Monday, September 24, 2007

Giving Attention To God

One of the aspects of practicing the presence of God is learning how to give our attention to God. It is easy in this world to get distracted. There are so many choices of things to do; so many ways to be busy. In his book the "Practice of the Presence of God" (p. 67), Brother Lawrence talks about how giving our attention to God helps to bring confidence in our lives.
A friend of Brother Lawrence's said it this way: "By dwelling in the presence of God he has established such a sweet communion with the Lord that his spirit abides, without much effort, in the restful peace of God." How wonderful it would be to have a "restful peace" in our lives. This was a struggle even for the disciples. Remember how they were in the boat, in a storm, and were fearful, so much so that they had to wake Jesus up. Jesus questioned them: "Where is your faith?" It should have been in the presence of God; as should ours!
On top of this, when we give our attention to God, we are able to rejoice in the blessings of life. God is blessing us in so many ways we aren't aware of, usually because our attention is somewhere else. In the difficulty of life, it is important to note that God is at work. But even more, God is helping us to overcome all the difficulties we face. As the apostle Paul tells us in Romans 8:37, "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us."
And then Brother Lawrence concludes this writing with these words: "The presence of God is, then, the life and nourishment of the soul, which can be acquired with the grace of God." Just as the body needs food for nourishment, so does our soul. As the Bible is like the meal we need to eat, so experiencing God's presence is like the dessert; the extra special nourishment that blesses us beyond measure!