1 – Temptations
“Yet there will be temptations along the way the teacher of God has yet to travel, and he has need of reminding himself throughout the day of his protection. How can he do this, particularly during the time when his mind is occupied with external things? He can but try, and his success depends on his conviction that he will succeed. He must be sure success is not of him, but will be given him at any time, in any place and circumstance he calls for it. (M42)”
2 – Protected
Temptations! Yes, we are still subject to them, despite how many hours we have studied the Course. But if we are convinced that we are protected, we will overcome these temptations.
3 – If in Doubt, Don’t
How do we recognize a temptation? “If in doubt, don’t.” This is an interpretation of the Course, a statement not found therein. But it seems to work most of the time. It sounds cautious, but perhaps avoiding temptation is a time to be cautious.
4 – Holy Spirit
We cannot depend upon ourselves to overcome temptation. It “will be given him,” (i.e., “us”) at any time that we call for it. We overcome temptation by calling on the Holy Spirit to guide us, to give us strength to overcome.
5 – Wavering
“There are times his certainty will waver, and the instant this occurs he will return to earlier attempts to place reliance on himself alone. Forget not this is magic, and magic is a sorry substitute for true assistance. (M42)”
6 – “Magic”
Jesus uses a particular definition of “magic” that is largely negative. He does not use the lighthearted wish for something exquisite that we have usually associated with this term. His is the term used in traditional psychology, in which “magical thinking” is seen as essentially irrational.
7 – Irrational Thinking
If we turn to irrational thinking, we will not receive the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We will be caught by egoic thinking. The guidance of the Holy Spirit is eminently better, because the Holy Spirit helps us to move into flow in our days. Our days will develop as beautiful pearls on a necklace, one right after the other, wondrously being created as we walk along our pathway through life.
8 – Certainty
If our certainty wavers, we will miss all this. So be careful today, and don’t let certainty waver. God wants us happy, and He will arrange events for us that will make us so, if we are amenable to His Will. His Guide, the Holy Spirit, takes the time and attention with us that we need. There can be no better way to craft a life than to give up personal judgments to the all-embracing knowledge of God’s Universal Inspiration.
9 – Nothing
“When all magic is recognized as merely nothing, the teacher of God has reached the most advanced state. All intermediate lessons will but lead to this, and being this goal nearer to recognition. (M42)”
10 – Nothing at All
Magic—irrational thinking—is not actually anything at all. It is illusory, but being illusory doesn’t mean that we won’t see it as real. We are very likely to see our most irrational thoughts as reflecting true reality, and when this happens, we are truly lost in the insanity to which all in this world are ultimately found.
11 – Insanity
But when we realize that all of our irrational thinking, our insanity, brings us nothing that we want, that it is truly meaningless, then we have reached the most advanced state.
12 – Today
Let that place be where today finds you.
13 – Will of God
“There is no substitute for the Will of God. In simple statement, it is to this fact that the teacher of God devotes his day. Each substitute he may accept as real can but deceive him. But he is safe from all deception if he so decides. Perhaps he needs to remember, ‘God is with me. I cannot be deceived.’ Perhaps he prefers other words, or only one, or none at all. (M42)”
14 – God’s Will = Our True Will
God’s Will and our true will are actually identical. He says, in effect, “Do this, for it will make you happiest.” That is not to say that we will be doomed if we fail to follow any and all guidance, just that we will be less than as happy as we could be. And God would not have us less than as happy as we could be.
15 – Guidance
We move with God through the day, God as speaking to us through the Holy Spirit’s guidance. And we live well this way. Nothing and nobody can take our joy from us when we are living close to God, close to His Guide. We have limitless release and pure joy (from the Manual of ACIM), and we find delight in the smallest things with which we are confronted in a given day. We no longer rue the day.
16 – Charmed Life
Even another who attacks us cannot break through our protection. When we are One with God, we walk a charmed path.
Help me to recognize temptations when they arise. And help me to say, “If in doubt, don’t.” This has helped me before, and I pray that this statement will help me always.
Please be with me to guide me from the temptations that may beset me. May I know that this is a particular form of trial, and I know that trials do beset us in this world.