Thursdays With Oswald—God’s Surgery

Oswald ChambersThis 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.

God’s Surgery

     It is difficult to realize that it is God who arranges circumstances for the whole mass of human beings; we come to find, however, that in the Providence of God there is, as it were, a surgical knife for each one of us individually, because God wants to get at the things that are wrong and bring us into a right relationship to Himself. … 

     The nature of any dominating lust is that it keeps us from arriving at a knowledge of ourselves. For instance, a covetous man will believe he is very generous. Thank God for the surgery of providence by means of which He deals with these absurdities. … The surgery of the providence of God will break up all ignorance of ourselves. … 

     The Holy Spirit continually urges us to sign away our right to our individual self to Jesus. “Learn of Me,” says Jesus, “for I am meek and lowly in heart.” How few of us do learn of Him! We cling to our individuality like a drowning man to a straw. … Individuality must be transfigured by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and that means a sword going through the natural. … 

     God’s providence seems to pay no attention whatever to our individual ideas because He is after only one thing—“that they may be one, even as We are one.” It may look like a thorough breaking up of the life, but it will end in a manifestation of the Christian self in oneness with God. 

From The Soul Of A Christian

In Psalm 139 David confesses how thoroughly God already knows him, but then he prays, “Search me!” David recognizes that there may be part of his individuality that is keeping God from using him completely.

Jesus taught us to pray, “Your kingdom come; Your will be done.” That means my kingdom has to go, and my will has to be set aside.

Christian, we must continually allow the Holy Spirit to search our heart and then perform the necessary surgery to remove the unhealthy clinging to our own kingdom. This is the only way for us to fully know the manifestation of the Christian self in oneness with God.

Thursdays With Oswald—A Dangerous (But Vital) Prayer

Oswald ChambersThis 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.

A Dangerous (But Vital) Prayer

     No one but a fool or a sincere soul would ever pray this prayer—‘Search me, O God’ [Psalm 139:23-24] … Any soul who prays that prayer will be answered. … 

     If you want to know what the scrutiny of God is like, listen to Jesus Christ: “For from within, out of the heart of man, evil thoughts proceed…” [Matthew 15:19], and then follows a rugged catalog of things few of us know anything about in conscious life, consequently we are apt to be indignant and resent Jesus Christ’s diagnosis—“I have never felt like a murderer, or an adulterer, therefore those things cannot be in me.” To talk in that way is proof that we are grossly ignorant of ourselves. If we prefer to trust our ignorant innocence we pass a verdict on the only Master of the human heart there is, we tell Him He does not know what He is talking about. The one right thing to do is to listen to Jesus Christ and then hand our hearts over to God to be searched and guarded, and filled with the Holy Spirit. … 

     Jesus Christ has undertaken through His Redemption to put into us a heart so pure that God Almighty can see nothing to censure in it, and the Holy Spirit searches us not only to make us know the possibilities of iniquity in our heart, but to make us “unblameable in holiness” in His sight.

From The Soul Of A Christian

Are you willing to really pray this prayer, listen to what the Holy Spirit says, and then allow Christ’s work of redemption to make you unblameable in holiness?

Or, Chambers asks, “Are we willing to let God scrutinize us, or are we doing the worst of all things, trying to justify ourselves?”

It’s your choice.

Thursdays With Oswald—Out Of The Soup And Into God

Oswald ChambersThis 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.

Out Of The Soup And Into God

     As long as we have our morality well with in our own grasp, to talk about Jesus Christ and His Redemption is “much ado about nothing”; but when a man’s thick hide is pierced, or he comes to his wits’ end and enters the confines of an agony, he is apt to find that there is a great deal from which he has been shut away, and in his condition of suffering he discovers there is more in the Cross of Christ than intellectually he had thought possible.

     Beware of believing that the human soul is simple; look at yourself, or read the 139th Psalm, and you will soon find the human soul is much too complex to touch. When an intellectualist says that life is simple, you may be sure he is sufficiently removed from facts to have no attention paid to him. Things look simple as he writes about them, but let him get “into the soup,” and he will find they are complicated. The only simple thing in human life is our relationship to God in Christ.

     Circumstances are the things that twist a man’s thinking into contortions. … 

     The problem I am up against is the muddle inside. Can I see a way out there? Is the God I have only an abstraction? If so, don’t let me treat Him as anything else. Or is He One with Whom I can get into a personal relationship, One Who will enable me to solve my problems? 

From The Shadow Of An Agony

Problems tend to make crystal-clear the difference between how we thought things worked and how they actually work.

This is equally true of those who think they have God all figured out. Then along comes a trial, a pain, a tragedy and they realize they don’t have all the answers. What then?

Then it’s time, as Chambers suggests, to return to something like Psalm 139 to see how intimately God knows you, and to see that your dark time did not take Him by surprise. Getting “into the soup” may be just the thing to help you get into God. It’s so true: “The only simple thing in human life is our relationship to God in Christ.”

May all your problems draw you deeper into Jesus Christ!

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