Review of Books on Intimacy with God

Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ

Jeanne Guyon

This is a very amazing little book, written by a devout French woman in 1685. This book has strongly impacted some remarkable Christians throughout the centuries, including Watchman Nee, Count Zinzendorf, John Wesley, and Francois Fenelon. The translation I read was an updated English translation by SeedSowers, and given the editorial footnotes with initials "G. E." and the fact that Gene Edwards is associated with SeedSowers, I believe the Gene Edwards -- one of my all time favorite authors -- was intimately involved with the translation, which was remarkably clear and simple.

Since in many ways I feel like a beginner when it comes to intimate prayer with God, I must confess that a lot of the book is beyond where I am. Yet she didn't make me feel inferior or without hope. She takes a view that God is leading each one of us in a path toward deeper intimacy, and that worrying how advanced we are, how fast we're progressing, or how badly we fail only serves to distance us from God. She advises us to relax and not to judge ourselves. When we relax, we can quckly draw near once again to God.

The first several chapters are invaluable. In fact, if one were to read only the first six chapters and stop, you would have gotten your money's worth. If you were to read only one chapter, then read chapter 3. This chapter was intended for illiterate people. I happen to be literate, but appreciate the gentle approach and two simple models for approaching God.

The best way to give you the flavor of the book is to quote from it:

"The first thing you must learn, dear friend, is that 'the kingdom of God is within you.' (Luke 17:21) Never look for the kingdom anywhere but there, within... You need only believe that God dwells in you. This belief, and this belief alone, will bring you into His holy presence... Once you are in the Lord's presence, be still and quiet before Him... Never doubt your Lord's deep love for you. Never doubt His desire to hear you. Call on His name and remain before Him silently for a little while. Remain there, waiting to have His heart made known to you." (pp 16-17)

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