I spent some time tonight rereading 2011’s blogs reflecting on how inspired I was at the prospects of 2012. It was slated to be “The Year of More” and a “Time to Get Uncomfortable”. In retrospect, both themes came to pass in ways not as I expected or hoped. This is the first year-end I find myself without the emotional reserves to fantasize about what the new year will hold, and yet in this state of reluctance, I suspect I may be doing myself the biggest favor ever.
The reason I spontaneously sat down behind the computer tonight is because I just stumbled upon the most eloquent excerpt, it is the July 28th devotion from My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers, which puts into words exactly where 2012 has brought me and where 2013 begins for me. Many of my closest friends have exhausted themselves this year laboring their way to this place as well. I hope my friends on this journey find solace in this teaching as I did.
After Obedience – What?
by Oswald Chambers
We are apt to imagine that if Jesus Christ constrains us, and we obey Him, He will lead us to great success. We must never put our dreams of success as God’s purpose for us; His purpose may be exactly the opposite. We have an idea that God is leading us to a particular end, a desired goal; He is not. The question of getting to a particular end is a mere incident. What we call the process, God calls the end.
What is my dream of God’s purpose? His purpose is that I depend on Him and on His power – now. If I can stay in the middle of the turmoil calm and unperplexed, that is the end of the purpose of God.
God is not working towards a particular finish; His end is the process – that I see Him walking on the waves, no shore in sight, no success, no goal, just the absolute certainty that it is all right because I see Him walking on the sea. It is the process, not the end, which is glorifying to God.
His purpose is for this minute, not for something in the future. We have nothing to do with the afterwards of obedience; we get it wrong when we think of the afterwards. What men call training and preparation, God calls the end.
God’s end is to enable me to see that He can walk on the chaos of my life just now. If we have a further end in view, we do not pay sufficient attention to the immediate present: if we realize that obedience is the end, then each moment as it comes is precious.