I have read about a great many Christians, including quite a lot of ‘mystics’, and found none who appeared to have had a more supernatural, consistent and loving closeness to God and Christ Jesus than Brother Lawrence….excluding Biblical saints, of course. His personal and joyful relationship with Them was LITERALLY a moment by moment, day in and day out experience for over 40 years!!
However, before he actually began to experience this supernatural blessing, he had these words to say in his book “Practicing The Presence Of God”:
“It seemed to me that ALL creatures, reason, and God Himself were against me and faith alone for me.” (emphasis mine)
Now, keep in mind this sentiment and reasoning was felt by him while he was wholeheartedly endeavoring to ‘converse’ with God and Jesus EVERY moment or so (when possible) during his daily activities.
Even still, he persisted in ‘faith alone’. And just when it seemed as though he would have to remain in this imagined alienated state for the rest of his life, the glorious and supernatural relationship with God and Jesus described in his book suddenly burst on the scene!
You can read more about this wonderful and inspiring story at the Category “Practicing The Presence Of God” and also discover how to gain FREE access to his complete book by the same title online.
I will add in closing that the experiences with our Father and our Savior are always different from one another. Some of us will experience that personal relationship in a more gradual way than Brother Lawrence. As well, all of our spiritual relationships with Them will have multiple and varying degrees and ways. And yet, the moment by moment experiencing of Their presence is available to us ALL!
“Those graces which are called extraordinary and are given as privileges to certain souls, are only so called because there are so few sufficiently faithful to become worthy of receiving them. This will be made manifest at the day of judgment.”
“Alas! it will then be seen that instead of these divine favours having been withheld by God, it has been entirely by their own fault that these souls have been deprived of them.”
“What UNTOLD BLESSINGS they would have received through the COMPLETE SUBMISSION of a steadfast goodwill ,”
End of quotes.
Saints that come to mind of whom he is referring to are the likes of Brother Lawrence (please reference the Category “Practice The Presence Of God”) and all the other mystics and faithful ones who attained to this high degree of submission and abandonment.
“Now Jesus, being turned about and perceiving His disciples, rebukes Peter and is saying, “Go behind Me, satan! for you are not disposed to that which is of God but that which is of men.”
Peter certainly meant well, but here, he was clueless and sinning. This shows how subtly Satan works…..making us think what we say or do is perfectly right when, in fact, it can actually be directly opposed to God. This reinforces the truth that we MUST be looking to God and Christ at ALL times, yearning with our spirit that They will not let us be snared by the ways of the Adversary.
I remember reading in one of William Law’s books ( I can’t recall which….maybe it was THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT) that we receive our motivation and influence DIRECTLY and INTERNALLY from ONE of just 3 sources: God and Christ, our own selves or Satan and his demons (other humans cannot directly gain access into our being but can only address us from without). Now this is scary! Certainly we cannot be trusted to rely on our own logic or judgment but in the most basic of human ways; and, avoiding the influence of Satan and the demons is a given. The obvious choice then is God and Christ.
Mr. Law’s remedy was to consciously look to God and Christ eachmoment for Them to show us what to do and say. This sounds radical but it is so true. Paul tells us we need to reach the point where we bring “EVERY THOUGHT” into the obedience of Christ Jesus …2 Corinthians 10:5. This was the one common thread among all the ‘mystics’ that I read about: that regardless of their denomination…..they looked to God and Christ continuously, without ceasing…literally, moment by moment. Mr. Law is said to have also reached this disposition , and describes it as too wonderful for words to convey (paraphrasing).
The mystics were those who reached that ‘union’ with God and Christ whereby they experienced Their presence with them pretty much all the time….many having visions, others… indescribable revelations of the nature of God and so on. Actually, all Christians should be mystics, ideally.
Until later, take care.
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