Arms and the Man?

Have you ever read Oswald Chambers?  I had never even heard of him until I started reading Jan Karon‘s series of books about the fictional North Carolina town of Mitford, and her Episcopalian priest, Father Tim Cavanagh!  Father Tim reads Chambers every morning, and Karon’s novels often include a brief snippet of his writing.  So when I saw a copy of My Utmost for His Highest at a yard sale, I bought it.

The devotions for September 10 and 11 deal with “Missionary Munitions.”  Chambers asserts that you cannot prepare for war and crises when you get to one – you need to prepare in advance, in “the workshop,” as Chambers calls it.  This is where your “munitions” –your character, skills, and strength– are forged.  Similarly, you can’t manufacture ammunition “in the trenches.”  Imagine if a soldier did that – waited until he was in the midst of a battle to build a gun!  Yikes!

Preparedness is the key to service.  We are made ready in the small, intimate things, the hidden things God works on in us, many times in the background and behind the scenes.  God doesn’t usually ask us to do the great things.  Most of the time, He just wants us to “do the next right thing”, as Carole Lewis writes in First Place 4 Health.  Jesus’ invitation, “Follow me” does not include a detailed itinerary of where He will lead you in your life.  It only includes the next step!

The popular say is “God doesn’t call the equipped — He equips the called.”  True, but I think He calls those He has been quietly preparing- those who seek Him out in prayer and obedience. even if all you can do in “the next right thing.”

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