Tag Archives: Oswald Chambers

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“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.'”  (Psalm 14:1, NIV)

A term found in more than one instance in the writings of the late sage Oswald Chambers is “practical atheist.”

It is a term that is properly applied to anyone — regardless of his or her declaration of beliefs — who lives as if there is no God.  In a practical sense, even the disciple of Jesus can — and does — act as if God isn’t.

For example, when we are blessed with abundance, do we credit God or do we credit our own enterprise and initiative?  When we succeed where others have failed, do we thank God or do we chalk it up to “luck”?  When our minds are clear and when our bodies are ailment-free, do we make haste to the house of worship; or do we prefer instead leisure and activities of self-celebration?

A more rigorous test of our practical beliefs is not during adversity and personal suffering (when nearly everyone is seeking divine assistance); but during times of abundance and personal ease.  In such seasons, numerous are the temptations to live as if “there is no God.”  – Luther

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“Then he said to the man, ‘Hold out your hand.’  So the man held out his hand, and it was restored, just like the other one!”  (Matthew 12:13, NLT)

Oswald Chambers reminds us: “God does not give us overcoming life — He gives us life as we overcome.”

The first task in our partnership with God is obedience.  Too often, we say to God, “Show me, and I will go,” when God is saying to us, “Go, and I will show you.”  To do the latter is to live by faith in God.  To do the former is to live by common sight and human insight alone.

Today’s scripture illustrates for us the way in which our heavenly Father works — which is the same as it was centuries before in the call of the “father of the faithful” — Abraham (who was previously named Abram): “The LORD had said to Abram, ‘Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.'” (Genesis 12:1)

It each case — including our own in our day — the great work of God begins with our personal commitment through obedience.  Stretch out your hand.  The overcoming power of God has never been nearer!  – Luther

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