My Utmost For His Highest (book review)

Most people probably think that My Utmost For His HIghest is the only book that Oswald Chambers wrote. Although My Utmost is a great devotional book, it should just be a launching pad to read more of his writings.

I am currently in the process of reading through everything Oswald Chamber wrote. And, let me tell you, it’s a lot to take in! This man was so prolific and so anointed, that not only is there much to read, but it has to be read slowly and prayerfully. That’s why I say that My Utmost is such a great starting place.

Each day’s devotional is only a page long. A few of the devotionals appear only in this book, while the remaining come from the thoughts in his many other sermons and writings. So I encourage you to spend a whole year soaking in the thoughts in My Utmost For His Highest, and then allow that to whet your appetite for more of his writings.

This book is definitely on my “must read” list!

Working It Out

Ah, yes, Oswald Chambers always gets me thinking…

You must “work out your own salvation” which God has worked in you already (Philippians 2:12). Are your speech, your thinking, and your emotions evidence that you are working it “out”? If you are still the same miserable, grouchy person, set on having your own way, then it is a lie to say that God has saved and sanctified you.

If I Only Would Have Thought That Through…

These words are usually said after we have messed up something. We look back and say, “What was I thinking?!?”

The truth is: you were thinking, it was just wrong thinking.

The Apostle Paul writes this:

Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. (Romans 13:14)

The King James Version, instead of do not think, says, “make no provision for the flesh.” In other words, the idea here is forethought.

We have a filter at the base of our brains called the reticular activating system (or RAS). This is what lets in the important things, and keeps out the unimportant things. But here is the vital issue…

YOU CAN PROGRAM YOUR RAS!

You tell your RAS what’s important and what’s unimportant. Paul says that if we use our forethought to consciously decide to clothe ourselves with Christ, we are programming our RAS to spot the things that glorify Him and ignore the things that gratify our fleshly desires.

A phrase that I use often (hat tip to Dr. Richard Dobbins) is: I need to think about what I’m thinking about. By doing this, I’m able to see how I’ve programmed my RAS. It’s either programmed to look for God-honoring things, or flesh-gratifying things.

Try it for yourself. Make the conscious decision to read the Bible every day. Then in your prayer time, ask the Holy Spirit to help you think about God-honoring things. If you will do this, you will notice that you are noticing more things that please God, and that you are ignoring more things that please your sinful nature.

If you have other thoughts about this, please share them in the comments below.

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