God is always present with us, but we are not always aware of His presence. In fact, sadly many of us can seldom be aware of God’s presence. To most, God is more of a last resort, “something” to be used in emergencies, rather than a life-companion.
I heard a friend say recently “God is looking for buddies”. He doesn’t want us to just be working or slaving away for Him. Instead He wants to be working for us and in us. What possibly can any of our efforts add to who God is anyway?
God instead wants to be known by each one of us, and for us to invite Him into the very center of our lives; for us to put out the welcome mat at the front door so that He might come in and sit down at the dinner table with us, to be part of our conversations, plans and dreams. “God wants buddies!”
A little more than 300 years ago, a middle aged man named Nicholas Herman (known to many as Brother Lawrence), entered a monastery in France and lived the remaining 30 years of his life as a cook. Though his life was lived in obscurity, he discovered something of real value and significance. He sought the ability to walk continually in God’s presence.
As he approached the end of his life, he wrote about it in a book that came to be called “The Practice of the Presence of God.” This book, written by this formerly obscure monk, has influenced many many people over the centuries, helping them discover the joy of living day-in, day-out in God’s presence.
Brother Lawrence said, “I still believe that all spiritual life consists of practicing God’s presence, and that anyone who practices it correctly will soon attain spiritual fulfillment.”
In one of his writings, he said: “If I were a preacher I would, above all other things, preach the practice of the presence of God. If I were to be responsible for guiding souls in the right direction, I would urge everyone to be aware of God’s constant presence, if for no other reason than because His presence is a delight to our souls and spirits.”
But in our busy, often hectic modern lives, with for many of us every mod-con available, there is a widespread neglect of God in our day to day lives, resulting in many of us missing out on the real joy that comes from abiding in His presence:
Psalms 16:11 says, “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore”.
When David said those words to God, “In your presence there is fullness of joy, in your right hand are pleasures for evermore,” he meant that nearness to God himself is the only all-satisfying experience of the universe. God created us, and He created us to live in fellowship and friendship with Him. We were created for this relationship. It stands to reason then, that it’s actually only as we become “buddies” with God that we will know true joy and satisfaction.
In the beginning, Brother Lawrence declared that a little effort was needed to form the habit of continuously conversing with God, telling Him everything that was happening. But after a little careful practice, God’s love refreshed him, and it all became quite easy. “Do not forget Him! Think of Him often; adore Him ceaselessly; recollect Him often throughout your day.
Practice being in the presence of God today, tomorrow and the next. It may take some practice, some reforming or making of new habits and our focus. But the benefit of knowing Him and becoming real “buddies” is worth it, because “In His presence is fullness of joy”.
Prayer: Lord please forgive me where I have settled for less, when I could have been knowing and experiencing so much more in knowing you. Help me to focus, to recollect you, to continually turn my heart and mind towards you throughout the day. Lord I’d like to be your “buddy” too. In Jesus name Amen.
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