Have You Read Oswald Chambers, The Artist Writer?

Have You Read Oswald Chambers, the Artist WriterFor those of you who are fans of Oswald Chambers and his classic spiritual book, My Utmost for His Highest, did you know Oswald Chambers thought his original calling from God was to be a visual artist and musician? Oswald Chambers had a deep love for God, creativity, and the arts. Though millions have read and loved My Utmost for His Highest, many do not know that Chambers studied at London’s Royal Academy of Art between 1895-1896. A gifted artist and musician, Chambers sensed God’s calling to be an ambassador for Christ in the world of art and aesthetics. To encourage you cultivate a more beautiful life in Christ, I’d like to share a few thoughts and favorite quotes from this beloved writer and artist…

After a difficult season of wrestling over his calling and vocation, Chambers finally decided to study for the ministry. Though this artist writer only wrote three books in his lifetime and never achieved “fame” during his lifetime, My Utmost for His Highest has become a rare spiritual classic that has helped millions of people cultivate a deeper life in Christ.

In his writings, you can see how Chambers integrates his love for God and the true creativity that flows from a relationship with God. What I love about his writings is his passion and depth for the goodness of God found in Christ, knowing he had a deep love for the arts. I hope this well of encouragement overflows to you today as well.

  • The one true mark of a saint of God is the inner creativity that flows from being totally surrendered to Jesus Christ.
  • Never try to make your experience a principle for others, but allow God to be as creative and original with others as He is with you.
  • Fill your mind with the thought that God is there. And once your mind is truly filled with that thought, when you experience difficulties it will be as easy as breathing for you to remember, “My heavenly Father knows all about this!”
  • A spiritually vigorous saint never believes that his circumstances simply happen at random, nor does he ever think of his life as being divided into the secular and the sacred. He sees every situation in which he finds himself as the means of obtaining a greater knowledge of Jesus Christ, and he has an attitude of unrestrained abandon and total surrender about him.
  • The most dangerous and unsure thing is to try to live without God.

Questions: What Oswald Chamber’s quote speaks to you the most today? Do you ever wrestle with your creative calling like Chambers did? In what ways?

I’d love your thoughts and comments.

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  • Jon Florence

    “A spiritually vigorous saint never believes that his circumstances simply happen at random.” I thoroughly believe this to be true. I would also like to add Joey that your book “The Longing” has begun the process of shifting my desires from self and abandoning my failed quest to do everything on my own and not relying on the knowledge of who I really am. Again, circumstances simply don’t happen at random. They never have… Conscientiously I know this to be true. Randomly finding your website while seeking and searching for answers to my inward pain of longing to be more productive and creative as I was meant to be is no accident.

    • http://www.joeyo.org/ Joey O’Connor

      Thanks Jon and I’m glad you’re finding encouragement from The Longing. I spent some time reading at the end of Job yesterday, reminding myself of how big and sovereign God is…there are no random circumstances…only his continuous and creative, loving re-creation of our lives…nothing can thwart his divine plan, which is filled with wonderful serendipitous moments…even divine connections made via searching for websites…blessings to you!

  • techne

    I had heard this before, but have never come across anything where he directly addresses the calling of the artist. do the other two books discuss that, or creativity, in further detail?

    • https://profiles.google.com/107350086208954629499 Joey O’Connor

      I originally read about Oswald Chamber’s work and calling as an artist in the preface of My Utmost for His Highest. I found more info by googling around for more details about his life story.

      Apparently, he really wrestled and was torn over whether to become a foreign missionary or not. Per creativity, I have only mined his thoughts on creativity in My Utmost. I haven’t seen any specific works outlining his perspective on creativity and the arts, but given the period he lived in, he (like many) were well-rounded lovers of the arts and the humanities.

    • http://www.joeyo.org/ Joey O’Connor

      Sorry for the delay here Edward…I responded long ago via a WordPress app, but it’s obvious it didn’t go through. I have not read his other two books, so I can’t say if he addresses the artist’s calling or creativity…I’ve only gleaned his thoughts on this from My Utmost.

  • Dwight Edwards

    Joey, are you familiar with the study guide My Utmost for His Highest by Thomas Braddock? I’ve seen it for sale on numerous websites, but none have an online preview of what’s inside the book. I’m wondering if it’s worth the purchase of $30. Thanks

    • http://www.joeyo.org/ Joey O’Connor

      Hi Dwight, no I’m not familiar with the study guide by Braddock. Sorry I can’t help here!