Sunday, January 8, 2012


Come near to God and he will come near to you. James 4:8a

This is my verse for this year. As I was typing my tabala rasa post, God placed it upon my heart. I know He knew I needed it! The past six months or so have been very tough to find time to be with God uninterrupted. To be in prayer uninterrupted. It's been tough to find time to learn and to grow spiritually.

Happily, thanks to a great friend of mine, I joined a Bible study in the fall, so I've been getting some spiritual food there, but aside from that, I've been going pretty hungry.

I decided it was time to pick up My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers for this year. Only six days in and it's challenged my faith in both good and bad ways. In this post I'll just focus on the good.

I'm writing this on the sixth (even though this post won't go up for a couple days yet).

He moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an alter to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord. Genesis 12:8

Worship is giving God the best that he has given you. Be careful what you do with the best that you have. Whenever you get a blessing from God, give it back to him as a love-gift. Take time to meditate before God and offer the blessing back to Him in a deliberate act of worship. If you hoard it for yourself, it will turn into spiritual dry rot, as the manna did when it was hoarded (Ex. 16:20). God will never allow you to keep a spiritual blessing completely for yourself. It must be given back to Him so that he can make it a blessing for others.

Bethel is the symbol of fellowship with God; Ai is the symbol of the world. Abram "pitched his tent" between the two. The lasting value of our public service for God is measured by the depth of the intimacy of our private times of fellowship and oneness with Him. Rushing in and out of worship is wrong every time -- there is always plenty of time to worship God. Days set apart for quiet can be a trap, detracting from the need to have daily time with God. That is why we must "pitch our tents" where we will always have quiet times with Him, however noisy our times with the world may be. There are not three levels of spiritual work -- worship, waiting, and work. Yet some of us seem to jump like spiritual frogs from worship to waiting, and from waiting to work. God's idea is that the three should go together as one. They were always together in the life of our Lord and in perfect harmony. It is a discipline that must be developed; it will not happen overnight.

Isn't it a gift to know that spiritual work is a discipline? Isn't it good to know it's a journey in which we continue to grow?  I'm striving for that harmony, but I'm still a looooong ways from it! I'm glad that God doesn't mind that sometimes my worship even occurs amidst the cacophony of children chattering, dogs whining, and the sound of supper preparations.

I'm glad the journey is not over yet.


  1. My Utmost for His Highest really is a treasure.
    Must go find mine.
    Happy Sunday, Deborah!

  2. Deborah,
    My heart resonates with what you write. Thank you for so beautifully reminding us of these truths.
    I do pray for you daily.

  3. Thank you sister! THis is so very encouraging. While we are washing the dishes we are worshiping Him in our hearts, or aloud :O) Thanks for sharing!

  4. I like Oswald Chambers too. It's been a few years since I read My Utmost for His Highest. Last year, and this year, I'm reading Devotions for a Deeper Life, also by Chambers. I'm really enjoying it - - and there have been days that I've reread and reread and thought about and mulled over for weeks! Good food for thought in that book.

  5. I love Oswald Chambers "MY Utmost For His Highest!" So deep! I re- read it all the time...

  6. Oh, I think I need to dig out mine! So very encouraging... and convicting.


  7. I think it makes God smile when we worship Him amidst the cacophony!

  8. I should pull out our copy of "MY Utmost For His Highest!"

    Thanks for sharing!!

  9. I absolutely love this book! I made sure the last time I purchased a copy, I got the original version. I like reading it in his original text. It certainly ministers to and convicts me every time I read it. It's such a blessing.

    What an odd word verif: unkinged


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