One question not to be put to the test is this: Can we have that contact with God all the time? All the time awake, fall asleep in His arms, and awaken in his presence? Can we attain that? Can we do His will all the time? Can we think His thoughts all the time? — Frank Laubauch, March 23, 1930
So I just start to think that I’m getting pretty good at keeping the Lord’s Presence on my life. Then, I find a book that totally wrecks me…in a good way. I have been trying to keep God on my mind on a moment by moment basis for about a month now. Already, I realize that I’m using way too many outside resources to do this. My daily walk includes music on my iPod, preachers my iPad, my computer, the radio in my car, and a lot of printed material. I already realize that all of that stuff needs to decrease, and the time with just Him and me needs to increase. On the bright side, just yesterday I realized that I am taking longer to turn on the worship music in my car on my way to work because I am praying more. I am looking forward to the day that I make it to work and have prayed the entire way there. Sure, I could force it, but I want it to just flow naturally and arrive at work wishing I had more time.
A guy named Frank Labauch has already quite successfully done what I am in the beginning stages of attempting. He was 45 years old when he made up his mind to try. He wanted to answer the questions that I have posted as the main text for this WMD. The thing that has glaringly stuck out to me so far is that he did it without all of the electronic devices that I use today. Even though he didn’t have the devices I have, he still relied heavily on outside sources. Check out this paragraph from the book “Practicing His Presence”:
How infinitely richer this direct first hand grasping of God Himself is, than the old method which I used and recommended for years, the reading of endless devotional books. Almost it seems to me now that the very Bible cannot be read as a substitute for meeting God soul to soul and face to face.
So far, the best thing I have experienced is a leveling out of God’s presence. It used to be that I would just have these moments every few weeks of just a massive dose of His presence. It would be so thick and so powerful and it made me feel almost every emotion at the same time. Now, it is like instead of one massive dose, it is spreading out throughout my days and weeks. I can be right in the middle of a tough moment at work and I just feel His hand on me. I become aware that even though I might have let Him out of my thoughts…I’m still in His. It really is amazing and very exciting that this is only the beginning.
Keep in mind that I don’t think we should throw our Bibles and our devotional books away. I realize that I still have so much more to learn. I will still use my electronics and my books to learn more and more. However, just because I have read a book, listened to a sermon, or listened to praise and worship does not mean that I have spent time with God. These are good things and I am going to continue to do them, but I am certain that I have made this mistake for years. Time with God includes this connection between just Him and me that is unmistakable. That connection may come while reading the Bible or listening to praise music, but is definitely not automatic because you did something “Christian.”
I hope I haven’t weirded you all out too bad, even reading back over this myself, it is clear that I still have much to learn and understand. I will close with the paragraph in Frank’s writing that has changed me the most. This has made my work days and all of the other stuff we “have” to do infinitely better. In just a week of looking at everything this way, my stress levels have been at near zero. I want to know how to make every hour of the day a perfect hour. Here is what Frank says:
Any hour of any day may be made perfect by merely choosing. It is perfect if one looks toward God that entire hour, waiting for His leadership all through the hour and trying hard to do every tiny thing exactly as God wishes it done, as perfectly as possible. No emotions are necessary. Just the doing of God’s will perfectly makes the hour a perfect one.
Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect. — Matthew 5:48