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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

a confirming word

Once again, I find myself struck by the timeliness of one of Oswald Chambers' daily readings from My Utmost For His Highest. The devotional for today connects well with an email that I got from a friend late last night after I had already gone to bed. I was encouraged by the email, and this reading confirms much of what the Lord has been teaching my friend, as well as myself. Initially, I found myself in awe at the aptness of the devotional; then I was reminded of the Lord's goodness and his constant work in our lives. I am still in awe, but in light of his goodness, not surprised.

Inner Invincibility

"Whom the Lord love He chastens..."(Hebrews 12:6). How petty our complaining is! Our Lord begins to bring us to the point where we can have fellowship with Him, only to hear us moan and groan, saying, "Oh Lord, just let me be like other people!" Jesus is asking us to get beside Him and take one end of the yoke, so that we can pull together. That's why Jesus says to us, "My yoke is easy and My burden is light" (Matthew 11:30). Are you closely identified with the Lord Jesus like that? If so, you will thank God when you feel the pressure of His hand upon you.

"'...to those who have no might He increases strength' (Isaiah 40:29). God comes and takes us out of our emotionalism, and then our complaining turns into a hymn of praise. The only way to know the strength of God is to take the yoke of Jesus upon us and to learn from Him.

"'...the joy of the Lord is your strength' (Nehemiah 8:10). Where do the saints get their joy? If we did not know some Christians well, we might think from just observing them that they have no burdens at all to bear. But we might lift the veil from our eyes. The fact that the peace, light, and joy of God is in them is proof that a burden is there as well. The burden that God places on us squeezes the grapes in our lives and produces wine., but most of us see only the wind and not the burden. No power on earth or in hell can conquer the Spirit of God living within the human spirit; it creates and inner invincibility.

"If your life is producing only a whine, instead of the wine, then ruthlessly kick it out. It is definitely a crime for a Christian to be weak in God's strength."