LIFE

There is a very beautiful passage in the Hebrew sacred poetry expressive of the relation of the Divine life to the cure of all mental and bodily maladies: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; who crowneth thee with loving kindness and tender mercies, who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed as the eagles.” (Psalm 103:2-5.)

So fully convinced was the great religious poet of the Hebrews that the Lord was the source and the “strength of our life” (Psalm 27:1) that he believed He (God) could save us from the most fatal epidemics,–from the pestilence that walketh in darkness, and from the destruction that wasteth at noonday. (Psalm 91:6) … So when a man attains to the consciousness of the immanence of God in his individual being, and that his “life is hid with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3), he is an incarnation of the Deity, a divine theophany, a manifestation
of God in the flesh. He is a partaker of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4), and thus is strengthened with might in the inner man (Ephesians 3:16)

The whole life of Jesus the Christ was the highest exemplification of the power of this idea ever witnessed in the history of the race, and a demonstration of its theoretical and practical truth. He cured diseases of mind and body by bringing men into conscious contact with the one and only Life. Thus we see that the higher forms of the religious life, and the state of mind and body which we designate by the name of health, are closely associated. The radical significance of the word religion is that of reunion, or a binding together of what has been sundered. When realized in its full import, it unites the body to the soul in a living correspondence, and consciously connects the soul with God in an influential sympathetic union. In this state of conjunction with the Lord of life, and the Father of spirits, the boundary line between our individual existence and the Divine Being becomes more dimly defined and each soul becomes in a degree a repetition of the Christ in another personality, and the answer of the prayer of Jesus is fulfilled, that we might become one with God as he and the Father were one. (John 17:21-23.) In this state we lay hold of eternal life; death is annihilated, and disease loses its reality. Our life is so linked with the Divine Being that because He lives we live also.

No one has life in himself, self-originated and underived, but it is the perpetual gift of God. It is also intuitively certain that the same is true of health. Vital force in its last analysis is the life of God in man, and every man can say, in the language of David, that the Lord is the “health of his countenance.” (Psalm 42:11 ; Psalm 43:5.)

  • excerpts, Warren Felt Evans, “The Scriptural Idea of Health and Disease,”
    The Divine Law of Cure, 1885
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BEGINNING

The New Year is a time for reflection, as thankfulness for the past and opportunities to come. This blog deals heavily with the inner life, the reality of God’s everlasting Presence. But what does this mean in the day-to-day world? What is the “how?” This quote from Horatio Dresser helps to bring it all down to earth, to our day-to-day human understanding. – mjd


The resulting practical impetus is the best evidence one can give of the sanity and value of (spiritual life and) experiences.

How shall one begin? Simply by starting with what is clear and letting the rest follow. Here you are, a human soul. Here is human life, loving, tender, sympathetic. Here is God, the All-Father: you believe in His presence, His guiding love and wisdom. Cling to this relationship, and lift the soul in responsiveness.

God is here in the common. Do not strain after Him. See Life in what you are passing through today, and let Life have its course. Be calm at the centre, that you may truly respond. Remember that the spiritual world is the more real world, is around us here and now. There is no space between, no time intervening. You are a spirit now, even in this apparently insignificant life-round. Do not postpone the highest and best.

But remember this. The soul sees quickly and far in the superior realm, assimilates power and wisdom without regard to time. … The flesh responds more slowly than the understanding. Therefore, when you have dwelt on the heights for a season, give mind and body time to respond. Do not push them. Do not think that you have fallen back or lost hold, even though the way is dark and you cannot see beyond physical sensation. Give yourself time to grow. Let yourself grow in Life’s way.

If you would help another, let love lead the way. The desire to help is a prayer for the power of spiritual healing. The silent, deeply poised attitude is dynamic. … There is guidance at hand for each step of the way. There is a “stream of tendency” or power. Pause and observe that you may learn whither the stream is flowing. Do not judge by the sensations. Live wholly in consciousness of the readjustments which Life is carrying forward. Trust Life and let your dynamic attitude be quickened by it, in guided co-operation.

Think of the Presence in the sense of vivifying power or energy, as quickening, life-giving. Consider what that Presence must be in itself, undisturbed at heart, in perfect peace, in ineffable composure, all-comprehending wisdom, all-sustaining love.… Then see the Spirit as going forth from its centre (which is everywhere, its circumference nowhere) in power-conveying activity or vibration, going forth into action to touch the hearts or spirits of men, imbuing them with love, guiding their minds with wisdom.

Having dwelt on the God-ward side for a time, turn to the human and see the spirit or soul in its integrity in the presence of this divinely perfect peace and composure, able to receive love and wisdom according to need.

Then put the two together.

The inward stillness or realization invites the presence.

– excerpts, Horatio W. Dresser, Spiritual Health and Healing, 1922.

 


Be still
and know
that I am God.
Psalm 46:10a

Thou wilt keep him in perfect (complete) peace,
whose mind is stayed on Thee:
because he trusteth in Thee.
Isaiah 26:3

In Him we live,
and move,
and have our being.
Acts 17:28

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WHOLENESS to HEALTH

… health is the natural right of every human soul. The presence of the Creator with us through the wisdom which guides and the love which sustains is for the sake of health, among ends of greater value than health itself. We ought therefore to judge by what God is endeavoring to quicken in us and produce through us, taking the whole of our life into account.

… it should not seem strange at all that a person may find his health spiritually by discovering his work in the world.

What if we were to seek directly that spiritual life which not only makes for permanent health but discloses the purpose for which we live? What if we should begin forthwith by doing this work which God calls us to do, whether it seems to make for health or not? This would be adopting in entire seriousness the promise that Christ came to bring the abundant life. It would imply firm belief in the spiritual law, namely, that we should first seek the kingdom of God and the righteousness pertaining to the kingdom before going in quest of the things which are to be added. It would be putting health on the spiritual basis, as a gift of the Spirit.

Horatio W. Dresser, Spiritual Health and Healing, 1922.


GOD Who saved me–I trust You,
and no more will dread!
For You, LORD, are my vigour and song, EVER-LIVING!
And You are a Saviour to me!

Isaiah 12:2

The Bible in Modern English, Fourth Edition, 1906
Ferrar Fenton, translator

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WHOLENESS –HEALING

The human spirit is made for integrity or wholeness. It has power to hit the mark, to realize life’s purpose. Our thought should be given to the conditions which favor such wholeness, we should look for power in this direction. The Lord is working with us in this endeavor.
We have been taking our clues from the sorrow and misery, the sin and suffering of the world. We have judged the human spirit by its failures, by unfortunate inheritances, by external environment with its sinful influences. But this is wrong. We should think and will and work in the vineyard of the Lord with the divine standard of health or wholeness in mind.

The Gospel is not a mere corrective of our errors, not a mere plan of salvation. It discloses the true positive plan of living. This plan implies the supremacy of the Spirit over material things. That is, it leads us to the great truth that all real causality is spiritual, that we live and work from the spiritual world, the Lord working with us.

What does the power of the living Christ within us endeavor to achieve? … To shake us out of our apathy and self-righteousness, our mere contentment when things are moving as we would like them whether other people suffer or not. To call us into the active service of spreading the glad news for those who believe. To quicken us out of our hypocrisy and every other form of two-foldness into true unity within the self, unity between head and heart, the understanding and the will. To prompt our hearts to change from self-love and love for the world to love of God and our fellowmen. To lead us into the true life of charity which is the real sign that we profoundly believe and expect the signs following.

Horatio W. Dresser, “With Signs Following,”
Spiritual Health and Healing, 1922


Now after the Lord Jesus had discoursed with them (the eleven apostles / disciples),
He was taken up into heaven,
and took His seat at God’s right hand.
And they went out,
and proclaimed it everywhere,
the Lord energizing them,
and confirming the Message by the signs which followed.

Mark 16:19-20

The New Testament in Modern English
Fourth Edition, 1906
Translated by Ferrar Fenton

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SOURCE

When Jesus says, “Before Abraham was, I am;” “Search the scriptures … they are they which testify of me;” “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden,” he is plainly not calling the weary and distressed to him as a man only. Jesus teaches from first to last that all wisdom, life and power have a single source. It is the Father who gives according to our needs, who guides us along life’s pathway, who sustains, provides, bestows life and light. All the words of wisdom proceed from Him. The works of healing are His. It is his mission that saves, quickens and establishes the kingdom. The divine plan of this mission ante-dates Abraham. Jesus fulfills it step by step, that all things may be accomplished according to divine law, that the human may not intrude. Hence he is able to say without qualification that he is faithful in word and deed to the Father’s will.

We may state the universal principle as follows: There is one right attitude toward the Father, whose wisdom and love constitute the real efficiency in the minds and hearts of men, namely, that we should seek first the purpose or forward movement of the divine life in process through us, adopting this the divine trend of life as our own, serving and living with the realization that it is the Father who accomplishes in each of us the work He would have us do. Jesus is the living representative who not only teaches but proves this Christ-wisdom which he came to bring to men. As exemplifier of the Gospel he turns attention away from himself. … We should discern the universality of the way, the truth, and the life. The Christ-wisdom is in a sense separable and capable of being taught by itself. Having discerned this universal principle, we are ready to consider the selfhood of God as Father on the one side and the personality of Jesus in the historic sense on the other.

We know that no man alone can save his fellow men, that the true Saviour is God the Father, is the Christ. … we may all abide in the divine love as branches of the true vine. Hence it includes not only all men as sons of God, but the Father too; it is the abiding relationship throughout all eternity.

Horatio W. Dresser, “The Christ,”
Spiritual Health and Healing,  1922


Jesus:
And he that sent me is with me:
the Father hath not left me alone;
for I do always those things that please him.

John 8:29

Whoever is of God listens to God
Those who belong to God hear the words of God.

John 8:47a

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LISTENING

The highest soaring of the intellect is that deliberate abandonment of itself to the illumination of God. It is in higher exercise when it becomes the instrument of the Divine Wisdom than when, by its own unaided strivings, it wrestles with knowledge, for then it has learnt how to cease from its own eager toil, and be, instead, a listener.

God is great. So great, so transcendent, that the glory of His Presence penetrates the world. Our nature is so fashioned for God that the Divine Presence fills our whole being, body, soul, and spirit. Man, like earth, is crammed with God. … in the very centre of his being there is the secret chamber of the Presence, of which the Christ spoke when He said, “Enter into thy chamber, and shut to the door (Matthew 6:6).” If you will be content to take pains to retire within yourself, to be still, to be alone, to expel one by one from your consciousness all interrupting sounds, and the thoughts of daily life, if you will retire into your inmost self, and there shut the door against distractions, within your own heart you will find God.

And what is God if not a voice!

That is God as Christians know Him. You cannot be in the Presence of God, or at least you cannot wake to the consciousness of the Divine Presence, and not receive the speech of God. When other sounds have been made to cease, when the busy and restless brain has been stilled, and the whole nature, by deliberate and constant practice, silenced, then in that silence you will find the speech of God. … He does not frame His messages into the words of any language. The speech of God is communication of Spirit with spirit. That communion lies deeper than words.

There are two ways in which this consciousness of God can be practised. The first is in solitary meditation. Thousands of people in the New World are crying out for meditation. They are weary of a religion which cannot give them the power of an immediate contact with the Unseen … (The Church of the Ages) is the Mother of meditation.

Bring to your meditation nothing but silence; leave behind the busy questioning of the intellect. The revelations in the Holy Word of God lie deeper than the brain; its secrets are not of the intellect… but as you bring your mind and spirit to stillness, to listening silence, beauty, joy, life pass into your being and become your own: you are learning the ways of meditation, yet what is simpler than to listen? To realize one single word of the Eternal Life is enough to fill a year of our noisy restless days.

 – Cyril Hepher (1872 – 1931), Canon Residentiary of Winchester Cathedral, Editor
The Fellowship of Silence: Experiences in the Common Use of Prayer Without Words, 1917.

—————————————–

Jesus’ silence:

Matthew 6:6
But you, when you pray, go into your room,
and when you have shut your door,
pray to your Father who is in the secret place;
and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

Matthew 27:12-14
And while (Jesus) was being accused by the chief priests and elders,
He answered nothing.
Then Pilate said to Him,
“Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?”
But He answered him not one word,
so that the governor marveled greatly.
.

 

 

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BREATHING of the SOUL

Faith finds its appropriate and natural expression in prayer, which, in the system of cure adopted and practised by Christ, and by his primitive followers, occupies a prominent place, and demands consideration. … In the prayer of faith and love it is …a spiritual necessity. The soul is drawn to the mercy-seat from an irresistible divine attraction.

It is a spontaneous breathing of the soul, and as natural as the respiration of the body. It is the communion of the living soul with a living and present God. Such was the prayer of Christ, who … spent whole nights in communion with the All-Father in nature’s sublimest temple, the solitude of mountains. On one occasion it is said that as he prayed, “The fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.” (Luke 9:29)

It is a truth of the intuitive reason, that God is the Infinite Life, and such intimate fellowship with the primal and only source of our being must have its influence upon the health of the soul, and through this upon the body.

Communion with God is rendered possible by the laws governing the (communication) of spirit with spirit, of mind with mind. It brings the soul in spiritual contact with the only fountain of life. All creeds and liturgies and priestly intercessors are removed, and the soul, “by a new and living way,” comes into the holy of holies, and has fellowship with God. … In every human soul, overlaid as it may be by a deep covering of externality, there is a divine realm that constitutes a point of contact between itself and God. It is here that the divine and and human meet and mingle, and God has his habitation.

In the Christian system prayer is made a prominent instrumentality in the cure of disease. Its plain assertion and promise are, “The prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up.” (James 5:15). …The most intense and influential action of one mind upon another is that which goes forth in prayer for another … There is a prayer that cannot be “worded,” as the original term employed by Paul signifies. (Romans 8:26) Prayer becomes oftentimes more efficacious in proportion as it become internal. … “ The deepest prayer of all is not only without utterance, not only without words, but even goes down below the region of distinct thought. It is simply turning to God and opening the heart to him, to receive whatever influence he may send” (Christian Doctrine of Prayer, Dr. James Freeman Clarke). … When such a spirit of prayer enters into words, they are “heart deep,” and radiant with love and spiritual life.

There are deep places of the soul of man that are near the region where Divinity is incarnated in humanity.

What God has spoken he speaks now. … (His promises) do not belong to the dead past, but to the living present. The existence of God is a nunc stans, an eternal now.

Warren Felt Evans, Soul and Body;
or The Spiritual Science of Health and Disease
, 1876.


Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses.
For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought,
but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us
with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Romans 8:26


 

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CONTROL

Do you sometimes feel as though everything in your life needs new direction and improvement? Do you long for God’s wisdom, order, and healing power to work through your mind and body, for His love and peace to fill your heart? Your life can change if you will quietly know, this very moment, God is in control!

Then let go, and let Him be!

Stop thinking of yourself as weak, sick, or afraid. Claim God as your Father. See God in control of every cell and atom of your being.

Let go, and let God be in control.

This moment, no matter to what extent your human emotions of discouragement, loneliness, or feelings of emptiness want to take charge, stop their activity within your mind and heart quickly with the words:
God is in charge.
God is in control.
Claim this Truth strongly and insistently.
Demand of your mind that your mind know it!
Demand of your feelings that your feelings feel it!
Decree and affirm silently and aloud, lovingly and persistently:
God is in control.

As you turn to God for guidance, divine wisdom will fill you with supreme assurance.
When you turn your body, life, and affairs over to God’s control, you are then a free channel for the expression of healing, order, joy, and success. You are turning yourself over to the higher thoughts and the higher ways of God, and to the presence and power of God’s love that is within you always.

This was the very purpose for which Jesus came and taught and demonstrated and lived. He knew what all persons can know, practiced what all persons can practice, and expressed what all persons can express when they give God control of their lives.… for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes. (Matthew 7:29)

When God is in control, the utmost good comes through to bless everyone concerned.

– excerpts, Mary Kupferle, “God is in Control!”
God Will See You Through, copyright 1983


Jesus:
Lo, I am with you always,
even unto the end of the world.

Matthew 28:20b

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RECEIVING the SECRET

… until men pray, there are some things which God cannot do through them. … The souls who have ushered in new eras of spiritual life have never been content with working for God. They have made it their ideal to let God work through them.

So these greater servants of God have not thought chiefly of what they could do for God, but of what God could do through them if they gave him opportunity. To be pliable in the hands of God was their first aim. Never to be unresponsive to his will for them was their supreme concern.

The ideal of such living is deeper than working for God. To release the Eternal Purpose through their lives into the world; to be made a vehicle for power which they do not create but can transmit–this is their ideal.

(When one) prays in order that he may release through his life what God wishes done, he has discovered the great secret. Through him, habitually praying, God can do what else would be impossible.

We have, then, two fundamentally opposed ideas of prayer: one, that by begging we may change the will of God and curry favor or win gifts by coaxing; the other, that prayer is offering God the opportunity to say to us, give to us, and do through us what he wills. Only the second is Christian. At once we see that the second (way of prayer) makes prayer not a form but a force. Prayer really does things. It cannot change God’s intention, but it does change God’s action. God had long intended Isaiah to be his prophet. When Isaiah said, “Here am I, send me,” he did not alter in the least the divine purpose, but he did release it. God could do then what before he could not.

No one can set clear limits to this release of divine power which the effectual prayer of a righteous man can accomplish.

 – Harry Emerson Fosdick, The Meaning of Prayer, 1920


Let thy work appear unto thy servants,
and thy glory unto their children.
And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us:
and establish thou the work of our hands upon us;
yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.

Psalm 90:16-17

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LISTENING

Dear friend, you have what it takes to throw off old limitations.
You have what it takes to relax and let go.
You have what it takes to give the burden to God now.
You have what it takes to respond to God’s healing power.
You have what it takes to demonstrate prosperity.
You have what it takes to trust in the good and to patiently let the divine plan unfold.
You have what it takes to face change and upheaval with faith and serenity.
You have what it takes, because built into the depths of your soul is the ability to handle victoriously every challenge of your life.

Remember that you are not at the mercy of the negative in life. Consistently rebuild your awareness of oneness with the Father through steady acceptance of the positive.

As Jesus looked up and gave thanks that He would have what was required to feed the multitude, heal the sick, and to bring about miracles, you too can look to the same source, the same presence, the same power, the same Father, the same provider of every good in your life. As Jesus knew that he had whatever it would take to pass through Gethsemane and to rise out of the tomb, so you can know that you too, have what it takes to walk victoriously through every challenge into the light. As a child of God, you have what it takes!

 – Mary L. Kupferle, God Will See You Through, copyright 1983.


Jesus:
Whoever is of God listens to God.
– Those who belong to God hear the words of God.

John 8:47a

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