My Utmost. For His Highest By Oswald Chambers. January 1. LET US KEEP TO THE POINT "My eager desire and hope being that I may never feel ashamed. My Utmost for His Highest.“My eager desire and hope being that I may never feel ashamed.” We shall all feel very much ashamed if we do not yield to Jesus on. saying in this passage, “My determination is to be my utmost for His Highest.” in giving God our utmost and receiving in return His highest.
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My Utmost for His Highest. "My eager desire and hope being that I may never feel ashamed." We shal al feel very much ashamed if we do not yield to Jesus. My Utmost for His Highest is a classic of devotional literature. Discover the wisdom of Oswald Chambers who challenges you to give yourself fully to God. 6 Praying To Get Results Gethsemane He prayed, "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my.
If a man cannot prove his religion in the valley, it is not worth anything. Beyond Fundamentalism: Beware of the inclination to dictate to God as to what you will allow to happen if you obey Him. We are more than conquerors through Him in all these things. Papal Sin:
Genesis 16 is an illustration of listening to good advice when it is dark instead of waiting for God to send the light. Never pump up joy and confidence.
Staleness is an indication of something out of joint with God. Am I full of the little things that cheer His heart over me. It gives us a new vision and keeps us absolutely fresh for everything by the perennial supply of the life of God. There is no joy in the soul that has forgotten what God prizes.
Have I been kind to His reputation in my life? God is saying to His people. Being born again from above is a perennial. Jesus prayed "that they may be one. Are we freshly born this minute or are we stale. Guard jealously your relationship to God. Being born of the Spirit means much more than we generally take it to mean. You are not in love with Me now. It is a great thing to think that Jesus Christ has need of me.
Being born again of the Spirit is an unmistakable work of God. Keep all the life perennially open to Jesus Christ. Freshness does not come from obedience but from the Holy Spirit. We do not know where it begins. Are you drawing your life from any other source than God Himself? If you are depending upon anything but Him. His blessings are apt to make us look elsewhere. No matter if there are a hundred and one things that press.
Rouse yourself up and look to God. We get preoccupied and sulky with God. Troubles nearly always make us look to God. There is no salvation in this way. Look unto Me. Christ as I was in the beginning. The great difficulty spiritually is to concentrate on God. Does He find me recalling the time when I did not care for anything but Himself?
Am I there now. Narrow all your interests until the attitude of mind and heart and body is concentration on Jesus Christ. I find He is not what He used to be to me. He says. The teaching of the Sermon on the Mount is. Am I so in love with Him that I take no account of where I go? Build your hope on Him. Beware of anything which would sully that mirror in you. You always know when a man has been beholding the glory of the Lord.
Your whole life is to be overmastered by Me. By being filled with the Spirit we are transformed. Let everything else. It is not. It is the one thing that is apt to fluctuate but it ought not to.
The severest discipline of a Christian's life is to learn how to keep "beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord. We have to maintain ourselves in the place of beholding. The rush of other things always tends to obscure this concentration on God.
The golden rule for your life and mine is this concentrated keeping of the life open towards God. Let other things come and go as they may. Never be hurried out of the relationship of abiding in Him. Expect Him to come. Always be in a state of expectancy. That is the way to make room for Him.
Paul was devoted to a Person not to a cause. All of a sudden God meets the life "When it was the good pleasure of God.
How are we going to be simple with the simplicity of Jesus? Verse 16 is immensely commanding. He was absolutely Jesus Christ's.
However much we may know God. Would we be surprised if God came into our meeting or into our preaching in a way we had never looked for Him to come? Do not look for God to come in any particular way. I must have the basis of a personal relationship to Him. We are apt to over look this element of surprise. Paul was not given a message or a doctrine to proclaim. God will look after your 'feathers.
Has Jesus Christ told us a lie? If we are not experiencing the "much more. Jesus says that if we obey the life God has given us. It is one steady encroachment all the time.
By receiving His Spirit. If it does not come on the line of clothes and food. Jesus says that if you are rightly related to Him and obey His Spirit that is in you. He will look after all the other things. We are never free from the recurring tides of this encroachment. We cannot consecrate once and for all. We have allowed the cares of the world to come in. How much time have we taken up worrying God with questions when we should have been absolutely free to concentrate on His work?
Consecration means the continual separating of myself to one particular thing.
Many of us refuse to grow where we are put. Am I continually separating myself to consider God every day of my life? Now what are you going to do next month.
We are never free from this snare until we are brought into the experience of the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire. I must consider how I am going to live. Jesus Christ knows our circumstances better than we do. What kind of mean little imps have been looking in and saying. Whenever we are obstinate and self-willed and set upon our own ambitions. Is the word of God tremendously keen to me as I hand it on to you. It may hurt no one else.
I must consider what I am going to eat and drink. Beware of allowing the thought that this statement is made by One Who does not understand our particular circumstances.
Look again and think. Whenever there is competition. Obstinacy and self-will will always stab Jesus Christ. Keep your mind on the "much more" of your heavenly Father. Every time we stand on our rights and insist that this is what we intend to do. Whenever we stand on our dignity we systematically vex and grieve His Spirit.
I may teach sanctification and yet exhibit the spirit of Satan. God has to destroy our determined confidence in our own convictions. The Spirit of Jesus is conscious of one thing only. We have shown our ignorance of Him in the very way we determined to serve Him. Our words sound all right. He always comes with an arrestment of the understanding. I prevent Jesus Christ being persecuted. Have I been persecuting Jesus by a zealous determination to serve Him in my own way? If I feel I have done my duty and yet have hurt Him in doing it.
O My God. We imagine that whatever is unpleasant is our duty! Is that anything like the spirit of our Lord. I may be sure it was not my duty.
Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. This will mean that I can be easily put upon. We serve Jesus in a spirit that is not His. Has the voice of God come to you directly? If it has. Every time circumstances press. Do we discern His hand or only mere occurrence? Get into the habit of saying. God's call to you may hurt your "Eli.
Never ask the advice of another about anything God makes you decide before Him. As we listen. Have you forgotten what He said? Was it Luke I must shield "Eli. God did not tell Samuel to tell Eli. The one thing that is all important is that the Gospel of God should be realized as the abiding Reality. As workers we have to get used to. If you ask advice. Shall I tell my "Eli" what God has shown to me?
That is where the dilemma of obedience comes in. Chastening is more than a means of discipline. Nothing touches our lives but it is God Himself speaking. We disobey God by becoming amateur providences. It is at your own peril that you prevent the cutting off of the right hand or the plucking out of the eye.
Reality is not human goodness. Personal holiness is an effect. It is a travesty to say that Jesus Christ travailed in Redemption to make me a saint. We are apt to make sanctification the end-all of our preaching.
If God were human. God cannot deliver me while my interest is merely in my own character. We are nowhere commissioned to preach salvation or sanctification.
Workers break down because their desire is for their own whiteness. We tax His energies from morning till night for things for ourselves. Jesus Christ travailed in Redemption to redeem the whole world. As long as our eyes are upon our own personal whiteness we shall never get near the reality of Redemption. Paul is unconscious of himself. The fact that Redemption can be experienced by us is an illustration of the power of the reality of Redemption. Paul alludes to personal experience by way of illustration.
Paul did not say he separated himself. Come unto Me and I will save you. This College exists for you. Paul is referring to the pangs produced in him by the constraint to preach the Gospel. The one passion of Paul's life was to proclaim the Gospel of God.
And beware of competitors when God does grip you. He welcomed heart-breaks. Everyone who is saved is called to testify to the fact. We are condemned to salvation through the Cross of Jesus Christ. Discipleship has an option with it. God makes us broken bread and poured-out wine to please Himself.
Our Lord never lays down the conditions of discipleship as the conditions of salvation. Never apply what Paul says in this connection to souls coming in contact with God for salvation. To be "separated unto the gospel" means to hear the call of God. Every ambition is nipped in the bud. There is nothing easier than getting saved because it is God's sovereign work.
I won't stoop. The one thing that held Paul. Very few of us know what it means to be held in a grip by the love of God. If we do think it strange concerning the things we meet with. Or you may say. Paul did not say that God separated him to show what a wonderful man He could make of him.
The marvel of the Redemptive Reality of God is that the worst and the vilest can never get to the bottom of His love. You know that the Spirit of God is getting unhindered way in that life. You do not need to. I won't bend.
But the baptism of the. When we are born again of the Spirit of God. These words are not an exaggeration. We have discreet affinities that keep us out of the mire. The reason they are not true of us who call ourselves ministers of the gospel is not that Paul forgot the exact truth in using them.
When a merely moral man or woman comes in contact with baseness and immorality and treachery. This abandon to the love of Christ is the one thing that bears fruit in the life. Paul says he is gripped by the love of God. Suppose God wants to teach you to say. Or do you say. Holy Ghost obliterates that for ever. No one can stand like that for Jesus Christ who is not constrained by the majesty of His personal power. February 6. Some saints cannot do menial work and remain saints because it is beneath their dignity.
Are you ready to be not so much as a drop in a bucket. Are you willing to spend and be spent. I want to have the right kind of people watching and saying. I want to choose the scenery of my own sacrifice. It is the only thing that matters. I do not want God to choose my work. I joy and rejoice with you all. Men may call him mad or sober. What is your way of fire?
Tell God you are ready to be offered. Externally the life may be the same. God does. After this way of fire. If you do not transact in will with God along this line.
I am to blame. Go through the crisis in will. Anything that savours of dejection spiritually is always wrong. If depression and oppression visit me. God puts you through the crisis in private. I must have it at once. Dejection springs from one of two sources.
God is not. Spiritual lust makes me demand an answer from God. You do not destroy it. I have either satisfied a lust or I have not. When the crisis arises. Lust means. What have I been trusting God would do? And to-day. The meaning of prayer is that we get hold of God. One of the most amazing revelations of God comes when we learn that it is in the commonplace things that the Deity of Jesus Christ is realized.
Dejection is a sign of sickness. Dejection spiritually is wrong. We look for visions from heaven. Are we prepared for what sanctification will cost? It will cost an intense narrowing of all our interests on earth. Whenever the insistence is on the point that God answers prayer.
Sanctification means being made one with Jesus so that the disposition that ruled Him will rule us. Sanctification means intense concentration on God's point of view. We take the term sanctification much too lightly. Are we prepared for God to do in us all that He separated us for?
And then after His work is done in us. If we will do the duty that lies nearest. It means every power of body. It is impossible to be well physically and to be dejected. Are we prepared for what that will cost?
It will cost everything that is not of God in us. Be careful that you get your supply. Before other souls learn to draw on the life of the Lord Jesus direct. I am so exhausted. Where did you start the service from? From your own sympathy or from the basis of the Redemption of Jesus Christ? Continually go back to the foundation of your affections and recollect where the source of power is. Jesus has prayed that we might be one with Him as He is one with the Father.
The process of being made broken bread and poured out wine means that you have to be the nourishment for other souls until they learn to feed on God. We owe it to God to be our best for His lambs and His sheep as well as for Himself.
Has the way in which you have been serving God betrayed you into exhaustion? If so. Are we prepared to be caught up into the swing of this prayer of the apostle Paul's? Are we prepared to say. Be exhausted for God.
Spiritual exhaustion never comes through sin but only through service. Are we prepared to set ourselves apart for the Holy Spirit's ministrations in us? You have no right to say. The one and only characteristic of the Holy Ghost in a man is a strong family likeness to Jesus Christ.
Jesus said to Peter. They must drain you to the dregs. In every wind that blows. Rouse yourself. If we are children of God. Is your imagination looking on the face of an idol? Is the idol yourself? Your work?
Your conception of what a worker should be? Your experience of salvation and sanctification? Then your imagination of God is starved.
Nature to a saint is sacramental. The test of spiritual concentration is bringing the imagination into captivity. If you have never used your imagination to put yourself before God. Go right out of yourself. One of the reasons of stultification in prayer is that there is no imagination. If your imagination is starved. Imagination is the power God gives a saint to posit himself out of himself into relationships he never was in.
Is your imagination stayed on God or is it starved? The starvation of the imagination is one of the most fruitful sources of exhaustion and sapping in a worker's life. We have to learn how to be broken bread and poured out wine on the line of intercession more than on the line of personal contact. It is no use waiting for. We like to listen to personal testimonies.
God has given us His commands. Why are we so terrified lest God should speak to us? Because we know that if God does speak. If you have been bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. If it is only the servant's voice we hear. Speak thou with us and we will hear: Remember Whose you are and Whom you serve. Provoke yourself by recollection. Learn to associate ideas worthy of God with all that happens in Nature.
God to come. Imagination is the greatest gift God has given us and it ought to be devoted entirely to Him. I am not living the life of a child. I am devoted to things. Have I heard God's voice to-day? The child attitude is always. The destiny of my spiritual life is such identification with Jesus Christ that I always hear God. If I had realized that it was a command of Jesus. If I am united with Jesus Christ.
He might never have spoken. It is not that I will not hear God. What hinders me from hearing is that I am taken up with other things. I hear God. The way in which I show God that I neither love nor respect Him is by the obtuseness of my heart and mind towards what He says.
If I love my friend. I would not consciously have disobeyed it. When I do hear Him. A lily. The real delight of hearing Him is tempered with shame in having been so long in hearing Him. I can only hear God's voice at certain times. I intuitively detect what he wants. After every time of darkness there comes a mixture of delight and humiliation if there is delight only. Has it ever dawned on you that you are responsible for other souls spiritually before God?
For instance. I question whether we have heard God at all. When you are in the dark. If you talk to other people. Don't talk to other people about it. Now He gives you the gift of humiliation which brings the softness of heart that will always listen to God now. Song birds are taught to sing in the dark. If you open your mouth in the dark. Then remain quiet. What a long time I was in hearing that!
How slow I have been in understanding that! And yet God has been saying it all these days and weeks. Are you in the dark just now in your circumstances. We "sit together in heavenly places. I myself should be a castaway. The remarkable thing about spiritual initiative is that the life comes after we do the "bucking up. It takes time. But when the Spirit of God comes in and says. We cannot do the things we long to do. My life as a worker is the way I say "thank you" to God for His unspeakable salvation.
We all have any number of visions and ideals when we are young. God does not lift us up. That is the meaning of a witness in God's sense of the word. When the inspiration of God comes. To be saved and sanctified? If we will do the overcoming.
Am I willing to be broken bread and poured out wine for Him? To be spoilt for this age. God has left us on the earth. Our Lord said to the man with the withered hand. Remember it is quite possible for any one of us to be flung out as reprobate silver. He gives us life as we overcome. A man may say to you. When the Spirit of God comes He does not give us visions. A human being is capable of depression.
Depression is apt to turn us away from the ordinary commonplace things of God's creation. If we were never depressed we should not be alive. Immediately we arise and obey. The sense of the irreparable is apt to make us despair.
The inspiration which comes to us in this way is an initiative against depression. Whenever we realize that we have not done that which we had a magnificent opportunity of doing.
He tells us to do the most ordinary things conceivable. If we do a thing in order to overcome depression. There are things that are calculated to depress.
When the Lord does a thing through us. We see there the Incarnate God doing the most desperate piece of drudgery. He will not. It may be the most commonplace thing. The disciples in this instance had done a downright unforgivable thing. Drudgery is one of the finest touchstones of character there is. Read John Our Lord took on Him our human flesh and transfigured it. Drudgery is work that is very far removed from anything to do with the ideal.
If we will arise and shine. We are in despair. It is no use to wait for God to help us. To trust Him absolutely and to pray on the ground of His Redemption. We must do the thing and not lie like a log.
He always transfigures it. Never let the sense of failure corrupt your new action. Whenever God inspires.
Some people do a certain thing and the way in which they do it hallows that thing for ever afterwards. There are experiences like this in each of our lives. If love is always discreet. It may be affection. If you are in love. Leave Him to be the source of all your dreams and joys and delights. Dreaming after God has spoken is an indication that we do not trust Him. After Our Lord had said those wonderful things to His disciples.
Have I ever. God's initiative is always in the nature of a stab against this kind of dreaming. Have I ever been carried away to do something for God not because it was my duty. We have to get rid of this notion. Personal holiness focuses the eye on our own whiteness. It is never a question of being of use. There is nothing noble the human mind has ever hoped for or dreamed of that will not be fulfilled.
He works through us all the time.
There are times when it seems as if God watches to see if we will give Him the abandoned tokens of how genuinely we do love Him. Tenacity is the supreme effort of a man refusing to believe that his hero is going to be conquered. Perfect love casts out all that when once we are abandoned to God. Tenacity is more than hanging on. If our hopes are being disappointed just now.
When we are abandoned to God. Then comes the call to spiritual tenacity. The greatest fear a man has is not that he will be damned. Not Divine. One of the greatest. Abandon to God is of more value than personal holiness.
According to Jesus Christ. Paul's realization of how Jesus Christ had dealt with him is the secret of his determination to serve others. When we realize that Jesus Christ has served us to the end of our meanness. I am his debtor to serve him until he does.
This is Paul's idea of service. If we are devoted to the cause of humanity. The mainspring of Paul's service is not love for men.
If we are abandoned to Jesus. I do not care with what extravagance I spend myself. When the Spirit of God has shed abroad the love of God in our hearts. I do not care whether you love me or not. Jesus Christ helped Himself to his life. Paul became a sacramental personality. We are apt to be devoted. I am willing to destitute myself completely. We have no right in Christian work to be guided by our affinities.
Many of us are after our own ends. Paul said he knew how to be a "door-mat" without resenting it. The delight of sacrifice is that I lay down my life for my Friend. Paul attracted to Jesus all the time.
His idea is that we serve Him by being the servants of other men. When a man is in love it is not an exaggeration to talk in that way. The ecclesiastical idea of a servant of God is not Jesus Christ's idea. It was a joyful thing to Paul. Paul spent himself for one purpose only. That was not Paul's motive. Where are you going to get your money from? How are you going to be looked after? Or they start from ourselves when we tell Jesus that our case is a bit too hard for Him.
Jesus Christ out-socialists the socialists. What about the climate? How shall I be looked after? A man must consider these things. It is all very well to say "Trust in the Lord.
We are rather hurt at the idea that He can do what we cannot. If I detect these misgivings in myself. The apostle Paul had no reserve. He says that in His Kingdom he that is greatest shall be the servant of all. None of us ever had misgivings about ourselves. Thou hast nothing to draw with. Each of us thinks about Jesus in this way in some particular. Paul delighted to spend himself out for God's interests in other people.
My misgivings arise from the fact that I ransack my own person to find out how He will be able to do it. Paul focuses Jesus Christ's idea of a New Testament saint in his life.
We come in with our economical notions. My questions spring from the depths of my own inferiority. These misgivings about Jesus start from the amused questions put to us when we talk of our transactions with God.
The real test of the saint is not preaching the gospel. Your ideals are high and they impress us. I have no misgivings about Jesus. Beware of the pious fraud in you which says. When we get into difficult circumstances. We have Christian attributes and experiences.
The well of your incompleteness is deep. We impoverish His ministry the moment we forget He is Almighty. I have not believed in Thine almighty power apart from my finite understanding of it.
You cannot draw up quietness and comfort out of it. We limit the Holy One of Israel by remembering what we have allowed Him to do for us in the past. Think of the depths of human nature. He will bring them down from above.
I have not believed in Thy wits apart from my own. I have had misgivings about Thee. Beware of the satisfaction of sinking back and saying.
The reason some of us are such poor specimens of Christianity is because we have no Almighty Christ. We will come to Jesus as Comforter or as Sympathizer. Jesus answered. Jesus does not bring anything up from the wells of human nature.
Have you been impoverishing the ministry of Jesus so that He can not do anything? Suppose there is a well of fathomless trouble inside your heart. Do ye now believe? We are not told to walk in the light of conscience or of a sense of duty. The soul has got out of intimate contact with God by leaning to its own religious understanding. There is no sin in it. If we do a thing from a sense of duty. He cannot. Many a Christian worker has left Jesus Christ alone and gone into work from a sense of duty.
When we do anything from a sense of duty. We need to rely on the resurrection life of Jesus much deeper down than we do. The reason for this is the absence of the resurrection life of Jesus. It is always some thing you cannot deal with yourself. Do you? The time is coming when you will leave Me alone. When Jesus asks us what we want Him to do for us in regard to the incredible thing with which we are faced.
We become a "superior person. Jesus says. The word of God hurts as no sin can ever hurt. That is temperamental love. It hurts not only in the natural way but in the profound personal way. Our agony comes through the wilful stupidity of our own heart. True love never professes anything. He does the impossible thing as naturally as breathing. Matthew God will do the absolutely impossible. The word of the Lord pierces even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit.
Natural individuality professes and declares. There is no possibility of being sentimental with the Lord's question. He will do it if you ask Him. Peter loved Jesus in the way in which any natural man loves a good man. It is such a hurt that it stings every other concern out of. If it is not an impossible thing. Watch how we limit the Lord by remembering what we have allowed Him to do for us in the past: I always failed there. This man received his sight.. The question of the Lord intensifies feeling.
Show related SlideShares at end. WordPress Shortcode. Published in: Full Name Comment goes here. Are you sure you want to Yes No. Be the first to like this. No Downloads. Views Total views. Actions Shares. Embeds 0 No embeds. No notes for slide. Book details Author: Oswald Chambers Pages: Discovery House Publishers Language: English ISBN If you want to download this book, click link in the last page 5.
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