Copyright. 1892 THE ALLIANCE PUBLISHING CO. Windsor Arcade, 569 Fifth Avenue New York, N. Y.
There is a perfect passivity which is not indolence. It is a living stillness born of trust. Quiet tension is not trust. It is simply compressed anxiety.
Who are there among those that have learned the law of Good and have tried to bring it into manifestation, that have not at times felt their physical being almost ready to snap asunder with the intensity of their “holding to the truth”? You believe in Omnipresent Life. You attempt to heal. A difficult case comes to you – a case in which the patient is always wanting to know how soon she will be healed, etc. Her impatience and unbelief, together with your desire to prove the law to her, stimulate you, after a few treatments, to greater efforts, and almost immediately you find yourself thinking frequently of her when not treating, and trying to throw more force into treatment when she is present. Then after giving a treatment you find a sense of fullness in your head which 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 some one else. You cannot help wondering why she improved so perceptibly with the first few treatments, and afterwards, even with your increased zeal, seemed to stand still or get worse. Let me tell you why. It is because 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 she got in a hurry, you, beginning to take on responsibility, which was God’s, not yours, grew anxious, and began to cast upon her your compressed anxiety. You were no longer a channel for Divine Live, 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 upon her, out of your anxious mortal mind, a few strained, compulsory thoughts which held her 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 working from such a plane.
So in this matter of God as our supply, or any other side of the divine law which we from time to time attempt to bring into manifestation, the moment we begin to be anxious, then our quiet is simply the air-tight valve of tension or suppressed anxiety, which 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 and beautiful as far as it goes; but by some mental law this intensity of thought seems to cut off our consciousness from the Fountain Head, thus preventing inflow and renewal therefrom. Hence the quick exhaustion and 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 upon 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 which we are to do ourselves, but there are others which God does not expect us to do. (When I speak of ourselves as something apart from, 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 trust, 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 which we do not see with these mortal eyes, but which is Omnipotent, and which 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, it will come in to deliver us. But its working depends upon our trusting; and trusting means getting still inside.
Carrie Judd, when asked if it was not hard work to keep herself always wrought up to a point of faith sufficient to bring into her life whatever she wanted, replied: “Is it hard work for a baby to lie in its mother’s arms? Well, if I want anything, be it a pair of boots or a hundred dollars, I just ask God for it, and then I lie down in His arms (go about my work) and know that it is mine, giving not an instant’s thought to the how or when of its coming; and it always comes.”
In this effort of ours to bring into manifestation the good which 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 God which He will work for you.” “The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.” See the conditions here imposed. This invisible Presence will remove the big difficulties, which look to your mortal vision almost insurmountable, from your path, only on condition that you stand still. The Lord shall fight for you if ye 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 flutter, or a forced external quiet, which simply means compressed anxiety – completely prevents this invisible Omnipresent Force from doing one thing for our deliverance. It must be peace, peace; possess your soul in peace, and let God work.
Marvelous have been the manifestations of this Power in my own life when the “bringing to pass” has been left entirely to it. Ask not, then, when, or how, or why. That implies doubt. Only “Rest in the Lord, 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 not might against this great multitude 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 the Lord unto you: Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s. O Judah, fear not: but tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord will be with you. Ye shall not need to fight this battle; set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord 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 make God manifest as your supply; you are trying to hold vigorously to the law of good in that very trouble at home which the world knows not of, but when 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 there is any battle). Can you not calmly – aye, even with rejoicing – claim the victory right now because it is God’s battle? “Ye 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 the Lord 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, my brother. 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, “Go out tomorrow against them”; i.e., they were to do calmly, and in order, the external things which were in the present moment to do, but at the same time 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 went out; and Jehoshaphat stood, and said, Hear me, O Judah. Believe in the Lord your God; so shall ye be established.” And then he appointed singers, who should go forth before the army singing, “Praise the Lord; for his mercy 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 any army mighty in number, singing, “Praise the Lord!”
Reader, are you any nearer than this to the verge of the precipice, in this material condition you are trying to overcome? What did Jehoshaphat do? Did he begin to treat, 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 he begin to doubt in his heart? Not at all. He simply remembered that the battle was God’s and he had not anything to do with the fighting, but everything to do with the trusting. Further on we read:
“And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, which had 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 His 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 toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and behold, they were dead bodies, fallen to the earth; and none escaped. And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoils, they found among them in abundance both riches and previous jewels, more than they could carry; and they were three days gather the spoil, it was so much.”
So God delivers always when fully trusted – perfectly, fully, even beyond anything we have asked or thought; adding good which 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 the Lord” when we “stand still.”
We must learn that the time of help 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 form t heir troubles – from Abraham going forth to sacrifice his son, down to 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, “The Lord shall 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 further and further away instead of coming into sight, you just grow more peaceful and still than ever, you may know that the moment of deliverance is growing nearer for you with every breath.
In St. 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 away for us this stone?” he says: “When they looked, the stone was rolled away; for it was very great.” Isn’t that “for” full of meaning to us? The very greatness of the difficulty which made it impossible for human hand 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 strength is made perfect in thy weakness.” And St. 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 am I 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.”
“They that trust in the Lord shall not be confounded. Blessed is he whose trust is in the God of Jacob.”
“It is better to trust in the Lord (in t his 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.”
Trusting and Resting
Did it ever occur to you, my reader, that you are almost daily taking God’s name in vain? Unless you are very watchful, very careful, you are doing so.
When God called Moses to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, “Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?
“And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you…
“This is my name forever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.”
I AM, then, is God’s name. Every time you say I am sick, I am weak, I am discouraged, are you not speaking God’s name in vain, falsely?
I AM cannot be sick; I AM cannot be weary, or faint, or powerless; for I AM is All-Life, All-Power, All-Good.
“I am,” spoken with a downward tendency, is always false, always “in vain.” The seventh commandment says, “Take not the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” And Jesus said, “By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”
If you speak the “I am” falsely, you will get the result of false speaking. If you say, I am sick, you will get sickness; I am poor, you will get poverty; for the law is, “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” “I am,” spoken upward, toward the good, the true, is sure to outpicture in visible good, in success, in happiness.
Does all this sound foolish to you? Do you doubt that such power goes with the speaking of that name? If so, just go alone, close your eyes, and in the depths of your own soul say over and over the words, “I am.” Soon you will find your whole being filled with a sense of power which you never had before – power to overcome, power to accomplish, power to do all things. I am, because Thou art. I am what Thou art. I am one with Thee, O Thou Infinite. I AM! I am good. I am holy. I am well. I am, because Thou art.
Says the Psalmist, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it and are safe.” They who think rightly about the power of the I Am, spoken upward, just simply have to run into it, as into a strong tower or fortress, and they are safe.
Did you ever go into a meeting where the drift of all the “testimonies” given was the I Am spoken upward – “I am happy to be here,” “I am glad I am a Christian,” “I am hoping and trusting in God,” etc., etc.? Attend such a gathering, and almost before you know it, you will find yourself lifted entirely above all your troubles and anxieties. You leave such a meeting with a feeling of joy and lightness, and a consciousness that you have the power to overcome all the home troubles and worries; and you go, singing and confident, toward the very fire which, an hour before, seemed about to consume you.
Dear friends, you who at times feel almost discouraged, you who are being continually “sand-papered” by the petty worries and anxieties of life, just try for one week always saying the I Am upward, toward the good, and see what the results will be. Instead of saying, “I am afraid it will rain,” say “I hope it will not rain”; instead of “I am sorry,” say “I would have been glad had it been so and so”; instead of saying “I am weak and cannot accomplish,” say “I Am because Thou art; I can accomplish, because I Am.” You will be astonished at the result.
The Christ, speaking through Jesus, said to the Jews who were boasting of being descendents of Abraham: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am.” And Paul, writing to Timothy, said: “Let everyone who nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” Let everyone who speaks the I Am keep it separated from iniquity or from false speaking. Let it be spoken always upward, never downward.
Jesus also said, “Whatsoever ye ask in my name” – i.e., in the name I Am – “He will give it you.” Whenever you desire – not supplicate, but desire – speaking the “I am” upward – He will give what you ask. Every time you say “I am happy,” you ask in His name for happiness. Every time you say, “I am unhappy,” you ask in His name for unhappiness. “Hitherto,” he said to the disciples, ‘ye have asked nothing in my name. Ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” Is not this just the trouble? Hitherto what have we been asking “in His name”? Have we been asking for health or sickness, for happiness or unhappiness, for riches or poverty, by the manner of our speaking the I Am?
Have we spoken it upward, toward the good, or downward, toward the not good? That which we have been receiving will tell the story. Jesus said if they asked rightly in his name, their “joy would be full.” Is your joy full? If not, then give heed to your asking.
The disciple healed “in the name of Jesus Christ.” In the name of Jesus Christ is in the name of the I Am.
Suppose a messenger is sent out from the executive mansion at Washington, to do certain things in the name of the President of the United States. These three little words, “in his name,” invest the messenger with the full power of the President, as far as the closing of that service is concerned.
“Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks unto God the Father,” said Paul, in writing to the Colossians. Whatever we do heartily and sincerely in the name of Christ or the I Am, carries with it the power of the I Am to accomplish – a power from a higher source behind us, as the presidential messenger receives his powers from a higher source. All power is given unto Christ. Doing all things “in His name” puts aside our mortal personality and lets the Christ do the work. When Moses, with a sense of his personal insufficiency for so great a work, shrank from it, saying, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, but I am slow of speech and of a slow tongue, The Lord said unto him, who hath made man’s mouth? Have not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.”
In Edward Everett Hale’s story, “In His Name,” a story of the Waldenses seven hundred years ago, it is no fairy tale that invest t he words “In His name” with such magic power. This little password carried all who went on errands of good safely through the most dangerous places. Locked doors were readily opened at the sound of the words. Soldier, sentry, officers of the guard, all gave way respectfully and instantly before it. Men were willing to leave their homes at a moment’s notice and plunge into the greatest hardships “for the love of Christ and in His name.” Ministering today “in His name,” I say unto you, troubled one, anxious one, weary one. Be strong! Be of good courage! Be hopeful! The world – the mortal – is overcome already. The Christ, the I Am, speaking through Jesus, has spoken it, saying, “I have overcome the world.”
“To him that overcometh” – i.e., to him who recognizes that already the world is overcome by the I Am – “will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and on that stone a new name which no man knoweth, saving him who receives it.”
“Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple f my God, and he shall go no more out; and I will write upon him the name of God,” even the name I AM.