Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue


Henri Nouwen: Keep Living Where God Is

posted by Beyond Blue

The following excerpt is from Henri Nouwen’s book, “The Inner Voice of Love” (the one I’m always quoting from … it’s my favorite).
Whatever you are doing–watching a movie, writing a book, giving a presentation, eating, or sleeping–you have to stay in God’s presence. If you feel a great loneliness and a deep longing for human contact, you have to be extremely discerning. Ask yourself whether this situation is truly God-given. Because where God wants you to be, God holds you safe and gives you peace, even when there is pain.
To live a disciplined life is to live in such a way that you want only to be where God is with you. The more deeply you live your spiritual life, the easier it will be to discern the difference between living with God and living without God, and the easier it will be to move away from the places where God is no longer with you.
The great challenge here is faithfulness, which must be lived in the choices of every moment. When your eating, drinking, working, playing, speaking, or writing is no longer for the glory of God, you should stop it immediately, because when you no longer live for the glory of God, you begin living your own glory. Then you separate yourself from God and do yourself harm.
Your main question should always be whether something is lived with or without God. You have your own inner knowledge to answer that question. Every time you do something that comes from your needs for acceptance, affirmation, or affection, and every time you do something that makes these needs grow, you know that you are not with God. These needs will never be satisfied; they will only increase when you yield to them. But every time you do something for the glory of God, you will know God’s peace in your heart and find rest there.

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  • http://angelicinsights.blogspot.com Sue T

    Therese,
    I have loved your quotes from Henri Nouwen’s The Inner Voice of Love so much, I bought a copy on Amazon.com and it’s just arrived.
    Thank you!

  • Your Name

    I cant wait to order this book, my son’s 21 year old girlfriend of 2 years passed away a week ago and we are living in lots of grief and pain right now. I know that only God can heal our feelings. jessesgirl

  • Your Name

    Thanks for the heads up on this book…will look forward to adding to my spiritual library. The last paragraph especially spoke to my heart. I will practice more discernment daily if not hourly in making decisions, big and small.

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  • YVee

    Thank you Therese. I’m getting to this post on Monday morning, and the workday blues are a bit strong today. I do have a question: What exactly does doing God’s work mean? I understand it as prayer, serving in a place of worship and other acts that I equate to a priestly life/livelihood. I know it can’t be correct because not all of us have the vocation. What am I missing?

  • lisa

    Dear Therese,
    Both of these posts today have helped me return to center and hold off chaotic mind drivel and anxiety i”m in right now. Thank you for providing good medicine and hope..

  • Carolyn B. Durand

    Your incredible information couldn’t have come to me at greater time in my life. I pray for you and all those who are interested in learning,leaning and depending on God for the key answers throughout this thing we call ‘Life/Living!’ You bet I’m interested in reading your materials, and I thank you in advance for allowing me to receive this in the nick of time when everything seems bloomy. I kept getting through this as I say, Thank you Lord, things are not good, but God is Great! Please pray for me! Ms. Durand

  • Angel

    This is also my favorite work by Henri it came to me off of a used bookstore shelf at a very pivotal time in my life. I constantly return to the wisdom and prayers in his writing. I love hearing you quote him in public!

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