Monday, July 09, 2007

God's Presence 6 (Staying Close to God)

We see here in this picture to our left babies staying close to their mother. This same idea is what I want to talk about today as we continue our series in the book "The Practice of the Presence of God." Brother Lawrence says: "For more than forty years, this brother's principal endeavor has been to stay as close as possible to God, doing saying, and thinking nothing that might displease Him." (p. 25) Brother Lawrence did this for the simple reason of the pure love that God had for Him, and the desire to please God.
Brother Lawrence talks about how amazing the joy is that he experiences when he is able to stay close to God. He refers to it as "a constant inner joy." As I think about these words from Brother Lawrence, it makes me think about the gospel of John, 15:4-5,
"Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can yo unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing." The joy comes from living a life of meaning; a life that bears fruit.
Brother Lawrence goes on to say on p. 26, "men are blind, content with too little." What he means by this is that God has infinite treasures to give us, but we would rather have the treasures of the world, than the treasures that the creator of the world has for us!
He then goes on to talk about how we need to examine our inner selves. Why do we need to do this? So that we can be responsible for our own actions. If we let the Holy Spirit reign in us, then the Spirit will make known to us all those things that should be removed, and all those actions which need to be forgiven. In this way, we can stay pure and seek God all the more.