More of the Almighty Christ

By Dale Holloway

In his popular devotional book My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers was a master at capsulizing profound biblical truth in a sentence or two. One such gem recently stood out to me in my time of devotion. In his devotional for the date of February 27, Chambers wrote the following: “The reason some of us are such poor specimens of Christianity is because we have no Almighty Christ. We have Christian attributes and experiences, but there is no abandonment to Jesus Christ.”

Ouch! Doesn't it hurt when God hits you right between the eyes with a knockout punch of convicting truth?

Is it true? Are we poor examples of Christianity? Only a probing self–examination can reveal an answer to that question, but it is unlikely that many would be pleased with the results of their inquiry. After all, who of us would feel comfortable standing before God and announcing our candidacy for the “Best Christian Example” award?

Chambers clearly pinpoints the problem. We limit the power of God in our lives (“no Almighty Christ”) by trusting more in our God–given attributes than in God Himself. Perhaps this is what the Apostle Paul meant when he wrote, “People will be lovers of themselves . . . having a form of godliness, but denying its power” (2 Tim. 3:2a, 5a,).

Think about it. When you committed your life to Christ, He put within you the fruit of the Spirit, which Paul identifies in Galatians 5:22–23. Those nine characteristics are attributes of God that He graciously imparted to you on the day of your spiritual birth. They may need a lot of personal development, but they are present as evidence of God’s Spirit within you.

As children of God, we share many of His divine attributes. Every time we faithfully attend church, give our tithes, or teach a Sunday school class, we exhibit a form of godliness. Every testimony we share or encouraging note we send gives testimony to the Spirit of God within.

So what’s the problem? Should we not be doing those things? Of course we should! The problem is that we have a propensity for becoming complacent in our walk with Christ and self–assured in our demonstration of godliness. That is what Chambers meant by “no Almighty Christ.” In our satisfaction with who we are and what we are doing, we often leave little room for Christ to do even greater things. We give him little opportunity to be almighty. We are abandoned to self and not to Christ.

In his famous benedictory prayer, Paul wrote, Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Eph. 3:20, 21).

Have you ever considered what the "immeasurably more" might be? According to Paul, it is beyond our imagination. What we do know is that God wants us to be so dissatisfied with our abilities that we will trust Him to do the unbelievable through us. When we remain content with who we are and with what we are able to do for Christ, we choke God’s power and end up accomplishing immeasurably less than the promised immeasurably more.

Let us purpose today to be content no longer with anything less than all God desires to do through us. Only then, through total abandonment of self to Christ, will we unleash the power of God and experience in our church and personal lives the immeasurably more of the Almighty Christ.

(This article was first published in the March 2004 edition of The Wesleyan Advocate magazine)

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