Everyone is getting a "bump" these days. The presidential poles, the stock market and me, as a result of the construction, on my commute to the citadel of the money changers each day. A bump is an increase, well except for drop off on to the freshly grooved and planed pavement on the way to work. Much of our life is "gauged," as we turn the ebb an flow of every day life in to chunks. It is life without highs nor lows. Then we spend our time looking for the "bump." It could be cash, a vacation, a hoped for raise or promotion.
Most of us us are looking for something to give us a boost. For some, things are so tough that they are simply hoping that things don't get any worse. I often think about the church and how we look for a bump there to get us through the week. You know, something to turn our week into a memorable chunk. We can be so Sunday focused that we look for our weekly infusion to get though the week. In some ways that is good. Church should be providing us with something of value.
There is something that I discovered a long time ago about God. That was the practice of the presence of God as Brother Laurence wrote about in his monastic book. He looked for God in the everyday things like doing dishes. I really worked hard practicing thinking about the things of God while I was at work, or going about my business each day. It was tough because I have a very active mind. By the way, it seems normal to me living in here, but I once had a friend that said, "I can't imagine what its like to live in there." Staying focused on the presence God was not easy. Later I read a book by Watchman Nee entitled the "Release of the Spirit." In the book there we Christians so hungry for God, but they couldn't figure out how to enjoy His presence apart from church. So here are some things that I felt were important to enjoying God's presence apart from church.
-1 Listen to worship. If you want some suggestions, see my other blog. The purpose of worship is to create and environment for God to be present. There are lots of ways to worship, but music is a great one. I admit, I am a junky. I have worship playing endlessly in my home, at work, and in the car. I don't listen to secular music much, not because it is sin or something, but because it keeps me from Jesus.
-2 Hear the word. I am not talking about sermons (I am sure those are good) but listen to the Bible on tape or CD, read it to your kids or your wife. I have a CD of healing verses which is about 90 minutes of every conceivable verse in regards to healing. I can hear it now, "and Jesus healed them all." "And the blind man saw," 'the paralytic walked" ... wonderful. After some point, these verses will begin to well up in your spirit. And there will be the presence of God. I also think reading and meditating the Bible is great, but hearing it is better.
-3 Find the place where you connect with God. Mine is walking by the ocean. I also enjoy driving alone. The more you practice, the more you'll find that you can be present with Him anywhere.
-4 Find a way to praise God whether in English or some other language, it helps.
Some things that don't work for me. Just reading the Bible. I love it, but it is not a presence grabber like listening to it. Just pray, well that isn't all that great a method for me. I do that while I am at the beach, and I grab some time in the car or before I go to bed. I used to make my self read and study and pray. I learned a lot, but I was not getting fed. Why, for me the presence of God is not something I do, but something I receive. Sometimes being in church doesn't do it for me either, and I use that time to pray.
Need a bump, try receiving from Him today.