Jean-Pierre de Caussade: “Learn that of which you seem to be ignorant.”
In his book Abandonment to Divine Providence, Jean-Pierre spends time taking away the excuses we tend to bring-up and make-up when we come face-to-face with growing into the image God desires. JP’s ultimate hope is that every person would take the time and initiative to learn the things that are necessary to move forward and upward in faith.
We are never done with our Christian lives. The great ones from the past whom we call ‘saints’ are those that NEVER believed that it was okay to stop in our acquisition of greater, holier things. We must avoid the temptation to think “I have arrived. This is the pinnacle of faith. I can now relax.” No, you haven’t and no, you can’t. There are many, many things to learn and other planes that God wishes for us to engage him on; not for the sake of our own growth, but for the sake of what we can be for others. Our lives are an offering for others, for God, when we are aligned to the image of Christ.
The well known 19th/20th century preacher, G. H. Morrsion lived by the motto Mind your books and Satan cannot touch you. There is great truth in this statement. But we must not get distracted by the idea that the books hold special knowledge or that knowledge itself will save us. It won’t. But with great study comes great focus. Being focused means keeping our eye on the prize, in this case God; being pure in heart, understanding that it is God that is the prize and nothing else. When we are busy growing in our faith, we are atune to the spiritual things. We hear God better, see Him clearer, notice others more (notice ourself more, which is good. Self-examination is important in growing in faith).
To fall in line with Caussade’s quote, if we don’t know then seek the answer. If you don’t know much about prayer, then start by asking God to teach you to pray, then begin a journey to acquire knowledge in prayer. Allow the lives and the wisdom of others that has been given by the Holy Spirit enrich your life. This life is not one that is lived alone, but in community, with both those now and those who have gone before (“I believe in the communion of saints…”, the Apostle’s Creed; “…since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witness…”, Hebrews 12.1).
So, learn. Remember that you are a student of faith, growing with each reading of scripture, each prayer prayed, each experience had. This is a race, as Paul reminds us, and we have not finished it. You have yet to cross the line. Chase after the things you do not understand with the attitude of growing in grace. And may God bless your life in this pursuit.
Written with Essay on iPad