Friday, February 18, 2011
"Let the past sleep..." Oswald Chambers
5:45 p.m. Today's project was to reorganize, restructure, and repair the effects of the last month's poor decisions and unscriptural impatience and anxiety. If we are going to walk with the Lord at all, it needs to be a walk of faith in all areas, especially in areas where the enemy is most likely to try to make you doubt! For us on a fixed income, it's in the area of finances.
When I took a week to read Chapter One of James in five different translations, I focused mostly on seeking wisdom, persevering through trials, and being a doer of the word, not a hearer (vv. 5, 12, 22). It seems I read, but did not completely absorb the verses that would have rebuked my attitude and gained me a week of peace, vv. 6-8, about the way a believer should ask for wisdom:
But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord, for he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Ouch! Even though the Lord is always gracious and looking out for my own good, His corrections still have the sting of conviction to them, because I so wish that I'd been more patient and sought Him sooner in what I perceived to be an emergency, all-out crisis! God clearly leads us on occasion to do something at a precise time, but He's not like the timeshare salesman telling us "You have to buy now! This deal is only good for today!" God's Holy Spirit is never in a panic, nor should we be! The Spirit will guide at every step, if our flesh and overwrought imagination don't get in the way.
That being said, it is clearly time to move on to the next phase: future action. I was ministered to in the most comforting way by today's entry in Oswald Chambers' devotional My Utmost for His Highest. Many years ago, in one of my biennial readings of this book, I underlined this sentence:
Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ, and go out into the irresisitible future with him.
That's what God called me to do today. Not to necessarily do the opposite of what I'd rashly done early this month, but to make arrangements in a manner that is rational, trusting, and forthright. And I found that as I acted in His timing, reflective of His character and way of dealing with others, an excellent result was achieved!
Chambers writes that Jesus told the disciples who had fallen asleep instead of watching and praying in the garden with Him to "Arise and do the next thing." He continues,
If we are inspired of God, what is the next thing? To trust Him absolutely and to pray on the ground of His redemption.
Never let the sense of failure corrupt your new action.