Intro

This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I began the project on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed it on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. I still do that every once in a while.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Seek Nothing Less Than the Divine Presence

There is a great deal that is shadowy and dubious about the communion that many have with God. They have no such consciousness of having met and conversed with God, as they have of their communications with men. There has been no bright and animating manifestation of God to their souls. They have not felt the power of his present majesty; nor have his Divine perfections taken hold upon them as by a special revelation. They know that God is revealed in his word as gracious and merciful toward the race of men; but they have not considered that it is the province of faith to single out the believer, and bring him by himself into the presence of his Maker.

He is to enter into peculiar and well-understood relations to God. God is his God; he is the child of God; and there must be a conscious acquaintance and intimacy quite distinct from the general goodness of God toward mankind.

In order that we may draw nigh to God, we must become utterly dissatisfied with the vague sort of communion that so many are content with. We must resolve to be satisfied with nothing less than the bright shining of the Divine presence upon our individual soul. We must believe it attainable, and resolve to attain it at whatever cost.

Having begun to seek it earnestly, we shall perhaps experience many disappointments. The word of God unfolds itself, it is true, more richly to our souls than it once did, and we get juster conceptions of him. But the bright and soul-elevating discovery of him himself, we do not obtain. The more we seek, however, the more we perceive the importance of what we seek, and feel that life without this conscious union of the soul with God, is insupportable. We take this conviction as an encouragement from on high, to go on. As we continue striving in prayer we are led to examine ourselves earnestly to see if there is any thing in our way of life that is displeasing to God. We become very scrupulous, very severe with ourselves; we cut off one indulgence here and another there, and wonder how we should have formerly been so careless. Duties that we had not formerly dreamed of, now discover themselves to us; we find that we were before very ill-acquainted with the will of God. These discoveries perhaps only make us the more unhappy; for we feel that we need a strength such as we have not, in order to live the life we are called to. More and more we see the absolute necessity of drawing nigh to God and strengthening ourselves in the consciousness of our indissoluble union with him in Christ.

Finally, in some hour long to be remembered, there falls down as it were a great veil, and with joy unspeakable we behold the light of God's countenance, and are made glad by the assurance, deeply buried in the soul, that an Almighty Friend accompanies us along the journey of life.

— from Love Enthroned, Chapter 11.