A Day With the Lord
Copyright © 2017 by Roland Trujillo
Look To This Day
Look to this day:
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence.
The bliss of growth,
The glory of action,
The splendor of achievement
Are but experiences of time.
For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision;
And today well-lived, makes
Yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day;
Such is the salutation to the ever-new dawn
This book is not meant to be a source of learning and wisdom. Its main function is to admonish your way of life and hopefully lead you to renew your search for answers to life's deepest questions.
It is meant to awaken you to the problem resolving power of understanding which is inherent in your God given intuition. Knowledge alone is lopsided, but knowledge when it is accompanied with understanding permits you to learn to relate to others with love and patience. And when you have patience for others you will find that you will also have patience for yourself.
Awakening to intuition and receiving it with humble joy is the beginning of the sincere soul's journey back to wholeness. Belief in the integrity of the Light of Conscience, coupled with a willingness to know the truth, makes the truth a joy to receive. This new rapport with the inner good leads to a positive attitude you don't have to give yourself, as it springs forth naturally from the inner fount that is the Source Itself of all truly positive values.
Love, patience, peace of mind, and a positive attitude are words that describe the fruit of a continuing rapport with our inner ground of good
True positivity is a state of being It is impervious to the doubts and fears that seek to assail us, because true positivity has roots and is grounded in a wholesome source of love and wisdom. From it springs hope and renewed purpose to move forward to.
Should you rediscover this rapport with your inner ground of good, you will naturally be more positive and joyous. Don't be surprised to also find that you become a better patient and that you can help your doctor help you.
Intuition, understanding, and love are complementary: they go along with whatever you are doing, imparting wisdom and love to everything you do.
Let this book awaken you to love and understanding within. But once awakened, you must be willing to see it implemented in your life. This, of course, is the choice factor that God gave humankind so that He could create love. We are given the freedom to choose His way because we love it and want it to be a part of our life, or we are free to reject it and go our own way. The choice is yours.
May I recommend that you not study this book. Read lightly so that it is refreshing. As soon as something you read in this book awakens you to insight about yourself, about others, or about life, then let that be sufficient for that reading. Put the book down and let the insight gained as you touch bases with understanding within follow you throughout the day like a pleasant strain of music.
It is the contact with love and understanding within that is the important thing. It is this contact that becomes living knowledge--knowledge made alive in you.
You become acquainted not only with wisdom and insight, but also with the very Source of that understanding. Awaken now to truth and love. For whatever small part this book may play in kindling that awakening I am grateful.
DISCLAIMER: The content of this book is for educational and informational purposes only and is not a source of treatment decision-making advice.
I am not a doctor and I am not attempting to prescribe, treat, or recommend, and in no way is the information in this book intended to be a substitute for a health care provider's consultation.
The reader is encouraged to make their own healthcare decisions that can be based upon research and then partnering with their health care professional. If you are ill please consult a qualified physician or appropriate health care provider.
Information and opinion herein are general informational, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice.
This book is a love story. It is the story about the love between the most wonderful God and those who love Him. The refrain from an old rock and roll song is "To know, know, know him is to love, love, love him." And so it is.
This love story has a happy ending. But like the plot of any good romance or adventure novel, there has to be trouble along the way: seemingly insurmountable obstacles, times of uncertainty, and treacherous villains and jealous rivals who try to get in the way. The hero and heroine are separated by miles and circumstances, and the reader wonders "will they ever find each other and live happily ever after?"
Like the good novelist, God is the creator of the drama and suspense; and He has his sublime plot so constructed that each of us can play a part. In this interactive drama, we all participate. Our life is on the line. The end is uncertain.
But wait! The end is certain; but we, the players in the play, must live our lives with faith and courage, following the road of adventure. It is thus that we build character to face even greater challenges. With each new vista, we look back and see that we have grown, and as we look forward we know we are ready to move forth to even greater challenges in search of our destiny.
How each of us grows will forge our destiny. For those of us who love God, He is with us, ordering our steps and providing us secret understanding to help us navigate what to others appears complicated and impassible.
As we grow, the villains along the way only provide opportunity to test and strengthen our faith. And yes, the specific twists and turns of the plot, the particular time and setting, and our own individual weaknesses to be seen and overcome—they are different for every person. We each have our own life and our own experiences.
Yet there is a level playing field. The universal parameters and rules of engagement are the same for all--no matter what our origin, race, or culture--it's about right and wrong, faith and doubt, love and hate, selfishness or selflessness.
At the end of the journey there sits the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for those who are proved true.
Does what I have just written not strike a responsive chord? Does it not remind you of a deep yearning, perhaps strongest when you were a little child, for something special and wonderful you knew in your heart existed? Does it not remind you of the desire you have had ever since being a child to find the meaning and purpose of your life? Does it not call you to awaken from the slumber you have fallen into from the cares and enticements of life?
When we were little children, we knew in our hearts about God, about love, and about a wonderful land somewhere over the rainbow. You may have lain in the grass of a summer's evening looking up at the stars. Somehow you knew there was a meaning and purpose to your life, and you knew there was something you needed to discover, but it was elusive and you could not quite grasp it. Yet you were sure that some sort of mysterious great adventure awaited you and it included finding something out.
Alas, soon the enticements, teases and affections of the world drew you away from those mystical childhood moments when you knew things without words and when you sensed that a magical world of good was just beyond your reach now but that you would have to find it.
The friendship of the world and the pressures of peers, parents and school pulled upon you and drew you into the concrete jungles of the world where many other things grabbed your attention. Years later you found yourself somehow far away from those fleeting views of beauty and good that you had once been ready to reach toward.
Perhaps now you get it. Your life is a page in the wonderful adventure story I mentioned earlier.
You fell away from finding your purpose by being sidetracked. You fell asleep.
Awaken now. Brush the sleepy cobwebs from your eyes, stand tall, and begin again to find and live your true life. All that has happened to you, even should it be untoward, has a positive value—it has intensified your yearning for the good and the true. The journey starts with your sincere yearning—finding your way back to what you once knew in your heart as a child and beginning your real life journey of adventure and discovery.
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"Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ Whom You have sent." (John 17:3)
Life in God through Christ cannot be extinguished. That is why it is called eternal life. The phrase does, of course, also mean what most people think of when they hear the term "eternal life"--which is living forever. But it is not just life and not just living forever--it is much more. It means knowing God and His Son, beginning now and having intimate knowledge of God and His Son forevermore. It is a life of loving and being loved by God, which includes both learning of God and being in awe and wonder of His greatness and goodness, and also experiencing God's love and approval.
It also means partaking of God's life here and now. It means partaking of His sustaining support and of His love—and as His love is eternal, so is the life He gives to those who love Him. God does not love one moment and stop loving. His love is everlasting and eternal. God is love, and His love for you is without recourse.
A soul does not have any life apart from its Source, and while we were dead in our sins, we could only know about God, which is far different from experiencing God. A person can read a book about the sun, but it is nothing like experiencing the light and the warmth of the sun. So in our darkness we could do only one thing: yearn for something good and true, which is actually a yearning for God, for the father we have never known.
God heard our silent cry, and He answered first by piercing our gloom with light and bringing us up from our hypnotic fixations to a state of awareness where He could begin, ever so gently, to enlighten us about the way things are. He gave us understanding, which is actually sharing in His way of looking at things. We saw our wrongs, many of which we could not see before, and even if we had seen them, we would have looked at them from an egocentric point of view and freaked out over them or tried to sweep them under the carpet.
Now observing past errors in His light, we mourn and regret what we see; but we also see in His light that He does not hate us for our error. He just wants us to see the error and repent of it.
Though we experience the brief pain and shame of seeing our wrong (as well as our helplessness), it is for a good cause: we are being prepared, ever so slowly and gently, for abiding in His Presence forever. We have to be changed in order to enjoy eternal bliss in His Presence.
We have to be made of light and love through and through. There is no way we can do this ourselves. God must do it, and it is a most remarkable thing--far more wonderful than what is already miraculous, the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly. Even as the mysterious and miraculous transformation into a butterfly takes place in secret in the cocoon, so likewise the transformation of the person takes place mysteriously deep within the soul.
In His light, which He shares with us, we also see that others can't help themselves, and so we have compassion for them and stop hating them as we once did.
God also begins to share with us knowledge of His ways and well as about science, proper relationships with others, and even about health. He shares with us what is good for us to know and what we have to be prepared to see.
Ever so gently we come to know of Him and His ways, as He draws us even closer to Himself and as we stand in awe and wonder of His greatness and goodness.
Our soul revives in the Light, and our soul is given nourishment and love from above, even as changes take place within us as we begin to be transformed in children of the light. We become incompatible with what we once needed when we were corrupted and living in darkness.
Then we become introduced to Jesus, His Son, and we are wordlessly given to know who He is and why He came. And so it comes to pass that the life of God begins to dwell within us, and this through Christ, His faithful Son Who He sent.
When Adam defected from God, he became dependent on earthly life supports. No longer was he perpetually renewed each day with God's life. A schism occurred, and now Adam knew about God but he no longer experienced the life, love and approval of God.
Adam could have lived forever, daily renewed by God with vigor and life force, a type of which occurred when the Israelitish people were given manna, which sustained them for 40 years as they wandered through the wilderness. They were instructed to not faithlessly or greedily hoard it or save it from one day to the next—they were told to rely on God and have faith in Him to supply their daily needs. This manna was symbolic and a type of the daily renewal that was to become possible through Christ for those who believe in Him and obey Him.
"Be not conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind," Paul said.
This renewing is not a one time thing. We need to be renewed daily, perpetually, moment by moment.
I believe this is what Christ was referring to when He said to his disciples "I have manna of which you know not."
Even in the Lord's Prayer we are instructed by the Messiah to pray "give us this day our daily bread." Again, you see how we are to trust in God to meet each day's needs, as well as trust that He will keep giving us what we need on a daily basis.
It is in emptiness and need that the soul cries out to God for help. And so each day we need from God renewed strength, guidance, wisdom and patience to deal with others properly, we need right motivation, and we need more faith. Each day we meditate, and a sufficient amount is downloaded from above and within for that day. The next day, we begin by again asking God to give us what we need for the day.
Christ told the parable of the talents, where a master gave various talents to his servants and instructed them to use the talents well while he was away. When he came back, two of the servants invested the talents wisely but the third buried his talents. The master rebuked this third for having buried and not invested the talents.
This parable tells us that we are to use what enlightenment, life, wisdom, patience, and other virtues and powers we are given from God for the good of others. We are not to bury or selfishly withhold. We are to use them to do good and give them away generously. Give even as you were given. Forgive even as you are forgiven. Then after having given, we have a need, and that good wholesome need is answered by God Who gives us even more than we had before.
When Adam fell, He lost this daily renewal directly from God. He lost it for himself and for his progeny. He was now required to provide for himself by working by the sweat of his brow and by having to eat food which, though nourishing, was not eternally sustaining such as that from the Tree of Life. He had to get second hand life from the elements, from nature, and from the vegetable and animal kingdom.
This is how animals get their life—not directly from God but through nature. Of course, God provides for them by giving them what they need, but it is received through nature and not directly from God Himself.
So Adam and all his progeny, including this present generation, live like animals—gleaning life and strength from the earth and from the vegetable and animal kingdoms. We no longer have access to the Tree of Life.
Through Christ, God's faithful Son, we have a mediator through Whom we may once again have access to God, but only for those few who are blessed to find salvation. Otherwise, we live, suffer, and die apart from God.
Plants receive their life from the sun. Then having received life, light, and warmth from the sun, in the presence of that light, they use water and minerals to collate growth of leaves and fruit. Plants give of themselves generously, producing many times what they were given in the form of vegetation and fruit.
Animals are further removed from the sun, having to get their energy and life in a second hand way from eating plants or from killing other animals. They do not have the direct relationship with the sun that plants enjoy.
Can you see how the sun is symbolic of the spiritual sun? Plants receive and live on light directly from the sun. If we could somehow restore a right relationship with God, then we could receive life and warmth directly from God and His Son.
We would have ample energy and life, renewed every day, to do good for others and perhaps one day be given the key to living forever.
God does bless our earthly activities if they are done in goodwill according to His will and without complaint. He blesses the food eaten in gratitude, he blesses our crops with abundance, He provides water and sunlight, and He makes the soil fertile. He allows us to experience satisfaction from a job well done without ambition. He permits us to experience joy from honestly acquired items, the delight of holy matrimony, and the joy of parenthood.
In God's providence and beneficence, He provides for all creatures. And so He provides for humans, not only food and other creature comforts, but also joys, satisfactions, and useful work to do.
As good as all of these are, they are nevertheless temporary and fleeting. Our food does not sustain us forever, only for seventy years or perhaps a bit more if we are fortunate.
Our satisfactions are enjoyable and our pastimes pleasant, but they are also fleeting and one day we are all appointed to die.
We all sense deep down that there is something wrong about the way we now exist. Little kids, who are close to God, and young people who are still close to reality, see that there is something wrong with death. It seems odd to them, as indeed it is. We humans were originally created to live forever, but everything changed when Adam decided to try his hand without God.
This fallen temporary life that leads to death is what we inherit. Though we also have a potential, through the miracle of repentance, to have a change of heart about the way of pride, and by learning to follow and obey Christ, to become one of His—a new creature, with a new destiny and a new way of life. This is the life that all true seekers somehow sense deep down and keep looking for. "Seek and ye shall find."
Death is the bottom line of sin. Sickness is also evidence of an imperfect existence in an imperfect world. Sickness is the precursor of death. There are many ways to die---sickness, injury, accident, famine, or at the hand of another human—but none of these were the Creator's intent. It was through doubt and disobedience that the human race became separated from God. It will be through faith and obedience that the remnant will be restored to a right relationship with God.
In our present state of separation, we are no longer ruled by God. We are ruled by people with feet of clay, some of whom are at best half way decent, others of which are foolish, uniformed, and misguided. Others are ambitious and wicked, ruled by their master Satan.
Behind all the cruelty and inhumanity of man, all the sickness, disease, suffering, wars and mayhem is another authority, another principality, to whom the ambitious owe allegiance and which they must obey. Satan presently rules this fallen world. When Adam turned from God it was at the urging of another authority which then became Adam's master.
The world as it is presently constituted, and people as they now exist, are imperfect. We were once intended to be perfect, without sin or error, in a world of perfection, on an endless journey of discovery.
Now all is imperfect. Even our DNA is somehow altered to result in imperfections, deterioration, even congenital or inherited defects and diseases. Cells are programmed to multiply a set number of times and then die. As our cell lines age, increasing errors creep in, and soon we show the ravages of age and become vulnerable to degenerative diseases and cancer.
Our food is imperfect. Even the best of health and organic food contains things that are not good for us. And even the best of food can only sustain us so long in relatively good health before the end must come.
Our knowledge is imperfect. Though civilization has advanced in terms of technology, it has been a long slow process. Yet with all our technology, we are no wiser and our lives are filled with error.
Our leaders, even if well intentioned, have imperfect knowledge with which to govern us. Even in the family, parents lack wisdom and make mistakes, sometimes very bad ones. If we had perfect knowledge we could make the perfect choices. But with imperfect knowledge, as well as an impure intent, we err. Our errors compound and also affect others, even as their wrong choices affect us.
Perfect knowledge is available to us. It is called intuition. It is humbling and by it we realize that of ourselves we are ignorant and can do nothing. At any moment, a person can turn from a selfish life apart from God, where the person is lost in mental constructs, and turn to God and once again heed what he knows in his heart. Yet the lure of the knowledge of good and evil is as strong today as it was in the Garden. People ignore, discount, doubt, or deny what they know in their heart. They believe more in what others have to say—especially the worldly knowledgeable ones who offer a promise of glory and greatness apart from God.
Everywhere we are told to make something of ourselves and we think we can build a happy life and solve our problems without God. Lost in our minds--where we plan and scheme, make judgments, and choose among temptations--we are immersed in self knowing and imperfect knowledge with which we try to find a way to make good on the devil's false promises.
But all we do is struggle, suffer, and then reap the results of God's promise. The devil lied, but God predicted that the day Adam ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil he would surely die. Adam then discovered that the devil had lied, but God had not. By partaking of the knowledge of good and evil, we bring destruction and death on ourselves.
When Adam changed, the whole earth began to change for the worse. The atmosphere changed too. I heard that before the flood, the canopy of earth's atmosphere made the earth into the most perfect balmy lush paradise.
Though Adam and the first few generations who followed him could live to an age of over 900 years, the average lifespan decreased as error and mutation spread, and as the earth itself changed, until within a few generations it dropped down to an average of 70 to 80 years. This had happened by David's time (David says in Psalm 90 that we are given 70 years, which by good health may extend to 80).
Sickness and disease entered the world, not only for humans, but for plants and animals too. As the terrain changed, bacteria began to mutate to adapt to the changed environment, and some became vicious and pathogenic.
Satan's influence and personality became evident in human behavior; and you see a loveless survival of the fittest mentality and agenda in many creatures and bacteria.
Error increased, as well as lawlessness. The devil is the lawless one, who encouraged Adam to defect from God's authority and laws. Disobedience, rebellion, and chaos spread through the human race. Today, you see humankind at its lowest level of descent, subject to wrong authorities, and rebellious, prideful, selfish, devious and cruel. You see people subject to all manner of diseases and pathogens. Viruses and bacteria have mutated and evolved to survive in the unhealthy internal and external environment in which most people live.
Perhaps now you can see that right living according to God's laws, and avoiding wrong associates and environments are a protection.
Wishing to do God's will and remaining calm, reasonable, not resenting people, and bearing goodwill toward others provide ample benefits and shield a person from those who thumb their nose at God's laws.
Proper meditation is a powerful aid in maintaining a right frame of mind. We remain aware and trust in intuition in all matters.
We have common sense in finances and choosing associates. Eating sensibly and avoiding toxic foods and environments is a protection. The person who lives sensibly and trusts his or her God-given intuition is spared the untimely early death that befalls those who spurn old fashioned values and common sense.
As the body deteriorates through wrong living, wrong eating, and wrong attitude—it become subject to pathogens that are wheeled into place at lower and lower levels of descent. The blood becomes congested, and this becomes a suitable environment for pathogens.
The angry person and the resentful person, for example, use up a lot of energy in their anger and tension. This weakens the nervous system and makes it prey to viruses as well as auto immune diseases which attack the nervous system. Angry and resentful living, along with wrong food and other factors lead to chronic inflammation. When this occurs in the blood vessels, you have cardio vascular disease, augmented by an already weakened heart through stress, suppressed rage, and expressed anger.
The Judeo Christian tradition with its traditional values does embody such principles as living a good life according to God's laws, forgiving others, being thankful, thanking God and asking for His blessing. Practicing Jews, for example, in their celebrations, festivities, and religious days remember with gratitude everything God did to rescue their people. They also honor and remember what commandments He gave them.
Christians, provided that they are not rigid or secretly judgmental, who honor traditional values and who make forgiveness, prayer and thanksgiving a part of their daily life will enjoy the benefits and protections of living closer to God's laws.
A person may experience a good and long life; enjoying the blessings of family, work and possessions; live to see his children prosper, and then die a peaceful death. This is far superior to the degenerate and rebellious way of life of most of the world.
But something is missing. As good as the life well lived is, it is only a mortal life--one that leads to death. It is not a co-creative life, in intimate contact with God. And don't forget, God is our spiritual Parent. God is our Father, and it is to Him that we must find the way back and then live near. A life that does not lead back to God is going nowhere.
There is another life--one close to God and one that is lived in His will and with Him as the Source of the good that comes to pass--with the blessed person serving as a conduit for the good that comes through him. This is the life you must find.
The spiritual person lives close to God in a manner analogous to the relationship between the plant and the sun. The plant is dependent directly on the sun and transforms the sunlight into bountiful food it produces. The plant has a co-creative life. The plant would be incapable of doing anything without the sun. It is the life from the sun that permits the plant to share in the process of doing good, though the sun is the source of this good. Remember Christ's words—"It is the Father within who does the works. Of myself I can do nothing."
This life, whereby a person may live forever, is the life from God through Christ. When They come to live with and in the reborn spiritual person, that person shares in and benefits from that eternal life. In a sense, that person is dead. He or she is dead to sin—dead to the ego life of excitement that leads to death—but alive to the new life from within and above that is not dependent on external teases and stimuli, and which is answerable not to temptation but to God.
When you are born again, you are hidden in Christ, and your life comes from heavenly places. Life in Christ is life for the soul. The soul then shares this life with the body.
In order to receive this life, you must be called by God. "None come to me unless my Father draws them," said the Messiah. You must be repented by the Holy Spirit and thus be born again of the water and the spirit. To live in Christ requires faith, a complete trust in Him, and this involves a complete commitment to do God's will. In your heart of hearts, your intent must be "Not my will, but Thy will be done."
You die to the earthy sensual life of sin and excitement, but Christ lives in you.
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Even among those who, through grace, are called by God, very few have perfect intent. Even those who are called of God and who begin on the path to salvation will discover as they meditate and as they go about their daily activities, that part of them is not yet fully committed to do God's will. Part of them is still selfish and attached to the world. It is this part that must be overcome, but it will not occur through struggle. It comes by being still and meditating for faith and patience. The transformation is in the hands of God.
As you begin to meditate and come to the Light, you are likely to discover that there is still something that is too important to you (more important than what you know is right in your heart)--something still has a hold on you. There is yet something you are unwilling to give up.
Your old nature will still have a strong pull—in the Bible it is called the love of the world or the lust of the eye and the lust of the flesh. The world supports what it has made of you; and that old nature in you, that came from the world, craves the support of the world. This is what Christ was referring to when He said: "The love of the world makes for enmity with God."
There has been a conditioning process, and your old self still gravitates toward that in which it formerly wallowed and found comfort. You will have to see this and with grace wean yourself from people and places that re-invoke the old conditioning. With time, you will be able to observe these reactions out of existence.
Being observed and no longer being made use of, they will weaken and one day will be gone.
You must also meditate diligently. It is only by meditation--your daily commitment to want God in your life--that you can maintain the mental distance to observe wrong thoughts and the old style of thinking. Through meditation you are able to stand back and objectively watch thoughts passing by instead of falling into them.
I believe the Scripture refers to this process in the following verses, for example:
"Be not conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind"
In the past, when you failed in reality, a flurry of thoughts would arise to shield you from having to see the truth about your failing. You also sought escape in distractions, and your improper intent gave them the power to affect you and form a memory.
Your mind is presently filled with impressions that don't belong there—such as tens of thousands of snippets of old programming, things that made an impression on you, occasions where you got excited or upset, memories of things you formerly used for distraction or escape, and wrong ideas.
These will surface to be observed and dissolved in the Light as your new walk with God progresses. Just continue to observe. Don't try to do anything about what you see, just notice it. Little impressions from your former impressionable emotional way of life will flit by to be observed in an instant and then are gone. Old patterns of thought and wrong notions will yield to your new enlightened way of seeing things. You may see faces, perhaps remnants of former unseen influences.
With time there will be less to be seen, and it will become increasingly subtle.
Behind it all is the spirit of error which had always lurked in the unconscious, formerly misleading you and guiding you into error, sickness, and toward destruction. You may re-encounter the thinking of such a spirit of error. Now you will notice that the thought is wrong or not appropriate. It is sufficient to simply observe it from your objective stance. Do not try to struggle with it or deal with it in any way. Just observe fearlessly and dispassionately from your objective stance until it goes away. It has no power over you, other than the power you give it by believing it or by struggling with it.
At first you may be astonished at its powerful use of the imagination. This however was how your former way of thinking and living was shaped, and why nothing ever worked out. Just see this and be grateful that by grace, not of yourself, you can now stand back and observe what you once were immersed in.
Your new way of life will be composed of may such observations. You will now see error as error and no longer follow.
From now on, it will be mainly a process of observation, letting go, and of deconditioning. You will also notice habits and patterns of behavior that you will see as inappropriate or odd.
Suddenly you will see something odd about that extra serving, that fake smile, or your rushing around (like maybe your mother used to do?). You will become more settled in your ways and less given to excess and needless activity. You will have more time for observation and reflection, and your movements will be more purposeful and productive.
Your new life will come to reflect the new state of your soul, as through your now less corrupted soul, invisible fingers of light shape a new environment for you to live in.
You must have no vices. There must be nothing more important to you than what is right. Any notion of personal vanity you are given to observe in a new light, even something as seemingly innocuous as a hobby, a beard, or an ear ring can be something you may need to give up.
You may not have to give it up—a change in attitude about it may suffice—in the light you will know what to do. If you don't know, then don't try to willfully do anything (that would just be the old ego way of struggle again)—just continue to observe until, as often happens, it gives you up. Or your new attitude toward it will now make it beneficial instead of pride sustaining and draining as it once was.
A cherished memory, some personal goal of achievement, or some proud accomplishment can come between you and God. One man was unwilling to give up his beard. There is nothing wrong with a beard, unless it is too important to you. But once you see that this has happened, you will be able to either quietly let it go or else modify your relationship with it.
It is easy for people to see how the love of money can interfere with doing the right thing. It is but a small stretch to then see how wanting something too much might become too important to you--more important than giving your life to God and doing His will. Even a sugary drink or an extra large serving of fries can represent selfishness--something that supports pride in a subtle way. Observe these things. Do not struggle with them (struggle is your ego stepping in). Observe what you cannot change, but which you now see is error, and wait for a change to occur, by the grace of God.
Now can you see why holding onto a grudge could be something you are unwilling to give up, and how a grudge can thus get in the way of walking the spiritual walk? Let it go. Make it unimportant.
Resentment is something we hang onto so that we can experience again the high of judgment. It supports pride and causes conflict with God. So let it go.
You must not be a belonger. Whatever you belong to claims your loyalty. It takes a little piece of you for itself. As such, you are not totally available for God.
To give oneself to God means to give one's whole self. Can you now see how making food and food substances too important can also be a way of using your body for egotistical purposes?
Of course we must eat to live, but many people live to eat. Even a brandy after dinner, a smoke, a marijuana, chocolate or candy can be something that before you couldn't (wouldn't) give up. It has been coming between you and God. The candy claimed you. "All who sin are slaves," says the Good Book. But now that you have found and welcome the presence of God's light, you will be given to see what it is that still might be interfering with total commitment and you will be able to let it go (or alter your attitude toward it) with the help of grace.
So watch your relationship with food. Because we must eat, food can do double duty to sustain the earthly life but also be misused to sustain the ego life of pride. So we must learn to eat to sustain our earthly life while not using it for pride food. Can you see how eating junk food, for example, is a subtle rebellion against what is sensible in order to proclaim one's right to do and eat whatever you please?
If you meditate consistently, you will soon experience a falling away of very destructive practices, such as smoking cigarettes, marijuana use, illegal drugs, and excessive alcohol use. Without struggle, these will just let you go. Then as the weeks, months, years and decades pass, you will, with grace, be able to eat more and more sensibly and moderately.
"The love of the world makes for enmity with God." Can you understand this verse now? It has been said that God wants volunteers and not conscripts. God and His Son will not force themselves upon you. Your sacrifice must be a willing one.
Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son. God stopped him, but then counted Abraham's willingness to do His will as faith and righteousness. Greater love has no man than to lay down his life for another. Christ laid down His life, in a loving sacrifice, for the sins of others.
If a person gives up things of the world, as a willing and loving sacrifice, then this is counted as righteousness. The part of the heart that was given to the cherished goal, object, or person is now available for God and His Son to give you their eternal life in the place of the earthy temporary life.
How we cling to our memorabilia, our judgments, our culture, and those things that give us a sense of pride. Yet each stands between you and God.
Some things need not be given up. We do need work, food, transportation and the necessities of life. We also need recreation, rest and fellowship.
With some things, you need only modify your attitude toward them. For example, many people resent their work or they resent their present work place. First look at the resentment and let it go. Then you will objectively be able to see whether the work is bad for you or whether it was the resentment that altered it. You may be able to stay where you are, but with a new attitude.
On then other hand, if after having let go of the resentment, you see that the work is not suitable, then quietly look for another line of work or a better work place. Remember there may be a reason why you are where you are—perhaps a lesson to be learned. So in the meanwhile, do you work as best you can and watch out for resentment.
It is okay to have a nice car—just wait until the excitement wears off before you buy it. If you can look at it objectively, not making it too important, and see that it is a sensible buy, then it is okay to go ahead and purchase it. On the other hand, if you see that it is for the purpose of an ego boost, then it would be better to tighten your belt and buy a good transportation car instead.
There is nothing wrong with buying a new suit if you need one for your employment or if it a good buy; but if you are buying it to impress others, that is a different thing.
Another example—we have to eat to live. So you cannot give up eating. But perhaps you have been using it to feed the ego beast in you, or as an escape, a false comfort and a substitute for love. Seeing this, you can modify your attitude, and then modify your food habits.
Whatever you do—don't struggle with any habit or vice because all that does is give it more power. Observe it objectively. Yearn to be different, but realize that you cannot change yourself. With this new approach, it won't be long before your habit will give you up or be modified.
Perhaps now you can see that none of us is capable of giving up all our earthly life supports on our own. All we can do is change our attitude and yearn to change, being willing to let go of what supports pride. Beyond that, it requires the help of God.
To the reborn child of God, Christ sends the Holy Spirit to convict you of sin in the process called repentance. In the Light--as the weeks, months and years go by--the reborn child of God sees more and more things to be given up. He or she cannot do it of himself. But in the light he or she sees what it is that should be laid down. The person sees that he or she cannot do so on his own, yet at the same times wishing that he could.
The person also sees in the light that struggling with the addiction or whatever it is that should be given up is futile. He tried struggle and will power before, but it only made the enticement of the thing stronger. How many people have given up drinking, turned to the church (which also became an addiction) and then returned to drinking again. One man said, "I can give up smoking any time I want to. I've done it a thousand times."
And so the person seems to be in an insolvable dilemma. He sees that something is not good for him and that it stands between him and freedom to do God's will, but yet he also sees that he cannot of himself let it go.
This person will be graced to turn it over to God. Ceasing his struggle, in his heart, he "lets go and lets God." His soul becomes quieted as he ceases his efforts to make himself right, and he puts the entire weight of his salvation on the Lord.
Then, one morning, the person wakes up and all of a sudden she no longer needs what before she could not do without. It has given her up. She is free.
She realizes that somehow God made it happen. She glorifies God and is grateful.
God through His Son Christ took sin upon Himself and it was dissolved in his Holiness.
"I die daily," said Paul. Do you now understand? Every day he gave up selfishness in exchange for a willingness to make himself available to God.
Slowly but surely the gross sins are given up, usually the first to go are the latest to have been acquired. You see the error as well as your part in it, then you experience a purging sadness, and then relief. The guilt is gone, and then the sin itself is taken away.
As time passes increasingly subtle sins and ones acquired long ago come up for review in the light; you see your error as you never saw it before, and then the error lets you go.
You go from being a gross degenerate sinner to being a regular person, but still with the inherited generating Adamic nature. Change has begun within the soul, and you find yourself naturally being more honorable in your dealings with others and more patient. You experience less anxiety and more well being, and you find yourself naturally wanting to do the right thing, and now having the power to do it.
Before you had no choice but to sin. You were under a compulsion to sin, due to your inherited fallen nature, but now God gives you the power to be free to choose. You are grateful, realizing in the Light that it is not of yourself but of the power of God.
The last sins to be given up are the food and sex sins. This is because these are the oldest ones and are also the most fundamental life supports for our fallen egotistical life.
First our food and sex practices will be moderated. Then one day, after having enjoyed starting and raising a family, and after a season of sexual expression with love within the bounds of holy matrimony, the person will then be able to graciously lay down the things of youth.
We cannot stop eating, though I do believe that such a thing is possible. Christ said: "I have food of which you know not." I believe that the spiritually reformed person may one day live totally re-energized and sustained by God.
But right now we can, through awareness and with the help of God, slowly moderate our food practices so that we eat a natural and healthy diet. No longer will we require the sweets, the drinks, and the excesses.
Our attitude toward food will also change. We will no longer see it as a vehicle for selfish pleasure, nor will we use it to deny truth or to trumpet and celebrate our proud existence.
Do you now see why salvation is both instantaneous and also drawn out over time? It begins in such a way that we know that God has entered our life. His action is gentle but decisive. He strengthens His pull upon us so that we will have the assist we need to separate from the debilitating thoughts, associations, and practices that had us in slavery. We also realize clearly and without doubt that He is there and has taken us under His wing.
But once so released and the journey begun, He then gives us lots of time to see, ever so gently and a little each day, just what the nature of our error was, so that we can understand what was wrong with what we did formerly and let it go.
There is much more to the miracle of salvation than can be talked or written about. And it can only happen through the actions of God. We cannot save ourselves.
After millions of such little episodes—of seeing error, seeing just what the error is, and letting it go, each time the sin seen becoming more subtle--the day will arrive when there is nothing more to see. The person is now wholly of life. There is no sin in him. There is now only a blessed present and fearless adventuring. The process of perfecting in the Light has also led the person to the threshold of eternal life.
The evidence that you have been born again is first of all repentance. Repentance--the sad glad, the regret and remorse, and the quiet sense of helpless sadness about your wrong which you now see and over which you weep and mourn--means that something has been added. It is the Presence of God's light that is repenting your soul.
You cannot repent yourself. God repents you. And once it begins, it is something over which you have no control. It just happens. It happens both over a short and a long period of time. The first things you will see are your own wrongs—perhaps that you hated your dad or your mom, that you have been phony, and that you have not been honest with people; that you have been full of hate and resentment; and that you have been full of judgment toward others. You will perhaps then see that you have hated God. Do not be disturbed--many people have. You will see that God does not hate you. You will undoubtedly also see that you have been committing the error of trying to save yourself. Just realize this fact and you will come unblocked and move forward. Remember--observation is sufficient for change.
As time progresses and the weeks, months and years pass by, what you see will become more bearable and subtle. For example, during moments of excitement, impressions were made upon you that are not supposed to be there. These little impressions will flash before your mental eye to be seen and dissolved in the light.
There is no salvation without repentance. There is no repentance until you are willing to see your errors and admit you are wrong. Some people never will. Most people have to hit rock bottom before they are willing to admit wrong. Then, if you are blessed, God will enter your life and the first things you will see are your own wrongs.
Have you heard the old expression "God wants volunteers not conscripts?" God will not violate your freedom. He gives you freedom to err, to deny Him, to try to live without Him, and to avoid Him. But He does give us conscience—the wordless Word within, the still small voice, that gently, ever so gently, taps on the door of your mind and seeks to call you back.
Blessed is the one who realizes that conscience is not your enemy; it is your friend. When you yield to conscience and admit that it is right and you are wrong, you will finally have made the first free right choice in your life.
But if you remain stubborn in your pride, then you will harden your heart, make excuses, and rationalize your error. You will blame others and distract yourself by judging others, and you will attempt to avoid seeing your own wrong by fixating on their wrong. You might also project your guilt onto others, such as blaming your kids and through cruel cleverness tempt them to become wrong so you can either blame them or try to save them.
You did not realize it, but by having rejected God you accepted the devil who gives you ideas in your mind and comforts you in your defection. It is in this way that your life goes from bad to worse. First there is deterioration, demoralization, then death of the body, and then there will be the consequences in this life and the next. When you accept the devil to assist you in your enmity with conscience, the devil claims you. You become his chattel to do with as he wishes.
For those who are blessed to have a change of heart, after the catharsis and purging of sin through repentance there will follow a new life—one of endless discovery and adventure, one of realizing shining and beautiful truths, and one of joy.
This new life of fearless adventuring will include persecution from those in the world who sense something different about you and don't like it. Some will hate you. But it is actually not you that they hate; it is the light in you.
You will not be aware of its presence, but those who hate it will flee from it. They will seek to put it out, but they cannot. Even should you be seized and thrown in prison and then killed, they cannot kill your soul or the Light from God which it shares.
Those along the way who you meet who are currently slaves of sin but who recognize the good in you and respond to it you can awaken and set free from the sin that currently has a grip on them. How grateful they will be. Just remember that it is not you, but the Light in you, that saves others. Of yourself you can do nothing.
Should you be blessed to awaken and to welcome and receive more and more light--as a result of your first change of heart and then your commitment to have God in your life and to do His will--you will become what Christ called the salt of the earth.
Perhaps when you were a child, you experienced some persecution, even from members of your own family. You were the ugly ducking. There was something different about you, and that difference was hated by those who are the sworn enemies of God. They tried to put your lights out because it made them uncomfortable. They may have hated you just because you were honest or because they saw you looking at them with the innocent eyes of a child.
They undoubtedly succeeded to some extent in putting your lights out. Some people, such as an Albert Einstein, a King David, or a Tom Sawyer resist all efforts to make them conform, and because of their sheer gustiness, hang onto their free spirit and their originality. Other children, because of their innocence which makes the guilty ones aware of their guilt, are beaten, punished, driven insane, or killed.
But you are still here. You survived, though perhaps with a few scars. You may have had your lights put out for awhile or even for decades. You joined them in their darkness, where the only happiness was unawareness and pleasure seeking.
You undoubtedly thought that there was something wrong with you (although there really was nothing wrong with you—there was something wrong with them). You doubted yourself and went along with the world. Perhaps you were ostracized and rejected, and because of your resentment, you wanted approval and to be accepted. So you sold yourself down the river and turned from you true self to become worldly.
But no matter how you tried, you never felt comfortable doing all the things that others seemed to be enjoying. You may have partied and went along with the crowd, but somehow it was not for you.
Years of living in darkness went by and then something began to call you back. It was God Whose presence you had sensed as conscience. Like everyone else, you disliked conscience because it made you feel bad, but it persistently followed you, even though you tried to avoid it.
You have been a child of God from the beginning. But you did not know it. All you knew was that you were somewhat different. It was your destiny to one day begin the journey back to God and to who you were really meant to be, which was always there in heavenly places, waiting to take shape in you here on earth, after the wonderful day when repentance began.
Things will be different now. When you were a child and young person, your persecutors got to you because of your resentment toward them. Besides, you were just a child and easy to bamboozle, intimidate, and push around. But now you are a man or a women, a mature child of God, and blessed with the power of the awareness, you will no longer have to cave in and doubt yourself. You will be able to speak up for yourself and perhaps make them doubt themselves.
This is the way it should be, with the wicked ones doubting themselves and the children of the light triumphing.
On your way toward the Light, watch out for two things: resentment and doubt. The evil one, and those who are temporarily or permanently on the wrong side of things, will do everything in their power to try to confuse you and make you doubt yourself. Just see what they are up to and quietly remain unmovable. You do not have to try to come up with clever arguments against what they are saying; just remain of the same mind. Then they will have to struggle to make you doubt, and when they fail, they will become upset and confused. And that is the way it should be.
Secondly, don't resent them. Remember Christ's words on the cross "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do."
If you have been reading the book up to this point, you are aware of how I keep warning about the dangers of pride in all its forms. Humility is the antidote, and only one thing is needed to discover this antidote and that is awareness. As soon as you stand back from thoughts, daydreams, plans, schemes and worries, as well as from ego supporting emotions, you realize your own smallness and lack. If received rightly, with humbleness and not resentment, this in itself can begin the process of recovery from whatever is afflicting you.