The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 7/16

Posted on | July 16, 2015 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 7/16

Scripture reading: II Corinthians 3:17–18

A Bird in a Cage

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36)

Few pieces of literature have better captured the freedom that is offered the children of God than a little poem written by Madame Guyon (1648–1717). Jeanne-Marie Bouvier de la Motte-Guyon was truly a remarkable woman. Moving among the aristocracy of France during the reign of Louis XIV, her life and writings led many in Catholic France to understand that salvation came through faith alone. She helped many discover an intimately personal
relationship with Jesus Christ. Her influence spread beyond France and had a profound role in the spiritual development of persons as diverse as Fénelon, Zinzendorf, John Wesley, Hudson Taylor, Charles Spurgeon, and Watchman Nee. But Madame Guyon also had enemies. The Roman Catholic Church condemned some of her writings as heretical, and Louis XIV had her thrown in the notorious Bastille prison. It was during this period of imprisonment that she wrote the poem that has been such a blessing to so many. Originally written in French, it has been translated into English by Thomas Upham.

A little bird am I,
Shut out from the fields of air,
And in my cage I sit and sing
To Him who placed me there.
Well-pleased a prisoner to be,
Because, my God, it pleaseth Thee.

Naught have I else to do,
I sing the whole day long:
And He whom most I love to please
Doth listen to my song.
He caught and bound my wandering wing,
And still He bends to hear me sing.

My cage confines me round,
Abroad I cannot flee;
But though my wing is closely bound
My heart’s at liberty:
For prison walls cannot control
The flight, the freedom of my soul.

Oh, it is good to soar,
These bolts and bars above,
To Him whose purpose I adore,
Whose providence I love!
And in Thy mighty will I find
The joy, the freedom of the mind.

There are two freedoms—the false, where a
man is free to do what he likes; the true—
where he is free to do what he ought.
—Charles Kingsley

point to ponder • Is there some area of your life where you feel imprisoned?

prayer focus • Someone who needs to find freedom.


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