A SERIOUS PROBLEM
Many approaching discipleship find themselves confronted with a problem that tests their faith to the limit. They have become more or less conscious of inner guidance. They feel that a Wisdom and a Power is directing their lives and that their personalities are quite as puppets moved by a Force that often seems ruthless and in no way interested in their material welfare. For if some great bereavement has not been brought upon them, either their health has failed and is seemingly being purposely withheld, or all means of financial support have been taken away; so that they are nearing the end of their personal resources, and they are being forced to turn within to God for help.
And in such extremity seemingly they are finding Him, for if He takes them at their word, accepts their dedication and begins to cleanse them of all things that are preventing their making the seeking of His Kingdom first in their hearts and lives and thus keeping them separate in consciousness from Him, they must expect to have their selfish personalities humbled to the dust, and should rejoice with great rejoicing, for they are actually being prepared and made worthy for real discipleship and for the work under the Master's direction they so crave to do.
As was said before, many are facing such problems. If it is one of bereavement, and one has poured all one's love upon a human personality-no matter how dear and deserving- to such extent that the Loving One within is scarcely recognized or considered, because of the heart being wholly centered upon the loved one without,-it sometimes becomes necessary to call that loved one away from such a selfish love which unknowingly binds the soul and prevents it from following its own destiny. In the sorrow and loneliness that follows the Loving One within can then gradually make His presence felt and His voice heard. Many who have lost health and have sought everywhere from human physicians for the consciousness of physical harmony and wholeness they formerly enjoyed, know that it was only through such seeking and such failure to find that they instead found God-the only physician who can truly and perfectly heal them.
But those who have lost all physical means of support and have turned to God as their guide and sustenance, and who are now looking to and depending upon Him as their sole support, have a different and a difficult problem, because of the exercise of a faith and trust it calls for that tests them to the very limit of endurance. It is because money and income had grown to be of supreme importance in their lives and had influenced all their thoughts and motives, that now both are taken away it is extremely hard-almost impossible-to let God actually be their support and sustenance.
We know that many who are facing that problem will eagerly welcome any suggestions that will help them to let go and let God actually and completely take charge. All such realize intellectually the necessity of doing just what the Master says below:
"Therefore take no thought, saying. What shall we eat? Or What shall we drink? Or, Wherewithal shalt we be clothed?
"For you heavenly Father knoweth that ye have of all these things.
"But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and HIM righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
"Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the narrow shall take thought for the things of itself, Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." -- Matthew 6:31-34.
Therefore they are faithfully and sincerely striving to "take no thought" either of what they shall eat or drink or wear, or of the future, believing that tomorrow all these will be taken care of.
And they are letting tomorrow take care of all, and perhaps also letting their families be without sufficient food or clothing or go through much mental agony in their fear of what is to become of them.
For so often the family have not the faith that the aspirant has in God, and they think the aspirant should do something and may condemn him and say many harsh and unkind things that try the faith of the aspirant exceedingly. Now just what should one do in such straits? Is one ever justified in causing others to suffer for a faith that they do not understand and with which perhaps they have no patience? Let us see.
Is not your first duty to those for whom you have assumed the responsibility of feeding and clothing and providing a home? If there is a wife or children or parent dependent upon you, must you not provide for them-if you are mentally and physically able? Dare you compel them to endure hardship just because of your faith in God's promise that He will provide-and you do nothing but sit at home meditating and praying and waiting for a job to come to you or for some one to come as God's representative and help you? Think! Would that be fair, or as God intends for you?
Then why does the Master say we should take no thought for the morrow? But note that He also adds, "for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself." Which means, does it not, that when tomorrow comes we will have plenty to do in obeying what we are shown to do then. For think you the Loving One within has no work for you to do, and is not intending to tell you what it is and just how to do it-when you are ready and willing to hear it by putting all ideas out of your mind that led you to think that you need do nothing-that God will provide and take care of you and the family also?
God will provide, but He provides you with ideas, inspirations, leadings, every one of which you must follow regardless of where they lead or what results-if you truly seek to do His Will. In order to see if you are really willing to give up your own will and ideas, He may bring to you an opportunity to do some menial work with scarcely enough pay to make both ends meet. If you refuse to accept this, deeming yourself worthy of something much better, He then lets you abide a while longer in darkness. For had you thought of those dependent on you rather than of yourself, and had been willing to do anything that would bring food and money and relieve the strain for them-which surely would be much better than sitting still, doing nothing-He would soon have brought to you an opportunity for work of a higher type and more pay, which in turn would lead to something much better-as you proved your ability to give of the best you had to the task allotted you.
This last applies only to those whose faith had weakened- by letting all kinds of fears, worries, and negative thoughts creep in and undermine it, although they were striving desperately to hold on. For there is a faith that nothing can cause to falter, but it is a positive KNOWING that the Father will provide. It is only such knowing that makes the mind an open, clean channel into and through which can pour the good which the Father intends to out-manifest. Did you ever realize that every idea, every thought and impression that claim your attention are from God, or that He lets them come to you for His own purpose? And do you realize that no man ever became successful in any line of endeavor who did not draw all his ideas, inspiration, power and ability to accomplish, from within himself-from his God-Self-the Source of all good?
For remember, God is living in your body-is your Real and Only Self, and is putting you-the little you with its human ideas-through this present experience in order to teach you a great lesson-that He is your Supply, the Giver of all, and that all is good. And until you are able to give up all desires for self, all ideas of self, and are willing and glad to do anything that He wills, and to do it by putting in it your whole heart and soul in a desire to please Him, you have not yet proven that you are free of self and worthy of the real work and the accompanying compensation He has waiting for you.
When you can get your brain mind to realize that God is the Real You, and is actually living in your body and waiting for your mind's full recognition of Him and co-operation with Him, by giving over to Him complete charge and direction of all your thoughts, speech and actions,-not until then can He bring about the adjustment in your life and affairs that will enable Him to express through you the perfect harmony and abundance of all good things that is your divine right and which He intended for you from the beginning.