Author Topic: Oswald Chambers - The Dedication of Following  (Read 3274 times)

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Oswald Chambers - The Dedication of Following
« on: February 04, 2011, 14:01:25 PM »
    The followers of God's Life
Be ye therefore followers of God... (Ephesians 5:1)

   The one striking thing about following is we must not find our own way, for when we take the initiative we cease to follow. In the natural world everything depends upon our taking the initiative, but if we are followers of God, we cannot take the initiative, we cannot choose our own work or say what we will do; we have not to find out at all, we have just to follow.

Jesus saith unto him, ...follow thou Me (John 21:22)

   Everything our Lord asks us to do is naturally frankly impossible to us. It is impossible for us to be the children of God naturally, to love our enemies, to forgive, to be holy, to be pure, and it is certainly impossible to us to follow God naturally; consequently the fundamental fact to recognise is that we must be born again. We recognise it fundamentally, but we must recognise it actually, that in spiritual matters we must not take the initiative. We must not make decisions of our own, we must "follow the Lamb withersoever He goeth," and when He does not go anywhere, then we do not.
  In following Our Lord Jesus Christ we are not following His followers. When Paul said, "..who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways," he was careful to add, "which be in Christ" (1 Corinthians 4:17). We are not called to follow in all the footsteps of the saints, but only in so far as they followed their Lord. The great meaning of following is that we imitate as children, not as monkeys.

In Him was life... (John 1:4)

   We are not left to anything vague. It does sound vague to say "be followers of God,"  but when we realise that Jesus Christ is the life of God, then we know where we are. He is the One Whom we have to imitate and follow, but we must first of all be born again and receive His Spirit, and then walk in the Spirit. "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His" (Romans 8:9).

In Joy
These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. (John 15:11)

   If Jesus Christ is the life of God and we have to follow Him, we must find out what His joy was. It certainly was not happiness. The joy of the Lord Jesus Christ lay in doing exactly what He came to do. He did not come to save men first of all, He came to do His Father's will. The saving of men was the natural outcome of this, but Our Lord's one great obedience was not to the needs of men but to the will of His Father, and He says, 'as My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you." We are never told to consecrate our gifts to God, but we are told to dedicate ourselves.

   The joy of anything, from a blade of grass upwards, is to fulfil its created purpose. "...that we should to the praise of His glory" (Ephesians 1:12). We are not here to win souls, to do good to others, that is the natural outcome, but it is not our aim, and this is where so many of us cease to be followers. We will follow God as long as He makes us a blessing to others, but when He does not we will not follow. Suppose our Lord had measured His life by whether or not He was a blessing to others ! Why, He was a 'stone of stumbling' to thousands, actually to His own neighbours, to His own nation, because through Him they blasphemed the Holy Ghost, and in His own country "He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief" (Matthew 13:58). If Our Lord had measured His life by its actual results, He would have been full of misery.

  We get switched off when instead of following God we follow Christian work and workers. We are much more concerned over the passion for souls than the passion for Christ. The passion for Christ is the counterpart of His passion for God. The life of God is manifested in Our Lord Jesus Christ, He came to do His Father's will; then when we are following Him, it will be a matter of indifference whether God puts us in the forefront or in the back seat. When we realise this, then the joy of the Lord is ours because we are fulfilling our regenerated purpose. The passion for souls is not a New Testament idea at all, but religious commercialism. When we are taken up with this passion the joy of the Lord is never ours, but only an excitable joy which always leaves a snare behind.

 God engineers our circumstances as He did those of His Son; all we have to do is to follow where He places us. The majority of us are busy trying to place ourselves. God alters things while we wait for Him. Are we fulfilling the purpose of our recreation, viz. to glorify God? The sign that we are glorifying God is not that we are happy; happiness is childish, individual and pagan. It is natural for a child to be happy because a child does not face facts, but a Christian who is merely happy is blind.

   The way God's life manifests itself in joy is in a peace which has no desire for praise. When a man delivers a message which he knows is the message of God, the witness to the fulfilment of the created purpose is given instantly, the peace of God settles down, and the man cares for neither praise nor blame from anyone. That is the joy of the life of God; it is uncrushable life, and there is never life without joy.

- excerpt taken from The Love of God - The Dedication of Following, by Oswald Chambers; used by the kind permission of Oswald Chambers Publications Association

A translation is currently pending.

More excerpts from Oswald Chambers' books may be found here:

'By beholding folly as the folly of others, thine own folly cries out to heaven.' - Barth


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Re: Oswald Chambers - The Dedication of Following
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2012, 12:36:17 PM »
Препоръчвам на всеки книгата му "My utmost for his highest". Има я преведена.
"Не е глупак онзи, който дава каквото не може да се задържи, за да спечели каквото не може да се загуби."