A Searching Heart ( Audio Book )

A Searching Heart – Madame Guyon / Complete

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The book contains 1 chapter , Total length 19 mins

Madame Guyone

Your Faith is Your Fortune

The influence of Madame Guyon’s inner life experiences
of the Lord has filtered down to many of the
most spiritually-minded saints in the history of the
church — John Wesley, Hermann Francke, Andrew
Murray, Jessie Penn-Lewis, Watchman Nee, and countless
others.

The revelation of Christ that transformed her entire
life was the simple discovery that Christ was in her. This
revelation was similar to the apostle Paul’s in Galatians
1:16.
Prior to that time she had passed through a long
journey of searching after God. As a young girl she had
sought for God under her Roman Catholic environment
and understanding. She kept times of private prayer,
visited the poor, read devotional books, subjected herself
to bodily austerities, made vows, and even made a
resolution to enter a convent to become a nun.

Madame Guyon

“Madame…you seek
without what you
have within.”

• A Searching Heart •
(1648-1717)

While she was searching for God, Madame passed
through periods in which He allowed her to see the
depths of her corruption. During one of these times, she
was living in Paris and, under God’s dealing, was left to
herself. She became vain in her deportment, read romance
novels, became proud of her beauty, spent a good
deal of her time in front of the mirror, walked the streets
to be noticed, and received several marriage proposals.
About this time her father arranged a marriage for
her. She did not meet her husband-to-be until three days
before their wedding. She soon saw that this marriage
was to be “a house of mourning” for her in which all her
earthly hopes were “blasted.” Many trials, sorrows, and
sufferings followed in her domestic environment. Her
unpleasant mother-in-law, who lived with them, constantly
influenced Madame’s husband against her.
Madame felt like a slave in her own household.
In the midst of these troubles, she passed through
cycles of searching after God, in which she made new
resolutions to change and then found herself breaking
those resolutions. While experiencing this state of failure
and defeat, she came in contact with three people
who were used by God to direct her to Christ. One was
a truly pious lady who was able to discern and point out
that Madame was seeking the Lord “by a system of works
without faith.” Through her, Madame realized that she
was trying to gain by efforts what could only be gained
by ceasing from efforts. The second person who deeply
touched her was her missionary cousin. When he visited
her, he expressed a relationship with Christ that caused
her to long for what he had. Finally, the Lord brought a
devout man of the order of St. Francis to visit her father.
The man had spent five years in solitude, and was
divinely led to her father’s house. It was to this godly man
that Madame opened up her dissatisfaction with her
spiritual condition.
From the influence of these three persons, Madame
Guyon was led to discover the riches of an indwelling
Christ. Here in her own words she tells the story:
I NOW APPLIED MYSELF to my duties, never
failing to practice that of prayer twice a day. I
watched over myself, to subdue my spirit continually. I
went to visit the poor in their houses, assisting them in
their distresses. I did (according to my understanding) all
the good I knew.
You, O my God, increased both my love and my
patience, in proportion to my sufferings. I regretted not
the temporal advantages with which my mother distinguished
my brother above me. Yet they fell on me about
that, as about everything else. I also had for some time
severe fits of fever. I did not indeed serve You yet with
that fervor which You did give me soon after. For I would
4 — How They Found Christ —
still have been glad to reconcile Your love with the love
of myself and of the creature. Unhappily I always found
some who loved me, and whom I could not forbear
wishing to please. It was not that I loved them, but it was
for the love that I bore to myself.
A lady, an exile, came to my father’s house. He
offered her an apartment which she accepted, and she
stayed a long time. She was one of true piety and inward
devotion. She had a great esteem for me, because I
desired to love God. She remarked that I had the virtues
of an active and bustling life; but I had not yet attained the
simplicity of prayer which she experienced. Sometimes
she dropped a word to me on that subject. As my time had
not yet come, I did not understand her. Her example
instructed me more than her words. I observed on her
countenance something which marked a great enjoyment
of the presence of God. By the exertion of studied
reflection and thoughts I tried to attain it but to little
purpose. I wanted to have, by my own efforts, what I
could not acquire except by ceasing from all efforts.
My father’s nephew, of whom I have made mention
before, was returned from Cochin China, to take over
some priests from Europe. I was exceedingly glad to see
him, and remembered what good he had done me. The
lady mentioned was no less rejoiced than I. They understood
each other immediately and conversed in a spiritual
language. The virtue of this excellent relation charmed
me. I admired his continual prayer without being able to
comprehend it. I endeavored to meditate, and to think on
God without intermission, to utter prayers and ejaculations.
I could not acquire, by all my toil, what God at
length gave me Himself, and which is experienced only
in simplicity. My cousin did all he could to attach me
more strongly to God. He conceived great affection for
me. The purity he observed in me from the corruptions
of the age, the abhorrence of sin at a time of life when
others are beginning to relish the pleasures of it (I was not
yet eighteen), gave him a great tenderness for me. I
complained to him of my faults ingenuously. These I saw
clearly. He cheered and exhorted me to support myself,
and to persevere in my good endeavors. He would gladly
have introduced me into a more simple manner of prayer,
but I was not yet ready for it. I believe his prayers were
more effectual than his words.
No sooner was he gone out of my father’s house, than
You, O Divine Love, manifested Your favor. The desire
I had to please You, the tears I shed, the manifold pains
I underwent, the labors I sustained, and the little fruit I
reaped from them, moved You with compassion. This
was the state of my soul when Your goodness, surpassing
all my vileness and infidelities, and abounding in
proportion to my wretchedness, granted me in a moment,
what all my own efforts could never procure. Beholding
me rowing with laborious toil, the breath of Your divine
operations turned in my favor, and carried me full sail
over this sea of affliction.
I had often spoken to my confessor about the great
anxiety it gave me to find I could not meditate, nor exert
my imagination in order to pray. Subjects of prayer
which were too extensive were useless to me. Those
which were short and pithy suited me better.
At length, God permitted a very religious person, of
the order of St. Francis, to pass by my father’s dwelling.
He had intended going another way that was shorter, but
a secret power changed his design. He saw there was
something for him to do, and imagined that God had
called him for the conversion of a man of some distinction
in that country. His labors there proved fruitless. It
was the conquest of my soul which was designed. As
soon as he arrived he came to see my father who rejoiced
at his coming. At this time I was about to be delivered of
my second son, and my father was dangerously ill,
expected to die. For some time they concealed his
sickness from me. An indiscreet person abruptly told me.
Instantly I arose, weak as I was, and went to see him. A
dangerous illness came upon me. My father was recovered,
but not entirely, enough to give me new marks of
his affection. I told him of the strong desire I had to love
God, and my great sorrow at not being able to do it fully.
He thought he could not give me a more solid indication
of his love than in procuring me an acquaintance

 
 

 

Neville Goddard, Summa Theologica, Manly P Hall, A Course In Miracles

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