Born as a Baptist preacher’s son, Oswald Chambers came to Christ at 15 years old one day when Charles Spurgeon preached.
Chambers was in his twenties when he desired to portray the message of God’s redemption in art by studying technique in London. Soon, he began to recognise that God did not want him to pursue the arts for His sake, but to pursue God alone. Chambers later wrote, ‘It takes me a long while to realise that God has no respect for anything I bring Him. All He wants from me is unconditional surrender’. This realisation led him to a theological school named Dunoon College.
‘The great word of Jesus to His disciples is abandon,’ he wrote. ‘God is the only One who we should put our identity in. When we surrender our identity to Christ, we become what we are actually meant to be. The one safeguard is abandonment to the Lord Jesus, receive His Spirit, and obey Him (Matt 16:24-25). We take up the cross daily and remember that we are not our own’.
In 1917, Chambers began to experience a decline in his health. A ruptured appendix and consequent complications cut his life short. It may have seemed a tragic end to his life, but it wasn’t the end of his work. His wife managed to transcribe and publish his sermons and turned them into devotionals. In 1927, his most well-known devotional classic, My Utmost for His Highest was published. The surrendered life of Chambers continues to minister to people up until this day!