excerpt from Oswald Chamber, May 1st – Link
Faith – Not Emotion
We walk by faith, not by sight â€”2 Corinthians 5:7
For a while, we are fully aware of Godâ€™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 â€œwalk by faith.â€ How many of us have set ourselves aside as if to say, â€œI cannot do anything else until God appears to meâ€? 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, â€œWhy, He was there all the time, and I never knew it!â€ Never live for those exceptional momentsâ€” 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 lifeâ€” 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.