People like Brother Lawrence (The Practice of the Presence of God) and Frank Laubach (Letters by a Modern Mystic) challenge me. I want to live like those guys did, focusing on God every minute of every day.
I start well most mornings. Before the sun comes up, I usually have spent time with God and have a verse, challenge, or encouraging word I want to carry with me through the day. But usually by the time I get to work a couple of hours later, I’ve already lost that focus. Sure, with effort, I can sometimes call myself back. But I want to stay with God all day, every day, in uninterrupted communion! Try as I may, I don’t seem to be able to make that happen the way I want.
I think God may be helping me with this, however. Recently while reading in 1 Corinthians, a single verse jumped off the page at me. It’s this: “There is only one God, the Father. Everything came from him, and we live for him. There is only one Lord, Jesus Christ. Everything came into being through him, and we live because of him.” (1 Corinthians 8:6, GWT)
I read that over and over again, and as I did, another thought popped into my mind: “There is only one Spirit. We live by and keep in step with Him. (I learned later that this thought was a paraphrase of Galatians 5:25.)
Captivated by these truths, I wrote shorter versions in my journal:
God created me; I live for Him.
Jesus saved me; I live because of Him.
The Spirit empowers me; I live by Him.
Wow, that’s pretty much the gospel in a nutshell, I thought. And it is where I need to be focusing. If I live for God, because of Jesus, and by the Spirit’s power, that would be a fruitful life. That’s what I want, God!
It’s days later, and to my surprise I still find my heart returning often to this simple triad. It helps me worship God for making me and Jesus for saving me. And it reminds me to depend on the Holy Spirit to guide me and empower me for everything I do.
There’s still discipline required—this prayer is not a silver bullet—but as I repeat this prayer in my mind or under my breath, I do find myself focusing on God more and more throughout the day. And that brings me—and my Father, I’m sure!—joy.