Saturday, October 24, 2009

Wise Words on True Discipleship

In continuation with my posts on Biblical discipleship, I've gathered some quotations by a highly respected Scottish minister - Oswald Chambers. These are from his various writings and address topics such as obedience and the problem of self. May we be attentive to such wise words...

"Our Lord begins where we would never begin - at the point of human destitution. The greatest blessing a person ever gets from God is the realization that if he or she is going to enter into His kingdom it must be through the door of destitution. Naturally we do not want to begin there, that is why the appeal of Jesus is of no use until we come face-to-face with realities; then the only One worth listening to is the Lord. We learn to welcome the patience of Jesus only when we get to the point of human destitution. It is not that God will not do anything for us until we get there, but that He cannot. God can do nothing for me if I am sufficient for myself. When we come to the place of destitution spiritually, we find the Lord waiting and saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink." There are hundreds at the place of destitution, and they don't know what they want. If I have been obeying the command of Jesus to go and make disciples, I know what they want; they want Him. We are so interested in our own spiritual riches that souls that are white to harvest are all around us, and we don't reap one for Him."

"As long as self-interest is there and has to be suppressed, the Holy Spirit will reveal that something else has to go. I may be under conscious apprehension for discipleship, and I go through the form of being willing to give up my right to myself, but the Holy Spirit reveals that I have never really done it. "I will spend myself for Jesus, I will do everything He asks me to do"- but not one thing - and it is the only thing I can do, namely, give up my right to myself to Him. There is only one crisis, and the majority of us have never been through it; we are brought up to it and kick back every time, until God by His engineering brings us right to the one issue: Deny forever your right to yourself. It is a stubborn detachment, yielding bit by bit not because the character is noble but because it is despicably proud."

"One of the subtlest snares is the idea that we are here to live a holy life of our own, with our eyes fixed on our own whiteness. No, we are here to carry out God's will as Jesus carried it out. Jesus carried out the will of God as the Savior of the world; we are to carry out His will as saints. Jesus Christ was a vicarious sufferer for the sin of the world, and we have to be vicarious sufferers, filling up "that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ." Have we ever realized that through the atonement we can take on ourselves a vicarious attitude before God, a vicarious penitence, knowing "the fellowship of His sufferings?""

"Any man would have known with His coming that it was wrong to take life; the law is written in him. Any man would have known that immorality was wrong. But no man apart from Jesus Christ would believe that "my right to myself" is the very essence of sin. When we realize what Jesus means when He says, in effect, "If you would be My disciple, give up your right to yourself to Me," we begin to understand that "the carnal mind is enmity against God." "I will not give up my right to myself; I will serve God as I choose." Jesus Christ came to remove this disposition of self-realization."

"We like to hear about deliverance from hell and forgiveness of sins, but this comes a bit too close, this demands too much, and we back out. "From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more" (John 6:66), they went back from following Jesus and never became actual disciples. If I do become a disciple my career may have to be ruined - am I prepared for it? Is He worth it? "If anyone desires to come after Me." - "If" means, you don't need to unless you like, but you won't be of any account to Me in this life unless you do. Wherever Christian experience is proving unsatisfactory it is because the Holy Spirit is still battling around this one point, my right to myself, and until that is deliberately given over by me to Jesus Christ I will never have the relationship to Him He asks for."

It is much easier to do something than to trust in God, we mistake panic for inspiration. That is why there are so few fellow workers with God and so many workers for Him. We would rather work for God than believe in Him."

"Compromising Christians spread their disease quicker than any other kind. One backslider exerts an influence over the community that is tenfold worse than the influence of a hundred sinners who have never been saved."

"(Spiritual growth) is a question of obedience… turn away for one second from obedience, and instantly darkness and death are at work."

"Faith is the heroic effort of your life. You fling yourself in reckless confidence on God. God has ventured all in Jesus Christ to save us. Now he wants us to venture our all in a life that can face anything it has to face without wavering....Again and again, you will get up to what Jesus Christ wants, and every time, you turn back when it comes to that point until you abandon resolutely....Jesus Christ demands that you risk everything you hold by common sense--and leap into what He says....Christ demands of the man who trust Him the same reckless spirit....that is daring enough to step out of the crowd and bank his faith on the character of God."


The White Way of Delight said...

Lovely blog! :) So sweet.