Archive for the ‘Oswald Chambers’ Tag

The Danger of Inward Hypocrisy   1 comment

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This is from the blog Return, Revive, Repair, Restore

While reading “The Workman of God“, by Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest), in the chapter entitled “The Worker Among the Two-Faced“, I came across a passage which I believe needs to be prayerfully considered, by all who serve Jesus Christ, in Gospel ministry. In the passage, King David and Nathan the prophet are being used to reveal the often easy to hide hypocrisy, which can grow in the heart of those who truly love the Lord.

“Let us go back to the incident recorded in II Samuel 12. For subtlety, for amazing insight and sublime courage, Nathan is unequaled…

…Would to God there were more preachers and Christian workers after the stamp of Nathan. David did not even begin to realize, after a year of the grossest and most dastardly hypocrisy, that Nathan was brandishing the sword straight into his own conscience, and only when David had made his answer and Nathan heaved out strong denunciations of God and thrust the sword straight home with, “Thou art the man,” did David say, “I have sinned against the LORD.” There was no bungling about Nathan’s work.

If you want to know how it was possible for a mighty man of God like David to have sinned the most wicked sin possible–I do not refer to adultery or to murder, but to something infinitely worse, a deep, subtle, inward hypocrisy, tremendous and profound; David lived with it for a year and administered justice while all the time he was a “whited sepulcher”–you must first allow God to examine deep down into the possibilities of your own nature.”

This passage caused me great pause.

How often do we in the pursuit of our calling, begin to compromise, concerning the time we set apart for seeking the face of God? Usually this pursuit is justified by how much work we have to do, as ministers. Yet even as we justify the compromise, almost apologetically with an “I know I need to spend more time with the Lord” statement, we really have little intention of changing course or stepping off the merry-go-round. Why?

David’s calling as king, laid upon him responsibility and a persona–it provided him with ego stroking that little by little replaced his desire for God and his desire to follow hard after Him.

Let’s be honest, as ministers we must be careful of the same pitfall. We are called to the ministry of the word and prayer, but if that is erroneously founded upon study and intellectual recall, we minister from an emptying well. It is often true in our ministry context, that if we don’t get it done no one else will; but to live by that is to walk in pride. We need to re-frame our efforts for the kingdom of God with “Lord Jesus is this what you want me to do?” Then wait for His reply and obey His leading.

David’s pride was stoked by unbridled passion, not tempered or led by the Holy Spirit, for a long time before his fall. This lead to little compromises in carnality, which began to wither his resolve. Those little carnal compromises appear in our lives, when we are not finding the continual fullness of the Holy Spirit, because we are ministering out of experience, rather than the present leading and power of God. As a result of our living and ministering on “auto pilot”, we lose spiritual stamina, strength and resolve.

When this occurs we think we are dealing with our troubles, like the spiritually mature, who soldier on. The truth is, we are not dealing with them at all; except with carnal and worldly activities and distractions (ministry might be one as well).

As David fit this pattern, we can very easily as well. Have you ever read of the Ephesian Church in Revelation 2:1-8? Once more let’s visit Chamber’s work.

“Mark how Nathan came to David. “And the LORD sent Nathan to David.” Be sure, before you face a hypocrite, a two-faced soul, that God has sent you… to use all the subtlety you have from your own heart. Any worker who has stood before God’s all-searching eyes for five minutes is not staggered at David’s fall. Any heart-sin recorded is possible for any human heart, and why I say that the worker among the two-faced (one given to secret hypocrisy) will find the hardest work is that he has to get his wisdom and subtlety not only from God on High, but from a strange, mighty probing of His own nature.

In addition, Chamber’s writes…

Worker for God, before you go among the infirm, the sick, the subtle, the hypocrite, let God deal with you. A child cannot wield the sword of the Spirit; it must be wielded by one fed on strong meat, one who has been deeply dealt with and examined by God’s Spirit, in whom the last springs and possibilities of iniquity and wrong in his own nature have been disclosed to him, that he might understand the marvel of God’s grace.

Considering Chamber’s last comments. How often do we minister on Christ’s behalf with sanctified motive and sincere love of the brethren–thinking as we minister along the line of “God is moving for sure”, only to see a limited and disappointing result?

It is true this can be attributed to callousness, immaturity or spiritual insensitivity, in the persons being ministered to, but it is also possible the fault may lie with us. Would we not serve Him more effectively, by seeking the Lord to search our own hearts?

The New Testament reveals that the servants of Christ, who were fully set apart for God, refused to pick up worldliness and denied themselves as a rule, were not only happy in Christ in the most dire places, but powerfully effective in turning the world upside down.

Come to think of it, around the world, where the ministers of Christ do the same, they minister in miraculous power, persevere in difficulty and are making disciples in the direst places. Perhaps it is time for the servants of the Lord in America to confess, we like David are not only prone to harboring hypocrisy, through justifying compromise, but may be in the midst of it right now.

Dear friends, I point no finger at you, but confess, I have, at times fallen prey to this carnal pattern. If you have not, pray for me, that I would follow the pathway of Nathan, rather than David. May God bless you as consider this writing.

Abandon   2 comments

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This is from the blog Three Iron Nails:

“I am convinced that what is needed in spiritual matters is reckless abandonment to the Lord Jesus Christ, reckless and uncalculating abandonment, with no reserve anywhere about it.”

–Oswald Chambers, The Philosophy of Sin

It is the Process that Glorifies God   4 comments

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This is from the blog Sermons and Soda Water:

First published in 1927, My Utmost for His Highest has been a staple of daily readings for Christians ever since. Sometimes challenging to cherished theological views it is always, at least in my experience, equally challenging to cherished sins and struggling disciples.

Here is July 28th’s reading (with empasis added),
‘After obedience-what?’.

‘We are apt to imagine that if Jesus Christ constrains us, and we obey him, He will lead us to great success. We must never put our dreams of success as God’s purpose for us; His purpose may be exactly the opposite. We have an idea that God is leading us to a particular end, a desired goal; He is not. The question of getting to a particular end is a mere incident. What we call the process, God calls the end.

What is my dream of God’s purpose? His purpose is that I depend on him and on His power now. If I can stay in the middle of the turmoil calm and unperplexed, that is the end of the purpose of God. God is not working towards a particular finish; His end is the process–that I see Him walking on the waves, no shore in sight, no success, no goal, just the absolute certainty that it is all right because I see Him walking on the sea. It is the process, not the end, which is glorifying to God.

God’s training is for now, not presently. His purpose is for this minute, not for something in the future. We have nothing to do with the afterwards of obedience. What men call training and preparation, God calls the end.

God’s end is to enable me to see that He can walk on the chaos of my life just now. If we have a further end in view, we do not pay sufficient attention to the immediate present; but if we realize that obedience is the end, then each moment as it comes is precious.’

From Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

Reckless Abandon
Contrary to Common Sense
Time, Timelessness and Jesus Christ
Rejoice because you are rightly related to Me

A Biblical View of Government   1 comment

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This is from the Craig T. Owens blog:

A Biblical View Of Government

The Bible point of view about government is that God compels men to govern man for Him, whether he likes it or not. The ordinance of government, whether it is a bad or good government, does not lie with men, but is entirely in God’s hands; the king or the government will have to answer to God (cf. 1 Peter 2:13-14). … 

     In politics also it is difficult to steer a course; there is a complication of forces to be dealt with which most of us know nothing about. We have no affinity for this kind of thing, and it is easy to ignore the condition of the men who have to live there, and to pass condemnation on them. … It is easy to condemn a state of things we know nothing about while we make excuses for the condition of the things we ourselves live in. … 

     We say, “Why does God allow these things? Why does He allow a despot to rule?” In this dispensation it is the patient long-suffering of God that is being manifested. God allows men to say what they like and do what they like (see 2 Peter 3:14). Peter says that God is long-suffering, and He is giving us ample opportunity to try whatever line we like both in individual and national life. If God were to end this dispensation now, the human race would have a right to say, “You should have waited, there is a type of thing You never let us try.”

     God is leaving us to prove to the hilt that it cannot be done in any other way than Jesus Christ’s way, or the human race would not be satisfied. 

     –Shade Of His Hand by Oswald Chambers

Oswald Chambers wrote these words during The Great War (what we now call World War I), when everyone was questioning how governments could do such horrendous things.

I think Chambers sums up how a Christian should respond to earthly governments:

  1. Remember they are placed in their positions by God, so treat them with respect (Romans 13:6-7).
  2. Don’t condemn government officials, but pray for them  (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
  3. Clean up the areas where we can clean up, and let the politicians clean up their own areas.

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President McKinley’s Dream
A Dream about Donald Trump
John Milton:  Writer and Revolutionary
The Deathbed Prophecy of King Edward the Confessor, 1066

Reckless Abandon   6 comments

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I Kings 19:  19-21:  “So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him.  And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee. And he said unto him, Go back again: for what have I done to thee?  And he returned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him.”

“Elijah found Elisha by Divine direction, not in the schools of the prophets, but in the field; not reading, or praying, or sacrificing, but ploughing. Idleness is no man’s honour, nor is husbandry any man’s disgrace. An honest calling in the world, does not put us out of the way of our heavenly calling, any more than it did Elisha. His heart was touched by the Holy Spirit, and he was ready to leave all to attend Elijah. It is in a day of power that Christ’s subjects are made willing; nor would any come to Christ unless they were thus drawn. It was a discouraging time for prophets to set out in. A man that had consulted with flesh and blood, would not be fond of Elijah’s mantle; yet Elisha cheerfully leaves all to accompany him. When the Saviour said to one and to another, Follow me, the dearest friends and most profitable occupations were cheerfully left, and the most arduous duties done from love to his name. May we, in like manner, feel the energy of his grace working in us mightily, and by unreserved submission at once, may we make our calling and election sure.”

Matthew Henry Commentary

“I have one desire now—to live a life of reckless abandon for the Lord, putting all my energy and strength into it.”

–Elisabeth Elliot

“Be reckless immediately, fling it all out on Him. You do not know when His voice will come, but whenever the realization of God comes in the faintest way imaginable, recklessly abandon. It is only by abandon that you recognize Him. You will only realize His voice more clearly by recklessness.”

–Oswald Chambers

Scribes and Prophets
God Knows What He Is Doing

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12 Quotes from THE PLACE OF HELP   Leave a comment

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This is from the blog Craig T. Owens:

As always, any Oswald Chambers book I read is thoroughly highlighted. There is always so much great content! On this blog, I have a weekly series called “Thursdays With Oswald” where I share quotes and thoughts from his book I’m currently reading. Be sure to check that out. Below are just a few of the quotes I noted from The Place Of Help. (By the way, you can read my review of this book by clicking here.)

“This is the age when education is placed on the very highest pinnacle. In every civilized country we are told that if we will educate the people and give them better surroundings, we shall produce better characters. Such talk and such theories stir aspirations, but they do not work out well in reality. The kingdom within must be adjusted first before education can have its true use. To educate an unregenerate man is but to increase the possibility of cultured degradation.”

“Not what the disciple says in public prayer, not what he preaches from pulpit or platform, not what he writes on paper or in letters, but what he is in his heart which God alone knows, determines God’s revelation of Himself to him. Character determines revelation (see Psalm 18:24-26).”

“Our Lord never gives private illuminations to special favorites. His way is ever twofold: the development of character, and the descent of Divine illumination through the Word of God.”

“The voice of the Lord listened to in darkness is so entrancing that the finest of earth’s voices are never afterwords mistaken for the voice of the Lord.”

“Jesus Christ distinctly stated that He came to do the will of His Father. ‘I must work the works of Him that sent Me.’ His first obedience was not to the needs of men, but to the will of God. He nowhere chose the altar of His sacrifice, God chose it for Him. He chose to make His life a willing and obedient sacrifice that His Father’s purpose might be fulfilled. … ’For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’s sake,’ as Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:5. We are the servants of men, says Paul, not primarily because their needs have arrested us, but because Jesus Christ is our Lord.” 

“If you become a necessity to a soul you have got out of God’s order, your great need as a worker is to be a friend of the Bridegroom. Your goodness and purity ought never to attract attention to itself, it ought simply to be a magnet to draw others to Jesus.”

“Suppose you talk about depending on God and how wonderful it is, and then others see that in your own immediate concerns you do not depend on Him a bit, but on your own wits, it makes them say, ‘Well, after all, it’s a big pretense, there is no Almighty Christ to depend on anywhere, it is all mere sentiment.’ The impression left is that Jesus Christ is not real to you.” 

“The highest Divine love is not only exhibited in the extreme amazement of the tragedy of Calvary, but in the laying down of the Divine life through the thirty years at Nazareth, through the three years of popularity, scandal, and hatred, and furthermore in the long pre-incarnate years (cf. Revelation 13:8).”

“The Cross is the supreme moment in Time and Eternity, and it is the concentrated essence of the very nature of the Divine love. … The Self-expenditure of God for His enemies in the life and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, becomes the great bridge over the gulf of sin whereby human love may cross over and be embraced by the Divine love, the love that never fails.” 

“Christian experience does not mean we have thought through the way God works in human lives by His grace, or that we are able to state theologically that God gives the Holy Ghost to them that ask Him—that may be Christian thinking, but it is not Christian experience. Christian experience is living through all this by the marvelous power of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost working in me does not produce wonderful experiences that make people say ‘What a wonderful life that man lives’; the Holy Ghost working in me makes me a passionate, devoted, absorbed lover of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

“It is not the baptism of the Holy Ghost that changes men, but the power of the Ascended Christ coming into men’s lives by the Holy Ghost that changes men. The baptism of the Holy Ghost is the evidence of the Ascended Christ.” 

“There is only one Lover of the Lord Jesus and that is the Holy Ghost; when we receive the Holy Ghost He turns us into passionate human lovers of Jesus Christ. Then out of our lives will flow those rivers of living water that heal and bless, and we spend and suffer and endure in patience all because of One and One only.”

More quotes from this book coming soon…

Posted April 14, 2016 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

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A Ride in the Oregon Outback   11 comments

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Oregon Outback

Yesterday I walked several miles north of Lakeview, Oregon on U.S. 395.  I put my backpack down and stood on the side of the road for half an hour and this car pulled over to give me a ride.

The guy’s name was Jim and he had come from Whiskeytown, California that morning.  After a few minutes of talking, we found out that we were both Christians and had some good fellowship.

We talked about Oswald Chambers, Smith Wigglesworth and about this other guy who had a healing ministry.  As we talked, I thought that Jim looked vaguely familiar.

Jim told me that he was from South Dakota.  I asked him if he knew where Murdo, South Dakota was, as I have hitchhiked through there many times over the years.  He said that he lived near Murdo.

Then Jim told me that he had picked up this hitchhiker several years ago north of North Platte, Nebraska.  The hitchhiker told him that he had been hitchhiking for twelve years.  Jim took the hitchhiker home and let him stay overnight.  The next morning the hitchhiker told him that he didn’t sleep at all that night because the Presence of God had been so strong—and he wasn’t tired at all (I thought, that sounds like something I would have said).

Jim and I drove up the road past Valley Falls and to the Christmas Valley intersection.  We stopped to let his dog walk around a bit.  I then asked what Jim’s last name was.  He told me his last name and I told Jim that his name rung a bell.  When he told me that he went to a Bible college in Colorado for a short while, then I told him that Jim had picked me up before—maybe back in 2009 or 2010.  Later I told him that maybe he picked me up in 2007 or 2008.

I told Jim that when I left his house several years ago, I walked to I-90 and got a ride with this truck driver.  That truck driver had picked me up a few years before.  He drove us to Bridger, Montana where I stayed for one night with his wife and kids.  Small world—especially when you know that the Lord is in control.

Jim and I drove through Burns and then Ontario, Oregon.  We drove to Boise where he dropped me off at a truck stop on Federal Way.  I camped out a mile or so east of the truck stop that night.

So what is the significance of this post?  God’s perfect timing; God’s perfect will:  the Kingdom of Heaven.

It’s a Small World