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4 Faith

NOTE: The intra-site hyperlinks which appear in the text do not work – yet. My sincere apologies. They are relics of the original Word document. For now, you might want to open this website again, in a new window, and then click between the two windows to access the appendix, or to compare the versions of a reading. This is not the best use of technology, of course. But it’s a middle ground between web-based and print-based technology. Although it’s an inconvenience, it might help to think of clicking between windows as placing your finger between pages of a book and flipping to the back. But, again, I apologize the lack of much-needed hyperlinks. I’m working on it. Reitman

 

 

  

CHAPTER 4
FAITH

1 A spiritual life begets faith

152a Your concept of faith depends on what your ideal is, and whether it’s grounded in material or spiritual values; is it confidence in an orderly universe that gets you through a difficult day, or faith? 152b While living your ideal, see yourself as part of the Universe, while observing the Universe at the same time. You can live your ideal in such a way that you will discover faith.

153 Most people see life through their five senses.  Your five senses are reliable; they encourage you to believe the sun will rise and set the same way each day, but a spiritual life begets faith.  Barnabas defined faith as the substance of things hoped for.

154 Typically, people surrender their faith when faith demands they ignore what they believe is true.  Without faith, they are subject to despair.

155 Purely faithful individuals do not rely on physical evidence:  A pearl of faith allows spiritual individuals to stride across the sea and to command mountains to its depth.

156 Examine changes in your life in light of your ideal; that is how you check what your faith is based on.

157 When you live in faith, you learn what may awaken spiritual longings in another woman or man. 


2 The evidence of things unseen

158 Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. Use what you have in front of you to increase your faith. That has been His command from the beginning, and will be until the end. Use what understanding you have to fit yourself to Him, use inspiration in every form; this inspiration by itself draws you near to Him – this reward is the basis of faith.

159 Faith is one of the stepping-stones by which you can find harmony as you work on these lessons.  Faith may bring you understanding of Him, the source of the good. Brighten the lives of others as a result of what you have built, what you are building, and what you may yet build, as you contemplate these lessons and apply them to your life.

160 As God has promised, My grace is sufficient, and Take no thought of what you will say in the hour of trial or test, for inspiration will be given you; you will understand that 'His Spirit bears witness with your spirit.

161 Meet each challenge as it happens, remembering that He has promised, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. I will not leave you without someone to help you, but will come to you, and he that takes my cross will not bear it alone.

162 Add to your faith works that show those qualities that express His spirit in the world. Faith is the evidence of things not seen. His grace and His mercies will remain with you wherever you go.  He will grant you peace! Not conditional peace, but the peace that comes from losing your personality in Him.

163 Use the insight you’ve gained from the spirit of truth, life, light and understanding – and grow.  It is the same Spirit that created universes and worlds. All beings and places that the Spirit creates are holy – including you!  Your holiness is breathing inside of you.  When you recognize it, you will know that God is the firmament of the world around you, no matter how humdrum your life seems at times. 


3 Heart

164 Your heart pumps lifeblood to all parts of your body.  Your heart, in the context of, create in me a pure heart, means a pure soul, a pure purpose. It’s what in all circumstances, in all conditions, and in every way that you interact with other individuals, whether it’s mentally or physically; it’s what you bring to the interaction.  Bring life, light, and understanding to everyone you meet - as the heart brings life to the body.

165 Heart represents your purpose and intent as you go about your day.  It includes your body, your conscious mind, your subconscious mind, or soul, and your imagination. Heart is not the subconscious mind alone; but the image of the heart helps you to see the source, the motivating force that prompts you to do His biddings.

166 This could be your prayer: "Create within me a pure heart, O God, and renew a right, righteous, holy spirit within me."

167 When God created you, he could have given you any power in the universe, but He gave each creation the power that would challenge them most as a species. 

168 God gave you your will and your soul. With those gifts, you can keep yourself in line with the Source of those gifts. Faith can charge your will to be one with the Source – or to flee from it, if you exercise your will in another direction. Your soul, which is what separates you from the whole, bends in the direction of your choices – for the good or the perverse.

169 You demonstrate your faith by how you use your will: for selfish gain, or in the service of God himself.

170 Jesus, as faith embodied, gave humankind, for the first time, the opportunity to exercise its freedom of will to choose faith.  Choosing and practicing faith, where there is no obvious reward, advances your soul.

171 Some of you say, "Yes, I believe – but." "But" means that you doubt, that when push comes to shove, you bargain, afraid to lose a possession, and you pretend that faith is not at issue! Then you scoff, or demand proof that faith is more reliable than muscle.

172 Yet, as you have witnessed over time, faith furthers, and muscle retards your soul’s advance. 


4 As you exert your faith, it blossoms

173 Faith is a gift from God.  In its essence, faith is a creative force.  It becomes a living truth as you apply what you discover through prayer and meditation in your life every day.

174 If you practice faith in your daily life, you see its effects. Then, as you apply what you observe, you come to understand how faith might become the motivating force in your life.

175 Faith is the driving force in your life if you are pursuing spiritual goals. So, to the extent that you apply what you learn of faith in your daily affairs, your faith expands and becomes the basis of each step you take.

176 As in the examples of the patriarchs or as you have experienced, once you recognize what faith does for you, dare to do for Him what you have done for yourself!

177 Each day is complete. It has all the good and evil challenges you need. Put into practice what you know each moment. Your lack of prejudice and fear leaves room for ever greater understanding – now!  The various facets of your life are grounding forces.  Through faith, through His promise, the Creative Force delivers Christ Consciousness through your spiritual work!

178 If you question your own motivations and you question the promises of these lessons, an observer could argue that you lack faith in yourself and in the promise of these lessons.

179 Each thought, each atom carries its own influence, a force you direct both at yourself and at the world outside.

180 If you doubt yourself, you doubt Him!

181 Put the faith you have to the test in yourself. As you exert your faith, it blossoms.


5 A kind word brings the joy of faith

182 Be an example of faith yourself.  You are a reflection to others of what you worship. Let your light so shine that others, seeing your light, may sing God’s praises.

183 Continue to lose your conscious self in thoughts of Him who is able to make the tiny seed bring forth the great tree. As you lose yourself in doing His biddings, your faith grows.  You grow by exercising your faith, by losing yourself in Him. In Him you see the attributes of the Father in your daily walk through life.

184 Giving a thirsty individual a cup of water rewards your faith and quenches the thirst of the thirsty.  A kind word brings the joy of faith to the one you speak to and to you, an immediate lesson of faith -- in His name. Not that it brings you a measurable reward, but the reward is the joy the act brings you.

185 Learn to appreciate the difference!

186 If you look for the answer to any question, you’ll find it. Exercise your faith. Know in whom you have believed and believe in still.  He is able to manifest what you have committed to Him regardless of your circumstances. Ask: “Your will, O Lord, be done, not mine!” Then, leave the result to Him. His promises are sure. "Heaven and earth may pass away, but my promise shall not pass away."

187 Prepare for the next lesson, which should include virtue and understanding, with this meditation:

188 “Let virtue and understanding be in me, for my defense is in You, O Lord, my Redeemer; for You hear the prayer of the upright in heart.”


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