In my devotional life I read from different sources, but three seem to be primary for me, ones that I often come back to. First is the BIBLE. Second is Oswald Chambers’ MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST, and third A GUIDE TO PRAYER.

What I love about A GUIDE TO PRAYER is that it has a reading schedule that is theme based each week, to guide me in what scriptures to be directed to. It also has for each week 7 or 8 excerpts from both historical and contemporary writers and thinkers that help guide my thinking and reflection and sometimes challenge my thoughts and convictions. What I like about Oswald Chambers is that there is little to no wiggle room in his theology. He states his point directly, and sometimes at the risk of offending the reader - but this is what I think many of us (including myself) need in our faith - to be challenged to think.

I’m writing this in the season of advent, which is a season of anticipation and expectation of the birth of Jesus Christ. Some months ago I read Chambers and he said this about expectation of God.

‘Do not look for God to come in a particular way, but do look for Him… Keep your life so constantly in touch with God that His surprising power can break through at any point. Live in a constant state of expectancy, and leave room for God to come in as He decides.’

I appreciated this at the time that I read it, because it reminded me to not confine God’s activity in my life to what I expect Him to do. And, right now it seems especially true at advent, that the Christmas story, while full of expectation for so many individuals and even the nation of Israel involved a LOT of surprises to those expectations. God’s surprising power can break through at any point… yes. And on that first Christmas, He did break through… in probably the most surprising way of all. And so I am reminded, and you may be also, to leave room in your life for God to come in as He decides.