Powerful selection, Thanks, TK ((I read Oswald Chambers most everyday for my devotion and I saw this on sermonindex.net today and it reminded me of what we were discussing yesterday.
The Sphere of Humiliation – Chambers
“If Thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us?” (Mark 9:22).
That is our condition when we are in the valley; we do not know God, we are full of skepticism. The great point of our life with God, and of our service for Him in the world is that we get the skepticism rooted out of us, and it takes the valley of humiliation to root it out. Look back at your own experience and you will find that until you learned Who Jesus Christ was, you were a cunning skeptic about His power. When you were on the mount you could believe anything, because it was in accordance with the selfishness of your nature, but what about the time when you were up against facts in the valley, up against questions which could not be answered? You may be perfectly able to give a testimony to sanctification, but what about the thing that is a humiliation to you? If you are without something that is a humiliation to you, I question whether you have ever come into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We are called to fellowship with His sufferings, and some of the greatest suffering lies in remaining powerless where He remained powerless. Had our Lord been a man, He would have healed the boy at first, but He waited until the father was in the last ebb of despair— “If Thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.” Am I patient enough in my faith in Jesus Christ to allow people to get to the last ebb of despair before they see what He can do? We step in in a thousand and one ways God never tells us to; we say we cannot bear to see God appear cruel, but God has to appear cruel from our standpoint. As disciples of Jesus we have to learn not only what Our Lord is like on the Mount of Transfiguration, but what He is like in the valley of humiliation, where everything is giving the lie to His power, where the disciples are powerless, and where He is not doing anything.
-excerpted from The Love of God by Oswald Chambers
We seek truths; God seeks to make us true. – Art Katz)). I’ll be passing this on to a few friends. I would like to commend to you the somewhat less famed, but equally valuable devotional by C.H. Spurgeon, “Morning and Evening,” as also his magisterial “The Treasury of David,” a devotional commentary on the Psalms.
Chambers was saved under Spurgeon’s preaching. For years, I used to tell Art, “Chambers ought ye to have done, but not to leave Spurgeon undone.” When once he was introduced to Spurgeon’s writings, it was love at first bite. After that, at many a morning prayer time, something from Spurgeon had stirred a new exhortation. He used to always speak of his envy of Spurgeon’s unique grasp and ability to communicate the “sweetness” of Jesus.
Spurgeon strikes an amazing balance that is a healing balm of encouragement to embattled believers. I find no mixture in his gospel, and that’s rare. I once read a small booklet entitled, “The Sufferings of Spurgeon,” which was a window into the way of divine wisdom in bringing His servant into the kind of priestly identification that is able to comfort and encourage other beleaguered and war weary saints in their fight of faith.
On his head stone, friends inscribed the words, “he being dead yet speaks.” What a rich treasury we have inherited in the sublime hymns and inspirational writings of the church! Spurgeon and the beloved Chambers are just two of the better known lights in that great cloud of witnesses. What wonderful gifts He has given! Paul said to the Corinthians that we inherit all of this in one another, so that “in Christ,” there can be no cause for vain comparisons.
As in all things, there is an outward church that is so easy to assess (“know”) after the flesh (some translations, “human point of view”). There is a way we can know the church “after the flesh” that robs us of the hidden glory that is veiled by the weakness and error that exists even in the church’s truest expressions. It is only the humble eye of faith that can see past her shame and imperfection to behold the glory of her inward beauty. In that sense, the church is a mystery. Already, even before her coronation, she is all glorious in her apparel, clothed with the Sun of Righteousness. Let all who love her and wait for her consolation, say continually “come quickly, Lord Jesus!”