“…. these are but the outskirts of His ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of Him!” -Job. 26.8a
“…. one thing I do…. press on…. that I may know Him….” -Phil. 3.10, 13
Over a century ago, Oswald Chambers wrote his future wife with these words:
The great hunger is on me more than ever for Him and His work. O, how few love Him and how feeble is my most passionate love. I scarcely know anyone who is consumed for Him. It is all for creeds and phrases and belief, but for Him how few! To know Him- that is it. How I fear and hate the pattern and print of the age.
(Oswald Chambers: Abandoned to God, by David McCasland; OCPA, 1993; p. 142)
He had been through the press of heaven’s refinery, his heart had been purged in painstaking ways, and a singular cry for God Himself, and for a true work of God, was rising in his consciousness.
When we are finally gripped with a true vision for the knowledge of God, all else becomes secondary. A cry takes over our thoughts and musings, and a yearning for God Himself becomes the highest issue. Our souls are wrung out and stripped bare, released from all that has congested our being and kept us from the place of vision in prayer. We are converted from self-centrism unto God-centrism, and the only thing that takes our hearts is a desire for a closer union with Jesus Christ.
We have too many ministries and works in the earth that are not the natural outflow of this singular desire for God. There is a plastic note about much of what we do, chiefly because we are busying ourselves with ministry, but we are not gripped with this apostolic brand of “pressing on” into the intimate knowledge of God. One scholar by the name of Weiss wrote:
Paul’s whole life is a passionate longing for Christ.
Is there a passionate longing for Christ aflame in you, dear soul? We need the debris and clutter and distractions to be burned up cleared out, that the way to single-hearted pursuit after God might be restored. We need to “fear and hate the pattern and print of the age,” the lust for fashion and wealth, the pull and distraction of excessive entertainment, the attitudes and thinking patterns of the world around us. The men and women the Lord is wanting to raise up in these last days will not simply be those who are hard at it in service. Oh, you can be sure that they will have works. But their works will flow from the only foundation of true ministry: the revelation of Jesus Christ.
I am weary of the “outskirts” and the superfluities, friends. I am yearning for a closer walk with God Himself. What about you?