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Oswald Chambers, Abandoned to God: The Life Story of the Author of My Utmost for His Highest

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  1,559 ratings  ·  117 reviews
What do you know about the man behind the popular devotional My Utmost for His Highest? Trace the life of Oswald Chambers from his boyhood in Scotland through an astounding journey of faith and trust in God's provision. From the United Kingdom to a YMCA training camp in Egypt during World War I, Chambers was a man utterly devoted to God and to sharing the timeless wisdom o ...more
Paperback, 360 pages
Published September 1st 1998 by Our Daily Bread Publishing (first published 1993)
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David Johnston
Aug 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Apostle of the Haphazard

The only thing one can say after reading a book like this is: I wish I knew Christ like Oswald Chambers seems to have done. What a faith and what a life. He was kind of like an intellectual Keith Green who said, "I refuse to worry" because his life was truly hid in Christ. And like Keith Green, he was a part of what is loosely referred to as the Holiness Movement except Chambers was in at the beginning. Oswald Chambers said “I feel I shall be buried for a time, hidden aw
May 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 999-challenge
I find audio-books difficult, I lose focus and forget to pay attention. This book was a great audio-book, and it kept my attention. My argument this time is that I heard things I wanted to write down and meditate on but couldn't given where I was and that the recording just kept going.

The book covers his birth, early years in Scotland, his time in London where he accepted Christ as his savior. Then the years when he struggled to understand what God would have him do. Oswald was 27 before he had
Feb 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
What a fascinating life story. I've always found his daily devotional (My Utmost for His Highest) to be challenging, intense, and full of insight. But it was illuminating to learn about his early influences, his varied interests, his travels, relationships, and ministry opportunities from Scotland to Cincinnati, to Japan to London to Egypt and the soldiers of WWI.

What stood out to me was his general interest in learning and reading about a variety of subjects, his willingness to go wherever God
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: booksreadin2018
I was able to get this book as an audio book and it was nice to be able to listen to it being read to me as I got some work done. I walked away from this book having been encouraged in my own faith.

What I Liked: This book practically covered every inch of Oswald Chambers' life, even the history of his parents. By the end, I felt like I new Mr. Chambers, but as he is already with the Lord, I will look forward to being able to meet him someday in eternity.

This book felt very well researched, yet t
Jul 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book, more so the second time through, is the single most life-changing book, next to my Bible, that I have ever read. The example which Oswald and Biddy Chambers set of the surrendered life, the manner in which it is written by McCasland, O.C. and Biddy, is incredible. I have spent the past week in Egypt during WWI, in the YMCA hut, in the sandstorm, right there in the ministry with them.

How they ever, by the grace of God we know, and by the prayers of His children, accomplished all that t
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oswald Chambers is best known for his book "My Utmost for His Highest", but that book might never had existed were it not for the labors of his faithful wife Biddy. This book tells about Chambers' life, relationship with God, and service to Him in places all over the world. Though his earthly life was short—he died at 43—he touched many while alive and so many more through his writings published after his death.

This book was a tonic to me, encouraging me to seek a deeper relationship with God an
May 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
This is a deeply moving story, chronicling the brief life of the author of My Utmost for His Highest and the work of his widow which endeared him to the world. It is easy to see from McCasland's excellent portrayal why Chambers was adored by his students and soldiers. Passionate, intelligent, and playful, Chambers' ardent love for his Savior sparked passion for Christ in many whom he encountered. "Brighter, clearer and more exquisite is the spiritual within becoming, and my whole being is ablaze ...more
Jamie Morris
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Reading the biography of Oswald Chambers brought such depth of meaning to his devotional, “My Utmost For his Highest.” This is an inspirational read and I recommend it to anyone that reads his devotions.
Eric Wright
Jul 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
The author has written a definitive life of Chambers complete with correspondence, poetry, art and photographs. While the very comprehensive nature of the book attracts by its thoroughness, it makes for somewhat choppy reading.

The story of Chambers shortened life is one of breadth in interest—reading novels of Balzac, plays of Ibsen, stories of George MacDonald, theologies, interest in art, love of children. His life also resonates with a passion for Christ, a simple faith, and a pervasive desi
Jun 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this book to see how God really works, as he did in Oswald Chambers' life.

Here are examples of what I mean:

"Unless the life of a missionary is hid with Christ in God before he begins his work, that life will become exclusive and narrow. It will never become the servant of all men, it will never wash the feet of others."

What any humand being has done," he had heard a preacher say, "any other human being is capable of." Though I have never been able to confirm a source, this sentence made me
Aug 03, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I knew next to nothing about Oswald Chambers before listening to this reading of his biography. All I knew was that a) he was the author of the excellent book, My Utmost for His Highest, and b) he was a Scottish theologian with a similar approach to other Scottish theologians that I am coming to admire: John MacLeod Campbell, the Torrances, and George MacDonald. So I had no idea about his academic brilliance in theology and philosophy, or about his personal zeal for life and God that infected ev ...more
Edra Adams
Sep 20, 2012 added it
Shelves: biographys
I had read My Utmost for His Highest for years as a devotional and often wondered how the man that wrote it came to have such deep spiritual insight. Now I know. This is an amazing book about an amazing man that accomplished amazing things for God in only 47 years. It contains many excerpts from his personal journals that describe his own spiritual journey and ulitmately his conversion. But more than that it describes how he came to be abandoned to God and how that shaped every aspect of his lif ...more
Jun 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
Good to read the biography of a man whose words have so long spoken into my life.

One of the most remarkable parts was learning how his wife had labored so carefully to learn record-speed shorthand as an early teenager. This in turn allowed her to write down Oswald's sermons word for word! After his early death, she spent the rest of her life transcribing his words... which have now catapulted millions of people around the world into closer walks with the Lord. So awesome!

I liked the biography bu
Donna Pingry
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This biography is wonderful. It forced me not to second guess God like I usually do. You know.."Why did God allow this?" type of thing. Everytime my mind began to question, an Oswald Chambers quote would pop up to remind me it's all about God who I owe my obedience to and so much more.

"All I have to do is come as a spiritual pauper, not ashamed to beg, to let go of my right to myself and act on Romans 12:1-2. It is never Do, do, and you'll be with the Lord, but Be, be and I will do through you
Jan 28, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This volume has probably sat on my bookshelf since it was first published (almost 30 years ago now), long before “My Utmost for His Highest” was more to me that just the title of a classic devotional. I can no longer remember how I originally acquired it, though I have a hunch it may have been a gift.
Almost 10 years ago now, in what to this point is still one of the greatest personal trials I have ever faced, I picked up an updated version of “My Utmost for His Highest” almost on a whim and fo
Janet Sketchley
Inspiring, and educational about the conditions of the times. I only knew Oswald Chambers as the author of My Utmost for His Highest. It was interesting to see the path of his life that led to his great impact and to learn about his tirelessly supportive wife and ministry partner, Biddy, who compiled so many of his writings after his death.
Rebecca Norton
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was inspiring to me. It is about a man who strove to know God and teach Him to others. He dedicated his life to learning and teaching the word of God our relationship to God should be.
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a great biography of one of my favorite Christian ministers/writers. Best summery of Chambers life: "He was absolutely free from worry, living what he liked to call a 'recklessly restful life.'"

"Trust God and do the next thing."
Lisa Manning
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended by a friend, this book tells the life story of Oswald Chambers. Much different than I expected. So inspiring! To have a genuine love of God like this man and his wife is a goal we all should have.
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Inspiring life story of the author of the devotional: "My Utmost for His Highest." After reading this book I almost want to travel to Scotland and hike up Ben Nevis, like Mr. Chambers did. But then again, you can talk to the Lord anywhere, mountains and valleys alike. ...more
May 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-own, biography
I don't often read biographies, but this one was well worth the time. ...more
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a book!!!! I absolutely highly recommend it! It will be inspiration for years to come in my Christian walk.
Andrew Kooman
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cedar Lea
Oct 05, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book because I found it very comforting to read a true life story of Christians who experienced some of the same things we experience in our culture today. Things such as the uncertainty of living through tumultuous world events, and the grief everyone felt at the untimely death of a dear Christian leader. Those were the things that pulled me into this book.

The book ultimately made me think quite a bit about Oswald Chambers' devotion to living his life for God, and showed me the c
Margaret Roberts
Dec 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
The immense life of Oswald Chambers, cut short by sickness during the first World War. His life, though short, was well lived and spent fully for God. His wife, Biddy, shadowed him, living a sacrificial life for God, who was at the centre of their marriage and their lives. It's a wonder not much is known about Biddy, who, after his death, published all his sermons, from her short-hand notes. Through their lives is an immense testimony to the faithfulness and grace of God, evidently seen in the w ...more
Wes F
Oct 09, 2019 rated it liked it
I'm giving this biography of Oswald Chambers 3-1/2 stars in my Reading Log. It was good--and very sad toward the end, as Chambers dies in his prime at the age of only 43 years old. But, God has sovereignly used his writings/sermons/devotionals to speak to millions across the world--including this reader. Especially through the work of his wife, Biddy, who painstakingly compiled Chamber's My Utmost for His Highest. Biddy was an amazing lady--and God used her greatly, both during Chamber's lifetim ...more
Rese Hood
Nov 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A "Carefully Careless" Life For the Ages

I bought my copy of MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST in 1986 and it is with me still, tattered with the cover slipping off. Yet the words of Oswald Chambers ring out with vibrant color and spirit as they did upon my first reading. When this biography first appeared, it was a marvelous meeting to the man behind the words of so many books. Bringing Biddy into the story was not just about a synchronous marriage but the blending of callings and gifts for a greater pu
Aug 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book gives a good insight into the life of Oswald Chambers. It is refreshing to see his faith in God and how practical and sincere was his faith. The book largely outlines his life and it may be boring to some although in a way it is good to reflect on how a Christian man saw the world and lived his life. A great quote from the book was Oswald's motto in many situations: "trust God and do the next thing". ...more
Apr 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
Having read My Utmost on several occasions, I didn't know the man. I was delighted to read about Oswald's life and him as a person in this biography. He is one of those souls that has an unusual connection and dedication to Christ to the point that he actually drove himself to failing health (lose of weight and then complications of an appendectomy leading to his demise while serving in Egypt). We wonder how long he was fighting abdominal pain letting the demands of never ending ministry cause h ...more
Jenna Bunner
Mar 23, 2017 rated it liked it
After having read the book, I feel like I know Oswald Chambers and his wonderful wife, Biddy. She is the true hero of the book "My Utmost for His Highest," and her devotion to her husband and to God's message through him is amazing.
The book seemed long (I listened to the audiobook) and there was much detail about the ones who studied under Chambers' teaching, but I loved the description of his spiritual life: deep, all-encompassing, but never a barrier in relating to "unspiritual" people.
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“We are not called to be successful in accordance with ordinary standards, but in accordance with a corn of wheat falling into the ground and dying, becoming in that way what it never could be if it were to abide alone.” 2 likes
“Oswald’s approach to the future was simple: “Trust God and do the next thing.” 2 likes
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