Saturday, October 24, 2020 -
Brother Lawrence in his letters revealed some other things I’ve decided to share with you. This is a man who said he made a resolution to give himself entirely to God since that was the best way he could repay Him for His love. For Brother Lawrence showing his love for Him meant giving up everything else.
He began to concentrate on always being in God’s presence. He said he would think of himself as a stone before a sculptor, ready for him to shape him into a statue. Presenting himself like this before God, he wanted Him to form His perfect image in his soul and make him entirely like Himself.
He also always believed god would use great affliction to humble His own. He felt he must never cease working at his spiritual life. If one doesn’t move forward, he will go backward. “But those who have the Holy Spirit’s breeze blowing on them move them forward even while they’re sleeping,” he said. “If our soul’s ship is battered and tossed by wind and storm, then let us wake up the Lord Who is resting in our hearts. He will soon calm the sea.”
He said that to achieve being in the presence of God, our hearts must be empty of everything else because God wants to be the only one who possesses it. When this is achieved, there is no way of living in the world more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with God (my wife Kathie practices this.) This is not done out of seeking pleasure from its practice, but out of a motivation of love for God and because it is what He desires. It becomes a habit. He would say that we can make a prayer chapel in our own hearts.
He also said his mind would constantly wander, so he had to train his mind, which has bad habits, to keep his thoughts from wandering and being scattered. It is different to overcome the mind being pulled often toward worldly things. We need to confess this before God and humble ourselves. He said, “Present yourself to God like someone who cannot speak or a beggar who is paralyzed and can only lie at a rich man’s gate. Concentrate on keeping your mind in the presence of the Lord… One way to easily keep your mind focused during prayer, and in greater peace, is to not let it wander too far during the rest of your day. You should keep your thoughts strictly in God’s presence; once you get used to thinking of Him often, you will find it easy to keep your mind calm during prayer - - or at least to keep it from wandering.” He said in order to know God, we must think about Him often, for our heart will be where our treasure is. After all, “our concern in this life should be to please God; everything else is just silly and selfish.”
Oh, I seem to have such a long way to go in practicing this lifestyle and making it second nature. Yet it is what I desire with all my heart!
“We are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (II Corinthians 10:56).