“It was for this reason that he (Brother Lawrence) carefully avoided answering those curious questions that lead nowhere and that serve only to burden the spirit and dry up the heart.”
In 2016, the Lord looked down upon me in grace; and I worship Him. As I look back, I am filled with inexplicable joy at how much He has guided my life and taught me so many things. My love to serve and desire to form deep and meaningful relationships with everyone I come in contact with is as if He has continued to rewrite and mature my DNA. My desire to worship and grow in Scripture has never been more evident than now. The Lord has lit a spark in my very being to soak up and bask in His majesty all the time.
The new year is always accompanied by great expectations. What we want, when we want it, how it is to be served to us, and how much it will be to our benefit. One of the greatest lessons I have learned this year, is profoundly exemplified in a book that my brother in Christ, Karl, gave me called The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence.
At its core, the practice of the presence of God is a simple and yet paramount-soulful exercise of never leaving the presence of the Almighty. Although I didn’t agree with everything in the book, there were several documented experiences too real to ignore.
Practicing the presence of God is the continual conversation and awareness of the Lord. When you first wake up, enter with Him in prayer. When getting dressed and brushing your teeth, walking down the hall to your front door to leave for work, commune with the Eternal One. Planning out your day, working on your computer, walking to the kitchen/ break area for a cup of coffee, delight in His divine glory. His design is perfect and vast. His love overflowing. Open the safeguards of your soul, and let Him reign. He is not temporary and limited to our acknowledgements. He doesn’t toss in and about, then diminish like a breeze over a field of grass. He is not passing but pressing. Step into His love that is always and has always been around you, even before you were crafted by Him for purpose.
In Brother Lawrence’s series of letters exchanged to one of his fellow brothers in Christ, he speaks of the snares and pitfalls of the enemy. One in particular stuck out to me, “…the curious questions that lead to nowhere…”
“If God is all-knowing, why did he allow sin to enter?”
“Why does God harden hearts?”
“Does the elect negate free-will?”
“Why did God bless others to be wealthy, only to glorify themselves?”
“Why does He take life?”
Brother Lawrence labels these types of “curious questions” as having no value. Now, we are human. The Lord has designed us with wonder and curiosity. We want to know more about our Everlasting Creator. Such a desire is natural and worshipful. But two things you must understand:
- The answers, or lack thereof, has no bearing on who God is in your life. Security of the believer is not affected by whether these questions are answered or not.
- It is adultery to be completely consumed by the need for truth in these answers.
This is what Brother Lawrence speaks of and the point I urge you to consider. If curiosity evolves into focus, if you for one second slip into a mindset that you must know the answers, if you step away from the presence of God in order to satisfy an itch you can’t scratch, you are declaring that the One Who Sees is not enough – that His sacrifice and grace of purification is saddled on convenience. You are embracing a concept of understanding, over the God Who Is. You are nowhere.
We are all guilty of this act of sin, in one form or another. Let 2017 be a year of love and worship. Of acknowledging who God is and not be distracted by the nowhere. I pray you continue to hunger for Him.