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

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    On this as with many other topics, Chambers is a little too obvious. Of course there was a personal relationship first, because both God and Paul are persons. He wrote without much knowledge of 1st century Judaism or of its long term effects on Paul and how Paul was undoing them. Gal 2:20 (indeed all of Gal.) is about that. That verse is more about the cause he used to be in than about the relationship in general.

    Actually by doing this, Chambers violated one of the basic rules of communicating: don't overuse a generalization without specific details. You can only 'base yourself on a relationship' once (or mention it once); after that it becomes another piece in the pile of religious cliches that fail to build meaning.
    All Lives Matter --Marcus Sanford, youtube.com

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    January 25th

    Leave room for God

    "But when it pleased God …" Gal. 1:15.

    As workers for God we have to learn to make room for God—to give God ‘elbow room.’ We calculate and estimate, and say that this and that will happen, and we forget to make room for God to come in as He chooses. Would we be surprised if God came into our meeting or into our preaching in a way we had never looked for Him to come? Do not look for God to come in any particular way, but look for Him. That is the way to make room for Him. Expect Him to come, but do not expect Him only in a certain way. However much we may know God, the great lesson to learn is that at any minute He may break in. We are apt to overlook this element of surprise, yet God never works in any other way. All of a sudden God meets the life—“When it was the good pleasure of God.…”

    Keep your life so constant in its contact with God that His surprising power may break out on the right hand and on the left. Always be in a state of expectancy, and see that you leave room for God to come in as He likes.

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    January 26th

    Look again and consecrate


    "If God so clothe the grass of the field, … shall He not much more clothe you?" Matthew 6:30.

    A simple statement of Jesus is always a puzzle to us if we are not simple. How are we going to be simple with the simplicity of Jesus? By receiving His Spirit, recognizing and relying on Him, obeying Him as He brings the word of God, and life will become amazingly simple. ‘Consider,’ says Jesus, ‘how much more your Father Who clothes the grass of the field will clothe you, if you keep your relationship right with Him.’ Every time we have gone back in spiritual communion it has been because we have impertinently known better than Jesus Christ. We have allowed the cares of the world to come in, and have forgotten the ‘much more’ of our Heavenly Father.

    “Behold the fowls of the air”—their one aim is to obey the principle of life that is in them and God looks after them. Jesus says that if you are rightly related to Him and obey this Spirit that is in you, God will look after your ‘feathers.’

    “Consider the lilies of the field”—they grow where they are put. Many of us refuse to grow where we are put, consequently we take root nowhere. Jesus says that if we obey the life God has given us, He will look after all the other things. Has Jesus Christ told us a lie? If we are not experiencing the ‘much more,’ it is because we are not obeying the life God has given us, we are taken up with confusing considerations. How much time have we taken up worrying God with questions when we should have been absolutely free to concentrate on His work? Consecration means the continual separating of myself to one particular thing. We cannot consecrate once and for all. Am I continually separating myself to consider God every day of my life?

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    January 27th

    Look again and think


    "Take no thought for your life." Matthew 6:25 KJV

    A warning which needs to be reiterated is that the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lust of other things entering in, will choke all that God puts in. We are never free from the recurring tides of this encroachment. If it does not come on the line of clothes and food, it will come on the line of money or lack of money; of friends or lack of friends; or on the line of difficult circumstances. It is one steady encroachment all the time, and unless we allow the Spirit of God to raise up the standard against it, these things will come in like a flood.

    “Take no thought for your life.” ‘Be careful about one thing only,’ says our Lord—‘your relationship to Me.’ Common sense shouts loud and says—‘That is absurd, I must consider how I am going to live, I must consider what I am going to eat and drink.’ Jesus says you must not. Beware of allowing the thought that this statement is made by One Who does not understand our particular circumstances. Jesus Christ knows our circumstances better than we do, and He says we must not think about these things so as to make them the one concern of our life. Whenever there is competition, be sure that you put your relationship to God first.

    “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” How much evil has begun to threaten you to-day? What kind of mean little imps have been looking in and saying—‘Now what are you going to do next month—this summer?’ ‘Be anxious for nothing,’ Jesus says. Look again and think. Keep your mind on the ‘much more’ of your Heavenly Father.

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    January 28th

    But it is hardly credible that one could so persecute Jesus!


    "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?" Acts 26:14.

    Am I set on my own way for God? We are never free from this snare until we are brought into the experience of the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire. Obstinacy and self-will will always stab Jesus Christ. It may hurt no one else, but it wounds His Spirit. Whenever we are obstinate and self-willed and set upon our own ambitions, we are hurting Jesus. Every time we stand on our rights and insist that this is what we intend to do, we are persecuting Jesus. Whenever we stand on our dignity we systematically vex and grieve His Spirit; and when the knowledge comes home that it is Jesus Whom we have been persecuting all the time, it is the most crushing revelation there could be.

    Is the word of God tremendously keen to me as I hand it on to you, or does my life give the lie to the things I profess to teach? I may teach sanctification and yet exhibit the spirit of Satan, the spirit that persecutes Jesus Christ. The Spirit of Jesus is conscious of one thing only—a perfect oneness with the Father, and He says “Learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart.” All I do ought to be founded on a perfect oneness with Him, not on a self-willed determination to be godly. This will mean that I can be easily put upon, easily over-reached, easily ignored; but if I submit to it for His sake, I prevent Jesus Christ being persecuted.

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    January 29th

    But it is hardly credible that one could be so positively ignorant!


    "Who art Thou, Lord?" Acts 26:15.

    “The Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand.” There is no escape when Our Lord speaks. He always comes with an arrestment of the understanding. Has the voice of God come to you directly? If it has, you cannot mistake the intimate insistence with which it has spoken to you in the language you know best, not through your ears, but through your circumstances. God has to destroy our determined confidence in our own convictions. ‘I know this is what I should do’—and suddenly the voice of God speaks in a way that overwhelms us by revealing the depths of our ignorance. We have shown our ignorance of Him in the very way we determined to serve Him. We serve Jesus in a spirit that is not His, we hurt Him by our advocacy for Him, we push His claims in the spirit of the devil. Our words sound all right, but our spirit is that of an enemy. “He rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.” The spirit of Our Lord in an advocate of His is described in 1 Corinthians 13.

    Have I been persecuting Jesus by a zealous determination to serve Him in my own way? If I feel I have done my duty and yet have hurt Him in doing it, I may be sure it was not my duty, because it has not fostered the meek and quiet spirit, but the spirit of self-satisfaction. We imagine that whatever is unpleasant is our duty! Is that anything like the spirit of our Lord—“I delight to do Thy will, O My God.”

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    The dilemma of obedience

    "And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision." 1 Samuel 3:15.


    God seldom speaks to us in startling ways, but in ways that are easy to misunderstand, and we say, ‘I wonder if that is God’s voice?’

    Isaiah said that the Lord spake to him “with a strong hand,” that is, by the pressure of circumstances. Nothing touches our lives but it is God Himself speaking. Do we discern His hand or only mere occurrence?

    Get into the habit of saying, “Speak, Lord,” and life will become a romance. Every time circumstances press, say, “Speak, Lord”; make time to listen. Chastening is more than a means of discipline, it is meant to get me to the place of saying, “Speak, Lord.” Recall the time when God did speak to you. Have you forgotten what He said? Was it Luke 11:13, or was it 1 Thess. 5:23? As we listen, our ear gets acute, and, like Jesus, we shall hear God all the time.

    Shall I tell my ‘Eli’ what God has shown to me? That is where the dilemma of obedience comes in. We disobey God by becoming amateur providences—I must shield ‘Eli’, the best people we know. God did not tell Samuel to tell Eli; he had to decide that for himself. God’s call to you may hurt your ‘Eli’; but if you try to prevent the suffering in another life, it will prove an obstruction between your soul and God. It is at your own peril that you prevent the cutting off of the right hand or the plucking out of the eye.

    Never ask the advice of another about anything God makes you decide before Him. If you ask advice, you will nearly always side with Satan: “Immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood.”

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    February 1st

    The call of God


    "For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel."

    1 Cor. 1:17.Paul states here that the call of God is to preach the gospel; but remember what Paul means by “the gospel” viz., the reality of Redemption in our Lord Jesus Christ. We are apt to make sanctification the end-all of our preaching. Paul alludes to personal experience by way of illustration, never as the end of the matter. We are nowhere commissioned to preach salvation or sanctification; we are commissioned to lift up Jesus Christ (John 12:32). It is a travesty to say that Jesus Christ travailed in Redemption to make me a saint. Jesus Christ travailed in Redemption to redeem the whole world, and place it unimpaired and rehabilitated before the throne of God. The fact that Redemption can be experienced by us is an illustration of the power of the reality of Redemption, but that is not the end of Redemption. If God were human, how sick to the heart and weary He would be of the constant requests we make for our salvation, for our sanctification. We tax His energies from morning till night for things for ourselves—something for me to be delivered from! When we touch the bedrock of the reality of the Gospel of God, we shall never bother God any further with little personal plaints.

    The one passion of Paul’s life was to proclaim the Gospel of God. He welcomed heart-breaks, disillusionments, tribulation, for one reason only, because these things kept him in unmoved devotion to the Gospel of God.

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    February 2nd

    The constraint of the call


    "Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!" 1 Cor. 9:16.

    Beware of stopping your ears to the call of God. Everyone who is saved is called to testify to the fact; but that is not the call to preach, it is merely an illustration in preaching. Paul is referring to the pangs produced in him by the constraint to preach the Gospel. Never apply what Paul says in this connection to souls coming in contact with God for salvation. There is nothing easier than getting saved because it is God’s sovereign work—‘Come unto Me and I will save you.’ Our Lord never lays down the conditions of discipleship as the conditions of salvation. We are condemned to salvation through the Cross of Jesus Christ. Discipleship has an option with it—“IF any man …”

    Paul’s words have to do with being made a servant of Jesus Christ, and our permission is never asked as to what we will do or where we will go. God makes us broken bread and poured-out wine to please Himself. To be “separated unto the gospel” means to hear the call of God; and when a man begins to overhear that call, then begins agony that is worthy of the name. Every ambition is nipped in the bud, every desire of life quenched, every outlook completely extinguished and blotted out, saving one thing only—“separated unto the gospel.” Woe be to the soul who tries to put his foot in any other direction when once that call has come to him. This College exists to see whether God has any man or woman here who cares about proclaiming His Gospel; to see whether God grips you. And beware of competitors when God does grip you.

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    February 3rd

    The recognized ban of relationship


    "We are made as the filth of the world." 1 Cor. 4:9–13 .

    These words are not an exaggeration. The reason they are not true of us who call ourselves ministers of the gospel is not that Paul forgot the exact truth in using them, but that we have too many discreet affinities to allow ourselves to be made refuse. “Filling up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ” is not an evidence of sanctification, but of being “separated unto the gospel.”

    “Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you,” says Peter. If we do think it strange concerning the things we meet with, it is because we are craven-hearted. We have discreet affinities that keep us out of the mire—‘I won’t stoop; I won’t bend.’ You do not need to, you can be saved by the skin of your teeth if you like; you can refuse to let God count you as one separated unto the gospel. Or you may say—‘I do not care if I am treated as the offscouring of the earth as long as the Gospel is proclaimed.’ A servant of Jesus Christ is one who is willing to go to martyrdom for the reality of the gospel of God. When a merely moral man or woman comes in contact with baseness and immorality and treachery, the recoil is so desperately offensive to human goodness that the heart shuts up in despair. The marvel of the Redemptive Reality of God is that the worst and the vilest can never get to the bottom of His love. Paul did not say that God separated him to show what a wonderful man He could make of him, but “to reveal his son in me.”

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    In case you find I am permanently banned, which is always a possibility given my propensity to get others to think for themselves, I would want to have left you a link whereby you can continue with Bro. Chambers' devotion plus all of his other books with outstanding insight, "My Utmost for His Highest" being on Page 733. Thank you:

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...13034660,d.eWE

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    February 4th

    The overmastering majesty of personal power


    "For the love of Christ constraineth us." 2 Cor. 5:14.

    Paul says he is overruled, overmastered, held as in a vice, by the love of Christ. Very few of us know what it means to be held in a grip by the love of God; we are held by the constraint of our experience only. The one thing that held Paul, until there was nothing else on his horizon, was the love of God. “The love of Christ constraineth us”—when you hear that note in a man or woman, you can never mistake it. You know that the Spirit of God is getting unhindered way in that life.

    When we are born again of the Spirit of God, the note of testimony is on what God has done for us, and rightly so. But the baptism of the Holy Ghost obliterates that for ever, and we begin to realize what Jesus meant when He said—“Ye shall be witnesses unto Me.” Not witnesses to what Jesus can do—that is an elementary witness—but “witnesses unto Me.” We will take everything that happens as happening to Him, whether it be praise or blame, persecution or commendation. No one can stand like that for Jesus Christ who is not constrained by the majesty of His personal power. It is the only thing that matters, and the strange thing is that it is the last thing realized by the Christian worker. Paul says he is gripped by the love of Christ; that is why he acts as he does. Men may call him mad or sober, but he does not care; there is only one thing he is living for, and that is to persuade men of the judgment seat of God, and of the love of Christ. This abandon to the love of Christ is the one thing that bears fruit in the life, and it will always leave the impression of the holiness and of the power of God, never of our personal holiness.
    Last edited by Cross Reference; February 8th, 2016 at 07:26 AM.

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    Just a reminder:

    In case you find I am ever permanently banned, which is always a possibility given my propensity to get others to think for themselves, I would want to have left you a link whereby you can continue with Bro. Chambers' devotion plus all of his other books with outstanding insight, "My Utmost for His Highest" being on Page 733. Thank you.

    Lov'in Jesus
    CR

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...13034660,d.eWE

    I found that copying that PDF file of 30 books to my word processor made annotating the them easier and you can insert page numbers.

    I did post Feb 2 and 3 just in case anyone didn't pick up on it. .
    Last edited by Cross Reference; February 5th, 2016 at 04:07 AM.

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    February 5th

    Are you ready to be offered?


    "Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy and rejoice with you all." Phil. 2:17.

    Are you willing to be offered for the work of the faithful—to pour out your life blood as a libation on the sacrifice of the faith of others? Or do you say—‘I am not going to be offered up just yet, I do not want God to choose my work. I want to choose the scenery of my own sacrifice; I want to have the right kind of people watching me and saying, “Well done.”*

    It is one thing to go on the lonely way with dignified heroism, but quite another thing if the line mapped out for you by God means being a door-mat under other people’s feet. Suppose God wants to teach you to say, “I know how to be abased”—are you ready to be offered up like that? Are you ready to be not so much as a drop in a bucket—to be so hopelessly insignificant that you are never thought of again in connection with the life you served? Are you willing to spend and be spent; not seeking to be ministered unto, but to minister? Some saints cannot do menial work and remain saints because it is beneath their dignity.

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    February 6th

    Are you ready to be offered?


    "I am already being poured out as a drink offering." 2 Tim. 4:6 (R.V. marg.).

    “I am now ready to be offered.” It is a transaction of will, not of sentiment. Tell God you are ready to be offered; then let the consequences be what they may, there is no strand of complaint now, no matter what God chooses. God puts you through the crisis in private, no one person can help another. Externally the life may be the same; the difference is in will. Go through the crisis in will, then when it comes externally there will be no thought of the cost. If you do not transact in will with God along this line, you will end in awakening sympathy for yourself.

    “Bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.” The altar means fire—burning and purification and insulation for one purpose only, the destruction of every affinity that God has not started and of every attachment that is not an attachment in God. You do not destroy it, God does; you bind the sacrifice to the horns of the altar; and see that you do not give way to self-pity when the fire begins. After this way of fire, there is nothing that oppresses or depresses. When the crisis arises, you realize that things cannot touch you as they used to do. What is your way of fire?

    Tell God you are ready to be offered, and God will prove Himself to be all you ever dreamed He would be.



    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...13034660,d.eWE

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