[thoughts]

[thoughts]

There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with GOD. Those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it; yet I do not advise you to do it from that motive. It is not pleasure which we ought to seek in this exercise; but let us do it from a principle of love, and because GOD would have us.

Brother Lawrence, Fifth Letter

Wow. This man surely has asked God for wisdom and he has received it! As I continue reading Brother Lawrence’s letters, I am stunned at the words that he is writing, however, not just because they are wise by God’s standards but also because of the timeliness of the message.

These are tough times for my Church right now. Not because we are persecuted or other problems like that. No. It’s the problem of being used to God. I cannot even call it laziness. We just had enjoyed so much comfort in our lives (comparing to the soviet times when you could die for your faith) that sometimes it seems like the word Christian does not mean anything anymore. I know a lot of people who told me it doesn’t matter for them. On Ted Dekker’s forum there has been a 200+ comments discussion whether we should retain the name Christians or we should call ourselves followers of Christ or something else.

Although I agree that nowadays the name Christian means different things (because of what we, Christians, have become and because of how the word was abused), but for me, it still means what it originally meant.

Chris-tian [kris-chuh n]: “A person who exemplifies in his or her life the teachings of Christ.”

Dictionary at Reference.com

The solution of the problem usually starts with identifying the problem. You cannot solve a problem you are not aware of. After the identification, the Church board has decided to get together on weekly basis to fast (prior to the meeting) and pray together for our Church.

It has been three weeks now and for me this is the first time ever that I have tried to fast like this. But these three Fridays (we agreed to fast on Fridays) have been so wonderful! I have learned a lot and there were many opportunities to share about my beliefs with the people at work. Sometimes it is quite tough not to give in to temptation to eat something, but I have found that when the stomach is empty (by choice, not by force), the soul is filled with spiritual food. And the reminders… Oh, the divine humor at its best: every single time when I experienced a tough time, I either got a text message from one of the Church board members or in daily devotional. I had to grin every time because… because it was just plain funny how God worked.

But besides just that, God has started a work in His Church. A thought came to my mind the other day: “The hammer is only as strong as the arm wielding it.” Not sure why I thought that, but it seemed appropriate. We might have given ourselves to God as instruments, but we have to allow Him to use us as He wants. We cannot do anything by ourselves, but the good thing is – we do not have to! We just need to let Him work through us.

Going back to Brother Lawrence’s letter, we should re-learn (I should re-learn) how to be in continual conversation with God and not just to enjoy it (although the pleasure would be immense) but to allow Him to work through me, use me  (even though sometimes I am tempted to exclaim like Jeremiah: “But I am still young!”)

And we should re-learn what it means to be a Christian.

More to follow.

  • "There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with GOD."

    To me, this is what "holiness" is really about. When talking about "holiness" we can get caught up in topics like "sanctification" and "prefect love". But what all of that discussion is describing is a beautiful, relational connection in which we enjoy a state of "continual conversation with GOD".

    • yep. i guess it's not just a mere coincidence that holiness and wholeness are two similar words in English (not in Russian, but oh well)… being united with God, becoming whole as you are becoming holy (i.e. more separated from the stuff here and more connected to things in heaven)…

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