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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:40 am
by John_Smith
Aug 20

. . . and I will give you rest —Matthew 11:28

Whenever anything begins to disintegrate your life with Jesus Christ, turn to Him at once, asking Him to re-establish your rest. Never allow anything to remain in your life that is causing the unrest. Think of every detail of your life that is causing the disintegration as something to fight against, not as something you should allow to remain. Ask the Lord to put awareness of Himself in you, and your self-awareness will disappear. Then He will be your all in all. Beware of allowing your self-awareness to continue, because slowly but surely it will awaken self-pity, and self-pity is satanic. Don’t allow yourself to say, “Well, they have just misunderstood me, and this is something over which they should be apologizing to me; I’m sure I must have this cleared up with them already.” Learn to leave others alone regarding this. Simply ask the Lord to give you Christ-awareness, and He will steady you until your completeness in Him is absolute.

A complete life is the life of a child. When I am fully conscious of my awareness of Christ, there is something wrong. It is the sick person who really knows what health is. A child of God is not aware of the will of God because he is the will of God. When we have deviated even slightly from the will of God, we begin to ask, “Lord, what is your will?” A child of God never prays to be made aware of the fact that God answers prayer, because he is so restfully certain that God always answers prayer.

If we try to overcome our self-awareness through any of our own commonsense methods, we will only serve to strengthen our self-awareness tremendously. Jesus says, “Come to Me . . . and I will give you rest,” that is, Christ-awareness will take the place of self-awareness. Wherever Jesus comes He establishes rest— the rest of the completion of activity in our lives that is never aware of itself.

from My Utmost for His Highest

*Matthew 11:25-30: At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

The previous devotional, which is this is essentially the second part of.

What is Christ-awareness? Obviously, it sounds like a nice thing to have, and Chambers talks a bit about that. But what is it; what does it look like?

I think there are two parts to it, one is the most literal, having awareness of God. Being constantly mindful of Him. Praying without ceasing. But the second? I believe that is the outward affect, the actions that one with Christ-awareness takes.

It's in our actions that having awareness inherently becomes a problem. Acts of kindness which should be God's glory are instead followed with a, "Oh, aren't I a great person for doing that?" This brings a dilemma: We want to do Christ like things naturally, without thinking. But how can we get to such a point without thinking about it? And that's where growth comes in.
I think of Christ-awareness to be a bit like the step following 'What Would Jesus Do?' A step where you no longer have to ask the said question, you just simply do as Christ wishes. This isn't something we can easily perceive in one another, but is something which results from a personal relationship with God.

Re: Christ-Awareness

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:14 am
by drill
I like the idea, I really do, but I don't know how plausible it is. I'm only saying that because since we are separated from God, we will never reach that perfection which essentially you are talking about. I think we can come close to knowing what the will of God is here on this Earth, but it won't be until we are in Heaven until we truly know what God desires. So, I think it is perfectly reasonable to be able to ask yourself, "What Would Jesus Do?" as we are always going to go astray every now and then. I will also point out, there are other times when God hides his will from us, and he wants us to seek him for guidance.

Re: Christ-Awareness

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:26 pm
by Nate
Never allow anything to remain in your life that is causing the unrest. Think of every detail of your life that is causing the disintegration as something to fight against, not as something you should allow to remain.

Somehow I don't think the lawyers who I'm making monthly payments to will accept "I'm going to ignore my payments to you because it's causing unrest in my life and causing me to drift away from Jesus" as a valid excuse. I think they're going to say "We don't care, give us the money you owe us." So this devotional is, well, to put it a bit bluntly, kind of stupid. There are things we can't just up and leave behind in our lives.

Re: Christ-Awareness

PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 3:35 pm
by ClaecElric4God
Nate does sort of make a good point. Also, there are some things in life we will never be able to overcome. There were things in Paul's life that he couldn't get past, that he struggled with, and instead of fighting them, he had to learn to rely on the grace of God and be content in whatever state he was. It wasn't even a matter of "trusting God to get rid of it", it was just relying on God's grace in spite of the problems, even if they never went away. I think true Christ-awareness is more a matter of looking to Him, trusting Him, and following Him whole-heartedly; striving to be like Him and live as He lived, even if it doesn't produce our idea of a close walk with Him. I think with this mindest, there's a bit of a danger of getting the impression that someone doesn't have a close walk with Christ if their life isn't perfect and devoid of turmoil. I dunno. I may be slightly misunderstanding what Chambers is trying to say. I've noticed that unless he's preaching a very basic, common concept, he tends to go into this weird depth that just sends the whole devotional over people's heads. I feel like he's trying to speak this spiritual language that, quite frankly, doesn't even make sense at times.

I do sort of feel like he's contradicting himself. He seems to be saying "Don't use your own methods to get rid of turmoil in your life! But make sure you get rid of it!" And then he mentions going to Jesus, but it's still with this urgency of "make sure you don't let that remain!" Sometimes turmoil will remain. I don't think it should be so much a matter of "make sure your life is perfect and there's nothing in your life that will disintegrate your walk with Christ" as, "no matter what may come in life, rely on God, and don't let it disintegrate your walk with Christ, even if God never chooses to remove it from your life." Obviously if the conflict in your life is self-inflicted, or something you've introduced when you knew it was wrong, that's a different story. I'm not saying "go ahead, bring whatever distractions and sin into your life you want, just keep trusting God". But when the circumstances are ones you can't control, it really comes down to depending on God no matter what.
It's our responsibility not to invite unrest and struggles into our lives, but you can cause yourself even more stress and mess up your walk with God by constantly fighting against things that we can't get rid of, things that God Himself may have introduced in order to teach us to trust Him and walk closer to Him.

I need to stop rambling now, because I'm not even sure what I'm saying.

Re: Christ-Awareness

PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:13 am
by Nate
No I think you're pretty spot on and are making perfect sense, and I agree with you. I'm not sure what Chambers is trying to say honestly. The devotional seems to jump around. At first he says "If something is causing turmoil in your life, get rid of it!" which I already stated (and you backed up) is impossible for some things. My dad dying has caused huge turmoil in my mom's life and she just can't "get rid of" his death. She can get through it with God's help, but she can't bring him back to life which is really the only way to get rid of that turmoil. And seeing her emotional trauma from losing her husband as an "enemy" to "fight against" is so horrific that I really hope I'm greatly misunderstanding.

And then the second part seems to flip to "Asking what the right thing to do in a situation is bad, because we should already know what the right thing is without asking." Which I don't get how it's related to the first part at all, and I think it's kind of a ridiculous position to take. Like this quote, right here:
When we have deviated even slightly from the will of God, we begin to ask, “Lord, what is your will?”

No. No no no. This is absolutely, 100%, completely wrong. This is Job's buddies all over again, saying that because Job was suffering, that obviously he had done something wrong. Chambers seems to be on their side, saying that if you're lost and confused, clearly it's your own fault and because of something you did. No sir, I don't buy it, that's bull.
Acts of kindness which should be God's glory are instead followed with a, "Oh, aren't I a great person for doing that?"

This is the old chestnut that Objectivists use against altruism by the way. "Helping others makes you feel good, therefore it's inherently selfish, and therefore altruism cannot exist because even actions which seem to be done for others are actually done for self-fulfillment."

While obviously going around saying "Man I sure am great" every time we help others is a bad attitude to have, I don't think there's anything wrong with feeling good when we help others. We don't want to puff ourselves up too much about it, but those warm fuzzies you get from helping others are important, because if we don't have them, then we start to wonder what the point of helping others is, and it becomes more difficult to do. Granted, we're called to help others even if we don't have those warm fuzzies, just saying that feeling good for doing good isn't in and of itself bad.