Inspired drudgery?

Utmost
For the Joy that was set before Him, Jesus endured the cross, and so much more. Jesus endured humanity and by enduring it, transformed it for us. Not just in the glorious moments like the transfiguration or the resurrection, but in every aspect; even washing dirty feet. This second of three brief posts on the theme of drudgery also comes from Oswald Chambers.

‘Arise, shine.’ (Isaiah 60:1 ESV)

‘We have to take the first step as though there were no God. It is no use to wait for God to help us, He will not; but immediately we arise we find He is there. Whenever God inspires, the initiative is a moral one. We must do the thing and not lie like a log. If we will arise and shine, drudgery becomes divinely transfigured.

Drudgery is one of the finest touchstones of character there is. Drudgery is work that is very far removed from anything to do with the ideal-the utterly mean, grubby things; and when we come in contact with them we know instantly whether or not we are spiritually real. Read John 13; we see there the Incarnate God doing the most desperate piece of drudgery, washing fishermen’s feet, and He says-‘If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.’

It requires the inspiration of God to go through drudgery with the light of God upon it. Some people do a certain thing, and the way in which they do it hallows that thing for ever afterwards. It may be the most commonplace thing, but after we have seen them do it, it becomes different. When the Lord does a thing through us, He always transfigures it. Our Lord took on Him our human flesh and transfigured it, and it has become for every saint the temple of the Holy Ghost.’

From Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest

Advertisements

The domain of drudgery?

Utmost
Most ‘bad’ habits are easily formed, I think, while most ‘good’ habits take far more effort to begin, and certainly to maintain. Just think of past New Year’s ‘resolutions’. This is no less true for Christian disciples who face the task of forming habits of Christlikeness, and faithful obedience, even when the thrilling minutes of the New have passed. This first of three brief posts on the theme of Drudgery comes from Oswald Chambers.

‘And beside this … add …’ 2 Peter 1:5 KJV

‘You have inherited the Divine nature, says Peter (1 Peter 1:4), now screw your attention down and form habits, give diligence, concentrate. “Add” means all that character means. No man is born either naturally or supernaturally with character; he has to make character. Nor are we born with habits; we have to form habits on the basis of the new life God has put into us. We are not meant to be illuminated versions, but the common stuff of ordinary life exhibiting the marvel of the grace of God. Drudgery is the touchstone of character. The great hindrance in spiritual life is that we will look for big things to do. “Jesus took a towel … and began to wash the disciples’ feet.”

There are times when there is no illumination and no thrill, but just the daily round, the common task. Routine is God’s way of saving us between our times of inspiration. Do not expect God always to give you His thrilling minutes, but learn to live in the domain of drudgery by the power of God.

It is the ‘adding’ that is difficult. We say we do not expect God to carry us to heaven on flowery beds of ease, and yet we act as if we did! The tiniest detail in which I obey has all the omnipotent power of the grace of God behind it. If I do my duty, not for duty’s sake, but because I believe God is engineering my circumstances, then at the very point of my obedience the whole superb grace of God is mine through the Atonement.

Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest

Smelling invisible roses?

Lewis Letters


Patience in a string of interminable disasters may seem impossible. Patience in the flow of ordinary things may seem too boring for words, especially when we have dreams of the extra-ordinary. This third brief post on the theme of patience comes from C.S.Lewis.

‘For him who is haunted by the smell of invisible roses the cure is work’ (MacDonald). If we feel we have talents that don’t find expression in our ordinary duties and recreations, I think we must just go on doing the ordinary things as well as we can. If God wants to use these suspected talents, He will: in His own time and way. At all costs one must keep clear of all the witchdoctors and their patent cures—as you say yourself.’

From The Collected Letters of C.S.Lewis, Volume III. 
(To Edward Lofstrom: on the need to do one’s duty while having patience with God.)
16 January 1959

Patient faithfully?

Utmost
I imagine there are varieties of patience but not all of them are Godly. I imagine it’s possible, humanly speaking, to be patient cruelly, or greedily, or angrily. Godly patience is best revealed in Christ, ‘who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross’. The cross required more than an afternoon’s patience. This second brief post on the theme of  patience also comes from Oswald Chambers.

‘Because you have kept my word about patient endurance…’ Revelation 3:10 ESV

‘Patience is more than endurance. A saint’s life is in the hands of God like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, and He stretches and strains, and every now and again the saint says-‘I cannot stand any more.’ God does not heed, He goes on stretching till His purpose is in sight, then He lets fly. Trust yourself in God’s hands. For what have you need of patience just now? Maintain your relationship to Jesus Christ by the patience of faith. “Though He slay me, yet will I wait for Him.”

From Oswald Chambers My Utmost for His Highest