“What have we to desire in heaven and on earth, only the glory of God? But it is necessary to desire the glory of God as he desires it. He who has absolute power over the heart of men, has a plan of operations; he does all things in their time; he waits until the hour is come. In coming into the world, our Lord could have converted the world at once, and destroyed all its vices; but the economy of his wisdom did not so direct. When I hear our Lord say, ‘mine hour is not yet come,’ and wishing neither to advance or retard, for a moment, the hour that his Father has appointed, I am plunged into my nothingness. We are only instruments in His hands, which he may lay aside, or use according to His good pleasure. … Remain therefore, my dear friend, in the hands of God. Let Him accomplish in you, and by you, His good pleasure, whether to cast down, or build up.” ~Madam Guyon
Glory of God
Some, I’m sure, will argue that they care for things other than the glory of God. Even many who believe in God don’t think that it is their business to worry about what God wants, or doesn’t want. What they miss is that part of what God wants is to their benefit. As the father of our spirits and souls, he wants happiness for us. He wants us to live in reasonable comfort. Not the overdone comforts of the greedy, but enough comfort and success to meet all our needs. So it does us well to desire the glory of God, for what He wants includes what we need and desire. And if it isn’t what we desire, it is at least what we need.
Plan of Operations
Madam Guyon is correct in saying that God has a plan. She doesn’t say what that plan is. One reason for that is there is an individual plan for each of us which is different from others. But there is also a more general plan that we are all to work on. That plan needs to be spoken, needs to be discussed. That plan is simply to return the fallen realm of matter and the beings trapped within it to their original spiritual state. God waits for us to serve as his instruments in that plan because he wants us to learn to be responsible co-creators. He also waits because if He were to transform the world back into spirit while many of us continued to cling to our material self as our real self, we would die. Material beings simply cannot live in a world of spirit. And since we have been given a certain degree of free-choice, God won’t force this on us. He waits, for now anyway, for us to decide that it is what we want.
Instruments in His Hands
It is also true that God uses us as tools (or instruments) to get some of His plan accomplished. Some say this is because He wants us to participate. Others say it is because God will not soil Himself by getting too close to the realm of matter. Perhaps there is some truth to both of those theories. Another reason might be that like our earthly parents, God wants us to learn from our mistakes by having us clean up the mess we made.
Now Gnostics know that it was the false god, the Demiurge, who created the physical universe from part of the spiritual one created by the true God. So you might say we had nothing to do with it. But while we, on the spiritual side, are children of God, on the physical side, we are just as much children of the Demiurge or fallen angels. So the mess of matter is, to some degree, our fault, and it is partly our responsibility to clean it up.
One problem, however, is that we really don’t know how to correct this great error. That is why we must be instruments in God’s hands. We must let him guide us without question or resistance. An instrument that resists doing the job that needs to be done is soon discarded as useless. Don’t be one of those discarded.
Cast Down or Build Up
Some will question the idea that as instruments in God’s hands, we should be willing to “cast down or build-up” as God requires. They might argue that destruction is not the way of God. Only building up is of God. God creates, Satan destroys.
While that is true, we have to look at it differently. When God is creating something new out of nothing, those rules apply. But transforming matter into spirit is different. In this case, something must be destroyed, in a sense, in order to create something else. The caterpillar must be “cast down” if a butterfly is to result. A despotic government may have to be cast down in order for a just government to take its place. So there is some degree of casting down required, but only when it serves the purpose of creating what is part of God’s Plan. And if we are to be proper instruments of God, we must try to think in all things, “what would God want me to do?” and act accordingly.