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Sunday Message for January 7, 2024

Trusting God

Teaching a class some time ago I was reminded of some of the basic Truths that we tend to forget. We get so caught up in the latest fad, or book, or idea that we forget the basic Truths.

One of the required books for the class that I was teaching is Myrtle Fillmore's Healing Letters. In one of Myrtle's letters, she uses scripture from (Romans 8:11) which says,
If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you,
he who raised Christ from the dead
will give life to your mortal bodies also
through his Spirit that dwells in you.

Today we are talking about trusting God. We need to remember that "the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells" within us. We need to know that if we are to trust God. We need to remember that God has a plan for our lives which is far beyond anything we can possibly imagine.

Tagore wrote "I thought that my voyage had come to its end, that the path before me was closed, that provisions were exhausted, and the time come to take shelter in a silent obscurity. But I find that thy will knows no end in me. And when old words die out on the tongue, new melodies break forth from the heart; and where the old tracks are lost, new country is revealed with its wonders."c

There is a story in the book of Daniel which involves Daniel's three companions, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. King Nebuchadnezzar had forsaken his devotion to Daniel's God and become a raging tyrant demanding idol worship and the burning to death of those who did not comply.

(Daniel 3:8-12) "Certain Chaldeans denounced the Jews. The said to King Nebuchadnezzar, 'There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These pay no heed to you, O king. They do not serve your gods and they do not worship the golden statue that you have set up.'"d

(Daniel 3:13-15) "Then Nebuchadnezzar in furious rage commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought in before the king. Nebuchadnezzar said to them, 'Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods and you do not worship the golden statue that I have set up? Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, drum, and entire musical ensemble to fall down and worship the statue that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire, and who is the god that will deliver you out of my hands?'"e

(Daniel 3:16-18) "Then Nebuchadnezzar was so filled with rage against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that his face was distorted. He ordered the furnace heated up seven times more than was customary and ordered some of the strongest guards in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and to throw them into the furnace of blazing fire. So, the men were bound, still wearing their tunics, their trousers, their hats, and their other garments, and they were thrown into the furnace of blazing fire."f

(Daniel 3:22-23) "Because the king's command was urgent and the furnace was so overheated, the raging flames killed the men who lifted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. But the three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down, bound, into the furnace of blazing fire."g

(Daniel 3:24-27) "Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up quickly. He said to his counselors, 'Was it not three men that we threw bound into the fire?' They answered the king, 'True, O king.' He replied, 'But I see four men unbound, walking in the middle of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the fourth has the appearance of a god.' Nebuchadnezzar then approached the door of the furnace of blazing fire and said, 'Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!' So, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the fire. And they saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men; the hair on their heads was not singed, their tunics were not harmed, and not even the smell of fire came from them."h

(Daniel 3:28) "Nebuchadnezzar said, 'Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants who trusted in him.'"i

So this story is about trusting God to the point of not even worrying about the outcome. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stuck to their trust in God even though the king was threatening to throw them in the furnace. They knew that God was in charge of their lives.

So we will probably never have this kind of a challenge in our lives - but we need to look at their consciousness of trust.

This is the trust in God that we need to develop in our lives. But it is a process. In the Quest book the Jafollas write that when they began studying spiritual teachings, they discovered that God always had the perfect answer for every situation and should therefore be trusted to reveal the right plan for their lives.

In light of the fact that God is the essence of good and therefore wants good for all of Its creations, it seems very logical for us to trust that there is a divine order.

When we consider that God can totally be relied upon to bring spring each year and to turn the tides each day and to hold the planets in their orbits and constellations in their patterns, it becomes quite obvious that this Creator knows what It's doing.

So the Jafollas decided that, "Yes, clearly, God can be trusted to bring about the best for all creation." They were convinced... Or were they?

It wasn't long before a crisis appeared in their lives. What did they do? They reacted to it the old way - with fear, worry, and a good amount of anxiety. After expending a lot of human energy on those negative emotions, which no doubt impeded the natural process of resolving the situation, everything eventually worked out extremely well.

Finding their lives back on an even keel again, they resumed their truth studies and admonished themselves that they really should have trusted God. Can you relate to this?

Not long after that incident, they found themselves in the midst of what they thought was another "glitch" in life. What did they do? Just as before, they simply forgot all ideas about trusting God and lapsed into the familiar pattern of worry, anxiety, and fear. Once again, the natural plan of events took hold and things worked out better than they could have imagined. When the dust settled, they picked up their teachings where they had left off and went back to trusting God!

Over the course of several years, they again faced situations in their lives which had the appearance of being "worthy" of their worry and fear. Each time one of these situations passed, they would berate themselves for not having trusted God more and vowed that they would never again fall into the old negative reactions. "Next time, for sure, we will trust."

Gradually, they did. Each new troublesome situation was less anxiety-provoking to them than the previous one. They were able to go for longer and longer periods of holding to their trust in God's creative process before giving way to doubt and worry about the outcome.

Little by little, they were getting the message - really getting the message, deep in their hearts and minds - and they are now much more willing to trust God completely to bring about the perfect solution for all concerned.j

It didn't come easily and it's not always easy to sustain. It took years of practice. One would think that such a basic truth would have been the easiest thing in the world to practice. Hopefully, for you it will be.

We are so often programmed with negative responses to events in our lives that it might take some practice to get to the point of completely trusting God to bring about the perfect plan. If you are not now living a life of total trust in God's plan for you, then it is time to get that trust established as soon as possible.

God, the Creator of all, does have a plan for every part of creation. We cannot know specifically what that plan might be. There is really no reason for us to know. What we can be sure of, however, is that there is a divine order to things. By not attempting to predict outcomes, by not fretting about the means of our getting there, we smooth the way for God's plan to reveal itself easily and quickly. Our part is to keep centered on God as the Source of all good, and then to trust, simply trust.

It almost sounds too easy, doesn't it? When faced with situations which seem threatening or even tragic, our human tendency is to allow the flow of appearances to get us involved in a negative way. But the solution to a problem is never to be found on the level of the problem. The only way out is up. Up in consciousness, in thought and feeling, to the level where Spirit dwells, to the level of divine order. We touch that center of God in us, and having contacted it, we feel the assurance that all is well.

The outcome? It is always better (and usually different) than what we expected. If we are truly centered in Spirit, each outcome is exactly what we need at the time, for God knows us better than we know ourselves and always sees the grand image, the big picture.

If we view our lives from this broader perspective, we see that each episode along the way, no matter how difficult at the time, has proven to be a stepping-stone to greater good. It was part of the plan of our lives and we, in viewing the overall pattern, can recognize the hand of God present every step of the way. Out of every twist and turn, we've been divinely led further along the pathway to the awareness of God.

Trust God, friend. There is always a divinely perfect solution underlying every challenging situation. No matter how far you have strayed from your good, God knows a direct route back to where your bliss is. Centered in Spirit, you can walk with sureness of foot because the way is prepared before you, and God is making everything right.

So to recap:

It requires diligence and purpose to break free of any habitual old patterns of negative responses.

God has a perfect plan for your life, but it might take some practice to get the point of completely trusting God to bring about that plan.

By not investing in a specific outcome, you smooth the way for God's plan to reveal itself easily and quickly.

When you contact the center of God in you, you feel the assurance that all is well.

To live your life to the fullest and best, it is imperative that you trust God.

PRAYER: I do not know the answers, God, nor do I know the steps that I should take to get me there, I only want to know You more. My only need is to savor Your sweet presence in my life. I trust, truly trust, that I am in Your care and that all is well. "I arise today with God's strength to pilot me, God's might to uphold me, God's wisdom to guide me, God's eye to look ahead for me, God's ear to hear me, God's word to speak for me, God's hand to defend me, God's way to lie before me, God's shield to protect me, God's host to safeguard me."k -
     Thank You, God. Amen

aRomans 8:11
bMyrtle Fillmore's Healing Letters
cRabindranath Tagore, Gitanjali
dDaniel 3:8-12
eDaniel 3:8-12
fDaniel 3:16-18
gDaniel 3:16-18
hDaniel 3:24-27
iDaniel 3:28
jThe Quest Richard & Mary-Alice Jafolla
kSt. Patrick, The Confession of St. Patrick

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