This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.
The Feast Is Just Beyond The Fight
The feast is just beyond the fight; when you have been through the fight, there is the wondrous joy and triumph of the feast. We learn to thank God for the trial of our faith because it works patience. The thing that is precious in the sight of God is faith that has been tried. Tried faith is spendable; it is so much wealth stored up in heaven, and the more we go through the trial of our faith, the wealthier we become in the heavenly regions. …
We are so impatient—“I thought God’s purpose was to make me full of happiness and joy.” It is, but it is happiness and joy from God’s standpoint, not from ours. God always ignores the present perfection for the ultimate perfection. …
God gives us a new revelation of His kindness in the valley of the shadow.
From The Place Of Help
The Apostle James said essentially the same thing when he wrote—
Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith through experience produces endurance leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed in your faith, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)
If you’re in a fight, stay in the fight. God has a great reward for you!
No one likes being rebuked, but it is necessary. In fact, it is vital for healthy growth. As a Dad, I didn’t look forward to the times I had to rebuke my children. But what’s the alternative? What happens if I just let misbehavior slide? We must rebuke those we love if we want them to mature.
The Counselor—the Holy Spirit—not only teaches us, but He reproves us as well because of His love for us. And we all need it!
This knowledge of my wickedness becomes even more painful when I think that Jesus calls us to perfection (Matthew 5:48). I can’t “do” perfect on my own. But thankfully Jesus didn’t tell us to “do” perfect things, but to BE perfect.
The Holy Spirit reproves us—that is, He shows us where we are deviating from the mark—so that we can BE perfectly at one with Jesus, with our lives demonstrating Christ’s perfect nature.
Warning: the enemy wants to pervert The Counselor’s reproof. He wants to whisper to you that God is mad at you, that you’ve blown it too many times, that you’ll never be good enough.
Just like Jesus countered all of satan’s temptations with the Spirit-breathed Scripture, you need to do the same thing. You tell him, “My Father loves me so much that He sent His One and Only Son to die on a Cross for me! He wants me to display the glory of Jesus in my life because that’s what brings Him pleasure. He only reproves me because He loves me. If He didn’t care about me, He would leave me alone!”
Because He loves you and wants the very best for you, here’s what you can boldly pray:
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
“True revival can never take place without this kind of all-consuming hunger for God’s Word. Indeed, when God’s people grow weary of hearing His Word preached, a spiritual death begins—and the joy of the Lord departs.” —David Wilkerson
“The Scriptures should be read with the aim of finding Christ in them. Whoever turns aside from this object, even though he wears himself out all his life in learning, he will never reach the knowledge of the truth.” —John Calvin
“Let men see that the world has changed, not you—that man’s opinions and man’s maxims have veered round to another quarter, but that you are still invincibly strong in the strength which trusting in God alone can confer.” —Charles Spurgeon
“The Missionary Spirit of God is ever restless. Where is it dark? Where is it hopeless? Where is there no church? Where are there no Christians? Where is the Father’s glory not known? Where are their tongues that blaspheme and knees refusing to bow to King Jesus? It is there that we must go, must stay, must live, and must die.” —Dick Brogden
“Have you ever looked up? Have you ever been hugged? Have you ever sat in front of a warm fire? Have you ever walked in the woods, sat by a lake, lain in a summer hammock? Have you ever drunk your favorite drink on a hot day or eaten anything good? Every desire is either a devout or a distorted enticement to the glory of heaven. You say you haven’t tasted God’s glory. I say, you have tasted the appetizers. Go on to the meal.” [Psalm 34:8] —John Piper
“Our Heavenly Father also exhorts us to be men. He wants you to be like Him. When He calls you to ‘be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect,’ He’s asking you to rise above your sinful tendencies to impure eyes, fanciful minds, and wandering hearts. His standard of purity doesn’t come naturally to you. He calls you to rise up, by the power of His indwelling presence, and be the man He created you to be.” —Steve Arterburn
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has great insight into what gives Americans their freedom. Check out this post on the United States Constitution.
[VIDEO] Dr. Bobby Conway answers a good question: Do Christians sin?
“Building the Church is the Lord Jesus’ primary agenda before He returns. However, for many of the followers of Christ, working to build the Church is just another thing on their ‘to-do list’ which they may or may not get to during the course of any given week. We can become so distracted by work, family, diversions, and avocations that we have precious little time or strength left for the work Jesus is most interested in pursuing. So, as long as the devil can distract us from the work of building Christ’s Church, he doesn’t need to employ more spectacular or drastic measures.” —T.M. Moore
“‘Why has sex become man’s chief stumbling block?’ But has it? Or is it only the most recognizable of the stumbling blocks? I mean, we can mistake pride for a good conscience, and cruelty for zeal, and idleness for the peace of God et cetera. But when lust is upon us, then, owing to the obvious physical symptoms, we can’t pretend it is anything else. Is it perhaps only the least disguisable of our dangers.” —C.S. Lewis
“The mystery of sanctification is that the perfections of Jesus Christ are imparted to us, not gradually, but instantly, when by faith we enter into the realization that Christ is made unto us sanctification. … It is not power to live like Jesus; it is Christ living in us, and it is His life that is seen.” —Oswald Chambers
“Even while we kill and punish we must try to feel about the enemy as we feel about ourselves—to wish that he were not bad, to hope that he may, in this world or another, be cured: in fact, to wish his good. That is what is meant in the Bible by loving him: wishing his good, not feeling fond of him nor saying he is nice when he is not.” —C.S. Lewis
This is a periodic series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.
Christ’s Perfection In You
Paul does not say, nor does the Spirit of God say anywhere, that after we are born again of the Spirit of God, Jesus Christ is put before us as an Example and we make ourselves holy by drawing from Him. Never! Sanctification is Christ formed in us; not the Christ-life, but Christ Himself. In Jesus Christ is the perfection of everything, and the mystery of sanctification is that we may have in Jesus Christ, not the start of holiness, but the holiness of Jesus Christ. …
Those of you who are hungering and thirsting after holiness, think what it would mean to you to go out tonight knowing that you may step boldly into the heritage that is yours if you are born of the Spirit, and realize that the perfections of Jesus are yours by His sovereign gift in such a way that you can prove it experimentally!
From Our Brilliant Heritage (emphasis added)
Oswald Chambers says there are three Mysteries that are impossible for us to fully grasp with our natural minds: (1) The Triune God—Father, Son and Spirit all equally God; (2) The Incarnation of Jesus—fully Man and fully God; and (3) Christ in us.
Yes, it’s a mystery, but it’s true! Jesus doesn’t want to be your Example. He wants to be in you, and wants you to be in Him. His desire is that you are at-onement (that’s what the word atonement means) with Him, so that when people look at you they see Jesus.
You don’t have to earn this, or try to work it up in your life. If you have invited Jesus into your life, He truly is IN you—all of His perfection is IN you! Ask the Holy Spirit to make this real to you today.
Not to us, Lord, not to us but to Your name be the glory, because of Your love and faithfulness. (Psalm 115:1)
Not to me—not ever to me—be any glory, but all to You. I extol You both now and forever more. Despite my flaws, may no one ever be able to say of me that I tried to steal Your glory.