“Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.”(Luke 20: 37 & 38).
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8: 38 & 39).
“For whosoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”(John 5:4).
The main reason so many people on this planet don't believe in God is that God doesn't appear in physical form. It's hard to believe in the presence of an entity you can't even see. But then, say one gets beyond the physics of the thing, into the metaphysics; say one can actually accept an invisible Intelligence and unseen power, underlying the life and activity of the universe of material form. At this point of acceptance, we have come to the mental belief level of most world religions and religious people of today: the belief that God is an invisible, intelligent, loving Spirit—although man (male and female) remains physical in life and form, not necessarily loving nor very intelligent.
In this second, commonly held belief, we still have a problem. While we can perceive God as an infinitely intelligent, loving Spirit, we try to build a bridge between God and man, so that we, as individuals, may benefit from God's omnipotence and eternal harmony, in order to destroy or chase away whatever threatens us in this material, mortal sense of existence. And this, as they say, is the rub. This is where beliefs concerning God and reality often fail us; for when we pray, beg, plead, promise future virtue, do whatever we can, to make God do something for us that cures the disease, chases away the murderer, gives us the money we need, or annihilates whatever evil seems to have power over us at any particular moment in time, we are actually NOT having faith in God's all-power and all-presence. We are, instead, seeing God as a good power and evil as bad power. We are believing in two powers, and hoping the good one will defeat the bad one.
Not perceiving that our own beliefs in material power for good or evil—that our own thinking is all-important to the life experience we are having in the flesh—we erroneously plead with the divine Intelligence and Creator to remove the forms our beliefs in evil manifest in our daily lives...forms that God never created, and therefore, don't really exist in God's spiritual creation. Instead of realizing that our own thoughts and beliefs make a difference, and that it is the belief in evils that must be dealt with, we appeal to the divine Intelligence, as a super-power outside of ourselves, to destroy whatever evil has been manifested in material form, be it in or on body, mind, finances, relationships, or anything else destructive or discordant.
When we examine the teachings of so many prophets, in all the religions of the world, we often come across the word faith. The Bible describes faith as “...the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”(Hebrews 11:1). But notice how un-material this is; faith in something, or someone, is actually a state of mind. It's a position held in our consciousness. Faith is a mental quality, not a physical form of something. And for spiritual reasons, the mental state of faith is important to what is called healing in the human experience.
Christ Jesus said to a very sick woman once, “Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole.”(Matthew 9:22). And this same passage goes on to say, “And the woman was made whole from that hour.”
Since everyone following around after Jesus knew him to be the healer, why did he say, “thy faith hath made thee whole,” instead of "I have made thee whole”? And why did he call her, Daughter? Probably because it re-identified her as a daughter of God, not man. It showed God to be her only origin and source of being. It established her spiritual, everlasting identity, instead of the false, fleshly identity which could (in the human belief system) seemingly be sick. On still another occasion, it was written in the Bible that, “they brought to him a man sick with palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus, seeing their faith said unto the sick of palsy: Son, be of good cheer; thy sins (false beliefs) be forgiven thee.” (Matthew 9: 2). (My underlining and emphasis).
Here, Jesus addressed the man as 'Son,' again establishing God's parenthood over all creation, introducing the man to his own spiritual identity, instead of the material identity he believed himself to be. And why did 'seeing their faith' mean something to the Master healer? The answer isn't too difficult to discern: the answer is that we aren't physically healed until the belief in sickness is abandoned for a higher truth. The one knowing this higher truth, such as Jesus or one of his disciples, could bring about a quicker, fuller healing transformation of the material form if the patient was on board, so to speak. If the sick one believed in God, to any faithful degree, it helped the healing take place.
It makes sense, then, that for spiritual healing to occur, even a simple faith in God's love, on the part of the patient, quiets fear and helps to facilitate a quicker transformation back to normalcy. Thus, to experience (in the flesh) our everlasting spiritual wholeness and health, we don't have to fight, destroy, or heal any material evil; we merely have to stop believing in it. We have to shed ourself of the belief in some physical evil and its seeming power, cast the lie out of consciousness, before healing can fully take place. And the way to do this is to replace the belief in an evil power over us, with a faith in God's allness and power.
This is not a blind faith. It's important to know where and to whom we place our faith. Just as most people in the world today place their faith in material medicine as a remedy for the forms of diseases they encounter, this was probably also true during the time of Christ Jesus. But for spiritual healing to take place, faith in God's omnipotence (spiritual law over material beliefs of law) must be present to make the physical universe of form transform back, naturally, to a healthier version of reality. It has to approach the wholeness, soundness, balance, order, harmonious functioning of God's spiritual creatures, of which we are ones. When our state of mind realizes and recognizes the divine Intelligence and Presence as the only Power, we are safe from any material effect the world's false beliefs have over us. “For whosoever is born of God (recognizes God as the only power and our only Source of being) overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” (John 5: 4). (My Emphasis).
Now, this doesn't always have to be about physical healing. We need all sorts of healing in our daily lives. Poverty, broken homes, all kinds of terrible conditions afflict the lives of God's children, who don't know who they really are. Sometimes, another's faith in God's loving presence and power helps to transform our own human situation, when we're in difficulty and feel too weak to help ourselves. And vice versa. The state of mind of faith drives away any competing belief in evil in our experience. Then the human situation transforms for the better. Here's one example of how our own faith can bless others (I've given this account in another article, sometime, but I can't remember where or when):
In our earlier years, my husband and I once moved to a new neighborhood. The people were very friendly and felt good about their neighborhood. But there was one problem: a group of five children whose mother left them alone with three or four large, somewhat vicious dogs for protection, were living like little scavengers. They ranged in age from about five to twelve, with the oldest brother (the twelve year old) parenting the group. They raided the garbage cans around the blocks of their home, and even went behind the local supermarket to find food in the trash.
The individuals telling the story said that everyone in the neighborhood had tried to help the children, with clothes and food, but to no long-lasting effect. Many people, including the local school officials had called various agencies to aid the children on a more permanent basis, but the local authorities did nothing to find the mother and make her responsible for the care of her children. Each time officials showed up at her door to investigate reports of her absence, she was home and denied all such reports. This was due, no doubt, to the obvious fact that a letter always preceded any visit by authorities; so the mother was always forewarned.
When one of the children, a little girl of about eight, came to my door one day for food, I had her come in, fed her and gave her sandwiches to take home. She came back every day for a couple of weeks for more supply, and she talked about her life at home, which was located about two blocks away from our house. She wasn't an unhappy child; she said her older brother and the dogs wouldn't let anyone even come into their yard, so they were safe at night. It was just food that was hard to get. She was used to her poverty; I could tell. It was all she knew.
I looked at her shabby clothes and realized that winter was soon coming. These children needed more than food. Therefore, I couldn't leave this situation alone, or believe that nothing could be done to help these little ones. No, I was determined to help them. And I was determined to do more than feed them; I was going to get them new clothes for winter. So, forgetting to take the spiritual path and trust God alone, I took the human route—I'd do it myself.
That Fall, I spent whatever spare money we had on the children, mainly on outer-wear and new clothes for school; it was already getting cold outside. I felt that no child of God should be so shabby clothes-wise. Two days after I presented all the new clothes to the five children, I was devastated by a visit from the little girl. Her new winter jacket was torn from top to bottom, and even the zipper had been ripped out. One of her new school dresses had been used by the dogs to sleep on, with similar damage. She said the dogs really liked to sleep on her long winter coat, and they wouldn't let her near it; so could she please have another new long coat? That was when I realized how really naive I had been: why did I think I could do for these children what so many others had failed to do? What these children really needed was a whole new way of life, with care and discipline at home, so they'd know how to care for their clothes and get rid of the dogs. I felt defeated. Clearly, the problem seemed too real and big for me.
Now, just a few years earlier, I'd been led to the religion of Christian Science, which I was studying on a daily basis. I felt drawn to this religion because it explained to me so many things that had happened, spiritually, in my own childhood. So, I turned to God to know what to do in this dilemma. Immediately, these kinds of thoughts came to me, 'Even though people's efforts have failed in any lasting way, nothing can ever separate these children from the love of God, which has always been here. Even though God's love and care for them seems absent from their lives, it is always present and active. Know this and stand in it, despite all appearances to the contrary.'
Well, to tell the truth, that didn't seem quite possible to me. If God's love and care was present and active, why hadn't it actually reached the children? Was there a wall or something that was holding the effects of God's love from getting to these kids? I actually felt perplexed from this answer I was getting. So I went to the Bible to read what Paul the Apostle had said in the quotation, (Romans 8: 38 & 39 at the top of this article) about nothing separating us from the love of God.
I was caught by the phrase, 'nor things present'. Poverty seemed to be the 'things present'; poverty and the lack of parenting. But Paul's statement was saying that these things present, (like poverty and lack of parenting) still couldn't keep these children separated from the love of God, which would certainly include God's active care for them. God was never separated from Its creation, nor any one in it.
Then this came to mind: “Let God be true, and every man a liar....” I realized this was also from the Bible, so I looked it up. The full quote is, “For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar, as it is written. That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.”(Romans 3: 3 & 4).
I realized that this passage was telling me to realize the truth of the message of God's love and care reaching the children, and deny all the reports about these children being separated from such divine love and care. Negative views were the beliefs of people; call God true, and people 'liars' in this case. And so I did. I took the mental stand that, despite all past history of these children's lives, despite all appearances of lack that seemed to be their lot, the truth was that God's love and care was reaching them, even when people's attempts had failed. God loves all Its children, and this love reaches us. It has effects—huge effects—in our lives. God's loving care was complete, satisfying, and meeting the real need of all five of them. And this loving care was present and active, although not openly apparent to us yet, on this material plane of existence. I stood in this conviction, reminding myself of it for several days, whenever fears and false thoughts of separation from God's love came to me.
Exactly one week went by (I hadn't seen the children for days), and I felt like I should go visit the childrens' school, just to see how they were doing and hear what the principal thought about their situation. I was surprised and jubilant to find that the children had just been taken out of school by a completely wonderful turn of events.
Their grandparents on their father's side of the family, after many years of searching for them, received a phone call telling them where the children could be found. The grandparents traveled several hundred miles to find the children and take them home with them, to a large ranch, where the children could live and grow up with parental care and authority. Surprisingly, upon the grandparents arrival, the mother gave up full custody immediately. The children's father had died, years earlier, and, soon after, the mother had disappeared with the children. Now they were found again, and these grandparents were the only relatives besides their mother and, thus, their natural guardians, once the mother was out of the picture. I learned that the children had already gone with them and weren't even in the neighborhood anymore—and an animal protection agency was called to take the dogs.
Everyone was so excited that, after all these years, help had finally come for the children. According to those who had talked on the phone with the grandparents later, the children lived on a nice ranch, with a large house and plenty of rooms. They were already enrolled in a new school. They were completely cared for in every way; for the grandparents, who'd been devastated when the children had disappeared with their mother, had always loved them dearly.
Throughout the years, I have studied the effects of God's action, in this case, which resulted in a bigger change for these kids than people, including myself, were able to provide. I've asked, 'But where was God when these children were going through such bad times? And what was the ingredient that turned the tables?' The answer came to me in remembrance of the Bible story of Christ Jesus' reference of the mustard seed.
This is what took place: “...there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him and saying, Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatic, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. Then Jesus answered and said, 'O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.' And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
Here Christ Jesus revealed to all humanity, the universal ingredient for bringing the loving, harmonious activity and power of God's kingdom, into the human condition: Faith. Faith in God's presence and power; Faith that the invisible God's Intelligence, Wisdom, Love and Care ARE present and active; Faith that the divine loving laws are still working, beneath the physical facade; Faith in the presence and power of God to reach, even into the seeming physical domain, and maintain Its children forever, despite all physical appearances of lack.
When we are believing in many powers instead of the One Power, fear is always present in consciousness. When this fear has been replaced by faith, the healing is complete, even before the form or situation starts to adjust; for faith in God's presence and all-power is all that it takes to transform the human situation—through the mental state of mind that realizes the spiritual truth of being. This divine control over all, which blesses all, and harms no one, knows no evil. The loving Creator created none. Everlasting life, health, peace and abundance are all God knows. And what God knows is all that really IS. Faith in that, will work wonders.