Who would have thought that a 17th Century monk, faithfully working in the kitchen in a small monastery with an unwavering attitude of devotion could touch the hearts and minds of countless believers for generations?
The next time you question whether or not anything you’re doing matters … stop and remember Brother Lawrence.
After spending the last few weeks wandering the wilderness with the Children of Israel, I felt the need to dig a little more deeply into the attitude revealing writings of Brother Lawrence.
Because the Children of Israel had the visible presence of God with them constantly. They had God’s will spoken to them directly through Moses. They had every evidence of His daily provision and protection … they had food and water, victory over their enemies — their clothes and shoes didn’t even wear out over those 4 decades.
Yet, they grumbled and complained, doubted and turned away. They had God’s perfect presence but they didn’t practice it.
Not that different for you and me, is it?
We have the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the Bible, prayer, and so much more.
But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—He will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. John 14:26
Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? 1 Corinthians 6:19
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. Romans 8:26
You and I have the Holy Spirit! He is all we need to stay focused on and practice the presence of God in our lives.
But if you’re like me, you are all too easily distracted by life … the good, the bad, and the mundane just begging us to look away from all God wants for us.
The Practice of the Presence of God to Know God’s Will
I want to do better. I want to be intentional in the practice of the presence of God.
I found – Practicing The Presence of God: Old Habits for a New Year, in the Bible Reading Plans section of my YouVersion Bible App and I loved it!
Then I downloaded the Kindle version of Brother Lawrence book – The Practice of the Presence of God.
I’m working my way through slowly as I’m trying to apply what I’m learning along the way.
This is a list of beliefs and goals held by Brother Lawrence:
- To establish a sense of God’s Presence, by continually conversing with Him.
- To feed and nourish his soul with thoughts of God the source of joy.
- To give life to his faith.
- To give himself (surrender) to God with both the temporal and spiritual … seeking his satisfaction in fulfilling God’s will.
- To trust that God would give life to these “passions” for those who truly desire to serve Him.
Wow, I want that!
I know, I can’t ignore my life and I especially don’t want to neglect the people God has given me. And I also know, that’s where the distractions happen … life.
But what if I could go into all my potentially distracting times with my heart and mind better prepared because I’ve spent every available moment that I’m cleaning, driving, cooking, reading, etc. talking with God and aware of His presence.
I believe that would change everything.
And the funny thing is, God has already given you and me everything we need to practice His presence and know His will.
Just like those whiny desert wanderers, I’ve missed the practice of the presence of God and failed to follow His will.
But with God’s help, I can and will do better.
With His help, I will:
♥ Begin every day reading and studying His Word.
♥ Surrender each day to Him in prayer.
♥ Ask Him to remind me often that He is present in my life.
♥ Pay attention and notice what God is doing around me.
♥ Talk to Him about every little thing throughout the day.
♥ Ask Him to reveal His will to me even over the little things.
♥ And do my best to obey His will as He guides and directs me.
One thing is certain, this will not happen overnight.
It’s encouraging to know it didn’t happen overnight for Brother Lawrence either.
But it is my prayer to make this my goal going forward and with God’s help, I believe He will help me move in that direction one surrendered moment at a time.
What do you think? Would you like to join me? I can’t imagine a sweeter way to spend my days.
A Quote from The Practice of the Presence of God
“That we need only to recognize GOD intimately present with us, to address ourselves to Him every moment, that we may beg His assistance for knowing His will in things doubtful, and for rightly performing those which we plainly see He requires of us, offering them to Him before we do them, and giving Him thanks when we have done.” ~ Brother Herman Lawrence
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