How are you? Hope you had or are having a good day today?
In December 2020, I bought and read a Madame Jeanne Guyon’s book, as Brother Chris Berglund encouraged his students to read her book, “A Short and Easy Method of Prayer” in his class, Ascending Zion. It was my second time for her book to be drawn to my attention at that time, as she was mentioned in a John Paul Jackson & John E. Thomas’ book “The Art of Praying the Scriptures.” Then, I recalled the days when I visited a Christian bookstore and my church bookstore back in 2019. I found her books on the shelf, while I was looking for a Korean missionary’s book. I picked up her books to read the contents, standing in front of the bookshelf and I got to know she was from France in the old era. I didn’t buy any book of hers, as I wanted to read the book I was looking for. Now, in a year, I kept reading and hearing about her and her books and I felt it must be the Lord’s will for me to read her book on prayer. So, I read her book with the title “Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ”, which seems to be the newer version of “A Short and Easy Method of Prayer.” If you have not had a chance to read that book, I would really like to encourage you to get it and read. Though it’s a little book, I don’t think its influence is little at all. Now, I’m reading it again, a chapter per day, as I want to recall and chew on what I learned from the book earlier. While I was searching her books in online bookstore, I got to know more on her background. She was from rich and royal family in France. In 1664, at the age of fifteen, she was forced into an arranged marriage to a rich man who was far older than her by more than twenty years. She became a widow at the age of twenty-eight and chose not to remarry, but to be committed to the Lord for the rest of her life. She was imprisoned for eight years, after publishing the book, “A Short and Easy Method of Prayer,” considered as heretical by the Roman Catholic Church. I thought that she seemed to have an unfortunate life in a sense, but she would be the person who came out as pure gold through her sufferings and loneliness. Now her books influenced many throughout the globe and across centuries.
Then, a while later when I read a Walter Beuttler’s book, “The Manifest Presence of God,” I got to know another story of Madame Guyon, which made me stunned:
She was rated the most beautiful woman in Paris. The men loved to give her a second look. The ladies envied her beauty, and she admired it. But she was a very spiritual woman, and kept seeking the Lord, and realized that her pride of face was hindering her in her spiritual development. She asked the Lord to take away her pride, but her pride would not go. One day she challenged God, “God, do You mean to tell me that You are not strong enough to take this pride out of my heart?” And the Lord heard it. Madam Guyon came down with smallpox. Her face was full of pox. Her friends told her what salve to use to save her face. She said, “I’m not using any salve; I’m not saving my face; God is answering my prayer.” She recovered, but her face was full of marks. Her beauty was gone, but so was her pride. She had no more reason to admire herself in the mirror.
Beuttler, Walter. The Manifest Presence of God: The Spiritual Journey of Walter Beuttler (pp. 141-142). Deeper Lift Press. Kindle Edition.
In that chapter, Walter Beuttler wrote about pride, and he shared the definition of pride that the Lord gave to him: pride is the deification of self. And he continued with one of the testimonies. In his Bible school, there was a female student who had a voice and was a great singer. She was the favorite singer in the school. But the Lord said to Walter Beuttler, “I want you to go over to Susie (not her real name) and tell her that her singing is an abomination in My sight.” And he said, “Whew! Lord, I can’t do that. I have a good relationship with the students, and she has never done anything to me. That’s a terrible thing to do.” But the Lord repeated it to him. When he finally obeyed Him, saying that to her in person in his office, she began to weep and broke out into terrible sobs. Since then, she never sang. In three months, the Lord gave him a heart to ask her to sing a solo. When he asked her, she dropped her head, paused a bit and said, “I’ll sing.” And she sang. Shortly after, the school was out for summer break. And he received a letter from her:
“Dear Brother Beuttler,
I want to thank you for your faithfulness to God and to me for when I was singing in chapel, I was not singing for the glory of the Lord, I was singing to have folk admire my voice. I knew everybody was listening in admiration while I enjoyed their admiration. For some time pride had begun to build up in my heart, and I sang for my own glory. What you said made me realize the state I was in. God humbled me, and broke me, and took the pride out of my heart.
I went to the radio station and asked them to cut for you a 12-inch record on which I’m singing for you your favorite hymns.
Your grateful student, Susie”
She came back again the next year and was used again in singing, but her pride was gone.
Beuttler, Walter. The Manifest Presence of God: The Spiritual Journey of Walter Beuttler (pp. 145-146). Deeper Lift Press. Kindle Edition.
What a story! It spoke to me much, together with Jeanne Guyon’s story. We tend to be so proud that we can be even proud of our toes! I mean it. Though we don’t speak out, saying “I’m so pretty and slim” or “My children are all smart and they went to top schools” or “I made a lot of money,” we can be very proud of ourselves in our hearts. And even if something looks good to the Lord like the girl’s singing hymns or my reading the Bible through, it can be an abomination to Him. I remember a story from Sister Margaret Seaward’s class, “Hearing the Voice of God.” The Lord told a rich lady who brought a lot of offerings not to bring offerings, saying she brought a lot of money to church, competing, and out of her pride. He is the Discerner of our hearts. Even when we do seemingly good things in our sight, He only knows our motives and our heart attitude.
I learned that God hates pride. And Satan, Lucifer is a fallen angel, proud of his beauty and thinking that he will replace God.
Does it speak to you? I pray that you and I always ask Him to bring anything displeasing to Him in our hearts into light, for us to repent, and we remain humble and meek, in Jesus’ name.
Have a bliss!
Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord;