Deserter or Disciple?

Deserter or Disciple?

“From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” John 6:66
When God gives a vision by His Spirit through His word of what He wants, and your mind and soul thrill to it, if you do not walk in the light of that vision, you will sink into servitude to a point of view which Our Lord never had. Disobedience in mind to the heavenly vision will make you a slave to points of view that are alien to Jesus Christ…. When you find that a point of view in which you have been delighting clashes with the heavenly vision and you debate, certain things will begin to develop in you – a sense of property and a sense of personal right, things of which Jesus Christ made nothing.
-Oswald Chambers

I read this from Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest this morning, and it struck a note. Over the years I’ve come to disagree with much of Chambers’ theology as I’ve become more reformed in mine, but he is still filled with nuggets of wisdom.

The verse Chambers quotes from John 6 refers to the occasion in which Jesus draws a line in the sand. He declares he is the Son of God, the Bread of Life, that anyone who believes in him will have eternal life with the Father. When many of the disciples heard this, they said it was a “hard teaching,” and deserted him. When Jesus asked The Twelve Disciples if they also wished to leave, Simon Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”

I like the way Chambers puts it – you will sink into servitude to a point of view in which Our Lord never had. In other words, when I disagree with or lose sight of Jesus – his hope, his truth, his vision, his healing, his rest, etc. – I will fall captive to something else, and it will not be beneficial to me.

I think of my anger, which comes from my selfishness and need to be in control. When I think only of myself, I become angry at others who thwart my comfort. When I set aside my perceived needs and desires to follow Jesus, I take on his “point of view,” which is love, kindness, service, etc.

Reminds me also of Paul in Romans 6

Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness (Romans 6:16-18).

Today feels like a New Day after several weeks of chaos and lack of routine. I feel refreshed and ready put my universe back in order – mind, body, and soul. Today, I focus on these words from Jesus’ disciples in prayer for the priorities of my heart to be set correctly –

“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”

When have you felt like a “deserter?” How were you drawn back as His disciple?

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