Thursdays With Oswald—Jeremiah 6

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.

Jeremiah 6

[These are notes from Oswald Chambers’ lecture on Jeremiah 6.] 

     Providence is God’s oversight and in-ruling of the men on this earth, and men without the Spirit of God alternately disbelieve and hate the providence of God. … When we have the Spirit of God we do not understand what God is doing, but we know God. Faith is the process by which our confidence is built up in a Person Whose character we know, however perplexing the present things may be that He is doing. Fate is superstitious yielding to a person whose character we do not know and have not the slightest confidence in but have succumbed to. … 

     If we cling to things that are going to be shaken, then God will not prevent us being shaken with them, until we learn to let go of everything that He has condemned. 

From Notes On Jeremiah

God is in charge. God rules this earth and the men on this earth. 

Even for Christians, this is a hard concept to grasp, but it’s impossible for men without God’s Spirit to comprehend. Christians may not fully understand what is happening, but they can know Who is making it happen. 

God tells us, “Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things that you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3). 

God also gives us a choice between a curse and a blessing—Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord. … But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. (Jeremiah 5, 7-8)

It’s your choice: Confidence in One you know (with His blessing), or superstitiously yielding to one you don’t know (with God’s shaking). 

10 Quotes From “Everything You Always Wanted To Know About God”

This book from Eric Metaxas is a great way to stimulate a conversation about spiritual questions, or a wonderful resource for you to read together with a friend who is on a spiritual journey of discovery. Check out my review of this book by clicking here, and then enjoy a few of the quotes I especially appreciated.

“We aren’t responsible for having answers to every question about God or the Bible posed to us, but we are responsible for how we answer, even if we don’t have a full answer.”

“Our culture is so obsessed with the physical and the material that we have lost the ability to think logically about anything outside that realm.”

“The bottom line is that those who follow God have to have genuine love and compassion for others, and if we recognize how profoundly messed up we ourselves are, we will have compassion for other people. So if people don’t have serious humility about their own state of affairs, they should probably keep their mouth shut. God doesn’t want His followers to add to the pain of the people He loves. He wants His children to treat others as people He desperately loves.”

“The idea of a moral structure that cuts God out of the picture is very attractive to humans because that puts us in control. But God wants us to understand that without a relationship with Him, moral behavior isn’t worth anything. Mere moral rectitude doesn’t fool God.”

“Religion in the negative sense of simply being a bunch of rules and rituals is pretty much the same as superstition. Without a relationship with God at its core, all religion devolves to superstition.”

“One of the most harmful things in human history is when people have confused fear-based superstition with faith in God.”

“Either Jesus was God and died on the Cross and then rose bodily from the dead, thereby destroying sin and death and making it possible for us to be with Him in paradise forever, or having faith in him is bogus. Period. Without the central events of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, you simply don’t have Christianity. You can call it Christianity, but it’s not. All religions are not alike, so ultimately you have to choose.” 

“That’s always the case with sin. It never presents itself as sin. It’s always presented as a doorway to a higher consciousness, as a path to enlightenment meant, as the path to divinity—to becoming a god, or like God.”

“To try to earn God’s love is to miss the point entirely. He loves us already. We can’t be more loved by Him. So to try is like adding numbers to infinity. You can’t get higher than infinity, and His love for us is infinite.”

“Faith does not necessarily make us perfect, but perhaps it does have a way of making us more aware of our feelings.”

Expectation Or Superstition?

Safe placeWhat good is it to pray if we don’t expect to receive anything from God? Isn’t that just making “prayer” a superstition? Instead, the Bible tells us that we can have “a remarkable degree of confidence” that when we take something to God in prayer, we can expect something great (1 John 5:14-15)!

Our prayer closet should be the safest place for us to express ourselves. You might have a close friend with whom you can “be yourself.” You can pour everything out to your friend, knowing that they will still love you. And yet, even with that really close, true-blue friend there are still times you hold back.

God doesn’t want that from us.

Check out David’s prayer closet. He had no problems telling God how he felt about the bad guys who were after him (Psalm 56:5-7; 57:3; 58:6-8; 59:13). Here’s the important thing to note: David poured out these words only in God’s presence. We don’t read anywhere in the Bible where David yelled these words at his enemies, or even shared these thoughts with his close friends.

Instead David said, “Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge” (Psalm 62:8). Pouring out your heart to anyone else can sound like gossiping, picking a fight, or whining!

When David got it all out in God’s presence, he experienced two really cool things:

  1. His swirling, angry thoughts were quietedfor God alone my soul waits in silence.
  2. He came away with an expectation of God’s helpmy soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him.

What about you? Are you being honest in prayer? Are you pouring out all of your hurts and doubts and frustrations to your Heavenly Father? Do you expect Him to answer you?

Here’s how you can tell if you aren’t praying with total honesty … you will walk out of your prayer closet still in turmoil. When you truly unload your heart in God’s presence, He will give you a peace that is so beyond anything you could have worked up yourself (Philippians 4:6-7).

Check this out…

Join me next Sunday as we continue our look at Practical Prayer.

%d bloggers like this: