10. The Right Idea Of God.
If one wishes to discover the secret of the healing influence of the New Thought, the greatest step in that direction is a better concept of God. It must be larger and truer than that which prevails. Ths necessity is general, both in the church and outside. In fact, it is theological dogma mainly which has given us unlovable ideas and ideals of our Heavenly Father.
The simplest and most concise definition of God is a Biblical one: “God is love.” It is not, God has love, but God is love.
As to where God may be found, we are told that he is omnipresent. Think what this means! Love everywhere. It is helpful to apply this even in terms of space. To illustrate: We think of gravitation or attraction as a cosmical force everywhere active. The higher power of love is no less so. God (Love) “in whom we live and move and have our being.”
We cannot get out of or away from love. Omnipresent! Suppose that for a little time we could lay aside the gravity of our bodies and take a flying trip through space. We arrive at our own silvery satellite. There is love. We go on to the great golden centre of our solar system. Love still surrounds us. Onward and still onward among those glorious orbs which are suns for other innumerable systems, and yet forward, until we are lost in the cloudy nebula of the Milky Way. Love is there! Not a square inch in all the space we have passed where it is not! Nothing less than this is omnipresent. If that corresponding medium, lower in grade, which we call the universal ether, is everywhere, love is not less so.
But there is one startling exception! only one. Man can shut it out of his own consciousness. The Bible calls this condition “outer darkness.” It cannot exist unless one ignorantly make it for himself.
Man’s thought of God has been mostly as a magnified image of himself. God has been called Lord, King, Ruler, Potentate, Sovereign, and Judge. While in a certain sense such names are applicable, they are more especially associated with human characters which are changeable, imperfect, and unlovable. The name of God should be lifted high above such associations, because these qualities have been linked to it in human consciousness. For that reason some writers prefer to substitute other names, such as the Infinite, the Eternal, the Universal Power, Life, Intelligence, Spirit, Wisdom, or Goodness.
Such ideals of divine manifestation as we call Order, Law, Harmony, Peace, Wholeness, Truth, Beauty, and Happiness are also useful as aids in perfecting our conception of the All-Good. But we need not give up the use of the term, God, because it is possible to purify it from its lowering associations.
No man can worship anything higher for God than his own highest ideal of God. Even in an “unknown God,” he can imagine nothing beyond.
As the greatest of all healing and reforming forces is God present in the human consciousness, it is of extreme importance that the divine ideal or concept be as high, pure, and attractive as the mind is capable of holding.
When the soul gives itself to such an exercise, all shadows of disorder, disease, and sin are displaced and fade away.
The ruling God consciousness is defined truly as salvation. This is belief in God and oneness with him, while in general, theology is only belief about God. The difference is inexpressibly great. There is no healing agency comparable to the recognized Presence.
An unworthy concept of God has little power. Only love can call out love. If the character of God be such that an interposition were necessary to shield man from him, there is fatal defect. It is mockery to command man to supremely love an unlovable God. It is both a moral and psychological impossibility. Beware of painting him in unattractive colors on the walls of the human soul!
God cannot be welcome in the human consciousness unless we are drawn—not forced—face to face with him.
Christ is the name of sonship—God, in us. Jesus personally expressed that relation, supremely, ideally. But he was not a “scapegoat,” substitute, nor an interposition. Must anything interpose between love and love?
How can we “yearn” for something which rcquires a shield to keep it from us?
If we are to receive healing from God, He must be supremely attractive—the sum total of all that is ideal.
As the glorious sunlight dissipates fogs, clouds, and dampness, so God in the human consciousness will displace evils, disorders, ills, and depressions, mental and physical. Concentrate upon the highest!