For three years now I have been working through the “one year” classic devotional My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. It’s working out quite perfectly as I’m coming to the end of it in December. I don’t think there’s been a single page in which I didn’t find encouragement, a challenge or wisdom that affects my life. That being said, I read “December 15” early this morning and it has provided a major challenge.
How many of us can easily, with great articulation and grace, describe aspects of God, of the faith, of the Bible? 1 Peter says, “…Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…” (vs.15-16)
Chambers starts out the devotional with a zinger:
If you cannot express yourself well on each of your beliefs, work and study until you can.
Simple as that. He goes on to say:
If you don’t, other people may miss out on the blessings that come from knowing the truth. Strive to re-express a truth of God to yourself clearly and understandably, and God will use that same explanation when you share it with someone else…You must struggle, experiment, and rehearse your words to express God’s truth clearly…
I’m such a black and white person (as you’ll soon discover if you continue following the blog) that I often have the tendency to want to just memorize important things verbatim — whether that’s a memory verse, a saying, a dictionary definition, etc. That if I have something learned by heart in that manner it will just come out when I need it. But Chambers has brought to light something I think I need to work on — to make it my own! I don’t need to use others’ words because that won’t be what’s the most effective in my own relationships. If I can easily articulate what His mercy means to me, what holiness looks like in my own life or even retell stories of Jesus, then God can use whatever words are coming out of my mouth to reach the people around me. I need to let God be God and be responsible to absolutely know my faith and His ways.
Always make it a practice to stir your own mind thoroughly to think through what you have easily believed. Your position is not really yours until you make it yours through suffering and study.
I love that. Do you love that? It’s become very important to me to “make it mine” while also staying in agreement with God’s Word. I’ve been collecting some great Bible passages that touch on this topic, so stay tuned and I’ll do a little “part B” when I can. I’m excited for this new way of growing my faith and consider it a “new year’s resolution” for me.
Until next time! xoxo