Living Within God’s Grace    
July 2007

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     “Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.”(Ezekiel 18: 31, 32).

     “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? …But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Christ Jesus, Matthew 6: 31 & 33).

     “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32).

     Have you ever thought about those ancient, wandering ancestors who, for the first time, experienced the months of darkness which came upon certain polar areas of our planet? They must have thought the sun had died. Even today, knowing that the phenomenon exists, nothing in one’s physical perception bears witness to the fact that the sun is still shining on the rest of the world during those long, perpetual nights.

     Yet, whether or not one perceives the sun physically, during the dark times, it’s still doing its thing: the sun is still being the sun, sending out its warmth and light. In fact, whatever blocks our view of the sun has no relevance to the reality of its existence or function. Our own beliefs don’t affect the sun at all. Our own beliefs don’t actually stop its function in the universe, nor blot it out of existence.

     Once it was discovered why such long periods of night came upon certain locations, the fear of losing the sun must have ended for those ancient people. Probably, those living in these dark places gradually learned to believe and have confidence in the sun’s existence again, even before its light returned to their homes. Knowledge evaporates fear. With today’s greater knowledge about our solar system and the earth’s tilt, no one would be terrified by the long months of darkness near the poles. It’s now perceived as a natural phenomenon. We now know the physical action producing it. Material ignorance, on this issue, has been overcome.

     Yet, spiritual ignorance can also produce fear and distress. Just as our ancient ancestors must have railed against all that they didn’t comprehend about their physical environment, we have voices in the world today which cry out against God’s existence, simply because the divine Intelligence cannot be confined within a material form. But, just as with the sun’s existence despite the darkness, God is being God, no matter what humanity thinks, or doesn’t perceive. In today’s world, it is spiritual knowledge, rather than material knowledge, which is needed to break the fear of God’s absence.

     What’s actually being expressed by these voices is the belief that, because there is no physical proof of God’s existence, no infinite Intelligence must exist to have any relevancy to the material, human condition; and, since God doesn’t exist, we have no great love to save us from the evils that do exist here. What we do not see physically (we are told), we should not believe. So, through such short-sighted, materialistic logic, followers begin to deny the presence of God in this human experience—and when any of us do this, we close a mental door that needs, desperately at times, to be left open. For within our awareness of God’s (invisible-to-the-eye) presence, resides God’s grace, or loving will toward us, which delivers us from the depths of human suffering.

     God ‘enters’ our lives through our consciousness. It’s the point of our connection. If we close this door upon (even the possibility of) the divine existence within our own conscious awareness, we refuse the healing truths that come forth to deliver us from our own destructive beliefs, which have ‘created’, or physically manifested, our collective, and individual, human destructions. And, moreover, if we deny the oneness of God with all creation, and refuse to contemplate Its unseverable bond with all creation, we even deny the entry of those individuals who might, in the divine plan, be sent to help us when we can’t seem to help ourselves.

     In short, a good spiritual axiom (stated negatively) might be: don’t deny anything just because you don’t perceive it physically; the physical environment can be changed with a spiritual thought.

     Consciousness is our very link to God. It’s the place of our Oneness with divine Spirit, the Creator of all that exists in the spiritual, only, universe. We can’t be separated from our conscious link with God. We can’t be separated from the divine love for all creation which flows, endlessly, from God, first, to our awaiting thought, and, second, into our human experience. We can’t be separated from the love of God for each of us, because we can never lose God from our spiritual consciousness, called the Christ Consciousness—that mind that was in Christ Jesus, and in all of God’s children.

     But to deny God’s existence sets up a resistance, and eventually tightly closes the door in consciousness, which we need to keep open, even in our days of triumph. When darkness falls around us and never seems to leave, we often try to reopen the door, finding that it’s shut pretty tight by our own mental stance. Still, not even our own refusal to connect with God can separate us from our eternal oneness with the Almighty Intelligence or the love our divine Parent has for us; so, turning to this Spirit within, we can always find that the reconnection was always there.

     When we turn to mentally communicate with our heavenly Father/Mother, we find God’s grace waiting for us, to bless us by communicating with us. God’s grace is the love of God towards us, and it is expressed as our divine circumstances of abundance, health, eternal lives, status, place and position—in the family, kingdom, and purpose of God. In spiritual fact, we have no material conditions; all our true conditions are spiritual. But like the sun, hidden beneath the darkest clouds, God’s grace is invisible to the physical senses—even though it forever shines beneath the surface of the material scene.

     Living in a material sense of existence, with all its so-called good and evil powers over us, depression is one human ‘condition’ that overtakes people of all ages. When I was between the ages of thirteen and fourteen, I went through a period of deep depression. Turning to God in consciousness brought forth the truths I needed to realize to lift me out of the depression. Here’s the essence of what I remember of that time:

     My family moved four hundred miles away from the city where I was born. We moved to a small town, where nothing seemed to be ‘happening’. At first, I was just numb from the loss of so many things at once: my best friend, all my school mates, my familiar scenery, so many activities, the high bluffs I’d roamed and loved. By the second week, I began to suffer a deep depression. I felt an emptiness I’d never known before. My thoughts were so dark that I began to fear for myself—I feared for my survival. I couldn’t eat, concentrate, or function right. I wouldn’t leave the house. I knew I was in some dark, mental place that I couldn’t pull myself out of. I hated our new town. I wanted to go home.

     I’d always believed in God’s presence, so I mentally prayed about my fear, my mental health, and also my loss of so many things. I asked God why this had come upon me. Had I done something terrible for which I was being punished? Why had everything and everyone I cared about been stripped away from me in what seemed like one moment. It was an honest question, and I believed God would mentally tell me.

     Several thoughts began to come to me: I must not hate this place, for God was with me everywhere, and no place could really be bad for me, with God there. I was reminded of Joseph’s tale from the Bible, where Joseph was sold, by his jealous brothers, into slavery. He ended up in Egypt and was even thrown in jail, but through his entire ordeal, (the Bible story said) ‘the Lord was with him, and he prospered’. (See Genesis, Chapters 37 - 50.)

     Then, as I recall, thoughts began to nudge me out from my house. I was to walk around the town, but know that I was walking with God. So, I left my house and walked toward the downtown. On the way, it was like a voice was advising me several things to do: speak to all I met, make friends willingly, and most of all, know, that like Joseph’s experience, God was with me and whatever I lost could be replaced—friends, activities, and all else I had lost in this move. “Trust in my love for you,” the thought came, very strongly.

     By the time I arrived on the square of the small town, I was feeling relief. I felt God’s presence. The fear of my mental state, the emptiness and darkness, were slightly lessened. A girl, who later became a good friend, walked up to me on the street and introduced herself. She introduced me to others at the one and only restaurant in town. Then I was invited to go with a group of girls to the one and only theater in town.

     Within the next few days, other things began to happen around me: my best friend from back home called and was coming for a visit. (The world felt a bit smaller after that call; not so much like I was in the back of the beyond.) She was still my friend.

     Next, several people I’d met downtown came over to my house and told me how glad they were to have a new girl in town. They loved new school mates to move into their town. I was the first new person at the school in a couple of years. (The school had 7th grade thru high school all in one school.) Within the next week, I was invited to stay with a couple of sisters out at their farm in the country, where I found that the country folk played a lot of games, like hide and seek in the dark, had hayrides, bond fires, etc. Within a couple of weeks, my life had turned around. My depression lifted completely and didn’t return.

     The most important spiritual lesson I learned was to really trust that story of Joseph and the message it was bringing humanity. I trust that story to this day. Its message is that, no matter what darkness, emptiness, injustice or discord we experience humanly, God is always invisibly present with every one of us. But don’t look ‘out there’ in the material world to find God’s presence. “The kingdom of God is within you,” (Luke 17: 21, 2nd half) Christ Jesus said. He didn’t mean within a physical form; he meant within our consciousness…the only place Life exists. And if God is with us, no one can stop God’s Authority over us and our divine conditions.

     We take our consciousness everywhere we go. It’s the only thing we need to take, because it’s the only place we can find God, the infinite Provider of all we can ever need. The externalized, material dimension is made up of thought manifested into form. If something we need doesn’t exist, physically, in our environment, God (infinitely creative Mind) can produce a new thing, just for us.

     The material scene is full of all sorts of erroneous situations which spiritual ignorance and fear have produced. These material conditions of mind, body, and environment are only the results of materialistic thinking; they are manifestations of fleshly beliefs, instead of spiritual knowledge.

     God doesn’t create the evils and discords of the externalized universe; instead, the divine Intelligence, when turned to, brings us out of these seemingly ‘desert’ places of existence. They are illusory, because they don’t perceive the spiritual universe of God’s creating, nor our own spiritual place and bodies in it. They are powerless to defeat us when we turn our thoughts back to God, the source of all truth.

     God is Spirit. We don’t need to have a physical God. Spirit is outside of this material dimension, or material plane of thought. Yet, the Bible tells us that “For in Him, we live, and move, and have our being;” (Read full statement in Acts 17: 27-29). Although we appear to be trapped in a physical form, our consciousness has never been trapped in anything, or any level of existence, other than that which is spiritual.

     So, believing what we can’t see (our conscious link to God) is the most intelligent thing we can do. Every day, someone else proves this to be true—when he, or she, turns away from the voices of darkness…and reaches toward the light that shines within.

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