THE POWER OF PLUGGING IN
Our theme for this month is "Ultimate Power Tools" for living! And I have said each week that in your workroom at home, power tools make any job go smoother, quicker and easier than do hand tools and that we also have such power tools -- spiritual power tools -- for living!
So far this month, we have fired up the power tools of enthusiasm and faith rightly placed. Today we will look at something critically important for all of our tools . . . making sure they are, and remain, plugged in!
Because as long as a power tool stays connected to its source, it can do its work. But the instant it is unplugged, nothing happens. Today we will explore a number of ways we can get and stay plugged in.
Do you remember the quote from Emma Curtis Hopkins -- a woman who knew about spiritual power tools - I've shared each Sunday this month? If not, here it is again: "We have unlimited POWER. If we do not USE that power it does not alter the fact that it is our INHERITANCE."a
The first way we get plugged in and a way to stay plugged in is to simply remember that we have unlimited power! That it is our inheritance!
I love these words from Fillmore in Atom Smashing Power of Mind: ". . . the I AM has power to just the extent you have the courage to assert your power. We must all step forth and assert, 'All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth.'b If the central spark is like the divine, then we have all power."c
So, to plug in, we must first recognize God as Power -- the ONLY power.
New Thought author Emilie Cady writes: "God is power. Not simply God has power, but God is power. In other words, all the power there is to do anything is God. God, the source of our existence every moment, is not simply omnipotent (all-powerful), but rather is omnipotence (all power). God is not just omniscient (all-knowing); but rather omniscience (all knowledge). God is not only omnipresent, but more - omnipresence. God is not a being having qualities, but rather is the Good Itself."d
GOD LIVES AS ME
And, then we must recognize that the Good Itself lives as us!
So, take a moment right here to connect with the Energy of Omnipotence, Omniscience and Omnipresence - All Power, All Knowledge, All Presence - in this room, right now.
Breathe in the feeling right now. . . . sense lt filling every nook and cranny of the room. . . . Recognize that everywhere your eyes land, you are looking at the Good Itself in form. . . . Tap into this profound awareness and then say aloud with me:
"This All Power, . . . . this All Knowledge, . . . this All Presence . . . . lives everywhere . . . . including as me."
Talk to me for a moment. What does that feel like? [solicit ideas]
Might we say we feel plugged in right now? Wouldn't it be nice to bottle up this feeling in the room and take it with you so you could apply a daub behind your ears every time you forget who and whose you are??
Well, I might not be able to offer you that today, but I do want to offer you a powerful idea, a powerful word, a powerful way to stay plugged into this All Power, . . . . this All Knowledge, . . . this All Presence.
The word is "entrust."
I think about how many people and things we "entrust" ourselves to. We do it every day, time and time again, consciously and unconsciously.
We entrust ourselves to the food manufacturers that our food is safe.
We entrust ourselves to the grocery store that they have stored it properly so it stays fresh and untainted.
We entrust our health to doctors, pharmaceutical companies and pharmacists.
We entrust our money to banks.
We entrust our safety to traffic engineers who time the traffic lights and to the other drivers to live by them!
We entrust our lives to mechanics who build airplanes and to the men and women who pilot them.
I could go on and on with examples, but I think you get my drift. We entrust ourselves to the outer world of humanity ALL the time. And there isn't anything wrong with that - we need to do that or we wouldn't be able to function very well. But there's more; there's so much more!
In comparison to entrusting ourselves to the outer world of humanity, it is exponentially more powerful to entrust ourselves again and again and again to the inner world of Spirit.
According to animal behaviorists, when your dog rolls over on its back and wags its tail, it isn't necessarily asking for you to rub its tummy, although he or she may enjoy that, too.
But really your dog is making the supreme gesture of love entrusting himself to you. In effect, your dog is saying, "I love you and I trust you, and to prove it I'm leaving my vulnerable throat and vital organs open for you to do anything you want to me."e
What a great image that is, eh? No fear whatsoever, only trust! Do we do entrust ourselves in that way to God?
I love this story about Myrtle Fillmore. As you know she and her husband Charles not only co-founded the Unity movement, but they also opened a publishing house that published The Daily Word.
In those early days, they were struggling financially. They were down to very, very little money and one day in a staff meeting there were concerns about whether they were going to be able to go on. And because they had put so much money into the publishing company, they were also concerned that the church may have to close as well.
In the midst of this conversation, one of the staff members said, "We need to pray that the money holds out."
Myrtle said in that moment, "No, we need to pray that our faith holds out."f
The staff person was entrusting him/herself to the outer world of form; while Myrtle was entrusting herself to the inner world of Spirit because she had a deep UNDERSTANDING of where the real substance is. It's not the money - the outer expression of humanity - it's in the inner expression of Spirit.
New Thought leader Jack Boland once said: "My part is to believe; God's part is to provide all that is needed."g
And that is what Charles and Myrtle Fillmore did, and we know that they did not close the doors on either church or their publishing company and both thrive today.
As I think about this idea of entrusting ourselves to Spirit as a way to stay plugged in, I am reminded of the scripture in Mark, Chapter 9: "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"h That's an interesting statement, isn't it? Which is it? I do believe or I don't?
These words were said to Jesus by the father of an epileptic boy after Jesus said to him: "If you can believe, everything is possible to him who believes."i
And the father reacted by saying, "I do belief," and then I suspect he thought, "well OK, the truth is maybe not so much, so help me with my unbelief!"
And we are told that Jesus healed the boy.
The really interesting thing about this miracle is that the father had first brought the boy to Jesus' disciples, and they could not heal him. Jesus got a bit irked when he heard this (a human moment!) and said to them: "O unbelieving generation, how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you?j [Lamsa version is a little softer: It reads "How long shall I preach to you?"] Bring the boy to me."
After Jesus had healed the boy, his disciples asked him privately, "Why couldn't we do that?"
He replied, "This kind can of healing can occur only by fasting and prayer."k
Nowhere in the text does it say that Jesus was fasting from food before he did this miracle. In fact, he was having a mystical experience on a mountaintop where Moses and Elijah appeared to him, with Peter, James and John as witnesses. It doesn't say they fasted.
So what if Jesus didn't mean fasting from food, but fasting from unbelief? And although he said "prayer," it is not told that he actually stopped and prayed. No, he simply had a consciousness of wholeness.
So in order to heal the little boy, there had to be NO unbelief and a consciousness that was completely united with God, the Father, to use the language consistent with this Biblical teaching. I'd say that's a pretty good definition of plugging in!
And while we may not have yet evolved to have the consciousness of Jesus, we can stay awake to these ideas and make conscious choices in the moment to entrust ourselves to God! And that is the key idea here: Making conscious choices in the moment to entrust ourselves - to stay plugged into - God!
Here's a recent 'Note from the Universe": "When walls close in, skies turn gray, and dreams seem like they're awfully far away, you're probably just forgetting that the same 'hands' that created the sun, the moon, and the stars, are still holding yours, eager to help. I simply adore you, The Universe"l
Listen to these various promises from Isaiah chapters 41 and 43:
"The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the LORD will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs. I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive. I will set pines in the wasteland, the fir and the cypress together, so that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the LORD has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it."m
"When you shall pass through the sea, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. . . . you are precious and honored in my sight, and I love you,. . . Fear not for I am with you."n
Those are some pretty powerful promises aren't they? But when things get dicey, when we get concerned, confused, in fear, when the storms come, we can forget all of them, can't we?
Well, that's why we gather every week - to get ourselves re-plugged in as we are reminded to entrust ourselves to Spirit!
When you're struggling with a problem, remember to: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding."o
There's a story of a young mother who was struggling with a particularly stubborn problem. She prayed about it feverishly for several weeks, begging, pleading, but without any results.
Then one evening she walked outside to get the paper and found her toddler son trying to pull open the petals on a tightly closed rosebud. He looked up at his mother wide-eyed and said, "I make pretty flower bloom."
The young mother said, "As I heard myself explaining to him that you can't make a flower bloom by pulling on it, something clicked inside of me. I had been handling my problem the way my son was handling the rose! By begging, pleading, trying to force an answer, I had been trying to pull at God. I needed to take my hands off, wait patiently, and trust in the creative power of God to open up a right answer for me. When the answer did come, it was not what I had expected. It was better."
CONNECTION WITH SOURCE
No matter what is going on in your life, you can absolutely entrust yourself to Spirit. But you won't know this unless you actually do it!
Parachutes aren't proven trustworthy by people carrying them around on their backs. They show their reliability once someone jumps. God, too, can be trusted with our lives, which we discover once we take a leap. And when you do, your world will be invigorated and enlivened, you can count on it!
The Source of our Power is how we use this Source Energy we call God in our life. Our Power is our Source. There is only One. Our whole life is all about being connected with the Source.
And, we have the power to adjust our Connection with Source. When we are fully allowing our Connection with Source, we are radiant; we are clear-minded; we are joyful; We feel good in the moment; We're usually smiling; Our hearts are swelling; We feel appreciation; We feel love.
In other words, it's that feeling of awakening and feeling free, and knowing that all is well, and feeling adventurous and eager about the way that life unfolds. That's the ultimate Power - and that's what being plugged in feels like. And so it is.
I invite you now to participate in a communion service, if you would pull out the communion paper in your program...
Almighty Father-Mother-God, Creative Cause, unto whom our hearts and minds are open, all our desires known, and in whose wisdom all secrets are revealed, recreate and purify our hearts. Cleanse and renew our minds by the inspiration of Your Holy Spirit, that we may love You perfectly and magnify Your Holy Name. Unto You we give all praise and thanks through the indwelling Spirit of Truth. Amen.
The Master Teacher of the ages said, 'The Lord our God is One; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the great and first commandment.' And a second like unto it is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments the whole law and prophecy hangs.'
CONGREGATION: "There is but One Presence and One Power in all the Universe, God the Good, Omnipotent. I love the Lord my God with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my mind, and with all my strength. I recognize my oneness with all mankind."
We recognize that man is truly a spiritual being, made in the image and after the likeness of the Creative Cause. We also realize that all sickness, poverty and disharmony stem from our failure to live in this consciousness. Let us now acknowledge our truly spiritual natures and resolve to lead a life following the commandment of God and adhering to spiritual law.
CONGREGATION: "O Lord God, we now cleanse our hearts and minds by rejecting all thoughts that are unlike Your all-providing, loving nature. We know that Your will for us is all good, and we now confidently and gratefully claim this good."
We need to recognize that all mistakes and shortcomings, whether on our part or of other people are due to ignorance, that we and all others act at the level of our limited understanding. Therefore, we understand that God does not hold error against the perpetrator. However, to gain freedom from the burden of our error we must first forgive all who may ever have offended us.
CONGREGATION: "Almighty God, I now forgive all who may ever have offended me. I forgive all persons all things."
If we have offended others we must resolve to do all possible to adjust the offense, and claim their forgiveness and accept release from the Almighty God.
CONGREGATION: "Almighty God, I sincerely regret my offenses against other persons. I now claim their forgiveness. I now accept Your forgiveness. I am now free from the past and the mistakes of the past."
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread and blessed it, and broke it. And He gave to the disciples saying, Take, eat, this is my body. Do this in remembrance of me. Almighty God, we know the bread Jesus offered His disciples symbolized Truth, Spiritual Substance, Your invisible Mind essence, out of which all things are made. This we eat: this we appropriate, and by partaking of it, we become one with Your radiant Living Substance. Beloved friends, partake now of this invisible, radiant, Living Substance of Truth.
CONGREGATION: "Through faith, I now drink of the wine of Spirit. I am filled with the quickening Life of Spirit. I am made new in soul and body."
Let us repeat this statement once more, after which we will take it deep into the silence, and so appropriate it, together.
CONGREGATION: "I am filled with the quickening Life of Spirit. I am made new in soul and body."
In prayer and silence we have appropriated the radiant Substance and quickening Life of Spirit. We have felt the inspiration of God Indwelling lifting our thoughts and feelings to a higher plane of understanding. Now we go forth and consecrate our thoughts and activities to His service.
CONGREGATION: "To this end I have been born; and to this end I am come into the world, that I should bear witness unto the Truth."
We consecrate ourselves through recognizing our purpose to bear witness to the life of Truth. May the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Jehovah, my rock and my redeemer.
Almighty, Ever living God, we give thanks for this time of conscious communion with You in which we have appropriated the Substance and Life of Your Spirit. We give thanks that in mind and body and affairs we are being quickened and raised to the consciousness of our own divine nature, and that in all we think, say and do, we are increasingly manifesting this Divine likeness. In the Name of the Indwelling Spirit of Truth, Amen.
aEmma Curtis Hopkins
cCharles Fillmore Atom Smashing Power of Mind, p. 47
eBernie Smith The Joy of Trivia, p. 119
lNote from the Universe