Wait in Peace for the Divine Motion

The Holiness of the Here and Now – Part 60

Now when these signs meet you, do what your hand finds to do, for God is with you.

–1 Samuel 10:7 (ESV)

This divine will is your rule, your method, and your law in all matters. It is your pure, simple, and certain path. As a law, it is unalterable: it applies under all conditions, in all places, at all times. It is a straight line that you follow with courage and faithfulness, not veering off to the right or to the left of it, unconcerned with what lies beyond it. Beyond this, receive everything passively and operate in abandonment. In a word, be active with regard to all that the present duty demands, but passive and abandoned with regard to everything else, not adding anything of your own, but waiting in peace for the divine motion.

–Jean Pierre de Caussade

When the prophet Samuel anointed Saul to be king of Israel, he predicted some events that were about to happen. These would be signs to confirm that Saul was chosen to be king, but these signs would not tell Saul what to do. Instead, Samuel said, “Do what your hands find to do.” The moment would demand a response.

Saul followed this advice well; he was a man of action. Samuel’s next instructions to Saul were these: “Then go down before me to Gilgal. And behold, I am coming down to you to offer burnt offerings and to sacrifice peace offerings. Seven days you shall wait, until I come to you and show you what you shall do” (1 Samuel 10:8).

This command proved to be Saul’s downfall. For when Samuel did not arrive after seven days, Saul was unable to wait any longer. He acted when he should have waited (the story is found in 1 Samuel 13:8-14). Saul was a man of action, so when the moment called for action, he was ready. However, when the moment called for patience, he failed.

The path of abandonment requires doing what the present moment demands, but going no further. As it was for Saul, so it will be for you. Certain moments call for certain action; other moments call for patience and self-restraint.

The Holiness of the Here and Now is a daily devotional that I am currently working on. When I am finished, there will be 365 chapters like the one above. Meanwhile, I am sharing this work-in-progress. Like the Facebook page to see content like this in your feed.