Can’t think of a better way to start the New Year than with Oswald Chambers:
“The God of Israel will be your reward.” Isaiah 52:12
Security from Yesterday. “God requireth that which is past.” At the end of the year we turn with eagerness to all that God has for the future, and yet anxiety is apt to arise from remembering the yesterdays. Our present enjoyment of God’s grace is apt to be checked by the memory of yesterday’s sins and blunders. But God is the God of our yesterdays, and He allows the memory of them in order to turn the past into a ministry of spiritual culture for the future. God reminds us of the past lest we get into a shallow security in the present.
Security for To-morrow. “For the Lord will go before you.” This is a gracious revelation, that God will garrison where we have failed to. He will watch lest things trip us up again into like failure, as they assuredly would do if He were not our rereward. God’s hand reaches back to the past and makes a clearing-house for conscience.
Security for To-day. “For ye shall not go out with haste.” As we go forth into the coming year, let it not be in the haste of impetuous, unremembering delight, nor with the flight of impulsive thoughtlessness, but with the patient power of knowing that the God of Israel will go before us. Our yesterdays present irreparable things to us; it is true that we have lost opportunities which will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ.
Leave the Irreparable Past in His hands, and step out into the Irresistible Future with Him. Oswald Chambers
We can look to our future with hope no matter what lies ahead when we are looking to the God of Hope! I wish you a very Happy New Year filled with hope in Him who set all the planets in motion and keeps it all going, who knows and cares about our every thought, who gives us life and breath…..
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
Photo credit: Mike Robinson taken near Anchorage, Alaska
“Oswald Chambers said that conversion is a human act — turning away from sin, and a sinful lifestyle. Redemption, however, is something that is received. God does it for us. He wrote that too many so-called Christians have not gotten beyond conversion — they have joined a church, and given up some old habits, but they have not yet received anything from God, and are satisfied as they are.
Conversion is a gift and an achievement. It is the act of a moment and the work of a lifetime. You cannot attain salvation by disciplines—it is the gift of God. But you cannot retain it without disciplines. If you try to attain salvation by disciplines, you will be trying to discipline an unsurrendered self. You will be sitting on a lid. The result will be tenseness instead of trust. “You will wrestle instead of nestle.” While salvation cannot be attained by discipline around an unsurrendered self, nevertheless when the self is surrendered to Christ and a new center formed, then you can discipline your life around that new center—Christ. Discipline is the fruit of conversion—not the root.” E. Stanley Jones
A further illustration of God’s love and grace is demonstrated by the fact that we can’t even willfully turn from sin and turn to Christ without God’s initiation, so the whole thing is one huge act of Grace from start to finish…..”No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:44
To watch the conversion and redemption process in someones life is to witness a true miracle of our modern day. When you begin to see changes in your own life that you know deep down could only come with the help of God, that’s a miracle. When you look back at where you started and see how far you have come….that’s Gods Grace. When you realize how far you still have to go, that’s Grace again. Jesus did the hard part, but now we follow in His steps, however haltingly, yet we have the assurance of victory at the end of the race.
“So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Romans 7:21-25
PRAYER CHOICE AND PRAYER CONFLICT
“When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and pray to thy Father which is in secret.” Matthew 6:6
Jesus did not say – Dream about thy Father in secret, but pray to thy Father in secret. Prayer is an effort of will. After we have entered our secret place and have shut the door, the most difficult thing to do is to pray; we cannot get our minds into working order, and the first thing that conflicts is wandering thoughts. The great battle in private prayer is the overcoming of mental wool-gathering. We have to discipline our minds and concentrate on wilful prayer.
We must have a selected place for prayer and when we get there the plague of flies begins – This must be done, and that. “Shut thy door.” A secret silence means to shut the door deliberately on emotions and remember God. God is in secret, and He sees us from the secret place; He does not see us as other people see us, or as we see ourselves. When we live in the secret place it becomes impossible for us to doubt God, we become more sure of Him than of anything else. Your Father, Jesus says, is in secret and nowhere else. Enter the secret place, and right in the centre of the common round you find God there all the time. Get into the habit of dealing with God about everything. Unless in the first waking moment of the day you learn to fling the door wide back and let God in, you will work on a wrong level all day; but swing the door wide open and pray to your Father in secret, and every public thing will be stamped with the presence of God.
Thought this was beautiful and fitting today since I was having a very difficult time focusing and praying….Oswald Chambers always sets me on the right path…