Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Obeying in the Face of Being Forsaken

From the Screwtape Letters:

“You must have often wondered why the Enemy does not make more use of His power to be sensibly present to human souls in any degree . . . 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. We can drag our patients along by continual tempting, because we design them only for the table, and the more their will is interfered with the better. He cannot “tempt” to virtue as we do to vice. 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 intending, to do our Enemy’s will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys


SilverRain said...

I doubt you posted this for me specifically, but thank you. I really needed that.

Anonymous said...

Me too,Ray.I forget why I'm here on a regular basis.

In a similar vein,has anyone here read Doris Lessing's 'Canopus in Argos' series? It grapples with these issues through fiction with rigour.Every few years,I find myself returning to these soulful and perceptive books.Must be about time to start again...

Michaela Stephens said...

I needed that too.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, that is tough stuff. The trick for me isn't the obedience, but the love of God. (Not His for me, which -- even if I don't feel it at times -- I can still accept as at least a theoretical reality, but mine for Him: an altogether more difficult thing.) When I am angry or feel forsaken, I find my obedience is motivated out of spite; the situation is cyclical, so the obedience (which I have been told will help me to love God) actually fuels resentment.

loquaciousmomma said...

This is exactly where I am struggling right now. I have become quite angry at Heavenly Father for allowing a good deal of heartache to be in my life. For years I worked hard to obey no matter how I felt, but I still had even more heartache that knocked me off my feet. I have been having difficulty making myself obey like I used to ever since.

A true test for this stubborn soul, this is!

It is clear that developing my love for Heavenly Father is the antidote for this situation, isn't it?

Thanks for the spiritual nudge!