Time for the first Southern Scents Sermon Snippet Sunday (try saying that without tying your tongue like a cherry stem).
It’s short and it’s a musing on the great book by Oswald Chambers. Don’t know Oswald Chambers? You might know this book title: My Utmost for His Highest. (It’s all coming back to you now isn’t it?) He’s written a few others as well, but this is the lovely little book I’m borrowing wisdom from today. It’s from July 8 The Will to Loyalty the Classic Edition. His verses are a little old fashioned, I believe he uses KJV (I’m not 100% on that notion) so I’ll convert it to the version I normally use, NIV (1984 ed).
“But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”
Everyone in the Christian community has probably heard the end of that verse, I think every good Christian home has it somewhere above the door, over the fireplace or in a common ground area where all incoming guests can see and make comments over the adorned sign. But Oswald doesn’t focus there, he focuses a little bit earlier in the verse. I love how he discusses just a small piece of this verse and breaks it down further, “then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.” That is the part he savors, the action, not the result of the action. As Americans we very much like the results of our actions, we focus on the end, a means to an end, a common enough saying. We justify until we’re purple and blue and unable to form anymore spit, just to justify our actions and by doing so, make people believe we’ve done the best we can.
But we didn’t.
Not because we couldn’t, but because we didn’t want to. The sinful, rebellious child in us looked at what GOD was asking us to do and we stamped our foot, tilted our nose up and to the right and refused to bend our will to the righteous will of GOD our father. Oswald makes a good point (of many) in this devotion, “It is a deliberate calculation, not something into which you drift easily; and everything else is in abeyance[suspension] until you decide.” Did Oswald ever hit the pin on the head (something harder to hit than a nail head). My updated rephrasing is this, “It’s a determined well reasoned application, not something simple or easy to apply; & all else in our life is suspended until we decide to will to obey.” We’ve got to decide if this is the first and foremost desire of our hearts, that all we depend on is if we will bend our wills to the will of the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY. Or, if we continue to allow our will to rule us, to make decisions for us that we. will. regret.
Oswald’s second point I find so impactful for this snippet, “You have no business to find out where GOD is leading, the only thing GOD will explain to you is Himself.” How many times do we question what He is asking? I can’t even tell you the multiple things I’m in the middle of where I’m asking when, where, WHAT does GOD want from me? Where does He want me to go? When is He going to …? What does God want me to do next??? In that frustration Satan works his magic, he gets me to doubt my GOD, to doubt that my GOD has the best at heart for me, that He just wants me to know Him and nothing else.
Next time we ask GOD What’s next, maybe we should stop and change that thought. We should instead say, GOD I don’t know what you have planned for me, but GOD I will obey and follow you, I’ll be loyal to my GOD and serve the Creator of Life, now and always.
†My apology… it’s not as short as I thought it would be, I think I wrote more on the subject than Oswald in this post. But remember, his book is a devotional and this is what I got from his daily thought. This is not the Bible, nor solid glorious GOD, it has been corrupted by my humanity, my pride, my selfishness. Take my thoughts with a grain of salt.