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Repentance

Repentance

By Oswald Chambers

Conviction of sin is one of the rarest things ever to strike us. It brings us to the threshold of a true understanding of God, showing us precisely whom we wrong when we sin: “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight” (Psalm 51:4).

“When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin”(John 16:8). When the Holy Spirit rouses our conscience, bringing us into the presence of God and showing us that we are in the wrong about sin, what bothers us isn’t our relationship with other human beings but rather our relationship with our heavenly Father.

“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret.” Conviction of sin is so interwoven with the marvel of forgiveness and with holiness that it is only the forgiven person who is the holy person. The forgiven prove they are forgiven by becoming, by the grace of God, the opposite of what they were before. Repentance always brings us to this realization: “I have sinned.” The surest sign that God is at work in us is when we say this and mean it. Anything less is simply regret for having messed up, the reflex reaction of disgust at ourselves.

The entrance into the kingdom is through the pains of repentance. The Holy Spirit produces these pains and sends them crashing against our respectable “goodness.” Then the Spirit begins to form the Son of God in our old lives, transforming them into something new. This new life manifests itself in conscious repentance and unconscious holiness, never the other way around.

Repentance is the bedrock of Christianity. Strictly speaking, we can’t choose to repent; repentance is a gift from God, the result of “godly sorrow.” The Puritans used to pray for “the gift of tears.” If you ever stop knowing the virtue of repentance, you are in darkness. Examine yourself and see if you’ve forgotten how to be sorry.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

There is no condition of life in which we cannot abide in Jesus.
We have to learn to abide in Him wherever we are placed.

from "Our Brilliant Heritage"
The Bow in the Cloud

The Bow in the Cloud

By Oswald Chambers

God’s will is that human beings should enter into a moral relationship with him. All his covenants are for this purpose. “Why doesn’t God save me?” you ask. He has saved you, but you haven’t entered into a moral relationship with him. “Why hasn’t God answered my prayer?” He has answered it, but this isn’t the point. The question you must answer is, Will I step into a moral relationship with him? All of God’s great blessings are finished and complete, but they aren’t mine until I enter into a relationship based on his covenant.

Entering into a moral relationship with God requires exertion on my part. Just as God went beyond himself in his relationship with humanity, becoming flesh for our sake, so I must go beyond myself in my covenant with him. I can’t just sit back and wait. Waiting for God is like unbelief; it means that I lack faith in him, that I’m waiting for a specific thing to happen so that then I can have faith in that. God will never do the thing I’m waiting for, because that isn’t the basis of his relationship with humanity.

Faith in God is the rarest thing. Most of us have faith only in our feelings. We don’t believe God unless he places something in our hand, something we can point to and say, “Now I believe.” There’s no faith in that. God says, “Turn to me and be saved” (Isaiah 45:22), not “Turn to what I’ve given you.”

When I truly enter into a covenant relationship with God, letting go of everything else, I have no sense of having achieved something by my own merit. There’s no human ingredient in it at all, just an overwhelming feeling of being brought into union with him, the whole thing transfigured with peace and joy.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

There is no condition of life in which we cannot abide in Jesus.
We have to learn to abide in Him wherever we are placed.

from "Our Brilliant Heritage"
The Temple of the Holy Spirit

The Temple of the Holy Spirit

By Oswald Chambers

Do I realize that God holds me accountable for how I rule my body? Am I keeping my body under his rule, drawing on his grace in order to maintain righteousness? “I do not set aside the grace of God,” Paul writes, “for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” (Galatians 2:21). To set aside the grace of God is to make it of no effect in my actual physical life.

“Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). I have to work out in my physical life the salvation that God, through his grace, has worked in. The grace of God is absolute; the salvation of Jesus is perfect; it is done, forever. I am not being saved; I am saved. Salvation is as eternal as God’s throne. But I am responsible for working out that salvation. This means that I have to manifest in my physical body the life of Jesus—not mystically, but really.

All who have been born again are capable of keeping their bodies under absolute control for God. God gives us dominion over the temple of the Holy Spirit, over imagination and affection. I must never give way to inordinate affection. Most of us are much stricter with others than we are with ourselves. We make excuses for our own inclinations while condemning others for things to which we are not naturally inclined.

“Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God”(Romans 12:1). Do I agree with my Lord and Master that my body will be his temple? If I do, then the entirety of God’s law for my body is summed up in this revelation: my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

Seeing is never believing: we interpret what we see in the light of what we believe. Faith is confidence in God before you see God emerging; therefore the nature of faith is that it must be tried.

from " He Shall Glorify Me, 494 R"
The Law of Antagonism

The Law of Antagonism

By Oswald Chambers

Life without war is impossible, either in nature or in grace. The basis of physical, mental, moral, and spiritual life is antagonism. This is the open fact of life.

The law of antagonism means that in order to stay healthy, I have to fight. Health is a kind of balance between things that would harm me and my ability to resist them. Physical health occurs when there is a balance between my body and those things in the external world that are designed to put me to death. If I have enough vitality, enough fighting power, I will produce a healthy balance.

The same is true both mentally and morally. If I want to maintain a vigorous mental life, I have to fight; this is how the mental balance called thought is produced. When it comes to morality, everything that doesn’t partake of the nature of virtue is the enemy of virtue in me, and whether I am able to overcome and produce virtue depends on my moral vitality. When I am tempted to immorality in some particular and I fight against it, I am instantly moral in that particular. No one is virtuous by accident; virtue is acquired.

Spiritually, too, it is the same. When Jesus said that we would have trouble in this world, he meant that everything that is not spiritual would seek my undoing. “But,” he added, “take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). I have to learn to face down the things that come against me, and in that way produce the balance of holiness; then it becomes a delight to meet opposition. Holiness is the balance between my disposition and the law of God as expressed in Jesus Christ.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

“When the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” We all have faith in good principles, in good management, in good common sense, but who amongst us has faith in Jesus Christ? Physical courage is grand, moral courage is grander, but the man who trusts Jesus Christ in the face of the terrific problems of life is worth a whole crowd of heroes.

from "The Highest Good, 544 R"
By the Power of the Spirit

By the Power of the Spirit

By Oswald Chambers

When you preach, never substitute your own experience of salvation or sanctification for confidence in the power of the gospel. If you do, you will become an obstacle, blocking others’ access to spiritual reality. You have to make sure that, if you do share your knowledge of the way of salvation, you remain rooted and grounded in faith in God. Never rely on rhetorical skills; never seek to preach “with wise and persuasive words.” Rely instead on the Holy Spirit and on the certainty of God’s redemptive power. When you do, he will create his own life in the souls of those to whom you preach.

Once you are rooted in reality, nothing can shake you. If your faith is rooted only in your experiences, anything that happens is likely to disturb it. But nothing can ever disturb God or the almighty reality of redemption. Base your faith on redemption, and you will be as eternally secure as God. Get into personal contact with Jesus Christ, and you will never be moved again. This is what it means to be sanctified.

God puts his disapproval on our experiences when we begin to think of them as ends in themselves. Sanctification isn’t merely an experience; sanctification itself has to be sanctified. Jesus didn’t have a sanctified experience; he led a sanctified life, and he prayed that his disciples would do the same: “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified” (John 17:18–19). After I’ve had the experience of sanctification, I must deliberately give my sanctified life to God for his service so that he can use me as his hands and feet.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

Seeing is never believing: we interpret what we see in the light of what we believe. Faith is confidence in God before you see God emerging; therefore the nature of faith is that it must be tried.

from " He Shall Glorify Me, 494 R"
Christian Perfection

Christian Perfection

By Oswald Chambers

It’s a trap to imagine that God wants to make us perfect examples of what he can do. God isn’t producing specimens of holiness to put in his museum. His purpose is to make us one with him: “That they may be one as we are one” (John 17:22).

If becoming a model of personal holiness is your goal, your life won’t be devoted to God. Instead, it will be devoted to achieving whatever you see as the evidence of God in your life, whether it be perfect success or perfect discipline or perfect health. “But it can’t be God’s will for me to get sick,” you protest. It was God’s will to bruise his own Son; why shouldn’t he bruise you? What matters to God isn’t your consistency to an idea of what makes a perfect Christian. What matters is your real, vital relationship with Jesus Christ and your abandonment to him, whether you are sick or well.

Christian perfection is not, and never can be, human perfection. Christian perfection is the perfection of a relationship to God, a relationship that shows itself in all the irrelevancies of human life. When you obey the call of Jesus Christ, the first thing that strikes you is the seeming irrelevancy of the things he asks you to do. The next is the fact that some people appear to be leading perfectly consistent lives. Such lives might give you the idea that God is unnecessary, that all we need to reach the standard he wants is human effort and devotion. In a fallen world, this can never be true.

I am called to live in perfect relation to God so that my life will produce a longing for God in other lives, not so that others will admire me. Thoughts about myself will always hinder my usefulness to God. God isn’t perfecting me in order to put me on display; he’s getting me to the place where he can use me. I must let him have his way.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

“When the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” We all have faith in good principles, in good management, in good common sense, but who amongst us has faith in Jesus Christ? Physical courage is grand, moral courage is grander, but the man who trusts Jesus Christ in the face of the terrific problems of life is worth a whole crowd of heroes.

from "The Highest Good, 544 R"
The Law and the Gospel

The Law and the Gospel

By Oswald Chambers

The moral law doesn’t take into account the fact that we are weak human beings. It doesn’t consider our infirmities or our sinful heredity. It simply demands that we be absolutely moral. The moral law never changes, either for the noblest or for the weakest. It doesn’t adjust itself to our shortcomings or make itself weak for the weak. It remains absolute for all time and eternity. If we don’t realize this, it’s because we are less than fully alive. Once we are born again and become fully alive to God’s will for us, life becomes a tragedy. The Spirit of God convicts us, and we know: “Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died” (Romans 7:9). Until we get to this place of conviction and see that we have no hope on our own, the cross of Christ is a farce to us.

“The law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin”

(v. 14). Conviction of sin always brings a fearful, binding sense of the law. It makes me feel hopeless, because I know that a guilty sinner like me cannot keep the law on my own. There is only one way I can get right with God, and that is by the death of Jesus Christ. I must get rid of the idea that I can ever be right with God through obedience. Who among us could ever obey God with absolute perfection!

“If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture . . .” (James 2:8). The moral law comes with an if. God never coerces us. In certain moods, we wish he would; in others, we wish he’d leave us alone. But when his will is ascendant in our lives, any question of compulsion is gone. Obeying God has to be a deliberate choice. Once we have made it, God will tax the remotest star and the last grain of sand to help us obey.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

“When the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” We all have faith in good principles, in good management, in good common sense, but who amongst us has faith in Jesus Christ? Physical courage is grand, moral courage is grander, but the man who trusts Jesus Christ in the face of the terrific problems of life is worth a whole crowd of heroes.

from "The Highest Good, 544 R"
By the Grace of God

By the Grace of God

By Oswald Chambers

The way we continually talk about our inabilities is an insult to the Creator. When we complain about our incompetence, we slander God; it’s as though we are saying he’s overlooked us. These things sound humble to people, but if you get into the habit of examining them from God’s point of view, you’ll be amazed at how rude and impertinent they are. “Oh, I wouldn’t want to say I’m sanctified. I’m no saint.” Say this before God, and it’s as though you’re saying, “No, Lord, it’s impossible for you to save and sanctify me. There are chances I haven’t had. There are so many imperfections in my brain and body. No, it isn’t possible.” This may sound wonderfully humble to other people, but before God it’s an attitude of defiance.

The opposite is also true. The things that sound humble to God may sound boastful to other people. If you say, “Thank God, I’m saved and sanctified,” people might think you’re bragging. But in God’s eyes it’s the pinnacle of humility. It means that you have so completely abandoned yourself to him that you know he is true.

Never worry about whether or not you sound humble to other people, but always be humble before God. Let him be all in all. Only one relationship matters, and that is your personal relationship to a personal redeemer. Maintain this relationship at all costs, letting go of everything else, and God will fulfill his purpose through you. One individual life may be of priceless value to God’s purpose, and yours may be that life.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

“When the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” We all have faith in good principles, in good management, in good common sense, but who amongst us has faith in Jesus Christ? Physical courage is grand, moral courage is grander, but the man who trusts Jesus Christ in the face of the terrific problems of life is worth a whole crowd of heroes.

from "The Highest Good, 544 R"
The Absolute Authority of Jesus Christ

The Absolute Authority of Jesus Christ

By Oswald Chambers

The sentimental religious movements of today have none of the rugged reality of the New Testament. Nothing in what they teach requires the death of Jesus Christ. All they require is prayer and devotion and a pious atmosphere. This type of religious experience isn’t supernatural or miraculous. It didn’t cost the passion of God. It isn’t dyed in the blood of the Lamb or stamped with the Holy Spirit. It doesn’t have the quality that makes people say with awe and wonder, “That is the work of God Almighty.”

The type of Christian experience the New Testament talks about is the experience of personal, passionate devotion to the person of Jesus Christ. Every other type of so-called Christian experience is detached from the person of Jesus. There’s no regeneration—no being born again into the kingdom where Christ lives—only the idea that he is a role model. In the New Testament, Jesus Christ is Savior long before he is a role model. Today he is often dismissed as the mere figurehead of a religion or as an example we should follow. Jesus Christ is a figurehead and an example, but he is also infinitely more. He is Salvation itself. He is the Gospel of God.

Jesus said, “When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, . . . he will glorify me” (John 16:13–14). When I commit myself to the revelation made in the New Testament, I receive from God the gift of the Holy Spirit, who begins to interpret to me what Jesus did, who does in me what Jesus Christ did for me. This is the supernatural, miraculous means by which I enter into a personal relationship with my Lord and become absolutely his.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

Seeing is never believing: we interpret what we see in the light of what we believe. Faith is confidence in God before you see God emerging; therefore the nature of faith is that it must be tried.

from " He Shall Glorify Me, 494 R"
The Bounty of the Destitute

The Bounty of the Destitute

By Oswald Chambers

The gospel of God’s grace awakens an intense longing in the human soul, but also an equally intense resentment. We resent the revelation that we are justified freely by God’s grace, that there’s nothing we have to do to receive it. Human beings take a certain pride in giving, but receiving is a different matter. To come and accept something freely offered to us offends our pride. I’ll gladly give my life to martyrdom; I’ll gladly give myself in consecration. But don’t humiliate me by placing me on the same level as the most hell-deserving sinner and tell me that all I have to do for my salvation is to accept it as a gift through Jesus Christ.

We have to realize that we can’t earn or win anything from God. We must either receive his grace as a gift or go without. The greatest blessing spiritually is the knowledge that we are destitute. Until we arrive at this knowledge, our Lord is powerless to help us. He can do nothing for us if we think we’re sufficient without him. As long as we believe ourselves to be rich, as long as we possess anything resembling pride or independence, we won’t be able to enter his kingdom. We have to enter it by the door of destitution.

Are you knocking at the door of destitution now? Are you spiritually hungry? Only when we get spiritually hungry do we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit makes effectual in us the very nature of God. By the Spirit, God imparts to us the quickening life of Jesus, the life that puts the “beyond” within us. The instant the “beyond” is inside us, it rises to the “above,” lifting us into the domain where Jesus lives.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

Seeing is never believing: we interpret what we see in the light of what we believe. Faith is confidence in God before you see God emerging; therefore the nature of faith is that it must be tried.

from " He Shall Glorify Me, 494 R"
The Consecration of Spiritual Energy

The Consecration of Spiritual Energy

By Oswald Chambers

When I brood on the cross of Christ, I become a person who is concentrated on and dominated by Jesus Christ’s interests. My focus is taken off myself and my own holiness. I’m no longer trapped in my private, subjective viewpoint. I’m identified with my Lord’s view-point and interests.

Our Lord wasn’t a recluse or an ascetic; he didn’t cut himself off from society. He was so much in the ordinary world that the religious people of his day called him a glutton and a drunkard (Matthew 11:19). And yet our Lord maintained an inward separateness all the time. On a fundamental level, he lived in a world apart from this one. Everything he did, he did for the glory of his heavenly Father, devoting every thought and action to God.

We, too, must devote every ounce of spiritual energy God gives us to doing his work, letting nothing interfere; this is how we consecrate our lives to him. Sanctification is God’s part; consecration is our part. We have to deliberately decide to have God’s interests as our interests. The way to solve perplexing problems is to ask, “Is this the kind of thing that interests Jesus Christ? Or is it something the spirit of the devil would embrace?”

A counterfeit version of consecration is the conscious cutting off of certain activities and pleasures with the idea of storing up spiritual power for use later on. This is a hopeless mistake. The Spirit of God has prevented the sins of a great many people, yet there’s no emancipation, no fullness in their lives. The ascetic, reclusive religious life is entirely different from the robust holiness of the life of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ preached that we are to be in the world but not of it—detached fundamentally, not externally: “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one” (John 17:15).

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

“When the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” We all have faith in good principles, in good management, in good common sense, but who amongst us has faith in Jesus Christ? Physical courage is grand, moral courage is grander, but the man who trusts Jesus Christ in the face of the terrific problems of life is worth a whole crowd of heroes.

from "The Highest Good, 544 R"
The Secret of Spiritual Coherence

The Secret of Spiritual Coherence

By Oswald Chambers

When people are first born again, they become incoherent. They display a certain amount of unregulated emotion; their actions seem not to make sense. Yet this incoherence is only on the surface. The external life of the apostle Paul appeared haphazard, but underlying everything he did was a strong, steady coherence. Paul was rooted and grounded in God, and because of this he was able to let his external life change without it causing him distress.

Most of us aren’t spiritually coherent for the simple reason that we care more about external coherence than internal coherence. Paul lived in the basement; his consistency was down in the fundamentals, where the order of God’s purpose reigns. Most of us live in the upper stories, among the coherent critics, where external consistency is all that matters. The two spaces do not begin to touch each other. The great basis of Paul’s coherence was the agony of God in the redemption of the world—the cross of Jesus Christ.

Restate to yourself what you believe, then do away with as much of it as possible. Get back to the bedrock of the cross of Christ. Viewed as a single event in history, the cross is an infinitesimal thing; from the point of view of the Bible, it’s more important than all the empires of the world. If, when we preach, we drift away from brooding on the tragedy of God upon the cross, our preaching will produce nothing. It won’t convey the energy of God, and though it may be interesting, it will have no power. But if we preach the cross, the energy of God will be set loose. “God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. . . . We preach Christ crucified” (1 Corinthians 1:21, 23).

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

Seeing is never believing: we interpret what we see in the light of what we believe. Faith is confidence in God before you see God emerging; therefore the nature of faith is that it must be tried.

from " He Shall Glorify Me, 494 R"
The Direction of Aspiration

The Direction of Aspiration

By Oswald Chambers

This verse is a description of what it means to rely entirely on God. Just as the eyes of servants are riveted on their masters, so our eyes are fixed on God. Spiritual drift begins when we cease to lift our eyes to him. This loss of focus comes not so much through trouble on the outside as trouble on the inside, from questioning and doubting our own devotion and effort. “I guess I’ve been stretching myself a bit too much,” we think. “I’ve been standing on tiptoe and trying to look like God instead of being an ordinary, humble person.” We have to realize that no effort can be too high.

Think back to your own spiritual crisis. What happened after you made a stand for God and had the witness of the Spirit? At first you were full of inspiration and energy. But the weeks went by, then maybe the years, and you began to think, “Well, after all, I was being pretentious. Wasn’t I aiming a bit too high?” Your rational friends agreed with you. “Don’t be a fool,” they said. “We knew when you talked about this spiritual awakening that it was a fleeting impulse. You can’t keep up the strain, and God doesn’t expect you to.” Now you say, “I guess I was expecting too much.” It sounds humble to say this, but it means that your reliance on God is gone and reliance on worldly opinion has come in. The danger is that, because you no longer rely on God, you no longer lift your eyes to him. Only when God brings you to a sudden stop will you realize how terribly you’ve been missing out.

Whenever you begin to lose your focus on God, remedy the situation immediately. Recognize that something has been coming between you and him and make a readjustment at once.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

Seeing is never believing: we interpret what we see in the light of what we believe. Faith is confidence in God before you see God emerging; therefore the nature of faith is that it must be tried.

from " He Shall Glorify Me, 494 R"
The Distraction of Contempt

The Distraction of Contempt

By Oswald Chambers

The thing we have to watch out for isn’t so much damage to our belief in God as damage to our Christian state of mind. Our mindset has tremendous, far-reaching effects; it can be devoted to and formed by God, or it can be an enemy, one that penetrates to the soul and distracts us from him. There are certain states of mind in which we should never dare indulge, like worry and contempt. If we do indulge in these states of mind, we will find that we are completely distracted from our faith. Until we get back into a quiet mood before God, our faith in him will be nil, and confidence in the flesh and in human ingenuity will rule.

Never indulge in worry. Beware of the cares of this world; they produce a wrong temper of soul. It’s extraordinary what enormous power simple things have to pull our attention away from God. Refuse to be swamped by the cares of this life.

Never indulge in self-justification. St. Augustine praised God for healing him from “the lust of vindicating” himself. The mindset that says “I must explain myself; I must get people to understand” is one that will destroy the soul’s faith in God. Our Lord never explained anything. He left others’ mistaken impressions and interpretations of him to correct themselves.

Never indulge in criticizing others. Sometimes we discern that another person isn’t developing spiritually, and we allow this discernment to turn into criticism and contempt. When we do, we block our own path to God. God doesn’t give us discernment about other people so that we can criticize them. He gives us discernment so that we can intercede in prayer on their behalf.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

Seeing is never believing: we interpret what we see in the light of what we believe. Faith is confidence in God before you see God emerging; therefore the nature of faith is that it must be tried.

from " He Shall Glorify Me, 494 R"
Shallow and Profound

Shallow and Profound

By Oswald Chambers

Beware of allowing yourself to think that the shallow concerns of life aren’t ordained by God. Shallow things belong to God as much as profound things. If you refuse to be shallow, it isn’t because you’re more devoted to God than others; it’s because you want to impress them with how deep you are, a sure sign that you’re a spiritual snob. If this is the case, watch out: snobbery and contempt will make you go around like a walking rebuke, chastising others because you think they’re more shallow than you. Beware of posing as a profound person; God became a baby.

Being shallow isn’t a sign of being wicked. Nor is shallowness a sign that there are no depths; the ocean has a shore. The simple, shallow delights of life—eating and drinking, walking and talking—are all ordained by God. Our Lord lived in the shallows. He lived in them as the Son of God, and he said, “The student is not above the teacher” (Luke 6:40).

Our safeguard is in the shallow things. We have to live the surface, commonplace life in a commonsense way. Deeper concerns do come, but they come separately; God gives them to us apart from the shallow concerns. Never show the depths to anyone but God. We are so abominably serious, so desperately interested in our own characters, that we refuse to behave like Christians in the simple concerns of life.

Take no one seriously except for God—especially not yourself. You’ll find that the first person you need to leave severely alone, for being the greatest fraud you’ve ever encountered, is you.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

“When the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” We all have faith in good principles, in good management, in good common sense, but who amongst us has faith in Jesus Christ? Physical courage is grand, moral courage is grander, but the man who trusts Jesus Christ in the face of the terrific problems of life is worth a whole crowd of heroes.

from "The Highest Good, 544 R"
It Is Finished

It Is Finished

By Oswald Chambers

The death of Jesus Christ was the performance in history of the mind of God. Jesus’s death wasn’t martyrdom; it wasn’t something that happened to Jesus or that might have been prevented. The death of Jesus Christ was on purpose. It was the very reason he came.

When you preach, take care not to belittle Jesus’s death or make his cross unnecessary. We do this when we preach that our heavenly Father forgives us because he loves us. Our Father does love us, but this isn’t the reason he forgives us. The reason is the death of Christ. To preach otherwise makes the redemption “much ado about nothing.” God could forgive humanity in no other way than by the death of his Son, and Jesus is exalted as Savior because of his death. “We do see Jesus . . . crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death” (Hebrews 2:9). The greatest note of triumph that ever sounded in the ears of a startled universe was the note sounded on the cross: “It is finished” (John 19:30). This is the last word in the redemption of humankind.

Anything that belittles or seeks to obliterate the holiness of God by a false view of his love is untrue to the revelation of God given by Jesus Christ. Never allow the thought that Jesus Christ stands with us against God out of pity or compassion. Jesus Christ became a curse for us, not out of sympathy but by divine decree. Through the conviction of sin we are able to realize the overwhelming significance of this curse. Shame and penitence are gifts, given to us by the great mercy of God, which enable us to grasp the meaning of Calvary. Jesus Christ hates the wrong in humankind, and Calvary is the estimate of his hatred.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

There is no condition of life in which we cannot abide in Jesus.
We have to learn to abide in Him wherever we are placed.

from "Our Brilliant Heritage"
The Forgiveness of God

The Forgiveness of God

By Oswald Chambers

Beware of the pleasant view of the fatherhood of God, the view that says the reason God forgives us is that he is so kind and loving. This idea has no place in the New Testament. The only ground on which God can forgive us and reinstate us in his favor is the tremendous tragedy of the cross of Christ. It is “through his blood” that our sins are forgiven. To put forgiveness on any other ground is blasphemy.

Forgiveness is easy for us to accept, but it wasn’t easily won. Forgiveness cost God the agony of Calvary. It’s possible for us to forget this and to take everything God gives us with the simplicity of faith—to take forgiveness and the gift of the Holy Spirit and our sanctification without recalling the enormous price he paid to make them ours. Forgiveness is the divine miracle of grace, a miracle wrought in the atonement. Never accept a view of the fatherhood of God that erases the atonement. The revelation of God is that he cannot forgive without the cross of Jesus Christ. If he did, he would compromise his holiness and contradict his nature. God’s forgiveness is natural only in the supernatural domain.

Compared with the miracle of the forgiveness of sin, the experience of sanctification is slight. Sanctification is simply the expression of the forgiveness of sins in a human life. The thing that awakens the deepest well of gratitude in a human being is that God has forgiven sin. The apostle Paul had this well awakened in him, and he never got away from it. When you, like Paul, realize what it cost to forgive you, you will be held as he was: in an iron grip, constrained by the love of God.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

Seeing is never believing: we interpret what we see in the light of what we believe. Faith is confidence in God before you see God emerging; therefore the nature of faith is that it must be tried.

from " He Shall Glorify Me, 494 R"
Conviction of Sin

Conviction of Sin

By Oswald Chambers

Very few of us know anything about the conviction of sin. We know what it feels like to be disturbed at having done something wrong, but we don’t know conviction. To be convicted of sin by the Holy Spirit is to have every earthly relationship blotted out and to stand alone with the heavenly Father, knowing fully whom we have wronged: “Against you, you only, have I sinned” (Psalm 51:4).

When we are convicted of sin in this way, we know with every power of our conscience that God dare not forgive us—not without a price being paid. If he did, it would mean that we have a stronger sense of justice than God. God’s forgiveness is the great miracle of his grace, but it cost him the breaking of his heart in the death of Christ. Only through this death is the divine nature able to forgive while remaining true to itself. It’s shallow nonsense to say that the reason God forgives us is that God is love. Once we’ve been convicted of sin, we’ll never say this again. The love of God means Calvary and nothing less. The love of God is written on the cross and nowhere else. Only on the cross is God’s conscience satisfied.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean only that I am saved from hell and made right for heaven. It means that I am forgiven into a new relationship; I am re-created and identified with God in Christ. The miracle of redemption is that God turns me, an unholy being, into the standard of himself, the Holy One. He does this by giving me a new disposition, the disposition of his Son, Jesus Christ

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

There is no condition of life in which we cannot abide in Jesus.
We have to learn to abide in Him wherever we are placed.

from "Our Brilliant Heritage"
Free Indeed

Free Indeed

By Oswald Chambers

After we are born again, any selfish individuality remaining inside us will always say “I can’t” when God calls. We have to leave off our individuality and develop our personality instead. The full meaning of the word personality is a being, created by God, who has lived on this earth and formed a godly character. The majority of us are not personalities yet. We are beginning to be, but we haven’t yet rid ourselves of our individuality.

Personality never says, “I can’t.” When it comes into contact with God, it absorbs and absorbs and always wants more. This is the way we are built. We are designed with a great capacity for God, but sin and individuality keep us from him. God delivers us from sin, but we have to deliver ourselves from individuality. We do this by offering our natural life to him and by sacrificing that life, through obedience, until it’s transformed into a spiritual life.

God doesn’t pay attention to our natural individuality in the development of our spiritual lives, but he does expect us to pay attention to it. His order is present in every facet of our natural lives, and we have to make sure that we help that order along, not stand against it, saying, “I can’t.” God won’t discipline us; he won’t bring our thoughts into captivity. We have to do it.

Don’t go to God and say, “Oh, Lord, I suffer from wandering thoughts.” Don’t suffer from wandering thoughts. Stop listening to the tyranny of your individuality and get emancipated into personality.

“If the Son sets you free . . .” Don’t substitute “Savior” for “Son.” The Savior sets us free from sin; the Son sets us free from individuality. It is what Paul means in Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” Paul’s individuality has been broken, and his personality is united with his Lord’s. He is “free indeed”—free from the inside out, free in the very essence of his being.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

Seeing is never believing: we interpret what we see in the light of what we believe. Faith is confidence in God before you see God emerging; therefore the nature of faith is that it must be tried.

from " He Shall Glorify Me, 494 R"
The Eternal Goal

The Eternal Goal

By Oswald Chambers

Because you have done this . . .” Abraham had reached the place where he was in touch with the very nature of God. He understood the reality of God and obeyed instantly when God demanded his son.

If I want to reach the place Abraham reached—if I want to see who God is—I can only do it through obedience. Obedience is the key to developing my character.

It is my character, not God’s, which determines God’s revelation of himself to me.

’Tis because I am mean,
Thy ways so oft look mean to me.
—George MacDonald

Prompt obedience is the evidence that God’s nature is inside me. If God, through the indwelling Holy Spirit, is inside me, there’s no possibility of my questioning or refusing when he speaks, because he speaks to his own nature. When Jesus says, “Come,” I come. When he says, “Let go,” I let go. When he says, “Trust God in this matter,” I trust.

God’s promises are of no value to us until by obedience we understand his nature. We can read a certain passage of the Bible three hundred and sixty-five times without understanding it. Then all of a sudden, because we have obeyed God in some particular thing, the passage becomes clear. Our obedience has opened God’s nature to us, and we see what he means.

“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And so through him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God”(2 Corinthians 1:20). The “yes” must be born of obedience. When, by obedience, we say “amen” to a promise, the promise becomes ours. I never have a real God until I come face-to-face with him in Jesus Christ. Then I know that “earth has nothing I desire besides you” (Psalm 73:25).

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

“When the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” We all have faith in good principles, in good management, in good common sense, but who amongst us has faith in Jesus Christ? Physical courage is grand, moral courage is grander, but the man who trusts Jesus Christ in the face of the terrific problems of life is worth a whole crowd of heroes.

from "The Highest Good, 544 R"
Still Human!

Still Human!

By Oswald Chambers

The great marvel of the incarnation slips into ordinary childhood. The great marvel of the transfiguration vanishes into the demon-possessed valley. The great glory of the resurrection descends into breakfast on the seashore. The flow of these events is not an anticlimax; it is a great revelation of God.

We have the tendency to look for marvels in our experience. We mistake a sense of the heroic for being heroes. It’s one thing to go boldly through a crisis and another to go through every day glorifying God when there’s no limelight and no one to impress. If we don’t want halos about our heads, we at least want someone to say, “What a wonderful man of prayer he is! What a devoted woman of God she is!” If we were rightly related to Jesus Christ, we’d have reached the sublime height where no one even thinks of noticing us. All they’d notice in our presence is the power of God, coming through us all the time.

It takes the almighty God incarnate in us to enable us to do menial duties to his glory. It takes God’s Spirit inside us to make us so absolutely, humanly his that we are utterly unnoticeable. The test of the life
of a saint is not success; it’s living faithfully in human life as it actually is. We tend to hold up success in Christian work as the goal. The goal is to manifest the glory of God, to live the life hid with Christ in God in human conditions. Our human relationships are the actual conditions in which the ideal life of God is to be exhibited.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

Seeing is never believing: we interpret what we see in the light of what we believe. Faith is confidence in God before you see God emerging; therefore the nature of faith is that it must be tried.

from " He Shall Glorify Me, 494 R"
What Is That to You?

What Is That to You?

By Oswald Chambers

One of the most difficult lessons we ever learn is that we must not interfere in other people’s lives. It takes us a long time to learn this lesson. We stubbornly refuse to realize the danger of playing the amateur providence by interfering with God’s plans for others. We see someone suffering, and we say, “That person will not suffer. I’ll make sure of it.” In order to prevent their suffering, we raise a hand against God’s permissive will. How does God answer? He says, “What is that to you? You must follow me.”

If you are stagnating spiritually, your own interference may be the cause. Never allow spiritual stagnation to continue unchecked. Get into God’s presence and find out why you’re stuck. You may find that it’s because you have inserted yourself into someone else’s business, proposing things that you had no right to propose, advising where you had no right to advise. Remember that if it’s ever necessary for you to give advice, you must lean on God’s nature inside you. God himself will advise through the direct understanding of his Spirit. Your part is to be so rightly related to God that his discernment comes through you all the time for the blessing of another soul.

Most of us live on the borders of consciousness—consciously serving, consciously devoted to God. This is immature; it is not the real life yet. The real, mature life is the life of the child, a life which is never conscious. When we live as children of God, we are so abandoned to our Father that the consciousness of being used by him never enters in. If we are still conscious of being used as broken bread and poured-out wine, we have another stage to reach.Ultimately, all consciousness of ourselves and of what God is doing through us will be eliminated. A saint is never consciously a saint; a saint is consciously dependent on God.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

Seeing is never believing: we interpret what we see in the light of what we believe. Faith is confidence in God before you see God emerging; therefore the nature of faith is that it must be tried.

from " He Shall Glorify Me, 494 R"
Discovering Divine Designs

Discovering Divine Designs

By Oswald Chambers

We have to be so one with God that we do not need to continually ask for his guidance. Sanctification means that we have been made God’s children, and the natural life of a child is obedience—until the child wishes to be disobedient. The instant we are disobedient, we get a warning; a kind of intuitive jolt alerts us. In the spiritual domain, this jolt comes from the Spirit of God. When he checks us, we have to stop at once and be renewed in the spirit of our mind so that we may discern God’s will.

If we have been born again of the Spirit, we do not dictate to God where he should guide us. We simply know that “the Lord has led” us on our journey. When we look back, we see the presence of an amazing design, a design which, because we’ve been born of God, we credit entirely to him.

Anyone can see God in exceptional things, but it requires spiritual discipline to see him in every detail. If we have this discipline, we’re ready to discover divine designs everywhere. What appears random and haphazard to most people is to us nothing less than God’s appointed order.

Beware of making a fetish of consistency to your own convictions instead of being devoted to God. If you are following Jesus Christ, you’ll probably find yourself doing things you swore you’d never do, because there was never a more inconsistent being on this earth than our Lord. But he was never inconsistent to his Father. The one consistency of the disciple is loyalty not to a conviction or a principle but to the divine life. It is the divine life which continually makes more and more discoveries about the divine mind. It’s easier to be a fanatic than a faithful soul, because there is something amazingly humbling—particularly to our religious conceit—about being loyal to Go

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

“When the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” We all have faith in good principles, in good management, in good common sense, but who amongst us has faith in Jesus Christ? Physical courage is grand, moral courage is grander, but the man who trusts Jesus Christ in the face of the terrific problems of life is worth a whole crowd of heroes.

from "The Highest Good, 544 R"
Faith and Experience

Faith and Experience

By Oswald Chambers

We have to battle through our moods into absolute devotion to Jesus Christ, to get out of the hole of our own experience into abandoned devotion to him. Think about what the New Testament says about Jesus Christ, and then think about the trifling, inadequate faith many of us have. The New Testament says that Jesus Christ can present us faultless before the throne of God, unutterably pure, absolutely rectified, and profoundly justified. It says that he has “become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30). Yet we base our faith not in him but in our experiences. We complain that this or that hasn’t happened to us, and we talk about all the difficult things we’ve done on his behalf. How can we talk of making sacrifices for the Son of God? He has saved us from hell and perdition, and we talk about making sacrifices!

We have to continually move beyond our experiences into faith in Jesus Christ. We have to seek the New Testament Jesus Christ—not a prayer meeting Jesus Christ or a book Jesus Christ, but the Jesus Christ who is God incarnate, the Christ whose majesty so overwhelms us that we fall at his feet as if dead (Revelation 1:17). Our faith must be not in our experience but in the One from whom our experience springs. We can never directly experience Jesus Christ nor even hold him within the compass of our hearts, but we can build our faith in strong, emphatic confidence in him.

No wonder the Holy Spirit has such a rugged impatience with unbelief. He knows that all our fears are wicked, and that we fear because we won’t nourish ourselves in our faith. How can anyone who is identified with Jesus Christ suffer from doubt or fear! Our lives in him should be psalms of irrepressible, triumphant belief.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

“When the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” We all have faith in good principles, in good management, in good common sense, but who amongst us has faith in Jesus Christ? Physical courage is grand, moral courage is grander, but the man who trusts Jesus Christ in the face of the terrific problems of life is worth a whole crowd of heroes.

from "The Highest Good, 544 R"
The Transfigured Life

The Transfigured Life

By Oswald Chambers

What is your idea of salvation? The experience of salvation means that in your life things have actually been changed. When you are saved, you no longer look at things as you used to. Your desires are new. The things which used to rule you have lost their power.

A key question in this experience is, Has God changed the things that matter? If you still long for old things, it’s absurd to talk about being born from above. When you are born again, the Spirit of God manifests a change in your mind and life. Afterward, when a crisis arises, you are the most amazed person on earth at the wonderful difference in you. There is no possibility of imagining that you caused this difference; you know beyond a doubt that it was the Spirit of God. This complete and amazing change is the evidence that you are a saved soul.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud” (1 Corinthians 13:4). What difference has salvation and sanctification made in me? Can I walk tall in the light of 1 Corinthians 13, or do I have to shuffle? The salvation that is worked out in me by the Holy Spirit emancipates me entirely. As long as I walk in the light as God is in the light, he sees nothing to censure, because his life is working through every aspect of my own—not only those aspects I am conscious of but also those that lie deeper than my consciousness.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

“When the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” We all have faith in good principles, in good management, in good common sense, but who amongst us has faith in Jesus Christ? Physical courage is grand, moral courage is grander, but the man who trusts Jesus Christ in the face of the terrific problems of life is worth a whole crowd of heroes.

from "The Highest Good, 544 R"
The Supreme Climb

The Supreme Climb

By Oswald Chambers

When God commanded Abraham to take his son Isaac to the mountain and “sacrifice him there as a burnt offering” (Genesis 22:2), he meant that Abraham should take Isaac now. God’s commands to us are always meant for right now. Climbing to the height God shows us can never be done later.

It’s extraordinary how we debate and procrastinate. We know that what God wants us to do is right, but we find excuses for not doing it. Where we should be resolved, we have a failure of will. The sacrifice must be made in our will before we do it in actuality.

“Early the next morning Abraham got up and . . . set out for the place God had told him about” (v. 3). The wonderful simplicity of Abraham! When God spoke, Abraham didn’t debate or “consult any human being” (Galatians 1:16). Beware if, when God tells you to do something, you find yourself consulting another person—especially if that person is yourself. Your own sympathies and insight will compete with your obedience to God, as will anything that isn’t based in your personal relationship with him.

Always guard against self-chosen service for God. Self-sacrifice may be a disease. If God has made your cup sweet, drink it with grace; if he has made it bitter, drink it in communion with him. When the providential order of God for you is a time of hardship, go through it. But never choose the scene of your martyrdom. Abraham didn’t choose the sacrifice he would make; God chose for him. And Abraham did not protest. He simply went through it.

If you aren’t living in touch with God, it’s easy to pass a rash verdict on him. You must go through the crucible before you have any right to issue a verdict, because in the crucible you learn to know God better. Once you do know God, you recognize that he is working toward his highest ends and will continue to do so until his purpose and humanity’s purpose become one.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

“When the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” We all have faith in good principles, in good management, in good common sense, but who amongst us has faith in Jesus Christ? Physical courage is grand, moral courage is grander, but the man who trusts Jesus Christ in the face of the terrific problems of life is worth a whole crowd of heroes.

from "The Highest Good, 544 R"
Co-Worker in God’s Service

Co-Worker in God’s Service

By Oswald Chambers

After I am sanctified and become a “co-worker in God’s service,” I will probably find it difficult to state what my aim in life is. This is because the Lord has taken me up into a purpose which he alone knows. All my goings are organized by him, which means I can never understand them. What I do know is that he is using me for his purposes throughout the world, just as he used his Son for the purpose of our salvation.

If I seek great things for myself—“God has called me for this and that”—and cling to purposes of my own, I put a barrier between myself and God and make it impossible for him to use me. As long as I have an interest in my own character or in any set ambition, I won’t be able to fully identify myself with God’s interests. I can only get through to total identification by losing forever any idea of myself and by letting God take me out into his purpose for the world.

I have to learn that the aim of life is God’s, not mine. God is using me from his great personal standpoint. All he asks of me is that I have implicit faith in him and in his goodness, such faith that I never say, “Lord, this gives me such heartache.” To talk in that way makes me an impediment to him. When I stop telling God what I want, he can take me up for what he wants without hindrance. He can crumple me or exalt me. He can do anything he chooses.

Self-pity is of the devil. If I go down that road, I cannot be used by God for his purpose, because I live in my own private sphere, a little “world within the world.” God will never be able to get me to come out into his world, because I’m too afraid of what I’ll encounter. I have to set aside my selfishness and fear and become entirely identified with him.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

Seeing is never believing: we interpret what we see in the light of what we believe. Faith is confidence in God before you see God emerging; therefore the nature of faith is that it must be tried.

from " He Shall Glorify Me, 494 R"
Sacramental Service

Sacramental Service

By Oswald Chambers

As Christian workers, we have to be like sacramental go-betweens—so identified with our Lord and the reality of his redemption that he can continually bring his creating life through us. This doesn’t mean that Christ superimposes his personality on ours or overwhelms us with his strength. It means that his real presence comes through every element of our lives and of the work we do for him.

When we preach the historical facts of the life and death of our Lord as they are conveyed in the New Testament, our words become like holy vessels. God uses them on the ground of his redemption to create something in those who listen—something which would not be created otherwise. If we preach the effects of the redemption on human life instead of preaching the revelation about Jesus, the result in those who listen won’t be rebirth but merely refined spiritual culture. The Spirit of God isn’t able to witness through this type of preaching, because such preaching belongs to a different domain, a worldly domain. We have to make sure that we are in such living sympathy with God that through our preaching he can create in other souls the things which he alone can do.

“What a wonderful personality!” “What a fascinating speaker!” “What fantastic insight!” What chance does the gospel of God have in all that noise? It can’t get through because the line of attraction is always the line of appeal. If a preacher tries to attract with his or her personality, the appeal will be his or her personality. But if a preacher is identified with the Lord’s personality, then the appeal will be what Jesus Christ can do. The danger is to lift up human beings. Jesus says we are to elevate him: “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself” (John 12:32).

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

Seeing is never believing: we interpret what we see in the light of what we believe. Faith is confidence in God before you see God emerging; therefore the nature of faith is that it must be tried.

from " He Shall Glorify Me, 494 R"
The Unrivaled Power of Prayer

The Unrivaled Power of Prayer

By Oswald Chambers

Many of us know what it means to pray in the Spirit; we know that the Holy Spirit energizes us for prayer. But how many of us realize that the Holy Spirit prays prayers in us, prayers which we cannot utter? When we are born again of God and are indwelled by his Spirit, he expresses the unutterable for us.

“The Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God” (Romans 8:27). God searches your heart when you pray, but not to discover your own conscious prayers. Rather, God seeks to discover the prayers of the Holy Spirit dwelling inside you.

“Your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:19). The Holy Spirit needs the body of the individual believer in order to offer his intercession, and he needs our bodies to be temples, kept as shrines for him. When Jesus Christ cleaned the temple, he “would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts” (Mark 11:16). Neither will the Spirit of God allow you to use your body for your own convenience. Jesus ruthlessly cast out all who bought and sold in the temple. He said, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers’” (Matthew 21:13).

Have we recognized that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit? If so, we must be careful to keep them undefiled for him. We have to remember that our conscious life, although it only makes up a tiny bit of our personality, is to be regarded by us as a temple of the Holy Spirit. He will look after the unconscious part that we know nothing about, but we must make sure to guard the conscious part, for which we are responsible.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

There is no condition of life in which we cannot abide in Jesus.
We have to learn to abide in Him wherever we are placed.

from "Our Brilliant Heritage"
The Sacredness of Circumstances

The Sacredness of Circumstances

By Oswald Chambers

In the life of a saint, there is no such thing as chance. God, by his providence, brings you into circumstances that you can’t understand at all, and the only thing you know is that the Spirit of God understands. Never take your circumstances into your own hand and say, “I’m going to be my own providence here. I must watch this and guard that.” All your circumstances are in the hand of God; never think this strange concerning the circumstances you are in.

God is bringing you into certain places and among certain people for a reason: so that the Holy Spirit inside you can intercede along a particular line. The Holy Spirit’s part in intercessory prayer isn’t the human part. As a human being, you are not to engage in the agonies of intercession; the Holy Spirit takes those upon himself. “We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans” (Romans 8:26). Your part is to take the circumstances you’re in and the people you’re among and bring them before God’s throne. This is how you give the Spirit inside you a chance to intercede, and how God is going to sweep the whole world with his saints.

Ask yourself: Am I making the Holy Spirit’s work difficult by being noncommittal or by trying to do his work for him? You must leave the Spirit side of intercession alone and focus on your side—your specific circumstances and acquaintances.

My intercessions can never be your intercessions, and your intercessions can never be mine. But the Holy Spirit makes intercessions in each of our lives, intercessions without which someone else will be impoverished.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

Seeing is never believing: we interpret what we see in the light of what we believe. Faith is confidence in God before you see God emerging; therefore the nature of faith is that it must be tried.

from " He Shall Glorify Me, 494 R"
Program of Belief

Program of Belief

By Oswald Chambers

Martha believed in the power at the disposal of Jesus Christ. She believed that Jesus could have healed her brother, Lazarus, if only Jesus had been present when Lazarus was dying (John 11:21). She also believed that Jesus had a unique relationship with God and that whatever Jesus asked of God, God would do. But Martha needed a closer personal intimacy with Jesus; her program of belief was entirely focused on future fulfillment. When Jesus told her that Lazarus would rise again, she replied, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day” (v. 24). Jesus wanted her belief to be rooted in the present moment; he wanted her faith to be a personal possession, and he asked a question that led her to a new understanding: “Do you believe?”

Is there something similar in the Lord’s current dealings with you? Is Jesus educating you into personal intimacy with him? Let him drive his questions home: “Do you believe? What is your ordeal of doubt?” Have you, like Martha, come to some overwhelming moment in your circumstances, a moment when your program of belief is about to become personal belief? This can never take place until a personal need arises out of a personal problem.

To believe is to commit. If I have a program of belief, I commit myself to a certain set of ideas or principles and abandon all that is not related to them. In personal belief, I commit myself morally to confidence in the person of Jesus Christ and refuse to compromise. I commit myself spiritually to the Lord, and determine that, in this particular thing, I will be dominated by him.

When I stand face-to-face with Jesus Christ and he says to me, “Do you believe?” I find that faith is as natural as breathing, and I am amazed that I didn’t trust him before.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

“When the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” We all have faith in good principles, in good management, in good common sense, but who amongst us has faith in Jesus Christ? Physical courage is grand, moral courage is grander, but the man who trusts Jesus Christ in the face of the terrific problems of life is worth a whole crowd of heroes.

from "The Highest Good, 544 R"
Participants in His Sufferings

Participants in His Sufferings

By Oswald Chambers

If you are going to be used by God, he will take you through a multitude of difficult experiences, asking you to participate in the sufferings of Christ. These experiences aren’t meant to enrich you or benefit you personally. They’re meant to make you useful in God’s hands and to enable you to understand what occurs in other people’s souls, so that you will never be surprised by what you encounter. If you don’t go willingly through these experiences, you might often find yourself saying, “I can’t deal with that person.” You should never feel this way about another soul. God has given you ample opportunity to come before him and soak up his wisdom about others.

It might seem pointless to spend time soaking before God in this way; you have to get to the place where you are able to understand how he deals with us, and this is only done by being rightly related to Jesus Christ and participating in his sufferings. The sufferings of Christ aren’t those of ordinary life. He suffered “according to God’s will” (1 Peter 4:19), not because his individual desires or pride were thwarted. It is part of Christian culture to know what God’s will is, yet in the history of the church, the tendency has been to avoid being identified with Christ’s sufferings. People have tried to carry out God’s will using shortcuts. God’s way is always the “long, long trail,” the way of suffering.

Are you participating in Christ’s sufferings? Are you prepared for God to entirely stamp out your personal ambitions and destroy your individual determination? It doesn’t mean you’ll know exactly why God is taking you a certain way. In the moment, it’s never clear; you go through more or less blindly. Then, suddenly, you come to a luminous place and say, “Why, God was there all along, and I didn’t know it!”

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

There is no condition of life in which we cannot abide in Jesus.
We have to learn to abide in Him wherever we are placed.

from "Our Brilliant Heritage"
Acting on His Truth

Acting on His Truth

By Oswald Chambers

It’s essential for us, as ministers of the gospel, to give people a chance to act on the truth of God. We might wish we could act for them, but no individual can act for another. Our role is to share the evangelical message, a message which can and should lead to action. But the ultimate responsibility must be left with the individual. The paralysis of refusing to act leaves people exactly where they were before. Once they act, they are never the same again.

Acting on the truth of God can look like foolishness in the eyes of the world. Because of this, many who have been convicted by the Holy Spirit refuse to act. And yet the very second I act, I live; all the rest is mere existence. The moments when I truly live are the moments when I act with my whole will.

Never allow a truth of God that is brought home to your soul to pass without acting on it—not necessarily physically, but in your will. Record it with ink or with blood. The weakest saint is emancipated the instant she acts. In that instant, all the power of God Almighty is on her side.

We back down from acting on God’s truth all the time. We come up to the truth, confess we are wrong, then turn back. We do this over and over again, until we learn that we have no business going back. We have to transact business with our Lord on the truth he is showing us, whatever it may be. When he tells us, “Come,” he really means “transact with me.”

“Come near to God.” The last thing we’ll do is come to God, but all who do come know that the instant they come, the supernatural life of God invades them. The dominating power of the world and the flesh and the devil is paralyzed, not by their act of coming but because that act has linked them to God and his redemptive power.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

Seeing is never believing: we interpret what we see in the light of what we believe. Faith is confidence in God before you see God emerging; therefore the nature of faith is that it must be tried.

from " He Shall Glorify Me, 494 R"
A Bond Servant of Jesus

A Bond Servant of Jesus

By Oswald Chambers

These words mean breaking my independence with my own hand and surrendering myself to the supremacy of the Lord Jesus Christ. No one else can do this for me; I must do it myself. God may bring me to the point of surrender three hundred sixty-five times a year, but he can’t push me through. Surrender means breaking the shell of my individual independence from God. It means the emancipation of my personality into oneness with him—not for any agenda of my own, but for absolute loyalty to Jesus. Very few of us know anything about this kind of loyalty. “Whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel . . .” (Mark 8:35): that is what makes an iron saint.

Has the break with my independence come? The one thing I must decide is, Will I give up? Will I surrender to Jesus Christ, making no conditions? I must be broken of the desire for self-realization. Once this point is reached, supernatural identification with my Lord takes place immediately, and the witness of the Spirit of God within me is unmistakable: “I have been crucified with Christ.”

The passion of Christianity is that I deliberately sign away my rights and become a bond servant of Jesus Christ. Until I do that, I cannot begin to be a saint. When I have done it, God is able to help himself to my life. Will I let him? Or do I have my own ideas of what I’m going to be?

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

“When the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” We all have faith in good principles, in good management, in good common sense, but who amongst us has faith in Jesus Christ? Physical courage is grand, moral courage is grander, but the man who trusts Jesus Christ in the face of the terrific problems of life is worth a whole crowd of heroes.

from "The Highest Good, 544 R"
Authority and Independence

Authority and Independence

By Oswald Chambers

Our Lord never insists on obedience. He tells us emphatically what we should do, but he never forces us to do it. Our reason for obeying him must be a oneness of spirit, not fear or coercion. When our Lord talked about discipleship, he prefaced it with an option, an “if”: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24 <span style=”font-variant: small-caps”>kjv). And, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26). In these verses, our Lord isn’t talking of eternal positions but of being of value to him here, in this order of things; that is why he sounds so stern. Never interpret these words apart from the one who spoke them.

“If you love me, keep my commands.” Our Lord doesn’t give us rules; he simply makes his standards clear. If my relationship to him is one of love, I’ll do what he says without hesitation. If I hesitate, it is because I love someone else—myself—in competition with him. I have to give up my right to myself to become one with Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ won’t help me obey him; I have to obey him of my own free will. When I do obey, I fulfill my spiritual destiny. My personal life may be crowded with small, petty problems, things which seem entirely random and meaningless. But if I obey Jesus Christ in the midst of them, they become pinholes through which I see the face of God.

When I stand face-to-face with God, I discover that through my obedience, thousands were blessed. When God’s redemption comes to the point of obedience in a human soul, it always creates; his redemption pushes through me to other lives, because behind the act of obedience is the reality of the almighty God.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

There is no condition of life in which we cannot abide in Jesus.
We have to learn to abide in Him wherever we are placed.

from "Our Brilliant Heritage"
You Are Not Your Own

You Are Not Your Own

By Oswald Chambers

There’s no such thing as a private life—a “world within the world”—for those who are brought into fellowship with Jesus Christ’s sufferings. God breaks up the private life of his saints and makes it a thoroughfare for the world on the one hand and for himself on the other. No human being can stand that without being fully identified with Jesus Christ.

God calls his saints into the fellowship of the gospel, and it is for this fellowship that we are sanctified, not for ourselves. In everything that happens, in every circumstance that arises, God is bringing us into fellowship with himself. We must let him have his way. If we don’t, we won’t be of the slightest use in his redemptive work in the world. Instead, we’ll be a hindrance.

The first thing God does with his saints is to get them based on rugged spiritual reality. When we are spiritually real, we don’t care what happens to us individually; we only care that God gets his way for the purpose of his redemption. Why shouldn’t we go through heartbreak? Heartbreaks are doorways that God is opening into fellowship with his Son. Most of us collapse at the first sign of heartbreak or pain. We sit down on the threshold of God’s purpose, then turn to the people around us for sympathy. So-called Christian sympathy will soothe us all the way to our deathbeds! God never soothes us when what we need is to be roused; God comes with the grip of the pierced hand of his Son and says, “Arise; shine. Enter into fellowship with me.”

If through a broken heart God can bring his purposes to pass in the world, thank him for breaking your heart.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

Seeing is never believing: we interpret what we see in the light of what we believe. Faith is confidence in God before you see God emerging; therefore the nature of faith is that it must be tried.

from " He Shall Glorify Me, 494 R"
Discernment of Faith

Discernment of Faith

By Oswald Chambers

We have the idea that God rewards us for our faith. This might be true in the initial stages of our walk with him, but we don’t earn anything by faith. Faith brings us into right relationship with God and gives God his opportunity.

If you are walking with God, he will often knock the bottom out of your experience in order to bring you into immediate contact with him. God wants you to understand that it’s a life of faith, not of emotional enjoyment of his blessings. Your earlier life of faith was narrow and intense, settled around a little sunspot of experience that had as much sensibleness as faith in it; it was full of light and sweetness. Then God withdrew his blessings—not all of them, just those you were conscious of—to teach you to walk by faith. Now you are worth far more to him than you were in your days of conscious delight and thrilling testimony.

Faith by its very nature must be tried. The real trial of faith isn’t 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 inexpressible isolation. Never confound the trial of faith with the ordinary discipline of life. Much that we call the trial of faith is the inevitable result of being alive. In the Bible, faith means trusting God in the face of everything that contradicts him. Faith says, “No matter what God does, I will remain true to his character.” “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him” (Job 13:15): this is the most sublime utterance of faith in the whole of the Bible.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

“When the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” We all have faith in good principles, in good management, in good common sense, but who amongst us has faith in Jesus Christ? Physical courage is grand, moral courage is grander, but the man who trusts Jesus Christ in the face of the terrific problems of life is worth a whole crowd of heroes.

from "The Highest Good, 544 R"
Faith

Faith

By Oswald Chambers

Faith in antagonism to common sense is fanaticism; common sense in antagonism to faith is rationalism. The life of faith brings the two into a right relationship. Common sense isn’t faith, and faith isn’t common sense. They stand in the relation of the natural to the spiritual, of impulse to inspiration. Nothing Jesus Christ ever said is common sense. His words are revelation sense; they reach the shore where common sense fails.

“In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Faith must be tested before it becomes real. If we love God and are called according to his purpose, we can rest assured that no matter what happens, the alchemy of his providence will transform the object of our faith—Jesus Christ—into an active, vital force in each of our lives. The whole purpose of God is to make faith real in the lives of his children. He does this for each one of us personally, working through our individual circumstances.

To turn head-faith into a personal possession is a fight always, not sometimes. God brings us into certain circumstances in order to test and educate our faith, because the nature of faith is to make its object real. Until we know Jesus, God is a mere abstraction; we cannot have faith in him. But when we hear Jesus say, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9), we have something that is no longer abstract but real and limitless.

Faith is a tremendously active principle; it always puts Jesus Christ first. In any challenge, faith says, “This may seem foolish, Lord, but I’m going to venture forth on your word.” Faith knows that for every commonsense situation, there’s a revelation fact that can be drawn upon to prove in practical experience what we believe God to be. Faith is the whole person rightly related to God by the power of Jesus Christ.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

There is no condition of life in which we cannot abide in Jesus.
We have to learn to abide in Him wherever we are placed.

from "Our Brilliant Heritage"
Substitution

Substitution

By Oswald Chambers

The modern view of the death of Jesus is that he died for our sins out of sympathy. The New Testament view is that he bore our sins by substitution: God “made him . . . to be sin.” Our sins are removed because of the death of Jesus, and the explanation of his death is his obedience to his Father, not his sympathy with us. We are acceptable to God not because we’ve obeyed or promised to give up things but because of his Son’s death.

We say that Jesus came to reveal the loving-kindness of God. The New Testament says that Jesus came to take away the sins of the world. Jesus never spoke of himself as one who’d been sent to reveal the Father’s sympathy. Instead, he spoke of himself as a stumbling block, as someone who came to erect new standards and place new demands on all who heard his word: “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin” (John 15:22). The great stumbling blocks in modern spiritual life are our Lord’s character and the demands of the Spirit. We think we’d be happy if only God would stop demanding personal holiness. Maybe so, but we’d be happy on the way to hell. It is God who puts the stumbling blocks in our path, and the stumbling over them awakens us.

The idea that God died for me and therefore I go scot-free is never taught in the New Testament. What is taught is that “he died for all” (2 Corinthians 5:15) and that, by identification with his death, I can be freed from sin and have his righteousness imparted to me (Galatians 2:20–21). The substitution taught in the New Testament is twofold: “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” It’s not Christ for me unless I am determined to have Christ formed in me.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

“When the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” We all have faith in good principles, in good management, in good common sense, but who amongst us has faith in Jesus Christ? Physical courage is grand, moral courage is grander, but the man who trusts Jesus Christ in the face of the terrific problems of life is worth a whole crowd of heroes.

from "The Highest Good, 544 R"
Justification by Faith

Justification by Faith

By Oswald Chambers

I am not saved by believing; I realize I am saved by believing. Repentance isn’t what saves me; repentance is merely the sign that I realize what God has done in Jesus Christ.

The danger, when it comes to thinking about salvation, lies in identifying the wrong cause. I imagine that the cause of my being right with God is my own obedience. Never! I am put right with God because prior to everything—prior to all my beliefs, actions, and experiences—Christ died.

When I turn to God and, by belief, accept his revelation, the amazing atonement of Jesus Christ rushes me instantly into a right relationship with God. By the supernatural miracle of his grace, I stand justified—not because I’m sorry for my sins, not because I’ve repented, but because of what Jesus Christ has done. The Spirit of God brings this to my awareness with a dawning, allover light, and I know, though I do not know how, that I am saved.

The fact that I don’t understand logically how I’m saved is beside the point. Salvation doesn’t follow human logic. Salvation is based on the sacrificial death of Jesus. Only through his atonement can we be born again; only through the marvelous work of God in Jesus Christ can sinful men and women be changed into new creatures.

Praise God that the total, impregnable safety of salvation and sanctification lies not in us but in God himself. There’s nothing we have to do to bring it about, nothing we can do. Our salvation and sanctification have been worked out by the atonement, the miracle by which the supernatural becomes natural. They have been worked out long ago and for all time: “It is finished” (John 19:30).

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

There is no condition of life in which we cannot abide in Jesus.
We have to learn to abide in Him wherever we are placed.

from "Our Brilliant Heritage"
All Things to All People

All Things to All People

By Oswald Chambers

A Christian worker must learn how to be God’s noble man or woman amid a crowd of ignoble things. Never make this plea: “If only I were somewhere else, then I would be noble.” You can be noble now, no matter the setting, no matter the limits of your natural abilities. All God’s workers are ordinary people, made extraordinary by what he has put into them.

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you” (John 15:16). If you ever begin to doubt that you’re up to the task God has set for you, remember that it isn’t your own choice that has made you his worker. It isn’t that you’ve got hold of God, but that he has got hold of you. Keep this note of greatness in your creed. God is at work in you even now, bending, breaking, molding, doing just as he chooses. Why? For one purpose: that he will be able to say, “This is my man; this is my woman.”

We have to be in God’s hand so that he can plant others on the rock as he has planted us. Many people do deliberately choose to be God’s workers, but they have nothing in them of God’s mighty grace, nothing of his mighty word. Unless we have the right things in our minds intellectually and the right things in our hearts affectionately, we will be useless to God. Paul had the right things in his heart and mind and soul; he was entirely taken up with what Jesus Christ came to do. We, too, must focus on this one central fact: “Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).

Never choose to be God’s worker, but never turn away when God’s call comes. He will do with you what he never did with you before. He will do something unique, something he isn’t doing with other people. Let him have his way.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

There is no condition of life in which we cannot abide in Jesus.
We have to learn to abide in Him wherever we are placed.

from "Our Brilliant Heritage"
The Viewpoint

The Viewpoint

By Oswald Chambers

For God’s workers, the viewpoint we have to maintain isn’t one that comes near the highest. It is the highest—the viewpoint of God himself. God’s viewpoint, according to Paul, is that we are here for a single purpose: to be “captives in Christ’s triumphal procession.”

Be careful to maintain God’s viewpoint rigorously, every day, minute by minute. Don’t think on the finite. God’s viewpoint is infinite and inviolable; no outside power can touch it. How small are other points of view in comparison! They always place the wrong thing at the center: “I am standing alone, battling for Jesus,” we say. Or, “I have to maintain the cause of Christ and hold this fort for him.” Paul knows who comes first. He says that he is in the procession of a conqueror, and that it doesn’t matter what the difficulties are. He knows that he is always led in triumph.

Is this idea being worked out practically in your life? Paul’s secret joy was that God took him—a red-handed rebel against Jesus Christ—and turned him into a captive. Once Paul belonged to God, he had no other interest; he was here for one thing and one thing only. It is shameful for a Christian to talk about winning a victory. We ought to belong so completely to the Victor that we know it’s his victory, all the time, that only through him are we “more than conquerors” (Romans 8:37). Once we’ve learned this, we become a wonderful refreshment to God, a delight to him wherever we go.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

“When the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” We all have faith in good principles, in good management, in good common sense, but who amongst us has faith in Jesus Christ? Physical courage is grand, moral courage is grander, but the man who trusts Jesus Christ in the face of the terrific problems of life is worth a whole crowd of heroes.

from "The Highest Good, 544 R"
Not a Bit of It!

Not a Bit of It!

By Oswald Chambers

Our Lord never nurses our prejudices; he destroys them. We imagine that God has a special interest in our personal preferences. We’re sure he’ll never deal with us as he does with others. We think, “Well, of course God has to handle those people in a very stern way, but he knows my prejudices are OK.” Not a bit of it! Instead of God being on the side of our prejudices, he is deliberately wiping them out. It’s part of our moral education to have our prejudices pierced straight through by his providence.

God wants only one thing from us: unconditional surrender. When we are born again, the Holy Spirit begins to work his new creation inside us, and a time will come when the old life will have gone entirely—the old sense of self-importance, the old attitudes and bigotries. Then we will be a “new creation,” knowing that “all this is from God” (2 Corinthians 5:17–18).

How are we to get this new life? The life that has no lust, no self-interest, no oversensitivity? How will we get the love that is not easily angered, that thinks no evil, that is always kind (1 Corinthians 13:4–6)? The only way is by allowing nothing of the old life to remain—only simple, perfect trust in God, such trust that we no longer want God’s blessings, only God himself. Have we come to the place where God can withdraw his blessings and it doesn’t shake our trust in him? Once we’ve seen God at work, we will never again worry ourselves about what happens. All our trust will be in our Father in heaven, whom the world cannot see.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

Seeing is never believing: we interpret what we see in the light of what we believe. Faith is confidence in God before you see God emerging; therefore the nature of faith is that it must be tried.

from " He Shall Glorify Me, 494 R"
The Testimony of the Spirit

The Testimony of the Spirit

By Oswald Chambers

We are in danger of getting into a negotiating mindset with God, of trying to haggle him into giving us the testimony of the Spirit before we’ve done what he tells us to do. “Why isn’t the Spirit testifying with my spirit?” you ask. “Why doesn’t God reveal himself to me?” The answer is that he won’t, not as long as you are in his way, refusing to abandon yourself to him. The instant you do abandon, God begins to testify to himself. He can’t testify to you—that is, to your human nature. Rather, he testifies to his own nature inside you, the nature you received when you were baptized by the Holy Spirit.

If you were to receive the testimony of the Spirit before the Spirit was a reality inside you, it would end in sentimental emotion. But the moment you stop debating and complete the spiritual transaction, the moment you ask for the Holy Spirit and receive him, God gives you the testimony. When you abandon intellectual reasoning and argument and hand yourself in faith to God, you will be amazed at your impertinence in having kept him waiting so long.

If you are debating the question of whether God can deliver you from sin, either let him do it or tell him he can’t. Don’t come at him with evidence, quoting this or that expert. Instead, try Matthew 11:28: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened.” Come, when you are burdened with doubt. Ask, if you know you are evil: “How much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13).

The simplicity that characterizes commonsense decisions is easy to mistake for the testimony of the Spirit. But the Spirit testifies only to his own nature and to the work of redemption, never to our human reason. If we try to make him testify to our reason, it is no wonder we remain in darkness and perplexity. Fling your doubting and debating overboard, trust in God, and his Spirit will give the testimony.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

Seeing is never believing: we interpret what we see in the light of what we believe. Faith is confidence in God before you see God emerging; therefore the nature of faith is that it must be tried.

from " He Shall Glorify Me, 494 R"
Impulse

Impulse

By Oswald Chambers

There was nothing impulsive and nothing cold-blooded about our Lord, just a calm strength that never got into a panic. Most of us develop our Christianity along the line of our own impulses rather than along the line of God. Impulsiveness is a natural human trait, but our Lord always ignores it, because it hinders the development of the life of a disciple.

Watch how the Spirit of God checks our impulses. His checks bring a rush of self-consciousness that instantly makes us want to vindicate ourselves. Impulsiveness is fine in a child but disastrous in a man or a woman; an impulsive adult is always a petulant adult. Impulsiveness has to be trained into intuition by discipline.

Discipleship has no impulsiveness in it; it is built entirely on the supernatural grace of God. Walking on water is easy in an impulsive burst of courage, but walking on dry land as a disciple of Jesus Christ is a different thing. Peter walked on the water to go to Jesus (Matthew 14:29)—but he also walked far with Jesus on the land. We don’t need the supernatural grace of God in order to weather crises; human nature and pride are sufficient for that. But we do need his grace in order to live twenty-four hours of every day as a saint, to go through drudgery as a child of God, to live an ordinary, unobserved, ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus Christ. We think that we have to do exceptional things for God, but this isn’t true. We have to be exceptional in ordinary things, to be holy in mean streets, and this isn’t learned in five minutes.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

Seeing is never believing: we interpret what we see in the light of what we believe. Faith is confidence in God before you see God emerging; therefore the nature of faith is that it must be tried.

from " He Shall Glorify Me, 494 R"
Is God’s Will My Will?

Is God’s Will My Will?

By Oswald Chambers

My sanctification isn’t a question of whether God is willing to sanctify me. The question is, Am I willing? Am I willing to let God do in me all that has been made possible by the atonement? Am I willing to let the life of Jesus Christ manifest itself in my mortal flesh?

Beware of saying, “I’m longing to be sanctified.” Stop longing and treat it as a transaction, a simple matter of asking and receiving. Ask God for the Holy Spirit on the basis of Luke 11:13: “How much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Then, in implicit faith, receive Jesus Christ to be made sanctification to you, and the great marvel of the atonement will be made real in you.

All that Jesus Christ made possible is mine because of one thing and one thing only: the free, loving gift of God. My attitude as a saved and sanctified soul must be one of profound, humble holiness. (There’s no such thing as proud holiness.) I recognize what Jesus has done for me with agonizing repentance and a sense of unspeakable shame and degradation. I have the amazing realization that even when I cared nothing for God, his love for me was so great that he completed everything for my salvation and sanctification.

No wonder Paul says that nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39). Sanctification makes me one with Jesus Christ, and in him one with God. This is done only through the atonement of Christ, which is the cause of my holiness. Never confuse the cause and the effect. My holiness and obedience and service and prayer are all effects—the outcome of speechless thanks and adoration for the sanctification worked in me by the atonement.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

There is no condition of life in which we cannot abide in Jesus.
We have to learn to abide in Him wherever we are placed.

from "Our Brilliant Heritage"
The Unheeded Secret

The Unheeded Secret

By Oswald Chambers

Today, a great enemy of Jesus Christ is the idea we have of practical work. This idea doesn’t come from the New Testament but rather from systems of the world in which endless energy and activity are insisted upon, but no private life with God. The emphasis is placed on the wrong thing. Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21 kjv); it is hidden and obscure. Too often Christian workers live in the shop window. They’ve forgotten that it is the innermost of the innermost that reveals the power of the disciple’s life.

We have to rid ourselves of the spirit of the religious age we live in. As disciples, our lives are supposed to resemble our Master’s life; in his life, there was none of the stress and rush of tremendous activity that are regarded so highly today. The cornerstone of the kingdom of Jesus Christ is a personal relationship to him, not public usefulness to other people. Rather than wasting our time in activity, we should be soaking in the great fundamental truths of his redemption.

If we don’t get into the habit of soaking in God’s truths, we will snap when the strain comes—and it will come. None of us has any idea where God is going to put us nor any knowledge of what kinds of difficulty we will face. But if we’ve prepared ourselves beforehand by getting rooted and grounded in God, we will remain true to him whatever happens.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

There is no condition of life in which we cannot abide in Jesus.
We have to learn to abide in Him wherever we are placed.

from "Our Brilliant Heritage"
The Key to the Missionary’s Devotion

The Key to the Missionary’s Devotion

By Oswald Chambers

Our Lord has told us how our love for him should manifest itself: “Do you love me?” he asks. “Feed my sheep” (John 21:17). Our Lord is saying, “Identify yourself with my interests in other people,” not “Identify me with your interests in other people.” This kind of love has a specific character. It’s defined in 1 Corinthians 13:4–8: “Love is patient, love is kind . . .” It is the love of God expressing itself. Other expressions of love are merely sentimental. The love of God is able to stand up to the most practical tests.

“It was for the sake of the Name that they went out.” The Holy Spirit fills my heart with the love of God and sends that love through me to everyone I meet. It enables me to remain loyal to the Name, even though every commonsense fact declares that Jesus Christ has no more power than the morning mist. This loyalty is the supernatural work of redemption, worked in me by the Holy Spirit.

The key to the missionary’s devotion is being attached to nothing and no one except our Lord himself. This doesn’t mean being separated from the outside world; our Lord was always in the world, among ordinary people and things. His detachment was entirely on the inside, where he was attached only to God. Avoiding the world is often a sign of a secret, inner attachment to the very things we’re setting out to avoid. The missionary has no such attachments. His or her soul is kept concentratedly open to Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ alone. The men and women our Lord chooses to send out as his missionaries, though they are made of ordinary human stuff, have a dominating devotion to him, formed by the Holy Spirit.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

Seeing is never believing: we interpret what we see in the light of what we believe. Faith is confidence in God before you see God emerging; therefore the nature of faith is that it must be tried.

from " He Shall Glorify Me, 494 R"
Greater Works

Greater Works

By Oswald Chambers

Prayer doesn’t prepare us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work. We think of prayer as a commonsense exercise of our higher powers, as something that gets us ready to do God’s work. In the teaching of Jesus Christ, prayer is the miracle of the redemption at work in me—a miracle which, by the power of God, produces the miracle of the redemption in others: “I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last” (John 15:16). It’s true that my prayer produces lasting fruit, but I must remember that it is prayer based on the agony of the redemption, not on my agony.

Prayer doesn’t prepare us for battle; prayer is the battle. It doesn’t matter where we are nor how God has engineered our circumstances; our duty is to pray. Never allow the thought, “I’m of no use where I am.” You certainly can be of no use where you’re not. Wherever God has dumped you down, pray to him—pray all the time. Most of us won’t pray unless it gives us a thrill, which is the most intense form
of spiritual selfishness. We have to work according to God’s direction; and he says, simply, pray.

“Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:38 kjv). There’s nothing thrilling about a laboring person’s work, but it is the laboring person who makes the conceptions of the genius possible. In the same way, the laboring disciple makes the conceptions of the Master possible. You may not see the fruits of your prayer immediately, but from God’s viewpoint there are results all the time. What an astonishment it will be to find, when the veil is lifted, how many souls have been reaped by you simply because you were in the habit of taking your orders from Jesus Christ.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

There is no condition of life in which we cannot abide in Jesus.
We have to learn to abide in Him wherever we are placed.

from "Our Brilliant Heritage"
The Key for the Missionary

The Key for the Missionary

By Oswald Chambers

The basis of the missionary’s work is the authority of Jesus Christ, not the needs of the unsaved. We tend to view our Lord as someone who assists us in our projects. Jesus Christ puts himself as the absolute sovereign over his disciples. Jesus doesn’t say that other people’s salvation depends on us, that if we don’t preach the gospel, the unsaved will be lost. He simply tells us to “go and make disciples of all nations.” That is, “Go on the revelation of my sovereignty; teach and preach out of a living experience of me.”

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened” (Matthew 11:28). Before I can go, I must learn how to come. If I want to know the universal sovereignty of Christ, I must know him for myself first. I must know how to get myself alone with him. I must take time to worship the Being whose name I bear. Am I weary and burdened, as so many missionaries are? Then, says Jesus, “Come to me.” We banish these marvelous words to the footnotes when they are the main text. They are the words of the universal sovereign of the world, the words of Jesus to his disciples.

“Therefore go.” “Go” simply means “live.” The description of how to go is found in Acts 1:8: “Be my witnesses.” To live bearing witness to Jesus is to fulfill your mission as his disciple. He will organize your goings himself.

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you . . .” (John 15:7). This is the description of how to keep going in your personal life. Where God places you is a matter of indifference. God engineers your goings, while you remain steadfast in him. That is the way to keep going until you’re gone.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

Seeing is never believing: we interpret what we see in the light of what we believe. Faith is confidence in God before you see God emerging; therefore the nature of faith is that it must be tried.

from " He Shall Glorify Me, 494 R"
Individual Discouragement  and Personal Growth

Individual Discouragement and Personal Growth

By Oswald Chambers

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

“When the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” We all have faith in good principles, in good management, in good common sense, but who amongst us has faith in Jesus Christ? Physical courage is grand, moral courage is grander, but the man who trusts Jesus Christ in the face of the terrific problems of life is worth a whole crowd of heroes.

from "The Highest Good, 544 R"
Getting into God’s Stride

Getting into God’s Stride

By Oswald Chambers

The test of my religious character isn’t what I do in exceptional moments; it’s what I do when nothing tremendous or exciting is happening. My worth to God is revealed in my attitude to ordinary things, when I’m out of the spotlight. Am I able to walk faithfully with him then?

It’s a painful thing to learn to walk faithfully with God. It requires getting our second wind spiritually, because before we’ve taken three steps we find that God has outpaced us. God has a different way of doing things, and we have to be trained and disciplined into his ways before we can keep up. When we do manage to get into God’s stride, the only characteristic that manifests itself in our life is his life. Our individual person is lost in union with him; his power alone is evident.

In the book of Isaiah, it was prophesied that Jesus would “not falter or be discouraged” (42:4). Jesus was able to keep pace with his Father because he never approached things from his own viewpoint, only from God’s. We have to learn to do the same, and the way we learn is by soaking in spiritual truth. Spiritual truth is learned by atmosphere, not by intellectual reasoning. God’s Spirit alters the atmosphere of our way of looking at things, and things that were never before possible begin to be possible. We begin to see from God’s viewpoint, to understand his ways, and to fall into his stride.

Getting into the stride of God means nothing less than union with him. It takes a long time to get there, but keep at it. Don’t give in, even if the pain is bad just now. Get on with it, and before long you will find you have a new vision and a new purpose.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

Seeing is never believing: we interpret what we see in the light of what we believe. Faith is confidence in God before you see God emerging; therefore the nature of faith is that it must be tried.

from " He Shall Glorify Me, 494 R"
After God’s Silence, What?

After God’s Silence, What?

By Oswald Chambers

Has God trusted you with a silence, one that is full of meaning? God’s silences are his answers. Think of those days of absolute silence in the home at Bethany, as Lazarus lay sick and dying, tended by Mary and Martha (John 11). Is there anything similar to those days in your life? Can God trust you as he trusted Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, or are you still asking for a visible answer? If you refuse to go on without certain blessings, God will give them to you. But his silence is the sign that he is bringing you into a marvelous understanding of himself. Are you mourning before God because you have not had an audible response? You will find that God has trusted you in the most intimate way possible—with a silence that is not of despair but of pleasure, because he saw that you could handle a bigger revelation.

If God has given you a silence, praise him. He is bringing you into the great flow of his purpose. Precisely when the answer will manifest itself is a matter of God’s sovereign choice. Time is nothing to God. Perhaps you’ve grown impatient and you think, “I asked God to give me bread, and he gave me a stone.” He did not. Soon you will find he gave you the bread of life.

A wonderful thing about God’s silence is that the contagion of his stillness gets into you and you become perfectly confident: “I know God has heard me.” His silence is the proof that he has. As long as you have the idea that God will bless you in answer to a prayer, he will do it. But he will never give you the grace of silence. When Jesus Christ is bringing you into the understanding that prayer isn’t for blessings but for the glorifying of the Father, he will give you the first sign of his intimacy—silence.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

There is no condition of life in which we cannot abide in Jesus.
We have to learn to abide in Him wherever we are placed.

from "Our Brilliant Heritage"
How Will I Know?

How Will I Know?

By Oswald Chambers

In our spiritual relationship with God, we do not grow step-by-step; we’re either there or we’re not. The same is true when it comes to sin. God doesn’t cleanse us more and more from sin; either we are free of sin or we’re not. It’s a question of obedience, of keeping ourselves in the light. “If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus . . . purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). The instant we obey, our relationship with God is perfected. But if we disobey, even for a second, darkness and death are immediately at work.

All of God’s revelations are closed to us until we obey; only through obedience are they opened. Beware of becoming wise and learned; you will never get his revelations open by thinking about them. But when you obey, a flash of light comes. You have to let God’s truth work its way in by soaking yourself in it, not by worrying about it. The only way you can get to know the great truths of God is to stop trying to know and to be born again.

Obey God in the thing he places before you, whatever it may be, and the next thing will open up to you instantly. We read book upon book about the work of the Holy Spirit, when five minutes of total obedience would make things clear as a sunbeam.

“I guess I’ll understand one day,” you say. You can understand now. It isn’t studying that will get you there; it’s obedience. God will never reveal more truth about himself until you have obeyed what you already know. The tiniest fragment of obedience on your part will cause heaven to open and the profoundest truths of God to become yours.

Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

Seeing is never believing: we interpret what we see in the light of what we believe. Faith is confidence in God before you see God emerging; therefore the nature of faith is that it must be tried.

from " He Shall Glorify Me, 494 R"