I have been crucified with Christ. — Galatians 2:20
The imperative need spiritually is to sign the death warrant of the disposition of sin, to turn all emotional impressions and intellectual beliefs into a moral verdict against the disposition of sin, viz., my claim to my right to myself. Paul says – “I have been crucified with Christ”; he does not say – “I have determined to imitate Jesus Christ,” or, “I will endeavour to follow Him” – but – “I have been identified with Him in His death.” When I come to such a moral decision and act upon it, then all that Christ wrought for me on the Cross is wrought in me. The free committal of myself to God gives the Holy Spirit the chance to impart to me the holiness of Jesus Christ.
“. . . nevertheless I live. . . .” The individuality remains, but the mainspring, the ruling disposition, is radically altered. The same human body remains, but the old satanic right to myself is destroyed.
“And the life which I now live in the flesh . . . ,” not the life which I long to live and pray to live, but the life I now live in my mortal flesh, the life which men can see, “I live by the faith of the Son of God.” This faith is not Paul’s faith in Jesus Christ, but the faith that the Son of God has imparted to him – “the faith of the Son of God.” It is no longer faith in faith, but faith which has overleapt all conscious bounds, the identical faith of the Son of God.
Chambers was born 24 July 1874 in Aberdeen, Scotland to devout Baptist parents. He accepted Christ in his teen years. While walking home from a service conducted by Charles Spurgeon, he mentioned to his father that, had there been an opportunity, he would have become a Christian. Chambers developed quickly in his faith, but did not plan to go into ministry. He studied at Kensington Art School and attended the University of Edinburgh, where he studied fine art and archaeology. But while at Edinburgh, he felt called to ministry, and transferred to Dunoon College. An unusually gifted student, Chambers soon started teaching classes and started a local society dedicated to Robert Browning, his favorite poet. But during this time, Chambers did not find satisfaction in Christianity, finding the Bible ‘dull’ and uninspiring.
Finally, after four years of spiritual dryness, Chambers realized that he couldn’t force himself to be holy. Once he realized that the strength and peace he was looking for was Christ himself, Christ’s life in exchange for his sin, he experienced great renewal so much so that he described it as a “radiant, unspeakable emancipation.”
Although Oswald Chambers wrote only one book, Baffled to Fight Better, more than thirty titles bear his name. With this one exception, published works were compiled by Mrs. Chambers, a court stenographer, from her verbatim shorthand notes of his messages taken during their seven years of marriage. For half a century following her husband’s death she labored to give his words to the world. I feel I shall be buried for a time, hidden away in obscurity; then suddenly I shall flame out, do my work, and be gone.” So wrote 22-year-old Oswald Chambers as he began his long preparation in a remote Scottish town before being thrust into the world as a preacher. He was partially right; after 15 years of public ministry, Chambers died suddenly at age 43. But he remains far from gone—his devotional My Utmost for His Highest (sermons published posthumously, like nearly 50 other devotionals bearing his name) remains one of the most popular devotional guides ever printed.
My Utmost For His Highest, his best-known book, has been continuously in print in the United States since 1935 and remains in the top ten titles of the religious book bestseller list with millions of copies in print. It has become a Christian classic.