“...You remain...” Hebrews 1:11
This morning as I was reading through my devotionals, I was taken back in my memories to a time when I found myself very focused on searching out God every moment of every day. I had got my hands on a very short, but very compelling, book called Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. In reading this book I found myself desiring the same relationship Brother Lawrence talked about which he had with the Lord – a constant dialogue that carried him with the Lord from the moment his feet hit the floor until he laid his head down on the pillow again that night.
I have not read the book in years, but what I recall being compelled to do after reading it was to be more aware of what my mind was dwelling on and all of the negative internal conversations I had going on in my head. These negative thoughts were ones I had to practice submitting to the Lord so my thoughts and prayers could alone be focused on Him. What I have to admit though is this whole processes of focusing on God every waking hour of my day was much more difficult than it sounded. I found at the onset of my little venture the results were rather discouraging and my thoughts were anything but focused on God – Wow did I think about a lot of meaningless things!
When I speak on depression I make a startling statement about thoughts, and this is what I say, “Did you know that 10,000 thoughts pass through the human mind in one day?” It is astounding to understand that most of what we think about is not productive towards our daily goals or especially towards our spiritual growth, that is if we do not find a way to harness our thoughts. No wonder I found myself in a most discouraging situation at the beginning. Even if I was to turn just 10% of my thoughts to the Lord in a given day, that still left 9,000 openings for errors along the way.
When asked by a woman once why she continued to do sinful things even though she knew they were scripturally wrong, I responded in telling her that even though she felt like she had gone nowhere in changing her life to the new truths she had discovered, she had made the most important step in progressing out of those sinful acts by first just recognizing them as being sinful. I too learned that recognition was my first step in the progression of changing my thoughts from selfish, worrying, and prideful thoughts to prayerful petitions to the Lord.
Do you recognize the ways the enemy has blinded you by the thoughts that occupy your mind? When we let the days turn into weeks and the weeks turn into years and do nothing to address the thoughts we allow to fill what we dwell upon each day, and do not make purposeful strides to seek the Lord and His presence, then we are in a lulled sleepy state of spirituality. As Christians we cannot afford to live this way or we will miss our chance not only to see God, but also to be useful to Him and be at the ready to recognize Him when He returns.
Yes, God is present all around us every day but we need to make a concerted effort to fight against just knowing He is around us to one which seeks His presence with us. Walking alone is no fun, and our human family and friends are not perfectly reliable in keeping us accountable to the call God has placed on our lives. God alone is our constant companion, our most reliable friend, and the One alone who knows which way we are really headed on this journey towards our eternal home when we will finally see the Him constantly with utter clarity and recognize His presence for ever more.
“..the truth is a presence, not a thing, a fact, or a statement. Some One is present, and He is a warmhearted Friend and the all-powerful Lord.” Samuel Dickey Gordon