Tuesday, September 16, 2008

IOW: Standing Up On the Inside

"Still, accepting God's existence is one thing; honoring his command is another matter entirely, especially if we're required to go back when we'd rather go forward."
Liz Curtis Higgs
from Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible

In My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers addresses obedience to God in at least 177 of the daily devotions. Evidently he could see, in his own and the lives of the missionaries he taught, one of the biggest struggles we all have: to obey without regard to our own will.

It's fun to do the new and exciting; not so much fun to do the same old thing. Aren't we always wanting to jump headlong into the big important work for God, the ones that impress our observers?

"...to obey is better than sacrifice." 1 Samuel 15:22 [NASV]

How often have I wanted to volunteer, say yes to a new ministry, anything to feed my sense of importance...without pausing to ask the Lord first?

"When God through His sovereignty brings us into new situations, we should immediately make sure that our natural life submits to the spiritual, obeying the orders of the Spirit of God. Just because we have responded properly in the past is no guarantee that we will do so again."
Oswald Chambers
My Utmost for His Highest, December 28

What happens when we don't respond properly? We get to learn the lesson again. When we don't exhibit patience, another situation requiring patience slaps us in the face. When we ignore the Spirit's urging to pray, we encounter a problem that drives us to our knees.

How simple our lives could be if we would subdue our natural urge to do things our way. If we didn't react to God's chastening with the attitude, "You may be forcing me to sit down, Lord...but I'm standing up on the inside," couldn't we sometimes avoid going back to learn submission all over again?

"...obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people, and you will walk in all the way which I command you, that it may be well with you." Jeremiah 7:23 [NASV]

Honoring God with our attitude, the one we keep hidden behind the mask of our church faces, is the only way to walk in fellowship with Him. True fellowship with the One who loves us and died for us is the effect of a life surrendered.

"Not often, but every once in a while, God brings us to a major turning point--a great crossroads in our life. From that point we either go toward a more and more slow, lazy, and useless Christian life, or we become more and more on fire,
giving our utmost for
His highest--our best for His glory.
Oswald Chambers
My Utmost for His Highest, December 27

Father, You are entirely worthy of all my best. Please guide my mind to remember my first love. Help me to be on fire for You so Your will becomes mine.

Miriam is hosting In Other Words at her site Miriam Pauline's Monologue. If you want to participate, write a blog about the quote in the box above on your site then click on the link to Miriam's blog and leave your URL in the Mr. Linky box. You will also find links for the other participants' blogs.


Esthermay Bentley-Goossen said...

I love where you took this. Oswald Chambers is the best on Obedience. Early in my life, it was his writing that ignited my passion for God's Word.
This was an awesome post! I like the part about hiding behind our "church face." True fellowship with God has NOTHING to do with sunday a.m. church.

...also love the quote by Catherine O'Hara (I'm a late night/early a.m. writer too) :-)


Joyfull said...

I absolutely loved this post! Oswald Chambers writes so powerfully and it is a challenge and encouragement to grow with his devotions. I can relate so well to jumping ahead to new ministry etc., and have also felt the "let's do it again" until I get it right! Thanks for sharing.


Your post is awesome and Oswald Chambers is one of my favorites.

Thanks for stopping by today.


MiPa said...

Powerful post! I so often am standing up on the inside when I need to be flat on my face before Him. Thanks for the reminders.

Bonnie W said...

Oh Patricia,
Just today another friend reminded me not to take on any new ministries without praying about it first. You're the second one - hmmmm - do you suppose God is trying to tell me something? LOL! Ok, Lord, I'm listening!

Thanks for your great post today and the "gentle" reminder.

lori said...

WHEW...girl this spoke to me...almost had me jumping up and down...
"Honoring God with our attitude, the one we keep hidden behind the mask of our church faces, is the only way to walk in fellowship with Him."


Honoring with our attitude when no one is watching...:) oh yes that's good stuff!!;)

Wonderful words today!
and have I told you I absolutely LOVE your colors and header!! It's just so cool!!


Anonymous said...

Patricia, thank you for sharing your experience on my blog. It feels good to know my Sister and I weren't the only kids who went to church alone.

"True fellowship with the One who loves us and died for us is the effect of a life surrendered." I love this quote. It is yet another quote I have been blessed by today and will have to write down!

PS I am a writer too, although not much of one yet. I am working on it though. Writing has always been a passion of mine, so other than the two of us being at church on our own as kids, this is yet another thing we share too :) It's nice to meet so many nice Christian women while blogging!

Tami Boesiger said...

I LOVE the Oswald Chambers quote from December 27. Good stuff.

Every day, every moment is a choice. I pray God helps me recognize my choices.