With apologies to Oswald Chambers and his classic devotional, My Utmost for His Highest, I wanted to address a struggle. Perhaps it’s simply my struggle and you won’t really relate to it. The struggle is all about that word “utmost.” What does it mean in today’s world to do your utmost and what do you expect from God’s highest? Of course, the hope is that we’re always growing and changing and getting closer to becoming what God dreamed we’d become. The hope is that we want to know more of God. I’m thinking at best, I give God my almost, my attempt to do better, to see people as He sees them, valuing them and loving them inspite of them. I trust that He has to do that with me.
The fact is, I’m pretty sure I couldn’t swear on a stack of Bibles that I give my utmost to know Him, or even my utmost to life. After all, life often shreds you so finely you aren’t really clear if God is actually near and so at best you make feeble attempts to draw closer to Him, hoping against hope that He is truly there. Regardless of my futile attempts however, I believe that God always operates from His Highest. He doesn’t have days when He’s slacking off a bit because He’s worn out by the noise of the Universe or the weight of the world that literally rests on His shoulders. He doesn’t take a break from hearing my prayers, even ones I’ve prayed for years still waiting for the answers. He doesn’t get tired of giving and loving and being God.
Giving my almost may work for a while. It may be that I get a glimpse of God’s glory and His love when I give even that much. He encourages me, even when I give a little. He connects with me the moment I get online, never making me wait or go through several messages and then putting me on hold whenever I make an attempt to draw more closely to Him. He is always there…always operating at His Highest! Imagine that!
I’m in the process of writing a new devotional book, one that centers itself on the reasons we have to be grateful every single day. It’s the truth that if we only strive to count our blessings, we could conceivably count every waking moment and never run out of things to be thankful for. After all, we just rose from a comfy bed with a big warm blanket, had a great cup of coffee and found ourselves in the midst of others who care about us. That’s a good place to start when you’re counting blessings. Today, though, I have to count this blessing. The blessing that comes from my almost and mostly feeble attempts to draw near to God and the fact that He embraces my attempts, hugs my spirit and loves the almost me so completely it’s overwhelming. Sure, He tugs at my sleeve and hopes my heart will desire even more, that it will truly want to go from almost to utmost. I love this idea from Charles Spurgeon that says, “He who counts the stars and calls them by their names, is in no danger of forgetting His own children. He knows your case as thoroughly as if you were the only creature He ever made, or the only saint He ever loved.”
Perhaps that’s the reason to keep trying, to keep moving toward giving Him your utmost. After all, we always try to please the ones we love.
May His highest bring you great joy today!