Tag Archives: God’s will

Bliss Calls to Us

Surrender is the cultivation of the recognition that your happiness can be found only in the submission of your will to the will of God. For your will has been in conflict and struggle and limitation. God’s will is that you live without conflict, in peace, joy, fulfillment and happiness. It is called bliss. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 5, Page 68)

Why is surrender necessary? I have long known that it is, but the why has not been clear. Now I think it is. Only in surrender to God do we start living in constructive ways. Our little, personal, finite minds have not known where to turn when we try to take things in our own hands. We flounder, we make many mistakes, we aren’t happy.

Our will and the will of God are actually identical, for we want what we make us happy and allow us to make a contribution in this difficult world in which we live. We want to see others happy as well, and we would like to do something to effect that. Salvation is our business, our only true business. And when we turn to God, in abject surrender, He takes us by the hand and leads us out of our quandaries.

We live in a freer fashion, for our non-surrendered will has been imprisoned. God could not let His universes self-destruct, and our power is such that perhaps this could happen if He allowed it.

Surrender repeatedly, for this is necessary. We walk away from time to time, read things that confuse us, fail to follow guidance that comes to us unbidden, and even bidden.

Our way home to God includes surrender to His will and way. There is no other way to make the changes in our lives that need to be made.

No other way at all.

The Only Change Needed to Bring Permanent Happiness

“It is true that your free will is powerful as it is part, but only part, of what has allowed you to believe in your separated state. While you could have used your free will to create like unto your Father, by choosing to make yourself separate from Him—something that could never truly occur—you have chosen instead to do nothing at all with your free will but make this one insane choice. Your willingness to make a new choice is what will once again make your free will like unto your Father’s will, which is one with it in truth.” (ACOL, C:11.12)

The assertion that our true will is the same as that of God’s Will is the same assertion made in A Course in Miracles. Here the idea is elaborated, in that we are told that we chose to make only one insane but impossible choice with our free will—the choice to be separate from our Father. We couldn’t actually effect this, as He and we are One forever. He lives in us, we live in Him; we are, as has been said repeatedly, part of Him. The only thing that God could differentiate was Himself, and thus He created individuations of Him in order to experience Himself to the fullest. This is revelation that differs from Christian doctrine, but, if we can set aside what we taught as children, we can see the common sense of the assertion.

We do want to make a new choice, one in line with God’s Will, for this change is the only change needed to bring permanent happiness to us. Our function is said in A Course in Miracles to be salvation, forgiveness, happiness—and these are all equated. Our function in A Course of Love is akin. But we are said to be on the verge of making a new decision that will elevate our physical form to the Self, the inner Christ Self Who is longing to come out and be present in our world. This Self is our new Guiding Light, the replacement in guidance for what the Holy Spirit used to do for us (according to A Course of Love).

Free will, of course, is what has enabled us to live a supposedly “separate” existence from God, a separate existence that is impossible in fact. But we could imagine ourselves separate, and in this illusion we could live a miserable and drama-filled life that gave ascendance to the ego, our new version of ourselves. This new version is, of course, insane, and its very insanity is its Achilles heel. Its insanity assures us that when we think more clearly, we will not want any part of this false personal self. Our new personal self will only be the part that we show others, representing our Christ Self. The personal self, therefore, does not fade away, but is transformed, remaining the outer self. This is a truth that is often overlooked a we read ACOL. The idea that the personal self would be no more is tempting, but inaccurate. Yet we can surely imagine that the transformation will give us personalities that will interact well with each other, sharing ourselves as we go about our daily lives in a world that is fast becoming something better.

Use our free will today to choose God anew, a choice that uses only a little of the abundant willingness that we indeed possess. We will see that this new choice will give us everything that we have been wanting in life. Our inheritance of God’s blessings is assured, but we have to be new people to appreciate and to take control of the new world that we will create.

CHAPTER 3: ACCEPTING ATONEMENT FOR ONE’S SELF

Pain Can be Avoided

“The acceptance of the Atonement by everyone is only a matter of time. This may appear to contradict free will because of the inevitability of the final decision, but this is not so.
You can temporize and you are capable of enormous procrastination, but you cannot depart entirely from your Creator, Who set the limits on your ability to miscreate. An imprisoned will engenders a situation which, in the extreme, becomes altogether intolerable. Tolerance for pain may be high, but it is not without limit. Eventually everyone begins to recognize, however dimly, that there must be a better way. T-2.III.3)”

God had to set limits on our ability to miscreate, or His universe(s) would be in jeopardy. This does seem to limit free will, but who in his right mind would depart from reality to find refuge in illusions, especially illusions that give pain and suffering? We don’t know the right things to do; we make all kinds of trouble for ourselves in our illusory world. Would God let that type of insane situation continue forever for his beloved children?

God, in my estimation, intervenes because he realizes that his children are lost in insanity. We departed from Him (or thought we did), in a “tiny, mad idea” about which we forgot to laugh. (This is from A Course in Miracles.) This tiny, mad idea started the chain of circumstances in which we find ourselves now. And we are in a dire place indeed. The Holy Spirit, God’s Voice, will guide us back to sanity if we will only listen. That is all we have to do: follow the promptings that come to us with courage, sure that Someone is making the right decision for us.

Our will is imprisoned because we are not following life according to the plan that God set up when He created us. In departing from that plan, we have found only misery, and the Holy Spirit would undo all the tragedy for us. Our free will, followed by us, will come to the conclusion that there is another way to live, surely a better way than the way that we have lived in the past. And in using free will to choose again, we use free will rightly. God surely must smile.

All Living Hearts Are Tranquil with a Stir of Deep Anticipation

1 – Everlasting Things

“All living hearts are tranquil with a stir of deep anticipation, for the time of everlasting things is now at hand. There is no death. The Son of God is free. And in his freedom is the end of fear. (M68)”

2 – Fear

Would that we could welcome the end of fear on a daily basis! But somehow we all fall back on anxieties and fears, falling short of accepting God’s grace in our daily lives. When fear comes, we must go within and contemplate what it would mean to end the fear. Get still. Commune with God. Simply ask Him for the blessing of His peace.

3 – God

In all likelihood, when we have done our part to quiet our troubled minds, He will step in and finish the work. We will know the peace of God.

4 – Medication

Sometimes He uses pills to effect this transformation. Jesus asserts that pills, medication, are not to be avoided, though pill are a form of magical solution. But, being in a fear-ridden state, if we tried to live without pills we might be worse off.

5 – Ask

Ask God what solution He would hand out to you. He will find a way to get through to you. He will show you a solution, and this solution may come swiftly. The main thing is to recognize the answer to prayer when it comes. Be alert. Be aware. And thank God when that solution comes.

6 – Song of Heaven

“And we, God’s children, rise up from the dust and look upon our perfect sinlessness. The song of Heaven sounds around the world, as it is lifted up and brought to truth. (M69)”

7 – Beautiful

These are very beautiful words that calm my soul as I write. We have not sinned, however much we think that we have. It is true that we have made mistakes, but these will be relinquished for resolution when we are sorry for them and make restitution. They will not be attracting again to us; we just want a solution, a remedy.

8 – “Sin”

Sin, on the other hand, when a thing is so labeled, has an attracting feature. I don’t know why this is, but Jesus recognizes this about our egos. We will want to do that sinful thing again, and then the ego has a field day.

9 – Holiness

“And we accept His holiness as ours; as it is. As God created us so will we be forever and forever, and we wish for nothing but His Will to be our own. Illusions of another will are lost, for unity of purpose has been found. (M69)”

10 – God’s Will = Our Will

God’s Will is our will; this we must recognize. The Holy Spirit chooses for us, only for us in every instance. It is the ego which has a separate will, and this will always leads us astray. There is no peace in the ego’s eyes. When we choose to effect God’s Will in our daily lives, we lose illusions that there is another will. We no longer think, like Jonah, that we know better. We know that God knows what will really make us happy, and we fall in line with that Will of His.

11 – Joy

“These things await us all, but we are not prepared as yet to welcome them with joy. As long as any mind remains possessed of evil dreams, the thought of hell is real. God’s teachers have the goal of wakening the minds of those asleep, and seeing there the vision of Christ’s face to take the place of what they dream. (M69)”

12 – Vision of Christ’s Face

This passage says some very important things to us. The passage equates evil dreams with the thought of hell. And the passage spells out what we are to do about that: waken the minds of those asleep. When we do so, the vision of Christ’s face takes the place of the evil dreams.

13 – Toward Awakening

This says that we have work to do, to bring Awakening to all minds. We can move toward Awakening for ourselves by studying the Course diligently. We will then not be unhealed healers, but those ready to take our part in the plan of salvation, the part that God has prepared just for us. Until we respond affirmatively to the call for salvation, our part is missing. Nor can it be taken by anybody else. We are unique in that sense.

14 – Christ in Our Brothers and Sisters

The vision of Christ’s face is mentioned several times in the Course. We will see Christ in our brothers and sisters when we are prepared. In large measure, that is what we are meant to see. In dreams, which are what we are caught in before we waken, we will not see Christ’s face, because our brothers and sisters sometimes elicit anger and attack in us. When we have let anger and attack fall away, we will be on our way to the salvation that we are bring to others, as well as accepting salvation for ourselves.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I leave aside thoughts of anger and attack, and take my place in Your plan for salvation. May I awaken the minds of those asleep. Until I have accepted the Awakening of my own mind, I will not be a completely healed healer.

Thank you for Your help. I need You more than ever today.

Amen.

What Is the Peace of God?

1 – God’s Will = My Real Will

“What is the peace of God? No more than this; the simple understanding that His Will is wholly without opposite. There is no thought that contradicts His Will, yet can be true. The contrast between His Will and yours but seemed to be reality. In truth there was no conflict for His Will is yours. (M52)”

2 – Job

This passage is a sticking point for many. How can we have free will in this world? We think of Job in the Old Testament, and the ego tells us that what God wants for us not what we “will.” But it is. There is actually no conflict between our real will and the will of God. The farther we progress in our study of the Course, the more certain of this tenet we will become.

3 – Peace

When we accept that our real will and that of God’s is the same, we will have the peace that heretofore has eluded us. Take this tenet to heart, and see what a difference in our lives it does make.

4 – Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit will guide us to God’s will. His whispers are true; the feelings that we have to do or say certain things can, unless we are very confused, be trusted. The Course elsewhere says quite a bit about how to follow this guidance. The Course assures us that our own judgment is flawed, and we are encouraged, even bade, to leave our judgment behind and turn to the Holy Spirit. He alone knows all circumstances and can guide us surely. We then will truly know the peace of God. And anything else is counterfeit.

5 – Tiny Frail Imaginings

“Now is the mighty Will of God Himself His gift to you. He does not seek to keep it for Himself. Why would you seek to keep your tiny frail imaginings apart from Him? (M52)”

6 – God Too Busy? Of Not in Illusion?

We sometimes think that God is too busy to deal with us. And some students/teacher of A Course in Miracles think that God is outside of illusion, and therefore does not know about us, having turned over a link to us to the Holy Spirit.

7 – Workbook

I think that both suppositions are faulty. The Godhead would be able to tune into anything at all, anywhere. That is part of omnipresence. As well, the final Workbook lessons seem to assume a personal relationship between ourselves and God. We are praying to Him. So I think that Jesus knows that we are known by God.

8 – Insignificant

We have tiny frail imaginings. We fret so much about so much that is insignificant. God’s Will, for us, is to let us know what is right for us to entertain in our lives. We don’t need to fret, and all of us realize this when in our better moments. But most of us have long swaths of time in any given day when we are discontented, even bored, certainly anxious—unless we are in a stress-free environment.

9 – Our Heritage

“The Will of God is one and all there is. This is your heritage. (M52)”

10 – Predestination?

Yes, we are One with God’s Will. We have no reason to suspect that something else is our heritage. Does this mean predestination? Does this mean that everything is already decided about our lives?

11 – Allowing

No, I think not. The Will of God allows many things to happen that are not optimal for us. We can always switch to the optimal at any time, just by adjusting our attitudes. Our physical bodies and their situation are not significant because they are illusion. Our minds are real, and often caught by the ego. We don’t have to live like this. We can let the inner Christ emerge, and this Self will work to smooth out our living.

12 – God’s Peace

“The universe beyond the sun and stars, and all the thoughts of which you can conceive, belong to you. God’s peace is the condition for His Will. Attain His peace, and you remember Him. (M52)”

13 – Home Free

If we truly feel the peace of God, we will be home free. We will know that life is as it should be, that nothing that happens to us has to be lamented.

14 – Remember God

Would you like to remember God? Jesus says in ACIM that if we attain God’s peace, we will remember Him.

15 – Drama

We need not to allow drama to subsume of our lives. The drama is a separating factor from God. The ego loves strife, and loves drama, because it helps the ego to believe that it is really living. But real peace is a far more enjoyable state of mind. Try for even moments every day, and you will see.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I recognize the truth that Your Will is mine as well. May I be open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in this matter of following Your Will. May I not doubt, but rest in surety when I am prompted to think or act in certain directions.

Thank you for delivering me from the question of Job in the Old Testament. May I rest in this knowledge and be happy.

Amen.

Attempts to Supplant God’s Will May Indeed Seem Frightening, but They Are Merely Pathetic.

1 – Avoidance of Magic = Avoidance of Temptation

“The avoidance of magic is the avoidance of temptation. For all temptation is nothing more than the attempt to substitute another will for God’s. (M42)”

2 – God’s Will = Our Real Will

Elsewhere in the Course we learn that God’s will is actually the same as ours. It is the same as ours if we only knew ourselves better. Studying the Course will open up ways to know ourselves better. And much study will convince us that we are not like Job of the Old Testament, unwilling recipients of guidance, but instead willing recipients of guidance because we know that what we “hear” is legitimate and will bring us closer Home.

3 – Ego

“Magic” thoughts are those inspired by the ego (an interpretation of the Course, but not stated directly therein). Often magic ideas are superstitious ideas that have become a part of us through long years of following the ego.

4 – God’s Way

If we set our will each morning to following God’s way, we will be well on our way to avoiding temptation. We will know that what God wants for us is what we too desire. Anything less is magic.

5 – Pathetic

“These attempts may indeed seem frightening, but they are merely pathetic. (M42)”

6 – Heaven Restored

“Rooted in sacrifice and separation, two aspects of one error and no more, he merely chooses to give up all that he never had. And for this ‘sacrifice’ is Heaven restored to his awareness. (M42)”

7 – Irrationality

Magic, as defined by Jesus, is irrationality (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM). And the magic, the irrationality, is rooted in the belief in sacrifice and in the separation from God. Sacrifice and the separation are both the “detour into fear” (from ACIM) which happened when the ego arose in our thought processes. But we don’t really have anything worth having when we have the ego.

8 – Heaven

When we give up the error that is the ego, Heaven is restored to our awareness. Can we believe this? Can we willingly give up egoic and egoistical strivings? If we can assess carefully, we will acknowledge that the puffed-up ego does not mean much in the final analysis. When we are on our death bed, we won’t put much store in anything that the ego had us striving to do; we will know that it was all vanity. Why not reach that conclusion while most of us have many years left of life? Why not enjoy Heaven on earth, the promise that is here held out to us by Jesus himself?

9 – Helen and Bill

The truth of these statements is found in the living out of them—nothing more. Reflect on where you have been and where you hope to go. See if ego is still managing your pathway. And just wonder, just wonder, if there might not (and Helen and Bill found, co-scribes of ACIM) be another way?

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am still not flexible enough to turn aside from my own self’s wishes to follow the guidance that I am perceiving from the Holy Spirit–at least not always. Please help me toward this willingness. I know that it is the very best thing for me.

Please be with me throughout this day, as I perceive, through my intuition, the will of the Holy Spirit. This may be my greatest need. Please help me to perfect following guidance as I go about my normal life.

Amen.

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

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.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

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.

Amen.

There Is No Strain in Doing God’s Will as Soon as You Recognize that It Is Also Your Own

manet - girl with earring“There is no strain in doing God’s Will as soon as you recognize that it is also your own. (T30)”

Affirmation: “no strain in doing God’s will”

Reflections:

1 – Theory

This sentence is a primary theoretical foundation for the Course. Much of our rebellion has been predicated upon the idea that we would not believe that God’s will would be desirable; we think that we can choose better. We even think that His will is punitive. But we are a part of God, and He chooses for us when He makes decisions. We truly want what He wants for us. He chooses in our best interests, nothing punitive at all. And we are happier when we follow His Will as conveyed by the Holy Spirit. This conveyance can come by way of intuition, locutions (inner thoughts that appear to be beyond us), silence in which we come to “know,” words that we say to ourselves that somehow seem to be a wisdom that is greater than our own. God’s ways of reaching us are myriad. Being sure that we want what He wants for us is the most important point.

2 – Procrastination

If we cannot fulfill what we feel to be God’s will for us, then let us change our decision as soon as we can. Often we are stubborn. And we set ourselves on a given course of action, thinking that some small thing will satisfy us, when we want it “all.” A Course in Miracles makes this clear. It is according to our natures to want the All, everything. And to decide that some small boon is what we want, and that we will be satisfied if we have it, is to listen to the ego, which wishes us no good.

3 – God’s Will and Our Real Will

How wrong we are! God’s will and our own “real” will are the same! What a relief this can be. Our thoughts of Jonah and the whale may be relegated to an Old Testament/Hebrew Bible story, not meaningful in the world in which we live today. With Jonah, the idea that God would pursue us and demand that we do His will, is the main crux of the matter. In ACIM, we are gently led to do God’s will, once we have understood that we are actually doing our own will at the same time. The God of A Course in Miracles is in no way a punitive God.

4 – Personal Experience

I used to fret quite a bit about God’s will, for I determined a course of action for my life when I was 22 that did not let up until I have followed that pathway through the early months of my 35th year. I had various “signs” along the way that I was on the right pathway, but nobody believed me. God had shut me up to Himself alone, and there He kept me. Thankfully, I stayed true to the course. I think that maybe I would have had emotional crises unless I had, and my life from age 25 to 34 was rather smooth. I was not happy about following this course that appeared laid out by God, but though a reluctant follower, I did not seriously consider leaving aside this pathway. I still, many years later, don’t know if I was really right, but what I know of God has expanded, and it seems to me that I would have followed a very wrong pathway if I had deviated. Most people do not have to follow a Jonah’s pathway for 14 years, and that is good. I ultimately got what I really wanted out of life, though that life has taken a very different form than I thought at age 22. God does care for us when He gives us specific missions, missions of which we cannot be sure even years later on.

5 – No Strain

So, we experience “no strain” in doing God’s will. We see no conflict in following God’s pathway. It is the pathway that we would choose if we could see the whole picture. Our judgment is not that wondrous; we see imperfectly and only in part. But when we acquiesce to the Holy Spirit, we truly know the peace of following God’s will as our own.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

What a relief to learn that God’s will is really our real will! Thank you, dear Father, for this insight.

When we know that doing God’s will, as we perceive it, is really our own real will, we do not feel coerced. Thank you for this insight, this great blessing.

May I have a good day today, years after my wrestle with You about Your will for my life. May I recognize that ultimately I will know whether or not You were really demanding a certain course for my life. My certainty has wavered over the years. But I thank You that You shut me up to Yourself alone. That gave me a solidarity about my life that no other circumstance could have wrought.

Amen.

God’s Will Identifies My Real Desire

van gogh - sunflowers
“What you desire now is the Will of God because it is your true desire, your will and God’s joined as one. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 22.14)”

Affirmation: “I desire God’s will, which is the same as my real will.”

Reflections:

1 – Guidance

An echo of A Course in Miracles, this passage for today emphasizes why we ought to listen to guidance or intuition, or whatever way in which we understand God’s Voice reaching us. If we are following ACIM, this way will be the Voice of the Holy Spirit. If we are following A Course of Love, this way will be the inner Christ leading us home. In actuality, because All is One, I see no effectual differences between these two. We can appeal to the triune God to see how this might be: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

2 – Choice

The realization that God chooses for us (or the Holy Spirit chooses for us) is the realization that we want no alternate will. He chooses the way that will make us the happiest, and happiness is a laudable goal. He also chooses the path toward Awakening, or Christ-consciousness, or enlightenment, or salvation (there is no real difference in these terms).

3 – God’s Will

For those of us, myself included, who have wrestled as Jonah did with God’s will, we can now recognize that the wrestle is a false issue. God does not bend us to His will if we are unwilling. But, in effect, He says, “Choose this way, for it will make you happiest.” The Holy Spirit in ACIM chooses very small details of our everyday life, setting up the flow of events and circumstances so that we have good days. Even when times are tough, still is this true. The times will not be experienced as tough when we stay close to guidance and God. We will sail through as though there were no barriers to our happiness.

4 – Listening Internally

So the Holy Spirit (in ACIM) chooses “for us” (from ACIM). His way is the one that we would choose if we understand all circumstances, past and present, as well as future. Of course, it is impossible for us to know all of this, and this is why we need an informed Guide. We need to give up our personal judgments, which are always false, and listen to an inner voice.

5 – The Pathway

We will walk the pathway with surety when we follow that inner voice.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would listen to inner knowledge, knowing that I am guided every step of the way—if I listen correctly. May I recognize that I can still make mistakes, even big mistakes, but I pray that I will follow instead, Your way, accurately.

Be with me as I go about my day. Help me to correct my wrongs. Give me the grace to see Your way in everything. There is no better way to live an egoless existence than to follow You moment by moment.

Amen.

What Ought I to Do?

art_appreciation_edgar_degas_pink_ballerinas
“You who have so recently felt the peace of true acceptance are not asked to leave that peace to go in search of calling but are rather asked to listen from within that peace to what you feel called to do. This is not about the past and all those things that at one time or another you thought would bring you fulfillment. This is about recognizing who you are not. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 4.12)”

Affirmation: “I would listen within my peace today.”

Reflections:

1 – Listen Within

This passage is very reassuring. We don’t have to go in search of who we are; we listen within, and that within place is a place of peace. We do not have to search out what we are to do next, what our calling is. This will come to us in due time. Jesus seems bent on giving us a sense of solace, or comfort. We are alright the way we are, and we certainly do not have to merit God’s grace. His grace is a free offer, open to all who turn to Him.

2 – Fulfillment

We have searched in many places to find fulfillment. But we know now that fulfillment through material goods is a fulfillment of the ego, and we are letting the ego go. This means that the present emphasis in our society on the law of attraction, often that which focuses on material objects, is not fully a good thing. If we are to use the law of attraction well, we will ask for that which is intangible, because it is the intangible that will give us lasting peace. We are never satisfied with material goods, any particular material good, very long. We always have to seek more. But that is the way of the ego–always. And we would be done with the ego.

3 – Past and Present

We are not focusing on the past any longer. Whatever good it held will be saved for us. We are focusing on the present, trying to live in the present with a full heart joined to our mind. We need no more to find the peace that is promised in this passage for today.

4 – Listen in Our Hearts

When we listen within the peace–in our hearts–we will know what to do next. We will not second guess this advice, because it will come through to us gently and it will be easily fulfilled. Intuition is never strident. We are not coerced, and if it seems that we are, we are allowing our ego to rule again. The advice from inner peace is always reassuring and well-received, for the Christ Self knows what to do next. Our personal “little” selves do not know. And unless we are overwrought, we will hear accurately.

5 – Being Overwrought

Being overwrought is one time that guidance has trouble getting through to us. So, if we find ourselves overwrought, it is best to take at time out, a period of contemplation, meditation, or prayer, that will still our minds. Then what our heart is trying to tell us will be heard clear as a bell. Let not doubts interfere. And remember that any seeming advice that would harm another is false. Only good comes from inner peace, from listening to our Christ Self.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to listen within so that I know, beyond a doubt, what I should do next. I am beyond trying to merit Your favor by doing “good.” You don’t want me to “achieve” to be loved by You. Your love is always here.

Thank You for the sense of Your presence that abides within me in my better moments. May I treat others with the same good will that I would wish to receive. May my words be gentle and kind. May no anger mar the good intentions of what I say or do.

May the day be peaceful and quiet. May no overwrought emotions come between You and me. I need to keep a peaceful heart to be able to hear Your word.

Amen

We Need to Know What to Do

“As long as you fear your own ability to know what you do, you cannot be fully imagescooperative.  (A Course of Love, 20.32)”

Affirmation:  “cooperation”

Reflections:

1 – Tiny Little Statement

This is a tiny little statement with deep meaning.  If we don’t trust ourselves to do the right thing, we will not be fully cooperative with our brothers and sisters.  We will think, subconsciously, that we may lead them astray.  And well we may.  We need to ask for guidance at every turn, and when that is assured, we can be cooperative without fear of making wrong decisions.

2 – Guidance

We do have the ability to know what we do, and we can do the right thing when we look to God as our guidance.  Many of us have sought over long years to “do the right thing,” but we have remained unsure of ourselves.  Have we really always made the right decisions?

3 – Mistakes

Probably not!  But mistakes do not ultimately matter, for we have received Atonement.  We are one with God, by the time that we have walked the whole pathway.  We are both human and divine, and we know that we are on the right track.

4 – God Will Provide

Nobody needs to be fearful in his/her daily life.  God will provide, and when we make the determination to “do the right thing,” we can rest assured that His guidance will be forthcoming.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

As You know, guidance is one of my favorite topics.  I welcome the advice that You give me.  The only problem is when I wonder if the advice is coming from my ego and not from You.  Then I can easily get confused.

Take the confusion from me today.  Help me to discern exactly what Your will really is, and I do know that it is my will as well.

Amen.

Herein Lie Hell and Heaven

“It is impossible that the prayer of the heart remain unanswered in the perception of the one who asks.  If he asks for the impossible, if he wants what does not exist or seeks for illusions in his heart, all this becomes his own.  The power of his decision offers it to him as he requests.  Herein lie hell and Heaven.  (M-21.3)”

Affirmation:  “May I ask for only what is true and real.”

Reflections:

1 – Personal Experience

I have been lost in illusions through one particular period early in my adult life.  My “prayer of the heart” was answered, and I was asking for what did not exist and was asking for illusion.  And they both came.

2 – Not Real

But was this real?  Indeed, no.  And God would have us to ask only for reality, the real world.  He will be there to see that we get the real world.

3 – Lost in the Ego

We are largely lost in the ego when we ask for what does not exist and for illusions.  Certainly I myself had, toward the end of my illusory journey, had discovered A Course in Miracles.  And within six months I had emerged from a 14-year illusion.  This miracle did not come of anything that I did.  I do believe that the Divine came into play.  And I have been mightily grateful for God’s action ever since.

4 – God Will Protect Us

I did not ask for anything that was bad for me.  I learned a great deal in that 14 years.  A Course in Miracles says that God will protect us when we ask for what is bad for ourselves.  It is no more than what a loving earthly father would do for his children.  (Paraphrases from ACIM.)

5 – A Kind of Hell

But we can make a kind of hell for ourselves when we ask for what does not exist or for illusions.  We need to test our prayer of the heart, to see that it is the right prayer.  And only a heartfelt desire to know and to do God’s Will will accomplish this miracle.  Especially when one’s force of will (informed by the ego) is very strong.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for walking with me through that 14 years in my early adulthood.  You knew what was best, and You, for the vast majority of the time, did not give me the “green light” to pray for what I wanted.  And so I didn’t pray for this dream, except for a brief three days, when the green light came through–not important in a 14-year journey.  Thank You for leading me to the very real life that You did plan for me.  And I have no regrets.  Part of what I was living was something that You authorized.

Be with me in the twilight years of my life.  Be with me for excellent physical and emotional health.  Help me to help others, and to attract to myself only what is Your highest and best.  May my thankfulness for the wonderful life that confronts me be something that You can see and acknowledge.

Be with all of us as we walk through the day, as we take journeys without distance, and finally find our home in You.

Amen.

God’s Will Is My Will

“The contrast between His Will [God’s Will] and yours but seemed to be reality.  In truth there was no conflict, for His Will is yours.  (M-20.6)”

Affirmation:  “God’s Will is my will.”

Reflections:

1 – Only in Illusions Do We Differ from God about Will

We only, in illusions, believe that we want something for ourselves that God would not will for us.  When we are thinking this way, we are thinking through the ego.  When the Holy Spirit prompts us to say or do or think something, He is speaking for our real will, the one we share with God.  He is getting ready to give us what we really want.  Would we turn aside from this?

2 – Jonah

The distinction between God’s Will and our will then disappears.  We do not have to feel like the Jonah of the Old Testament, a lesson that would have us believe that we cannot escape God’s Will, even when we are acting as hard as we might to do something else.  I don’t know all the nuances of that type of thinking, but it is fallacious reasoning.  Jonah’s best action was actually to do what God wanted him to do.  In that alone would he find the joy and happiness that he, and all others, seek.

3 – Personal

I spent a long time in my early adulthood puzzling over God’s Will.  He seemed to be asking me to do something that I wasn’t sure I wanted to do.  But in my deepest heart of hearts, I did want to do what it seemed I was being asked to do.  I still do not have all the answers, but I followed that pathway for 14 years, and 30 years beyond, I have no regrets.  I expect that as time goes by, I will come to understand more than I do even now, 30 years later.

4 – How to Live Magnificently

Be with God.  Let His Universal Inspiration, the Holy Spirit, guide our steps.  There is no more magnificent way to live the best life imagined.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for putting to rest my conflict over Your Will for me.  We actually wanted the same things so many years ago!  I did not ask for my prayer to be answered, because I wasn’t sure that You wanted it.  You walked with me through 14 years, and now You have walked with me through more than 30 more.  You taught me much in that 14 years, and certainly I hope that You have done the same in the years since that pivotal time.  Be with me now ias I follow my heart and try to write in a way that will be beneficial.

Be wtih all of us.  Lead us to see the way that we can follow our hearts.  May we not toil and sttrive and worry in our lives.  There is so much stress in the world as we live it.  Let us realize that the stress originates in our own minds, and there it can be overlooked.  Let us have a flow to our das, following Your guidance.  May we turn to the Holy Spirit or the Christ deep within.  May we know what to do and say to help other people and ourselves.   We are One with You.  Thank You for the knowledge that this declaration is a truth for all of us.

Amen

No Strain in Doing God’s Will

“There is no strain in doing God’s Will as soon as you recognize that it is also your own.  (T30)”

Affirmation:  “no strain in doing God’s will”

Reflections:

1 – What We Think about God’s Will

This sentence is a primary theoretical foundation for the Course.  Much of our rebellion has been predicated upon the idea that we would not believe that God’s will would be desirable; we think that we can choose better.  We even think that His will is punitive.

2 – Personal Experience

I questioned the will of God for all of my twenties and half of my thirties.  I wanted to follow what I understood to be God’s will, but too often I did not fully understand that God is within, and that surely I would be doing my will when I followed what I understood to be His.  So I followed His will, not having met A Course in Miracles, and not knowing if I were deluding myself.  When I was 34, I found ACIM, and another whole new chapter opened for me.  It was indeed welcome news to know that in following what I perceived to be God’s will for–in all–14 years, I was actually following what I wanted as well.  But it didn’t quite feel like that.  It had felt as though I were following a dream.  But doesn’t God speak to us through the everyday “reality” that is a dream, an illusion (from ACIM)?  And so isn’t what we really want in our hearts often what He would have for us?  His pathway is not as remote as we might, on first glance, see it to be.

3 – God’s Will = Our Real Will

How wrong we are!  God’s will and our own “real” will are the same!  What a relief this can be.  Our thoughts of Jonah and the whale may be relegated to an Old Testament story, not meaningful in the world in which we live today.  With Jonah, the idea that God would pursue us and demand that we do His will, is the main crux of the matter.  In the Course, we are gently led to do God’s will, once we have understood that we are actually doing our own will at the same time.  The God of A Course in Miracles is in no way a punitive God.

4 – No Conflict in Following God’s Pathway

So, we experience “no strain” in doing God’s will.  We see no conflict in following God’s pathway.  It is the pathway that we would choose if we could see the whole picture.  Our judgment is not that wondrous; we see imperfectly and only in part.  But when we acquiesce to the Holy Spirit, we truly know the peace of following God’s will as our own.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

What a relief to learn that God’s will is really our real will!  Thank you, dear Father, for this insight.  This is one of the greatest of Your blessings!  Not to know that we are in Your Will is difficult indeed.

When we know that doing God’s will, as we perceive it, is really our own real will, we do not feel coerced.  Thank you for this insight, this great blessing.

I would walk the pathway today that You and Our Guide point out.  I would ask for direction at every point, knowing that this is what You want me to do.  Help me to relax in Your care, sure of Your love and protection.  Be with me so that the day turns out well.  I know that the day will turn out well when I am following Your Will, which ever is also my own.

Amen.

Happy Dreams the Holy Spirit Brings

ACIM Workbook Lesson 87 – for Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Affirmation:  “I will there be light.”

Selected Passage:

“I will use the power of my will today.  It is not my will to grope about in darkness, fearful of shadows and afraid of things unseen and unreal.  Light shall be my guide today.  I will follow it where it leads me, and I will look only on what it shows me.  This day I will experience the peace of true perception.  (WB152)”

Reflections:

True perception is a gift of the Holy Spirit, a gift that gives us happy dreams.  And true perception can and does lead ultimately to knowledge.  We can use the power of our will to will today that we see in light.  This is a metaphorical way of speaking, but its intent is clear to even very early students of A Course in Miracles.  We know when we are groping in darkness, in the negative emotions, and we would change all of that to sometimes much more positive.  ACIM will teach us how to make that change.

Affirmation:  “There is no will but God’s.”

Selected Passage:

“I am safe today because there is no will but God’s.  I can become afraid only when I believe there is another will.  I try to attack only when I am afraid, and only when I try to attack can I believe that my eternal safety is threatened.  Today I will recognize that all this has not occurred.  I am safe because there is no will but God’s.  (WB152)”

Reflections:

One does attack only when one is afraid.  Knowing this, how can we not forgive ourselves and our brothers and sisters?  Attack is the misguided way that we ask for help.  It is the opposite of giving help.  And we must give help, sometimes in very subtle ways, if we would know the best way to live.  If an overt display of help would not be well-received by someone who is attacking us, let us back off.  But we can give what we are led by guidance to give.  And sometimes we can simply wait for a better moment to make our gift to ourselves as well as to others.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would ask for an easy day today.  Perhaps this is not a realistic prayer, but it is one that feels right to me now.  I need some solace, some happy dreams.  I am on the verge of experiencing too much stress.  May my perceptions change so that I am at peace.  May You walk with me throughout this day, and may I be conscious of Your presence.

This time I am afraid of my own reactions.  Being stressed puts me at odds with Your peace, and I would not be at odds with Your peace.  Help me to lie low today as I regain my equilibrium.  This day I devote to You.  This day I will seek, in as many moments as I can, Your peace above my ego-oriented propensity to be right.

Keep me from knit-picking.  I would be tolerant of all whom I encounter.  I would seek for their happiness every bit as much as I seek for mine.  Give me Your guidance as I seek to maneuver through the mines of an uncertain world.

Thank You for being there for me.

Amen.

God’s Will Is Your Will

“There is no will but God’s.  The idea for today [Note:  Workbook Lesson 74] can be regarded as the central thought toward which all our exercises are directed.  God’s is the only Will.  When you have recognized this, you have recognized that your will is His.  (WB 130)”

Affirmation:  “God will is my real will.”

Reflections:

1 – Jonah

Many of us get caught up in conflicts over God’s will and our own.  We wonder if we are really very different from the story of Jonah in the Old Testament, who was forced to follow God’s will, even though his own seemed in conflict.

2 – The Same Will

A Course in Miracles promises us that there really is not conflict.  God and we actually have the same will.  When we follow our Christ nature, we will know this.  Only when caught in temptation do we feel led to take a different pathway, one that we know at the time is not God’s highest and best choice for us.

3 – Personal Experience

I spent years in a Jonah-like situation, but, in retrospect, I realize that what I perceived to be God’s will for me was, in fact, my own real will as well.  Some of the details differed, but largely they were societal expectations, not God’s inclinations.  I wondered long and hard about God’s will, and I surrendered to Him countless times.  This was not in vain.  I found the incentive to continue my walk along this pathway, and I walked it for 14 years, to its conclusion.  I was not always totally willing, but I did comply.  I did not think I had a choice, so strong was the sense that I must do this thing that seemed almost thrust upon me.

4 – The Central Thought

This workbook lesson actually says that this statement can be regarded as the “central thought” toward which all exercises are directed.  Surely when we know that God and we share the same will, we will not get caught up in conflict again.  His choice for us is always best, and we will follow what we know from the Holy Spirit when Awakening beckons.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for guiding me through A Course in Miracles, and with this reading to have assured me that Your will and my real will are actually identical.  When I think that I want something different from what the Holy Spirit seems to be saying to me, I am thinking amiss.  My still-present ego has a toehold in me.

I would stay in the flow today as I seek to follow Your Guide for me.  I would be at peace and stress-free, for it is frequently simply too much stress that trips me up.  I would not be tripped up today.

Thank You for clarifying Your Will in my life.

Amen.

God’s Will Is Our Real Will

“There is no will but God’s.  The idea for today [Note:  Workbook Lesson 74] can be regarded as the central thought toward which all our exercises are directed.  God’s is the only Will.  When you have recognized this, you have recognized that your will is His.  (WB 130)”

Affirmation:  “I would follow God’s will, because He chooses what I really want.”

Reflections:

1 – God’s Will and Our Will

Many of us get caught up in conflicts over God’s will and our own.  We wonder if we are really very different from the story of Jonah in the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible), who was forced to follow God’s will, even though his own seemed in conflict.

2 – There Is Really No Conflict

A Course in Miracles promises us that there really is no conflict.  God and we actually have the same will.  When we follow our Christ nature, we will know this.  Only when caught in temptation do we feel led to take a different pathway, one that we know at the time is not God’s highest and best choice for us.

3 – Central Thought

This workbook lesson actually says that this statement can be regarded as the “central thought” toward which all exercises are directed.  Surely when we know that God and we share the same will, we will not get caught up in conflict again.  His choice for us is always best, and we will follow what we know from the Holy Spirit when Awakening beckons.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Certainly I fretted over God’s will for many years in my early adulthood.  I didn’t want to feel like Jonah, but I did.  Thank You that those days are behind me, thanks to the greater understanding that A Course in Miracles has given me.  I do not have to worry that You might want me to be a puppet–just doing Your bidding.  Your bidding and my desire are actually identical!  This reality is indeed grand!

Thank You for keeping me on the pathway that I thought You wanted for me when I was younger.  I would never have felt that I had loved You enough if I had deviated from that pathway, though I know that You would have forgiven me.  May the pathways ahead that You point out be ones that I can easily and peacefully walk, without conflict.  I would know Your peace.

Thank You for always being there for me, for I am a part of You.  That knowledge is also a blessing that You have granted me through ACIM.  Thank You for that knowledge.

Amen.

No Conflict = My Will Is God’s

ACIM Workbook Lesson 331 – for Sunday, November 27, 2011

 

Affirmation:  “There is no conflict, for my will is Yours.”

“Forgiveness shows us that God’s Will is one, and that we share it.  Let us look upon the holy sights forgiveness shows today, that we may find the peace of God.  Amen.  (WB468)”

 

Reflections:

1 – One Identical Will

Today’s lesson harkens to the oft-repeated refrain in A Course in Miracles that our real will and God’s Will are identical–not similar, but identical.  This is a new concept for many of us, who have lived through sermons on Jonah and the whale, and wondered if maybe what God wants for us is the farthest thing from our minds.  The Holy Spirit interprets God’s Will for us, letting us know in the process that what we would choose in our right mind is actually what God Himself chooses for us.  The Holy Spirit lets us know what that real will is, because we are apt to misinterpret, believing that pain and joy are different and can be told apart.  We often choose the pain, thinking that it is joy; the Holy Spirit will interpret correctly–pain as pain (to be avoided), and joy as joy (to be experienced by choice).

2 – Forgiveness Gives Us “Holy Sights”

Forgiveness gives us “holy sights,” and it is important to note that this promise refers also to our illusory world.  It does not just refer to the real world, which not all of us can see on a consistent basis.  ACIM does not point out what those holy sights are, but we ought to ask, that we might receive.

3 – Forgive and Find the Peace of God

We will find the peace of God when we forgive.  It is just that simple and just that profound.  Let us take the right steps toward forgiveness of ourselves, others, and the world’s situations today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would forgive today any and all whose path I have crossed throughout my life.  May we forgive each other, if that is necessary.  I would find Your peace, and this is possible in this world only by forgiveness.  I get glimpses of the fact that no permanent wrong has ever been done, either by myself or others, but  in this illusory world we still need the practice of forgiveness.  Eventually we will see that there is nothing at all in need of forgiveness.  But most of us are not there yet.

I seek Your peace especially today.  I do not want to revisit old times and places without Your peace as a part of me.  I would not stay mired in the past, but live in the present and not plan unnecessarily for the future.  I would drop defenses about the future today.  I would find You in my present, secure in the truth that I can meet whatever happens in the future with equanimity.

Help us to be children of the light that You give to us through Your guidance.  May I be flexible today in following Your guidance, turning on a dime if I am straying from the pathway that You hold out to me.  Thank You for the many blessings which You have granted to me.  I know that to have on my own does not detract from anybody else.  Your storehouse is full and overflowing for all of my brothers and sisters, and I pray that all will recognize this truth and be granted the peace that comes from accepting it.

Amen.

God’s Will for Us = Safe, Untroubled, Serene, Joyous

ACIM Workbook Lesson 329 – for Friday, November 25, 2011

Affirmation:  “I have already chosen what You will.”

“Father, my will is Yours.  And I am safe, untroubled and serene, in endless joy, because it is Your Will that it be so.  (WB466)”

Reflections:

1 – God’s Will = Already Chosen

This prayer carries the question of God’s Will a step closer to what we really experience.  The lesson for today says that we have already chosen what God wills for us.  This is akin to an earlier lesson that directly stated that we are in control of our destiny.  And when we have walked far enough along the pathway home, we have already made the choice that we would have the blessings that God’s Will would bestow on us.  We have chosen, ahead of time, that we would accept His Will–not fall into miscreations again, not choose with the egoic self.

2 – Our Blessings

When we have made the choice, ahead of time, that God’s Will is ours, then we walk smoothly.  We do not run into unsafe territory; we do not take side pathways, pathways that divert us from where we would really, in our heart of hearts, prefer that we go.  We are safe, untroubled and serene, with endless joy (see prayer above).  And we are all of these things, because God has willed these blessings for us.

3 – Reassurances from the Workbook

How often in the Workbook, especially Part II, do we encounter reassurances that we are actually intended to be at peace, to be serene and joyful.  So often, in our earlier lives, we have not chosen wisely, and we have only known these blessings in a fleeting way.  Sometimes the joys that we have encountered have been egoic, and therefore especially fleeting, turning to ashes in our mouths, and leading us to weep bitter tears.  But such unfortunate outcomes are not God’s Will for us.

4 – Callings

We can rest assured that what God wills for us will be ultimately recognized by ourselves as good.  All to often, in our egoic past, we have believed that we would not will what He would will for us.  We may have heard stories of a “call” that would be the opposite of what we think that we want.  But, if we are brave enough to follow that call, we find at the conclusion of the pathway a serene and peaceful conclusion.  We will be glad beyond measure that we stayed true to the calling.  God knows us best, and the one thing that He knows above all else if what we really want in our depths–for He is in those depths.  Do not fear, therefore, to rest in God’s Will as the very best pathway out there.  At this point in the Workbook, may we indeed know that we have already chosen the Will that is His to be our own.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would walk the safe and sure pathway to joy today.  Jesus says in this day’s workbook lesson that we have already chosen Your will.  Of course!  We but walk a pathway that we have trod before, but this time we are choosing with guidance of the Holy Spirit.  We can still stray into side pathways, egoic ones, but I would not choose to do so.  I would especially not choose to follow egoic ways today.  Keep me safe in Your arms.

May we share our good news with our brothers and sisters who are ready to hear what we have to say.  May we not run ahead of them, trying to get them to accept a pathway which they may not yet choose.  And maybe a pathway different from A Course in Miracles is right for many.  We do not make decisions for other people.  But we do know that ultimately all of us will find our way home.  May I do my part, unobtrusively, to make that day come sooner.

Be with us today.  Help us, as always, to avoid anger and attack, irritation and impatience.  We need to know that You are there for us, and that You will pick us up when we have fallen.  We but try again, and again.  And finally we will succeed in being flexible enough to follow the Holy Spirit, and to know You as You intend for us.

Amen.

Wholly Safe, Eternally at Peace

ACIM Workbook Lesson 328 – for Thursday, November 24, 2011

Affirmation:  “I choose the second place to gain the first.”

“There is no will but Yours.  And I am glad that nothing I imagine contradicts what You would have me be.  It is Your Will that I be wholly safe, eternally at peace.  And happily I share that Will which You, my Father, gave as part of me.  (WB465)”

Reflections:

1 – God’s Will / A Puppet of God?

One of the great preoccupations of my early adult years, before I found A Course in Miracles when I was 34 years old, was the question of God’s will.  What did He want me to do with my life?  I pondered that one for literally years on end, writing in my journal and doing a lot of thinking.  I wondered if I determined what God’s will was, would I be a puppet of His?  If I don’t follow my own free will (which might be different, or so I thought), then what would I be except a puppet?

2 – The Will of God and Our Own = Identical

A Course in Miracles answers all these questions.  Jesus says that our real will and the Will of God–as imparted to us as guidance from the Holy Spirit–are actually identical.  The Holy Spirit lets us know what our real will is, and often we don’t know this until we accept His guidance.  We are so confused by the ego that we choose wrongly, and we suffer as a result.  But the Holy Spirit chooses for us.  He guides us into the smooth paths of harmony.  And all is well.

3 – We Near the End of the Workbook

By the time we reach this lesson, Lesson 328, we are well toward the end of the year spent with God in the Workbook for Students.  We are no longer imagining a result as dictated by the ego.  So the prayer above can say, “I am glad that nothing I imagine contradicts what You would have me be.”  We would be wholly safe, eternally at peace.  And the only way to get there is through guidance that God encourages us to follow, from the Universal Inspiration, His Communicator to us.

4 – We Want What God Wants for Us

Now, if we have listened well and communed constantly with God, we will be ready to recognize that we do indeed, and happily, share the Will of God that He gave to us.  We want what He wants for us.  We know that this is all that we want.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I regret that I spent so many years pondering what God’s wil might really mean.  Thank You for the answer in A Course in Miracles.  How could it be otherwise?  I am One with You, and though covered over by layers of egoic thinking, I know that my whole Self belongs to You.  So how could my real will and Your Will be different from each other?  You allow me to manifest in this world, and my Self encompasses the better individual that You still consider me to be.  You have never given up on me.  As ACIM says, I am as You created me.  Only in illusion have I fallen into the separation that is not really real.

Help me to retain these ideas today.  Thank You for this bit of theology.  If others do not find the theology compatible with their thinking, may they commune with You to get their own understanding, an understanding that may differ from my own.  Be with all of us today as we seek You once again.

Thank You that You did not create “puppets.”  That was always a false issue, and I am glad to leave that false idea behind me.  Be with me as I seek to grow ever more closely into the individual that You would have me manifest in this troubled world.

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.

To Will Separately from God Is Senseless and Painful

ACIM Workbook Lesson 307 – for Thursday, November 3, 2011

Affirmation:  “Conflicting wishes cannot be my will.”

“Father, Your Will is mine, and only that.  There is no other will for me to have.  Let me not try to make another will, for it is senseless and will cause me pain.  (WB453)”

Reflections:

1 – The Father’s Will and Mine Are Identical

This prayer returns us to the important message that A Course in Miracles gives out to us:  Our will and our Father’s Will are identical.  When we ask for and receive guidance from the Holy Spirit, He chooses for us; He lets us know what we really want.

2 – An Imprisoned Will

Anything else engenders an imprisoned will that brings on pain (a Text tenet).

3 – Revisiting Jonah

It is hard for us who were schooled in the Old Testament (or Hebrew Bible) and the story of Jonah to believe that what God wills for us is exactly what we will for ourselves, if we only knew our own mind.  But it is.  And this is the glorious promise that we are not puppets.  The Holy Spirit chooses for us.  He knows all circumstances–past, present, and future–that will impact any decision, and then He lets us know what decision is best, what we would best choose to say or do (or even think) next.

4 – Judging Amiss

The Manual discusses judgment quite a bit, and it points out to us that we have often thought that we judged aright, only to find out how wrong we have been.  The world, the Manual says, teaches us to rely on judgment as we mature, but this teaching is in direct contrast to A Course in Miracles.  We turn our judgment over to One Who does know, and we are infinitely blessed by this gesture.

5 – When in Conflict, Go Within

If we find ourselves in conflict, the best action that we can take is to go within, to God, to the Holy Spirit, in silence, and to get quiet.  Then the next step will appear without fail.  If it appears not to appear, we have allowed emotions to cloud our thinking.  Be still, wait in confidence, and the next right action to take will come to us.  Especially is this advice important when we find ourselves in conflict with one of our brothers or sisters.  Get quiet, do not engage in debate or argument, and listen to guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Then the conflict will dissipate.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would affirm today by my thoughts and actions that I know that my real will and Your Will are identical.  May I not get lost in foolish thoughts about puppets, thinking that if I do Your will, I will be little more than someone dangling on a string that You control.  This is not the Way.  The Holy Spirit knows what I really want in my heart, and in every way he seeks to have me realize these heartfelt truths also.  I would walk the Way that He directs.  I would not seek to make judgments about what to think or say or do, when it is completely impossible for me to know all the facts.  You do know all the facts, and Your Universal Inspiration will reveal to me what I need to know to walk the right pathway.  Thank You for caring for me enough to give me a Guide Who cannot fail.

Be with me all day today, as I seek to walk Your pathway.  May I intuitively know the next right thing to do, and may I never doubt that this intuition, if informed by Your grace, is the best way for me to go.

Amen.