Experiment by Experiment

Faith does not burst full-blown just because we decide we want to believe the Word and follow the Way.

Meditation Thought: “ For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” (Hebrews 2:18)

To really understand how anyone else feels in a situation, we must have had a similar experience. Thus Christ – God Himself – put himself deliberately in a situation which would identify himself completely with those He desired to help. But in doing this, He not only was totally assured of knowing completely how His beloved felt, but He also assured that they know He understands, through actual experience, how they feel. It is this knowledge that opens a heart and a mind to receive His advice, and to be willing to do as He suggests.

How do we, who are not with Him as He was in the flesh, come to know what He advises, and how to we actually do what He suggests?

As one who is blind develops the other senses to a higher degree, we must develop our spiritual sense to a greater degree, so that we may perceive Him – and do by His help, as He suggests.

The Word is a vital aid in developing our spiritual sense. Practicing doing what the Word suggests helps. Prayer and meditation help. But all of these hinge on the development of faith. Faith does not burst full-blown just because we decide we want to believe the Word and follow the Way.

We must, experiment by experiment find the paths which lead us to greater faith – greater confidence that God is who He reveals Himself to be in Christ: loving, kind and concerned – and we must believe that He does desire to provide us a more abundant life – a life that focuses our attention so raptly on Him that we start to automatically imitate Him – in loving, in kindness, and in concern.

We will have good experiments and bad ones – but as long as we keep trying to develop our spiritual sense we will also develop more faith in the one promise which is always true – that God is, God is who He expresses as the life of Christ, and we are His beloved offspring – a part of all He created, and thus dear to Him.

The Counter-intuitive Key to Abundance

You carry within you joy, peace and hope, for you carry within you the Holy Spirit of God who is joy, peace and hope.

Meditation Thought: “Brothers and sisters, do not be weary in doing what is right.” (2 Thessalonians 3:13)

Joy! Peace! Hope! These are the gifts you carry and the gifts you will find will give meaning to your life when you distribute them.

Remember, there is such a thing as a “second wind”. If you will force yourself to keep moving even when you are exhausted, you will reach a point when your “second wind” – the movement of the Spirit – will relieve you. Your will to keep moving is your faith and your faith is the mover of the power of the Spirit.

Look not at the road, or at your feet – but at your goal.

Inspire your mind with the vision of the goal before you, renew your strength with trust in the Word, lift up your emotions by receiving the gentle Spirit into your heart and cherishing Him, delighting in His company.

Seek the example of Jesus as to how to most effectively pursue your goal.

You carry within you joy, peace and hope, for you carry within you the Holy Spirit of God who is joy, peace and hope. No one can take this priceless gift from you. Only you can choose to throw it away – by rebellion, by laziness, by ignorance.

You can also generate more of this gift by giving it away to others. This is the key to the kingdom: sharing, caring enough to share all that is pure and good and true; not hoarding the treasure you find, but giving it away in joyful abandon, knowing that the more freely you give, the more abundantly you will receive.

Do you understand that as a pruned tree actually produces more fruit, so your removing all the gifts that are given to you from your own storehouse into the service of others causes an increase in the production of the gifts into your own storehouse?

If you understand this principle, and apply it in every area of your life, then you are not only perceiving the goal – total communion with and commitment to your Father – but you are rightly following the example of Jesus, who promised abundant life to those who would follow Him.

You see, the whole New Testament is but this story in many forms: although to the world it appears the way to a large harvest is to keep all you have, to the Kingdom the knowledge is given that in taking away, the opportunity is then provided for a multiplying of the branches and fruit.

All are given the opportunity to try this method, but only those who have courage to actually allow the trimming are produces of the abundant harvest.

Set your will on trust in the Lord and not trust in yourself only.

I would cultivate an orchard fair,
With blossoms blooming everywhere
Not sparsely scattered from nature wild,
But multiplied by the Spirit’s care:
Welcome, welcome, lonely tree,
The One who Ministers love to thee.

Blessed Refuge

Will not the storm
Drive you to a sheltered place?
My arms await you:
Come home, come home!
My light of love
Shines forth
To lead you surely here.

Meditation Thought: “Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 2:12) May 3, 1983

“All who are living face danger, face challenges – some face greater trials than others. Each trial is an opportunity to bring glory to Me, for each is an opportunity to take refuge in Me – and an opportunity for Me to bless all who are sheltered within My arms!

Will not the storm
Drive you to a sheltered place?
My arms await you:
Come home, come home!
My light of love
Shines forth
To lead you surely here.
Together we shall
Weather the storm,
And when the sun
Shines faith again,
Your faith will be stronger,
Your spirit greater,
Your mind enriched,
Your body dedicated
To My service,
And your will
Seeking My will.
I am with you
Wherever you go.
But the times of stress
Are the periods
That send you
Scuttling into my arms,
Clinging to Me,
So close our “hearts”
Feel the other’s beats;
We know we need
Each other
To live as life
Should be lived.
We shall survive
Whatever comes –
And survive to
The point we thrive:
This is the “abundant life” –
Going through time
And working through trials Together:
Perhaps clinging in love,
Or walking hand in hand –
At times working side by side,
But always I desire you close.
You are mine –
To love,
To cherish,
To honor
As My own –
Do not I deserve
As much as I give?
Can you
Love, honor, cherish Me?
If so, you and I
Shall see miracles
Blossom forth,
As the world is enhanced
By the beauty and fruit
Of the kingdom bursting
Through all evil,
Selfish, ugly sin,
Irradiating it,
Purifying it –
Changing it to
Sin forgiven.
It becomes a tribute
To My power and My love,
And the worthiness
Of trusting Me.

Rescued and Restored

What are stumbling blocks but stepping stones when one is transformed by the nurturing Light?

Meditation Thought: “There are those who rebel against the light, who are not acquainted with its ways, and do not stay in its paths.” (Job 24:13) “I am the light of the world: whoever follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

All who stumble in the dark, and who rebel against the dark, thus seeking the light, despite all obstacles, despite all errors in the direction of movement, shall find the light.

The light is difficult to be found only for a little while – only for the time necessary to: soften a hardened heart, tame a rebellious will, open up a closed mind, teach a foolish one wisdom, cleanse a sin-stained past, and to make real the promise within the conception of the one who seeks light. That is, to make the vision of light so intense that there is no doubt that the light exists and that the one who seeks it will find it.

And when the light dawns, when it is seen in reality, just as it was seen in the vision, then is a totally new life possible.

Consider the contrast of living in a totally dark prison – and of living on the mountaintop, where vistas are seen in every direction: where light enables abundant growth, and nourishes all living things – where light reveals the truth of all which is under it.

This contrast is the comparison of life in the flesh without the Light of the Spirit within and living with the Spirit within.

The one living in the dark confines of prison may, by the description of the vistas coming from the mountaintop, be able to conceive somewhat of the life lived on a mountaintop – but cannot truly understand nor feel the reality of that life.

Only as the prisoner is brave enough to grope for the key offered, and to grope for the lock, and to make effort to fit the key in the lock, to turn it, and to walk out of that confining place to blink in the light, and to adjust to it, can he begin to know experientially the total ‘new creature’ life in a ‘new’ environment (the mountaintop kingdom). The joy of realization of what he has left and what he is experiencing is almost unbearably sweet, almost unbelievably exciting, almost impossible to comprehend.

But the ‘almost’ is not the same as ‘definitely’. This is our cause for leaping in the ecstasy of thanksgiving! This is our power to live a new mountaintop life! This is the knowledge that the words which described the mountaintop life, and thus led us to find the key to release us to this life, were not exaggerated words, but even those words were not adequate to describe the truth, to describe the quality of the light, or the quality of life lived within that revealing light.

When we allow our minds, our emotions, our bodies, our spirits, to flow freely, to go freely over all this wonderful new terrain, we dance with delight of constant new discoveries of beauty, wisdom, truth – of love encountered along the way! Of Love accompanying us along the way.

What are stumbling blocks but stepping stones when the tiny emaciated prisoner is transformed by the nurturing Light into the grand, ‘filled-out’ figure: a strong, wise, willing, and eager new creature which is the reflection of the Creator of all he surveys and encounters, which is the container of the inherited wealth of the Creator, and which is the authority of the Creator expressed into the world covered by Light.

This ‘new creature’ did not evolve by chance, or by self – but by being transferred from prison to freedom.

One came to offer release – and the prisoner chose to seek a new place when the opportunity “knocked at the prison door”.

The ‘Rescuer’ comes in many forms – at many times – trying, always trying, to convince the prisoner that the escape from prison will lead to a better place.

There is no law which is broken when the prisoner ‘escapes’, no punishment for his leaving prison: the ‘law’ that sentenced him to prison was the confining of his spirit in a body which gives expression to his freedom of choice.

But the ‘law’ is his law: the ‘law’ is subject to his interpretation of that law: thus it cannot be ‘broken’ by him, thus causing him harm. It can only be perceived by him, and acted upon by him.

The moment he realizes that he has authority over the law, and he tells the Rescuer of the moment to give him the key to the prison door, and he takes authority over all who would try to tell him that their interpretation of the law is more authoritative than his, thus keeping him in prison – then not only is the prisoner rescued, he is restored to his rightful prominence as being one in authority.

He is not the highest authority on the mountaintop nor over the prison, but he is privileged, he is endowed with wisdom, he is endowed with authority, he is endowed with power, he is given knowledge. The key words are ‘endowed with ‘ and ‘given’: so long as he recognizes to whom he owes allegiance and all that is given to him, he is in a great position and leads a fulfilled, exciting and abundant life.