“Do not always scrupulously confine yourself to certain rules, or particular forms of devotions,“ said Brother Lawrence. He said this as one who knew how to “practice of the presence of God”—that is, to enjoy an ongoing, never-ending, easy lifting of the heart and remembrance to God, which invites and sustains His constant presence. He believed, as do I, that it’s not only possible but crucial that we believers settle down into God’s presence and stay there, not just during our morning devotionals but all day long, and all night as well.
Does this sound impossible? That’s because you complicate it all in your mind. You’ve learned that being in God’s presence must look a certain way… that you’re required to stop what you’re doing and kneel and open your Bible—wonderful activities, but impossible when you’re in the middle of a board meeting or chasing a toddler.
Setting aside a specific “God-time” is wonderful. If you begin (or end) each day by deliberately focusing on God in a certain place, with a certain book, don’t stop! But beware of falling into the mindset that if, for some reason, you miss out on this sanctioned portion of time because of an early doctor’s appointment or small crisis, you’ve “missed your God-time.” Beware of assuming that if you’ve neglected your God-time for that day you must wait until tomorrow to catch up—as though God is offended at having been stood up and won’t be available again until tomorrow because He’s all tied up for the rest of the day.
God’s presence is just as available as you wait in the doctor’s office or fold dishtowels as it was during your scheduled God-time. Lean your heart into Him; lift your thoughts toward Him as you walk from your office to the break room; say a quiet “thank You” as you sit at a stop light. You have not missed your God-time. Your God-time, as a believer, stretches into infinity. It continues after your regularly scheduled devotional time into the bulk of the day, even the chaos and frustrations of the day. It continues into the night. Even as you sleep, your God-time continues!
Years ago, I used to hear songs and sermons that talked about jumping into the river of God. “Why can’t I just live there?” I wondered. “Why do I ever have to get out of the river of God? Why can’t I learn to breathe underwater?”
I can. And so can you.