There was a formula going about when I was a youth: Prayer and Bible Study. Unfortunately it was not being promoted by young Christians but by Believers of long standing who had not grown out of religion into God. The non-religious Godly know that the enjoyment of God is not found in jumping through hoops. It’s found in our ALWAYS THERE ‘oneness’ with God. So prayer can be our normal state of rejoicing in the world as well as a conversation with God. Charles Rigma raises an interesting point.
“Nouwen describes [an] aspect of our difficulty [in praying] when he writes: "Why should I spend an hour in prayer when I do nothing during that time but think about people I am angry with, people who are angry with me ... and thousands of other silly things that happen to grab my mind for a moment?" The answer may be to adopt various spiritual disciplines and techniques to help focus our thoughts. But more importantly, our coming to God is not an attempt to impress Him regarding our disciplinary skills. Instead, we need to bring ourselves to God as we are - with our restless senses. When we come in this way, we will eventually experience God's quieting presence, particularly when we confess our sins, unburden our hearts, lay down our issues, and allow ourselves to be blown in new directions by the breath of God's Spirit.” (1)
I’m less impressed by the development of ‘spiritual disciplines’ and more impressed with coming to God ‘as we are, in this quote.’ As indicated above, in our normal life, we are not separated from God and neither are we separated from God in our praying. Since the cross we and Father are one and all of us have available to ourselves the communion that Father has with His Son Jesus. This state of being or the reality we think we live in, effects how we think of ‘devotions’ and leads us to question the idea that we are not ‘devoted’ to God when we are busy.
LOTS OF WHOOPS
Joyful people of spirit and life are devoted to God in their ordinary living.
Jesus said that He would be with us and in us. Paul said that Christ is in us and went further in promoting the incarnate nature of our relationship with God – Christ our life. Since the Christ and the cross, the at-one-ment and the Spirit, we are well and truly one with God and He with us in all we do. This does not mean we cannot have special times of worship and prayer. God is not a generality but personal. Since we have different modes of ‘relating’ to each other in social life we can relate to God in different ways too. But none of this is prescriptive.
LIFE IN GOD IS GOD IN YOU
But we need to know that our life in God is not found in religion and its formalities. Our life in God is found in life. It means that our life in God is found in our everyday activities, since Christ is our life and the trinity is incarnated in all of it.
‘And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth’ Eph 1.10 NLT. This right time began with His resurrection. It continues in you and will reach its fulfilment at the Second Coming.
The incarnation means that there is no sacred and secular. There is no compartmentalisation of our stuff and God’s Stuff but a unified state of being to be enjoyed in Christ. We live in this joy as we fellowship with the trinity in our life and celebrate the abundant joy that is Jesus Christ as our way, our truth and our life.
The Kingdom of God was never a religion. It’s a state of being one with God, ourselves, each other and the creation. ‘Worship is a life.’
(1) Charles Ringma. Dare to Journey--with Henri Nouwen (Designed for Influence) (Kindle Locations 163-168). Kindle Edition.