A man we know as Brother Lawrence wrote a book in the 1600s called “The Practice of the Presence of God.” Brother Lawrence recommended that we talk with God when we are working in the field, when we are walking to the chapel, and when we are washing the pots after dinner. Basically, we want to be talking to God all day.
What happens when you talk with God? What happens when you talk with God, as opposed to talking with a human being, or talking to yourself? First, you find that you come to understand yourself better, because you can fool other people, you can even fool yourself, but you can’t lie to God. You can’t withhold part of the truth or shade it to present yourself more favorably. In talking with God, you come to see the reality about yourself, your actions, your character, and your condition. When you talk to God, you also come to understand others better. You can’t misrepresent them. You can’t idolize them or demonize them. When you are talking to God, you have to represent people as they are. What else happens when you talk with God? You come to feel understood and accepted. We never present our full selves to anyone else. We are always withholding something. When we talk with God, we are free to tell him everything going on with us. We can tell God the full truth, not the part that we think he would accept. Whatever we tell God, he accepts it, for he has already accepted us. What else happens when we talk with God? We become better people. We say our mission at Integrity Church is to help men and women become mature, healthy followers of Jesus. How does that happen? One way it happens is when we keep a conversation going with God. We can and do tell God everything about ourselves, yet because we are talking to the Holy One, our best thoughts are elevated and reinforced and our worst thoughts are controlled and put in their place. It has been said that faith is the choice of the nobler hypothesis. Our faith in God, and our conversation with God, brings out the best in us.
This Sunday we will wrap up our sermon series, “Going Deeper,” by looking at how we can become more spiritual people simply by talking to God all day long.