I’m sure you have heard this story before but it bears repeating because it has such a good message.
“A surprised mother found her four-year-old son crying as he was tying his shoes. She looked at the little boy and said, “Why are you crying?”
He said, “Because I have to tie my shoes.”
The mother said, “But you’ve just learned how. It isn’t that hard, is it?”
“Yes,” he wailed, “but I’m going to have to do it for the rest of my life.”
I have often felt that way. Have you? Sometimes when we look ahead and at the world situation, life can be a bit overwhelming. There are things that are overwhelming to you when you really think about it from the aspect of “I have to—do this. I have to meet the challenge. I have to—be up to the task.” A lot of times there is a long road ahead of us, and we need power beyond our own, God’s power, to go down that road ahead of us.
WE all need two types of help – the human and the divine. I often receive help from family, friends and associates. It is good to talk and believe together, and I have watched great things happen as I am sure you have….even when the road seems long and full of potholes. This is what creates human friendship – faith-filled, and it is invaluable.
Human power – yes. We may have talked about this story before but it let’s look at it again from another persepective.
“Do you remember the old story of Androcles and the Lion? In this story, a thorn was pulled from the lion’s paw. You see, Androcles was a slave. He has escaped his taskmaster and had run to find freedom. He hid in a cave. While in there, he heard a noise. He turned around and saw he was being approached by a lion. He thought, “This is worse than what I escaped from.” He just knew he was going to be eaten; that he had come to the end of knowing what to do. He was just going to give up.
He cowered back to the back part of the cave, and the lion growled. Then he noticed a tear coming out of the lion’s eye, and the lion stuck out his paw. His paw was all swollen. In the middle of his paw was a thorn. Androcles withdrew the thorn carefully from the lion’s paw, and the lion smiled. The lion licked his face and then retreated. Androcles kindness had saved him.
Three years later in Rome, Androcles had become a Christian. Roman persecutors seized him and ordered Androcles to renounce his faith. He did not. They told Androcles they were going to throw him into the lions. Guess—which lion he faced? The lion he had helped three years earlier.
When the lion saw Androcles, he came out and instead of eating Androcles, he licked his face. Androcles was not put to death, but was released because the Romans thought he was a person of high power.”
He was … and so are we.
Think about this. “How many lions have you befriended on your pathway of life? How many thorns have you withdrawn from or plucked out of swollen paws? Are you aware that someday you are going to be thrown into the arena?”
We all, at various times, are thrown into an arena.
Do you know what saves us?
What helps us is when we pay it forward as the present day saying goes. Those times when we have helped others, the times they have been at their worst and we have been at our best, the times we have helped them, pulling the thorns from swollen paws. Times when those we don’t even know need an angel to step in and help; and you are that angel – at that time and place.
We’re saved in that moment. Possibly some time ago you have befriended somebody. They see you and your life changes because of it. That is certainly true in the ministry. In your pathway, I hope you have pulled some thorns from some swollen paws, and if you have, you will be all right. There is great power in helping others.
The greatest power of all is that which is in the Bible and more specifically within Judeo/Christianity. This is the power that shares our God – given and focused kindness.
You help, and you are helped in return, walls of division are torn down.
“It has been said that one seed makes a tree and many trees a forest. The addition of one drop of water at a time turns a stream into a river. The river flows to replenish the sea. One step at a time is the way we make our journey of life. As we think of what lies ahead, we can find relief from tension as we realize we are not called upon to live a whole year in one day. Our highest aspirations are reached one step at a time, one helping hand at a time.”
That’s the human part of this story.
We are in this world (our personal lives) spiritually to be interdependent on each other. You are not to be so independent that you rely on no one or so dependent that you cannot move without the help of another. You’re not in this life, spiritually to be just an individual. We are in this spiritual life to be interdependent on each other. We are like a functional family – give and take – take and give.
If any of you are sports fans (team sports), you have seen where a losing team can suddenly pull together and work together and go from a loss to a win in just a few minutes. They become a real team – interdependent and trusting each other.
Together, positive faith filled people can do anything.
Once that is accomplished there is one more component —God’s ever-available help — that is the help we need beyond ourselves. We need help beyond the other people who are standing with us. We need God’s Divine help. And this help is like the umbrella that covers every aspect of us and our life.
When you want to realize your hopes and dreams, you might say inside of yourself, “I’m afraid,” but a greater inspiration rises inside of you – the Divine persuader, the catalyst of the mind, gets you moving.
Joshua [Joshua 6:1-17, 20] is a story about the tearing down of the walls at Jericho. It has great truth for us today.
“Pretend you are the characters in this story, and this is a story about you personally. Great truth can come from this as you realize that right now this is a story about your life and mine.
Now Jericho was shut up inside and out because of the Israelites; no one came out and no one went in.
Think about yourself when you are filled with fear. When we have fear, we shut ourselves away. We put a wall around our minds. At this point, someone could come up to us and say something very positive, but we couldn’t hear them. We would repel any thought that was not fear based. All of our thoughts are shut up inside of ourselves, and all we can do is think within ourselves of our worries, our sickness, our fears.”
We have to tear down that wall, but to do so, we need God’s help.
The Lord said to Joshua. . . Joshua is your name too. It means “whom Jehovah makes triumphant.” When God comes through you and makes you triumphant, you know that something miraculous has happened.
The Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have handed Jericho over to you, along with its king and soldier.”
Jericho is a city just over the Jordan in the land of Canaan. It was the first city taken and destroyed by the Israelites after their entering the Promised Land. Again, let’s think about your journey. Each of us is on a journey. Sometimes we’re walking and sometimes we’re running, but we’re going to the Promised Land. The Promised Land is the spiritual realization of God.
“You shall march around the city, all the warriors circling the city once. Thus you shall do for six days, with seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, the priests blowing the trumpets.
When they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, as soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and all the people shall charge straight ahead.”
So Joshua summoned the priests and said to them, “Take up the Ark of the covenant, and have seven priests carry seven trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark of the Lord.” To the people he said, “Go forward and march around the city; have the armed men pass on before the ark of the Lord.”
As Joshua had commanded the people, the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the Lord went forward, blowing the trumpets, with the ark of the covenant of the Lord following them. And the armed men went before the priests who blew the trumpets; the rear guard came after the ark, while the trumpets blew continually.
To the people Joshua gave this command: “You shall not shout or let your voice be heard, nor shall you utter a word, until the day I tell you to shout. Then you shall shout.”
So the ark of the Lord went around the city, circling it once; and they came into the camp, and spent the night in the camp. Then Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the Lord. The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets of rams’ horns.
I want you to hear, over and over again, how they talk about the number seven. It’s talked about throughout the Bible, and it has a real significance for you and for me.
Seven refers to the Divine law of perfection in the human life. In the spiritual, twelve is the spiritual number of spiritual completion.
The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord passed on, blowing the trumpets continually. The armed men went before them, and the rear guard came after the ark of the Lord, while the trumpets blew continually.
On the second day they marched around the city once and then returned to the camp. They did this for six days.
On the seventh day they rose early, at dawn, and marched around the city in the same manner seven times. It was only on that day that they marched around the city seven times. And at the seventh time when the priests had blown the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city. . .”
The “city” can be a metaphor for the gathering together of thoughts inside of our own mind.
Even our fears and our worries are starting to listen to God at that point. We have marched around our city so much that everyone is listening. All our senses come together and shout, and the walls inside of us are torn down.
“. . . The city and all that is in it shall be devoted to the Lord. So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpets, they raised a great shout, and the wall fell down flat; so the people charged straight ahead into the city and captured it.”
Think about that. When you come to that point inside of yourself, when you get past all of the stuff and get to that point of spiritual realization, all is well and there is a great joy inside of you. You have taken your “city.”
Jericho means “moon reflecting.” This is a fascinating thing. What is the moon? If we look up tonight and see the moon, what is that? As we look at the moon, it does not shine of its own light, but merely reflects the light of the sun.
What does this have to do with you? The human thinking seems to express the light of understanding, but insight reveals that it shines by reflected light. And we know who sends that light.
But when we become egotistical, when we think, when we originate our own light – there lies the problem. A person states “I’m right! Don’t confuse me with the facts. I know what I think, and I act because I think. I am right!” All the time it’s like staring at the moon trying to get a sun tan.
Our intellect is reflected light. From where? From the all-knowing “Mind” of God. When we stop thinking of ourselves as the end-all and turn to God, then the walls are torn down inside of us. Then we have the power to do what we need to do with our lives.
Let your light shine – with God’s light. Let your mind think with God’s light of illumination – you will never know darkness.
But how do you go on the journey to spiritual realization or the “Promised Land”? Oh, how so many of us struggle with that —whatever that may be, health, prosperity, good relationships.
Do you remember in the Bible where Elijah told Namun to bathe in the Jordan seven times? The Bible talks about the cleansing of us seven times over and over again.
In most churches today, you will find candlesticks that represent seven lamps, or the seven centers in the body. You’ll see seven candles on the candelabras. It was that way in Biblical times also.
Did you know that back in the Old Testament times, the tabernacle (where worship, prayer, sacrifice occurred and much like today’s churches) represented the body of the human, the temple of the Lord. The seven lamps were a symbol of the seven centers in the life through which God’s intelligence is expressed. Sounds mystical, almost over the top “new age”. But let’s look at this.
What are these seven centers inside of you?
7. The sense of spiritually. The ability to see beyond your human eyes,
hear beyond the ears, taste beyond the mouth, smell beyond the nose,
feel beyond human feel.
These are the areas to be developed inside the human. These are the ways to develop yourself to follow Jesus Christ and put ON the Christ.
We read about going around the city seven times. So what if we did this today. We would center or focus on every one of these centers above. We would want to pray so much that we see good, to pray so much that we hear the good, to pray so much that we literally smell God’s sweetness around us, to pray so much that w taste the wonder of God. It is talking about a completion inside of us, allowing a full day for each sense. It allows us to become so aware of the presence of God that we can literally tear down any wall.
You will not use any physical force in doing this; neither did they. The old stagnant human belief walls of limitation will fall down ON THEIR OWN. The walls you have inside of you now will not be able to stand up when you totally surrender your own human senses to the power of God.
That’s our story. Let’s go and do it. The clusters of thoughts that do not serve our higher spiritual purpose have no place in our mind. Our minds are like apartment houses, and many of our tenants need to be evicted. Many of our limitations, habits, worry, and fear thought clusters have seemingly impermeable walls around them, but you can tear them down with God’s help
So, let’s go and put forth our prayers to every “center” within us and tear down those walls of limitation.
God bless you!