoke of Jesus upon us and learn of Him.

    “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Where do the saints get their joy from? If we did not know some saints, we would say—‘Oh, he, or she, has nothing to bear.’ Lift the veil. The fact that the peace and the light and the joy of God are there is proof that the burden is there too. The burden God places squeezes the grapes and out comes the wine; most of us see the wine only. No power on earth or in hell can conquer the Spirit of God in a human spirit, it is an inner unconquerableness.

    If you have the whine in you, kick it out ruthlessly. It is a positive crime to be weak in God’s strength.

    Oswald Chambers
    "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;" Philippians 2:15 (KJV)

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    April 15th

    The relapse of concentration

    "But the high places were not taken away out of Israel; nevertheless the heart of Asa was perfect all his days." 2 Chron. 15:17.


    Asa was incomplete in his external obedience, he was right in the main but not entirely right. Beware of the thing of which you say—‘Oh, that does not matter much.’ The fact that it does not matter much to you may mean that it matters a very great deal to God. Nothing is a light matter with a child of God. How much longer are some of us going to keep God trying to teach us one thing? He never loses patience. You say—‘I know I am right with God’; but still the “high places” remain, there is something over which you have not obeyed. Are you protesting that your heart is right with God, and yet is there something in your life about which He has caused you to doubt? Whenever there is doubt, quit immediately, no matter what it is. Nothing is a mere detail.

    Are there some things in connection with your bodily life, your intellectual life, upon which you are not concentrating at all? You are all right in the main, but you are slipshod; there is a relapse on the line of concentration. You no more need a holiday from spiritual concentration than your heart needs a holiday from beating. You cannot have a moral holiday and remain moral, nor can you have a spiritual holiday and remain spiritual. God wants you to be entirely his, and this means that you have to watch to keep yourself fit. It takes a tremendous amount of time. Some of us expect to “clear the numberless ascensions” in about two minutes.

    Oswald Chambers
    "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;" Philippians 2:15 (KJV)

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    April 16th

    Can you come down?

    "While ye have light, believe in the light." John 12:36.


    We all have moments when we feel better than our best, and we say—‘I feel fit for anything; if only I could be like this always!’ We are not meant to be. Those moments are moments of insight which we have to live up to when we do not feel like it. Many of us are no good for this workaday world when there is no high hour. We must bring our commonplace life up to the standard revealed in the high hour.

    Never allow a feeling which was stirred in you in the high hour to evaporate. Don’t put your mental feet on the mantelpiece and say—‘What a marvellous state of mind to be in!’ Act immediately, do something, if only because you would rather not do it. If in a prayer meeting God has shown you something to do, don’t say—‘I’ll do it’; do it! Take yourself by the scruff of the neck and shake off your incarnate laziness. Laziness is always seen in cravings for the high hour; we talk about working up to a time on the mount. We have to learn to live in the grey day according to what we saw on the mount.

    Don’t cave in because you have been baffled once, get at it again. Burn your bridges behind you, and stand committed to God by your own act. Never revise your decisions, but see that you make your decisions in the light of the high hour.

    Oswald Chambers
    "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;" Philippians 2:15 (KJV)

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    April 17th

    Neck or nothing

    "Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him …, and did cast himself into the sea." John 21:7.


    Have you ever had a crisis in which you deliberately and emphatically and recklessly abandoned everything? It is a crisis of will. You may come up to it many times externally, but it amounts to nothing. The real deep crisis of abandonment is reached internally, not externally. The giving up of external things may be an indication of being in total bondage.

    Have you deliberately committed your will to Jesus Christ? It is a transaction of will, not of emotion; the emotion is simply the gilt-edge of the transaction. If you allow emotion first, you will never make the transaction. Do not ask God what the transaction is to be, but make it in regard to the thing you do see, either in the shallow or the profound place.

    If you have heard Jesus Christ’s voice on the billows, let your convictions go to the winds, let your consistency go to the winds, but maintain your relationship to Him.

    Oswald Chambers
    "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;" Philippians 2:15 (KJV)

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    April 18th

    Readiness

    "God called unto him … and he said, Here am I."
    Exodus 3:4.


    When God speaks, many of us are like men in a fog, we give no answer. Moses’ reply revealed that he was somewhere. Readiness means a right relationship to God and a knowledge of where we are at present. We are so busy telling God where we would like to go. The man or woman who is ready for God and His work is the one who carries off the prize when the summons comes. We wait with the idea of some great opportunity, something sensational, and when it comes we are quick to cry—“Here am I.” Whenever Jesus Christ is in the ascendant, we are there; but we are not ready for an obscure duty.

    Readiness for God means that we are ready to do the tiniest little thing or the great big thing, it makes no difference. We have no choice in what we want to do; whatever God’s programme may be we are there, ready. When any duty presents itself we hear God’s voice as Our Lord heard His Father’s voice, and we are ready for it with all the alertness of our love for Him. Jesus Christ expects to do with us as His Father did with Him. He can put us where He likes, in pleasant duties or in mean duties, because the union is that of the Father and Himself. “That they may be one, even as We are one.”

    Be ready for the sudden surprise visits of God. A ready person never needs to get ready. Think of the time we waste trying to get ready when God has called! The burning bush is a symbol of everything that surrounds the ready soul, it is ablaze with the presence of God.

    Oswald Chambers
    "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;" Philippians 2:15 (KJV)

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    April 19th

    Is it not in the least likely

    For Joab had turned after Adonijah, though he turned not after Absalom. 1 Kings 2:28.


    Joab stood the big test, he remained absolutely loyal and true to David and did not turn after the fascinating and ambitious Absalom, but yet towards the end of his life he turned after the craven Adonijah. Always remain alert to the fact that where one man has gone back is exactly where any one may go back (see 1 Cor. 10:13). You have gone through the big crisis, now be alert over the least things; take into calculation the ‘retired sphere of the leasts.’

    We are apt to say—‘It is not in the least likely that having been through the supreme crisis, I shall turn now to the things of the world.’ Do not forecast where the temptation will come; it is the least likely thing that is the peril. In the aftermath of a great spiritual transaction the ‘retired sphere of the leasts’ begins to tell; it is not dominant, but remember it is there, and if you are not warned, it will trip you up. You have remained true to God under great and intense trials, now beware of the undercurrent. Do not be morbidly introspective, looking forward with dread, but keep alert; keep your memory bright before God. Unguarded strength is double weakness, because that is where the ‘retired sphere of the leasts’ saps. The Bible characters fell on their strong points, never on their weak ones.

    “Kept by the power of God”—that is the only safety.

    Oswald Chambers
    "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;" Philippians 2:15 (KJV)

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    April 20th

    Can a saint slander God?

    "For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen." 2 Cor. 1:20.


    Jesus told the parable of the talents recorded in Matthew 25 as a warning that it is possible for us to misjudge our capacity. This parable has not to do with natural gifts, but with the Pentecostal gift of the Holy Ghost. We must not measure our spiritual capacity by education or by intellect; our capacity in spiritual things is measured by the promises of God. If we get less than God wants us to have, before long we will slander Him as the servant slandered his master: ‘You expect more than You give me power to do; You demand too much of me, I cannot stand true to You where I am placed.’ When it is a question of God’s Almighty Spirit, never say ‘I can’t.’ Never let the limitation of natural ability come in. If we have received the Holy Spirit, God expects the work of the Holy Spirit to be manifested in us.

    The servant justified himself in everything he did and condemned his lord on every point—‘Your demand is out of all proportion to what you give.’ Have we been slandering God by daring to worry when He has said: “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you”? Worrying means exactly what this servant implied—‘I know You mean to leave me in the lurch.’ The person who is lazy naturally is always captious—‘I haven’t had a decent chance,’ and the one who is lazy spiritually is captious with God. Lazy people always strike out on an independent line.

    Never forget that our capacity in spiritual matters is measured by the promises of God. Is God able to fulfil His promises? Our answer depends on whether we have received the Holy Spirit.

    Oswald Chambers
    "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;" Philippians 2:15 (KJV)

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    April 21st

    Now don’t hurt the Lord!

    "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip?" John 14:9.


    Our Lord must be repeatedly astounded at us—astounded at how un-simple we are. It is opinions of our own which make us stupid; when we are simple we are never stupid, we discern all the time. Philip expected the revelation of a tremendous mystery, but not in the One Whom he knew. The mystery of God is not in what is going to be, it is now; we look for it presently, in some cataclysmic event. We have no reluctance in obeying Jesus, but it is probable that we are hurting Him by the questions we ask. “Lord, show us the Father.” His answer comes straight back—‘There He is, always here or nowhere.’ We look for God to manifest Himself to His children: God only manifests Himself in His children. Other people see the manifestation, the child of God does not. We want to be conscious of God; we cannot be conscious of our consciousness and remain sane. If we are asking God to give us experiences, or if conscious experience is in the road, 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”—then am I hurting Jesus by allowing my heart to be troubled? If I believe the character of Jesus, am I living up to my belief? Am I allowing anything to perturb my heart, any morbid questions to come in? I have to get to the implicit relationship that takes everything as it comes from Him. God never guides presently, but always now. Realize that the Lord is here now, and the emancipation is immediate.

    Oswald Chambers
    "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;" Philippians 2:15 (KJV)

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    April 22nd

    The light that fails

    We all with open face beholding … the glory of the Lord. 2 Cor. 3:18.


    A servant of God must stand so much alone that he never knows he is alone. In the first phases of Christian life disheartenments come, people who used to be lights flicker out, and those who used to stand with us pass away. We have to get so used to it that we never know we are standing alone. “All men forsook me: … notwithstanding the Lord stood with me” (2 Tim. 4:16–17 ). We must build our faith, not on the fading light, but on the light that never fails. When ‘big’ men go we are sad, until we see that they are meant to go; the one thing that remains is looking in the face of God for ourselves.

    Allow nothing to keep you from looking God sternly in the face about yourself and about your doctrine, and every time you preach see that you look God in the face about things first, then the glory will remain all through. A Christian worker is one who perpetually looks in the face of God and then goes forth to talk to the people. The characteristic of the ministry of Christ is that of unconscious glory that abides. “Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while He talked with him.”

    We are never called on to parade our doubts or to express the hidden ecstasies of our life with God. The secret of the worker’s life is that he keeps in tune with God all the time.

    Oswald Chambers
    "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;" Philippians 2:15 (KJV)

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    April 23rd

    The worship of the work

    "Labourers together with God." 1 Cor. 3:9.


    Beware of any work for God which enables you to evade concentration on Him. A great many Christian workers worship their work. The one concern of a worker should be concentration on God, and this will mean that all the other margins of life, mental, moral and spiritual, are free with the freedom of a child—a worshipping child, not a wayward child. A worker without this solemn, dominant note of concentration on God is apt to get his work on his neck; there is no margin of body, mind or spirit free, consequently he becomes spent out and crushed. There is no freedom, no delight in life; nerves, mind and heart are so crushingly burdened that God’s blessing cannot rest. But the other side is just as true—when once the concentration is on God, all the margins of life are free and under the dominance of God alone. There is no responsibility on you for the work; the only responsibility you have is to keep in living, constant touch with God, and to see that you allow nothing to hinder your co-operation with Him. The freedom after sanctification is the freedom of a child, the things that used to keep the life pinned down are gone. But be careful to remember that you are freed for one thing only—to be absolutely devoted to your co-Worker.

    We have no right to judge where we should be put, or to have preconceived notions as to what God is fitting us for. God engineers everything; wherever He puts us our one great aim is to pour out a whole-hearted devotion to Him in that particular work. “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.”

    Oswald Chambers
    "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;" Philippians 2:15 (KJV)

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    April 24th

    The warning against wantoning

    "Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you." Luke 10:20.


    As Christian workers, worldliness is not our snare, sin is not our snare, but spiritual wantoning is, viz.: taking the pattern and print of the religious age we live in, making eyes at spiritual success. Never court anything other than the approval of God, go “without the camp, bearing His reproach.” Jesus told the disciples not to rejoice in successful service, and yet this seems to be the one thing in which most of us do rejoice. We have the commercial view—so many souls saved and sanctified, thank God, now it is all right. Our work begins where God’s grace has laid the foundation; we are not to save souls, but to disciple them. Salvation and sanctification are the work of God’s sovereign grace; our work as His disciples is to disciple lives until they are wholly yielded to God. One life wholly devoted to God is of more value to God than one hundred lives simply awakened by His Spirit. As workers for God we must reproduce our own kind spiritually, and that will be God’s witness to us as workers. God brings us to a standard of life by His grace, and we are responsible for reproducing that standard in others.

    Unless the worker lives a life hidden with Christ in God, he is apt to become an irritating dictator instead of an indwelling disciple. Many of us are dictators, we dictate to people and to meetings. Jesus never dictates to us in that way. Whenever Our Lord talked about discipleship, He always prefaced it with an ‘IF,’ never with an emphatic assertion—‘You must.’ Discipleship carries an option with it.

    Oswald Chambers
    "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;" Philippians 2:15 (KJV)

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    April 25th

    Instant in season

    "Be instant in season, out of season." 2 Tim. 4:2.


    Many of us suffer from the morbid tendency to be instant “out of season.” The season does not refer to time, but to us. “Be instant in season, out of season,” whether we feel like it or not. If we do only what we feel inclined to do, some of us would do nothing for ever and ever. There are unemployables in the spiritual domain, spiritually decrepit people, who refuse to do anything unless they are supernaturally inspired. The proof that we are rightly related to God is that we do our best whether we feel inspired or not.

    One of the great snares of the Christian worker is to make a fetish of his rare moments. When the spirit of God gives you a time of inspiration and insight, you say—‘Now I will always be like this for God.’ No, you will not, God will take care you are not. Those times are the gift of God entirely. You cannot give them to yourself when you choose. If you say you will only be at your best, you become an intolerable drag on God; you will never do anything unless God keeps you consciously inspired. If you make a god of your best moments, you will find that God will fade out of your life and never come back until you do the duty that lies nearest, and have learned not to make a fetish of your rare moments.

    Oswald Chambers
    "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;" Philippians 2:15 (KJV)

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    April 26th

    The supreme climb

    "Take now thy son, … and offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of." Genesis 22:2.

    Character determines how a man interprets God’s will (cf. Psalm 18:25–26 ). Abraham interpreted God’s command to mean that he had to kill his son, and he could only leave this tradition behind by the pain of a tremendous ordeal. God could purify his faith in no other way. If we obey what God says according to our sincere belief, God will break us from those traditions that misrepresent Him. There are many such beliefs to be got rid of, e.g., that God removes a child because the mother loves him too much—a devil’s lie! and a travesty of the true nature of God. If the devil can hinder us from taking the supreme climb and getting rid of wrong traditions about God, he will do so; but if we keep true to God, God will take us through an ordeal which will bring us out into a better knowledge of Himself.

    The great point of Abraham’s faith in God was that he was prepared to do anything for God. He was there to obey God, no matter to what belief he went contrary. Abraham was not a devotee of his convictions, or he would have slain Isaac and said that the voice of the angel was the voice of the devil. That is the attitude of a fanatic. If you will remain true to God, God will lead you straight through every barrier into the inner chamber of the knowledge of Himself; but there is always this point of giving up convictions and traditional beliefs. Don’t ask God to test you. Never declare as Peter did—‘I will do anything, I will go to death with Thee.’ Abraham did not make any such declaration, he remained true to God, and God purified his faith.

    Oswald Chambers
    "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;" Philippians 2:15 (KJV)

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    April 27th

    What do you want?

    Seekest thou great things for thyself? Jeremiah 45:5.


    Are you seeking great things for yourself? Not seeking to be a great one, but seeking great things from God for yourself. God wants you in a closer relationship to Himself than receiving His gifts, He wants you to get to know Him. A great thing is accidental, it comes and goes. God never gives us anything accidental. Nothing is easier than getting into a right relationship with God except when it is not God Whom you want but only what He gives.

    If you have only come the length of asking God for things, you have never come to the first strand of abandonment, you have become a Christian from a standpoint of your own. ‘I did ask God for the Holy Spirit, but He did not give me the rest and the peace I expected.’ Instantly God puts His finger on the reason—you are not seeking the Lord at all, you are seeking something for yourself. Jesus says“Ask, and it shall be given you.” Ask God for what you want, and you cannot ask if you are not asking for a right thing. When you draw near to God, you cease from asking for things. “Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him.” Then why ask? That you may get to know Him.

    Are you seeking great things for yourself—‘O Lord, baptize me with the Holy Ghost’? If God does not, it is because you are not abandoned enough to Him, there is something you will not do. Are you prepared to ask yourself what it is you want from God, and why you want it? God always ignores the present perfection for the ultimate perfection. He is not concerned about making you blessed and happy just now; He is working out His ultimate perfection all the time—“that they may be one even as We are.”

    Oswald Chambers
    "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;" Philippians 2:15 (KJV)

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