My Utmost for His Highest and Sunday School

Applying My Utmost for His Highest, Art of Listening Prayer, Oswald Chambers, Seth Barnes, post-high school Sunday School, church young adults study

My husband recently began using My Utmost for His Highest devotionals in his post-high school Sunday School class.

It didn’t start that way, but that’s where they are now.

R and the young people are pondering just what Oswald Chambers is really saying to them!

Ask Me Any Question

The class began this summer after R read an article that stated some 80% of church going young people left the church when they left home. The most common reason?

Unanswered questions.

Or, as a young woman explained, “what I learned in high school Sunday School was to stop asking questions.”

The article also noted the young people wanted to see Christian life lived out in older people, people who actually “did it.”

While on the high school mission trip, R discovered all the participants had questions and were avid to hear answers. He began the class when they returned.


He had several goals for these post-high school students–most of whom he’d taught in Sunday School years before:

1. They needed to know there was an answer to their questions.
2. They needed to realize they knew what they need to know to hold their own on the issues other presented to them.
 To be able to answer questions from their peers and from their own hearts,  boiled down to two facts all the kids in the class knew well:
1.Who is Jesus?
2.What do you need to do to be saved?
 As R explained:
“Every Christian in class knew the answers to those two questions. They were very surprised to discover those two questions are at the heart of what they’re confronting when they go out into the world.”
 After several months, they’d discussed and answered most of the questions the young people had. “We then got to the point where we could address the second big issue: how to actually live the Christian life in this world,” R said.

Watchman Nee

 Many of the principles are found in a book R likes to teach to junior high students, Watchman Nee’s Sit, Walk, Stand, and he provided copies to anyone who wanted one. They then moved onto how to be obedient to God’s will and hear his voice.
One of the students suggested The Art of Listening Prayer: Finding God’s Voice Amidst Life’s Noise by Seth Barnes. They’ve been going through it one chapter a week.Applying My Utmost for His Highest, Art of Listening Prayer, Oswald Chambers, Seth Barnes, post-high school Sunday School, church young adults study

My Utmost for His Highest

 “As we worked through The Art of Listening Prayer, I needed something that would give them practice hearing God speak to them. The best example for me, personally, is My Utmost for His Highest,” R said.
 “I’ve been reading it for twelve years, and I usually know what he’s talking about, but not always. You cannot understand Oswald Chambers with physical ears. You need to have spiritual ears to understand. That’s what we’ve been working on.”
 On Sunday mornings, R and the young people discuss any questions, talk about The Art of Listening Prayer chapter and then turn to that Saturday and Sunday’s devotional from My Utmost for His Highest for practical application.
“They’ve been batting pretty close to zero, ” in understanding the devotional according to R. “It’s wonderful to watch them struggle to hear; to take all their experience, background and training and then they fail to understand. I then walk them through what the devotional is really talking about.”

Cheating to understand

 “After a few sessions, I could see in their eyes they were struggling. They were enjoying them, but starting to get frustrated,” he laughed. “So I told them I was cheating. I don’t have any more idea than they do, I just ask Jesus to explain it to me and he does.”
 The young people have begun “cheating,” the same way.
“They now can start to see what Oswald Chambers is saying and how it [the devotional] makes sense in their own lives. It’s fun to see that spiritual growth; they’re starting to hear God speak and recognize his voice.”

R noted something often happens in his life during the week so he has a personal example for the young people.

My Utmost for His Highest is full of stuff that’s nonsense if you don’t have spiritual eyes. The wisdom of God is foolishness to man, and My Utmost for His Highest is full of those as Oswald Chambers explains spiritual principles. A lot of times it’s the opposite of what you think.”

R and I both benefited as young people when we were mentored by older Christians in a variety of settings–whether Bible studies, friendships, church Sunday Schools. It’s a joy to experience the same “giving back,” which we received.

And it is delightful to share the–sometimes–confounding devotionals found in My Utmost for His Highest.

“Cheating,” though, by asking God for help in understanding the wisdom of these devotionals has served us both well for many years!

How about you? Do you understand the My Utmost for His Highest devotionals?


Young adults: listening, praying and declaiming My Utmost for His Highest. Click to Tweet

Asking questions and My Utmost for His Highest. Click to Tweet

Watchman Nee, Seth Barnes and Oswald Chambers for young adults. Click to Tweet

%d bloggers like this: