My favorite morning get-it-together read has long been Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for Highest. I’ve been toting the same dogeared copy around for the last decade but I still find that he can surprise me even though I’ve read every entry at least half a dozen times.

Today’s reading (July 10) has me contemplating its nuances several hours later. I am still grappling with its meaning, and therefore, its takeaway.

Chambers wrote: “The test of our spirituality comes when we come up against injustice and meanness and ingratitude and turmoil, all of which have the tendency to make us spiritual sluggards. We want to use prayer and Bible reading for the purpose of retirement. We utilize God for the purpose of getting peace and joy, that is, we do not want to realize Jesus Christ, only our enjoyment of Him. This is the first step in the wrong direction. All these things are effects and we try to make them causes.”

Injustice, meanness, ingratitude and turmoil are effects and we approach them as causes. Is this not what he is suggesting? Injustice is the effect of spiritual laziness. Meanness, the effect of laziness. Ingratitude, the effect, not the cause. Turmoil is not the cause of spiritual deadness. It is the effect of it.

I’d like to have the wise Chambers in my living room right now. I’d serve him a very respectable cup of tea and then I’d ask him to please, please tell me more. My appetite for understanding has been whetted not sated, I want more.

I feel like I am only scratching the surface of perception here. Wiser minds out there, what do you think?

Author: Susan

This post has 3 Comments

  1. Nicole on July 12, 2009 at 3:56 am

    Certainly not a wiser mind here, but . . . what I've observed, Sooz, is that people want to rant against injustice, etc., but only as if it's a petty annoyance. Do they want to engage the enemy and war against his minions? Do they want to acknowledge that to overcome it all, we must wield the greatest weapon rarely used: praying down strongholds. Do we really want to alter our lifestyles to defy our flesh? Do we want all the blessings without any of the sacrifices? We have been given power we never use, discernment we ignore and turn into enablement, and we've made grace some cheap tonic and labeled it tolerance. Oops! Hit a nerve there, Pretty Girl. Phew: done preachin' now. Sorry . . .

  2. Jeanne Damoff on July 12, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    I've been reading the same tattered copy of My Utmost for His Highest since 1987, and I definitely want to come to your OC tea party. (Unless being a “wiser mind” is a prerequisite, that is.)

    I'm intrigued that you seem to have read his words from the perspective of meeting injustice, meanness, ingratitude and turmoil in yourself as opposed to in the world around you. Perhaps that is the more honest and convicting approach, though I doubt I would have considered it that way had it not been suggested to me in your remarks.

    Either way–whether we turn a blind eye to these evils in ourselves or in our world–Oswald's message exposes our selfishness. And I think he's right. We seek Jesus for the comfort and peace He offers and not for the opportunity to join Him in His battles.

    Good things to consider. Thanks for inviting us into your grapplings.

  3. Susan Meissner on July 13, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    You know, I am still tossing it around in my head. And now new thoughts! Especially this, Nicole: “We have been given power we never use.”

    Wow. Wake up, wake up, sleeping soul.

    Jeanners, of course you are coming to the OC tea party. . .

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