Bible, Bible Questions, God, Lessons Learned, Me, Seeking Answers

…in which I question Oswald Chambers

While I believe the truth that we are all “equals in the eyes of God”…there are certain names that cause me to ponder how deeply I trust it, haha.  You know how it is…there are just some people who make your knowledge of God tremble in comparison to their wealth of understanding as you just know you don’t know even half of what they have stored away in their hearts and minds.

People like C. S. Lewis, Billy Graham, Oswald Chambers.

You know…the BIG names.

And so it is with a little fear and trembling that I write out this post today because *gulp* I am going to argue with one of them.

*deep breath*

~*~

utmost hightest

Last night, I read the devotion for January 14th in My Utmost for His Highest by Mr. Chambers.  I love this book.  My copy is worn and faded from my grubby fingers flipping thru the pages over the years.  Just to see it on my nightstand brings a smile to my face as I know that it will challenge me on nearly every level of my spiritual walk…and when I am walking with God as I should, I welcome that challenge.

So you can imagine my surprise when I found myself totally disagreeing with something he said.  (I know…take a deep breath with me on this one!)

The call of God is not just for a select few but for everyone. Whether I hear God’s call or not depends on the condition of my ears, and exactly what I hear depends upon my spiritual attitude.

So far so good…he goes on to quote Matthew 22:14 and says more about relationship with God being needed, which is totally true…but then it happened:

However, God doesn’t single someone out and say ‘Now, you go’.

Wait…what??

I had to re-read the whole passage a few times and came to this conclusion:

I can totally see what he is saying and the point he is making (You can read the full entry by clicking HERE or just go by the “summed up in the Oswald For Dummys version”: relationship with God is the one thing that allows me to have ears that hear His call and a heart willing to respond when He asks who to send in His name. He won’t force me to do His will, but if I am walking with Him I will want to be used by and for Him).  I get it, I do…but it is this one statement, lodged sweetly in the center of his entry, that seemed to be in bold print and highlighted to my brain as the one thing that doesn’t flow with his point.

I drifted off to sleep pondering it…and woke up with it still hanging in the air….and so now I come here, putting it out there to see if anyone else has the answer.

The Bible is full of examples of God singling someone out to do His will.  A few obvious ones?

Noah:

  • He “found favor in the eyes of the Lord”…”
  • God said to Noah ‘I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will stablish my covenant with YOU and YOU shall come into the ark…” (Genesis 6)

Abram/Abraham :

  • “Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from YOUr country and YOUr kindred and YOUr father’s house to the land that I will show YOU.” (Genesis 12)
  • “After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, ‘Abraham!’…’Take YOUr only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there…” (Genesis 22)

Isaac:

  • “And the Lord appeard to him and said, ‘Do not go down to Egypt…sojourn in this land and I will be with YOU and will bless YOU…” (Genesis 26)

I can go on and on with the moments in the Bible (and my own life) when God broke into someone’s world to say “Hi. I need you to go that way. Thanks”

So…be nice in your answers, but I am truly seeking your ideas: why would Mr. Chambers (who is amazing in his understanding of the Word) use this sentence to prove his point??

Looking up, as always…

Bina

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6 thoughts on “…in which I question Oswald Chambers”

  1. (Given the small amount of the paragraph that you’ve given, I will throw my thoughts out.) I think you’ve answered your own question with the statement “relationship with God.” The real purpose of having a relationship with God is to be sent out. I don’t think He singles any one person out and says go do this certain thing. Jesus told His disciples to go out and there it implied through that that we know we are to go and make disciples. I think people feel ‘led’ to go places but not commanded.

    1. I have since added the link to the full day’s entry…so that might make it easier for everyone, haha

      In general, I respectfully agree with you (and him)…let me me boil it down a little more: my direct issue with his statement, I suppose, is that it is a blanket statement.

      The disciples were sent out to preach…we are sent out into our world to preach…to bring light to His Word. But there are also a great number of times in the Bible and in my own life when God has been clear and specific in His choosing of a person, place and “act” that was going to happen. The people involved knew it was God talking – and many time, He physically showed up (as Himself or thru an angel) to tell them what He wanted. So while I have a general command to “go and preach”, I also have specific commands from Him where He is asking ME to do something at a specific time and place. Could He get it done without me? Yes…but since He has made me with certain gifts, He is choosing to ask me to be a part of it for His glory and my good.

      CAN God generally put a call out and see who answers? Sure!!!

      But can God also make His point known to a specific person in a specific time because they specifically can do what He needs done? Absolutely.

      Thanks for answering… 🙂

  2. I think Mr. Oswald speaks a little more intelligent (just my opinion) and he didn’t expand too much on this. I believe he is just saying…now that we have heard and know what God has spoken or what He has directed us to do…go and tell others about it. He is too good not to say anything about the great things He has in store for us as His chosen. Those that do not understand and are in the dark due to their own beliefs or misgivings about who God really is. The love and grace that He has given us which they don’t understand and we give as well. Where does this come from? Merely the One who loves us and who has told us to “go” and tell and show His love. 🙂

  3. Great article…

    “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.” — Isaiah 6:8

    He references the above verse too which helps a little. Without a larger context, his statement can be confusing.
    Since hes talking to the body of believers it makes more sense – thus we see his use of Matthew 22:14 to encourage the church invisible to show themselves as the church visible by “Action”. – Not that God elects any whom do not answer the call eventually.

    I think that after his trip to Japan in 1906 he realized more deeply that people in the body rather let others evangelize and work for the kingdom while they themselves sit back. His exhortation reminds me that we all need to all be active and evangelize. Its all of our jobs…. (Matthew 28:19,20; Acts 5:42; II Timothy 4:5)

  4. Ok so having taken in all three of your comments, I have reread the passage and can see that he was talking more about the call to salvation and the call to service in GENERAL and it makes more sense.

    Crisis averted.

    Thanks Krissy, Steph and Dave 🙂

  5. Hi Bina,   I guess what he was trying to say is that God does not force his will on anyone.  In Matthew 22:15 is is writtne that Many are called, but few choosen.  I would expect the ones that are choosen are ones that have a one on one with God…a special kinship….like the ones in you examples.  For Noah and Isaiah I expect that it was their relationship with God that allowed to know that he had made the call, but I do believe it was their freedom of choice that won out and they asked Him to send them.   That is my two cents worth.   Love, Larry

    Larry W. Poston

    ________________________________

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