“Are You Ready to be Offered?”

9 02 2008

I have been reading Oswald Chamber’s “My Utmost for His Highest” the last couple of months and have been reflecting on his insights about being “Offered”.

He writes the following over the course of a couple of day’s devotional thoughts:

“Are you willing to be offered for the work of the faithful–to pour out your life blood as a libation on the sacrifice of the faith of others? Or do you say–‘I am not going to be offered up just yet, I do not want God to choose my work. I want to choose the scenery of my own sacrifice; I want to have the right kind of people watching and saying, ‘Well done.’ 

            It is one thing to go on the lonely way with dignified heroism, but quite another thing if the line mapped out for you by God means being a door-mat under other people’s feet.  Suppose God wants to teach you to say, ‘I know how to be abased’–are you ready to be offered up like that?  Are you ready to be not so much as a drop in a bucket–to be so hopelessly insignificant that you are never thought of again in connection with the life you served?  Are you willing to spend and be spent; not seeking to be ministered unto, but to minister?”

I have been pondering these thoughts for a few days and remain disturbed at the conviction with which his questions prick my heart.  Am I ready to be not so much as a drop in a bucket, so hopefully insignificant that I am never thought of again in connection with the life I served/serve?  Why do I do what I am doing anyway?  To be known, praised, admired, respected.?  Am I really in love with Him so much, so committed to His glory and impacting others that I walk in the hidden service of the cross?  Dare I answer this question with honesty & truth?

Chambers goes on to say that the process of moving to this complete abandon of self is a transaction of will.  He writes,

“Tell God you are ready to be offered; then let the consequences be what they may, there is no strand of complaint now, no matter what God chooses.  God puts you through the crisis in private.  Externally life may be the same; the difference is in will.  Go through the crisis in will, then when it comes externally there will be no thought of the cost.

            ‘Bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the alter.’  The alter means fire–burning and purification and insulation for one purpose only, the destruction of EVERY AFFINITY THAT GOD HAS NOT STARTED AND OF EVERY ATTACHMENT THAT IS NOT AN ATTACHMENT IN GOD.  You do not destroy it, God does; you bind the sacrifice to the horns of the alter, and see that you do not give way to self-pity when the fire begins.  When the crisis arises, you realize that things cannot touch you as they used to do. 

WHAT IS YOUR WAY OF FIRE?”

This picture messes with me.  I like to be warm, don’t get me wrong, but I am not very comfortable burning!  But I (Reggie’s flesh) must burn; be fully consumed.  There is no other way if I want to truly be fully devoted and surrendered to Him.  What is my ‘way of fire’?  I am scared to ask, but my soul and spirit cry out from the depth of my being to try.  God, purge me deeply and let no dross be left in me.  Remove all that will stand in the way of me walking the road to Calvary with you, no matter the cost.  Let me hope in the resurrection, but to rise again, I must first be crucified.

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