“God, says He, has infinite treasure to bestow, and we take up with a little sensible devotion, which passes in a moment. Blind as we are, we hinder God and stop the current of His graces. But when He finds a soul penetrated with a lively faith, He pours into it graces and favors plentifully; there they flow like a torrent which, after being forcibly stopped against its ordinary course, when it has found a passage, spreads itself with impetuosity and abundance.” This is from “The Practice of the Presence of God”, by Brother Lawrence. This was written in 1666, so the Catholic church was essentially the only church in most places, and it is not Catholic in any sense of doctrine. In fact, you may find it to be the true essence of charisma. Pardon one aside, but it shows how poorly educated we are almost 400 years later. Impetuosity means with great force or power.
This is just an example of the deep rich insights and wonders shared by a humble servant of God with his friend through private conversations and letters he expected to remain private. For us it is good to see this testimony of God’s presence and grace upon a humble soul fully committed to pursuing a continuous conversation and devotion with the lover of our soul, Almighty God.
Another example of the wisdom that struck me was in a seemingly casual observation. “That as for the miseries and sins he [Brother Lawrence] heard of daily in the world, he was so far from wondering at them that, on the contrary, he was surprised that there were not more, considering the malice sinners were capable of; that, for his part, he prayed for them; but knowing that God could remedy the mischief they did when He pleased, he gave himself no further trouble.” We can scarce err in attributing all capability and possibility to the Almighty Sovereign God. What unspeakable rest for the soul is found in the embrace of Father God.
Finally, the descriptions of humility as a chosen and prefered way of life are numerous and just as applicable today as they were in the 17th century. However, these were not put forward as recommendations or suggestion, but merely by way of recounting the narrative of God’s grace and favors obtained through His presence alone. As my friend observed when reading the book, “The most excellent method he had found for going to God was that of doing our common business without any view of pleasing men but purely for the love of God.”
Lord God, thank you for preserving the truth of a relationship this is available to every Believer. Thank you for seeking us and your promise to drawing near to us as we draw near to you. In the precious name of Yeshua Messiah, may all glory and praise be to you.