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"I realized that it was through Love that life, God's creation, came into being, and that through that same love it is sustained, and ever shall be."
Julian of Norwich.
Sooner or later those of us who are seeking the Kingdom are brought to the point when we have to acknowledge that we can do nothing right of ourselves, and that the only thing that matters and the only thing that can deliver us is a Divine adjustment.
Early on, in the new life of the spirit, we think that we can do very well, aided by Divine Powers. It is really extraordinary how well we can manage, what wonders we can perform, the extent that we can help others, and how mighty we are in prayer. But this elementary stage, which is both good and necessary at the time, has to be left behind. It is only a phase, and we must be willing to relinquish it. Like everything else in the life of the spirit we have to give up a thing, only in order to allow something far better to come into our life. Some, through lack of knowledge, strive by might and main to retain the old experience. They make themselves quite distraught through so doing, and they experience much unnecessary suffering. They would think it very foolish of a caterpillar if it became distraught when it reached the next stage of its metamorphosis. They would see the foolishness of it because they know that the change is for the better. They would also meet their own metamorphosis of life in a co-operative spirit if they knew that the change is for the better, and that it is necessary to give up what has been gained, in order that entrance may be made into a fuller and more spacious and blessed life.
At first, we accomplish things ourselves by the use of inward powers. This is a great advance on the old method of striving to accomplish things by the use of our surface powers, a way that is trying and exhausting in the extreme. We are astonished at what these powers can achieve. But after a time we discover that while we possess powers which can be directed towards certain ends which appear to us to be desirable, yet the achievement of our aims and purpose, brings neither happiness nor true harmony into the life.
For instance, a man may be poor, and may decide that if he can only become well-to-do or rich, he will be happy, and a state of harmony will also be brought into his life. People sometimes write to me saying: 'Before anything can be put right in my life I must have money. All my troubles, sufferings and difficulties are due to lack of money, therefore, the first thing to do is to get money." This seems only reasonable to a beginner, but later experience proves to him that he is wrong, if he demands wealth he finds, when he has acquired it, that he is far more miserable, and his life far more full of trouble, disaster and tragedy than when he was poor.
Again, another may say: 'Before any advance can be made my health must be restored." Yet when he has demanded and obtained health from life, he may find all sorts of other troubles afflicting him, or his health and strength may lead him astray into all sorts of enjoyments and perhaps follies, so that his last state is worse than the first.
Or again, another may demand that he be successful. His aim may be most meritorious, for his work may aim at the uplift of humanity. Yet, when he has attained success, he finds that his life is full of care and complications, so that it becomes more and more difficult and unsatisfying. Some, however, may make none of these mistakes, and yet after years of seeking God, and striving to live the life of the Spirit, and a life of faith, find their life so full of difficulty, and so complicated, that they can go on no farther. No matter to which type it is that we belong. we discover at last that we cannot adjust our own life. but that it needs a Divine adjustment, for it is only Infinite Wisdom that can ever find a way of deliverance out of the complicated and hopeless position in which we find ourselves.
Now what is meant by Divine adjustment? What is meant is an adjustment in our life and affairs that is brought about by a power and intelligence greater than our own; and not only so, but an adjustment that is brought about by Infinite Wisdom, Infinite Knowledge and Infinite Love; not through a violation of law, but by bringing the life into harmony with law. The one law of life and of the Universe is love, so that it is simple to follow and obey. but not easy Paul says that love is the fullfilment of the law. We also know that love is life, and that it is the great healer and restorer. Therefore, if we desire that there should be brought about a state of Divine adjustment we must first be willing to love all, including our enemies.
Life is a stream - actually, a stream of blessedness, harmony and good - and all is well if we remain in it. Our sufferings and perplexities are due to our wandering away from the stream. Such sufferings are merely due to the fact that we have strayed from our true environment; and they have the effect of driving us back to the stream of harmony and good. Love is the key to every situation of life, because Love is the law and principle governing life. It is true that we wander from the harmonious stream of blessedness which is our true environment, through lust, impurity, doubt, fear, envy, or thoughts of these things; but these are all violations of the law of true love, because we cannot indulge in any of them without wronging somebody.
But to return, Life becomes so complicated and involved, it is like a tangled skein, that is in such a mesh that no one can unravel it. Or, it is as though we come up against a wall so solid that it forbids all further progress. Then we recognize the fact that it is nothing less than the Wisdom of God that can cope with the situation at all. We realize that we have come to the end of our tether. We declare that if we are to be delivered at all, then God must deliver us in His own way, and at His own time, according to His infinite wisdom, knowledge, love and power. The only contribution that we can make is to give in to Love, and to trust the Current that knows the way, calling upon God to deal with us entirely in His own way.
It is when this great surrender is made that the Power of God can operate on our behalf. Before the surrender is made, It cannot operate, for the reason that self-Will stands in the way. When self-will is removed, then the power of God can come in, to bring about a perfect (perfect because it is of the Divine Order) adjustment. It is only self-will and the lack of trust in God that prevents our good from coming to us, or which keeps us out of our true environment, which, in itself, is entirely good and harmonious. Divine adjustment would not be necessary if we lived in the consciousness of Truth and if we kept in the Stream of Blessedness, which is our true environment. This is so, for the reason that, all the time we are in the Stream. we abide in a state of perfect adjustment, and are in tune with the harmony of Heaven.
Now most of us probably need a Divine adjustment to be made, either in our affairs, or in our health, or in our character. It may be that circumstances have become difficult, through adverse world conditions, or through the wrong doing of others, or from a variety of causes. Every door is bolted and barred, every avenue of escape closed, everything that is attempted seems doomed to failure. The problem is so complicated that there is to human wisdom no way out - it seems as though the tangled skein of life can never be unraveled. But, where man fails, and where man is completely baffled and helpless, all things are clear and straightforward to the Mind that is infinite Where the human, finite mind fails the Infinite Mind can accomplish all things, with ease and entirely without effort. This is not surprising when we remember that there is only the Reality, and that this is perfect. All that is not perfect is, in an Absolute sense, only an appearance, for the Reality alone is, or has any real being or substance. Infinite Mind sees the perfect reality, it beholds the Truth, and then all appearance of complexity and difficulty fades away. Our difficulties are cleared up, like the dissolving of a morning mist at the appearance of the rising sun; and this is so because God gives us eyes to see the Truth, and a mind to understand It, and a heart to love a situation which would fill us with anger, resentment or fear.
We have to remember that God's love and wisdom are forever seeking to help us, and to lead us to our highest good. There is no power working against us, really, for 'the Lord omnipotent reigneth,'. and our life is in His hands.
We have also to remember that truth is Reality, and there is nothing real apart from Reality. We know that Truth is perfection, harmony and order; so that all that is imperfect, disharmonious and disorderly cannot be of Truth, or Reality, but is only an appearance. We have also to remember we can do nothing of ourselves to cure our troubles, but that the power of God and Truth can do so. We have reached the stage when, in one sense, we have to leave off doing anything ourselves, and instead to stand on one side and see the salvation of the Lord. We put our whole trust in God, in complete abandonment; and then it is that the wonderful thing is brought to pass.
But some may desire healing. It may be that their ill-health is such, and their attempts to find a remedy so unsuccessful, that they are in despair of ever enjoying health again. All orthodox medical resources may have been explored, but all in vain. Perhaps unorthodox methods have also been tried with equal ineffectiveness. Faith healing, prayer, right thinking, various cults, all appealed to in vain, and yet there has come no release, still there comes no change !
It is at this point, when every thing has failed, that it is time to surrender all to God, and to declare that if one is to be healed, then God must do it Himself entirely in His own way, and at His own time. It is then, when the sufferer gives up entirely, that a beautiful healing takes place; a healing that is as effortless and lovely as the rising of the sun. It is when anxious effort and desire are relinquished that it becomes possible for the Spirit to restore all things to a state of wholeness, beauty and perfection. In other words when self-effort (most valuable in the case of less spiritually awakened people) is surrendered, that a Divine adjustment is brought about, entirely without effort or strain.
In all classes of healing, ranging from the magnetic kind and suggestion, up to the highest forms of spiritual and Divine healing, it is vital to bear in mind that the power is not of ourselves, but that it is a Power greater than ourselves that works through us, according to Divine law, as soon as we allow it to do so, by providing the right conditions. 'Yet not I, but Christ,' must always be the attitude of the healer or rather, the channel or instrument of healing.
CHRIST REIGNING IN US
Finally, we may need a Divine adjustment as regards character and sin. Even a wrong thought is a sin, so we certainly all need a deliverance in this respect. Most of us have weaknesses of character, hardness of heart, wrong states of mind, un-Christlike desires from which it is our most earnest wish we should become free. Indeed our faults are so many, when we candidly examine ourselves and our motives, that it may seem impossible that they can ever be overcome. But if we acknowledge that God alone can heal our moral character, and renew our hearts, and change our desires; and also if we hold the whole matter up, so to speak, so that the Divine light and action can operate upon It, then we find that steadily and surely a regenerative change does take place, until we grow into the likeness of the Son of God.
We have to realize that Christ is in us, and is the hope of our glory. That is, a reigning Christ is reigning in us. Every wrong thought and desire can be wiped out if we appeal to the Indwelling Spirit of Jesus Christ to wipe it out, so that we can see once again His purity and perfection. This necessitates constant vigilance on our part.
We have to do our share in the work of change and regeneration. We have to co-operate with Christ; we have to watch the gate of our thoughts and desires; we have to be ready to deal with evil suggestions, one of the worst of which is doubt of God's ability and willingness to save, deliver, provide for, protect and keep. While we cannot save or change ourselves, yet at the first sign of danger we can appeal to the Christ to wipe out the evil thought, desire or suggestion, and at the same time, to reveal his beauty, purity, love, patience and loving kindness in its place. He "is able to do for us exceeding abundantly, above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us." He is able to change us into His own likeness, and "to present us faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy."
Gradually the 'self' ('self' is our greatest and most persistent and subtle devil) is reduced in strength until it is abolished altogether, and only Christ remains, so that He is all in all. Yet we do not lose our real identity or true individuality; but, rather, it is revealed in us. This is the great mystery that has been hidden throughout the ages, and which Jesus Christ came to reveal. He came to become the first-born of many brethren; to establish a new order of men, who should become like unto Himself. This mystery is hidden from the wise (the intellectuals) and prudent, but is revealed unto babes, i.e., those who have been born again of the Spirit, or from above, and who are thus capable of learning spiritual things, and of growth in a new life; a life that is not that of an ordinary man, but of the Immortals.
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