Famed author Oswald Chambers, whose words werecompiled into the devotional My Utmost for His Highest, didn’t just write about knowing God or merely desiring to know Him, Chambers demonstrated that he knew his Heavenly Father intimately by the way he lived.
Born in 1874 in Aberdeen, Scotland, he became a Christian during his teen years under the ministry of Charles Haddon Spurgeon.God used many things to shape and mold Chambers.He was accepted in the University of Edinburgh.Rapid spiritual development followed as he became intently interested in the things of God.After his call to the ministry, he studied theology at Dunoon and conducted itinerant Bible-teaching ministries in the United States from 1906 to 1910.In 1911 he founded the Bible Training College in Clapham, London. The school closed in 1915 due to World War I.Chambers was then commissioned by the YMCA to go to Zeitoun, Egypt, where he ministered to Australian and New Zealand troops.
Chambers died in 1917 of a ruptured appendix, a shock to all who knew him.He had often told his friends, “I feel I shall be buried for a time, hidden away in obscurity; then suddenly I shall flame out, do my work, and be gone.” After his death, a fellow worker remarked,“It is a mighty thing to see even once in a lifetime a man the self-expression of whose being is the Redemption of Jesus Christ manifested in daily hourly living.He would have [simply] called himself a ‘believer in Jesus.’The fact is, God made this man ‘a refuge from the storm’ for many downcast souls.” God had used a wilderness experience to “bring him to the end of himself.”For several years poverty and spiritual loneliness shadowed his life.From this Chambers became keenly aware of his utter worthlessness, and there arose in him a deep desire to abandon all for Christ. To Chambers the cross of Christ was more than just a point of salvation, it became the place of self-abandonment and surrender to the call of God.It was more than a place of forgiveness; it was a place of hallowed ground where he and we stand and willingly identify with Christ Jesus.It is where we “give up our right to ourselves” and die to self.
As we learn from Oswald Chambers, humbling ourselves before God is not a one time act.It is a process which begins with the surrender of our hearts to Him, followed by a lifelong attitude of willingness to obey Him, whatever His command.The more we give to God, the more He gives to us.We see more of His heart, His plans, His beauty, and His grace.And the more of the Lord we begin to know and experience, the more intimate our relationship becomes with Him.
Chambers lived the surrendered life and leaves us with three promises encouraging us to surrender our wills to God.
His way – the only way.How often have we tried to conjure up a way to accomplish what we think God desires.How often have we tried to figure out with our own intellectand perform in our own strength, and failed.Instead, we must trust His Word and believe the promise that tells us He is the Way.(John 14:6) God will direct our steps.In spite of all his trials and tribulations, David knew that God’s direction for his life was the best.(Psalm 37:23) God constantly works in our lives, even when circumstances threaten to change the outlook.When we fail to seek God, the result is we lose touch with Him.If we aren’t growing closer to Him, then we are growing further away.Events and circumstances shape who we become, it is the way we handle those times through our faith in God that shapes us as Christians.(Philippians 2:13) “God is not working towards a particular finish; ….It is the process, not the end, which is glorifying to God.….His purpose is for this minute, not for something in the future.….God’s end is to enable me to see that He can walk on the chaos of my life just now.If we have a further end in view, we do not pay sufficient attention to the immediate present:if we realize that obedience is the end, then each moment as it comes is precious.” Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest