A friend sent along this quote from John Henry Newman. It contains wise advice for those who think they would be closer to God if only their circumstances were changed:
A sense of the presence of God is a rare gift. If given and then withdrawn, we examine ourselves, seeking the reason within. This numbness sets alight a longing for His felt presence. This is how faith is established! Believe what cannot be seen or felt. Rely on what can't be grasped. The realization of faults, inadequacy, inferiority to others, is God's way of forcing our dependence on Him. He planned it that way.
We wish for pure religion, feeling near to God, praying without distractions, enjoying quiet time--but it doesn't always work that way for long. Action clears and deepens spiritual affections.
Don't strain to summon holy thoughts or feelings. Don't tell yourself you could be much more spiritual if you were somewhere else!
Stay at home, set your house in order, do the next thing.
The taking up of the cross of Christ is no great action done once for all; it consists in the continual practice of small duties which are distasteful to us.
To sign up for Pastor Ray's free weekly sermon email list, click here. You can find his daily weblog, online sermons, travel schedule, and other resources at www.keepbelieving.com. You can write Pastor Ray at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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About Dr. Ray Pritchard
Dr. Ray Pritchard is the president of Keep Believing Ministries, in Internet-based ministry serving Christians in 225 countries. He is the author of 27 books, including Stealth Attack, Fire and Rain, Credo, The Healing Power of Forgiveness, An Anchor for the Soul and Why Did This Happen to Me? Ray and Marlene, his wife of 37 years, have three sons-Josh, Mark and Nick, two daughters-in-law--Leah and Vanessa, and two grandsons--Knox and Eli. His hobbies include biking, surfing the Internet, and anything related to the Civil War.
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