Mrs. Suzanne Gehring – “Destined to be Holy”

September 25, 2013

“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.” --  Romans 6:22 (NIV)

Several years ago, Asbury’s president, Dr. Sandra Gray, initiated a campus reading of My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers and encouraged the university community to read, reflect, and share insights with one another.

The words of Oswald Chambers stuck in my mind long after reading the September 1st entry.  “We must continually remind ourselves of the purpose of life,” he wrote.  “We are not destined to happiness, nor to health, but to holiness…God has only one intended destiny for mankind – holiness.”  We are often more eager to experience the blessings of God’s favor than to develop spiritual disciplines and character.  Sometimes the idea of being “holy” may seem like an idealistic goal, and out of reach while we struggle with real life problems.  

Only 43 when he died, and not widely known at that time, Chambers nevertheless has impacted generations of Christians through his writings.   His definition of holiness helps bring a clearer understanding of that characteristic. “Holiness means absolute purity of your walk before God, the words coming from your mouth, and every thought in your mind – placing every detail of your life under the scrutiny of God Himself.  Holiness is not simply what God gives me, but what God has given me that is being exhibited in my life.” 


- Mrs. Suzanne Gehring, Head of Archives & Special Collections, Kinlaw Library

Historical connections of interest: Oswald Chambers was 15 and making his first profession of faith in Christ when John Wesley Hughes founded Asbury College in 1890.  For a season Chambers taught at God’s Bible School in Cincinnati, Ohio, which is another Wesleyan holiness institution with considerable missionary zeal.  And, Oswald Chambers worked in Japan with Mr. and Mrs. Charles Cowman, the founders of OMS. 

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