Wow. Oswald has done it again (though I should credit his wife, Biddy, who organized the devotional with the help of the Holy Spirit).
Entry after entry this week has sent arrow after arrow into the self-centered part of my flesh. Here are the “zingers” God used on me:
September 24th – “Never discard a conviction. If it is important enough for the Spirit of God to have brought it to your mind, it is that thing He is detecting. You were looking for a great thing to give up. God is telling you of some tiny thing; but at the back of it there lies the central citadel of obstinacy: I will not give up my right to myself.”
September 25th – “Jesus Christ demands that there be not the slightest trace of resentment even suppressed in the heart of a disciple when he meets with tyranny and injustice.”
September 26th – “”First be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.’ Never object to the intense sensitiveness of the Spirit of God in you when He is educating you down to the scruple…Jesus does not mention the other person, He says – you go. There is no question of your rights. The stamp of the saint is that he can waive his own rights and obey the Lord Jesus.”
September 27th – “Never apologize for your Lord. The words of the Lord hurt and offend until there is nothing left to hurt or offend…If the Spirit of God brings to your mind a word of the Lord that hurts you, you may be sure that there is something that He wants to hurt to death.”
September 28th – “If you are hard and vindictive, insistent on your own way, certain that the other person is more likely to be in the wrong than you are, it is an indication that there are whole tracts of your nature that have never been transformed by His gaze.”
September 29th – “The call has nothing to do with personal sanctification, but with being made broken bread and poured-out wine. God can never make us wine if we object to the fingers He uses to crush us with.”
Do you want to be used by God but feel like there is something standing in the way? Perhaps God has used Oswald’s words to put His finger on a “central citadel of obstinacy” in your life, as He has in mine – a place of disobedience He just can’t bless.
Agree with the diagnosis, my friend. And do it quickly. Give God access to that stronghold of pride and let Him deliver you. Repent of your sin and then obey what He tells you to do.
You do your part and God will do the rest.