Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Oswald On Obedience

From Feb 16 On Spiritual Initiative
We all have many dreams and aspirations when we are young, but sooner or later we realize we have no power to accomplish them. We cannot do the things we long to do, so our tendency is to think of our dreams and aspirations as dead. But God comes and says to us, "Arise from the dead..."
The remarkable thing about spiritual initiative is that the life and power comes after we "get up and get going." God does not give us overcoming life--He gives us life as we overcome.
If we will take the initiative to overcome, we will find that we have the inspiration of God, because He immediately gives us the power of life.

From Feb 17 Against Depression
If human beings were not capable of depression, we would have no capacity for happiness and exaltation.
Whenever you examine yourself, always take into account your capacity for depression.
When the Spirit of God comes to us, He does not give us glorious visions, but He tells us to do the most ordinary things imaginable. Depression tends to turn us away from the everyday things of God's creation. But whenever God steps in, His inspiration is to do the most natural, simple things--things we would never have imagined God was in, but as we do them we find Him there. The inspiration that comes to us in this way is an initiative against depression. But we must take the first step and do it in the inspiration of God. If, however, we do something simply to overcome our depression, we will only deepen it. But when the Spirit of God leads us instinctively to do something, the moment we do it the depression is gone. As soon as we arise and obey, we enter a higher plane of life.

From Feb 18 Against Despair
Let the past sleep, but let it sleep in the sweet embrace of Christ, and let us go on into the invincible future with Him.
We will have times of despair caused by real events in our lives, and we will be unable to lift ourselves out of them.
Our Lord...[says]..."Get up, and do the next thing." If we are inspired by God, what is the next thing? It is to trust Him absolutely and to pray on the basis of His redemption.
Never let the sense of past failure defeat your next step.

From Feb 19 Against Drudgery
When it comes to taking the initiative against drudgery, we have to take the first step as though there were no God. There is no point in waiting for God to help us--He will not. But once we arise, immediately we find He is there. Whenever God gives us His inspiration, suddenly taking the initiative becomes a moral issue--a matter of obedience.
Drudgery is work that is far removed from anything we think of as ideal work. It is the utterly hard, menial, tiresome, and dirty work.
The inspiration of God is required if drudgery is to shine with the light of God upon it. In some cases the way a person does a task makes that work sanctified and holy forever. It may be a very common everyday task, but after we have seen it done, it becomes different.

From Feb 20 Against Daydreaming
When our purpose is to seek God and to discover His will for us, daydreaming is right and acceptable. But when our inclination is to spend time daydreaming over what we have already been told to do, it is unacceptable and God's blessing is never on it.
Beware...of giving in to mere daydreaming once God has spoken. Allow Him to be the source of all your dreams, joys, and delights, and be careful to go and obey what He has said.
Daydreaming after God has spoken is an indication that we do not trust Him.

So obedience guards against depression, despair, drudgery and daydreaming. Those four things are what keep me from doing my best. For example, if my living room floor is cluttered, I get overwhelmed and curl up in a little ball in my chair and twitch. If, however, God tells me to pick up the clutter, and I get out of my chair and obey Him, my spirits are lifted immediately, even before the clutter has been removed. Once again, obedience brings blessing.