Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Addiction of the Experiential

Please familiarize yourself with Oswald Chambers'"My Utmost for His Highest", a daily devotional source. May I suggest you subscribe to have these daily devotional thoughts emailed to your computer. They are profound, introspective, and a good way to start every day. 
Here is the one for Saturday May 1. It cuts right of the heart of the pitfall of building my faith on what I experience rather than what I know. Experiential Christianity is lazy, requires little of us, and does not transform. It hopes to be in the right place at the right time and lives in search of emotional confirmation. Being egocentric, it does little to equip us for usefulness. 
Christianity emerging from knowledge of and intimacy with Jesus Christ requires all of our being. It requires joining the daily fray, yielding the will, expending effort. In other words... the denial of self.
Knowing the truth is what sets you free. Discipleship to Jesus deepens that knowledge and gives it root.
I have to lead my life in faith, without seeing Him. 2 Corinthians 5:7    

For a time we are conscious of God's attentions, then, when God begins to use us in His enterprises, we take on a pathetic look and talk of the trials and the difficulties, and all the time God is trying to make us do our duty as obscure people. None of us would be obscure spiritually if we could help it. Can we do our duty when God has shut up heaven? Some of us always want to be illuminated saints or golden babes with the flush of inspiration, and to have the saints of God dealing with us all the time. A gilt-edged saint is no good, he is abnormal, unfit for daily life, and altogether unlike God. We are here as men and women, not as half-fledged angels, to do the work of the world, and to do it with an infinitely greater power to stand the turmoil because we have been born from above.

If we try to re-introduce the rare moments of inspiration, it is a sign that it is not God we want. We are making a fetish of the moments when God did come and speak, and insisting that He must do it again; whereas what God wants us to do is to "walk by faith." How many of us have laid ourselves by, as it were, and said - "I cannot do any more until God appears to me." He never will, and without any inspiration, without any sudden touch of God, we will have to get up. 
Then comes the surprise - "Why, He was there all the time, and I never knew it!" Never live for the rare moments, they are surprises. God will give us touches of inspiration when He sees we are not in danger of being led away by them. We must never make our moments of inspiration our standard; our standard is our duty.

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