A New Goal
As we say “goodbye to April and welcome May I have a new goal for my spiritual walk: to live in
Breathless Expectation of what each day holds.
Over the weekend I was rearranging books in the library and came upon a copy of the classic devotional by Oswald Chambers, “My Utmost for His Highest” It has been languishing on the shelf for some time simply because the language is a couple of centuries old and “difficult” to read.
Opening to the devotion for April 29th, this is what I read:
Our natural inclination is to be so precise– trying always to forecast accurately what will happen next– that we look upon uncertainty as a bad thing. We think that we must reach some predetermined goal, but that is not the nature of the spiritual life. The nature of the spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty. Consequently, we do not put down roots. Our common sense says, “Well, what if I were in that circumstance?” We cannot presume to see ourselves in any circumstance in which we have never been.
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, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. This is generally expressed with a sigh of sadness, but it should be an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. As soon as we abandon ourselves to God and do the task He has placed closest to us, He begins to fill our lives with surprises. When we become simply a promoter or a defender of a particular belief, something within us dies. That is not believing God– it is only believing our belief about Him. Jesus said, “…unless you…become as little children…” (Matthew 18:3). The spiritual life is the life of a child. We are not uncertain of God, just uncertain of what He is going to do next. If our certainty is only in our beliefs, we develop a sense of self-righteousness, become overly critical, and are limited by the view that our beliefs are complete and settled. But when we have the right relationship with God, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy. Jesus said, “…believe also in Me” (John 14:1), not, “Believe certain things about Me”. Leave everything to Him and it will be gloriously and graciously uncertain how He will come in– but you can be certain that He will come. Remain faithful to Him.
This has changed my thinking about any number of situations in my own life. From today forward my goal is to anticipate the loving surprised my Abba, Father has in store for each and every day, living in childlike “breathless expectation.”
From our library to google — where I found Chambers writings in both classic and modern language. Here’s the link if you’re intrigued.
God created man to be master of the life in the earth and sea and sky, and the reason he is not is because he took the law into his own hands, and became master of himself, but of nothing else. The Shadow of an Agony,