The flu is straight from hell. I know this because i have felt like death for 5 days straight and then magically wake up this morning to feeling as if nothing has even happened. This week was maybe... needed. It definitely forced me to SLOW DOWN, a plea i'd been hearing and putting off as much as possible. I spent the week sleeping on my couch, reading my book when my head wasn't pounding, talking to the Lord over tea like you would an old friend, and yes, sleeping some more. Being sick is not at any point, fun, in fact i will indeed get my flu shot next year, but i'll say it accomplished some things in this week.
A friend and I have been discussing and looking at Moses' relationship with God over the past 2 weeks or so. We read in Exodus chapter 32-34 as it paints a great picture of the intimacy in the relationship. Exodus 33:11 says God came down and spoke to Moses face to face as if talking to His friend.
Dennis Jernigan wrote a song "Passionate Obsession" where he discusses striving to be so close to Christ in this life that there is not a whole lot of difference when he makes it to heaven.
As I read some of the old books from those old theologians you can tell the intimacy and relationship they had with the Lord.
As I read the practice of the Presence of God with Brother Lawrence, it drips from every page.
I write all this because with all the time to talk to God and think the last few days i remembered the greatest desire of my heart. To grow closer and closer to God.
We have all felt the highs and the lows of this walk w/ the Lord. The times when we felt Him so tender so close, and those times when we feel as though we're praying to the wall. I say all the time we can go as deep as we want to go. Draw near to me and i'll draw near to you. Reading Brother Lawrence thoughts on this Journey with the Lord I can't help but be humbled and have my eyes opened. I've heard pastor Mike quote things several times from this book and each time i have found it struck me. Throughout the book each paragraph can lead to weeks of prayer and meditation because of it's depth and i am going through the book again now. There is one part i wanted to talk about though. Mostly because we've discussed it several times in our small group. The book is written by a man who had conversations w/ brother lawrence and took notes on the things he talked about... in conversation 2 there are two topics that continue to challenge me... the first being diligence and love, the second being simplicity the key to divine assistance.
"In order to form a habit of conversing with God continually, and referring all we do to Him, we must at first apply to Him with some diligence, but that after a little care we should find His love inwardly excite us to it without any difficulty.
He expected after the pleasant days God has given him he should have his turn of pain and suffering; but he was not uneasy about it, knowing very well that as he could do nothing of himself; God would not fail to give him the strength to bear them."
Throughout this book you see how brother Lawrence naturally conversed with God about all things before choosing His own actions, even before discussing with friends or mentors. A friend of mine has been talking about this challenge for months now. The challenge for us to turn to God before we turn to a friend, a parent, a mentor, or the person standing next to us. This book brings new meaning to pray without ceasing. The other section discussed when Brother Lawrence was faced with a task He would simply say God this i can only do if you enable me. He always found God's strength sufficient. Then if he failed or sinned he would say God this I will always do in my own strength, forgive me, strengthen me, change me, and then he would continue on with his day.
Brother Lawrence communicated with God in every act, every movement, every doing, throughout his day, he prayed without ceasing, he practiced the presence of God, he lived conversing with his best friend. He discussed the problem of wandering minds in prayer and said he found the more he thought on God and prayed throughout the day the less he found his mind wandering, but rather desiring to be in that place with God.
In its simplest form, He just chose to include God in His life. I wander the change in our lives if we would choose to do the same. What if we would truly acknowledge His presence consistently throughout the day?
Misty Edward's sings a song called dove's eyes. it says i don't want to talk about you like you're not in the room. This line has always gripped me as i think about the way we talk about God, the worship songs we sing, the way we pray... as if He weren't right here. Even as I write this blog, He's with me. He is more with me than my roommate who is sitting on the other couch. Yet I'll sit here and have a conversation with her, and never acknowledge His presence until i go sit down in my bed to have my designated "prayer time" that i have every night before bed.
If my true desire is to grow more and more in intimacy with God you would think that including Him more and more in our daily life would be natural.
hmmm... more to come.