Friday, November 14, 2008

Devotional 141108

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. There is no better way to experience God than to live our day with an obedient heart; discern what God wants us to learn in every encountering that He puts in our way. The most demanding or difficult customer, boss or coworker that suddenly knocked on our door could be a God sent ‘angel’ to test our faith or to shape our character. With an obedient heart and devoted soul, we seek to experience His love in all circumstances. Paul said, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword” (Rom 8:35)? The answer of course is none of the above. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. If this is our conviction, then we are courageous to face all kinds of difficulties or difficult persons that may come our way. With this in mind, let’s look at what Oswald Chamber shared in his walk with Christ.
We have to be so one with God that we do not continually need to ask for guidance. The servant of Abraham had this kind of conviction in God, when he was sent to look for a wife for Isaac in Abraham’s hometown, "Praise be to the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned his kindness and faithfulness to my master. As for me, the LORD has led me on the journey to the house of my master's relatives" (Genesis 24:27). Sanctification means that we are made the children of God, and the natural life of a child is obedience - until he wishes to be disobedient, then instantly there is the intuitive detachment. In the spiritual domain the intuitive detachment is the warning of the Spirit of God. When He gives the warning, we have to stop at once and be renewed in the spirit of our mind in order to make out what God's will is. If we are born again of the Spirit of God, it is the abortion of piety to ask God to guide us here and there. "The Lord has led me," and on looking back we see the presence of an amazing design, which, if we are born of God, we will credit to God.
We can all easily see God in exceptional things, but it requires the culture of spiritual discipline to see God in every detail in regular days. Never allow the interruption or unexpected thing that happens to you as anything less than God's appointed order, and always be ready to discover the Divine designs in anywhere and in any encountering.
Beware of confining yourself to certain routines or consistency to your convictions instead of being devoted to God. ‘I shall never do the things that I am not used to do’ - in all probability you will have to, if you are a saint. There never was a more inconsistent Being on this earth than Our Lord (Jesus did not confine himself to every religious routines or traditions on earth), but He was never inconsistent to His Father. The one consistency of the saint is not to a principle (or to a tradition), but to the Divine life. It is the Divine life, which continually makes more and more discoveries about the Divine mind. It is easier to be a fanatic than a faithful soul, because there is something amazingly humbling, particularly to our religious hypocrisy, in being loyal to God.
To be honest with you, it is not easy to practice this kind of teaching that Chambers described, or follow the footstep of Christ according to the way he walked on earth. Jesus challenged the religious institution, religious practices and traditions of his days. He walked a tight rope of being perceived radical and devotional at the same time in his earthly life. The ‘conservatives’ accused Him of being too liberal for not conforming to their traditions, while the ‘seculars’ embraced Him as their rebel’s leader. In another word, he walked on a lonely journey that pleased none but God His Father. This kind of devout life requires a lot of assurance from the Lord and genuine devotional practice; that dares to be difference from the world not for the sake of being difference. If this is not the work of God, none can truly conduct a life of saint accordingly. Have mercy on us O Lord! We desire the life of Christ to grow within us.
Love you not according to the world but Christ,

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