Saturday, August 04, 2007

The Brave Friendship of God

From the pen of Sir Oswald Chambers...

Oh, the bravery of God in trusting us! Do you say, "But He has been unwise to choose me, because there is nothing good in me and I have no value"? That is exactly why He chose you. As long as you think that you are of value to Him He cannot choose you, because you have purposes of your own to serve. But if you will allow Him to take you to the end of your own self-sufficiency, then He can choose you to go with Him "to Jerusalem" (Luke 18:31). And that will mean the fulfillment of purposes which He does not discuss with you.

We tend to say that because a person has natural ability, he will make a good Christian. It is not a matter of our equipment, but a matter of our poverty; not of what we bring with us, but of what God puts into us; not a matter of natural virtues, of strength of character, of knowledge, or of experience— all of that is of no avail in this concern. The only thing of value is being taken into the compelling purpose of God and being made His friends (see 1 Corinthians 1:26-31).

God’s friendship is with people who know their poverty. He can accomplish nothing with the person who thinks that he is of use to God. As Christians we are not here for our own purpose at all — we are here for the purpose of God, and the two are not the same. We do not know what God’s compelling purpose is, but whatever happens, we must maintain our relationship with Him. We must never allow anything to damage our relationship with God, but if something does damage it, we must take the time to make it right again. The most important aspect of Christianity is not the work we do, but the relationship we maintain and the surrounding influence and qualities produced by that relationship. That is all God asks us to give our attention to, and it is the one thing that is continually under attack.

Sir Oswald, the Wise


  1. And that will mean the fulfillment of purposes which He does not discuss with you.

    This was Job's dilemma. His faith made him sure that God was at work in his trials, but the reason for it was impossible to grasp.

    We have the same problem in reverse when good things happen to us. Sometimes, we tend to think it is the result of our obedience; other times, we think it a product of our labor. I think the reality is that we misread our fortunes (and our trials) all the time because we do not really see (or care about) God's Big Picture.

    And for that, He loves us still...

  2. Yes, Sir Chuck, we tend to ignore God's Hand, or misinterpret his actions as rewards for our good efforts. Job himself knew this...

    "To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his. What he tears down cannot be rebuilt; the man he imprisons cannot be released. If he holds back the waters, there is drought; if he lets them loose, they devastate the land. To him belong strength and victory; both deceived and deceiver are his. He leads counselors away stripped and makes fools of judges. He takes off the shackles put on by kings and ties a loincloth around their waist. He leads priests away stripped and overthrows men long established...Job 12:13-19

    If there is one thing we can relate to our situations, it is the state of our relationship with God. If we are close in Him, and sensitive to His Mind through the Holy Spirit, then we have peace with our travails and our blessings. But if we are in ourselves, and we accept counsel from man or our own human spirit rather than the Wise Counselor, then we mis-ascribe our life events to reasons which we would like to think they arise from.

    Ah, pride, Sir Chuck, avoid all thoughts of it, and rest only in The Lord...

    Sir Oswald...

  3. Whatever the reason for our extreme good fortune of having been chosen by God, and, in turn, somehow having the wisdom to accept this grace, we know that it is not due to any merit on our part. It is certainly not our great wisdom or our virtue that would cause God to love us.

    Such is the great mystery. Whatever the reason, we can certainly rejoice in our salvation.

    Sir John, very glad it is not by merit.