Excerpt from, “The Practice of the Presence of God,” by Brother Lawrence.
“In a conversation some days since with a person of piety, he told me the spiritual life was a life of grace, which begins with servile fear, which is increased by hope of eternal life, and which is consummated by pure love; that each of these states had its different stages, by which one arrives at last at that blessed consummation.”
He went on to say that his constant devotion to God through recognizing that God was all around him and all through him. It rose up in him such a high esteem for God that faith alone was totally satisfying at every point of the day. He did not compartmentalize his home life, church life, and business life. He saw it as one.
At first he didn’t feel devoted enough to God as he had wished, his past sins were ever present in his mind, and he also didn’t feel worthy of receiving the unmerited favor of the Lord. His heart was ever so troubled in the form of suffering immensely. When he embraced the fact that he would never feel worthy but could embrace God in ever increasing faith, he began to walk before God in faith, humility, and love. He sets his mind on Christ knowing of His faithfulness to him. He has no will but that of God’s, and He has set his motives purely that of love for the Father.
He writes, “I consider myself as the most wretched of men, full of sores and corruption, and who has committed all sorts of crimes against his King. Touched with a sensible regret, I confess to Him all my wickedness, I ask His forgiveness, I abandon myself in His hands that He may do what He pleases with me. The King, full of mercy and goodness, very far from chastising me, embraces me with love, makes me eat at His table, serves me with His own hands, gives me the key of His treasures; He converses and delights Himself with me incessantly, in a thousand and a thousand ways, and treats me in all respects as His favorite. It is thus I consider myself from time to time in His holy presence.”
His greatest desire is to be a stone before a carver, where the Lord can make a statue as he presents himself before God. He wants God to form His perfect image in his soul and make him entirely His. This all simply because he had set his mind on practicing the presence of God in all situations and at all times. People could not notice, at the time, that he was any different than he was before. But if they examined his life thoroughly, or followed him around, then they would have seen a man more fulfilled and confident in his relationship with the life giving God of the universe. What a place to be. I too desire to be in such a relationship with my maker.
On Sunday, I am going to begin a new series on grace. Let’s pray for the Lord to show us His amazing grace as we seek Him with all of our hearts together.
May God richly bless you this week as you follow Him.
Joy in Jesus!
Rev. Mike McClurg
Senior Pastor, Findlay First Church of the Nazarene