THE POWER OF THE GREAT I AM
Does anyone know the four words that can bring spiritual growth to a screeching halt?
I already know that.
I know I have been tripped up by those words. We, of course, have all read Catherine Ponder's books. Her common message is "The prospering power of tithing." We already practice what Ponder teaches, we don't need another book about it. Right? We already know that stuff.
But, if you are truly not hung up on "I already know that..." you will give this book a shot. It is a fabulous book with fantastically deep, rich spiritual teachings and practical application. I am thrilled to have it be our theme for this month.
Because we are at a time in the evolution of humankind that we need to "fish or cut bait" about our prosperity consciousness! Yes? Isn't it time to finally master this one, so we can get on to more important things?
Like expressing our brilliance? Sharing our gifts? Making this a world that works for everyone? Those things are a heck of a lot easier to do when you're not struggling to ensure your next meal! The teachings from the life of one of the wealthiest men in the Scripture can help us get there!
This month, we will delve into the prosperity secrets of Moses.a Where will we go today? Well, the beginning is always a good place to start!
Today, we lay the groundwork by looking at three 40-year periods of Moses' life, each one deepening his prosperity consciousness. I know we usually just think of one - the 40 years in the wilderness - but actually there were three.
This morning, we will begin to see how these three periods of growth can apply to our lives. Ready? Then, let's go.
40 - METAPHYSICALLY
OK, before we go, let's take a moment to establish something really important. Who remembers what 40 stands for metaphysically? 40 stands for "all the time it takes for transformation."
Noah and company spent 40 days on the ark;
Buddha spend 40 days under the Bodhi tree;
Jesus spent 40 days being tempted;
It was also 40 days between his resurrection and his ascension; and
Moses and the Israelites spent 40 years in the wilderness
These are just a few examples; there are lots of others. The number "40" represents all the time it takes for transformation! So, it's not necessarily literally 40 days or 40 years - but whatever time it takes for the transformation of consciousness to occur!
Moses had three such periods of transformation:
1. The Egyptian Period;
2. The Midian Desert Period; and
3. Finally, the Well-Known Wilderness Period.
1. THE FIRST PERIOD - THE PERIOD IN THE COURT OF KING PHARAOH
1. The First Period - the Period in the Court of King Pharaoh
Moses' first period was spent as the adopted son of the wealthiest man alive - King Pharaoh. In this period, he was exposed to immense material wealth. He lived in opulence! He grew up appreciating and expecting the finer things of life. He didn't think there was anything wrong with having them. He never was told:
Money is the root of all evil;
You don't deserve it;
Money doesn't grow on trees;
You'll never make anything of yourself.
All those things many of us heard. Admittedly, that gave him a bit of an advantage, but not an insurmountable advantage! Our lesson here is that if we are not comfortable with material wealth - then get comfortable!
Give yourself a day of opulence! For Edwene Gaines it was her stuffed olive experience.
But more than having the outer experience of wealth during this first period, Moses was given instruction on the inner laws of prosperity and how to use them - everything we'll be talking about this month.
Let me touch ever so briefly on the foundational secret he was taught - that we all must get! Are you ready? Lean forward and cup your ears: "Substance" is the key to all wealth. Let me say that again, because this is a critically important point - a secret then that is not a secret now: "Substance" is the key to all wealth.
What is "substance?" Interesting that Ponder doesn't define it. But, there is Wallace Wattles' book, The Science of Getting Rich, originally published in 1910, and lo and behold, he discusses substance in some detail. He writes: "Everything we see on earth is made from one original substance, out of which all things proceed. New things are constantly being made and older ones are dissolving, but all are made out of one thing. There is no limit to this formless substance. The spaces in, through and between the forms of the visible universe are permeated and filled with this original substance, the raw material of all things. Ten thousand times as much as has been made might still be made, and we still would not have exhausted the supply of universal raw material. The formless substance is alive and is always impelled toward more life."b
What is "substance?" Substance is God - Universal Energy, Source, whatever you want to call it - before taking form, as form and in ever-changing forms!!
This prosperity secret is the basis of all wealth and Moses learned this in his first period.
So in this first period, Moses
(1) gained an appreciation of and a comfort with OUTER material wealth and
(2) acquired information and knowledge of the INNER creative methods of wealth - an important balance.
The greatness of Moses lay in his ability to have a relationship with both sides of prosperity: The physical and the metaphysical.
Think for a moment, where are you in this? Do you have a good balance here? If not, what can you do to get into balance?
This first period in Moses' life was a time of mental and intellectual development and it was a critically important time for Moses - critical ideas for us - but it was only the beginning of complete transformation.
Something happened to end this period that has a powerful message for us. Who knows why this period ended? Moses saw the abuse the Egyptians where heaping on the Israelites and he couldn't stand it, so he killed an Egyptian guard and then had to flee Egypt.
He saw something in his life and the life of those around him that he didn't like, and he used force to get rid of it. If we only learn about our co-creative ability from the mental and intellectual standpoint, we too may make the mistake that Moses made during this period. We will use our co-creative ability to force our good. (Remember last month? Power v Force?)
And, like Moses, we may well get a negative reaction. Moses had not yet learned that he could not use his knowledge to force people or conditions to do what he wanted. He had not realized there was a higher and better way - that is what the second period was all about.
2. THE SECOND PERIOD - THE MIDIAN DESERT EXPERIENCE
2. The Second Period - the Midian Desert Experience
When he fled Egypt for his life, he entered into the second 40-year period - or second period of transformation. This is called the Midian Desert Period.
He brought the prosperity consciousness he had developed in Egypt with him - remember, he married into a very, very wealthy family.
In this period, Moses took the time to meditate and turn within to develop his deeper powers. The word "Midian" means strife and contention. Moses needed this quiet period to overcome the strife and contention created when he tried to force his good. He realized that instead of trying to straighten out other people, he needed to straighten out his own thoughts and feelings and connect with something deeper than just the material wealth and the world as he wanted it to be.
And, of course, it was in this period that he encountered the Burning Bush from which came the voice of Jehovah - the metaphysical interpretation of Jehovah is "God within."
When Jehovah spoke to Moses through the burning bush experience, he told Moses that the universal God power, the power that would guide him, direct him and show him the way, was named, "I AM THAT I AM."c The indwelling God power was named "I AM." Those are two of the most powerful words one can speak, "I AM."
The Burning Bush experience is Moses hearing his inner voice, his I AM presence, and having a personal, intimate, heart connected relationship with the God of his being. He had always had a relationship with God, but it was with an external God. At this point in life, it became personal! And remember he came back from that experience changed. His face was illumined. He was a different person.
We must all connect with the God within. The place of love and peace, harmony and good! The place of divine wisdom and guidance. Just learning how to create our good isn't enough! There's more to creating true wealth!
When Moses doubted his ability to get his followers out of Egypt, Jehovah gave him a rod to help him. When Moses lifted the rod, it brought blessings. When he lowered it, the rod brought curses.
Your "I AM" is your rod of power. "I AM" is the name of the God power within you. And you can use it to bring about a blessing or a curse in your life. Every time you say, "I am sick," "I am afraid," "I am weak," or "I am discouraged," "I am not worthy," etc. you are speaking God's name falsely and you will get a false result.
The "I AM" nature of God within you cannot be sick or discouraged because it is filled with life, power and unlimited good.
"I AM" spoken upward toward increased good causes it to out picture in your life. What follows your words "I AM"? This week pay attention! Every time you say, "I AM" you have gripped a handle of power. You make your destiny by the things that you attach to the words "I AM."
3. THE THIRD PERIOD - THE WILDERNESS PERIOD
3. The Third Period - the Wilderness Period
Finally, we get to the famous period. Moses' final period of transformation. And at first blush, it doesn't seem to be a very prosperous period. For heaven's sake, 2 million people wandering aimlessly in the wilderness doesn't sound too prosperous to me. But, it was during this period that Moses combined all he had learned in the first two periods and then deepened tremendously.
The mission of Moses during this period was to demonstrate and teach the Hebrews that God was the source of their supply. He was to teach them how to trust God one day at a time for their supply. One day at a time for their supply. Just enough manna came for the one day. If they took more than they needed for one day - the balance would spoil. If they didn't really take enough, it would stretch. The only day that was different was the day before the Sabbath. Then they took twice as much, which lasted, so they did not have to gather on the Sabbath. And water came forth from the rocks!
This is a huge, huge teaching and if this is the only point you get out of today, but really get it, it's enough! Trust God ONE DAY AT A TIME FOR YOUR SUPPLY and it shall be provided!
But it, of course, was a period of ups and downs for Moses and for the Israelites. Sometimes they were happy to have been delivered from bondage; other times they criticized Moses for having brought them into the desolate wilderness.
And great learnings of staying power came forth from this period. So great that they will be the focus of the rest of the month!
For now, let's look at these three 40-year periods of Moses' life as a metaphor for our journey of connecting with our internal creative powers:
- We learn about the power of thought intellectually and perhaps rush forth to use it on others or to manipulate and control conditions. If so, we find that this can cause strife and be completely unsatisfying.
- This causes us to turn within to begin overcoming the strife and contention. As we do, our connection to the indwelling God comes alive. Life is good!
- Then we begin to experience some ups and downs in the use of this internal power. It's not all smooth sailing as we thought it would be. And we have the opportunity to deepen into the spiritual truth and nature of life. How, will be fully explored over the next four weeks.
But for now, I want to ask you, how are you using the Power of the Great "I AM?" Are you raising your rod high to proclaim your Truth, your connection to God's Goodness and to bring forth blessings in your life or are you lowering it by speaking God's name falsely and getting false results?
I want to end this morning in a prayer of affirmative statements - I AM statements straight from the writings of Catherine Ponder. If you would like, close your eyes, and repeat aloud after me:
I am health, strength, and peace.
I am happiness and prosperity.
I am strong, well, and vital.
I am beautiful, serene, and poised.
I am eternally youthful.
I am happy and free.
I am open and receptive to my highest good in mind, body and financial affairs here and now.
Where I am, good things happen because I am one with God.
And so it is, and so it will be.
aCatherine Ponder The Millionaire Moses
bWallace Wattles The Science of Getting Rich