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.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Cooperation With God: Living by the Moment

God requires a constant cooperation; a cooperation moment by moment; what some writers have described "living to God by the moment."  It is an universal law, unalterable as God is and lasting as eternity, that no created being can be truly holy, useful, or happy, who is knowingly and deliberately out of the line of divine cooperation, even for a moment. Accordingly we are to consider every moment as consecrated to God. It is true, that, in order to the full and assured life of God in the soul, there must be the general act of Consecration... which is understood to relate to a man's whole nature, and to cover the whole ground of time and eternity. And we may say further, that it is proper to recall distinctly to mind and to repeat at suitable times the general act of Consecration: but it does not appear to be necessary, in the strict sense of the terms or in any other sense than that of repeating it, to RENEW it, unless it has been, at some period really withdrawn. But while the general act remains good, and diffuses its consecrative influence over the whole course of our being, it is necessary to consecrate ourselves in particulars, as the events or occasions of such particular consecration may successively arise. And in the remark, as we now wish it to be understood, we do not mean merely those events, which, while they are distinct, are peculiarly marked and important; but all events of whatever character. In other words, although we may have consecrated ourselves to God in a general way and by an universal act of consecration, in all respects and for all time, we must still consecrate ourselves to him in each separate duty and trial, which his Providence imposes, and moment by moment.  The present moment, therefore, is, in a special sense, the important moment, the divine moment; the moment, which we cannot safely pass, without having the divine blessing upon it.

Thus extensive is the doctrine of divine cooperation, when it is rightly understood. How thankful should we be, thus to be permitted, to enter into partnership, insignificant as we are, and to become co-workers with God! Such was the life of Enoch, of Abraham, of Daniel, of John, of Paul. How the idea of the life of man, thus united with the life and activity of God, throws discouragement and dishonor upon all low and groveling pursuits, and at once elevates and sanctifies our nature!

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

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