The Inner Life (The Way of the Cross)
If your love for the Lord is pure, you will love Him as much on Calvary as on Mt. Tabor. You must learn to love the cross. He who does not love the cross does not love the things of God. It is impossible for you to truly love the Lord without loving the cross. The believer that loves the cross finds that even the bitter things that come his way are sweet. You will hunger after God, and find Him, in the same proportion that you hunger after the cross. God gives us the cross, and then the cross gives us God.
The more you posses God the more you are made like Him. But it must be a godliness that has grown from within you. If godliness is not from deep within you, it is only a mask. The mere outward appearance of godliness is as changeable as a garment. The Lord is ever jealous over any saint who is utterly abandoned to Him. He does not let that believer have any pleasures at all outside of Himself.
Once you have established such a relationship with your Lord, you will soon discover that no fault in you escapes the reproof of God. For instance, as soon as you commit a sin, you are immediately rebuked by an inward sense…a tender confusion. Once you have departed from God, you must return to Him as quickly as possible.
The more 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.
Temptations, as well as distractions, are a major problem you will encounter at the outset of your adventure into God. Be very careful in your attitude toward them. 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. A close intimate relationship to Christ should always be your soul’s only purpose.
As you turn (to God), you draw nearer to your Lord. It is that simple. 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. In exactly the same way, you should turn from the dangerous temptations and run o your God! You and I are very weak. At our best we are very weak.
You turn inward to your spirit and, in so doing, turn from outward activities and outward distractions. Inward activity begins by simply turning within to Jesus Christ, for that is where He is; within your spirit. You should continually be turning within to God. Give Him all your attention; pour out all the strength of our being purely on Him.
“I’ll keep my whole strength for You (Psalm 59.9).”
“My son give me your heart…(Proverbs 23.26)”
What does it mean to give your whole heart to God? To give your whole heart to God is to have all the energy of your soul always centered on Him. It is in this way that we are conformed to His will.
As soon as you notice yourself staying from the Lord, you should deliberately turn your attention within to the Living God. Repeat this simple turning within to the Lord again and again, as often as you are distracted.
To be continuously turned deep inside simply means that, having turned within to God-by a direct act- you have remained in His presence. The only time you need to make a point of turning again is when your abiding is interrupted for some reason.
You rest in the continuous inward act of abiding. It is a sweet sinking into deity.
If a new convert were introduced to real prayer and to true inward experience of Christ as soon as he became converted, you would see countless numbers of converts go on to become true disciples.
You can see that the present way of dealing only with external matters in the life of a new convert brings little fruit. Burdening the new Christian with countless rules and all sorts of standards does not help him grow in Christ. Here is what should be done; The new Christian should be led to God.
How does one do this? By learning to turn within to Jesus Christ and by giving the Lord his whole heart. If you are one of those in charge of new believers, lead them to a real inner knowledge of Jesus Christ. Oh, what a difference there would be in the lives of those new Christians!
You would see each of these people put away every kind of sin from his life; all would become spiritual men and women with hearts set on knowing and experiencing Jesus Christ.
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.
Dear reader, it is by the Lord gaining your heart, and no other way, that all your sins can be put away. If the heart could be gained, Jesus Christ would reign in peace and the whole Church would be renewed.
The End is union with God!
There is something in this universe which is the very opposite of God; it is the self-life. The activity of the self-life is the source of all the evil nature as well as all the evil deeds of man. On the other hand, the loss of the selfhood in the soul increases the purity of the soul. In fact, the soul’s purity is increased in exact proportion to the loss of self!
His wisdom burns away all the impurities in a man for one purpose: to leave him fit for divine union.
~Madame Guyon (100 DAYS IN THE SECRET PLACE, Introduced and compiled by Gene Edwards; Destiny Image Publishers)
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