“The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer…I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the blessed sacrament.”
– Brother Lawrence from Practicing the Presence of God
This has been the hardest semester of college I have encountered thus far. And I know it only gets harder from here. Weekly exams, online quizzes, Blackboard assignments, deadlines. About twenty of my weekly hours are devoted to our campus ministry. I work with three clients with special needs on the weekend, and midweek volunteer at a ministry for kids in Baltimore. Then there’s church and family time. Where does God fit in?
Slowly, painfully, I have come to realize that God is not concerned with my business nor busyness. God wants not that I work endlessly and tirelessly to please Him, for this is not the goal. Through His son, He is already well pleased with me. He wants my heart.
Work should be regarded less with reference to its immediate results, or as to how it may affect this or that person; the great question is, will it, when sifted in His presence, be acceptable to Him? – J.B. Stoney
In Hosea 8, it is clear what is not acceptable to God.
His people build altars to sacrifice and offer sacrifices but they completely disregard God’s law. They offer to them their works, but He cannot accept them because they disobey.
A note on this section from Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary,
So long as men despise the truths and precepts of God’s word, and the ordinances of his worship, all the observances and offerings, however costly, of their own devising, will be unto them for sin; for those services only are acceptable to God, which are done according to his word, and through Jesus Christ.
Works that He accepts are done according to His word and His Word.
Is everything I do, clean the kitchen, take an exam, talk to a friend, give a kid a piggyback ride, drive to school, plan my spring schedule,
is every thought, word, action, a fragrant offering acceptable to God?
Is it in accordance with His commands and built on the foundation of Christ?
Father, my prayer today is that of Brother Lawrence,
Oh my God, since Thou art with me, and I must now, in obedience to Thy commands, apply my mind to these outward things, I beseech Thee to grant me the grace to continue in Thy presence; and to this end do Thou prosper me with Thy assistance, receive all my works, and possess all my affections.
from the archives, November 2, 2010