October 18, 2015
2 Corinthians 4:8-11
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed,but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.
NOTE TO COMMUNITY: On Sundays, as an effort to give myself a weekly rest from the daily pace of writing, I will be hosting a guest writer. Some will be from the past, as found in today’s reading. Others will be contemporary voices to our own. It is a way of being faithful to the long term sustainability of my own calling while enriching you, the Daily Text Community, with other resonant voices from across the Church.
This week’s reading comes from Oswald Chambers (1874-1917), who likely needs no introduction with this group. In my first year of seminary I came across a newly published biography of Chambers, Oswald Chambers: Abandoned to God. It was a life changing read and one I heartily recommend. A colleague recently passed along to me this reading from the classic text, My Utmost for His Highest. It struck a deep chord in me. It will bless you. It’s from the July 6 reading.
We always have visions, before a thing is made real. When we realize that although the vision is real, it is not real in us, then is the time that Satan comes in with his temptations, and we are apt to say it is no use to go on. Instead of the vision becoming real, there has come the valley of humiliation.
“Life is not as idle ore,
But iron dug from central gloom,
And batter’d by the shocks of doom
To shape and use.”
God gives us the vision, then He takes us down to the valley to batter us into the shape of the vision, and it is in the valley that so many of us faint and give way. Every vision will be made real if we will have patience. Think of the enormous leisure of God! He is never in a hurry. We are always in such a frantic hurry. In the light of the glory of the vision we go forth to do things, but the vision is not real in us yet; and God has to take us into the valley, and put us through fires and floods to batter us into shape, until we get to the place where He can trust us with the veritable reality. Ever since we had the vision God has been at work, getting us into the shape of the ideal, and over and over again we escape from His hand and try to batter ourselves into our own shape.
The vision is not a castle in the air, but a vision of what God wants you to be. Let Him put you on His wheel and whirl you as He likes, and as sure as God is God and you are you, you will turn out exactly in accordance with the vision. Don’t lose heart in the process. If you have ever had the vision of God, you may try as you like to be satisfied on a lower level, but God will never let you.
See you back here Monday where we will continue our journey through Corinthians.
P.S. Join the Daily Text Fasting Challenge. It’s 40 days, one day per week at a time, over the next 52 weeks. It’s a food only fast. Begins after supper on one day and ends at 4pm the next- 2 meals. Liquids fine. Fasting goes better together. I’ll send you a short weekly encouragement email if you register.– sign up here.
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J.D. Walt writes daily for Seedbed’s Daily Text. He serves as Seedbed’s Sower in Chief. Follow him @jdwalt on Twitter or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get the Daily Text delivered to your inbox fresh every morning. Subscribe HERE.