More of God- how do we get it? How is this accomplished? Through prayer, Scripture, meditation on God’s Word, fruitful conversation with other believers.
Seeking God Himself- meditating on the character of God- who He is, what He has done.
It means constantly surrounding ourselves with reminders of God’s love- of meditating on His Word all day long (Psalm 1:2-3)- never letting it be far from our lips or our mind. Endeavoring to stay in God’s presence all day long.
A continual consciousness that God is there and longs to enter into life with us.
This made me think of Brother Lawrence’s book Practice of the Presence of God. Here are some quotes from the book- I encourage you to read it- a very small book packed with the amazing testimony of a man who sought after God in every moment.
“Do not be discouraged by the resistance you will encounter from your human nature; you must go against your human inclinations. Often, in the beginning, you will think that you are wasting time, but you must go on, be determined and persevere in it until death, despite all the difficulties.”
Have you ever felt this way, when starting to be more intentional in our time with God- in seeking Him- that we feel that resistance- our own sinfulness squirming in discomfort at the new closeness to God that we are seeking?
Yet as we persevere, and remain faithful to confront our sinfulness and lay it at God’s feet- to seek His presence with a hunger to know Him and feast on His Word- He truly satisfies us and brings peace.
“A little lifting up of the heart suffices; a little remembrance of God, an interior act of adoration, even though made on the march and with sword in hand, are prayers which, short though they may be, are nevertheless very pleasing to God, and far from making a soldier lose his courage on the most dangerous occasions, bolster it. Let him then think of God as much as possible so that he will gradually become accustomed to this little but holy exercise; no one will notice it and nothing is easier than to repeat often during the day these little acts of interior adoration.”
Prayer always reorients me. Even if I don’t receive an answer right away, just lifting up a prayer to God reminds me of who God is- yes, He is the one we pray to- He is one whose love is poured out extravagantly over my life- who has forgiven all my sins past and present and future- through the blood of His Son Jesus Christ.
We are justified in Christ.
“Along with this total abandonment must go a complete acceptance of God’s will with equanimity and resignation. No matter what troubles and ills come our way, they are to be willingly and indeed joyously endured since they come from God, and God knows what He is doing.
This trust must be unreserved with no thought of reward, but inevitably God will reward the person who so believes and endures with graces and treasures far beyond any sacrifices or offerings he or she has made since He is infinitely good. Also, God never tests us beyond our ability to endure and, as a matter of fact, bestows on us graces that will enable us to endure as we show our acceptance of whatever He sends our way.”
This flows so well in line with my posts I have written this week about waiting on God- especially what Brother Lawrence says about enduring trials and suffering (or even times of waiting) we have a choice to trust- to remain firm in the foundation of our faith and not let ourselves be moved.
Sometimes I feel like a wave tossed by the wind in a storm- going every which way- untethered and blowing aimlessly(James 1:6-7). I want to strive to always be securely grounded in God- so that when storms come I will be faithful.
I want to be willing to walk through my struggles– to endure pain- trusting like Paul who was beaten, shipwrecked, in prison, stoned, and hungry- I can’t imagine it- yet he endured it all because He grasped (at least in portion) the deep love of God, the amazing sacrifice He made on our behalf- and he was so filled with exultation, he could not bear to keep silent- he had to share the glorious riches that we have in Christ Jesus.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit,who has been given to us.
6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Less of me- does this mean that there is something wrong with the person God created? No, not less of the unique and beautiful creation God made us to be- less of our sinful nature. Less of that desire to have my own way.
Less pride, more humility- it is a moving away from all selfish motives into a daily seeking- to have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16)- to walk worthy (Eph. 4:1-3).
Have I already obtained this? No, but as Paul said to the church in Philippi:
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
So I pray that today- one day at a time- we will endeavor to seek God in each moment- whether we are rejoicing, laughing, crying, frustrated, or angry- we would open ourselves up to let Him enter in- and we will be changed.