Oswald Chambers Index

The Discipline of Darkness

"What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light; and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops." Matthew 10:27.

      "At times God puts us through the discipline of darkness to teach us to heed Him. 'What I tell you in darkness...'  Are you in the dark just now in your circumstances, or in your life with God? ... When you are in the dark, listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else when you get into the light."  (February 14)

"Clouds and darkness are round about Him." Psalm 97:2

     "A man who has not been born of the Spirit of God will tell you that the teachings of Jesus are simple. But when you are baptized with the Holy Ghost, you find 'clouds and darkness are round about Him.'  When we come into close contact with the teachings of Jesus Christ we have our first insight into this aspect of things. The only possibility of understanding the teaching of Jesus is by the light of the Spirit of God on the inside.

      "If we have never had the experience of taking our commonplace religious shoes off our common-place religious feet, and getting rid of all the undue familiarity with which we approach God, it is questionable whether we have ever stood in His presence. The people who are flippant and familiar are those who have never yet been introduced to Jesus Christ. After the amazing delight and liberty of realizing what Jesus Christ does, comes the impenetrable darkness of realizing Who He is....
      "The Bible has been so many words to us -- clouds and darkness, then all of a sudden the words become spirit and life because Jesus re-speaks them to us in a particular condition. That is the way God speaks to us, not by visions and dreams, but by words."
(January 3)

"... as they followed, they were afraid." Mark 10:32.

"At the beginning we were sure we knew all about Jesus Christ, it was a delight to sell all and to fling ourselves out in a hardihood of love; but now we are not quite so sure. Jesus is on in front and He looks strange. 'Jesus went before them: and they were amazed.'

"There is an aspect of Jesus that chills the heart of a disciple to the core and makes the whole spiritual life gasp for breath. This strange Being with His face set like a flint and His striding determination strikes terror into me. He is no longer Counsellor and Comrade, He is taken up with a point of view I know nothing about, and I am amazed at Him. At first I was confident that I understood Him, but now I am not so sure. I begin to realize there is a distance between Jesus Christ and me; I can no longer be familiar with Him. He is ahead of me and He never turns round; I have no idea where He is going, and the goal has become strangely far off.

"Jesus Christ had to fathom every sin and every sorrow man could experience, and that is what makes Him seem strange. When we see Him in this aspect we do not know Him, we do not recognize one feature of his life, and we do not know how to begin to follow Him. He is in front, a Leader Who is very strange, and we have no comradeship with Him.

"The discipline of dismay is an essential necessity in the life of discipleship. The danger is to get back to a little fire of our own and kindle enthusiasm at it (cf. Isaiah 50:10-11). When the darkness of dismay comes, endure until it is over, because out of it will come that following of Jesus which is an unspeakable joy."  (March 15)