Undivided Trinity - A.W. Tozer

The Scripture

Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last.  —Luke 23:46

The Quote

You desire that which exceeds my humble powers, but I trust in the compassion and mercy of the All-powerful God.  ~ Saint Stephen

Undivided Trinity - Wayne Williams

The Lord modeled unity not division. When it comes to his body - Father-Son-Holy Spirit, he maintained unity and ensured that we were left with a reflection and the active role of Him in our lives. He is consistent at how he treated people and his call to us on how we treat believers and non-believers alike remains a bar for all of us to keep visible so we do not lose sight of or father. Family is the same way in the way we treat one another. We have all witnessed division that starts with confusion, then manifests itself into stories, and soon a production is made out of something that was never intended but everyone begins to believe it.

In Leviticus 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself! What a mark of total selflessness. If I have a bar set to love thy neighbor as thyself - doesn’t that in itself eliminate pettiness, selfishness, anger, and bitterness? Lord, as we enter into a celebration for our country this weekend for our independence from oppression – remind us to not oppress others. I ask You to be with us all and work in and through us to be lights and not dark coverings over those we spend time with and are close to us. 

Your love is amazing and Your model is appreciated. Let us be mimics of Your modeling!

Wayne

 

Undivided Trinity - A.W. Tozer

I always note with a little chuckle the frustrations of the translators when they come to such passages [as John 1:18].…

God’s Word is just too big for the translators. They come to this phrase in the Greek: The Son hath declared Him. In the English of the King James Version it is just declared. In other versions they skirt it, they go around it, they plunge through it. They use two or three words and then they come back to one. They do everything to try to say what the Holy Ghost said, but they have to give up. Our English just will not say it all.

When we have used up our words and synonyms, we still have not said all that God revealed when He said: Nobody has ever seen God, but when Jesus Christ came He showed us what God is like (paraphrase of John 1:18).

I suppose that our simple and everyday language is as good as any.

“He has revealed Him—He has shown us what God is like!”

He has declared Him. He has set Him forth. He has revealed Him. In these ways the translators shift their language trying to get at this wondrous miracle of meaning.

Lord, I am too limited to fully understand or express who You are. Fix my eyes on Jesus, that I might see You. Amen.

The initiative against despair – Oswald Chambers

WOW!

I appreciated the notes yesterday from so many of you – following the devotion and the end of one year. It is kind of like the day after you win that big sale, climb the tall peak, or celebrate some great event – you wake up and go now what?

I begin to recall immediately the lessons of last year as Oswald challenges me with writings again. I am in search of new material – but I am reminded that the scriptures themselves – God Breathed – are everlasting. I am reminded by my Lord today that my time is with Him and that He wants me to reflect directly on Him.

Last night, we were able to here Dr. Tony Campolo speak  - it was remarkable. His words drove me back into pursuing a stronger relationship with the Father. It would be an intimate relationship – silent devotion in a dark space only Him and I. I will begin to pursue this time in discipline – no distractions. Why do we see that Jesus rose up at night so many times to be in solitude with His father? What a great example of commitment and communication. I want to continue to lead with more God Inspired Authority and less power. I want to see miracles and lives changed in those Christ spent His days ministering to.

I am challenged today – to reflect on who and what I am and what I am becoming – I Love that!  Thank you Lord for the challenge – no despair here today.

Wayne

 

The initiative against despair – Oswald Chambers

 Up, let’s be going. Look, my betrayer is here!” Matthew 26:46.

The disciples went to sleep when they should have kept awake, and when they realized what they had done it produced despair. The sense of the irreparable is apt to make us despair, and we say—‘It is all up now, it is no use trying any more.’ If we imagine that this kind of despair is exceptional, we are mistaken, it is a very ordinary human experience. Whenever we realize that we have not done that which we had a magnificent opportunity of doing, then we are apt to sink in despair, and Jesus Christ comes and says—‘Sleep on now, that opportunity is lost for ever, you cannot alter it, but arise and go to the next thing.’ Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ, and go out into the irresistible future with Him.

There are experiences like this in each of our lives. We are in despair, the despair that comes from actualities, and we cannot lift ourselves out of it. The disciples in this instance had done a downright unforgivable thing; they had gone to sleep instead of watching with Jesus, but He came with a spiritual initiative against their despair and said—‘Arise and do the next thing.’ If we are inspired of God, what is the next thing? To trust Him absolutely and to pray on the ground of His Redemption.

Never let the sense of failure corrupt your new action.

The “go” of unconditional identification - Oswald Chambers

To be in the world or of the world – that is the question.


How do we become the person that God designed us to be – living in the world – but not become of it. Why would the ruler be told to sell everything? A few years back, Pastor Wayne Barber told a story of his obsession with bass fishing. Here he was – a pastor that preached weekly from the pulpit and traveled to all parts of the world to spread the Word of God – and he had this very public obsession.


He felt God telling him to give up bass fishing. For those of us that have something or did have something taking over hearts like sports or even work – you know the pressure I am talking about. Pastor Wayne was hearing from his wife to give up something that every waking moment was used for bass fishing, talking about bass fishing, and buying bass fishing items.


One day, Pastor Wayne gave all of his bass fishing stuff away. It killed him as he thought he would never have that part of his life back. Today – Wayne still bass fishes and his wife Diana is happy and pleased with her husband – he just isn’t obsessed by it. When he gave it up – it was to fulfill a mission he was called to do – be a husband, father, and pastor – dedication and association to these priorities.


I have had to give up the very things that pull me away from a relationship with my Lord. He didn’t have to verbally tell me like the ruler in the book of Mark – I heard it daily when nothing else could get into the life of Wayne – except my obsessions! Lord – please work with me today to make sure that in my pursuit of a great relationship with you I don’t develop new obsessions that prevent me from identifying with you and hiding others view of you through me.


Wayne


The “go” of unconditional identification - Oswald Chambers

Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” Mark 10:21.

The rich young ruler had the master passion to be perfect. When he saw Jesus Christ, he wanted to be like Him. Our Lord never puts personal holiness to the fore when He calls a disciple; He puts absolute annihilation of my right to myself and identification with Himself—a relationship with Himself in which there is no other relationship. Luke 14:26 has nothing to do with salvation or sanctification, but with unconditional identification with Jesus Christ. Very few of us know the absolute “go” of abandonment to Jesus.

“Then Jesus beholding him loved him.” The look of Jesus will mean a heart broken for ever from allegiance to any other person or thing. Has Jesus ever looked at you? The look of Jesus transforms and transfixes. Where you are ‘soft’ with God is where the Lord has looked at you. If you are hard and vindictive, insistent on your own way, certain that the other person is more likely to be in the wrong than you are, it is an indication that there are whole tracts of your nature that have never been transformed by His gaze.

“One thing thou lackest …” The only ‘good thing’ from Jesus Christ’s point of view is union with Himself and nothing in between.

“Sell whatsoever thou hast …” I must reduce myself until I am a mere conscious man, I must fundamentally renounce possessions of all kinds, not to save my soul, (only one thing saves a man—absolute reliance upon Jesus Christ) but in order to follow Jesus. “Come, and follow Me.” And the road is the way He went.

The bow in the cloud – Oswald Chambers

I do need to rest and be reminded!

The Lord has sent us so many reminders on the promises He has made to us. This morning I am tired, exhausted, and plowing through devotion. I am missing the reminders but gradually being awaken by Him. Sometimes I feel I am on a “life drug” with drowsy side effects and almost miss His little communications to me on what He has promised. I get myself into a state of habit, routine, and pursuit of things and stuff that is life. It is like driving a car 4 hours to another city across the state and we get droned into missing the things around us and we take it all for granted.

He has promised much – but will I listen? I believe and I will pursue His promises with more determination. I will look for what He is showing me with more discipline. I will see the rainbows in life and enjoy it for what it reminds me of – His promises. I will respect and appreciate the covenant he has made with me. I will spend time resting, reviewing, and applying myself in a lower gear with Him so I can understand more of His glory, power, and commands.

Love you this day and all days Lord and thanks for allowing me the shift!

Wayne


The bow in the cloud – Oswald Chambers


13 I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. Genesis 9:13.
It is the will of God that human beings should get into moral relationship with Him, and His covenants are for this purpose. ‘Why does not God save me?’ He has saved me, but I have not entered into relationship with Him. “Why does not God do this and that?’ He has done it, the point is—Will I step into covenant relationship? All the great blessings of God are finished and complete, but they are not mine until I enter into relationship with Him on the basis of His covenant.
Waiting for God is incarnate unbelief, it means that I have no faith in Him; I wait for Him to do something in me that I may trust in that. God will not do it, because that is not the basis of the God-and-man relationship. Man has to go out of himself in his covenant with God as God goes out of Himself in His covenant with man. It is a question of faith in God—the rarest thing; we have faith only in our feelings. I do not believe God unless He will give me something in my hand whereby I may know I have it, then I say—‘Now I believe.’ There is no faith there. “Look unto Me, and be ye saved.”
When I have really transacted business with God on His covenant and have let go entirely, there is no sense of merit, no human ingredient in it at all, but a complete overwhelming sense of being brought into union with God, and the whole thing is transfigured with peace and joy.

The “go” of renunciation - Oswald Chambers

What do you hear when someone says you can’t do something?


I hear – it is a time to prove it and get it done. I also immediately look for the challenges, obstacles, and ways others have been trying it before. I believe my Lord tests and pushes me the same way. I don’t want you to do that – I ask why not – again and again – until it becomes visible. I also take a little longer I think than most to leave it alone. He pushes me to the point of pain and not having what I wanted – maybe because I was ultimately selfish – or maybe because at that moment it would get in the way of service for Him.


He knows me so well. I know my kids – my parents know me – my wife can think and knows exactly what I am going to do and what I will hold onto. If all of those that are close to me know so much about me – what makes me think that our Lord would not be able to decipher our thoughts and plans faster? He knows which ones will interrupt Him. He wants me to keep going – like this morning I want to relax a bit and not do my devotion – he makes me feel the need to press on. I must give up control of my life to Him and follow.


Follow – that can be a tough challenge - especially when you don’t know where you are going. Ultimately – with Him – I know where I am going and must give up my will and follow Him.


Wayne


The “go” of renunciation - Oswald Chambers

Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” . Luke 9:57.

Our Lord’s attitude to this man is one of severe discouragement because He knew what was in man. We would have said—‘Fancy losing the opportunity of winning that man!’ ‘Fancy bringing about a north wind that froze him and turned him away discouraged!’ Never apologize for your Lord. The words of the Lord hurt and offend until there is nothing left to hurt or offend. Jesus Christ has no tenderness whatever toward anything that is ultimately going to ruin a man in the service of God. Our Lord’s answers are based not on caprice, but on a knowledge of what is in man. If the Spirit of God brings to your mind a word of the Lord that hurts you, you may be sure that there is something He wants to hurt to death.

v. 58. These words knock the heart out of serving Jesus Christ because it is pleasing to me. The rigour of rejection leaves nothing but my Lord, and myself, and a forlorn hope. ‘Let the hundredfold come or go, your lodestar must be your relationship to Me, and I have nowhere to lay My head.’

v. 59. This man did not want to disappoint Jesus, nor to hurt his father. We put sensitive loyalty to relatives in place of loyalty to Jesus Christ and Jesus has to take the last place. In a conflict of loyalty, obey Jesus Christ at all costs.

v. 61. The one who says—‘Yes, Lord, but …’ is the one who is fiercely ready, but never goes. This man had one or two reservations. The exacting call of Jesus Christ has no margin of good-byes, because good-bye, as it is often used, is pagan, not Christian. When once the call of God comes, begin to go and never stop going.


The key to the missionary message - Oswald Chambers

I think I believe that I spend much of my life doing the work for Him at least that I feel called to do. The reality is – I am searching, fellowshipping, and ministering – but not really sharing like I feel John 2:2 is calling us to do.


I tend to stay focused on my circle of influence – and even then – I don’t risk much in the area of sharing the gospel. If someone sat down with me and asked – I could share – but how many times do we leave ourselves vulnerable enough to share the gospel? How many people outside of the our circle do we touch- not many from me.


In fact, our circles are also the areas that we feel the most vulnerable to share. We risk rejection, disappointment, and even risk of showing who we really are – or I might say Who lives in us. When we share with the whole world – the risk really does drop since those closest to us that don’t know Him are the ones we can most fear the sharing. This includes family! Sometimes I wonder if we are commanded to share and teach the gospel in all spaces – not just because He wants that from us – but because HE knows it will also have a long-lasting impact on our sharing closer to home.


I am challenged with determining “How” I can learn more and be ready – always for this calling. As I heard last night from Jim Edwards at Whitworth – The gospel must be taught – the gospel is given to the powerless and powerful and the world is our parish and should not be given or spread in just safe places.


Wake up Wayne – and be a missionary wherever and whenever availability connects you!


Wayne


The key to the missionary message - Oswald Chambers

And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. 1 John 2:2.

The key to the missionary message is the propitiation of Christ Jesus. Take any phase of Christ’s work—the healing phase, the saving and sanctifying phase; there is nothing limitless about those. “The Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!”—that is limitless. The missionary message is the limitless significance of Jesus Christ as the propitiation for our sins, and a missionary is one who is soaked in that revelation.

The key to the missionary message is the remissionary aspect of Christ’s life, not His kindness and His goodness, and His revealing of the Fatherhood of God; the great limitless significance is that He is the propitiation for our sins. The missionary message is not patriotic, it is irrespective of nations and of individuals, it is for the whole world. When the Holy Ghost comes in He does not consider my predilections, He brings me into union with the Lord Jesus.

A missionary is one who is wedded to the charter of his Lord and Master; he has not to proclaim his own point of view, but to proclaim the Lamb of God. It is easier to belong to a coterie which tells what Jesus Christ has done for me, easier to become a devotee to Divine healing, or to a special type of sanctification, or to the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Paul did not say—‘Woe is unto me, if I do not preach what Christ has done for me,’ but—“Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” This is the Gospel—“The Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!”


Yesterday – Oswald Chambers

What was great and what is not?

 

Today is a great day to reflect on the things that went well and the things that did not. Stop for a moment and think – take the time to breath and be patient. Our Master brought us a through a year of yesterdays! He placed us in this moment that in many ways we probably saw differently from the beginning of 2010.

 

He gave us enough to hang on to hope and yet not enough so we would rely on Him. We have been challenged to be steadfast in our walk and most likely we have tripped in different ways – but it still does not mean we can’t look at this day as “half-time” to the end of 2011 that is sitting in front of us. We have a great Coach and Master and with the reflection of the Holy Spirit – He is challenging us to look back to yesterday and realize we can change none of what has happened.

 

We go forward in 2011 knowing that He is once again in front of us – drawing plays each day for us and we will meet opponents, temptations, and pain – but we still need to play the game. We must believe we are playing for the right name on the Jersey and play and work hard for His kingdom.

 

Wayne

 

 Yesterday – Oswald Chambers

The God of Israel will be your reward. Isaiah 52:12.

Security from Yesterday. “God requireth that which is past.” At the end of the year we turn with eagerness to all that God has for the future, and yet anxiety is apt to arise from remembering the yesterdays. Our present enjoyment of God’s grace is apt to be checked by the memory of yesterday’s sins and blunders. But God is the God of our yesterdays, and He allows the memory of them in order to turn the past into a ministry of spiritual culture for the future. God reminds us of the past lest we get into a shallow security in the present.

Security for Tomorrow. “For the Lord will go before you.” This is a gracious revelation, that God will garrison where we have failed to. He will watch lest things trip us up again into like failure, as they assuredly would do if He were not our reward. God’s hand reaches back to the past and makes a clearing-house for conscience.

Security for To-day. “For ye shall not go out with haste.” As we go forth into the coming year, let it not be in the haste of impetuous, unremembering delight, nor with the flight of impulsive thoughtlessness, but with the patient power of knowing that the God of Israel will go before us. Our yesterdays present irreparable things to us; it is true that we have lost opportunities which will never return but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ.

Leave the Irreparable Past in His hands, and step out into the Irresistible Future with Him.[1]

Speechless Humility - A.W. Tozer

Scripture

While he was speaking to me, I looked down at the ground, unable to say a word.....How can someone like me, your servant, talk to you, my lord? My strength is gone, and I can hardly breathe.  —Daniel 10:15, 17

The Quote

Do you wish to be great? Then begin by being. Do you desire to construct a vast and lofty fabric? Think first about the foundations of humility. The higher your structure is to be, the deeper must be its foundation. ~ Saint Augustine

Speechless Humility - Wayne Williams

Lord - I pray that our pride or selfishness does not get in the way of our humility. I pray that with discipline, we put You first and us second. 

Let Your strength overcome the areas that I am weak. I am somewhat laughing right now because I am ALL weak and You are STRENGTH so maybe that should be reworded a bit. Change in our mind is necessary as most "partially successful" children of God feel like we are in control of our lives. 

We need mental rehabilitation to get out of the sin of pride and break the lie that we can do things on our own without You. I pray that all of Your children, fall down and start the practice of surrender of self control and apply God control.

We are capable servant leaders Lord - let us be moldable and pliable leaders and yield to You in all things. Thank You for strength Father!

Wayne

Speechless Humility - A.W. Tozer

Now the holy man of God said, “Lo, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him?” (Job 26:14). All that we can think or say is rational. But God rises above rationality. He rises as high above the rational as He does above the physical. God is of an essence and substance the like of which nothing else exists in the universe. He is above it all—and yet we can know a little portion of God’s ways. When I preach on the being of God, the attributes of God, when I talk about what God is like, and what kind of God He is, I approach it respectfully, from afar. I point with a reverent finger to the tall mountain peak which is God, which rises infinitely above my power to comprehend. But that is only a little portion. The paths of His ways cannot be known; the rest is super-rational.…

How terrible it is that, in the presence of this awesome, awful God, some people are untouched by it all! How frightful, how awesome, how awful it is! We don’t want to hear about God. We want to hear about something that can tickle our fancy, that can satisfy our morbid curiosity or our longing after romance.

I see such a little portion, Lord, of who You are, and yet how awesome are Your ways! May I never be untouched by what I see of You. Amen.

I See the Glory of God - A.W. Tozer

Scripture

But as surely as I live, and as surely as the earth is filled with the Lord’s glory —Numbers 14:21

The Quote

Don't use words too big for the subject. Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. ~ C.S. Lewis

I See the Glory of God - Wayne Williams

I love spring. This is a time when I see renewing and fast change. The forest floor blossoms with Crocuses, the birds come alive, the water on the lake goes from ice to smooth to turbulent and smooth again while filling back up and preparing for the summer.

New life begins to be witnessed with the birds and animals starting new broods that bring more work for the parents, yet more pleasure for the families and those watching. I think this is the first time I have prayed and thought about why I love spring - but I always have. The next time for me is the fall – but I will get to that later this year.

Lord let me embrace this wonderful period of change. Let me see the beauty in the Spring of Your creation so I might prepare for the challenges ahead in the summer of drought, heat, complacency, etc. Thank You for the model of seasons to show us a pattern of what our lives look like and give us all hope for the spring that awaits us when we join You in eternity.

Love you Lord!

Wayne

I See the Glory of God - A.W. Tozer

God made the world; it is a beautiful thing and something to venerate. It’s a great loss—a tragic loss—that we’ve suffered in the last generation. We have lost the ability to wonder. We know so everlasting much and we’re so sure of ourselves. But David stood and wondered in the presence of God’s creation; he raised his eyes and said, “What is man, that thou art mindful of him?” (Psalm 8:4). And Isaiah and Jeremiah and Ezekiel and all the rest of them stood and wondered in the presence of God Almighty’s creation.…

The footprints of God are everywhere about us. And while we can’t see Him, we can see His luminous trail like a bird that sings while hidden in a tree. As Middleton said, “The bird sings darkling.” We can’t see the bird, but we can hear her sing. God sings among His branches and sings in His universe. You and I cannot gaze upon Him, for no man can see God and live. But we can hear Him sing His song of creation and redemption. And we can feel the pressure of His breath upon us as we move through the world. We’ll never see things rightly till we see them as the garments of God.

I’ll watch for Your footprints, God. I’ll listen for Your song and be sensitive to Your breath. I will stand in wonder at what I see. Amen.

The test of loyalty – Oswald Chambers

Do the work – no complacency!

 

When we are loyal to someone or something – we have made a commitment to do the work that is required to continue to demonstrate our loyalty. It is us that must always remain loyal – but ensure competence and commitment at the same time. Long-time loyalty can become drudgery and even when trying to listen to someone – interruption and fast statements can interfere with true commitment because we think we know the person we are loyal to - so well. In the area of a job I have witnessed where people think “it is their right” because they have been the “one with more tenure and loyalty” and all others pursue communication and connection with the mission get frustrated. They long-time loyalist will tell you the way it has been and also have a tendency to tell the one they are loyal to what they want to hear.

 

Our Lord is most discerning. He knows our heart and knows what is required of us. When we interrupt Him – He goes a bit quiet out of frustration and will eventually discipline us in some way – in order to recalibrate our loyalty with competency. When we try to show others we know more about Him and the scriptures than He does – we are in trouble. We grow cocky, arrogant, and proud and I know what dangers come with that. I must remain loyal but I must remain competent – not in what I have already learned – but in what I must learn further as if I am a child of loyalty and always learning. When I feel like I have arrived and I am entitled to loyalty and all of what it delivers – it is the time I better pursue a mental cleanse.

 

I will ask you and the Lord to knock me straight because I don’t want to remain loyal in a negative way – but in a competent and working way for all things good in His kingdom.

 

Wayne


The test of loyalty – Oswald Chambers


And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.Romans 8:28.

It is only the loyal soul who believes that God engineers circumstances. We take such liberties with our circumstances, we do not believe God engineers them, although we say we do; we treat the things that happen as if they were engineered by men. To be faithful in every circumstance means that we have only one loyalty, and that is to our Lord. Suddenly God breaks up a particular set of circumstances, and the realization comes that we have been disloyal to Him by not recognizing that He had organized them. We never saw what He was after, and that particular thing will never be repeated all the days of our life. The test of loyalty always comes just there. If we learn to worship God in the trying circumstances, He will alter them in two seconds when He chooses.

Loyalty to Jesus Christ is the thing that we ‘stick at’ to-day. We will be loyal to work, to service, to anything, but do not ask us to be loyal to Jesus Christ. Many Christians are intensely impatient of talking about loyalty to Jesus. Our Lord is dethroned more emphatically by Christian workers than by the world. God is made a machine for blessing men, and Jesus Christ is made a Worker among workers.

The idea is not that we do work for God, but that we are so loyal to Him that He can do His work through us—‘I reckon on you for extreme service, with no complaining on your part and no explanation on Mine.’ God wants to use us as He used His own Son.