I love to read My Utmost for His highest by Oswald Chambers. For some reason whenever I read one of the daily "devotional thoughts" I am struck with something that I really needed to hear. It always seems to be something that needs to hit me over the head and that needs to be listened to. Today's was no different. I want to share it with you here.
The Riches of the Destitute
. . . being justified freely by His grace . . . —Romans 3:24
The gospel of the grace of God awakens an intense longing in human souls and an equally intense resentment, because the truth that it reveals is not palatable or easy to swallow. There is a certain pride in people that causes them to give and give, but to come and accept a gift is another thing. I will give my life to martyrdom; I will dedicate my life to service— I will do anything. But do not humiliate me to the level of the most hell-deserving sinner and tell me that all I have to do is accept the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.
We have to realize that we cannot earn or win anything from God through our own efforts. We must either receive it as a gift or do without it. The greatest spiritual blessing we receive is when we come to the knowledge that we are destitute. Until we get there, our Lord is powerless. He can do nothing for us as long as we think we are sufficient in and of ourselves. We must enter into His kingdom through the door of destitution. As long as we are "rich," particularly in the area of pride or independence, God can do nothing for us. It is only when we get hungry spiritually that we receive the Holy Spirit. The gift of the essential nature of God is placed and made effective in us by the Holy Spirit. He imparts to us the quickening life of Jesus, making us truly alive. He takes that which was "beyond" us and places it "within" us. And immediately, once "the beyond" has come "within," it rises up to "the above," and we are lifted into the kingdom where Jesus lives and reigns (see John 3:5 ).
I am so often chasing after things and trying to be an effective Christian. But is the life I'm living just the life of someone in the world trying to be a good person or am I truly being a follower of Christ...a Christian? Sometimes I'm not exactly sure what that means or entails. I know that I don't have it all figured out and I don't try to pretend that I do. I am a miserable sinner and I know that I need the grace of God in order to go on. I pray that I can be made truly alive through Jesus and the Holy Spirit and that the hunger for His Word and all that entails would drive me to follow Him more closely, fervently and with my head on the floor face down in awe of His power, love, might and incomprehensible grace. I pray that I can learn more about being a follower of Christ and what it means to "fear God above all things" Let the journey continue through His grace.