“And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.”—Ruth 1:16-17 (King James Version) <3
“This is how God works. He puts people in positions where they are desperate for His power, and then He shows His provision in ways that display His greatness…The design of God: He gives unlikely people His power so it is clear who deserves the glory for the success that takes place.”—David Platt
“A man may be considered spiritual when he wants to see the honor of God advanced through his life even if it means that he himself must suffer temporary dishonor or loss. Such a man prays ‘Hallowed be Thy name,’ and silently adds, ‘at any cost to me, Lord.’ He lives for God’s honor by a kind of spiritual reflex.”—A.W. Tozer
“You can say with confidence, ‘I am here to display the superiority of the life lived in God. I’m here to do what the mountains do poorly. My life is to “shout” the existence of God.’”—James MacDonald, When Life is Hard
“Man is the star in our contemporary drama and his comfort, his prosperity and his health are the great goals. Of course God is there on the stage, but only as a kind of co-star or supporting actor to round out the picture for religious and cultural expectations.”—John Piper
“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the Word of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Him. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battle front besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”—Martin Luther
“In your marriage, don’t meditate on what your husband could be doing better; be grateful that God has given you a husband to love and honor. As a single, don’t dwell on the misfortunes of singleness; be grateful for the season of serving God in ways marriage might not allow you to. As a daughter and sister, don’t mull over the mistakes of your parents and siblings in ungratefulness, rather choose to delight, in the fact that God has given you a family to serve.”—
In the Christian life we often speak of wanting ‘to move onto higher ground with God.’ How we long to live above the lowlands of life. We want to get beyond the common crowd, to enter a more intimate walk with God. We speak of mountaintop experiences and we envy those who have ascended the heights and entered into this more sublime sort of life.
Often we get an erroneous idea about how this takes place. It is as though we imagined we could be ‘air lifted’ onto higher ground. On the rough trail of the Christian life this is not so. As with ordinary sheep management, so with God’s people, one only gains higher ground by climbing up through the valleys.
Every mountain has its valleys. Its sides are scarred by deep ravines and gulches and draws. And the best route to the top is always along these valleys.
Any sheepman familiar with the high country knows this. He leads his flock gently, but persistently, up the paths that wind through the dark valleys. It should be noticed that the verse states, ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.’ It does not say I die there, or stop there—but rather ‘I walk through.’
….There is a second reason why sheep are taken to the mountaintops by way of the valleys. Not only is this the way of the gentlest grades, but also it is the well-watered route. Here one finds refreshing water all along the way. There are rivers, streams, springs, and quiet pools in the deep defiles.
Every time you venture out in your life of faith, you will find something in your circumstances that, from a commonsense standpoint, will flatly contradict your faith. But common sense is not faith, and faith is not common sense. In fact, they are as different as the natural life and the spiritual. Can you trust Jesus Christ where your common sense cannot trust Him? Can you venture out with courage on the words of Jesus Christ, while the realities of your commonsense life continue to shout, “It’s all a lie”? When you are on the mountaintop, it’s easy to say, “Oh yes, I believe God can do it,” but you have to come down from the mountain to the demon-possessed valley and face the realities that scoff at your Mount-of-Transfiguration belief (see Luke 9:28-42). Every time my theology becomes clear to my own mind, I encounter something that contradicts it. As soon as I say, “I believe ’God shall supply all [my] need,’ ” the testing of my faith begins (Philippians 4:19). When my strength runs dry and my vision is blinded, will I endure this trial of my faith victoriously or will I turn back in defeat?
Faith must be tested, because it can only become your intimate possession through conflict. What is challenging your faith right now? The test will either prove your faith right, or it will kill it. Jesus said, “Blessed is he who is not offended because of Me” Matthew 11:6). The ultimate thing is confidence in Jesus. “We have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end …” (Hebrews 3:14). Believe steadfastly on Him and everything that challenges you will strengthen your faith. There is continual testing in the life of faith up to the point of our physical death, which is the last great test. Faith is absolute trust in God— trust that could never imagine that He would forsake us (see Hebrews 13:5-6).
-Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest, Aug 29.
“We must continually remind ourselves of the purpose of life. We are not destined to happiness, nor to health, but to holiness. Today we have far too many desires and interests, and our lives are being consumed and wasted by them. Many of them may be right, noble, and good, and may later be fulfilled, but in the meantime God must cause their importance to us to decrease. The only thing that truly matters is whether a person will accept the God who will make him holy. At all costs, a person must have the right relationship with God.”—Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest
"How can a single Christian woman enter into the mystery of Christ and the Church if she never experiences marriage?"
"The gift of virginity, given to everyone to offer back to God for His use, is a priceless and irreplaceable gift. It can be offered in the pure sacrifice of marriage, or it can be offered in the sacrifice of a life’s celibacy. Does this sound just too, too high and holy? But think for a moment-because the virgin has never known a man, she is free to concern herself wholly with the Lord’s affairs, as Paul said in 1 Cor. 7, “And her aim in life is to make herself holy, in body and spirit.” She keeps her heart as the Bride of Christ, in a very special sense, and offers to the Heavenly Bridegroom alone all that she is and has. When she gives herself willingly to Him in love she has no need to justify herself to the world or to Christians who plague her with questions and suggestions. In a way not open to the married woman, her daily “living sacrifice” is a powerful and humble witness, radiating love. I believe she may enter into the "mystery" more deeply than the rest of us."
“Humility can only survive in the presence of God. When God goes, humility goes. In fact, you might say that humility follows God like a shadow. We can expect to find humility applauded in our society about as often as we find God applauded…. When God is neglected, the runner-up god takes His place, namely, man. And that, by definition, is the opposite of humility, namely, the haughty spirit called pride.”—John Piper, Battling Unbelief
“Fame, pleasure and riches are but husks and ashes in contrast with the boundless and abiding joy of working with God for the fulfillment of His eternal plans. The men who are putting everything into Christ’s undertaking are getting out of life its sweetest and most priceless rewards.”—J. Campbell White, 1909