Week Three: Turning to God First
Whether you are encouraged or discouraged, living in holiness or living in sin, the first step in spirituality is always the same: turn to God. In fact, Jeanne Guyon suggests that fighting temptations directly is the sure way to lose.
How is this so? Because temptations flee in the presence of God. As we abide in Christ, we are protected and renewed.
Gene Edwards, author of Divine Romance, has gathered together key writings from three notable Christian mystics from the seventeenth century: 100 Days in the Secret Place: Classic Writings from Madame Guyon, Francois Fenelon, and Michael Molinos on the Deeper Christian Life by Gene Edwards. Here are several quotes to consider today:
“The more clearly you see your true self, the clearer you also see how miserable your self-nature really is; and the more you will abandon your whole being to God. Seeing that you have such a desperate need of Him, you will press toward a more intimate relationship with Him.”
“If you attempt to struggle directly with these temptations, you will only strengthen them; and in the process of this struggle, your soul will be drawn away from its intimate relationship with the Lord. You see, a close, intimate relationship to Christ should always be your soul’s only purpose.”
“What does a little child do when he sees something that frightens him or confuses him? He doesn’t stand there and try to fight the thing. He will, in fact, hardly look at the thing that frightens him. Rather, the child will quickly run into the arms of his mother. There, in those arms, he is safe. In exactly the same way, you should turn from the dangers of temptation and run to your God!”
“Once the heart has been gained by God, everything else will eventually take care of itself. This is why He requires the heart above all else.”
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