Month: December 2014

The Opposition of The Natural

Oswald Chambersby Oswald Chambers

Those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires —Galatians 5:24

The natural life itself is not sinful. But we must abandon sin, having nothing to do with it in any way whatsoever. Sin belongs to hell and to the devil. I, as a child of God, belong to heaven and to God. It is not a question of giving up sin, but of giving up my right to myself, my natural independence, and my self-will. This is where the battle has to be fought. The things that are right, noble, and good from the natural standpoint are the very things that keep us from being God’s best. Once we come to understand that natural moral excellence opposes or counteracts surrender to God, we bring our soul into the center of its greatest battle. Very few of us would debate over what is filthy, evil, and wrong, but we do debate over what is good. It is the good that opposes the best. The higher up the scale of moral excellence a person goes, the more intense the opposition to Jesus Christ.

“Those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh . . . .”

The cost to your natural life is not just one or two things, but everything. Jesus said,

“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself. . .” (Matthew 16:24).

That is, he must deny his right to himself, and he must realize who Jesus Christ is before he will bring himself to do it. Beware of refusing to go to the funeral of your own independence.

The natural life is not spiritual, and it can be made spiritual only through sacrifice. If we do not purposely sacrifice the natural, the supernatural can never become natural to us. There is no high or easy road. Each of us has the means to accomplish it entirely in his own hands. It is not a question of praying, but of sacrificing, and thereby performing His will.

by Oswald Chambers

No Other Gods

Vance Havnerby Vance Havner

Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Exodus 20:3

Our Lord made it clear that all other loves must be as hate compared to our love for Him (see Luke 14:26). This does not mean we love dear ones less, but that we love Him more. We must not water down this word until it loses its meaning. A departed dear one can become an idol at whose shrine we worship—so can our work, our reputation, our pleasures, some human friendship, our possessions. We must live as though these did not exist, so far as our supreme love and loyalty are concerned. When anything else eclipses our devotion to Jesus Christ, it must go and sometimes God takes it. He will not share the throne room of our hearts with anyone or anything else. But when He is first and last, all other legitimate and proper interests and affections find their places. But they must never hold the status of gods or idols.

by Vance Havner