December 29, 2013

Follower or deserter?

The problem of writing the truths that Jesus reveals to me from His Word is that it works the same as a recipe or a grocery list. It I have it on paper, then I tend not to think about it or remember it the same way as if it were rehearsed in my head.
Those who instruct in the keeping of journals say that the value of a journal is lost if the author does not reread what he or she has written. The important truths revealed and understood from the Bible are the same. They require meditation, but even more, obedience. Just writing them down is a double tragedy for an attention deficit scatter-brain because I’m so easily distracted.

Today’s devotional reading from My Utmost for His Highest is about this serious problem. Oswald Chambers uses a verse that comes just after Jesus reveals a deep truth to the crowds that are following Him. Some of them could not accept what He said . . .

After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. (John 6:66)

Chambers says that when God gives a vision by His Spirit through His word of what He wants, and I am excited about it but do not follow through in obedience, I will wind up with a point of view that Jesus never had.

He says that this will start with an inner debate. Then certain things will begin to develop, such as a sense of property and a sense of personal right. I want to do what I want to do. Such an attitude is foreign to Jesus. He says that life does not consist in the abundance of what I possess. I understand this means more than the stuff in my shelves, but also any ideas I possess about how to run my life.

Chambers adds that I might also lie back and bask in the memory of the wonderful experience of that revelation rather than hopping to it, doing what it says. He warns me that if God reveals anything to me and I do not come up to it, and do not feel inclined to come up to it, that is the beginning of backsliding. It means my conscience has not answered to the truth. He says that I cannot ever be the same after the unveiling of a truth because that moment marks me. I will either go on as a more true disciple of Jesus Christ, or go back as a deserter.

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