The Practice of the Presence of God, Revisited

 The Practice of the Presence of God, Revisited

Many of us feel driven by the relentless pressures of life, to do all that they require of us before we can reach their promised rest. Once we finish our work, we can rest and be satisfied—until the next work commands to be done. Until we finish our work, we remain restless and wandering for a place to settle. The deep hope in our heart is to finally finish all that needs to be done so we can finally rest satisfied.

The classic by Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God, describes the Christian’s way of life that is finished and complete in God. In this course, we revisit that journey as we look at God’s presence in the light of His Sabbath—not the Sabbath day of our rest from our work but God’s Sabbath rest that is holy and never ends (Hebrews 4:3). God is with us in His rest which He accomplishes in His complete work. When God works, He can rest because He perfectly completes His work. When we work, we keep striving because our work defies God’s rest for us.

The Sabbath explains that only God’s complete work of creation and redemption can enter God’s presence, in His rest. Our human nature breeds countless obstacles to God, especially in our expectations of God and in the powerful presence of our desires and emotions.  

Course Goals

- Recognize God’s presence in our lives as revealed in His Sabbath. Learn
   more of God’s Sabbath in creation, Scripture and in His relation to us

- Learn the nature of God’s relationship to us which is ordered by His holy
   boundary which also orders all other boundaries

- Learn both spiritual and psychotherapy approaches that identify our
   personal obstacles to God and how they can be resolved

 Class Description

1. God’s rest:   God sanctifies His presence in His rest, setting a boundary between His work and rest and between Himself and creation. God’s holiness explains and is explained by His grace. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques will be introduced to clarify healthier boundaries with God, others and self.

2. God’s way of faith:   Our faith focuses our heart on the object of its faith. Our heart reflects what it is beholding and believing to give us meaning and purpose. We will look at Logotherapy to be more conscious of our life meanings and live more consistently with them.

3. God’s kingdom within (Luke 17:21):   God is both transcendent and immanent, King and Servant. God’s paradoxical revelation of Himself explains life’s paradoxes. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy will be introduced to help identify our central life paradoxes which God uniquely defines and resolves for us.

4. God’s will to love (Ephesians 2:4-7):   We best understand God’s will in His love. God’s love is distinct from human love because His love is holy, unconditional and complete. We will use Attachment Theory to help explain our conflict with God’s love, which God alone can resolve.