Monday, January 2, 2012

What Costly Act?

I read a handful of daily devotionals, and, this year, one of them will be Oswald Chamber’s My Utmost for His Highest. I didn’t care much for what Chambers said yesterday, but maybe I’ll be able to eat the meat and spit out the bones as I read him this year, or to see how even the bones can have some profound, redemptive point.

Here’s the reading for January 1. The topic is surrender to Jesus. Chambers says the following:

“It is absolute and irrevocable surrender of the will at that point. An undue amount of thought and consideration for ourselves is what keeps us from making that decision, although we cover it up with the pretense that it is others we are considering. When we think seriously about what it will cost others if we obey the call of Jesus, we tell God He doesn’t know what our obedience will mean. Keep to the point— He does know. Shut out every other thought and keep yourself before God in this one thing only— my utmost for His highest. I am determined to be absolutely and entirely for Him and Him alone.”

I guess my question is: What would God want me to do that is so costly to me and to others? And how would I even know that it’s God who wants me to do that, and not my own obsessive-compulsiveness or guilt-tripping of myself, sometimes in response to what some Christian dogmatically proclaims is the “will of God”?


  1. That sort of thing is not 'devotional', it is empty and useless.

  2. Yeah, I don't know exactly what to do in response to what Chambers is saying! But, come to think of it, I feel that way about a lot of religious writings.

  3. What if God wants us to be 'independent' people, deciding what seems best to us to do!

  4. I started a riot back when my church was doing the Purpose Driven Life. Rick Warren was explaining that the first things Christians must do is "surrender" to God. I sent an email out saying that Warren was wrong because surrender is only one enemy to another, and Christians aren't anywhere instructed to surrender to God. It seems to me that the only command in the Bible that God gave to His people to surrender was when he commanded them to surrender to the Babylonians.

    Finally, I asked WWGPD? What Would General Patton Do if one of his own soldiers came up to him and declared "I surrender"?

    Not long after I was banned from teaching!

  5. Yeah, that surrender language doesn't make God look good, or even the God-human relationship look good.


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