December 06, 2005

OSWALD & GERTRUDE CHAMBERS
After the Bible, my next favorite book is "My Utmost for His Highest" by Oswald Chambers (1874-1917) who was born in Aberdeen, Scotland. Converted in his teen years under the ministry of Charles Spurgeon, he studied art and archaeology at the University of Edinburgh before answering a call from God to the Christian ministry. He then studied theology at Dunoon College. From 1906-1910 he conducted an itinerant Bible-teaching ministry in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan. In 1910, Chambers married Gertrude Hobbs and they had one daughter, Kathleen. In 1911 he founded and became principal of the Bible Training College in Clapham, London, where he lectured until the school was closed in 1915 because of World War I. In October 1915 he sailed for Zeitoun, Egypt (near Cairo), where he ministered to Australian and New Zealand troops as a YMCA chaplain. He died there November 15, 1917, following surgery for a ruptured appendix. Although Oswald Chambers wrote only one book, "Baffled to Fight Better" , more than thirty titles bear his name. With this one exception, published works were compiled by Mrs. Chambers, a court stenographer, from her verbatim shorthand notes of his messages taken during their seven years of marriage. For half a century following her husband's death she labored to give his words to the world. "My Utmost For His Highest" , his best-known book, has been continuously in print in the United States since 1935 and in this, the last decade of the century, remains in the top ten titles of the religious book bestseller list with millions of copies in print. It has become a Christian classic. Read it and more here.

Here is today's text from "My Utmost for His Highest":


December 6
"My Rainbow in the Cloud"

I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth —Genesis 9:13

It is the will of God that human beings should get into a right-standing relationship with Him, and His covenants are designed for this purpose. Why doesn’t God save me? He has accomplished and provided for my salvation, but I have not yet entered into a relationship with Him. Why doesn’t God do everything we ask? He has done it. The point is— will I step into that covenant relationship? All the great blessings of God are finished and complete, but they are not mine until I enter into a relationship with Him on the basis of His covenant.

Waiting for God to act is fleshly unbelief. It means that I have no faith in Him. I wait for Him to do something in me so I may trust in that. But God won’t do it, because that is not the basis of the God-and-man relationship. Man must go beyond the physical body and feelings in his covenant with God, just as God goes beyond Himself in reaching out with His covenant to man. It is a question of faith in God--a very rare thing. We only have faith in our feelings. I don’t believe God until He puts something tangible in my hand, so that I know I have it. Then I say, "Now I believe." There is no faith exhibited in that. God says, "Look to Me, and be saved . . ." ( Isaiah 45:22 ).

When I have really transacted business with God on the basis of His covenant, letting everything else go, there is no sense of personal achievement— no human ingredient in it at all. Instead, there is a complete overwhelming sense of being brought into union with God, and my life is transformed and radiates peace and joy.

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