“Let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.”
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. Yes, we are a spiritual family. If you have not yet come into our little chapel, our Bethel, we invite you. Our address will be at the bottom of this message.
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 through Jesus Christ.
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, except, perhaps, they had even more doubts and even more failings than you 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. Themmost powerful thing we can have as humans is the knowledge of our connection to God.
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. That is the awareness we are talking about today.
You are here by Divine appointment. You are more than just human thoughts. You are more than just flesh and blood, and what you can see with your human eyes. You are here to believe in the unseen power of God that is with you, that is more powerful than anything that is seen with the human eyes, or yet believed in human mind. Climbing the mountain too difficult – never – as long as you KNOW that God is with you.
A couple returned from Bangkok. They brought a newspaper. The headline said The King is on the throne, and he says, “Don’t worry, be happy.” I think a simple thing like that would be the message that Jesus would say in today’s language: “Be happy! Don’t worry about your worries, because God is with you.” You are NOT alone. There is a power with you, and you can meet with God anytime. Can you imagine the result if we realize that the temple of God-the true church, the true cathedral-is with us every moment? The altar, the meeting point where we can meet with God, a power that knows how to guide us, a power that knows how to heal us, a power that knows how to give us ideas to guide us through the maze of life, to get us up and over that mountain top, is not years away from today, but is right now with you.
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. We have discussed this scripture before. It has so many teachings for us in it.
“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 not just about what is going on in the verse but about something, also, that is happening in you. In prayer, and in meditation, you are being led up onto a high mountain. As you go “up” you are moving from your left brain of worry and facts and figures to your right brain of creativity and joy or, perhaps, a combination of the two so you are perfectly balanced.. You are aligning yourself with God. That is the most perfect place to be.
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; it is in lower human mind. You are not going to have anxiety. You are going up higher in spiritual awareness, in this spiritual place, this rarefied atmosphere. Worry and anxiety and the problems of your daily life cannot survive. You are up on high with the Presence of the living God.
Listen to this.
“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; we believe 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. And we feel that today – often.
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 the lower human mind talking to itself.
“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 mind, and you can go up on the mountaintop and ask for God’s help.
True prayer is thinking what positive and feeling positive. Why? . I believe that when you pray, God pays closer attention to what you are feeling than what you’re saying. If prayer is true, then we KNOW God is listening and bringing His will to us, His love, His purpose. And within all of that, we become positive. We sit at the mountain top and have that conversation and relationship with our Lord.
Allow me to give you a case for that right now. I’m going to turn to Matthew 5:21-26 [NRSV]. First of all, Jesus paraphrases the Old Testament:
“You have heard that it was said to those of ancient time, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will liable to the hell of fire.”
Jesus talks about hell in the Bible.
BUT When you get a chance to open your bible, to turn and look at the footnote
regarding it. This footnote says, “Gehenna.” Well, Gehenna was the trash dump outside of Jerusalem. It had eternal fires that burned for some 800 years. This is saying, “Look. Either raise your feelings about other people inside of yourself, what you’re thinking inside of yourself, or you’re no better than to be in the trash dump in your consciousness.” Your consciousness may already be in a trash dump if it is in lower human mind. Then He goes on.
“So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.”
This is saying to clean up your thinking inside of yourself. It is saying
to not be disagreeable against another person. It is saying to hold love in your thinking and feelings about others. If you want to connect with love, you have to BE love. Can you imagine an automobile transmission that didn’t have matching gears? You, too, have to have matching gears with God, and God IS love. If you come to God with all this anxiety and worry and hatred against another, you’re out of sync and you can’t connect in the true way that will spiritually change your life. Listen to the rest of this teaching. It says something very mysterious.
“Come to terms quickly with your [adversary] while you are on the way to court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Truly, I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.”
Those are tough teachings for us. This is not talking about an outer prison. It’s talking about an inner prison. The adversary in our life is not necessarily bad. It’s that person that is in our life to cause us some difficulty. It doesn’t mean that you are right and he is wrong.
The person we love most in the world could be our adversary. Some of the
most prized things we own could cause the most difficulties for us. Our adversary is not necessarily wrong. The spiritual teaching is NOT saying to agree with wrongdoing or the causing of harm. It is NOT saying to go along in your life with crime or dishonesty or cruelty. The question is, in your own life, in your own mind, how should you feel inwardly about this?
The basic spiritual law for your life is that God means it for good. And all things work together for you who love God. We are talking here about a reaction inside of ourselves, where we have most of our reactions.
When someone does us wrong, or some company does us wrong, how do we react
inside of our minds? How do we react to this?
The big question is this: do we become disagreeable? We dwell on the points of disagreement in our minds, and the more we dwell on this, the more disagreeable we become. Then we tend to judge. The disagreeableness in our own life has caused the majority of suffering in us. It occurs when we choose not to walk along with our adversary, and when we decide to stand up and become rigid inside of ourselves. When we do this, we begin to tear down ourselves, not the other person.
Remember our opening scripture? “Let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.” Galatians 6:10
The law of God, inside of you, is agreement, alignment with Him – He who created you and me, just a little less than the angels. Our time together is to be perfect.. It is to be perfect harmony; it is love. When you have this, you are in tune with the rhythm and the harmony of God’s universe. When you are disagreeable within yourself, you are out of kilter with the rest of God’s universe and that family of faith that is impacted by you.. Because of the thoughts that you hold in your mind, your life may go from bad to worse. Cause and effect may produce a negative chain reaction in your life.
Question, “Who places us in jail?” We place ourselves in jail, not our adversary. We find ourselves in jail, and we have temporarily thrown away the key, but we also have the key inside of us. And that key is God and the awareness that God is with us always.
So, first we agree that not all things that cause us difficulty are bad or wrong. Second, the love of God and God’s ways change things for the better. Are you the light to your world? Your light is first what you do within yourself; it shines on every single thing that happens to you. And do you know where your light originates. It originates and is gifted to you through the Grace of God.
You remember the scripture about the Pearls of great worth. 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.
A lot of religious people think that the ultimate experience is learning as much as you can about the Bible so you can argue the Bible. But the advanced soul no longer needs to argue. The advanced soul no longer needs the justification of fellow humans, because the advanced soul goes directly to God and justifies himself, or herself, constantly through the reassurance of the presence of God. The advanced person does not need another to do something for them, they have an overwhelming need to do something for others. And, my friends, that is where the family of faith lies.
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.
Join our Family of Faith any time. We would love to have you come and visit and pray with us as we fellowship in faith together.
We’ll see you there. And always remember:
“Let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.”
Let us close with 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 Divine
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 thank you for the family of faith I can now develop and love, now that I am aligned with You and with You can make all things possible.
In Jesus Christ’s name..Amen.