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Post  Admin on Sun 06 May 2012, 9:01 pm

Liberty and the Standards of Jesus
My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers (1874-1917)
May 06 2012
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free . . . —Galatians 5:1

A spiritually- minded person will never come to you with the demand—”Believe this and that”; a spiritually- minded person will demand that you align your life with the standards of Jesus. We are not asked to believe the Bible, but to believe the One whom the Bible reveals (see John 5:39-40). We are called to present liberty for the conscience of others, not to bring them liberty for their thoughts and opinions. And if we ourselves are free with the liberty of Christ, others will be brought into that same liberty— the liberty that comes from realizing the absolute control and authority of Jesus Christ.

Always measure your life solely by the standards of Jesus. Submit yourself to His yoke, and His alone; and always be careful never to place a yoke on others that is not of Jesus Christ. It takes God a long time to get us to stop thinking that unless everyone sees things exactly as we do, they must be wrong. That is never God’s view. There is only one true liberty— the liberty of Jesus at work in our conscience enabling us to do what is right.

Don’t get impatient with others. Remember how God dealt with you— with patience and with gentleness. But never water down the truth of God. Let it have its way and never apologize for it. Jesus said, “Go . . . and make disciples. . .” (Matthew 28:19), not, “Make converts to your own thoughts and opinions.”

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Post  Admin on Sat 05 May 2012, 9:59 pm

udgment and the Love of God
My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers (1874-1917)

May 05 2012

The time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God . . . —1 Peter 4:17

The Christian servant must never forget that salvation is
God’s idea, not man’s; therefore, it has an unfathomable depth.
Salvation is the great thought of God, not an experience. Experience is
simply the door through which salvation comes into the conscious level
of our life so that we are aware of what has taken place on a much
deeper level. Never preach the experience— preach the great thought of
God behind the experience. When we preach, we are not simply proclaiming how people can be saved from hell and be made moral and pure; we are
conveying good news about God.

In the teachings of Jesus Christ the element of judgment is always
brought out— it is the sign of the love of God. Never sympathize with
someone who finds it difficult to get to God; God is not to blame. It is not for us to figure out the reason for the difficulty, but only to
present the truth of God so that the Spirit of God will reveal what is
wrong. The greatest test of the quality of our preaching is whether or
not it brings everyone to judgment. When the truth is preached, the
Spirit of God brings each person face to face with God Himself.

If Jesus ever commanded us to do something that He was unable to
equip us to accomplish, He would be a liar. And if we make our own
inability a stumbling block or an excuse not to be obedient, it means
that we are telling God that there is something which He has not yet
taken into account. Every element of our own self-reliance must be put
to death by the power of God. The moment we recognize our complete
weakness and our dependence upon Him will be the very moment that the
Spirit of God will exhibit His power.

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"The head may seek God, but it is the heart that finds Him." Jeremiah 29:13
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Post  Admin on Thu 03 May 2012, 8:51 pm

Vital Intercession
My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers (1874-1917)
May 03 2012

. . . praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit . . . —Ephesians 6:18

As we continue on in our intercession for others, we may find that our obedience to God in interceding is going to cost those for whom we intercede more than we ever thought. The danger in this is that we begin to intercede in sympathy with those whom God was gradually lifting up to a totally different level in direct answer to our prayers. Whenever we step back from our close identification with God’s interest and concern for others and step into having emotional sympathy with them, the vital connection with God is gone. We have then put our sympathy and concern for them in the way, and this is a deliberate rebuke to God.

It is impossible for us to have living and vital intercession unless we are perfectly and completely sure of God. And the greatest destroyer of that confident relationship to God, so necessary for intercession, is our own personal sympathy and preconceived bias. Identification with God is the key to intercession, and whenever we stop being identified with Him it is because of our sympathy with others, not because of sin. It is not likely that sin will interfere with our intercessory relationship with God, but sympathy will. It is sympathy with ourselves or with others that makes us say, “I will not allow that thing to happen.” And instantly we are out of that vital connection with God.

Vital intercession leaves you with neither the time nor the inclination to pray for your own “sad and pitiful self.” You do not have to struggle to keep thoughts of yourself out, because they are not even there to be kept out of your thinking. You are completely and entirely identified with God’s interests and concerns in other lives. God gives us discernment in the lives of others to call us to intercession for them, never so that we may find fault with them.

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"The head may seek God, but it is the heart that finds Him." Jeremiah 29:13
Susannah's Grace Counseling (Faith-based &/or Recovery) ~ Healing For The Wounded Heart

"Eternal life [is] to know you, the only true God,& Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth." John 17:3
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Post  Admin on Sun 29 Apr 2012, 10:09 pm

Gracious Uncertainty
My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
Apr 29 2012

. . . it has not yet been revealed what we shall be . . . —1 John 3:2

Our natural inclination is to be so precise—trying always to forecast accurately what will happen next—that we look upon uncertainty as a bad thing. We think that we must reach some predetermined goal, but that is not the nature of the spiritual life. The nature of the spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty. Consequently, we do not put down roots. Our common sense says, “Well, what if I were in that circumstance?” We cannot presume to see ourselves in any circumstance in which we have never been.

Certainty is the mark of the commonsense life—gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. This is generally expressed with a sigh of sadness, but it should be an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. As soon as we abandon ourselves to God and do the task He has placed closest to us, He begins to fill our lives with surprises. When we become simply a promoter or a defender of a particular belief, something within us dies. That is not believing God—it is only believing our belief about Him. Jesus said, “. . . unless you . . . become as little children . . .” (Matthew 18:3). The spiritual life is the life of a child. We are not uncertain of God, just uncertain of what He is going to do next. If our certainty is only in our beliefs, we develop a sense of self-righteousness,
become overly critical, and are limited by the view that our beliefs are complete and settled. But when we have the right relationship with God, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy. Jesus said, “. . . believe also in Me” (John 14:1), not, “Believe certain things about Me”. Leave everything to Him and it will be gloriously and graciously uncertain how He will come in—but you can be certain that He will come. Remain faithful to Him.

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"The head may seek God, but it is the heart that finds Him." Jeremiah 29:13
Susannah's Grace Counseling (Faith-based &/or Recovery) ~ Healing For The Wounded Heart
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Post  Admin on Fri 27 Apr 2012, 8:55 pm

What Do You Want?
My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
Apr 27 2012

Do you seek great things for yourself? Jeremiah 45:5

Are you seeking great things for yourself, instead of seeking to be a great person? God wants you to be in a much closer relationship with Himself than simply receiving His gifts He wants you to get to know Him. Even some large thing we want is only incidental; it comes and it goes. But God never gives us anything incidental. There is nothing easier than getting into the right relationship with God, unless it is not God you seek, but only what He can give you.

If you have only come as far as asking God for things, you have never come to the point of understanding the least bit of what surrender really means. You have become a Christian based on your own terms. You protest, saying, I asked God for the Holy Spirit, but He didn't give me the rest and the peace I expected. And instantly God puts His finger on the reason-you are not seeking the Lord at all; you are seeking something for yourself. Jesus said, Ask, and it will be given to you . . . (Matthew 7:7). Ask God for what you want and do not be concerned about asking for the wrong thing, because as you draw ever closer to Him, you will cease asking for things altogether. Your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him (Matthew 6:8). Then why should you ask? So that you may get to know Him.

Are you seeking great things for yourself? Have you said, Oh, Lord, completely fill me with your Holy Spirit? If God does not, it is because you are not totally surrendered to Him; there is something you still refuse to do. Are you prepared to ask yourself what it is you want from God and why you want it? God always ignores your present level of completeness in favor of your ultimate future completeness. He is not concerned about making you blessed and happy right now, but He's continually working out His ultimate perfection for you . . that they may be one just as We are one . (John 17:22).

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Post  Admin on Wed 25 Apr 2012, 7:25 am

The Warning Against Desiring Spiritual Success
My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
Apr 24 2012
Do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you . . . —Luke 10:20

Worldliness is not the trap that most endangers us as Christian workers; nor is it sin. The trap we fall into is extravagantly desiring spiritual success; that is, success measured by, and patterned after, the form set by this religious age in which we now live. Never seek after anything other than the approval of God, and always be willing to go “outside the camp, bearing His reproach” (Hebrews 13:13). In Luke 10:20 , Jesus told the disciples not to rejoice in successful service, and yet this seems to be the one thing in which most of us do rejoice. We have a commercialized view— we count how many souls have been saved and sanctified, we thank God, and then we think everything is all right. Yet our work only begins where God’s grace has laid the foundation. Our work is not to save souls, but to disciple them. Salvation and sanctification are the work of God’s sovereign grace, and our work as His disciples is to disciple others’ lives until
they are totally yielded to God. One life totally devoted to God is of more value to Him than one hundred lives which have been simply awakened by His Spirit. As workers for God, we must reproduce our own kind spiritually, and those lives will be God’s testimony to us as His workers. God brings us up to a standard of life through His grace, and we are responsible for reproducing that same standard in others.

Unless the worker lives a life that “is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3), he is apt to become an irritating dictator to others, instead of an active, living disciple. Many of us are dictators, dictating our desires to individuals and to groups. But Jesus never dictates to us in that way. Whenever our Lord talked about discipleship, He always prefaced His words with an “if,” never with the forceful or dogmatic statement— “You must.” Discipleship carries with it an option.

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Post  Admin on Tue 24 Apr 2012, 8:29 am

Do You Worship The Work?
My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
Apr 23 2012
We are God's fellow workers . . . 1 Corinthians 3:9

Beware of any work for God that causes or allows you to avoid concentrating on Him. A great number of Christian workers worship their work. The only concern of Christian workers should be their concentration on God. This will mean that all the other boundaries of life, whether they are mental, moral, or spiritual limits, are completely free with the freedom God gives His child; that is, a worshiping child, not a wayward one. A worker who lacks this serious controlling emphasis of concentration on God is apt to become overly burdened by his work. He is a slave to his own limits, having no freedom of his body, mind, or spirit. Consequently, he becomes burned out and defeated. There is no freedom and no delight in life at all. His nerves, mind, and heart are so overwhelmed that God's blessing cannot rest on him.

But the opposite case is equally true once our concentration is on God, all the limits of our life are free and under the control and mastery of God alone. There is no longer any responsibility on you for the work. The only responsibility you have is to stay in living constant touch with God, and to see that you allow nothing to hinder your cooperation with Him. The freedom that comes after sanctification is the freedom of a child, and the things that used to hold your life down are gone. But be careful to remember that you have been freed for only one thing to be absolutely devoted to your co-Worker.

We have no right to decide where we should be placed, or to have preconceived ideas as to what God is preparing us to do. God engineers everything; and wherever He places us, our one supreme goal should be to pour out our lives in wholehearted devotion to Him in that particular work. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might. (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

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Post  Admin on Wed 18 Apr 2012, 8:20 pm

Readiness
My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers.



Apr 18 2012

God called to him . . . . And he said, Here I am Exodus 3:4

When God speaks, many of us are like people in a fog, and
we give no answer. Moses reply to God revealed that he knew where he
was and that he was ready. Readiness means having a right relationship
to God and having the knowledge of where we are.

We are so busy telling
God where we would like to go. Yet the man or woman who is ready for God and His work is the one who receives the prize when the summons comes.
We wait with the idea that some great opportunity or something
sensational will be coming our way, and when it does come we are quick
to cry out, Here I am. Whenever we sense that Jesus Christ is rising
up to take authority over some great task, we are there, but we are not
ready for some obscure duty.

Readiness for God means that we are prepared to do the smallest thing or the largest thing it makes no difference. It means we have no
choice in what we want to do, but that whatever God's plans may be, we
are there and ready. Whenever any duty presents itself, we hear God's
voice as our Lord heard His Father's voice, and we are ready for it with the total readiness of our love for Him. Jesus Christ expects to do
with us just as His Father did with Him. He can put us wherever He
wants, in pleasant duties or in menial ones, because our union with Him
is the same as His union with the Father. . . . that they may be one
just as We are one . . . (John 17:22).

Be ready for the sudden surprise visits of God. A ready person never needs to get ready he is ready. Think of the time we waste trying to get ready once God has called! The burning bush is a symbol of everything that
surrounds the person who is ready, and it is on fire with the presence
of God Himself.

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"The head may seek God, but it is the heart that finds Him." Jeremiah 29:13
Susannah's Grace Counseling (Faith-based &/or Recovery) ~ Healing For The Wounded Heart
"Eternal life [is] to know you, the only true God,& Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth." John 17:3
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Post  Admin on Sun 15 Apr 2012, 9:07 pm

The Failure To Pay Close Attention
My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
Apr 15 2012

The high places were not removed from Israel. Nevertheless the heart of Asa was loyal all his days 2 Chronicles 15:17

Asa was not completely obedient in the outward, visible
areas of his life. He was obedient in what he considered the most
important areas, but he was not entirely right. Beware of ever thinking, Oh, that thing in my life doesn't matter much. The fact that it
doesn't matter much to you may mean that it matters a great deal to God. Nothing should be considered a trivial matter by a child of God. How
much longer are we going to prevent God from teaching us even one thing? But He keeps trying to teach us and He never loses patience.

You say, I know I am right with God yet the high places still remain in your life. There is still an area of disobedience. Do you protest that your
heart is right with God, and yet there is something in your life He
causes you to doubt? Whenever God causes a doubt about something, stop
it immediately, no matter what it may be. Nothing in our lives is a mere insignificant detail to God.

Are there some things regarding your physical or intellectual life to which you have been paying no attention at all? If so, you may think
you are all correct in the important areas, but you are careless you
are failing to concentrate or to focus properly. You no more need a day
off from spiritual concentration on matters in your life than your heart needs a day off from beating. As you cannot take a day off morally and
remain moral, neither can you take a day off spiritually and remain
spiritual. God wants you to be entirely His, and it requires paying
close attention to keep yourself fit. It also takes a tremendous amount
of time. Yet some of us expect to rise above all of our problems, going
from one mountaintop experience to another, with only a few minutes
effort.
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"The head may seek God, but it is the heart that finds Him." Jeremiah 29:13
Susannah's Grace Counseling (Faith-based &/or Recovery) ~ Healing For The Wounded Heart

"Eternal life [is] to know you, the only true God,& Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth." John 17:3
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Post  Admin on Tue 10 Apr 2012, 11:32 am

Complete and Effective Decision About Sin
My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers

Apr 10 2012
. . . our old man was crucified with
Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no
longer be slaves of sin —Romans 6:6

Co-Crucifixion. Have you made the
following decision about sin—that it must be completely killed in you?
It takes a long time to come to the point of making this complete and
effective decision about sin. It is, however, the greatest moment in
your life once you decide that sin must die in you-not simply be
restrained, suppressed, or counteracted, but crucified—just as Jesus
Christ died for the sin of the world. No one can bring anyone else to
this decision. We may be mentally and spiritually convinced, but what we need to do is actually make the decision that Paul urged us to do in
this passage.

Pull yourself up, take some time alone with God, and make this
important decision, saying, “Lord, identify me with Your death until I
know that sin is dead in me.” Make the moral decision that sin in you
must be put to death.

This was not some divine future expectation on the part of Paul, but
was a very radical and definite experience in his life. Are you prepared to let the Spirit of God search you until you know what the level and
nature of sin is in your life— to see the very things that struggle
against God’s Spirit in you? If so, will you then agree with God’s
verdict on the nature of sin— that it should be identified with the
death of Jesus? You cannot “reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin” (Romans 6:11) unless you have radically dealt with the issue of your will before God.
Have you entered into the glorious privilege of being crucified with
Christ, until all that remains in your flesh and blood is His life? “I
have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ
lives in me . . .” (Galatians 2:20).

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"The head may seek God, but it is the heart that finds Him." Jeremiah 29:13
Susannah's Grace Counseling (Faith-based &/or Recovery) ~ Healing For The Wounded Heart

"Eternal life [is] to know you, the only true God,& Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth." John 17:3
The Acts 1711 Project ~ Searching The Scriptures to Know Truth
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Post  Admin on Sat 07 Apr 2012, 6:25 pm

His Agony and Our Access

My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
Apr 05 2012
Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples . . . .Stay here and watch with Me Matthew 26:36, 38

We can never fully comprehend Christ's agony in the Garden
of Gethsemane, but at least we don't have to misunderstand it. It is the agony of God and man in one Person, coming face to face with sin. We
cannot learn about Gethsemane through personal experience. Gethsemane
and Calvary represent something totally unique they are the gateway
into life for us.

It was not death on the cross that Jesus agonized over in Gethsemane. In fact, He stated very emphatically that He came with the purpose of
dying. His concern here was that He might not get through this struggle
as the Son of Man. He was confident of getting through it as the Son of
God Satan could not touch Him there. But Satan's assault was that our
Lord would come through for us on His own solely as the Son of Man. If
Jesus had done that, He could not have been our Savior (see Hebrews 9:11-15). Read the record of His agony in Gethsemane in light of His earlier
wilderness temptation. . . the devil . . . departed from Him until an opportune time (Luke 4:13). In Gethsemane, Satan came back and was overthrown again. Satan's final assault against our Lord as the Son of Man was in Gethsemane.

The agony in Gethsemane was the agony of the Son of God in fulfilling His destiny as the Savior of the world. The veil is pulled back here to reveal all that it cost Him to make it possible for us to become sons
of God. His agony was the basis for the simplicity of our salvation. The Cross of Christ was a triumph for the Son of Man. It was not
only a sign that our Lord had triumphed, but that He had triumphed to
save the human race. Because of what the Son of Man went through, every
human being has been provided with a way of access into the very
presence of God.

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"The head may seek God, but it is the heart that finds Him." Jeremiah 29:13
Susannah's Grace Counseling (Faith-based &/or Recovery) ~ Healing For The Wounded Heart

"Eternal life [is] to know you, the only true God,& Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth." John 17:3
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Post  Admin on Fri 06 Apr 2012, 8:15 pm

The Collision of God and Sin
My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
Apr 06 2012
. . . who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree . . . —1 Peter 2:24

The Cross of Christ is the revealed truth of God’s judgment on sin. Never associate the idea of martyrdom with the Cross of Christ. It was the supreme triumph, and it shook the very foundations of hell. There is nothing in time or eternity more absolutely certain and irrefutable than what Jesus Christ accomplished on the Cross— He made it possible for the entire human race to be brought back into a right-standing relationship with God. He made redemption the foundation of human life; that is, He made a way for every person to have fellowship with God.

The Cross was not something that happened to Jesus— He came to die; the Cross was His purpose in coming. He is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world� (Revelation 13:8). The incarnation of Christ would have no meaning without the Cross. Beware of separating “God was manifested in the flesh. . .� from “. . . He made Him. . . to be sin for us. . .� (1 Timothy 3:16 ; 2 Corinthians 5:21). The purpose of the incarnation was redemption. God came in the flesh to take sin away, not to accomplish something for Himself. The Cross is the central event in time and eternity, and the answer to all the problems of both.

The Cross is not the cross of a man, but the Cross of God, and it can never be fully comprehended through human experience. The Cross is God exhibiting His nature. It is the gate through which any and every individual can enter into oneness with God. But it is not a gate we pass right through; it is one where we abide in the life that is found there.

The heart of salvation is the Cross of Christ. The reason salvation is so easy to obtain is that it cost God so much. The Cross was the place where God and sinful man merged with a tremendous collision and where the way to life was opened. But all the cost and pain of the collision was absorbed by the heart of God.

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Post  Admin on Tue 03 Apr 2012, 3:56 pm

"If You Had Known!"
My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
Apr 03 2012

If you had known . . . in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes —Luke 19:42

Jesus entered Jerusalem triumphantly and the city was stirred to its very foundations, but a strange god was there-the pride of the Pharisees. It was a god that seemed religious and upright, but Jesus compared it to “whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness� (Matthew 23:27).

What is it that blinds you to the peace of God “in this your day�? Do you have a strange god-not a disgusting monster but perhaps an unholy nature that controls your life? More than once God has brought me face to face with a strange god in my life, and I knew that I should have given it up, but I didn’t do it. I got through the crisis “by the skin of my teeth,� only to find myself still under the control of that strange god. I am blind to the very things that make for my own peace. It is a shocking thing that we can be in the exact place where the Spirit of God should be having His completely unhindered way with us, and yet we only make matters worse, increasing our blame in God’s eyes.

“If you had known . . . .� God’s words here cut directly to the heart, with the tears of Jesus behind them. These words imply responsibility for our own faults. God holds us accountable for what we refuse to see or are unable to see because of our sin. And “now they are hidden from your eyes� because you have never completely yielded your nature to Him. Oh, the deep, unending sadness for what might have been! God never again opens the doors that have been closed. He opens other doors, but He reminds us that there are doors which we have shut-doors which had no need to be shut. Never be afraid when God brings back your past. Let your memory have its way with you. It is a minister of God bringing its rebuke and sorrow to you. God will turn what might have been into a wonderful lesson of growth for the future.

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Post  Admin on Mon 19 Mar 2012, 6:31 pm

Abraham’s Life of Faith
My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers

Mar 19 2012
He went out, not knowing where he was going —Hebrews 11:8

In the Old Testament, a person’s relationship with God was
seen by the degree of separation in that person’s life. This separation
is exhibited in the life of Abraham by his separation from his country
and his family. When we think of separation today, we do not mean to be
literally separated from those family members who do not have a personal relationship with God, but to be separated mentally and morally from
their viewpoints. This is what Jesus Christ was referring to in Luke 14:26.
Living a life of faith means never knowing where you are being led.
But it does mean loving and knowing the One who is leading. It is
literally a life of faith, not of understanding and reason—a
life of knowing Him who calls us to go. Faith is rooted in the knowledge of a Person, and one of the biggest traps we fall into is the belief
that if we have faith, God will surely lead us to success in the world.

The final stage in the life of faith is the attainment of character,
and we encounter many changes in the process. We feel the presence of
God around us when we pray, yet we are only momentarily changed. We tend to keep going back to our everyday ways and the glory vanishes. A life
of faith is not a life of one glorious mountaintop experience after
another, like soaring on eagles’ wings, but is a life of day—in and
day—out consistency; a life of walking without fainting (see Isaiah 40:31). It is not even a question of the holiness of sanctification, but of
something which comes much farther down the road. It is a faith that has been tried and proved and has withstood the test. Abraham is not a type or an example of the holiness of sanctification, but a type of the life of faith—a faith, tested and true, built on the true God. “Abraham believed God. . .” (Romans 4:3).

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Post  Admin on Sun 18 Mar 2012, 4:16 pm

We Make It Our Aim
My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
Mar 17 2012
"We make it our aim . . . to be well pleasing to Him" —2 Corinthians 5:9

We make it our aim. . . .” It requires a conscious decision and effort to keep our primary goal constantly in front of us. It means holding ourselves to the highest priority year in and year out; not making our first priority to win souls, or to establish churches, or to have revivals, but seeking only “to be well pleasing to Him.” It is not a lack of spiritual experience that leads to failure, but a lack of working to keep our eyes focused and on the right goal. At least once a week examine yourself before God to see if your life is measuring up to the standard He has for you. Paul was like a musician who gives no thought to audience approval, if he can only catch a look of approval from his Conductor.

Any goal we have that diverts us even to the slightest degree from the central goal of being “approved to God” (2 Timothy 2:15) may result in our rejection from further service for Him. When you discern where the goal leads, you will understand why it is so necessary to keep “looking unto Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2). Paul spoke of the importance of controlling his own body so that it would not take him in the wrong direction. He said, “I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest . . . I myself should become disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:27).

I must learn to relate everything to the primary goal, maintaining it without interruption. My worth to God publicly is measured by what I really am in my private life. Is my primary goal in life to please Him and to be acceptable to Him, or is it something less, no matter how lofty it may sound?

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Post  Admin on Thu 15 Mar 2012, 9:21 pm

Yielding
My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
Mar 14 2012
. . . you are that one’s slaves whom you obey . . . —Romans 6:16

The first thing I must be willing to admit when I begin to examine what controls and dominates me is that I am the one responsible for having
yielded myself to whatever it may be. If I am a slave to myself, I am to blame because somewhere in the past I yielded to myself. Likewise, if I obey God I do so because at some point in my life I yielded myself to
Him.

If a child gives in to selfishness, he will find it to be
the most enslaving tyranny on earth. There is no power within the human
soul itself that is capable of breaking the bondage of the nature
created by yielding. For example, yield for one second to anything in
the nature of lust, and although you may hate yourself for having
yielded, you become enslaved to that thing. (Remember what lust is— “I
must have it now,” whether it is the lust of the flesh or the lust of
the mind.) No release or escape from it will ever come from any human
power, but only through the power of redemption. You must yield yourself
in utter humiliation to the only One who can break the dominating power
in your life, namely, the Lord Jesus Christ. “. . . He has anointed Me .
. . to proclaim liberty to the captives . . .” (Luke 4:18 and Isaiah
61:1).

When you yield to something, you will soon realize the
tremendous control it has over you. Even though you say, “Oh, I can give
up that habit whenever I like,” you will know you can’t. You will find
that the habit absolutely dominates you because you willingly yielded to
it. It is easy to sing, “He will break every fetter,” while at the same
time living a life of obvious slavery to yourself. But yielding to
Jesus will break every kind of slavery in any person’s life.

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Post  Admin on Mon 12 Mar 2012, 6:03 pm

Total Surrender
My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
Mar 12 2012
Peter began to say to Him, ’See, we have left all and followed You’ —Mark 10:28

Our Lord replies to this statement of Peter by saying that
this surrender is “for My sake and the gospel’s” (10:29). It was not for the purpose of what the disciples themselves would get out of it.
Beware of surrender that is motivated by personal benefits that may
result. For example, “I’m going to give myself to God because I want to
be delivered from sin, because I want to be made holy.” Being delivered
from sin and being made holy are the result of being right with God, but surrender resulting from this kind of thinking is certainly not the
true nature of Christianity.

Our motive for surrender should not be for any personal gain at all. We have become so self-centered that we go to God only for something from Him, and not for God Himself. It is like
saying, “No, Lord, I don’t want you; I want myself. But I do want You to clean me and fill me with Your Holy Spirit. I want to be on display in
Your showcase so I can say, ’This is what God has done for me.’ ”
Gaining heaven, being delivered from sin, and being made useful to God
are things that should never even be a consideration in real surrender.
Genuine total surrender is a personal sovereign preference for Jesus
Christ Himself.

Where does Jesus Christ figure in when we have a concern about our
natural relationships? Most of us will desert Him with this excuse—”Yes, Lord, I heard you call me, but my family needs me and I have my own
interests. I just can’t go any further” (see Luke 9:57-62). “Then,” Jesus says, “you ’cannot be My disciple’ ” (see Luke 14:26-33).
True surrender will always go beyond natural devotion. If we will
only give up, God will surrender Himself to embrace all those around us
and will meet their needs, which were created by our surrender. Beware
of stopping anywhere short of total surrender to God. Most of us have
only a vision of what this really means, but have never truly
experienced it.

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Post  Admin on Thu 08 Mar 2012, 6:41 pm

The Surrendered Life
My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
Mar 08 2012
I have been crucified with Christ . . . —Galatians 2:20

To become one with Jesus Christ, a person must be willing not only to give up sin, but also to surrender his whole way of looking at things. Being born again by the Spirit of God means that we must first be willing to let go before we can grasp something else. The first thing we must surrender is all of our pretense or deceit. What our Lord wants us to present to Him is not our goodness, honesty, or our efforts to do better, but real solid sin. Actually, that is all He can take from us. And what He gives us in exchange for our sin is real solid righteousness. But we must surrender all pretense that we are anything, and give up all our claims of even being worthy of God’s consideration.

Once we have done that, the Spirit of God will show us what we need to surrender next. Along each step of this process, we will have to give up our claims to our rights to ourselves. Are we willing to surrender our grasp on all that we possess, our desires, and everything else in our lives? Are we ready to be identified with the death of Jesus Christ?

We will suffer a sharp painful disillusionment before we fully surrender. When people really see themselves as the Lord sees them, it is not the terribly offensive sins of the flesh that shock them, but the awful nature of the pride of their own hearts opposing Jesus Christ. When they see themselves in the light of the Lord, the shame, horror, and desperate conviction hit home for them.

If you are faced with the question of whether or not to surrender, make a determination to go on through the crisis, surrendering all that you have and all that you are to Him. And God will then equip you to do all that He requires of you.

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Post  Admin on Wed 07 Mar 2012, 10:14 pm

The Source of Abundant Joy
My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
Mar 07 2012

In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us Romans 8:37

Paul was speaking here of the things that might seem likely to separate a saint from the love of God. But the remarkable thing is that nothing can come between the love of God and a saint. The things Paul mentioned in this passage can and do disrupt the close fellowship of our soul with God and separate our natural life from Him. But none of them is able to come between the love of God and the soul of a saint on the spiritual level. The underlying foundation of the Christian faith is the undeserved, limitless miracle of the love of God that was exhibited on the Cross of Calvary; a love that is not earned and can never be. Paul said this is the reason that in all these things we are more than conquerors. We are super-victors with a joy that comes from experiencing the very things which look as if they are going to overwhelm us.

Huge waves that would frighten an ordinary swimmer produce a tremendous thrill for the surfer who has ridden them. Lets apply that to our own circumstances. The things we try to avoid and fight against tribulation, suffering, and persecution are the very things that produce abundant joy in us. We are more than conquerors through Himin all these things; not in spite of them, but in the midst of them. A saint doesnt know the joy of the Lord in spite of tribulation, but because of it. Paul said, I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation (2 Corinthians 7:4).

The undiminished radiance, which is the result of abundant joy, is not built on anything passing, but on the love of God that nothing can change. And the experiences of life, whether they are everyday events or terrifying ones, are powerless to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:39).

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Post  Admin on Sun 04 Mar 2012, 8:49 pm

Is This True of Me?
My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
Mar 04 2012
None of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself . . . Acts 20:24

It is easier to serve or work for God without a vision and without a call, because then you are not bothered by what He requires. Common sense, covered with a layer of Christian emotion, becomes your guide. You may be more prosperous and successful from the world's perspective, and will have more leisure time, if you never acknowledge the call of God. But once you receive a commission from Jesus Christ, the memory of what God asks of you will always be there to prod you on to do His will. You will no longer be able to work for Him on the basis of common sense.

What do I count in my life as dear to myself? If I have not been seized by Jesus Christ and have not surrendered myself to Him, I will consider the time I decide to give God and my own ideas of service as dear. I will also consider my own life as dear to myself. But Paul said he considered his life dear so that he might fulfill the ministry he had received, and he refused to use his energy on anything else. This verse shows an almost noble annoyance by Paul at being asked to consider himself. He was absolutely indifferent to any consideration other than that of fulfilling the ministry he had received.

Our ordinary and reasonable service to God may actually compete against our total surrender to Him. Our reasonable work is based on the following argument which we say to ourselves, Remember how useful you are here, and think how much value you would be in that particular type of work. That attitude chooses our own judgment, instead of Jesus Christ, to be our guide as to where we should go and where we could be used the most. Never consider whether or not you are of use but always consider that you are not your own (1 Corinthians 6:19). You are His.

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Post  Admin on Sat 03 Mar 2012, 9:04 pm

The Piercing QuestionMy Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
Mar 01 2012

Do you love Me? John 21:17

Peter's response to this piercing question is considerably
different from the bold defiance he exhibited only a few days before
when he declared, Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You! (Matthew 26:35 ; also see Matthew 26:33-34). Our natural individuality, or our natural self, boldly speaks out and
declares its feelings. But the true love within our inner spiritual self can be discovered only by experiencing the hurt of this question of
Jesus Christ.

Peter loved Jesus in the way any natural man loves a good
person. Yet that is nothing but emotional love. It may reach deeply into
our natural self, but it never penetrates to the spirit of a person.
True love never simply declares itself. Jesus said, Whoever confesses Me before men [that is, confesses his love by everything he does, not
merely by his words], him the Son of Man also will confess before the
angels of God (Luke 12:8).

Unless we are experiencing the hurt of facing every deception about
ourselves, we have hindered the work of the Word of God in our lives.
The Word of God inflicts hurt on us more than sin ever could, because
sin dulls our senses. But this question of the Lord intensifies our
sensitivities to the point that this hurt produced by Jesus is the most
exquisite pain conceivable. It hurts not only on the natural level, but
also on the deeper spiritual level. For the Word of God is living and
powerful . . . , piercing even to the division of soul and spirit . .
to the point that no deception can remain (Hebrews 4:12).

When the Lord asks us this question, it is impossible to think and respond properly, because when the Lord speaks directly to us, the pain is too intense. It causes such a tremendous hurt that any part of our life which may be out of line with His will can feel the pain. There is never any mistaking the pain of the Lord's Word by His children, but the
moment that pain is felt is the very moment at which God reveals His
truth to us.

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Post  Admin on Tue 28 Feb 2012, 9:38 pm

"Do You Now Believe?"
My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers

Feb 28 2012
’By this we believe . . . .’ Jesus answered them, ’Do you now believe?’ —John 16:30-31

Now we believe. . . .” But Jesus asks, “Do you . . . ? Indeed the hour is coming . . . that you . . . will leave Me alone” (John 16:31-32). Many Christian workers have left Jesus Christ alone and yet tried to
serve Him out of a sense of duty, or because they sense a need as a
result of their own discernment. The reason for this is actually the
absence of the resurrection life of Jesus. Our soul has gotten out of
intimate contact with God by leaning on our own religious understanding
(see Proverbs 3:5-6). This is not deliberate sin and there is no punishment attached to it.
But once a person realizes how he has hindered his understanding of
Jesus Christ, and caused uncertainties, sorrows, and difficulties for
himself, it is with shame and remorse that he has to return.

We need to rely on the resurrection life of Jesus on a much deeper
level than we do now. We should get in the habit of continually seeking
His counsel on everything, instead of making our own commonsense
decisions and then asking Him to bless them. He cannot bless them; it is not in His realm to do so, and those decisions are severed from
reality. If we do something simply out of a sense of duty, we are trying to live up to a standard that competes with Jesus Christ. We become a
prideful, arrogant person, thinking we know what to do in every
situation. We have put our sense of duty on the throne of our life,
instead of enthroning the resurrection life of Jesus. We are not told to “walk in the light” of our conscience or in the light of a sense of
duty, but to “walk in the light asHe is in the light. . .” (1 John 1:7). When we do something out of a sense of duty, it is easy to explain the
reasons for our actions to others. But when we do something out of
obedience to the Lord, there can be no other explanation- just obedience. That is why a saint can be so easily ridiculed and misunderstood.

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Post  Admin on Sun 26 Feb 2012, 9:47 pm

The Destitution of Service
My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers

Feb 25 2012

. . . though the more abundantly I love you, the less I am loved —2 Corinthians 12:15

Natural human love expects something in return. But Paul is saying, “It doesn’t really matter to me whether you love me or not. I
am willing to be completely destitute anyway; willing to be
poverty-stricken, not just for your sakes, but also that I may be able
to get you to God.” “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor . . .” (2 Corinthians 8:9). And Paul’s idea of service was the same as our Lord’s. He did not care
how high the cost was to himself— he would gladly pay it. It was a
joyful thing to Paul.

The institutional church’s idea of a servant of God is not at all
like Jesus Christ’s idea. His idea is that we serve Him by being the
servants of others. Jesus Christ actually “out-socialized” the
socialists. He said that in His kingdom the greatest one would be the
servant of all (see Matthew 23:11). The real test of a saint is not one’s willingness to preach the gospel, but one’s willingness to do something like washing the disciples’ feet— that is, being willing to do those things that seem unimportant in
human estimation but count as everything to God. It was Paul’s delight
to spend his life for God’s interests in other people, and he did not
care what it cost. But before we will serve, we stop to ponder our
personal and financial concerns— “What if God wants me to go over there? And what about my salary? What is the climate like there? Who will take care of me? A person must consider all these things.”

All that is an
indication that we have reservations about serving God. But the apostle
Paul had no conditions or reservations. Paul focused his life on Jesus
Christ’s idea of a New Testament saint; that is, not one who merely
proclaims the gospel, but one who becomes broken bread and poured-out
wine in the hands of Jesus Christ for the sake of others.

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Post  Admin on Thu 02 Dec 2010, 9:35 am

MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST - by Oswald Chambers
December 2 - Christian Perfection
“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfect ” (Philippians 3:12).
It is a trap to presume that God wants to make us perfect specimens of what He can do—God’s purpose is to make us one with Himself. The emphasis of holiness movements tends to be that God is producing specimens of holiness to put in His museum. If you accept this concept of personal holiness, your life’s determined purpose will not be for God, but for what you call the evidence of God in your life. How can we say, “It could never be God’s will for me to be sick”? If it was God’s will to bruise His own Son (Isaiah 53:10), why shouldn’t He bruise you? What shines forth and reveals God in your life is not your relative consistency to an idea of what a saint should be, but your genuine, living relationship with Jesus Christ, and your unrestrained devotion to Him whether you are well or sick.
Christian perfection is not, and never can be, human perfection. Christian perfection is the perfection of a relationship with God that shows itself to be true even amid the seemingly unimportant aspects of human life. When you obey the call of Jesus Christ, the first thing that hits you is the pointlessness of the things you have to do. The next thought that strikes you is that other people seem to be living perfectly consistent lives. Such lives may leave you with the idea that God is unnecessary—that through your own human effort and devotion you can attain God’s standard for your life. In a fallen world this can never be done. I am called to live in such a perfect relationship with God that my life produces a yearning for God in the lives of others, not admiration for myself. Thoughts about myself hinder my usefulness to God. God’s purpose is not to perfect me to make me a trophy in His showcase; He is getting me to the place where He can use me. Let Him do what He wants.
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