Since November is often identified with things we’re thankful for, I’ve decided to spend some of my blog focus this month on books I’m thankful for.
I have a long list of fiction and non-fiction books that have been a delight to me over many years and recent titles as well; some overtly spiritual and those whose authors are spiritual people but have written in an under wraps manner. I hope you’ll find this series one that encourages you to read (or re-read) at least one of these recommendations.
Today I want to express my love and appreciation for the book My Utmost for His Highest.
I first heard of this book in 1996. I had recently joined a Bible study at our new church. The woman who spoke at the Bible study simply quoted from the devotional, but the quote really resonated with me. At the time our sons were ages 7 and 1. I was a busy woman to say the least.
“My determined purpose is to be my utmost for His highest—my best for His glory.”
It hit me like a sock in the stomach. How was I determined? What was my purpose? Mostly to get through the day, not focusing on being the best person I could be; more like not killing my sons or yelling at my husband. That quote both convicted me and sent me to our local Christian bookstore, the Parable. I found a hardbound “modern” version that was on sale and scooped it up.
I have used the daily devotional as a journal of sorts. I didn’t think much about it at first but as I have read and re-read I write the year next to my underlining and I am reminded of what I was going and growing through at the time.
Oswald Chambers spoke these words, he didn’t actually write these entries. His wife was a stenographer before they married and kept herself focused during Oswald’s lectures at the Bible Training College of London by taking down her husband’s words as he spoke them. It wasn’t until after Oswald’s untimely death at the early age of 43 that she was encouraged to compile his lectures into the format we know now.
I have read this devotional for 18 years. It is the greatest tool in God’s hands in my spiritual growth; second only to the Bible itself. Oswald is not an encourager. There is no fluff. He often calls me out in a very direct manner pointing out an area of my life that hasn’t been brought to God in the process of being made like Christ. Oswald used vocabulary that was common to his day which was late 1800s to 1917 when he died from complications of an emergency appendectomy. No antibiotics in those days.
From today’s entry:
“Will I surrender to Jesus Christ, placing no conditions whatsoever as to how the brokenness will come?”
No fluff. Just straightforward questions and pointing us to our need for staying close and reliant upon the Holy Spirit to live ‘worthy of the calling with which we have been called.’
If you are looking for a daily devotional that will challenge you to grow in your faith and trust of God you need look no further.
My Utmost for His Highest–my best for God’s glory. I am truly thankful for the teachings of Oswald Chambers. God has used them in my life for His glory.