Frances recently gave me an electronic reading device known as a Kindle. The Kindle is small, lightweight computer to which you download books and documents almost instantaneously. It is very comfortable to hold and to read, and was developed to make the reading experience as much like the traditional book as possible.
"Our top design objective was for Kindle to disappear in your hands - to get out of the way - so you can enjoy your reading. We hope you'll quickly forget you're reading on an advanced wireless device and instead be transported into that mental realm readers love, where the outside world dissolves, leaving only the author's stories, words and ideas" - Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO, Amazon.Com.
Mr. Bezos' stated goal reminds me of a similar "design objective" in God's intentions for our relationship with Him.
"When thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: that thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret Himself shall reward thee openly" (Matthew 6:3-4).
Much of our relating to God and walking in His presence goes largely unnoticed in the direct field of our conscious awareness. When we are most earnestly and sincerely praying, for example, we likely aren't thinking about the fact that we are praying. We're focused rather on the Object of our communication, and upon the matters of prayer at hand. When we are trusting God and obeying His commands, our attention rests not on our faithfulness, but upon the faithfulness of God and the particulars of whatever we are believing and performing. Most importantly, loving our Lord likely most fills our heart and graces our steps when we don't even realize that the Holy Spirit is moving within us to fulfill the great purpose of our existence: "Thou shalt love the Lord with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength" (Mark 12:30).
We require such unconscious holiness in our present existence because of the tendencies of our flesh to exalt itself when it perceives faithfulness on our part. Certainly there are times when we know we are relating to God in faith and devotion, and when we rightly direct all glory to Him. However, we shall likely discover one day that the vast portion of genuine godliness revealed by Christ's presence in our earthly lives blessed us without our even knowing that the glory of God was at hand. Prayers prayed with inutterable groanings rather than words, acts of self sacrifice by the right hand never viewed by the left, thoughts of the Spirit that seemed like our own ponderings, and genuine love for God and man so quietly fulfilled that we didn't see it come and we didn't see it go. "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not!" (Genesis 28:16).
In that day when God affirms and rewards the works He wrought in us by the indwelling Holy Spirit, we may well be stunned. "I didn't even know I did that, Lord! Or that You did that in and through me!" Our only response will be to fall before Him in the acknowledgement that the Lord Jesus alone is worthy of all glory, honor and credit. "He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord" (II Corinthians 10:17). Yes, if we have believed in the Lord Jesus and have submitted ourselves to His glory and will, devotion doubtless graces our lives with a Hand unseen, a Voice unheard, and a Heart unknown save for a deep inner peace that we somehow cannot understand, and a quiet joy we cannot explain.
"We walk by faith, not by sight."
(II Corinthians 5:7)