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"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander." ~ 1 Peter 3:15-16
The Practice of the Presence of God

I must confess I seldom read books with such titles like the above, during the early years of my walk with God. Either I thought of them all to be strictly boring and deadly methodical. or they are extremely charismatical with an unhealthy taste on spiritual things. However, I find within me an hunger for an authentic relationship and connection with God lately. No, I did not mean that there isn't any relationship between me and God for the past years, but by authentic I meant a living relationship whereby God's presence is continuously felt in whatever we do or say, wherever we are.

Please don't get me wrong, I am neither painting a picture of Samson running amok. It's a consistent tranquility experienced in the deepest inner spirit that I am talking about here, though I equally believe in the miraculous manifestations of the Holy Spirit as and when He wants to show Himself. It's the coming before the presence of God every moment that I am talking about, and the unceasing prayers that Paul mentioned. Something that no human words can aptly describe the reality of the spiritual union between God and man in their deepest communion.

Brother Lawrence's classic serves me a great deal of good here. When I first read his book (it's really a humble collection of his short personal letters written to his friends), there is simply this excitement and joy in me, because I found someone who shared the view as I do and who experienced it even deeper and richer in length and breadth. What this classic is saying, is that there is no distinction between the ordinary and the holy, the sacred and the common.

To put things in perspective, there is no holy place, holy time, holy rituals per se, because all that is done unto God out of love is holy and sacred worship, such as cooking in the kitchen (Brother Lawrence was a chef), taking a stroll or working in our usual capacity. Which is something the house church principle reinforces and attempts to recover, that is living daily in love for Christ, because of what He has done for us. And that His presence becomes such a saturated reality to us that we seem to be able to see and feel Him in us.

I pray that you will also have the hunger to love God and to know Him as He has known us and love us, even to the last moment at the cross. May Jesus be always our focus and Person of our passionate love. And as we pour ourselves before Him, that He also becomes a reality in us, to such a measure that we would not want to wander away from the sweet presence of our Lord and King, nor shift our gaze away from the glorious magnificent. God be our portion forever.

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