December 1, 2018

Brooding on the Tragedy of God




Oswald Chambers writes about knowing the energy of God.* He says that to know this energy we have to "brood on the tragedy of God" - the tragedy of Calvary and the meaning of Redemption.  Instead, we have chosen to favor our prying interests in our own spiritual lives. By so doing we have lost the energy of God in our lives - the resurrection life of Jesus. Chambers goes on to say that if we pay attention to the objective Source, the Cross of Jesus Christ , the subjective energy will be ours. We lose power because we do not concentrate on the right thing. 

The effects of the Cross are salvation, sanctification, healing, wholeness of life, etc. But we are not to focus on any of these. We are to focus upon and witness to Jesus Christ and Him crucified. (1 Corinthians 2:2-5) The proclaiming of Jesus will do its own work.  We are to concentrate our preaching/teaching on the Cross of Christ. And those who hear, though they may appear to not be paying any attention, will never be the same again. The Spirit of God will do His work in them, drawing them closer to God through saving faith in Jesus. 

If we talk our own talk, it's of no more importance to those who hear us than their talk is to us.  But if we talk the truth of God, we will meet it again and again. We have to concentrate on the great point of spiritual energy - the Cross. If we keep in contact with that center, where all the power lies, the energy of God will be let loose in us. He will save us, transform us, and all the effects of the Cross will be ours. But only through Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 

In holiness movements and spiritual experience meetings the concentration is often put not on the Cross of Christ, but on the effects of the Cross. Such churches become weak and feeble. One reason for the feebleness is that they have forsaken this concentration of spiritual energy - the tragedy of God. They have not thought enough about the Cross of Christ and its redemptive meaning for His church.

Alas, and did my Savior bleed? And did my Sovereign die? 
Would He devote that sacred head For such a one as I?

Was it for crimes that I have done, He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! Grace unknown! And love beyond degree!

Well might the sun in darkness hide, And shut His glories in,
When Christ, the mighty Maker, died For man the creature's sin.

But drops of grief can never repay The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give myself away, 'Tis all that I can do!

At the Cross, at the Cross, Where I first saw the light, 
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight, 
And now I am happy all the day!+

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* In his devotional book My Utmost for His Highest, "The Concentration of Spiritual Energy"
+ Hymn by Isaac Watts (1674-1748), "At the Cross"

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