Oswald Chambers spoke to me today.Not audibly. That would be freaky.No, Mr. Chambers spoke via the words he was faithful to record many years ago, preserved in My Utmost for His Highest, though even phrasing it that way seems a bit much. Maybe we could just say that I was inspired.In any case, please join me in pondering his advice. I’ve included it in its entirety here:“Approved to God,” My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers.
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth —2 Timothy 2:15If you cannot express yourself well on each of your beliefs, work and study until you can. If you don’t, other people may miss out on the blessings that come from knowing the truth. Strive to re-express a truth of God to yourself clearly and understandably, and God will use that same explanation when you share it with someone else. But you must be willing to go through God’s winepress where the grapes are crushed. You must struggle, experiment, and rehearse your words to express God’s truth clearly. Then the time will come when that very expression will become God’s wine of strength to someone else. But if you are not diligent and say, “I’m not going to study and struggle to express this truth in my own words; I’ll just borrow my words from someone else,” then the words will be of no value to you or to others. Try to state to yourself what you believe to be the absolute truth of God, and you will be allowing God the opportunity to pass it on through you to someone else.Always make it a practice to stir your own mind thoroughly to think through what you have easily believed. Your position is not really yours until you make it yours through suffering and study. The author or speaker from whom you learn the most is not the one who teaches you something you didn’t know before, but the one who helps you take a truth with which you have quietly struggled, give it expression, and speak it clearly and boldly.
I love the entire entry. Several phrases stand out to me—for starters, the first sentence or two could serve as a spiritual writing exercise to attempt during a time of devotional study:If you cannot express yourself well on each of your beliefs, work and study until you can…Strive to re-express a truth of God to yourself clearly and understandably, and God will use that same explanation when you share it with someone else.What a simple but profound idea: to seek to express myself well on each of my beliefs. And if I can’t do it—if it’s muddled and murky—to work and study and write and experiment and even to suffer until it is understandable.He pointed out at the end of the entry that the author or speaker from whom you learn the most is “the one who helps you take a truth with which you have quietly struggled, give it expression, and speak it clearly and boldly.”Yes, that rings true in my life. There are moments when I read something—whether a blog post or a poem; a story or a song—and the truth is so clear and profound that I nod slowly in recognition. Yes, I think. Yes, that’s exactly it.That’s what we writers can do. We can work and study and experiment and then express it. Clearly. Boldly.Right here.Right now.Lord, may I understand your Truth fully, handle it carefully, convey it clearly, and share it boldly.