September 24: The “Go” of Preparation

Daily devotionals from Oswald Chambers

September 24: The “Go” of Preparation

Postby Wesley » Thu Sep 24, 2015 6:10 am

If you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. —Matthew 5:23-24

It is easy for us to imagine that we will suddenly come to a point in our lives where we are fully prepared, but preparation is not suddenly accomplished. In fact, it is a process that must be steadily maintained. It is dangerous to become settled and complacent in our present level of experience. The Christian life requires preparation and more preparation.

The sense of sacrifice in the Christian life is readily appealing to a new Christian. From a human standpoint, the one thing that attracts us to Jesus Christ is our sense of the heroic, and a close examination of us by our Lord’s words suddenly puts this tide of enthusiasm to the test. “…go your way. First be reconciled to your brother….” The “go” of preparation is to allow the Word of God to examine you closely. Your sense of heroic sacrifice is not good enough. The thing the Holy Spirit will detect in you is your nature that can never work in His service. And no one but God can detect that nature in you. Do you have anything to hide from God? If you do, then let God search you with His light. If there is sin in your life, don’t just admit it— confess it. Are you willing to obey your Lord and Master, whatever the humiliation to your right to yourself may be?

Never disregard a conviction that the Holy Spirit brings to you. If it is important enough for the Spirit of God to bring it to your mind, it is the very thing He is detecting in you. You were looking for some big thing to give up, while God is telling you of some tiny thing that must go. But behind that tiny thing lies the stronghold of obstinacy, and you say, “I will not give up my right to myself”— the very thing that God intends you to give up if you are to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
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September 24: The “Go” of Preparation

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Re: September 23: The “Go” of Preparation

Postby Wesley » Thu Sep 24, 2015 6:12 am

Never disregard a conviction that the Holy Spirit brings to you. If it is important enough for the Spirit of God to bring it to your mind, it is the very thing He is detecting in you. You were looking for some big thing to give up, while God is telling you of some tiny thing that must go.


One thing of concern is that different denominations and interpretations of the faith tend to look to different experiences as proof that God is leaning on them to give something up, or to change their ways. Be very careful that you're not going on a "feeling." If you don't have solid traction in the scriptures that something is wrong, your feelings may just be indigestion. :roll: Plenty of people will argue hotly that they were told to give up wine, rock music, dancing, reading newspapers on Sunday, and on and on. None of those things are clearly spoken against in scripture, using standard rules of verbal communication to parse the scriptures in context. And yet people have had some amazingly strong feelings to give those things up.

If you think the spirit of God is telling you to give something up based on a sensation or a strong feeling, it could just be your own weirdness, and you need to spend some significant time studying the scriptures on the topic that's bothering you. Don't violate your conscience, certainly, but know that the conscience is a poor guide to holiness.
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