There are two ways by which we can manifest God.
One of these ways is to ask him to become in us that which we particularly specify: health, peace, understanding, prosperity — any form of omnipresence which we may choose. The other way by which we manifest God is to ask him to become in us that which he particularly desires. To be successful with the first method, we must daily pray for the particular manifestation, or pray for it until the consciousness of the specified good is established. Having established a consciousness of the specified good, we are free to take up another specific good, for which we must pray until the consciousness of it is also established. The success of the second method depends on the consciousness which we have of God. If we believe him to be the omnipresence of good, the method yields us instantaneous and abundant results.
The first way holds God's manifestations within the boundaries of our mental limitations. A sufferer may pray that God manifest himself as health; but if the sufferer's comprehension of health be limited to the cessation of a pain, the answer to the prayer will be limited to the removal of the pain, and health, which is the cosmic harmony, will still find no avenue of manifestation in the man's life. The second way sets no barriers of finite limitations between us and the all-healing health of God.
The first way is a slow, long way. After we have received the thing specified in our prayer, we sometimes find that its possession fails to bring satisfaction, or we sometimes find that its possession brings difficulties; that in fact we really do not value it; that we find it a hindrance to our good. The second way is direct and quick, because it releases God to the manifestations of his potentialities. The results of this method never are hindrances to our good, because each result is in us an expansion of God's nature. Each result is an initial good which increases until the very presence of God appears in us.
When we specify that we would study under the instructions of one certain teacher, it comes about that either through book or personal association we receive the instructions of that teacher. Then there is revelation, governed by the unity between the student's mind and the teacher's mind. The revelation may be limited by the limitations of the teacher's mind or by the limitations of the student's mind. When we put ourselves under the tutelage of God's mind there is no restriction on revelation. His mind illumines our minds.
When in our prayers to God we name the particular form in which his supply is desired, we receive according to the limitations of our ideas. We are prospered, but our prosperity is confined to the conventional forms of prosperity. When we specify that we would have God himself; when we make the identity with him that includes all of ourselves and all of himself, our supply comes forth spontaneously. There then is no need for prosperity concentrations. Mental wrestling for supply is an Adamic consciousness and experience, an eating of bread in the sweat of the face. Receiving God as the fact, the presence, and the substance of supply is to be with Jesus Christ in the consciousness and the experience which are sustained by the meat of which the specifying mind knows not.
We can use God if we will. We can shape his infinity in the small molds of our changing desires, but we shall not always be satisfied to do this. To attain satisfaction, we shall have to let God use us, shape us, manifest himself in us.
It was a distinct gain in the consciousness of mankind when first it was made known that "Ask, and ye shall receive" was the statement of a law and not an ecstatic exaggeration of a fanatical dream.
Jesus Christ gave a rule by which each mind in the world can act. But he gave a pointed rebuke to those who applied the law of God to the increase of that which would minister only to the physical. "Your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things," he said to those whose comprehension did not grasp the fact that having the All we have the particular. He called our attention to the need of more than the mere particular when he said to one: "Sin no more, lest a worse thing befall thee."
The soul that really seeks the kingdom of God does not long tarry in the consciousness that would have health wholly for the sake of enjoying the body, nor does it cultivate the consciousness of supply that it may revel in the ways of manifest riches. Willingly it yields to the urge of the divine Immanence, and in so doing finds that its demand is more for God than for the expressions of God that are appropriated to physical uses.
The consciousness which Jesus Christ exercised for manifesting God is: "I and the Father are one." Of the results following oneness, Paul gives us a hint when he speaks of "things which eye saw not, and ear heard not, and which entered not into the heart of man, whatsoever things God prepared for them that love him."
The way of the fuller manifestation is: Let God be the consciousness; let him be the life within. Let the human, the changing, restless consciousness of self be absorbed by the fact and the presence of God; let that which we have personally denominated "I" and "mine" be blotted out by "Thou" and "Thine." Then will form in us those things of God which hitherto eye has not seen or ear heard. We shall look steadily as with new eyes upon a new universe, wherein God is the fact and the presence of those eternal lovelinesses which are called heaven by those who have caught a flash of the splendors which inhabit God's house. Then the partial shall be seen as an item in the divine Completeness, and we shall nevermore strive for that which we at all times feel God to be in us.
The man in whose garden there flows a steady spring of abundant, clear, life-giving water does not go to the boundaries of his domain and dig shallow rivulets to induce the waters to flow to him as a drink. Having access to the source, he drinks from it. Knowing its exhaustlessness, he does not try to wall in the water to prevent its irrigating other gardens than his own. He does not in any way inhibit the flow, but seeks to keep the spring free from anything that would clog the current of outrushing supply.
As it is with the spring of water in the garden, so is it with the fountain of God in us. We do not have to labor to bring forth our supply. We do not have to say to the fountain: "Give my garden moisture." We have only to keep the opening free. The fountain is water, therefore it gives water; it gives itself. God is supply of every kind, therefore he gives supply; he gives himself.
Father, come into consciousness and manifestation, that thy kingdom may appear in me, and all thy holy will be manifest, within and without. Amen.