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.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Believe You Have the Guidance You Have Sought

In order to secure the continual presence of the Holy Spirit, we must not only fulfill the condition of ceasing from the self-interested activity of nature, we must not only believe in God's truth and faithfulness to his promises, attended with a sincere desire for the blessing under consideration; but when we ask under such circumstances, it is our privilege and duty to believe, that we now have the thing, which we ask for.

If, for instance, in true detachment and simplicity of spirit, and with a sincere desire for the object, we seek the divine wisdom, which is the gift of the Holy Spirit, to guide us in some difficult case of duty, we are bound, on the principles of Scripture, to believe, (provided further that we exercise all our powers of perception and reasoning applicable to the case,) that we do now have all that wisdom, which God sees to be necessary for us. Accordingly we are not at liberty, in the sprit of distrust towards God, to go about to seek some new natural light to see our spiritual wisdom with. Such wisdom, resting in its origin upon the immutable promise of God, a promise which is fulfilled in connection with the exercise of faith, is, for the most part, hidden from all forms of sight on the part of the creature, except one. That is to say; as it has its origin in connection with the operations of faith, and cannot exist, except in that connection, so it is visible, in general, only to the eye of faith. It seems very evident under the circumstances and in the fulfillment of the conditions which have been mentioned, that we should do wrong, we should sin against God, not to believe in the actual possession of the thing which had been interceded for. It would evidently be a case of UNBELIEF; and unbelief can never be accounted otherwise than a great sin. It is in accordance with this view, that we find the following expressions in the First Epistle of John,5: 14, 15. "And this is the confidence we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us; And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him."

In conclusion we would remark, that in yielding ourselves up to the divine direction ... we not only have the guidance of the Holy Spirit; but I think we are not exposed to those illusions and mistakes, which might otherwise be likely to befall us. Indeed, it is hardly too much to say, that we may be sure of being kept in the right path at such times. The state of mind which we have described is not only one of earnest desire and strong faith, but as it seems to us, of true meekness. And we are told in the Scriptures, "The meek will he guide in judgment, and the meek will he teach his way." Ps. xxv. 9. It is the opinion of Fenelon, who seems to have had a personal experience of the divine operation deeply interior, that in the moments of mental quietness and of recollection in God, in other words, when we look to God in a state of cessation from our natural activity, we should not hesitate to follow the interior impulses and attractions of the soul. Meaning to be understood, undoubtedly, that if we believingly ask for divine guidance in such a state of mind, the attraction or tendency of soul, which then exists, cannot be safely ascribed to any thing but the Spirit of God; and that, consequently, we may consider ourselves under a divine, and not under a mere human direction. This we believe to be true. Nevertheless, in this case, as in all others, we should never yield to the guidance of any interior attraction, however it may have the appearance of originating with the Holy Spirit, which at the same time we know to be at variance with the written Word of God. God can never contradict himself; and whatever revelation he has made of himself in his holy Word we must regard as authentic, and as entitled to our supreme confidence. But with the limitation implied in this remark, we have no doubt that God, operating upon the mind in a divine manner, will certainly teach and guide those, who, in renouncing the self-interested eagerness of nature, possess true meekness and quietness of spirit, and who believingly and earnestly look to him for such teaching and direction.

"'Tis thine to cleanse the heart,
To sanctify the soul,
To pour fresh life in every part,
And new create the whole.
Dwell, Spirit, in our hearts;
Our minds from bondage free;
Then shall we know, and praise, and love,
The Father, Son, and Thee."

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


  1. These devotions are really blessing me brother. Thank you for sharing them.