HERE IS a perfect passivity that is not indolence. It is a living stillness born of trust. Quiet tension is not trust. It is simply compressed anxiety.
Who is there among those who have learned the law of good and have tried to bring it into manifestation, who has not at times felt his physical being almost ready to snap asunder with the intensity of his "holding to the Truth." You believe in omnipresent life. You attempt to realize it for others. An obstinate case comes to you for help, a case in which the patient is always in a hurry for results, always wanting to know how much more time will be required, and so forth. His impatience and unbelief, together with your great desire to prove the law to him, stimulate you, after a few treatments, to greater efforts; and almost immediately you find yourself thinking frequently of him when not treating, and trying to throw more force into the treatment when he is present. Then, after giving a treatment, you find a sense of fullness in your head that is very uncomfortable; and very soon, what at first was a delight to you becomes a burden, and you almost wish the patient would go to someone else. You cannot help wondering why he improved so
perceptibly with the first few treatments, and afterward, even with your increased zeal, seemed to stand still or get worse. Let me tell you why. When you first began to treat, you, so sure of the abundance of divine life, calmly and trustingly spoke the Truth to your patient. When he got in a hurry, you, beginning to take on responsibility that was God's, not yours, grew anxious and began to cast on him your compressed anxiety. You were no longer a channel for divine life, sweet, peaceful, harmonious, to flow through, but by your intensity and hurry, you completely shut off the divine influx and were able only to force on him, out of your anxious mortal mind, a few strained, compulsory thoughts that held him as in a vise, and exhausted you.
Some healing and other demonstrations of power are brought to pass in this way, but it is always the stronger mortal thought controlling the weaker, and is always wearing to the one thus working. This plane is entirely one of mental suggestion, a mild form of hypnotism.
In the matter of God as our supply, or any other side of the divine law that we, from time to time, attempt to bring into manifestation, the moment we begin to be anxious our quiet becomes simply the airtight valve of tension or suppressed anxiety that shuts out the very thing we are trying to bring
about, and so prevents its manifestation.
This way of holding with intensity to a thought, be it mental argument for healing or looking to God for material supply, recognizing that we ourselves have power by such firmness of thought to bring what we want into manifestation, is one way of obtaining results, but it is a hard way. We do thus give out what is within us, and it is helpful so far as it goes, but by some mental law this intensity of thought seems to cut off our consciousness from the Fountainhead, thus preventing inflow and renewal therefrom; hence the quick exhaustion and the burdened feeling.
We need to rise above this state of tension, to one of living trust. There is such a thing as an indolent shifting of our responsibility to an outside God, which means laziness, and which never brings anything into manifestation. But there is also a state of trustful passivity, which we must enter into to do the highest work.
There are some things that we are to do ourselves, but there are others that God does not expect us to do. (When I speak of ourselves as something apart from God, I simply mean our conscious selves. We are always one with God, but we do not always realize it consciously. I speak of ourselves as the conscious part of us.) They are His part, and
our greatest trouble lies in our trying to do God's part, just because we have not learned how to trust Him to do it. We are, with our conscious thought, to speak the words of life, of Truth, of abundant supply, and we are to act as though the words were true. But the "bringing it to pass" is the work of a power that is higher than we; a presence that we do not see with these mortal eyes, but which is omnipotent and will always rush to our rescue when we trust it.
From the smallest thing of our everyday life to the rolling away of the largest stone of difficulty from our path, this Presence will come in to deliver us. But its working depends on our trusting, and trusting means getting still inside.
In this effort of ours to bring into manifestation the good that we know belongs to every child of God, it is when we get beyond the point where we try to do it all ourselves and let God do His part that we get the desires of our heart.
After we have done our part faithfully, earnestly, we are told to "stand still, and see the salvation of Jehovah, which he will work for you. . . . Jehovah will fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. "See the conditions here imposed. This invisible Presence will remove from your path the big difficulties, which look to your mortal vision to be almost
insurmountable, only on condition that you stand still. The Lord will fight for you if you hold your peace. But there is nowhere any such promise of deliverance for you while you preserve a state of flutter within. Either one -- this state of internal unrest, or a forced external quiet, which simply means compressed anxiety -- completely prevents this invisible omnipotent force from doing one thing for your deliverance. It must be peace, peace; possess your soul in peace, and let God work.
Marvelous have been the manifestations of this power in the writer's life when the "bringing to pass" has been left entirely to it. Ask not, then, when or how or why. This implies doubt. Only "rest in Jehovah, and wait patiently for him."
When, in the reign of Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, the Ammonites, Moabites, and others -- a great multitude -- came against the King in battle, he, in great fear, called the people together, and they sought counsel of the Lord, what to do saying: "We have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do; but our eyes are upon thee." Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel, and he said: "Hearken ye, all Judah . . . Thus saith Jehovah unto you, Fear not ye, neither be dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's
. . . Ye shall not need to fight in this battle; set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of Jehovah with you. O Judah . . . tomorrow go out against them; for Jehovah is with you."
My friend, this battle you are trying to fight is not yours, but God's. You are trying to heal; you are trying to hold vigorously to the law of good in that very trouble at home which the world knows not of, but which at times nearly overwhelms you. Be still. Let go. The battle is God's, not yours, and because it is God's battle through you, God desiring to manifest through you, victory was on your side before ever the battle began (in your consciousness, for that is the only place where there is any battle). Can you not calmly -- aye, even with rejoicing claim the victory right now, because it is God's battle! You need no longer fight this battle, but "stand ye still," right where you are today, in the struggle to overcome material things, and "see the salvation of Jehovah with you."
Does some doubting Thomas say, "Yes, but I must have money today," or "I must have relief at once or this salvation will come too late to be of use; and besides I do not see how -- -- "? Stop right there, dear friend. You do not have to see how. That is not your business. Your business is to "stand still" and proclaim: "It is done."
God said to Jehoshaphat, "Tomorrow go out against them"; that is, they were to do calmly and in order the external things that were in the present moment to do, but at the same time they were to stand still or be in a state, mentally, of trustful passivity, and see God's saving power. Jehoshaphat did not say, "But, Lord, I do not see how"; or "Lord, I must have help right away or it will be too late, for already the enemy is on the road." We read, "They rose early in the morning . . . and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah. . . . believe in Jehovah your God; so shall ye be established." And then he appointed singers, who should go forth before the army, singing, "Give thanks unto Jehovah for his lovingkindness endureth forever."
All this, and not yet any visible sign of the promised salvation of the Lord! Right into the very face of battle against an army mighty in number, singing, "Give thanks unto Jehovah."
Are you any nearer than this to the verge of the precipice, in this material condition that you are trying to overcome? What did Jehoshaphat do? Did he begin to think or pray hard and forcibly? Did he begin to send strong thoughts of defeat to the opposing army, and exhaust himself with his efforts to hold on to the thought until he should be delivered?
Did be begin to doubt in his heart? Not at all. He simply remembered that the battle was God's and that he had nothing to do with the fighting, but everything to do with the trusting. Farther on we read:
"And when they began to sing and to praise, Jehovah set liers-in-wait against the children of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, that were come against Judah; and they were smitten."
It was only after they began to sing and to praise, that the Lord made the first visible move toward the manifestation of His promised salvation. It may be so with you. You may be at the very verge of apparent failure and the overthrow of your cherished principle. Your friends (?) are already beginning to speak disparagingly to you of your foolish trust (the things of God are always foolishness with men), saying, "You must do something in this matter." Fear not. Just try to realize that the battle is God's through you; that because it is His battle, it has been victory from the start and can never be anything else. Begin to sing and praise Him for deliverance; and as surely as you do this, giving no thought to the when or the how, the salvation of the Lord will be made visible and the deliverance as real as it was in Jehoshaphat's case, even to the gathering of unexpected "spoils" following. For
this narrative of Judah's king further says:
"And when Judah came to the watch-tower of the wilderness, they looked upon the multitude; and behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and there were none that escaped. And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in taking the spoil, it was so much."
So God delivers when fully trusted -- perfectly, fully, even beyond anything we have asked or thought; adding good that we have never dreamed of, as though to give double assurance of His favor and love to any who will trust Him. This is the "salvation of Jehovah" when we "stand still."
We must learn that the time of help's coming to us is not our part, but God's. We do know that in all the accounts in Scripture of those who realized God's special deliverance from their troubles -- from Abraham's going forth to sacrifice his son, to the time when Jesus put out His hand to save the sinking and faithless Peter, and even after this in the experience of the apostles -- this invisible power came to hand just at the right time always, never a moment too late.
The promise is, "God will help her, and that right early"; or, as the Hebrew reads, "at the turning of the morning," which means just the darkest moment before dawn. So if, in whatever matter you are trying to exercise trust in your Father, the way keeps growing darker and darker and apparently the help goes farther and farther away instead of coming into sight, you must grow more peaceful and still than ever and then you may know that the moment of deliverance is growing nearer for you with your every breath.
In Saint Mark's account of that early morning visit of the women to the tomb of Jesus, when, bent on an errand of loving service, they forgot entirely the immense stone weighing several tons lying across their path, until they were almost at their journey's end, and then one exclaimed in momentary dismay, "Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the tomb? Then looking up, they see that the stone is rolled back: for it was exceeding great." Is not "exceeding great" full of meaning to us? The very greatness of the difficulty that made it impossible for the women to remove it, was the more reason why it was done by this invisible Power.
"Man's extremity is God's opportunity." The more we are cut off from human help, the greater claim we can make on divine help. The more
impossible a thing is to human or mortal power, the more at peace can we be when we look to Him for deliverance, for He has said: "My power is made perfect in weakness." And Paul, realizing that when he placed less confidence in the mortal he had more help from the Divine, said: "When I [the mortal] am weak, then I am strong."
Trusting means resting confidently. We are to rest confidently, saying: "God is my strength; God is my power, God is my assured victory. I will trust in Him, and He will bring it to pass."
"Commit thy way unto Jehovah; trust also in him, and he will bring it to pass."
"It is better to take refuge in Jehovah [in the invisible Presence] than to put confidence in princes."
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee" (Isa. 26:3).