Living in Spiritual Obsurity

excerpt from Oswald Chamber, May 1st – Link

Faith – Not Emotion

We walk by faith, not by sight —2 Corinthians 5:7

For a while, we are fully aware of God’s concern for us. But then, when God begins to use us in His work, we begin to take on a pitiful look and talk only of our trials and difficulties. And all the while God is trying to make us do our work as hidden people who are not in the spotlight. None of us would be hidden spiritually if we could help it. Can we do our work when it seems that God has sealed up heaven? Some of us always want to be brightly illuminated saints with golden halos and with the continual glow of inspiration, and to have other saints of God dealing with us all the time. A self-assured saint is of no value to God. He is abnormal, unfit for daily life, and completely unlike God. We are here, not as immature angels, but as men and women, to do the work of this world. And we are to do it with an infinitely greater power to withstand the struggle because we have been born from above.

If we continually try to bring back those exceptional moments of inspiration, it is a sign that it is not God we want. We are becoming obsessed with the moments when God did come and speak with us, and we are insisting that He do it again. But what God wants us to do is to “walk by faith.” How many of us have set ourselves aside as if to say, “I cannot do anything else until God appears to me”? He will never do it. We will have to get up on our own, without any inspiration and without any sudden touch from God. Then comes our surprise and we find ourselves exclaiming, “Why, He was there all the time, and I never knew it!” Never live for those exceptional moments— they are surprises. God will give us His touches of inspiration only when He sees that we are not in danger of being led away by them. We must never consider our moments of inspiration as the standard way of life— our work is our standard.

The older English version says, “None of us would be obscure spiritually if we could help it.” The part that talks about striving to recreate those rare moments of inspiration reminds me of some of the seasons in the Vineyard where God’s spirit was being poured out and Gary was trying to navigate and steer the church through the pitfalls of human nature…the addiction to spiritual infatuation and euphoria rather than faith in God shown through obedience. Anything other than obedience, no matter how dry and tasteless, only leads to spiritual death and brings no Glory to God in the end. If we are to carry any obsession it must be an unwavering desire to bring Glory to God no matter the personal cost. In order to survive the cost we must be convinced that this will result in great joy to our Father and his kingdom if we will see it through. That joy will meet us in our journey in surprising ways if we do not give up or lose hope.

On the Way to Being an Absentee Nation

an excerpt from an article about a concerning trend:

(America is drunk….New data reveals that one in every six Americans downs eight mixed drinks within a few hours, four times a month.)

Think about that: A significant portion of our population wants to not be present for significant portions of every single week.
This is what is happening. It is critical we determine why it is happening.

My theory is that Americans are on a flight from reality. Faced with painful facts—including the precarious state of the economy, the gathering storm represented by militant Muslims, in general, and Iran, in particular, the crumbling state of marriage in this country, the fact that our borders are being overrun, and the fact that our health care insurance system is in shambles (to name just a smattering of the troubles we desperately need to address)—we as a nation are drinking, drugging, gambling, smoking, Facebooking, YouTubing, Marijuaning, Kardashianing, Adderalling, Bono-ing (as in thinking of Chaz’s sad flight from reality as good), Prozacking, Twittering, and Sexting ourselves into oblivion.

The fact that we are doing this as a culture is the single most ominous psychological trend we have ever faced. I am not exaggerating. 

Unchecked, it will literally create an absentee nation, unable to summon real vision to confront real threats, unable to summon real courage to defeat real enemies, unable to buckle down and take the tough measures necessary to restore real economic stability, unable to tell our friends that we will defend them—if necessary, to the death.

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