Day 84 – Making the Habit Stick
In practicing God’s presence Brother Lawrence had no qualms in reiterating ways for making the habit stick: (1) The priority of “purity of life”. (2) That “fostering this awareness of God within, must always be performed gently, humbly, and lovingly, without giving in to disturbance or anxiety.” (3) Taking “special care that this inner awareness, no matter how brief it may be, precedes our activities, that it accompanies them from time to time, and that we complete all of them in the same way.”
1. Embrace godly living. Living a life of holiness is preliminary for living in God’s presence. “Without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).
In preparation for Jesus’ arrival, John the Baptist preached, “Make ready the way of the Lord” (Luke 3:4, NASB). Like ancient workers preparing roads for the arrival of a king, you clear the “runway” of your life, so that the “airplanes” of God’s presence and blessing can land upon your soul.
2. Practice the awareness of God’s presence with intentionality and humility. I find it helpful to distinguish between these three:
• God’s omnipresence is God’s always-and-everywhere presence. You can be riding in your car, alone in your bedroom, with friends at a ball game. God is already there. You can never go where God is not (Psalm 139:7-8). You find God everywhere.
• God’s manifest presence is God making himself tangibly real to you. When God shows up, he reveals something of himself. You can be moved toward some response, some action step, some change of heart or mind, some better lifestyle choice, some assignment or mission. You can be left with a certainty in your soul, a clarity in your mind, a clearness in your spirit. You pray frequently for God’s manifest presence (Isaiah 64:1).
• Practicing God’s presence is faithfully cultivating God’s near presence. You come near to God, so he will come near to you (James 4:8). You affirm that Jesus himself is with you always (Matthew 28:20). You recognize that “the LORD is with you when you are with him” (2 Chronicles 15:2). You continually remain in living relationship with Jesus (John 15:5). Being with God and God being with you is a living experience.
3. Make it regular. A practical way: look to God before, during, and after an activity – at the start, during the long middle, and at the completion – no matter how brief.
Start simple. Don’t be discouraged if you stray from your intention to live in God’s presence. Only begin again. The more you train yourself the easier it becomes.
God will give you grace. “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).
Action Step: How are you making this habit stick?
This is God’s Word for you today,