Archive for April, 2005

Notable Quotable

  • “Political correctness is just tyranny with manners.”

    Charlton Heston

The Graciousness of Uncertainty

Today’s My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers.

It doth not yet appear what we shall be. – 1 John 3:2

Naturally, we are inclined to be so mathematical and calculating that we look upon uncertainty as a bad thing. We imagine that we have to reach some end, but that is not the nature of spiritual life. The nature of spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty, consequently we do not make our nests anywhere. Common sense says-‘Well, supposing I were in that condition . . . .’ We cannot suppose ourselves in any condition we have never been in.

Certainty is the mark of the commonsense life: gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, we do not know what a day may bring forth. This is generally said with a sigh of sadness; it should be rather an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. Immediately we abandon to God, and do the duty that lies nearest, He packs our life with surprises all the time. When we become advocates of a creed, something dies; we do not believe God, we only believe our belief about Him. Jesus said “Except ye . . . become as little children.? Spiritual life is the life of a child. We are not uncertain of God, but uncertain of what He is going to do next. If we are only certain in our beliefs, we get dignified and severe and have the ban of finality about our views; but when we are rightly related to God, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy.

“Believe also in Me,? said Jesus, not-‘Believe certain things about Me.’ Leave the whole thing to Him, it is gloriously uncertain how He will come in, but He will come. Remain loyal to Him.

Notable Quotable

  • “A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money.”

    G. Gordon Liddy

What You Will Get

Today’s My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers.

Thy life will I give thee for a prey in all places whither thou goest. – Jeremiah 45:5

This is the unshakable secret of the Lord to those who trust Him -‘I will give thee thy life.’ What more does a man want than his life? It is the essential thing. ‘Thy life for a prey’ means that wherever you may go, even if it is into hell, you will come out with your life, nothing can harm it. So many of us are caught up in the shows of things, not in the way of property and possessions, but of blessings. All these have to go; but there is something grander that never can go-the life that is “hid with Christ in God.”?

Are you prepared to let God take you into union with Himself, and pay no more attention to what you call the ‘great things’? Are you prepared to abandon entirely and let go? The test of abandonment is in refusing to say-‘Well, what about this?’ Beware of suppositions. Immediately you allow-‘What about this?’ it means you have not abandoned, you do not really trust God. Immediately you do abandon, you think no more about what God is going to do. Abandon means to refuse yourself the luxury of asking any questions. If you abandon entirely to God, He says at once, “Thy life will I give thee for a prey.”? The reason people are tired of life is because God has not given them anything, they have not got their life as a prey. The way to get out of that state is to abandon to God. When you do get through to abandonment to God, you will be the most surprised and delighted creature on earth; God has got you absolutely and has given you your life. If you are not there, it is either because of disobedience or a refusal to be simple enough.

Day of Random

Thieves

via Ogre. See Phin for directions.

Minnesota Not-so-nice

When I got married, on New Year’s Day, I moved in to the house my wife had been living in already for over a year. She lived an hour away from where I was living when we met and while we dated. Since I decided to keep my job for the forseeable future, I gained an hour commute each way every day. Fortunately, the drive goes the opposite direction as typical commuter traffice.

This morning I had a guy come flying up behind me on my way to work. It’s not terribly unsual. I was in the left lane doing a comfortable 75 mph (in a 70 zone) and he was coming up so quickly that I figured I was looking at an accident if I moved over for him, because he’d be moving over too. He had to be doing close to 90. As he passed, I wished to myself that there was a cop nearby. No sooner did I think that than did I see another vehicle flying up behind me, but far enough back that moving over to let him by was the thing to do. As he passed, I saw that I got my wish.

That’s the biggest thing I hate about my drive. I usually drive at around 75mph (I really don’t want to tarnish my as-of-yet ticketless record), and that’s usually not fast enough for half the people I encounter on the road. Many will hang behind me if I’m in the left lane and pass me when I move over, which I usually do as soon as I finish passing slower traffic. Some, however, seem to think they own the road and I am violating their personal property rights by “being in their way”.

Minnesota doesn’t reserve the left lane for passing only, as many states do. However, it is still common sense that slower traffice should drive in the right lane. As a result, a lot of Minnesota drivers seem to think that they own the left lane, since no one else could possibly have as strong a claim on being in a hurry as them.

Fortunately for my health, I abandoned the road-rage mentality years ago. Getting “there” a minute earlier wasn’t worth the extra risk of an accident or being run off the road by someone bent on their own form of vigilante justice because of an unnecessary “hand gesture”. I just leave a minute earlier, and try not to get too annoyed by those who couldn’t care less about anyone but themselves.

A phrase I’ve heard since I was a tot is “Minnesota Nice.” Anyone who says that we have “Minnesota Nice” in this state has never been to any other state.

Notable Quotable

  • “When the people are being beaten with a stick, they are not much happier if it is called ‘the People’s Stick.'”

    Mikhail Bakunin in Statism and Anarchy

What Do You Want?

Today’s My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers.

Seekest thou great things for thyself? – Jeremiah 45:5

Are you seeking great things for yourself? Not seeking to be a great one, but seeking great things from God for yourself. God wants you in a closer relationship to Himself than receiving His gifts, He wants you to get to know Him. A great thing is accidental, it comes and goes. God never gives us anything accidental. Nothing is easier than getting into a right relationship with God except when it is not God Whom you want but only what He gives.

If you have only come the length of asking God for things, you have never come to the first strand of abandonment, you have become a Christian from a standpoint of your own. ‘I did ask God for the Holy Spirit, but He did not give me the rest and the peace I expected.’ Instantly God puts His finger on the reason-you are not seeking the Lord at all, you are seeking something for yourself. Jesus says-“Ask, and it shall be given you.? Ask God for what you want, and you cannot ask if you are not asking for a right thing. When you draw near to God, you cease from asking for things. “Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him.? Then why ask? That you may get to know Him.

Are you seeking great things for yourself-‘O Lord, baptize me with the Holy Ghost’? If God does not, it is because you are not abandoned enough to Him, there is something you will not do. Are you prepared to ask yourself what it is you want from God, and why you want it? God always ignores the present perfection for the ultimate perfection. He is not concerned about making you blessed and happy just now; He is working out His ultimate perfection all the time-“that they may be one even as We are.?

Notable Quotable

  • “Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end.”

    Lord Acton

The Supreme Climb

Today’s My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers.

Take now thy son, . . .and offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. – Genesis 22:2

Character determines how a man interprets God’s will (cf. Psalm 18:25-26). Abraham interpreted God’s command to mean that he had to kill his son, and he could only leave this tradition behind by the pain of a tremendous ordeal. God could purify his faith in no other way. If we obey what God says according to our sincere belief, God will break us from those traditions that misrepresent Him. There are many such beliefs to be got rid of, e.g., that God removes a child because the mother loves him too much-a devil’s lie! and a travesty of the true nature of God. If the devil can hinder us from taking the supreme climb and getting rid of wrong traditions about God, he will do so; but if we keep true to God, God will take us through an ordeal which will bring us out into a better knowledge of Himself.

The great point of Abraham’s faith in God was that he was prepared to do anything for God. He was there to obey God, no matter to what belief he went contrary. Abraham was not a devotee of his convictions, or he would have slain Isaac and said that the voice of the angel was the voice of the devil. That is the attitude of a fanatic. If you will remain true to God, God will lead you straight through every barrier into the inner chamber of the knowledge of Himself; but there is always this point of giving up convictions and traditional beliefs. Don’t ask God to test you. Never declare as Peter did- ‘I will do anything, I will go to death with Thee.’ Abraham did not make any such declaration, he remained true to God, and God purified his faith.