I think that, apart from God’s Good Word, no book helps clarify my understanding of God’s and my character, than My Utmost for His Highest. It is a beast of Truth that is also nearly a century old. It’s words seem to me an act of God since its good effects are large and lasting for many.
This morning I read today’s devotional, entitled “The Trail of Faith” in which he quotes Matthew 17:20
If you have faith as a mustard seed… nothing will be impossible for you.
These superfluous statements from the Bible seem borderline extravagant and are the hardest to understand, am I right? That is, only if I look at these kinds of phrases in a literal/legalistic way… but if I look at these words figuratively, as if I were annotating prose for its literary devices, I see Jesus’ purpose more clearly. He is purposefully extreme when he says, “…you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” It’s like a huge, red flag has popped out of the verse and started waving itself at me. I’m drawn to it because it’s so outrageous, which makes me want to dig further into its meaning. In context, this quote comes after Jesus rebukes “this generation” for being “faithless and twisted”, for not placing their minuscule faith in something higher and more substantial. I feel that God, indicative of this passage, wants us to have real faith that, even if small, stands firmly in impossible circumstances and believes when there is no opportunity for belief. Imagine the amount of faith I would need to defy the laws of natural physics to move a mountain even a millimeter! It seems ridiculous to ask us to have faith in such an idea, yet this is what God desires. The bar is so high that it seems incredibly unfair. At the same time I innately feel that as I seek Him, I inevitably and exponentially grow with His help, and as nothing is impossible with God, this is much less discouraging than it ought.
Chambers also clarifies that faith is not a means to an end, but it is the means. He writes
But we do not earn anything through faith — faith brings us into the right relationship with God and gives Him His opportunity to work.
And the gem of the entire devotional
Faith, as the Bible teaches it, is faith in God coming against everything that contradicts Him — a faith that says, ‘I will stay true to God’s character whatever He may do.’