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The Crowd, Again...
Posted on May 18, 2009

I have been re-reading Daws, the biography of Dawson Trotman, the founder of the Navigators, one of the cloud of witnesses that has gone before (Hebrews 12:1, 2).  It has been an interesting experience.  I think this is the third time I have read the book.  This time through I am challenged by his life more than I have been in the past and I have also seen an emphasis on the believer’s position in Christ that I had not noticed before.

On the other hand the book has impacted me, not sure that negatively is the right word, but in a manner that has depressed me somewhat.  Daws died at 50 while saving a girl from drowning.  By that time he had done much for the Lord.  He had founded an international ministry, assisted Billy Graham in the follow up for his crusades, was instrumental in the founding of Wycliffe, Young Life, and MAF, the list goes on and on.

I am 58.  When I look at what Daws accomplished in the short time that God gave him and I compare what I have done…  I am at some level ashamed.  Now, I know that we are not to compare ourselves… but.  Hebrews 12: 1, 2 does tell us that we are to run the race with vigor because we have that crowd cheering us on.  With the list in 11 that is a significant level of encouragement.  The question with which I am wrestling is though I am not supposed to compare myself with these saints and men like Daws, the reality is that I fall really short. 

2 Corinthians 10:12 says “For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding.”  The ones in Hebrews 11 & 12 did not commend themselves, God commended them.  It occurs to me that they are set before us not only as those who cheer us on, but as those whose examples we are to strive to follow.

Then today I read in Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest:
So often we mar God’s designed influence through us by our self-conscious effort to be consistent and useful. Jesus says that there is only one way to develop spiritually, and that is by concentration on God. ‘Do not bother about being of use to others, believe on Me’—pay attention to the Source, and out of you will flow rivers of living water. We cannot get at the springs of our natural life by common sense, and Jesus is teaching that growth in spiritual life does not depend on our watching it, but on concentration on our Father in heaven. Our heavenly Father knows the circumstances we are in, and if we keep concentrated on Him we will grow spiritually as the lilies.

The people who influence us most are not those who buttonhole us and talk to us, but those who live their lives like the stars in heaven and the lilies in the field, perfectly simply and unaffectedly. Those are the lives that mould us.

If you want to be of use to God, get rightly related to Jesus Christ and He will make you of use unconsciously every minute you live.

So the challenge becomes to follow these saints not in striving to do more, but to focus on knowing Him.  It is really easy for me to get that backwards.
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Category: Spiritual Life

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