Sunday, July 23, 2006

feeling God

I don't usually like to go into huge detail about the spiritual things I'm thinking about at whatever moment when I write my blog. But here's a quote that I thought was so great and so relevant to that worry that a heck of a lot of Christians have - "but I don't feel God". It's from The Screwtape Letters, by C. S. Lewis. [It may help to know that this book is written from the perspective of a senior devil called Screwtape instructing a younger devil called Wormwood how best to tempt his 'patient' away from Christianity. Here, he is talking about God.]

Merely to override a human will (as His felt presence in any but the most faint and mitigated degree would certainly do) would be for Him useless. He cannot ravish. He can only woo. ... He is prepared to do a little overriding at the beginning. He will set them off with communications of His presence which, though faint, seem great to them, with emotional sweetness and easy conquest over temptation. But He never allows this state of affairs to last long. Sooner or later He withdraws, if not in fact, at least from their conscious experience, all those supports and incentives. He leaves the creature to stand up on its own legs - to carry out from the will alone duties which have lost all relish. It is during such trough periods, much more than during the peak periods, that it is growing into the sort of creature He wants it to be. Hence the prayers offered in the state of dryness are those which please Him best. ... He wants them to learn to walk, and must therefore take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased even with their stumbles. Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy's will, looks around upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.

1 comment:

Patty said...

i should really read this book sometime.