In the 17th century there was a man who spent thousands of hours washing dishes and performing other menial chores, living a life many today might consider dull and meaningless. How do you do such mundane tasks year after year, decade after decade, and not die of boredom?
You do this by learning how to encounter God’s presence every day. You learn how to live from love.
Brother Lawrence impacted countless lives with his dish-washing, floor-sweeping life. His short little book, The Practice of the Presence of God, has sold millions of copies, has been translated into over 100 languages, and although it is not very long (95 pages) each paragraph practically drips with wisdom.
Brother Lawrence was “governed by love, without selfish views; and that having resolved to make the love of GOD the end of all his actions, he had found reasons to be well satisfied with his method. That 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” (from The Practice of the Presence of God).
In my humble opinion, the modern church needs precisely this kind of value for the presence of the living God.
Having been reborn of the Spirit, believers in Jesus Christ are seated with him in the heavenly realms and our truest identity is in him, the victorious risen Lord. Jesus is rightfully seated at the right hand of the Father, at the place of favor and authority. So if we are seated with Jesus, and he is at the Father’s right hand, that means we, too, are seated at the Father’s right hand. Because of what Jesus accomplished we have been given favor and authority in Him, and we get to live from that place. We do not have to live for God by our own striving; we get to live FROM him in victory. In so doing living for him is a glorious byproduct. The very life of Christ, which resides by the power of the Holy Spirit in human beings who acknowledge Christ as Savior and Lord, points those who do not yet know him to him. His life cannot help but beget more life.
Such a life in communion with the Holy Spirit requires intimacy. And it takes a deliberate lifestyle of repentance in order for that to happen. Whatever controls the mind controls the body and, according to Romans 12, we are transformed by the renewing of the mind. The more truth about who we are and who He is that the mind receives, the greater the level of transformation of everything else. Too often we are simply unaware of what we have been given. To wit, far too many times we do even not realize the treasures of our inheritance. Even as creation groans for the sons and daughters of God to be revealed, we do not believe that the old has really gone and that we have been made new creatures in Christ Jesus.
As for me, I long for the day when those who know Christ are so conscious of Him that their faces cannot help but display it, even while they are scrubbing toilets.
Photo Credit: Freeimages.com