Thursday, October 30, 2014

Abandoned to God

It is hard to imagine my spiritual journey without the shaping influence of Oswald Chambers (1874-1917).  I am sure my sentiments are shared by generations of believers who have read and devoured "My Utmost for His Highest" as daily spiritual food.  The young woman who would become my wife introduced me to this writing of Oswald Chambers my first year at Asbury College. Over the years I have worn out one copy and had to replace it, but never has this daily spiritual guide been far from my hand and heart.

When Oswald Chambers died, he was serving as a military chaplain in Egypt.  He was stricken with appendicitis and died from complications.  He delayed in going to see about his own health because he felt wounded soldiers needed the hospital beds.  While his life was short by human standards, his influence will be long by the standards of eternity.  After his death, his wife, Biddy, took her notes of his sermons, teachings, and lectures as well as some of his manuscripts and created ""My Utmost for His Highest."  Through its pages we see a man of extraordinary faith and because of it, countless other ordinary lives have been made extraordinary as well.
The one word which has always summed up the life of Oswald Chambers is "abandonment."  More than anyone I have ever known or read, his ministry and life beckons me to abandon all that is within for God.  When Chambers was a young man, his imagination was captured by art, but then there came that moment when his heart was captured by Christ.  Once the decision for Christ was made, this man of faith never looked back, only ahead at what absolute abandonment of self meant for his life with God.  "My Utmost for His Highest" calls all who read its pages to such a life.

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