Tag Archives: discernment

Judge Not the Words that Come to You

1 – Chosen Words

“Gradually, he learns how to let his words be chosen for him by ceasing to decide for himself what he will say. . . .Judge not the words that come to you, but offer them in confidence. (M54)”

2 – Holy Spirit

This passage explains that the Holy Spirit, if we listen with a keen ear, will indicate to us what to say. This is not necessarily in a “voice,” but internally we have an indication of what to say. We can misinterpret, especially if we are confused or mentally unstable, but if we are of sound mind, very soon we will be able to distinguish what is the Holy Spirit and what is not.

3 – Many Ways

There are many ways that the Holy Spirit reaches us: words spoken by a brother or sister that seem especially pertinent to our situation and cue us to words or behavior; a “feeling” that we should (or should not) say or do a certain thing; dreams; in rare cases, visions or hallucinations. Sometimes words may come into our minds that seem a bit beyond us; we did not actually choose to “think” those things. That is likely to be the Holy Spirit’s communication.

4 – Diligence

If we are diligent in following, the guidance will continue. If we resist, the guidance will seem to cease until we are more willing. The Holy Spirit does not force Himself upon anyone. We receive best when we are in a relaxed manner and mood. Tension may break the connection, because it makes us unsure of ourselves. If we persist, the time will come shortly that we can be certain of the Holy Spirit’s communication. But because God deals with all of us differently, depending upon what we are ready to accept, there can be no firm guidelines that fit everyone.

5 – A Special Case

“This process is merely a special case of the lesson in the workbook that says, ‘I will step back and let Him lead the way.’ The teacher of God accepts the words which are offered him, and gives as he receives. He does not control the direction of his speaking. He listens and hears and speaks. (M54)

6 – Intuition

This section of the Manual offers a way of understanding our intuition that is hard to follow when we are stressed or in a bad mood. Our overwrought nature will make us doubt whether or not we actually hear anything at all, certainly anything at all that is relevant or accurate.

7 – Overwrought

When we are overwrought, the best thing to do is go within, to quiet one’s self. The little self, the personal self, is what needs quieting, for the Christ Self is always calm. We won’t know where to turn when we are in the throes of a deepening mood. We will wonder if anything that we perceive is accurate. And getting quiet will put us back into flow. Flow is when the day just moves along peacefully and gently; we are busy, but not too busy; we are calm and at peace in the midst of chaos, even.

8 – Hear Internally

If we hear internally words that we believe are those of the Holy Spirit, this passage indicates that we ought to offer those words to whomever we are with. These words may make us uncomfortable, but they will not hurt. If they seem to be hurtful words, then we are misperceiving, the Holy Spirit is not talking, but the ego is.

9 – Discernment

Listen to the Holy Spirit, but discern whether or not our inclination to talk is divinely inspired, or otherwise. Don’t speak if uncertain. Wait until we are sure.

10 – Hindrance

“A major hindrance in this aspect of his learning is the teacher of God’s fear about the validity of what he hears. And what he hears may indeed be quite startling. (M54)”

11 – Uncomfortable

This aspect of “hearing” means that we may find ourselves confronted with divinely inspired words that go against the grain. It may make us feel uncomfortable or ill at ease. We may doubt whether or not God is really with us. I would say that we must refrain from speaking if we have doubts. We will know the change when we switch out of egoic mood and into the flow that only the Holy Spirit can inspire.

12 – Easier Later On

This discernment becomes easier as we walk further along our pathway toward Awakening. The Society of Friends (Quakers) talk often about “discernment,” and this aspect of their faith is what I want to hold out to you now. We do not willy-nilly offer up anything that occurs to us to say. That would be very detrimental to our hearer. We calmly and peacefully wait until we are sure that the words that we hear internally are meant to be said. The Holy Spirit will speak to our hearts when we are confused. We do not have to doubt that God will get through to us.

13 – Irrelevance

“It may also seem to be quite irrelevant to the presented problem as he perceives it, and may, in fact, confront the teacher with a situation that appears to be very embarrassing to him. All these are judgments that have no value. They are his own, coming from a shabby self-perception which he would leave behind. (M54)”

14 – Embarrassment

This is the embarrassment passage that so many find puzzling and contraindicated. We do not want to be embarrassed. But let us consider the words of Jesus here, the fact that he is pointing out that we actually have a “shabby self-perception” which he would remove from us.

15 – Speak Out

Don’t hesitate to speak out, even though we think that we will appear foolish. Make sure that it is divine guidance, and when you are sure, offer those words that come to you. You will find a quick acceptance on the part of your hearers. You will quickly be assured that the Holy Spirit is directing your speaking.

16 – Judge Not

“Judge not the words that come to you, but offer them in confidence. They are far wiser than your own. (M54)”

17 – Judging Rightly

So even here we don’t “judge,” for to judge is to be mistaken. Only the Holy Spirit judges rightly.

18 – God’s Word

“God’s teachers have God’s Word behind their symbols. And He Himself gives to the words they use the power of His Spirit, raising them from meaningless symbols to the Call of Heaven itself. (M54)”

19 – Listening

We will find a following among those who listen to us, if we listen aright. We will find that our words will take on new meaning, even to ourselves. We will grow strong in confidence, certain of the Holy Spirit’s entries into our lives.

20 – Authority

And our words will have an authority that our personal, little self has never known. We will speak with a candidness and a certainty that known no bounds.

God will be pleased with us. Take care that the ego does not attach itself to this new found confidence, and all will be well.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I always hear the words correctly that you wish me to say. May I not doubt, and may I not make mistakes in speaking what You will. May I not be confused in my thinking.

Your guidance is sure. When I doubt, perhaps I am still relying on the ego. May I not rely on the ego today.

Amen.

Divine Calls

degas - grecian dance
“These last two calls, the call that appears in the form of a sign and the call that comes in the form of a demand, are about specifics in a way that the call that comes as an announcement is not. They represent the remnants of learning from the past, the final breaking of old patterns. They may seem to signal difficult times, but they are times that must be gotten through and lessons that need to be allowed to pass through you. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 5.6)”

Affirmation: “I will be patient through any hard times.”

Reflections:

1 – Signs / Demands

Jesus mentions several different types of calls here: a sign, a demand, and an announcement. The first two represent a holdover from the past, but we must integrate what they mean to us. Signs sometimes are misinterpreted, because in a certain frame of mind, everything can seem to be a sign. How do we interpret something as a genuine sign? If our minds are calm, we will discern through contemplation of the supposed sign. And we will be certain to realize that no harm is coming to anyone. A demand does not often seem as though it is the way that Jesus would interact with us. But perhaps we have gone so deeply into madness–all of us–that there comes a time when Jesus must make a request for a change, perhaps a sudden change. We may not welcome a demand, but if we are certain of the Source, we will know that the demand is for our own good.

2 – Announcements

Announcements are more benign. And welcome, given our state of mind. We are being told something that we need to know.

3 – Different Types of Call

Can we tell the difference between signs, demands, and announcements? Probably we can, but the discernment may take some calm reflection, and we may need to give it some time. We do not automatically know everything now, even though Jesus has called us The Accomplished. We are still on the pathway. And the pathway may seem long and tortuous. It is not really, but then we have gone deep into madness (from A Course in Miracles). We need some time, and some gentle pressure, to bring ourselves out to sanity.

4 – Difficult Times

Jesus indicates here a difficult concept: that we may know difficult times. Certainly we do not welcome this. But, just like grieving over a lost or dead individual, we must go through the experiences ahead of us. We cannot go around, over, or under those experiences. The only way is through them. And Jesus will be with us, as long as we want him there. He tells us in A Course in Miracles that we can imagine that he is holding our hand as we walk along, and he concludes that this will be no idle fantasy.

5 – Jesus

Nobody in this world can imagine how Jesus could seemingly be in two (and more) places at once. But he has transcended all barriers, and I have enough to faith to believe that if he says it, it is true. Let your heart tell you if he is near. Many individuals have sensed his presence over long years, and there are many reports of his presence in inspirational literature published long before ACIM and ACOL. So his presence as our healer seems assured. I would rather suspend doubt, and allow myself to be comforted, than to cling to an intellectual misgiving. Again, let your heart tell you that what you are experiencing, in feeling Jesus nearby, is true. The heart does not need the proof that the mind does.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose to follow Your call, but, in my weakness, I ask that the difficult times, if they come, be brief and easy. I do not want to suffer, though I do not fear death. I would follow Your call insofar as I can discern what it is that I am to do. I know that You would lead me only to the good and worthy. There is a reason that I sense a call, if it comes, and that reason is one that I will understand with my heart–even if no person close to me understands at all. I can follow the beat of a different drummer, and that will make all the difference in my little world.

I thank You that I did once, clearly, hear a call, and I thank You that You saw to it that I stayed true to what I perceived. But I do not want to go back to those difficult days. I thank You that times are easier now, and I thank You that Your words through Jesus in channeled writings have shown a way that is meant to be happy for all. Happiness is a worthy goal, and I would enjoy Your Being and Your nod toward happiness with all my mind and heart. May the calls that come to me be gentle and peaceful. And in advance I thank You for this.

Amen

There Is No Limit on God’s Will

ACIM Workbook Lesson 320 – for Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Affirmation:  “My Father gives all power unto me.”

“Your Will can do all things in me, and then extend to all the world as well through me.  There is no limit on Your Will.  And so all power has been given to Your Son.  (WB460)”

Reflections:

1 – Follow God’s Will

This prayer is very insightful (as with all prayers to God by Jesus).  God’s Will can do all things through us, extending unto the world as a whole.  And we have the power to effect change because God’s Will is resident in us.  Of course, we have to be open to following that Will, and to be so, we must discern correctly.

2 – How Do We Discern God’s Will?

How do we discern the Will of God in any given situation?   The following are my own interpretations of ACIM, not stated directly therein.

3 – A Suggested Procedure

First, we get silent and still and quiet.  This is a preliminary step to almost all correct discernment.  If our emotions are turbulent, it is impossible to hear God’s Voice without having those very emotions intrude.

4 – Ask for Guidance

Second, we ask for direction and guidance of the Holy Spirit.  He is our Communicator from God (an ACIM tenet).

5 – Ask Others for Help

Third, if appropriate, we test out our discernment by going to others for help.  We do not always stay just within ourselves.  If there are no appropriate others, of course, we are on our own.  And this can be tricky.  So this leads to the final question.

6 – Love or Attack?

Fourth, is the discernment that we are making a gesture of love or of hate (attack)?  This is a testing of the guidance we have received.  If we consistently follow “feelings” or “intuition,” we may follow amiss if we think we are being led to do something that is less than honorable.  The ego is very wily, and it will mislead if given half a chance.  So the test of a loving gesture is important.

7 – Change Ourselves

We have the power to change the world, if we are first changed ourselves.  Many evangelists and gurus have stated the same over the years.  Many religious leaders have believed this, including the renowned Norman Vincent Peale (who saw a banner to that effect in his youth and therein changed the direction of his life, leading to a life of ministry to others through Christianity) and Billy Graham (the most renowned speaker of our era in regard to preaching the Gospel).

8 – A Course in Miracles = Our Curriculum

Let us today take up our curriculum, A Course in Miracles.  We may alter the curriculum to suit our temperament; Jesus does not forbade this, and even encourages it by saying that “There is a curriculum for every teacher of God.”  The forms vary tremendously, but if we keep an open mind and heart, and we respect each other, we will not really clash.  May the teaching and learning that all of us do today make a difference in the world that we inhabit.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would take my own advice today as I seek Your will in how to direct my life.  If there are omissions in what I say, then please correct me.  Help me to live a peaceful, tranquil way as I walk this world, because serenity invites accuracy in discerning Your Will.

Be with me today.  Thank You for guiding me to understand some of the ways that I can know Your Will.  Be with me as I seek to implement those ways of discerning.

Amen.