Thursday, June 27, 2013

Chariots of fire

Chariots of fire. What does that mean?

Elisha, the prophet of Israel, had foreseen the plans of the King of Syria. He warned the King of Israel and he was able to prevent that confrontation. The King of Syria was 'sore troubled' about this and looked among his people for a spy. They assured him they were all loyal, it was Elisha's prophetic ability to know what the King was planning in secret council. The King sends soldiers to find out where Elisha wass staying and when they report back that he was in the village of Dothan, the King sends an impressive army, complete with horse drawn chariots to capture him.

They arrive in the night and completely surround the village. The next morning, Elisha's servant gets us early and steps outside to see that they are surrounded. He panics. "Alas, my master! how shall we do?"  But Elisha is unruffled. "Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them." Elisha prays and asks God to open the servant's eyes, that he might see. Now when the servant looks again he sees that they are surrounded with horses and chariots of fire.

The army of the King of Syria was impressive, but the army God sent was awesome. Not just horses and chariots, but chariots of fire. I could not find information in various translations or Bible commentaries about just what those chariots of fire were. I'm not sure they were visible to the enemy. But Elisha knew that he was safe and completely protected by the mighty power of God. And his servant could see it as well. The rest of the story is not in this week's Bible Lesson but Elisha solves the problem without firing a shot and eventually sends the Syrian army back to their King unharmed and well treated. The account ends by saying that they did not try to war against him again.

So what were those 'chariots of fire'?  I think they were spiritual messages and spiritual messengers sent by God to assure Elisha, His chosen prophet, that no power can go up against God and be victorious. The battle is the Lord's and He always wins. Bright and shining thoughts of God as the only cause and creator. God as the preserver of man. God as the great I AM.

Today I will watch for my own 'chariots of fire' whenever something appears to suggest that I am completely surrounded by error of some kind, encircled by a threat to my health or well being. In the past I once felt surrounded by a host of unpaid bills long overdue and dealing with a flood of unpleasant and threatening phone calls. It was time to choose. I could just say, "Alas, how am I ever going to pay all these debts? What is going to happen to me"?  Or I could pray to have my eyes opened to God's ever present and unfailing supply. I got astounding proof of the 'chariots of fire' coming to my aid as I was able to meet each and every one of those debts without harm to myself or to those who needed to be paid. I never got into financial trouble like that again.

Nice to be reminded of that experience as proof of God's care. Each of us is His beloved child, made in His image and likeness, under the protection of His generous love.  Should you ever feel surrounded by a hostile situation just remember those 'chariots of fire', those heavenly assurances that the answer is right at hand. They are really quite beautiful.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

We will 'find' the help we need as we trust God

This week's Bible Lesson on God the Preserver of Man continues on with a recounting of the
Exodus experience as Moses lead the children of Israel out of Egypt and slavery. What I will be working with today is the question God asks Pharaoh through Moses. "How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before Me?" To me that is applicable to any challenge we might be facing as well. How long are we going to argue with God? How long are we going to argue for the reality of the condition or situation and then ask His help resolving it? In Christian Science we come at things from a different direction. We begin by seeing that there is no such condition or situation that has been described or presented to us or to anyone else. There is no such thought as that which has seemed to produce the condition or situation, but only a complete consciousness of the presence of good, perfect Mind and its perfect manifestation. It is never a physical condition or situation that needs to be corrected, only a false belief or mistaken idea that there is such a condition. And we correct that suggestion through recognition of Truth.

God finishes the thought by saying, "Let my people go that they might serve Me." That is what we should be doing, letting go of false beliefs, letting go of inharmonious situations. Instead, we seem to cling tighter and try to justify things. Who are we serving when we do that? Isn't it much better to realize that God is bringing us forth with joy! You can feel joy right in the midst of what appears to be a wilderness experience. It will only bless you to overcome this belief in being separated from divine Love. It is always a reminder to be careful of just what we are worshipping. No one needs to be in bondage to illness, lack, limitation. No one needs to feel under the domination of a hard task master. No one needs to feel lost and alone.

Section Three contains a very familiar statement from Science and Health. "Step by step will those who trust Him find that "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."  Today I will focus on that word 'find'. As we trust our Father Mother God we will find our refuge, our freedom, our strength, the answers we need. Just as He lead the children of Israel out of bondage and slavery He is leading us today...with joy.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

See and acknowledge. Yield. Follow.

I have always loved how this week's Bible Lesson topic, God the Preserver of Man, follows so naturally God the Only Cause and Creator. There is so much to work with this week! It opens with a promise from Psalm 121 assuring us that God guards and protects us from all dangers. The Responsive Reading has quite a bit of Psalm 91 to reinforce this promise.

I have often reminded myself that God has assigned His angels to watch over me. I love the image of those messengers and their messages keeping me safe all ways and always. They lift me up, uphold my thinking, and sometimes literally hold me up when I seem to be confronted with a 'stone', something that would cause me to stumble in my study and application of Christian Science. Something that seems too hard for me to understand. Something that comes in the form of resistance to Truth and its healing power. The Responsive Reading continues with Psalm 40 with a reference to 'an horrible pit' and 'miry clay'.

I was reminded of our former home in Texas. Not that my home or my time there was horrible. It was not at all. It was a wonderful time of spiritual growth. But that growth came as the result of working through some challenges that seemed like a deep pit or depression, a low point. We bought a home in a new housing development. It was great fun to go over and visit the site as they laid the foundation. The yard backed up to acres populated only by the occasional cow. Later on Ian and I discovered fossils lying around on the ground. One day we went over after it had rained and their was a patch of perfectly smooth ground in one corner. Only after we stepped in it did we realize it was clay, clay that stuck to our shows in an inches thick layer and was hard to remove. Miry clay. We felt like dinosaurs caught in a tar pit! Miry clay would try to keep you stuck in place. But the Psalmist assures us that God lifts us out of situations like that and sets our feet on a rock, a firm foundation that will not sink under us.

The first section continues on with Noah and the flood. Safety and preservation came in the form of an ark. This is an assurance that we can survive and overcome any flood of suggestions about our health, our finances, our relationships and ride above any storm in harmony. I will be working today with three ideas in the final citation from Science and Health for that section. "All that really exists is the divine Mind and its idea, and in this Mind the entire being is found harmonious and eternal. The straight and narrow way is to see and acknowledge this fact, yield to this power, and follow the leadings of truth.  See and acknowledge. Yield. Follow.

See and acknowledge. All that really exists is the divine Mind and its idea. Harmony is the reality.
Yield. So many applications. Cultivate, as in agriculture. Bring in the harvest of your good work and prayers. Give over possession of. To give forth the natural product of. To produce a return for effort. These are all so positive, no negative connotation to yielding.
Follow. To go after. To move along the course of. Follow and rejoice.

This is going to be a great week!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The curse causeless shall not come

How wonderful that Mrs. Eddy gives us this topic, God the only cause and creator, to study in depth twice a year. This particular lesson includes a passage I often found puzzling. It is from Proverbs. As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come. This morning I decided to look that up in some different translations of the Bible. Here is what I found.
The curse causeless does not alight.
An undeserved curse will not land on its intended victim.
You have little to fear from an undeserved curse.

God is Love and Love would never curse its beloved child. Divine Love is constantly blessing us. We learn in Genesis One that God fills all space with His own creations. His work is complete and each of us appear to Him as very good. He is pleased with us. He wouldn't change a thing. We already have every thing we will ever need to be happy and healthy. We can rejoice and be grateful.

Are you feeling like you are cursed with some problem? Something that occurred in your past, that lingers in the present and threatens your future? Do you think you have caused this, or worse, do you think God is punishing you? This 'curse', no matter what form it might try to take, is causeless. Your innocence is intact, your purity unstained. Whatever it is trying to make you believe is real has no basis in God's kingdom. If it is not real to God, how can it be real to you?

Know that it is not real, it is causeless, without authority to hurt you in any way. It cannot attach itself to your thought or your body. Just know it is without cause and therefore must be deprived of any effect. In truth, it was never there at all and so when you realize that, it disappears and can leave no scars, physical or emotional or financial or any other way.

This 'curse' does not alight or land on you. Let it just slide off. Without a mark.
This undeserved 'curse' will on not touch its intended victim. Like the so-called 'curse' on woman, it cannot cause you monthly cramps or discomfort. Like the so-called 'curse' of heredity, it cannot make you lose your hair or make you susceptible to being over weight or to some inherited disease.
You have nothing to fear from an undeserved curse.

Rejoice! And go about your day with gratitude! No curse will ever land on you, touch you, or bring you down. It cannot.