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Leading people into a maturing new life in Jesus Christ

Practicing the Presence of God

askShortly before Jesus’ terrible death he tells his disciples: “Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’” (John 13:33) Yet after his resurrection, immediately before returning to the Father, he says to them, “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

How can it be that Jesus is not with us yet with us? The answer, of course, is the gift of the Spirit. Through the Holy Spirit He is available to anyone at any time. We can even experience Jesus on a continual basis.

During the seventeenth century there lived a monk known to us only as Brother Lawrence. This humble man washed pots and pans in the monastery where he lived. The remarkable thing about Brother Lawrence was his development of the ability to be aware of God’s presence at all times.

Today we have a book attributed to him with the title, The Practice of the Presence of God. In this book he tells how he learned to constantly turn his mind and heart to his Heavenly Father, even during times of work. His goal was to be in constant contact with Christ. He wrote: “The time of business is no different from the time of prayer. In the noise and clatter of my kitchen, I possess God as tranquilly as if I were upon my knees.”

We can take a spiritual lesson from Brother Lawrence. To live fully as Christians we can develop our awareness of God. The reason so few of us do this is not because we are too busy. Brother Lawrence was busy. Jesus, our Lord, was perhaps the busiest of persons. The reasons we don’t cultivate our sense of God’s presence is simply because Jesus is not really important to us, we don’t know how, or we’re just spiritually lazy.

Isn’t it true that we often spend a lot of energy and time getting what we want, or at least what we think we need? We believe we need this or feel we need that, when the only thing we need is to be in constant communion with Christ through the power of the Spirit.

Brother Lawrence wrote: “In order to first form this habit of conversing with God continually and of referring all that we do to Him, we must first apply ourselves with diligence. After a little such care, we shall find His love inwardly excites us to His presence without any difficulty.”

I like that advice and plan to be more diligent in seeking God. How about you?

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Contributed by Pastor Larry Zuchowski


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