The life of those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High may be called a Hidden Life, because the animating principle, the vital or operative element, is not so much in itself as in another. It is a life grafted into another life. It is the life of the soul, incorporated into the life of Christ; and in such a way, that, while it has a distinct vitality, it has so very much in the sense, in which the branch of a tree may be said to have a distinct vitality from the root.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Cooperation With God: Dependency

When we enter into the state of cooperation with God, we must feel, that our agency is entirely dependent and secondary in all the subsequent progress of the work, whatever it is, not less than in its incipient stages. I know that man has will, and that he has power. It would be a great error to deny or to doubt it. But it is equally true, that he is dependent; and that, in a very important sense, he has nothing. We must, therefore, not only begin in our nothingness; but must be willing to remain in it. It is a partnership, where we must realize, that not only all the capital; but, when properly considered, that all the personal operative power are from one source. Man works, it is true; but God works  IN him. Man's working without God's working, as the basis of it, is of no avail. Man's strength is in God's strength, Hence there must be no undue anxiety, no unsuitable and excited eagerness, no methods and plans of action, originated and prosecuted on worldly principles; which necessarily implies some distrust of the skill and resources of the great Being, who has thus condescended to work by means of human instrumentality. We must move when God moves; stop when He stops; deliberate when He deliberates; act when He acts. Any assumption on our part of superior wisdom or strength, any disposition to move in anticipation of his movement, or in any way to forestall the divine intimations, would be getting not only out of the position of dependence and nothingness, but out of the line of cooperation.

— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (2nd edition, 1844) Part 3, Chapter 5.

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