Past and Future: Tense

Having finally gotten my own copy of Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest, I am enjoying his brevity a lot. His language makes him the C.S. Lewis of devotionals. There were two very interesting ideas in the past few days’ reading.

The first is that the God of Israel will go before us. It’s particularly well phrased because it conveys both a sense of past and present: that God already went before us in that He set us apart as His own before we were born (Gal 1:15); and that God is going before us even in our future, for He knows the plans He has for us (Jer 29:11). Knowing that God will go before you is pretty huge. There is no need for regret about the past or anxiety for the future, and hence to be irrationally tense. There is only a need for “constructive thoughtfulness for the future.”

The second is about God’s Word and how it can seem obscured by “clouds and thick darkness” (Ps 97:2) as God himself is, and how this is different for someone before and after committing their life to Christ, or for someone being renewed by the Spirit. It is because these Words are spoken to us “in a particular condition” each time. It is so dynamic because the Word is living (Heb 4:12, 1 Pet 1:23).

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