Easter - 2018

Monday, April 22, 2013

Brother Lawrence - Embrace the Abundance

Brother Lawrence is a life that every believer should model. His ability to embrace such a life of experiencing the presence of God is truly the abundant life in every walk of life. Richard Foster states: "Brother Lawrence abandoned 'all forms of devotions and set prayers' because he wanted all his life, not simply an hour here and there, to be life in an attitude of prayer." There is a place that structure is needed to attain such a life, but the true goal is to live our daily devotions and prayers in every aspect of our lives.

When I was an undergrad student at Pacific Christian College, I was given a small little 20 page booklet written by Don DeWelt titled, "Sweet Hour of Prayer." I took a year to read, meditated, journal and pray through that little booklet at least five times a week for a year. It was a simple guide yet difficult in making the commitment. It was worth it. During that time I came to a new awareness of God in my life and God in my surroundings. It always took me to a place to pray beyond the hour of the exercises to a place of praying short prayers throughout the day.

Practicing the presence of God helps me in understanding that my relationship with God is truly a relationship. Many worship leaders will start a worship service by declaring that we are about to enter into the presence of God. Dr. Wayne Shaw of Lincoln Christian University and I had a conversation a few years ago about how believers should never leave the presence of God. In reality, the Holy Spirit dwells within us. Brother Lawrence was able to grasp the reality of this truth and journey this life with the destination of transformation in mind. In corporate worship we enter into a time of conscience awareness and recognition of God's presence within our lives. This fact does not diminish the fact that God is with us always and that a believer never exits the presence of God.

Although, I am lacking in my ability, the action of practicing the presence of God brings order to the chaos. The priority of practicing God's presence restores my heart, mind, soul, and strength to a place that God intended in my creation. That I would know God has he is to be known restores my essence to find order in the harsh reality of living with a sinful heart. For me, this is the ultimate goal of transformation. When I get to heaven and Jesus transforms me from glory to glory so as to replace my sinful heart is the "thing" I most look forward to in heaven. I will no longer have the sinful nature nor will I have the desire to separate from God. I will know sin in the past tense and the practice of God's presence will no longer be a need. I will be in God's presence.

What I find most glorious is that I can practice the presence of God while living in my fallen flesh and experience what is to come. The experience is the opportunity to embrace the abundance of life. The abundance of life through practicing God's presence in the ordinary daily life is but a glimpse of what is ahead of us in the future.

Thank You Brother Lawrence. You know I love ya, Don

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