This morning on Facebook a friend posted a note, a passage written by Oswald Chambers a Scotsman who was born in 1874 and died in 1917. Reading the passage, I had a feeling in my heart that what he was saying was so completely wrong. I'm no theologian or bible scholar by far but I knew what I read was wrong and I was deeply compelled to write this.
INFERIOR MISGIVINGS ABOUT JESUS
by Oswald Chambers
"Sir, Thou hast nothing to draw with." John 4:11
"I am impressed with the wonder of what God says, but He cannot expect me really to live it out in the details of my life!" When it comes to facing Jesus Christ on His own merits, our attitude is one of pious superiority - Your ideals are high and they impress us, but in touch with actual things, it cannot be done. Each of us thinks about Jesus in this way in some particular. These misgivings about Jesus start from the amused questions put to us when we talk of our transactions with God - Where are you going to get your money from? How are you going to be looked after? Or they start from ourselves when we tell Jesus that our case is a bit too hard for Him. It is all very well to say "Trust in the Lord," but a man must live, and Jesus has nothing to draw with - nothing whereby to give us these things. Beware of the pious fraud in you which says - I have no misgivings about Jesus, only about myself. None of us ever had misgivings about ourselves; we know exactly what we cannot do, but we do have misgivings about Jesus. We are rather hurt at the idea that He can do what we cannot.
My misgivings arise from the fact that I ransack my own person to find out how He will be able to do it. My questions spring from the depths of my own inferiority. If I detect these misgivings in myself, let me bring them to the light and confess them - "Lord, I have had misgivings about Thee, I have not believed in Thy wits apart from my own; I have not believed in Thine almighty power apart from my finite understanding of it."
25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat (or drink), or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
26 Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they?
27 Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?
28 Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin.
29 But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them.
30 If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?
31 So do not worry and say, 'What are we to eat?' or 'What are we to drink?' or 'What are we to wear?'
32 All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
33 But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.
34 Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil."
Why ask for a bucket to draw from the well as the woman at the well did in John 4:11 when Jesus offers a well within each of us! Misgivings come only when we think like men, not as Jesus.
Jesus reminds us in John 15:1-11 that the fruit (Love) cannot be brought forth without branches (us) and branches cannot live without the vine (Jesus) and the vine cannot be without the vintner (God the Father). We must knowingly and willingly accept our place as branches on the vine and not question how the vine will provide for us. It is beyond our understanding. We must have faith in His Love that it will be done.
A rock cannot bear fruit, yet how many of us have hardened our hearts into stone? If we but worship in spirit and truth (John 4:23) following Jesus' commands and loving one another as He loves us, we will no longer be His servants but His friends (John 15:15), abiding in His Love, bearing much fruit. Only then will all things for which we ask be received! It is in the complete giving of ourselves to Christ through one another that we receive; for whatsoever we do to the least of our brethren we do to Jesus (Matthew 25:40). He provides for all our needs here on earth but our true reward is not here, it is life everlasting with Him!
Thinking more on this passage and reading it deeper I have to ask the question. Was this guy actually a Christian? From that passage, I honestly can't tell. I haven't read him, only what a few cursory internet searches have turned up. He claims to have been but also to have struggled with his faith and morality as well.
That passage seemed so full of poor reasoning and flawed understanding of Christ and I completely disagree with his statement:
"Beware of the pious fraud in you which says - I have no misgivings about Jesus, only about myself. None of us ever had misgivings about ourselves; we know exactly what we cannot do, but we do have misgivings about Jesus. We are rather hurt at the idea that He can do what we cannot."He calls anyone that claims to understand any differently a "pious fraud" and casually includes the reader in his personal lack of faith in an attempt to say "If I can't understand it, nobody can and anyone that says they do is a liar".
Jesus sees what is hidden in our hearts, even our misgivings. If we don't know our misgivings, we certainly should. To think otherwise is arrogance against one's own position on the vine as Mr. Chambers has done right here. Unfortunately too many of us are masters at hiding our misgivings, denying them and displacing them onto others.
His arrogance and jealousy of Jesus' power and authority are plainly apparent when he then states "We are rather hurt at the idea that He can do what we cannot." Let me summarize. What Mr. Chambers is saying here is that he has no doubts about himself, does have doubts about Jesus' ability to provide for him and that he is jealous of Jesus' authority and power!
He's spiritually and logically all over the page and contradicts himself. In one sentence he states;
"None of us ever had misgivings about ourselves; we know exactly what we cannot do, but we do have misgivings about Jesus."and in the next he states;
"My misgivings arise..."Does he have misgivings or not? Am I the only person that sees the inherent evil here? I see arrogance toward the power and authority of Christ Jesus, jealousy that he is inferior to Jesus and then doubt that Jesus can provide for us because if Mr. Chambers can't understand even the workings of God, then it must not be possible.
Such a horrible display of arrogance, jealousy and coveting the power and authority of Jesus Christ is outrageous and blasphemous and sounds more like the words of Satan who was defeated by St. Michael and cast out of Heaven for that same thing.
It is only because my faith falls short that I cannot do what He can. Even Peter's great faith that allowed him to walk across the water to Jesus was overcome by his own misgivings. That was Peter's failure of faith in Christ, not Christ's failure of faith in Peter. Remember, it was Jesus who reached down and pulled him from the water (Matt 14:30-31). All we need is but the faith of a mustard seed (Matt 17:20) and we can throw mountains into the sea!
Of course we have misgivings toward ourselves. We are sinners and Christ is without sin. We only see life through our narrow closed minds created by years of cynicism, doubt and failure. To enter into the kingdom of heaven we must rend our hearts emptying of ourselves so that we may be filled with Christ Jesus! Then seeing the world of possibilities with all the wonder of a child (Matt 18:3-4) can we enter into the Kingdom of Heaven and eternal life with Christ.
If today you hear His voice, harden not your heart but rend it unto Christ Jesus that you may pour yourself out and be filled with Him anew.
God Bless You,