The Worship Quote of the Week for (07/17/2007):

The Graciousness of Uncertainty
Are you confident in the greatness and goodness of God? Certainly, to have a clear vision of the magnificence and mercy of God causes us to come before him with awe and reverence. Does it seem easier to worship God personally when tomorrow's path seems clear? Or is there something about temporal uncertainty that should drive us to the arms of the Almighty? Today's WORSHIP QUOTE is a great reminder from Oswald Chambers's devotional classic, MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST.

Naturally, we are inclined to be so mathematical and calculating that we look upon uncertainty as a bad thing. We imagine that we have to reach some end, but that is not the nature of spiritual life. The nature of spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty, consequently we do not make our nests anywhere. Common sense says—"Well, supposing I were in that condition . . ." We cannot suppose ourselves in any condition we have never been in. Certainty is the mark of the common-sense life: gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, we do not know what a day may bring forth. This is generally said with a sigh of sadness, it should be rather an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. Immediately we abandon to God, and do the duty that lies nearest, He packs our life with surprises all the time. When we become advocates of a creed, something dies; we do not believe God, we only believe our belief about Him. Jesus said, "Except ye become as little children." Spiritual life is the life of a child. We are not uncertain of God, but uncertain of what He is going to do next. If we are only certain in our beliefs, we get dignified and severe and have the ban of finality about our views; but when we are rightly related to God, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy.

"Believe also in Me," said Jesus, not—"Believe certain things about Me." Leave the whole thing to Him, it is gloriously uncertain how He will come in, but He will come. Remain loyal to Him.

—Oswald Chambers, MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST, Ulrichsville, Ohio: Barbour & Company, p. 120. ISBN 0-916441-82-2. Selected mostly from talks given during the years 1911-1915, these devotionals were first published in 1935 by Dodd, Mead & Co., renewed in 1963 by Oswald Chambers Publication Association, Ltd. (

[As much as I appreciate a faithful creed (well spoken or well sung) in Christian worship, I agree with Chambers's point that we do not worship a creed or a belief system, but a personal Creator-Redeemer God. To Him be the glory now and forever. Amen!]

Have a great week!

Chip Stam
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, Kentucky

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