I recently finished reading “The Practice of the Presence of God” by Brother Lawrence. It was a tremendous blessing. Bother Lawrence was a very devout Christian who lived in the 17th Century and spent most of his life in a monastery to totally devote himself to God. This book is considered a Christian classic.
The following are some points he made in the book related to the Christian walk that I thought particularly significant:
1. He established himself in a sense of God’s Presence by continually conversing with Him and not letting trifles and fooleries distract him. Prayer was not just for times set aside for it but a continual process.
2. Faith was sufficient to bring us to a high degree of perfection.
3. As far as the great sins he saw everywhere in the world, he was not surprised but in fact surprised there were not more considering the malice sinners were capable of. He gave the sins of the world no thought, but simply prayed for the sinners, knowing that God could remedy the mischief when he pleased.
4. He was pleased when he could take up a straw from the ground for the love of God, seeking Him only, and nothing else, not even His gifts.
5. When he failed in his duty, he carried no guilt and readily acknowledged his sin, understanding that was his nature and that he never would do otherwise if left to himself. He expected, without anxiety, the pardon of his sins from the blood of Jesus. He noted that God seemed to grant the greatest favors to the greatest sinners as more signal monuments of His mercy. Without being discouraged on account of his sins, he prayed for God’s grace with a perfect confidence, as relying upon the infinite merits of his Lord.
6. He examined himself from time to time which allowed him to realize that he was worthy of great contempt. He then recognized that he deserved all of the pain and labors that God sent to humble him. He believed that if we knew how much God loves us, we would always be ready to receive both the bitter and the sweet from His Hand. It would make no difference.
This book was such an inspiration to me. In particular the way Brother Lawrence really believed God’s Word that after committing a sin but repenting and confessing it to God He would forgive him. Not doubting God or feeling guilty but trusting to His forgiveness he was able to get back up and quickly move forward in his spiritual life and not give Satan an opportunity to discourage him.
How I pray that we all could walk as close to God as Brother Lawrence including trusting God to honor His Word as well as accepting whatever he brings into our lives. It would be wonderful to remain consistently in the presence of God and according to Brother Lawrence we can.