Jesus Christ’s entering in means absolute chaos concerning the way I have been looking at things, a turning of everything upside down.
It took some time, but I’ve made it through another. This book seemed to have less of a common thread running throughout, though the quotation above may capture it best. Reading again through my highlights, I see an exploration of the conscious and unconscious experience of faith. Oswald Chambers defines “the soul” this way:
Soul is the responsible expression of the ruling personal spirit.
It is the essence and expression of that which springs from the spirit that rules our life – whether that be the Holy Spirit or the spirit of error.
There is great depth to our being — far more than we can grasp. The redeeming work of God is for us in all our complexity. His grace not only takes hold of our conscious life, but also of the life into which we might never knowingly delve. He wholly saves.
I will leave you with passages I highlighted and a few devotional considerations. Many of these quotations have (or will be) posted in reply to the tweet shown below. If you prefer reading them there, sharing them socially, or conversing with me about any of the excerpts, click through to view on Twitter and respond. Otherwise, click to reveal the content below.
Talks on the Soul of a Christian • Oswald Chambers pic.twitter.com/2w8p1Fq9wk
— Ua Vandercar (@UaMV) June 27, 2016
Before the Spirit of God can bring peace of mind He has to clear out the rubbish, and He has to give us an idea of what rubbish there is.
There is something infinitely more mysterious to the Psalmist than the great universe outside, and that is the mystery of his own heart.
The cry to realize ourselves is the cry to keep God out.
Are we sincere enough to ask God to search us, and sincere enough to abide by what His searching reveals?
We belittle and misrepresent the Redemption if we refer it merely to our conscious life.
We must beware of estimating God’s salvation by our experience of it. Our experience is a mere indication in conscious life of an almighty salvation which goes far beyond anything we ever can experience.
There are supernatural powers and agencies of which we are unconscious that can play with us like toys whenever they choose unless we are garrisoned by God.
There is only one Being to Whom we must yield, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Sin is not measured by a creed or a society; sin is measured by a Person, Jesus Christ.
Beware of turning your back on what you know is true because you do not want it to be real.
It is a desperate thing to die if we have only been living in the conscious life.
"We are ill-taught if we look for results only in the earthlies when we pray." —Oswald Chambers pic.twitter.com/fpyYwhk3gF
— Ua Vandercar (@UaMV) June 30, 2016
The philosophy of life is based on the topsy-turvy reasoning of going into things in order to find out about them, which is like saying we have to go into the mud before we can know what clean water is. ‘I must know the world’—if you do, you will only know good through contrast with evil. Modern teaching implies that we must be grossly experienced before we are of any use in the world. That is not true. Jesus Christ understood as no one else has done, but He never ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Our Lord knew good and evil by the life that was in Him; and God intended that man’s knowledge of evil should come in the same way as it came to Our Lord, viz., through the rigorous integrity of obedience to God. It is only when a man is delivered from sin that the Spirit of God begins to give him an understanding of what sin is.
Iniquity means turning out of the straight. Whenever anything begins to turn you out of the straight, stop and get it put right, no matter what else suffers. If you don’t, you will grow in iniquity, and if you grow in iniquity, you will call iniquity integrity; sensuality spirituality, and ultimately the devil God.
If we have to find reasons for doing what we do, we should not do it.
Lust disputes the throne of God in us.
The basis of life is antagonism in every domain; physical, mental, moral and spiritual, we only maintain health by fighting.
How can we be of the slightest used to God if we are always whining about our own conditions? The compromise arising from self-pity is quite sufficient to extinguish the whole purpose of God in a life.
Never for one moment sympathize with anyone who says, ‘I don’t know how to get to God.’ There is no one in the world easier to get to than God.
Thousands of people are ‘losing their life’ for the sake of a cause; this is perilously wrong because it is so nearly right. Anything that rouses us to act on the line of principles instead of a relationship to a person fosters our natural independence and becomes a barrier to yielding to Jesus Christ. Have we recognized that our body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, or are we jabbering Christian busybodies, so taken up with Christian work that we have no time for the Christ Who started the work, no time for him the morning, no time at night, because we are so keen on doing the things that are called by His name? What we have to watch today is the competition of causes against devotion to Jesus Christ. One life yielded to God at all costs is worth thousands only touched by God.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ awakens an intense craving and an equally intense resentment, because it does away with any other ground to stand on than that of the Atonement of Our Lord.
At first we trust our ignorance and call it innocence; we trust our innocence and call it purity, and when we hear the rugged things Our Lord says we shrink and say, ‘I never had a heart like that.’
Beware of any belief that makes you self-indulgent; it comes from the pit however beautiful it sounds.
A repentant soul is never allowed to remain long without being gripped by the love of God.
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.’ God has one prayer He must answer, and that is the prayer of His Son. 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.
That last image gives some pointed and convicting words. How do we measure our love for Jesus? Are we to measure love? Indeed, as humans, we have hearts that fail and wills that skew. It is in Jesus only that we find grace for today and strength for the way. Truly, whatever I need give up – if I’m left with Christ alone, I am left with enough.
|Reflect On||Psalm 139 and 1 Corinthians 2:14|
|Praise God||that He is all in all.|
|Offer Thanks||that the blood of Christ covers all.|
|Confess||any calculations you make toward loving Jesus.|
|Ask God||that He might search your deepest recesses.|
|Comment:||How do we go about knowing the things of God?
Is there a point at which we should stop probing these “higher” things? What is that point?
Other posts in this #MissionText series:
#MissionText • The Graciousness of Uncertainty • The Making of a Christian • Now Is It Possible— • The Discipline of Divine Guidance • The Fighting Chance • The Message of Invincible Consolation • The Discipline of Loneliness • #MissionText: Considering Copyright • Thy Great Redemption • The Highest Good • Our Brilliant Heritage