“Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians,
and how I bare you on eagles’ wings,
and brought you unto myself.”Exodus 19:4
When I add my comments to a familiar work, it is not to belittle the beloved author. Such was the case when I began the series Beyond a Mere Christianity in reference to C.S. Lewis’ book.
I cut my spiritual eye-teeth on My Utmost for His Highest. The thought I intend here with Oswald Chambers’ popular devotional is to share what the Lord has continued to show me through the years. With Chamber’s devotional and my studying all the books that were attributed to his lectures, there has been much more from God’s Word to lead me in my understanding of the difference in what is required of me and what God does, Himself. As I continued in my desire to serve the Lord, Andrew Murray taught me how to walk. Paul taught me to run with Christ. Christ still teaches me how to be still, to wait, to depend on Him for He is my life.
Oswald Chambers died at the age of 43 after complications from appendicitis. Learning this from his biography, I realized even as astute as he was in the Scriptures, he was still a student as we all are in this life. His books were written and published from the notes of his wife who attended his lectures. Again, I am not putting his work down but hopefully, sharing a “greater than” what I learned from him.
Man’s Inability for Total Salvation
Teachings that turn man from trusting God for total salvation to giving part of that work into the hands of man are my point. Growing up with this kind of thinking always left me needful and frustrated with my inability to perform the spiritual work that is required for this salvation. I loved the teachings of Chambers, whose mother was a follower of Charles Spurgeon, and I continued to desire my utmost for God. However, the more I studied the Scriptures, the more I learned of my sinful nature, my depravity, and my inability to produce anything that was worthy to bring to Him. My utmost always paled in comparison to what I wanted to do and what I knew He expected. It fell even further below the standard when I began to learn what God promises to do for, in, and through me.
and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet,
and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.
The Superior Work of the Holy Spirit
When the Holy Spirit did a supernatural work in my life, apart from anything I had tried to do, ask, think, or believe, I was a new creature, with a new heart and spirit, able to understand His Word, His will, and His way, apart from anything I knew I could ever do. Man is not able to do the spiritual work required for salvation; only the power of God’s Spirit within man can do what is needful for reconciliation and renewal in our relationship with Him. A dead person cannot will himself to faith and obedience. Only the power of His Holy Spirit can birth a person into His kingdom. Only as I am led, walk, and live by His Spirit, can I live separated from the world, humble and holy before Him and the world. Only a total salvation can deliver from a total depravity.
God’s Utmost for Me
God planned His utmost for me before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:3-6; Titus 3:5) through the covenant of redemption made with His Son, Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 1:9). He sent Jesus at the time of His choosing (Galatians 4:3-9) as an utmost sacrifice (Hebrews 9:26) to be a propitiation for my sins (1 John 4:9). Even my faith in His working of mercy and love (Ephesians 2:4-10) is His gift of grace. He convicts me of sin (John 16:8) and by His goodness brings me to repentance (Romans 2:4). Every day He proves His utmost for my keeping by His power alone (1 Peter 1:1-5). As sanctified and the sanctifier, Jesus is bringing many sons unto glory (Hebrews 2:10-11) by His redemptive work alone.
“But this man, after he had offered
one sacrifice for sins for ever,
sat down on the right hand of God;”
“Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost
that come unto God by him,
seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”
“And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me,
that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing,
but should raise it up again at the last day.”
Dear Father in heaven, we are humbled that you quicken us from the dead in our trespasses and sin and accomplish your holy will in the lives of your children. Make us aware of our weakness and your power for all things pertaining to life and godliness. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
The Lord Shall Renew Their Strength Isaiah 40:31 Music
Image 2: Google