A beggar had been sitting by the side of the road for over 30 years. One day a stranger walked by. "Spare some change?" mumbled the beggar, mechanically holding out his old baseball cap.
"I'm sorry. I have nothing to give you," said the stranger, and then he asked, "What's that you are sitting on?"
"Nothing," replied the beggar, "Just an old box. I have been sitting on it for as long as I can remember." "Ever look inside?" asked the stranger.
"No," said the beggar, "What's the point? There's nothing in there."
"Have a look inside," insisted the stranger.
The beggar managed to pry open the lid. And with astonishment, disbelief, and elation, he saw that the box was filled with gold.
My friends, as this story illustrates, we are all sitting on a gold mine! And this morning, we are going to continue taking a Recess From the Recession by moving into a spiritual DANCE - a dance called Abun-DANCE.
First, I want to explore a few ideas, starting with the idea of Abun-DANCE itself. And then we will look at a formula, if you will, for engaging in this Divine Dance a bit more fully!
WHAT IS ABUNDANCE?
What is Abundance?
We've spent three weeks talking about abundance, but we have never collectively defined it. Perhaps now would be a good time to do that. So, what is abundance to you? I want you to know there is something more than what anyone has come up with. Perhaps I should say, there is something that comes BEFORE anything you have come up with. Abundance is really a state of mind. It is a consciousness. Abundance is not just having things or experiences. It is the consciousness that attracts the things and experiences. It is a way of living and of thinking and of being and of acting in the world.
You can probably think of people who seem to have all the physical things in the world they need, yet they hoard, they are in fear, they are constantly worried they will lose what they have and are trying to get more. They are not living an abundant life.
And then there are others who live what might be considered meager lives with not a lot, but they have everything they ever need when they need it and are secure and happy! They are abundant - because they have an abundance consciousness.
The Bible is so rich with metaphors about our consciousness. One of the twelve spies Moses sent out to the Promised Land was Joshua. When he returned from that prosperous land, he described it as rich in every way. He brought back the evidence in rich tasty grapes. He said it was a land of milk and honey, but he alone saw that.
The other 11 spoke only in negative terms, they spoke of giants, and other reasons why they should not go forward -- so Moses decided to wait. For the next 40 years, Moses, Joshua and the Children of Israel roamed the desert, just on the border of prosperity. But Joshua kept the consciousness.
When Joshua became the leader of the people, he waited no longer, but led his people into the land, and in three days it was accomplished.
In Hebrew the name Joshua is identical to Jesus - both of them are derived from the word Jehovah, meaning "I am that I am." Both of them symbolize the consciousness of ONENESS - which of course is the consciousness of abundance!
So, how can we attain the consciousness of abundance? Well, let me give you some ideas:
Expect the Best
Go for it and take the first step.
Let's use those three ideas as a formula for our dance of abundance!
1. PAY ATTENTION
1. Pay Attention
Pay attention to 2 things: first to the lavish abundance of the Universe that is naturally provided!
It's been said that an inquisitive fellow decided he wanted to compute how much money it would cost a day to feed all the birds in the world. He was a scientific type and knew his computers, so he input all this data in the computer bank, and do you know what the result was?
He found out that there is not enough wealth in all the nations of the world to feed the birds for one day! Thank Goodness the birds didn't know. Stop to think about that for a moment. There's not enough wealth in all the world to feed all the birds, but do the birds get fed?
The first step in developing a deeper, richer more holy dance with divine Abundance is to PAY ATTENTION to the presence and the power in this universe that has already lavishly provided you with good.
To clarify your own thinking, examine your thoughts and feelings about God as your source. We spent all last week looking at this idea
I love this passage at Hebrews 3:4: ". . . every house is built by some one, but the builder of all things is God."a
Charles Fillmore, Prosperity: "Poverty or prosperity, it all depends on you. All that the Father has is yours, but you alone are responsible for the relationship of the Father's good to your life. Through conscious recognition of your oneness with the Father and his abundance [that's our PAY ATTENTION part], you draw the living substance into visible supply."b So, first, PAY ATTENTION to God's lavish abundance already provided in which you are immersed because you are ONE with it!
The second part of PAYING ATTENTION is paying attention to what inner work you need to do.
After you PAY ATTENTION, you . . .
2. EXPECT THE BEST
2. Expect the Best
Again, Charles Fillmore, Prosperity: "The spiritual substance from which comes all visible wealth is never depleted. It is right with you all the time and responds to your faith in it and your demands on it. It is not affected by our ignorant talk of hard times, though we are affected because our thoughts and words govern our demonstration. Pour your living words of faith into the omnipresent substance, and you will be prospered though all the banks of the world may close their doors."c
Think about the story of the woman who touched Jesus' garment and was healed. There were thousands of people in the crowd but only the woman who had faith in that substance got it. It was already established in her consciousness, and she knew that her needs would be met if she could make the contact. She expected to be healed if she could touch the hem of his robe.
Fillmore, Prosperity: "Do not say that money is scarce; the very statement will scare money away from you. Do not say that times are hard with you; the very words will tighten your purse strings until Omnipotence itself cannot slip a dime into it. Begin now to talk plenty, think plenty, and give thanks for plenty. Enlist all the members of the home in the same work. Make it a game. It's lots of fun, and better than that, it actually works."d
Expect to be prospered. Expect to have all of your needs, wants and desires taken care of. Of desires, Fillmore says: "Desire is the onward impulse of the ever evolving soul. It builds from within outward and carries its fulfillment with it as a necessary corollary."e
3. GO FOR IT -- TAKE THE FIRST STEP
3. Go For It -- Take the First Step
Edwene Gaines says something during the preparation time for walking on fire that is profound! She says that just because you received the internal guidance to walk didn't mean the fear would necessarily go away. And fear could feel like an impenetrable wall. But it really isn't a wall. It's more like a membrane, like a bubble, and all you have to do to penetrate it is go for it and take the first step.
You may not ever have walked on fire, but I bet you have walked through fire, haven't you? And you got through it by going for it and taking the first step. You've got to move forward in life - taking that first step, and then the next first step and then the next. And what you can know is that God is holding your hand the whole way!
So, what did we talk about today?
In Charles Fillmore's book, Prosperity, there is A Prosperity Prayer (23rd Psalm revised):
- Develop a consciousness of Abundance
- Pay Attention to . . .
- God's lavish abundance everywhere
- Your inner work to be done
- Expect the best . . . if it isn't the best, it isn't finished.
- Break through the membrane of fear by going for it and taking the first step.
The Lord is my banker, my credit is good.
He maketh me to lie down in the consciousness of omnipresent abundance;
He giveth me the key to his strongbox.
He restoreth my faith in his riches;
He guideth me in the paths of prosperity for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk in the very shadow of debt,
I shall fear no evil, for thou art with me;
Thy silver and thy gold, they secure me.
Thou preparest a way for me in the presence of the collector;
Thou fillest my wallet with plenty; my measure runneth over.
Surely goodness and plenty will follow me all the days of my life,
And I shall do business in the name of the Lord forever.f
Now that's a dance I can get into!
bCharles Fillmore, Prosperity, p. 68
cCharles Fillmore, Prosperity, p. 13
dCharles Fillmore, Prosperity, p. 103
eCharles Fillmore, Prosperity, p. 27
fCharles Fillmore, Prosperity, p. 69