Do you respond to needs or to the voice of God?
Week 13 – Celebrating 100 Years of Oswald Chambers
VERSE: “It is Christ…who also maketh intercession for us.” “The Spirit…maketh intercession for the saints.” Romans 8:34, 27
OSWALD: “Beware of outstripping God by your very longing to do His will. We run ahead of Him in a thousand and one activities, consequently we get so burdened with persons and with difficulties that we do not worship God, we do not intercede. If once the burden and the pressure come upon us and we are not in the worshipping attitude, it will produce not only hardness toward God but despair in our own souls. God continually introduces us to people for whom we have no affinity, and unless we are worshipping God, the most natural thing to do is treat them heartlessly, to give them a text like the jab of a spear, or leave them with a rapped-out counsel of God and go. A heartless Christian must be a terrible grief to our Lord.” (My Utmost for His Highest – April 1st)
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How It Spoke to Me…
“Beware of outstripping God by your very longing to do His will…”
Oh, how often I’ve been guilty of doing that very thing. So certain that I know what God wants that I never take the time to actually ask what He would have me do. It has taken me years to realize…The NEED is not necessarily the CALL. Click To Tweet
When I insist on doing what seems right to me, I may miss doing what is expedient to God.
As a result, I end up running on fumes – living out of my own strength, rather than taking time to tap into God’s.
I’m feeling the effects of an empty tank right now. Unexpected crises and the ordinary busyness of life have propelled me from one need to another, rather than taking those needs to the Lord in prayer, I’ve rushed to intervene.
I’m so grateful for the grace of God that helps us during times like these. Carrying us and enabling us with a power we don’t deserve. Giving us wisdom and leading us tenderly, like the Gentle Shepherd He is. And yet…The same grace that empowers me also allows me to come to the end of myself. Click To Tweet
In some ways, overwhelm and exhaustion are gifts from God. For they remind me that I can do nothing on my own. God allows trying circumstances and difficult people to come into my life so I’m forced to turn to Him for strength. For the wisdom I so desperately need.
And oh, how I need Him! For without His grace, “the most natural thing to do is treat [difficult people] heartlessly,” Oswald says, “to give them a text like the jab of a spear, or leave them with a rapped-out counsel of God and go.”
And that, my friend, is definitely not God’s will.
For no matter how ornery or difficult the person, our response matters. “A heartless Christian must be a terrible grief to our Lord.”
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I’d love to hear from you… How do you discern between the NEED and the CALL?