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19 June, 2014

The Service of Passionate Devotion—I Beg of You To Consider Your Ways!





Oswald Chambers Devotion for today is a very important piece that anyone who calls himself or herself a Christian should look into with great humility of the heart and a willingness to change as per the leading of the Spirit.

First off, Oswald seems to be unsympathetic to the discipleship and service process. At times, he even sounds harsh when he said things like “Today we have substituted doctrinal belief for personal belief, and that is why so many people are devoted to causes and so few are devoted to Jesus Christ. People do not really want to be devoted to Jesus, but only to the cause He started. Jesus Christ is deeply offensive to the educated minds of today, to those who only want Him to be their Friend, and who are unwilling to accept Him in any other way.

But, the reality is that Oswald is right. Unless you learn to love Him first, unless you make sure that your life is led by the spirit and unless you become the very fragrance of the crucified Christ, then you will be devoted to the service instead of Him.

What I mean by becoming the fragrance of the crucified one is that you have been walking with Him so much that you have been transformed internally and on the inside, He is having His way so much in you, like the Potter and the clay. You become shaped in your mind, your spiritual eyes opened; your heart is wholly devoted to Him, His way and His will, that you become saturated. This is not a vague idea that I am sharing here. Think about it. You find people who drink so much that you can smell the booze from their skin, even when they are not drunk. While this seems like a basic example, but God’s idea of Salvation and Christ’s idea of being a servant and a disciple at the same time, all hinges on the same idea. The strange thing is, the idea that I am sharing permeates the Bible and Christ was a perfect picture of what I just said.

When we learn to be true clay in His hands, we abide until we merge and become one with Him and until we learn to cultivate the childlike mind we miss out on the whole idea of the Christian life. While Oswald might sound harsh, but the reality is, when you know God intimately, He changes the priorities as they are set in your mind and suddenly you realize it is not about anything or anyone else unless it is about Him. Suddenly, going to make disciples of the nations take a backseat. This does not mean it is not a priority or that you do not care, but you have your priorities shaped spirituality, by Him.

Here is the beauty of it all, when Christ comes first, through a passionate and devoted heart to His person, you are on cloud 9 to begin with, knowing how His power can do so much for these people and any time He wants to. You stop seeing yourself so important like if you do not go, there is no one else. So, yes, the need is pressing and it is overwhelming. Souls are perishing and the harvest is ripe. But none of it matters if He does not come first. None of it matters if He is not leading according to His plan. We undermine God, we belittle Him, we play down His power and we underestimate His plan for these people too.

As you learn to see the God of the universe for who He is, then everything falls into place as He is given the honor and the proper place in what we do and how we do it. If God has ever given you a peak behind the veil so that you can see people out there building empires in His name, yet they themselves are saved by the skin of their teeth. In the meantime, a simple Joe walking according to His will have a bigger impact, with people around him or her. Furthermore, when you die, this simple Joe will occupy a much bigger place than this big mogul Christian who seems to hit all the right notes. If you could see that, you would make His priority your number one priority. Because, dear brothers and sisters, it is not about pleasing people, it is not about the numbers, it is not even about going overseas to get involved in missions but it is about becoming more than a fan of His.

You know what is sad in all this? There are way too many so called Christians out there, devoted to His cause and what’s in it for them, yet they do not have a clue that’s where they are at, because they are spiritually blind. Like this extended family member that I shared about three days ago. This person is so educated, so involved in mission and community justice like Christ was, you would compare both of us and put me out in the trash while giving a humanitarian award to this person. Unless you are a spiritually minded Christian, you cannot know or see the difference with the eyes of your heart. Too many of us are praying for a gift that benefits us instead of praying the spirit to open up the eyes of our hearts so that can be more compliant people.

 At the end of the day, all the Church attendance, Bible verses we memorized, the Bible study that we have been attending for years and years, while never knowing what it means to grow spiritually, and all the sentimentality we hold dear in our hearts will not help us. It is about learning to ACCEPT Him His way, and on His terms. I beg of you to consider your ways and consider all the hoopla you are doing in His name. Can you truly say you have engaged the heart of this gigantic God? Are you truly one with Him? Are you walking in the Spirit? Are you abiding until He is merges with you as one? Are these things elusive to you after years of Christianity under your belt?  I beg of you, consider your ways!

Having had the eyes of my heart opened by Him a few years ago, I can tell you there is pain to get to the place where we can see the riches of His glory which is also our inheritance. But, it is not that simple.  It goes beyond, to a place where you too you experience His resurrection and you can see His glory through His eyes. But, you can’t experience the glory of His resurrection without experiencing His death in your soul. But it’s so worth it.  

Ephesians 1:18 “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,

I love you all

M. J