“Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)
In his devotional book, My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers writes, “Guard jealously your relationship with God. Jesus prayed ‘that they may be one, even as we are one’ nothing between. Keep all the life perennially open to Jesus Christ, don’t pretend with Him. Are you drawing your life from any other source than God Himself? If you are depending upon anything but Him, you will never know when He is gone.”
Reading these words, “when He is gone,” I am startled. What is this writer saying? Surely he is not speaking of loss of salvation. Well, then, he must be speaking about our new life, our relationship with God, that walking in the Spirit which is what gives present meaning to salvation every day here on earth. Which brings another startling thought: without a focused daily walk with God here and now, what, I ponder, is the point of being born again, other than “fire insurance” at the end?
“Fire insurance alone”? God forbid! How could we ever set our sights only on that, when what God has done for us through Jesus Christ is so incredible, so beyond all our imaginings? How dare we settle for such a limited, such a self-centered, shallow version of the gospel? Do we not know that when we are born again, we become heirs, children of the King of Kings, privileged to partake in the kingdom of God here and now? And yet if we begin to depend on any other source than God, if we take our eyes off Jesus alone, we turn our backs on the full rights of our inheritance. We quench the Spirit within us — and in that sense, He is gone, because we are failing to abide fully in His Presence. Oh, how alert we must be, how single-minded, how focused on our Father, the sovereign, almighty God who so loved us, totally undeserving though we are, that He gave His all for us. We must strive to let nothing come between us and our Saviour.
Oh, dear Heavenly Father, please help us to truly know You, to live constantly in Your Presence, in the amazing and joyful moment-by-moment, fully surrendered, totally loving and worshipful relationship which You desire for us. Open our eyes to the things that would seek to draw away our dependence upon You; draw us to Yourself alone. Let us not turn aside for even a moment. May we rather prostrate ourselves in awe, Lord, before Your glory and majesty. May we always be aware of your Presence, and focus constantly on the practice of walking with you. May our every thought and word and attitude and action be for Your purpose and glory alone. May we become so filled with Your Spirit, abiding in such oneness with You, that others will see only You in us, see Your wonder and love and perfection, and in humble faith joyfully bow before You for all eternity in love and worship.
Help us to totally submit ourselves to You, our God, to turn from every bit of our self-centered ways, to open ourselves unconditionally to the free reign of Your Holy Spirit in our lives. Help us, dear Lord, to truly love you with all our heart and soul and mind and strength. Help us to truly love our neighbors, to see them from Your perspective, so that we cannot help but rush out in joyful obedience to Your commission to share with all the world the full wonder of your perfect, eternal, one and only great salvation. And use us to truly disciple each one who hears Your call and responds, each one You have chosen in love before the foundation of the world, so that they may come into the full, growing, abiding, fulfilling, ultimate relationship with You, into the Kingdom life for which You created us. Your will be done!
Date: February 2006