Before dawn on most days, Newsweek recently reported, President George W. Bush gets up to read his Bible and to pray. His devotional guide, as it is for many evangelicals, is My Utmost for His Highest, by Scottish preacher Oswald Chambers (1874-1917).
"Living a life of faith means never knowing where you are being led," says Chambers' devotional for the day bombs first fell on Iraq. "But it does mean loving and knowing the One who is leading. … Faith is rooted in the knowledge of a Person, and one of the biggest traps we fall into is the belief that if we have faith, God will surely lead us to success in the world."
My Utmost For His Highest may be daily informing Bush's faith, but the president and others may find his other writings even more pertinent to today's circumstances.
"War is the most damnably bad thing," Chambers said shortly before his death. "Because God overrules a thing and brings good out of it does not mean that the thing itself is a good thing. … [However,] if the war has made me reconcile myself with the fact that there is sin in human beings, I shall no longer go with my head in the clouds, or buried in the sand like an ostrich, but I shall be wishing to face facts as they are." And that will be a good thing, Chambers wrote, because "it is not being reconciled to the fact of sin that produces all the disasters in life."
Last year, renowned theologian and Christianity Today Senior Editor J.I. Packer examined what Chambers and C.S. Lewis can teach today's Christians about living in a time of war. That article is available here.
Copyright © 2003 Christianity Today. Click for reprint information.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more
Read These Next
- TrendingRussell Moore: I Already Miss Tim Keller’s Wise VoiceThe late pastor theologian gave strong counsel to me and so many others in ministry.
- From the MagazineHow One Family’s Faith Survived Three Generations in the PulpitWith a front-row seat to their parents’ failures and burnout, a long line of pastor’s kids still went into ministry. Why?
- RelatedWhen Police Arrive at Your Church’s DoorAs persecution worsens in China, an urban house church leader offers guide for perseverance and preparation.简体中文繁體中文
- Editor's PickWorship Music Is Emotionally Manipulative. Do You Trust the Leader Plucking the Strings?The Spirit is at work, but so are the mechanisms around high-production sets.