Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Response to Oswald Chambers January 25

Leave Room For God

But when it pleased God. . . — Galatians 1:15

As workers for God we have to learn to make room for God – to give God "elbow room."

Immediately there is a problem. We do not work for God; He works through us. We have nothing on our that we can give to God:

"Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?" (Isaiah 66:1)

Jesus solidifies OUR uselessness apart from Him:

"Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." (John 15:4-5)

When Jesus died on the Cross, He declared fully to the world that nothing else was needed:

"When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost." (John 19:30)

We calculate and estimate, and say that this and that will happen, and we forget to make room for God to come in as He chooses.

There is a simple answer to this:

"Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?" (Matthew 6:25)

Followed by:

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matt 6:33)

Why worry about tomorrow, or its needs, when Jesus has supplied us all things through His death and resurrection:

"He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32)

Besides, we have no business calculating from our own limited and limiting intellect what the future may hold for us:

"Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:

"Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

"For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that." (James 4: 13-15)

He wills, He instills within us the skills and the thrills (cf Philippians 2: 12-13); what more can we ask for?

Would we be surprised if God came into our meeting or into our preaching in a way we had never looked for Him to come? Do not look for God to come in any particular way, but look for Him.

"Look for Him" implies that He is outside of us. He lives within us!

"To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Colossians 1:27)

"My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you." (Galatians 4:19)

That is the way to make room for Him. Expect Him to come, but do not expect Him only in a certain way. However much we may know God, the great lesson to learn is that at any minute He may break in. We are apt to over look this element of surprise, yet God never works in any other way. All of a sudden God meets the life – "When it was the good pleasure of God. . ."

He is always at work! He is always breaking in! The issue for the believer is that we must grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord, that we may receive His power and realize His work in our lives (cf 2 Peter 3:18). We appropriate this grace by faith (cf Ephesians 2:8-9)

As for the "good pleasure of God", look no further than Jesus' promise in the Gospel of Luke:

"Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." (Luke 12:32)

It is God's good pleasure to work within us by the power of His Holy Spirit! All we have to do is walk in the Spirit (cf Galatians 5:16) by faith (cf 2 Corinthians 5:7).

That's not a which we have to perform; neither is this a work which we have to look for -- it's a wonderful gift which keeps on giving (cf Romans 5:17)!

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