Thursday, July 05, 2007

God's Presence 5 (Seeking and Knowing God)

In today's blog, I want to look at the "Fourth Conversation" from the book The Practice of the Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence. In this conversation, Brother Lawrence talks about renouncing all those things in life that do not lead to God. In life, there are many things that attract us. But many of these things actually keep us from seeking God and knowing God. We don't acknowledge this, but it is true. There are times when we would rather focus on the things of the world, than on the things of God. We are not following what the apostle Paul tells us to do in Colossians 3:1-2, "1Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things."
Brother Lawrence says that this continuous conversation we should be having with God is an important part in helping us to live the life God has for us to live. He says: "All we have to do is to recognize God as being intimately present with us. Then we may speak directly to Him every time we need to ask for help, to know His will in moments of uncertainty, and to do whatever He wants us to do in a way that pleases Him."
So the challenge is to search our lives and see what might be keeping us from intimately knowing God. It could be a book we are reading, or movies we go to see, or friends that we hang out with. To give this up we have to surrender ourselves to God. But when I look around, I see people more concerned with what they want, than what God wants. I don't see people surrendering themselves to God.
Brother Lawrence also says: "The Lord will cleanse and humble us in order to make us more like Christ." But the question is, do people want to be more like Christ? They come to church, but is that so that they can feel like they have done their duty, or is it to be more like Christ? The conversation concludes with Brother Lawrence encouraging us to rejoice in our difficulties, because they will help our faith to be purified and to become precious.