Excerpt from "The Hidden Life", by Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest
"The Spirit of God witnesses to the simply almighty security of the life hid with Christ in God and this is continually brought out in the Epistles. We talk as if it were the most precarious thing to live the sanctified life; it is the most secure thing, because it has Almighty God in and behind it. The most precarious thing is to try and live without God. If we are born again it is the easiest thing to live in right relationship to God and the most difficult thing to go wrong, if only we will heed God's warnings and keep in the light. When we think of being delivered from sin, of being filled with the Spirit, and of walking in the light, we picture the peak of a great mountain, very high and wonderful, and we say--"Oh, but I could never live up there!" But when we do get there by God's grace, we find it is not a mountain peak, but a plateau where there is ample: room to live and to grow. "Thou has enlarged my steps under me." When you really see Jesus, I defy you to doubt Him. When He says--"Let not your heart be troubled," if you see Him I defy you to trouble your mind, it is a moral impossibility to doubt when He is there. Every time you get into personal contact with Jesus, His words are real. "My peace I give unto you;" it is a peace all over from the crown of the head to the sole of the feet, an irrepressible confidence. "Your life is hid with Christ in God," and the imperturbable (that word means composed, calm, cool) peace of Jesus Christ is imparted to you."
From Marilyn: I thought this devotional accompanies Pastor John's sermon and the topic of "setting the captives free..." We talked Sunday about the woman at the well and Jesus dialing in to her life with intentional conversation. How, when God knocks at our heart....with the same intent, it is meant to be good and not something we should bow away from. This weekend also shed some light on walking in Christ and how that frees us up to enjoy the things of this world that the Lord deemed from the beginning of time as..."it is good." I like these couple sentences:
"We talk as if it were the most precarious thing to live the sanctified life; it is the most secure thing, because it has Almighty God in and behind it. The most precarious thing is to try and live without God. If we are born again it is the easiest thing to live in right relationship to God and the most difficult thing to go wrong, if only we will heed God's warnings and keep in the light."
From talking with the myriad of folks that John and I speak with or that we talk to individually, one of the things that I find most interesting is that this walk of faith seems to come and go in some people's lives. It's like an escalator for a bit, the ride up is a continual climb and it's all good, but when the plateau hits, its as if the climb ceases to exist and the ways of life pull the "christian walk" right out from under folks. "When you really see Jesus, I defy you to doubt Him!" Truer words have never been spoken. If you have ever seen the Lord orchestrate a job interview, a moment with a family member and they come to Jesus or you've experienced a healing, a financial relief or relationship restored...if you've ever testified to God's merciful grace in your life...it is super difficult make your mind go any place other than at His feet.
Here is just a fun story about God's Hand in showing Himself and being so "intentful" in a meeting from around the globe. A few weeks ago, Lindsay and Chris Lawson had a friend from Ireland come and visit for 2 weeks. Her name is Ruth. When Ruth was in Ireland, her church had an intern come from America...so when Ruth was coming here, she notified her friend who just happens to be living in Lancaster Ohio now so they had the opportunity to get together and fellowship. When this friend came to the door to retrieve her from the Lawson home, he noticed a Huntington University shirt someone was wearing and mentioned that he knew of Fort Wayne Indiana and knew where HU was located..."it's a great school," he said. Lindsay replied that her sister went there, but that she and Chris went to a small Christian school south of Lexington, KY to which he replied..."so did I, Asbury University!" Of course they were all going crazy and asked the year of their respective graduations and people they knew, which led to, "Hey did you know Paul Nisewander?" Lindsay said, "know him...he's married to my second cousin!" No way! Then this young man said that he actually grew up in Wilmore Kentucky, and Lindsay said, "my mom grew up in Wilmore and my grandma still lives on Lowery Lane." And of course you can probably guess....he said, "No way, MY GRANDMA LIVES ON LOWERY LANE TOO!" And in just a few short minutes the Lord shrunk the size of the entire globe down to the Lawson's living room and brought together some like-minded hearts for a time of encouragement and amazement as HE took a girl from Ireland, a friendship made over "face time" and e-mail, brought her to Newark, OH to see an acquaintance from KY, currently living in Lancaster, to meet up with another Christian brother and sister for a Holy Spirit connection...and a chance to see that to the Lord, the world is a small place. He is here and working in and through every situation. He is intentional in your life and my life and, "when you really see Jesus, I defy you to doubt Him."
I've said this before and I'll say it again and again...it took 12 years for the Lord to pull together our marriage and start the process of restoration. We will experience our 35th wedding anniversary this coming November and to tell you the truth, I wouldn't change a bit of it, because I can see through duration, duration, duration how intentional the Lord was in dealing with my heart during that time. If you can't go the distance with Him, you'll miss intentional life situations, you'll miss blessings and you'll miss seeing His Hand here and now!