I read every morning from Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost For His Highest and from the writings of C. S. Lewis. This morning I read again the most profound paragraph I have found in all of Chambers’ work: “There is only one relationship that matters, and that is your personal relationship to a personal Redeemer and Lord. Let everything else go, but maintain that at all costs, and God will fulfil His purpose through your life. One individual life may be of priceless value to God’s purposes, and yours may be that life.”
So long as I am right with God, he will work in and through my life to fulfill his Kingdom purposes. Jesus was clear about my dependence on him: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). My highest priority is to keep my heart close to my Father. If I do, his Spirit can use me to advance the Kingdom. If I don’t, nothing I write or say will matter.
Yesterday was the birthday of my other spiritual mentor. C. S. Lewis was born on November 29, 1898. His Mere Christianity was transforming for me when I first encountered it in high school. His willingness to grapple with the intellectual issues inherent in Christian faith has been a model for me ever since.
Here is my favorite paragraph in his writings: “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic–on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg–or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to” (Mere Christianity [New York: Macmillan, 1943] 55-6).
Our culture has made this “patronizing nonsense” conventional wisdom. When we stay in the Spirit and show the reality of Jesus’ divinity in our lives, God is glorified and his Kingdom comes on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10). Is there a higher privilege in life?