Reading #34

HOW TO DISTINGUISH THE MOVEMENTS OF GOD.

You enquire, how one who desires to follow the movements of God’s spirit, may distinguish these movements, from the natural operations of the mind. There is not, at all times, a positive certainty regarding divine movements. If it were so, we should become infallible as the angels; that is, if we were as pure in our intentions. We must walk with God, in entire abandonment and uncertainty, at the risk of sometimes making mistakes, which in the infancy of experience is unavoidable. He who wishes for a particular inspiration, or direction in common matters, which his own reason and judgment can determine, is liable to deception.

A pure soul acts in simplicity, and without certainty, being persuaded that what is good comes from God, and what is not good from self. The greater the simplicity,—the more separate from the mingling of self-activity—the purer are these operations; because the soul in this state is only a simple instrument, that the Word, which is in her, moves, so that it is the Word which speaks and not herself. This manner of speaking, relates to matters of importance, and not to the minute concerns of every-day life. The divine Word, in all exigencies, is found in the soul, that is wholly consecrated to Christ. “When they bring you before magistrates and kings, etc., it shall be given you in that hour what ye shall speak.” This method of divine leading—by the hour and by the moment—leaves the soul always free and unencumbered, and ready for the slightest breath of the Lord. This breath, in the pure soul, is as the gentle zephyr, and not as the whirlwind, which shakes the earth. Do not then expect to have anticipated movements, or movements beforehand from God. I have an experience of many years, that God often makes known his will, only in the time of action.

If a pure soul, wholly sacrificed to God, should undertake something contrary to the will of God, it would feel a slight repugnance, and desist at once. If one does not feel this repugnance, let the act be performed in simplicity. A mother who holds her child by a leading-string, loosens it, that it may walk; but if about to make a mis-step, she draws the string. The repugnance which a holy soul feels to do a thing, is as when the mother draws the leading-string.

(Madam Guyon)

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