Oswald Chambers Makes Me Think

I have been reading through Oswald Chamber’s My Utmost for His Highest for the Graduate the past few weeks and have been brought to some deeper understanding about myself. Particularly about my faith and how my actions may not always reflect my beliefs. The format of this book goes day by day, with a short, supporting Scripture, and then an application part. December 2 was about “Christian Perfection”. Chambers made mention of the Holiness Movement and how that is somewhat of an inaccurate interpretation of obedience and God’s purpose for us. He writes, “The concept of holiness movements tends to be the God is producing specimens of holiness to put in His museum”. Further on, he declares that if we hold to this tradition we are missing the whole point of God’s true holiness! Yikes… Christian perfection does not have anything to do with our humanly characteristics or actions here on earth. Christian perfection has to do with our relationship with our Savior, during the ‘boring’ days and the ‘exciting’ ones, during the good and bad times, and during strife or peace.

As I read through this, I thought about how true it is for me personally, and I was made aware of all the ways I try to make my life “perfect”, instead of first focusing on my relationship with Christ. I became somber because I knew that I was not living up to the potential that God has prepared for me. Then I suddenly realized that I have every resource I need to begin work on this relationship. God is so good. He gives us all everything we need. Isn’t he great? Isn’t he wonderful?

“I am called to live in such a perfect relationship with God that my life produces a yearning for God in the lives of others, not admiration for myself” (Chambers).

Wow. I mean, this quote is absolutely beautiful. Here, Chambers identifies our calling as followers of Christ. Of course the specifics of each are different, but the roots are the same. This caused me to double think about my relationship with Christ and if I am really living the way I think I am. Sadly, I do not think I am quite there, which is difficult for me to admit. At times, I find it easier to pretend than to really live out feelings, and I have gotten pretty good at it, too. This is not good. Christ calls for reality! He did not say that I would have an easy life with only happy emotions and situations attached, but he did say that my life would be full.

And full it is.

The more I thought about this concept, I was brought back to this verse in the Bible:

“He must become greater, I must become less” (NIV, Jn 3:30).

If my life is full, it needs to be filled with Christ, not other meaningless things. It is possible to live a comfortable and totally meaningless life, and that scares me. I don’t want to be the person who didn’t live her life to the fullest! All the time, I find myself telling my friends that “God has a plan for you through this”, but rarely do I tell myself this Truth. Rarely do I allow myself to believe and really trust that God might have a plan for me, too! And this plan has everything to do with a full life, a full relationship with Jesus Christ. Just because I am not aware of the specifics doesn’t mean the plan doesn’t exist.

Now, with all of that said, I feel like I need some sort of action plan to go with it. I know that if I don’t, then I will sit in the same spot that I always have and do what I have always done. So I read through a bunch of different articles about personal Bible study and whatnot, and came across this quote, “God is not interested in perfection–but in the progressive development of godly patterns. It is better to set modest goals and gradually increase them as you succeed in them than to set too high of a goal-only to give up in frustration” (Personal Bible Study). It made me chuckle because that is exactly what I have been working through.

Plan of Action:

– find a list of Scripture, or choose a book of the Bible

– write everything in my journal

– use the “3 Question Method” (Read more about that here)

– Scripture memorization

The reason I chose these items for my action plan is simple. I wanted something simple for myself, that does not include over-the-top readings or too high of expectations. The S.O.A.P. method is one I have used before too (you can learn about that here), but I want to try something different. I want to see what I can learn from the text, and to learn to listen to God’s word. My goal is simple, and therefore my method is simple.

Do you have a method for Bible study? Do you follow a schedule? Do you use a journal? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear what works for you!

Until next time,

Megan :)

[[Also, here is a link to Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest for the Graduate. There are lots of variations on this book, and I am sure they are all worthwhile!]]


Day 177

Bible Things

Recently, as in yesterday, my best friend and I started a new habit for ourselves. Writing in a journal about a passage that we both read. The journal will pass through us, but we will always both read the same thing that day, and read our partner’s response from the day before.

Yesterday, he wrote on Proverbs 31:8-9.

Today, I read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

It is about companionship and community and having relationships with people.

Relationships are so important!!!!

It is so crazy to me the people that think they can do everything on their own. How is it working for you? I mean, sure.. It might be working out for a little bit, but there isn’t really any way that you can keep on going without a support system.. My life is full of relationships and I hope that I can fully be present and relate to them. I want to be there with people. I want to come alongside them and walk with them through their troubles.

In class today, I wanted to say something about that — the walking with people in their pains deal — but then, like usual….. He changed the stinking subject. (there are a lot of things that frustrate me about that class..)

But anyways.. I just want to stress the importance of relationship and the importance of being real with people. Having no honesty and no truth in a relationship sets it up for disaster.. But tearing apart life together.. That’s where growth happens!

The very beginning of verse 9 (Ecclesiastes 4) — Two are better than one (!)

Stick together :)

Stay fresh, God bless

Day 160

Worry and Baking

Do they go together?


But the latter can cure the one preceding.

The reason I say this is because much of the day today, my best friend had a pretty bad case of “the Worries”. It’s true that we all get infected with the Worry Bug sometimes, and it’s not so easy to fight off. It’s kind of like everything hits you at once and there is no way to deal with it all in one day, let alone one hour. It’s times like these that we lose our ability to rationalize things and the ability to really think about what is going on. What is the real problem, this time?

Sometimes.. I worry quite a bit.

And sometimes.. I don’t even know that I am worrying..

That worries me..

Truly, it does kind of worry me that sometimes I don’t even know that I’m worried.

Anyways.. Back to the point. Baking, or painting, or anything like that can relieve your stress. I truly believe that the creative mind has the power to relieve and to release the tension that forms in our minds. Like I sort of alluded to the other day when talking about painting, having a creative outlet will.. Let out your internal emotions. I do, I do believe that.

The thing about worry, is that it eat you alive. It starts with little thoughts in your mind, telling you that things aren’t going to work out and that you are going to be miserable if you don’t do anything about it.

Don’t let it contaminate you!

I know I’m not really anyone to talk about not worrying because a lot of the time, like I said, I have some sort of underlying worry going on inside.. But, maybe because of that, I have found passages in the Bible to help others with that, even though I don’t have it all down pat.

Matthew 6:25-34

Luke 12:22-34

Do you see the birds?

How about the lilies?

Did you know that God cares for you? That he very deeply cares for you? You are always on his mind and he would never turn your life in a direction that you can not handle. And when you think you can’t handle it, think again. You have God with you. You can lean on him and he is going to carry you through whatever is going on, that seems to be not-so-great right now.

God cares for you.

Stay fresh, God bless