better by far (Pursuing and prizing the presence of God Part 10)

Verse 10 of Psalm 84 says “a day in your courts is better than 1000 elsewhere.” In the scales of his life experience, and what he knows about God, the psalmist has found that one day in God’s presence is better than years spent away from him.

It’s like the story Jesus told about the merchant who found such a magnificent peal he went and sold everything he had to get it or as Spurgeon the great 19th century preacher said “God’s worst is better than the devils best”.

The psalmist goes on to say that he would happily to be a doorkeeper God’s house than enjoying the best the world has to offer. He would rather with God, even as a servant which is rather reminiscent of a story Jesus told about the prodigal son. When he hit rock bottom he said to himself “my father’s servants have it better than this. I will go back and maybe he will hire me as a servant”. But his father puts a cloak around him and a ring on his finger and takes him home as a son.

I do not even deserve to be a doorkeeper in God’s house, yet I have become a favoured son of God. Through Jesus I the privilege of being accepted into the presence of God where I am filled with joy.

Here is quote from a guy I have been reading about recently called brother Lawrence. He was a 17th century monk who practiced the presence of God while going about his menial tasks in the kitchen:

Brother Lawrence

“Touched with deep regret, I declare to Him all my evil deeds, ask His forgiveness for them, and abandon myself into His hands to do with me according to His will. This good and merciful King, very far from chastising me, embraces me lovingly, makes me eat at His table, serves me with His own hands, gives me the keys to His treasures, and treats me in everything as His favorite. He converses and takes endless pleasure in my company in countless ways… The more I see my weakness and wretchedness, the more I am caressed by God. This is how I consider myself from time to time to be in His holy presence. My most normal habit is to simply keep my attention on God, and to be generally and lovingly aware of Him. I often feel myself attached to God with sweetness and satisfaction greater than that experienced by a nursing child.”

I find this to be true for myself too. Just bringing to mind the presence of such a wonderfully perfect and loving being makes me soo happy. What’s more the knowledge that any and every disqualification has been sorted out on my behalf by Jesus protects me from getting knocked off such a lofty place.

Brother Lawrence discovered that you don’t need to pray yourself into the presence of God, or praise yourself into an awareness of him. Simply reminding yourself of the truth of it and taking hold of it by faith, is enough. Far from being distractions, all the things we need to do in life can be offered in love to our heavenly father heightening our enjoyment of him. In his presence there is a peace and joy that I have not found anywhere else. I wonder how I can share it better with others.

BTW I used to get the text from the book. very cool.


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