Do you struggle to let go of things in fear you may need them later?
Week 1 – Celebrating 100 Years of Oswald Chambers
Welcome to my year-long celebration of Oswald Chambers and his life-changing devotional, My Utmost for His Highest!
Each week, right here on the blog, I’ll share an entry from that week and how it challenged my heart to go deeper and reach higher for the Lord. (I’m excited to have several author/speaker friends sharing what God speaks to them as well!)
I hope you’ll join the conversation!
Learn more about “My Utmost 2018” at this post, and sign up for the FREE downloadable “My Utmost: Reflection & Bible Reading Journal.” It has space to record what you learned from your Bible reading and Chambers’ daily devotion.
After you’ve finished your reading and reflecting, feel free to leave a COMMENT below concerning what spoke most to you from that previous week. Hop over to Facebook as well, and share your thoughts in the daily assignment page. I can’t wait to hear from you!
Now, on to this week’s post…
My Utmost for His Highest
VERSE: “He moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.” Genesis 12:8
OSWALD: “Worship is giving God the best that He has given you. Be careful what you do with the best you have. Whenever you get a blessing from God, give it back to Him as a love gift…If you hoard a thing for yourself, it will turn into spiritual dry rot, as the manna did when it was hoarded.” (My Utmost for His Highest – January 6th)
Read the entire post:
How It Spoke to Me…
Hoarders. I don’t know if you’ve seen the TV show by this title, but every time I watch it, my heart goes out to the many people who struggle under the weight of their own belongings.
I’ve been there, at least in small part. I understand what it is like to feel overwhelmed by the disorder of clutter and paralyzed by too much stuff. Drowning in excess, yet, inexplicably, feeling the compulsion to go out and get more.
Several times over the years, the Lord has taken me through a shedding season, a pruning and letting go of thirty years of accumulation. I can’t begin to tell you how freeing it has been! But there is a spiritual hoarding we must deal with as well. For it can be just as detrimental, just as debilitating.
Especially when we clutch to ourselves the blessings, the spiritual gifts and talents God has given us, clinging tightly to the very things we were meant to give away.
“Blessed to be a blessing.” That’s what we’re called to be as children of God. But so often we operate from a poverty mindset. A subconscious fear that “this is as good as it’s going to get – so I better get while the getting’s good.”
Like the Israelites on the first day the manna fell in the wilderness (Exodus 16), we run about gathering as much blessing as we can carry – both spiritually as well as practically. Stuffing it in our mouths until it comes out our ears. Packing it in our pockets and briefcases and storage units; taking bread we don’t need rather than placing it in the hands of people who do.
But just like the Israelites discovered, hoarded manna doesn’t keep well. No matter how carefully you store it, it rots overnight. Just as the blessings we keep for ourselves tend to deteriorate.
“God will never let you hold a spiritual thing for yourself,” Oswald says, “it has to be given back to Him that He may make it a blessing to others.”
God never intended our lives to be containers. He wants to make us conduits through which His life and love can flow.
He wants our lives to be “poured out like a drink offering,” as Paul puts it in Philippians 2:17, so that the “grace of our Lord” which He “poured out on [us] abundantly” (1 Timothy 1:14) might be released to those around us.
And He asks us to do the same. Calling us to a joyful generosity that shares with no reservation rather than stingy self-preservation. Giving what we’ve been given – including our very lives! – until there is no more to give. Then falling into bed at night exhausted, yet strangely fulfilled.
For unbeknownst to us, as we’ve poured out, God has been pouring in. Blessed yet again. Grace for the day. New mercies each morning. The fresh manna of His Word. And once again, our hands are filled…
Blessed to be a blessing.
Join the Celebration
If you’d like to learn more about our current series “Celebrating 100 years with Oswald Chambers” click here. Sign up below to receive a “MY UTMOST 2018 Journal”…
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I’d love to hear from you…What stood out most in your Bible and devotional reading this week?