Today, I was reading through My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers and decided to catch up on some of the devotions that I have missed when I came across the July 7 entry, “All Efforts of Worth and Excellence are Difficult“. I think it fits well with the All In series, so please read below:
“Enter by the narrow gate…Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life…” Matthew 7:13-14
If we are going to live as disciples of Jesus, we have to remember that all efforts of worth and excellence are difficult. The Christian life is gloriously difficult, but its difficulty does not make us faint and cave in—it stirs us up to overcome. Do we appreciate the miraculous salvation of Jesus Christ enough to be our utmost for His highest—our best for His glory?
God saves people by His sovereign grace through the atonement of Jesus, and “it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). But we have to “work out” that salvation in our everyday, practical living (Philippians 2:12). If we will only start on the basis of His redemption to do what He commands, then we will find that we can do it. If we fail, it is because we have not yet put into practice what God has placed within us. But a crisis will reveal whether or not we have been putting it into practice. If we will obey the Spirit of God and practice in our physical life what God has placed within us by His Spirit, then when a crisis does come we will find that our own nature, as well as the grace of God, will stand by us.
If we are going to live as disciples of Jesus, we have to remember that all efforts of worth and excellence are difficult.
Thank God that He does give us difficult things to do! His salvation is a joyous thing, but it is also something that requires bravery courage, and holiness. It tests us for all we are worth. Jesus is “bringing many sons to glory” (Hebrews 2:10), and God will not shield us from the requirements of son-ship. God’s grace produces men and women with a strong family likeness to Jesus Christ, not pampered, spoiled weaklings. It takes a tremendous amount of discipline to live the worthy and excellent life of a disciple of Jesus in the realities of life. And it is always necessary for us to make an effort to live a life of worth and excellence.
God’s grace produces men and women with a strong family likeness to Jesus Christ, not pampered, spoiled weaklings.
My Note: We drift towards doing what comes easy and what is comfortable and manageable, but following Jesus is difficult and it requires that we do HARD things with purpose rather than settling for what naturally comes easy. This is why Christianity is a faith journey, we can only do hard things through faith.
Join the Conversation….What do you find most difficult to do as a Christ Follower?