I love this bit of writing. I love the centrality and timelessness of its message.
What makes me smile most is that it is written for the modern person… in 1696!
“Everything is for God, and for His purpose. Of course He wants you to be happy, but that is not His highest aim. God’s glory and His purpose are the end of all things. So seek out the eternal purpose of God and get in line with it. You will find happiness and salvation there, but not as an end in itself. It is all for God.
And it is hard to convince a modern person that God is his final end, and that everything in life should be to God and for God. This doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy yourself and your freedom in God. You must simply want God’s purpose fulfilled more than anything else in creation.
You belong to God, you have been made for Him. Your natural instincts tell you to protect your life, and take care of yourself. There is nothing wrong with this, but you can live by a deeper instinct within your spirit that lives only for God’s glory.
Some people love God because in His goodness He reaches out to save them. You can love God simply for who He is, and not for what He does for you. Do you see the difference? It is not wrong to be glad that God has saved you, it is simply better to not dwell on that, and to live for what God is really after in redeeming you.
But God has prepared you to be His forever. Dare you love Him too much? I will still love Him no matter what He does with me.
Is eternal life your goal, and not God Himself? Your love is weak indeed if this is true!”
Francois de Fenelon - 1696
Francois Fenelon was a French theologian, poet and writer and later an archbishop. He wrote the letter from which this excerpt comes while he was tutoring the seven-year-old Duke of Burgundy, King Louis XIV’s grandson, who was second in line to the throne.
In French History he is honoured as one of the most godly, saintly men to ever walk across the stage of Roman Catholic history.
Extracted from “100 Days in the Secret Place” By Gene Edwards
Posted on 7 March, 2016 by David Stanfield
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