Over the past 3 weeks I have listened to the audio-book of a biography of Oswald Chambers. It was the free resource available at Christian Audio last month. Oswald Chambers: Abandoned to God: The Life Story of the Author of My Utmost for His Highest by David McCasland is an inspiring book and the reader was great. A slight British accent for the narration and a slight Scottish burr when quoting Oswald Chambers.
I find audio-books difficult, I lose focus and forget to pay attention. This book was a great audio-book, and it kept my attention. My argument this time is that I heard things I wanted to write down and meditate on but couldn’t given where I was and that the recording just kept going.
The book covers his birth, early years in Scotland, his time in London where he accepted Christ as his savior. Then the years when he struggled to understand what God would have him do. Oswald was 27 before he had a real purpose, but he was used by God even before that. I find this reassuring in a world where we should know what we want when we enter college at 18 and then do it well starting in our early 20’s. Oswald studied and worked but he spent much of his time and energy growing in his walk with God, seeking His will, and patiently waiting for guidance.
Here are some of the main points I did capture. One of Oswald’s sayings was that he wanted to spend and be spent only for God. His work wasn’t just a job, it was his life and God was present in everything he did. Related to this was his belief that he should give to whoever asks. He knew that people would take advantage of him, but that was God’s to handle. If Oswald gave when he was asked, then God would provide for Oswald. And this is how it worked every single time.
After he married (into his 30’s) he and his wife often had no definite plan for the future, but they trusted that God would provide if they only followed His will. He preached around England and Scotland, then they opened a Bible College in London, and God always provided.
I learned quite a bit about his life, including his trips to the US and his time spent in Japan. Then when WWI broke out, he went to Egypt working with the YMCA providing places for the soldiers to eat, socialize, and (at Oswald’s camp at least) to pray and hear the Word spoken and preached.
One way he comforted coworkers and friends, especially while in Egypt during the war, was to not worry so about understanding God’s ways. To know that God is love, get deep in that love, and trust God. He felt is was important to know the character of God and work from there.
After Oswald’s death, the book continues with a very good description of the work his wife undertook to publish his talks and sermons from the Bible College, his traveling preaching time, and the time in Egypt. They were quite a couple and she continued his legacy even after he was gone.
I like a biography that covers the facts, the thoughts, the development of the person’s worldview, and how they lived out that worldview. This was a very satisfying biography about an inspiring man.