I find myself being more and more blessed as I continue on in Oswald Chambers' My Utmost for His Highest. The daily devotional not only provides the practicality of meaningful messages and examples, but also points to Scripture as the source of ever-flowing wisdom and knowledge. For any Christian literature to be helpful or beneficial it must be used as a supplement to the Word of God. For if the Scriptures were never written, theologians, pastors, and a multitude of authors would have no source of truth and limitless inspiration. We must always recognize that while Christian literature is practical, important, and beneficial, the Bible is the source for all these writings. The Word of God provides the passion, spirit and boldness of authors to glorify God through their writing.
The passage yesterday focused on the importance of being alone with God and in being in a place of intimacy with Christ. Chambers writes this in his passage on our solitude in God:
"We can only be used by God after we allow Him to show us the deep, hidden areas of our own character. It is astounding how ignorant we are of ourselves! We don't even recognize the envy, laziness, or pride within us when we see it. But Jesus will reveal to us everything we have held within ourselves before His grace began to work. How many of us have learned to look inwardly with courage?"
The question Pastor Chambers poses at the end of the excerpt absolutely wrecked me.
How often do we look in on our own hearts, our own desires, and our own thoughts with complete certainty? Is there ever a time where we know without a doubt something is true?
I have found a lack of certainty to be a reality in my own life. You can chalk it up to personal insecurities or past brokenness, but when it really comes down to it, my lack of courage lies wholly in a refusal to give everything to God. I find myself guilty on multiple occurrences of displaying a false mask of piety and religiosity when I am in over my head. When I am struggling the most is when you will usually see more writings, tweets, and Facebook statuses. I have found it to be true that I take comfort in presenting a persona that is seemingly satisfied and wholly dependent on a relationship with Christ. In all honesty, those are the times where I need the most prayer as I am under the impression that if I can convince everyone that reads what I have written that I am perfectly okay, then I can convince myself I truly am okay. But never am I satisfied in comments or page views, retweets or favorites, text messages or emails of affirmation. I find myself searching for justification and an indication of my value as a person in the eyes of those that do not hold that position of judgment. I place my worth in the hands of those that are unworthy to bear the title of Judge.
Chambers continues in the next paragraph:
"We have to get rid of the idea that we understand ourselves. That is always the last bit of pride to go. The only One who understands us is God."
It is not possible to understand ourselves like God understands us. The most complex, confusing, and perplexing thoughts we face each day are already known and understood by God. No internal struggle we face is unknown or unforeseeable to God. He knows each and every step, each and every thought, each and every emotion.
How blessed we truly are to be loved by a God of understanding! While we may struggle with a myriad of problems and concerns, we can have hope that God holds the answers. I take great comfort in the truth that I serve a God that is omniscient. I find peace in the truth that I am not expected to know everything, because even Paul writes of God in Romans 11:33:
"Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways!"
God is infinitely more than I could ever begin to comprehend. His ways are a mystery to me but He chooses to reveal Himself through His word, providing me with a path to follow.
I do not think anyone would worship a god they knew everything about. If we were able to understand everything about the god we called lord, what purpose would it serve in our life? What would this god provide to us if we already knew every answer to every problem? There would be no sense of mystery if this were the case.
I do not mean to make it sound like God is some "cosmic vending machine" spitting out an answer whenever we call out to Him because that is not the truth of who God is. His answers are found in three forms; Yes, No, Not yet. There is no "maybe if you're good" with God. His love, wisdom, and truth is not based on a point system. God will move in our life most when we surrender everything to Him and die to our old-self daily. When will you look inwardly with courage?