Susan's Thursday morning note March 1, 2007
My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers
March. What a great word! If I was going to be named a descriptive word, I’d pick March or Spring for my word. It’s difficult to create any type of negative image with those two words! For God to have realized the importance of seasons – that in itself gives me utmost respect for his creativity. Seasons, like our movements within our songs, like our lives – always changing, never constant, always with the hope that there will be a new movement, a spring around the corner!
The last few weeks I have been reading out of a daily devotional book written in the 1930s entitled My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. My mom had written in the front “Phil. 3:10 Love, Mom.” Remember that verse from a few months ago? The power of a short note to our children! Don’t forget that! I have not been able to only read the thoughts for the specific day that I’m on. I couldn’t put this book down last night. For two hours I absorbed the hope of prayer, the hope of our personal relationship with God, the sovereignty of God in every detail of our lives. The reality that God created us to know us intimately, and for us to have life abundantly. I don’t even know what to type to you, for there are so many different topics I could choose. Here is the entry from April 29.
The Graciousness of Uncertainty: Naturally, we are inclined to be so mathematical and calculating that we look upon uncertainty as a bad thing. We imagine that we have to reach some end, but that is not the nature of spiritual life. The nature of spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty, consequently we do not make our nests anywhere. Common sense says – “Well, supposing I were in that condition…” We cannot suppose ourselves in any condition we have never been in.
Certainty is the mark of the common-sense life: gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, we do not know what a day may bring forth. This is generally said with a sigh of sadness, it should be rather an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. Immediately we abandon to God, and do the duty that lies nearest, He packs our life with surprises all the time. Jesus said, “Except ye…become as little children.” Spiritual life is the life of a child. We are not uncertain of God, but uncertain of what He is going to do next. If we are rightly related to God, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy. “Believe also in Me,” said Jesus, not – “Believe certain things about Me.” Leave the whole thing to Him, it is gloriously uncertain how He will come in, but He will come. Remain loyal to Him.
May 22 entry: If you are going through a solitary way, read John 17, it will explain exactly why you are where you are – Jesus has prayed that you may be one with the Father as He is. The purpose of God is not to answer our prayers, but by our prayers we come to discern the mind of God. The things we are going through are either making us sweeter, better, nobler men and women; or they are making us more captious and fault-finding, more insistent upon our own way. The things that happen either make us fiends, or they make us saints; it depends entirely upon the relationship we are in to God. When we understand that God desires such a close relationship with us that we are “one” then we will not get mean and cynical. Jesus has prayed nothing less for us than absolute oneness with Himself as He was one with the Father.
June 11th (smile!) “and I will give you rest,” i.e., I will stay you. Not – I will put you to bed and hold your hand and sing you to sleep; but – I will get you out of bed, out of the languour and exhaustion, out of the state of being half dead while you are alive; I will imbue you with the spirit of life, and you will be stayed by the perfection of vital activity. We get pathetic and talk about “suffering the will of the Lord.” Where is the majestic vitality and might of the Son of God about that?
July 16th (smile again!) “Notion your mind with the truth that God is there. Instead of going to this person and that, go to God. God is your Father, He loves you, you should never think of anything He will forget. There are times, says Jesus, when God cannot lift the darkness from you, but trust Him. God may appear like an unkind friend, but He is not. He may appear like an unnatural Father, but He is not; He may appear like an unjust judge, but He is not. Keep the notion of the mind of God behind all things strong and growing. You can rest in perfect confidence in God’s sovereignty. Prayer is not asking, but an attitude of mind. The entrance into the presence of the one who loves you, your father, your creator.
Well, I don’t know if that was too much for all of us this early in the morning, but my book is all marked up! I have a case of these devotionals ordered – they should be in the end of next week. Let me know if you’d like me to save one for you. May we strive for a life of excellence – our utmost for God’s highest! Have a great week, no matter what circumstances come your way. Spring is around the corner. You are being held in the palm of God’s hand. Take time for quiet. Take time to pray. Take time to laugh. Take time to be you! Thank you for your notes, your business, and your friendships. May God bless your week! Susan
Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest. Uhrichsville, OH. Barbour. 2007.