“Let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.” Galatians 6:10
You might come here this morning with a feeling that your problems are so big that you are going to need a miracle from God, that the mountain of your problems is so huge that you do not know how to climb it alone. When that happens, you need someone to believe, with you, in God’s power. You need to connect with a greater power than yourself. You have found what you need here. We here, your Christian sisters and brothers, are your family of faith and we work for the good of each other.
In the beginning, there were only thirteen original Christians in all the world; thirteen people who knew they were connected with the higher power of God. Those thirteen changed the entire world to the way it is today. These men, as you know, were ordinary men. They were exactly like you and me, except, perhaps, they had even more doubts and even more failings than we have ever dreamed of having. But they were un-ordinary in one major way. They had an awareness in their human mind of the Godly power that was with them. The most powerful thing we can have as humans is the knowledge of our connection to God and His power within us.
Richard Bach said this in his book Illusions: “You were never given a wish without the power to make it come true.” Think about that. Think about your wishes and your dreams, and the way you have dreamed that life would be. You have the power, inside of you, to make it come true. You have the power of God with you to make anything in your life become a reality. All you have to do is go to God; and your family will accompany you in spirit and love.
I want to share a story with you that you will find fascinating. This is
from Matthew 17 [verses 1-6, NRSV]. It’s the story of the transfiguration.
“Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves.”
Whenever the Bible talks about being led up into a high mountain, it’s talking about something, in addition, that is happening in you. In prayer, and in meditation, you are being led up onto a high mountain. If you go up to this high mountain, here is what is actually occurring: you are going from human mind and aligning yourself to the mind and spirit of God.
You are finding that there is going to be a transfiguration, and it’s going to be in you. You are no longer going to have worry, because that is an experience only at the bottom of the mountain. You are not going to have anxiety. You are going up higher in spiritual awareness, in this spiritual place, this rarefied atmosphere, where worry and anxiety and the problems of your daily life cannot survive. You are up on high with the Presence of the living God.
“And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!’ When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were OVERCOME BY FEAR.”
That is sometimes the way we regard God, and the way some have regarded God since the beginning of Christianity. Many times we become fearful of God because we think that God is something to be feared. We think that it’s God’s will that we suffer; it’s God’s will that bad things come into our lives. Even the insurance companies mention “An Act Of God” as something to be feared.
But God never brought anything bad into our lives. God brings ONLY good. When God speaks to you in the silence of prayer from a bright cloud inside of you-it will ALWAYS be positive. It will always say, “You are my beloved child in whom I am well pleased.” And God will always affirm you in a positive way. It will always tell you the possibilities. You may pray and ask, “Is this the voice of God?”
I ask you, what did it say to you? Did it tell you about the goodness that is in you, and about your possibilities, OR did it worry? And then you know what voice you’re listening to. If the voice speaks to you in more positive terms than your own human thinking-it is God. If it’s less than positive, it is not the voice of God.
“But Jesus came and touched them, saying, ‘Get up and do not be afraid.’” It’s interesting that in one version of this story, (Luke 9:28), it says that the disciples were overcome with sleep. We, too, are overcome with sleep. And in our sleep, we go through our day-to-day existence sort of sleepwalking. Many of us, in our sleep, are having nightmares. In our daydreams we are sometimes dwelling in the tape recorder of our mind, replaying it constantly, about the bad things that we think are going to happen to us in the future, or that happened in our past. It is a lie. It is a lie because God is with you. It is a lie that you do not have to believe; it is false.
You can go higher in prayer, and you can go up on the mountaintop and ask for God’s help. Hallelujah.
True prayer is thinking what you should think, and feeling what you should feel. I believe that when you pray, God pays closer attention to what you are feeling than what you’re saying.
In Matthew 13:45 [NRSV]. Jesus says, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls.” The twelve pearls of great price are inside of us. Christ gifts of empowerment: Faith, love, judgment, imagination, order, zeal, strength, power, understanding, will, elimination, and life. When you use these, you are giving them expression, and you’re giving them to yourself. The twelve pearls of great price are the FRINGE benefits in our lifetime. Giving the pearls wrongly, is to let the fine life energies be consumed in the unrefined part of us. The anger, the cheating, the lying parts are the animal part of us. It is that part of us that is constantly unkind to us. It says things to us that are not true.
It gets us in trouble. It makes us feel bad. We must take our pearls and use them to the glory of God. God knows the worth of your pearls, and now you allow, in your prayer time, these twelve great pearls of great price to create A NEW YOU.
Prayer is one of your great pearls. Prayer is a time to get into a conscious knowing, a conscious thinking, and a conscious feeling of who you are and what God is. When you do, all things become possible, because with God ALL things are possible. You become empowered to make a difference. You go from a scrap of sand and become the pearl. You are on the mountain top.
And as it says in Galations, “Let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.” We are all here working for the good of each other, for all us in this family of faith. We climb the hill together and support each other as we climb and accept our pearls..
Let us close with prayer. Repeat it as your prayer.
Dear God, today, in this moment, I realize that there is a powerful new belief inside of me. I am going to the heights of my human mind to meet with You, dear God. I’m going up on the mountaintop and I’m being transfigured. I am not asleep anymore; I am awake to the Your Divine possibilities.
I will not remain asleep for one moment in my future days in the nightmares I have worried and obsessed about. I will believe in the power of God, and God will work through me. There will be a transfiguration in my countenance and in my life. I give thanks for this day, and for this powerful thinking and feeling in prayer.
And I pray in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.
God bless you!