What is our chief purpose in life? What is the ultimate meaning behind all that we should be and do with the finite years God graciously provides? Oswald Chambers gives us several things to consider in our relationship with God. Join me as I consider: usefulness or relationship, the Joy of Christ, and a life of pure and holy sacrifice. In this post, I will be reflecting on Oswald Chambers’ daily devotions from August 30, 31, and September 1,2. These devotions are available free online for you to read at utmost.org.
Usefulness VS Relationship: Luke 10:20
One of the most obvious traits of being religious is the constant “religious” activity. While church attendance, giving, community service, and fellowship are good things, we must remember that it’s God grace that saves us. It’s not what we do, give, or personally sacrifice that redeems us. Redemption and sanctification comes through a personal relationship with Christ. The main problem with the religious rulers/teachers of Jesus’ era was that their religion was outward activities and appearances. While our deeds may seem good our hearts are sinful [Jeremiah 17:9-10]. God knows our true nature. Only He can give us new life and set us free from our bondage to sin. What matters most is relationship. Jesus clearly states in various Gospel passages that we must die to self and then follow Him. The proper application of the command to take up your cross and daily follow Him involves dying to self. The cross was seen as a brutal instrument of torture and death during the 1st century. Jesus wasn’t referring to us having “problems”or issues that we must daily carry. Self is the central issue. We must totally surrender our “will” and “right” to ourselves to Him. We must daily walk with Him. In Luke chapter 10 the Disciples had just worked miracles and seen God’s power manifested. Jesus wanted them to understand that a “right” relationship with Him is vital. More vital that anything that we might do for Him. It’s easy to glory in the works and successes. Yet, the reality is that we won’t always be successful! If we define ourselves by our success or perceived accomplishments, then we are missing out! This becomes obvious when we are heartbroken and frustrated due to failures and problems in our lives.
Trusting God involves us trusting Him to work through our daily circumstances. Direction and guidance comes through our relationship with Christ as we read and meditate on His Living Word. It’s not enough to be readers of God’s Word, we must be doers! Chambers reminds us that it is Christ working in us. We all face times when we struggle and wonder if we are making a difference. It’s God’s mercy that we don’t know how much or how little of a difference we are actually making! Our pride and selfish nature wants to be recognized and praised! What matters is that we are daily walking with God trusting Him to accomplish His purposes through us! Trust and obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus [a favorite worship hymn].
Joy in Christ
When our relationship is right with Jesus then we can experience true joy! Joy is better than happiness because we can have joy even when unhappy. Chambers rightfully reminds us that a full and overflowing life comes when we are right with our Heavenly Father. Jesus radiated joy and peace because He was right with His Heavenly Father! That same power is available to us as well because of His Redemption and Resurrection. Ever wonder how Jesus faced the cross with courage and joy? Read Hebrews 12:2. The key is fellowship and obedience to God the Father. We have power to be God’s witnesses and proclaim Him daily! Chambers states: “Have the right relationship with God, finding your joy there, and out of you will flow rivers of living water.” Think about the Samaritan woman that Jesus engages at the well! She was a social cast out and known sinner. But after encountering Jesus, she went back to her town and told everyone about Him. The people listened to her testimony and came to see Jesus for themselves. The Gospel of John 4:39-42 records that many became believers! That’s the power of Jesus in a person’s life! Let us live our lives hidden in Christ [ Colossians 3:3]. Then let the mighty river flow through!
The Life of Pure and Holy Sacrifice
Mary of Bethany used expensive perfume to anoint Jesus prior to His death . Chambers states: “Our Lord is filled with overflowing joy whenever He sees any of us doing what Mary did— not being bound by a particular set of rules, but being totally surrendered to Him. God poured out the life of His Son “that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17). Are we prepared to pour out our lives for Him?” Mary gave extravagantly because she loved Jesus. Jesus had profoundly impacted her life. Has Jesus impacted your life? How can you pour your life out to Jesus?
“He who believes in Me…out of his heart will flow rivers of living water”— and hundreds of other lives will be continually refreshed. Now is the time for us to break “the flask” of our lives, to stop seeking our own satisfaction, and to pour out our lives before Him. Our Lord is asking who of us will do it for Him? Oswald Chambers
May God’s mercy, grace, compassion, kindness, and goodness overflow through your life onto those around you! May God encourage and strengthen you with His presence during the difficult moments of your day!
A fellow pilgrim daily seeking God’s Presence and Longing for a Heavenly Home,