Thursday, September 20, 2007
Brother Lawrence reminds us in his book on page 65 that the only way that we can have "union with God is through salvation." We must be saved, through Jesus Christ, to be in a relationship with God, because without the cleansing we receive from Christ, our sin keeps us from truly knowing God and experiencing God.
Brother Lawrence goes on to say: "a saved soul comes to know God through a series of experiences, some of which bring it into closer union with Him and some take it further away. The soul learns which activities bring God's presence nearer." This is very true. There are experiences in our lives that cause us to be separated from God. We walk down a path God would not have us walk on, and we feel far from God; we wonder where God has gone. But then there are those experiences when we feel God's presence in a profound way.
This is what the "Practice of the Presence of God" is all about; being in the most perfect union with God in which we can be. "The most perfect union with God," Brother Lawrence says, "is the actual presence of God. Although this relationship with God is totally spiritual, it is quite dynamic..." Dynamic. Powerful. Life-changing. To get to that place where we experience God in our spirit (on a spiritual level) cannot be taught, but only experienced! It is the most profound of experiences.
Brother Lawrence also says that this perfect union with God "is an inexpressible state of the soul--gentle, peaceful, respectful, humble, loving, and very simple..." To be in the inexpressible state only comes from disengaging ourselves from the things of the world (material desire, love of money, selfish actions, etc...) and walking in the beauty of the design of God (loving one another, forgiving others, showing grace and mercy, and on and on). As we seek to follow the example set for us by Christ, we will then experience the connection with God that finds its way into our soul!