Will You Go Out Without Knowing?

By Oswald Chambers
(1873-1917)

Abraham . . . went out, not knowing whither he went. Hebrews 11:8

That is true either of a fool or a faithful soul. One of the hardest lessons to learn is this one that Abrahams life brings out. He went out of all his own ways of looking at things and became a fool in the eyes of the world.

1. Out in Separation unto God

Now the Lord said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy fathers house, unto the land that I will show thee. (Genesis 12:1 rv)

Have you been “out” in that way? If you have, there is no logical statement possible if anyone asks what you are doing. Suppose you are asked why you are in this College, you do not know, and you ought not to know. One of the greatest difficulties in Christian work is that everyone says”Now what do you expect to do?” Of course you do not know what you are going to do. The only thing you know is that God knows what He is about.

Separation unto God is the first characteristicseparation unto God for food, for clothing, for money, for the next step. It is a “going out” of all your “kindred” and “house” ways of looking at things, a “going out” with nothing in view, but being perfectly certain that you are separated unto God. “Beloved, think it not strange,” says Peter, “concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though a strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice. . . .” Whenever you have been faithful to God, you do not know you have been faithful until it is pointed out, and you say”Why, I never thought of that as a test.” It is only on looking back that you find it was. We have continually to revise our attitude towards God and see if it is a “going out,” out of everything, trusting in God entirely. It is this attitude that keeps us in perpetual wonder. We know God, and we know He is a supernatural God who works miracles, and our attitude is one of childlike amazement”I dont know what God is going to do next.” A child sees giants and fairies where we see only the most prosaic things. Jesus said “. . . except ye . . . become as little children.” Every morning we wake it is to be a “going out,” building in confidence on God. “Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on,” take no thought, that is, for anything you did take thought for before you “went out.” Before you “went out” you did take thought for your life, for what you should do tomorrow, but now you belong to the crowd Jesus Christ heads, and you seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.

2. Out in Surrender to God

And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and be thou a blessing. (Genesis 12:2)

It means more to surrender to God for Him to do a big thing than to surrender a big thing to God. We have to surrender our mean little notions for a tremendous revelation that takes our breath away. For instance, am I humble enough to accept the tremendous revelation that God Almighty, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost will come and make Their abode with me? (see John 14:23). Will I so completely surrender the sense of my own unworthiness that I go out of all my own ways of thinking and let God do exactly as He likes?

Sacrifice in the Bible means that we give to God the best we have; it is the finest form of worship. Sacrifice is not giving up things, but giving to God with joy the best we have. We have dragged down the idea of surrender and of sacrifice, we have taken the life out of the words and made them mean something sad and weary and despicable; in the Bible they mean the very opposite. To go out in surrender to God means the surrendering of the miserable sense of my own un-importance. Am I willing to surrender that mean little sense for the great big idea God has for me? Am I willing to surrender the fact that I am an ignorant, useless, worthless, too-old person? There is more hindrance to Gods work because people cling to a sense of unworthiness than because of conceit. “Who am I?” Instantly the trend of the mind is to say”Oh well, I have not had any education”; “I did not begin soon enough.” Am I willing to surrender the whole thing, and go out in surrender to God? to go out of the carnal mind into the spiritual? “fools for Christs sake”?

Abraham surrendered himself entirely to the supernatural God. Have you got hold of a supernatural God? not, do you know what God is going to do? You cannot know, but you have faith in Him, and therefore He can do what He likes. Has God been trying to bring into your life the fact that He is supernatural, and have you been asking Him what He is going to do? He will never tell you. God does not tell us what He is going to do, He reveals to you who He is (cf. John 14:12-13). Do you believe in a miracle-working God, and will you go out in surrender to Him? Have you faith in your holiness or in God? faith in your obedience or in God? Have you gone out in surrender to God until you would not be an atom surprised at anything He did? No one is surprised over what God does when once he has faith in Him. Have you a supernatural God, or do you tie Him up by the laws of your own mind?

We blunder mostly on the line of surrender, not of conceit, in the continual reminders we give to God that we are small and mean. We are much worse than small and mean: Jesus said”Without Me ye can do nothing.” Let us surrender all thinking about ourselves either for appreciation or depreciation, cast ourselves confidently on God and go out like children.

3. Out in Sanctification for God

So Abram went, as the Lord had spoken unto him. (Genesis 12:4)

Sanctification means going out as God has told us. Are we going along the line God has told us in the things we have been saying and thinking, in letter-writing, to people in difficulty, in prayer? If it is a matter of our own personal sanctification, let us put God between ourselves and the difficulty.

Our Lord did not rebuke His disciples for making mistakes, but for not having faith. The two things that astonished Him were “little faith” and “great faith.” Faith is not in what Jesus Christ can do, but in Himself, and anything He can do is less than Himself.

Suppose that God is the God we know Him to be when we are nearest to Him, what an impertinence worry is! Think of the unspeakable marvel of the remaining hours of this day, and think how easily we can shut God right out of His universe by the logic of our own heads, by a trick of our nerves, by remembering the way we have limited Him in the pastbanish Him right out, and let the old drudging, carking care come in, until we are a disgrace to the name of Jesus. But once let the attitude be a continual “going out” in dependence on God and the life will have an ineffable charm, which is a satisfaction to Jesus Christ.

We have to learn how to “go out” of everything, out of convictions, out of creeds, out of experiences, out of everything, until so far as our faith is concerned, there is nothing between us and God.

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