It is the Master saying all over again: “Oh, Jerusalem, oh Jerusalem, how I would love to put my arm around you, and ye would not.” Oh how he was trying to say to them: Pour out, pour out, pour out! Let it flow! You are children of God. All that the Father hath is yours. You are joint heirs with Christ in God. Let it flow. Stop sitting here at my feet begging for more.
That is why tithing comes closest to a spiritual demonstration of supply than any other factor in human experience, because it concerns itself with giving. It does not concern itself with getting, and true tithing is, of course, the desire to give with no thought of return.
In Seattle last year, we had a lesson on love, and I think that it will not be long before that will be on a tape. I think it’s in preparation, in which this same idea came forth, that we can always know whether our love is spiritual by whether or not it concerns itself with giving and serving or whether it concerns itself with some benefit that we are to receive.
Now, you can be assured of this—harsh as it may sound—that there is no such thing as love that seeks a return. There is no such thing as love that seeks something for itself.
That is why, in our modern day, oh not only modern day, but throughout all times, the institution of marriage has been an eighty percent failure. Because those who marry have an idea of some benefit that they are to derive from it. Even when two people agree that there’s to be a mutual good derived, it is still not love. It still isn’t love if they both agree that I can bring you this and you bring me that. That’s not love. That’s just a human bargain.
The only type of love that is love is the love that actually wants to pour itself out and has no thought of anything coming in return. And it is that type of love in marriage that makes for the harmony and the permanence of happiness in marriage.
I always think of one instance of that. A couple, who were my chums for more than twenty years, had been married fifty years, and all the years that I knew them, and they were very, very close to me, I never saw them together that they weren’t holding hands.
Never, they wouldn’t sit far enough apart that they couldn’t hold hands. Never did his voice rise above that of conversation, or hers, and never once was there a question of, “Will you get me this or will you give me this.” There was always a question from both sides: “Can I do this for you. Can I do that for you,” but never did one ask the other for anything. Not in my hearing and I was with them morning, noon, and night for many, many, many years. They were my closest friends.
And when after a little more than fifty years of married life he passed on, she sent for me and said, “Well, you know Joel, I will follow him in a few days.” I said, “Ridiculous, that couldn’t be.” “Why,” she said, “you don’t think for a moment I would leave him anywhere without me to serve him? I’m going right with him.” And the following week she just went with him. No reason for it. No illness. No, no. She wasn’t going to be where she couldn’t serve him.
But that’s just one example of—and probably an isolated example—of love, but it is what I mean by demonstrating our sense of prosperity in the realization of our true identity, because in our true identity, we have but one function, and that is to serve.
It doesn’t make any difference whether it’s husband or wife. It doesn’t make any difference whether it’s our students, our patients, our friends. We were placed here for only one purpose, and that was to show forth the glories of God, and who would we show that forth to except each other.
Now, bringing it down to practical experience and of course, if spiritual truth and the transcendental truth weren’t practical, it would not be a relationship between God and His own creation.
It is practical, and in making this practical you must begin with the understanding that you are not seeking the peace that the world can give, you are not seeking the prosperity that the world can give, the honors, the glories of the world, but that you are seeking only that divine peace, that which the Master called, “My peace,” the spiritual peace, the real peace.
And that can only come from this sense of service, sharing, giving. It changes an individual’s life completely and instantaneously—to change from one who is getting, desiring, wanting, to one who lives only with the thought of letting the qualities and activities of God flow through.
When we understand that we are instruments for the divine, that we have no righteousness of our own, that we have no wealth of our own to give or to bestow, that nothing exists as a personal possession, but that we are instruments through which the one life flows, the one prosperity, the one wealth, and it is all of God.
“The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, and Son all that I have is thine… The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.” There’s nothing that you have in your pocket that belongs to you. There’s nothing you have in the bank that belongs to you.
And all you have to do is travel in an airplane, look down on the earth, and see fences around property to have a good laugh. It really gives you a laugh to be up there in the air seeing this big round earth down here, and people with fences around it.
Why it’s an impossibility to fence off God’s universe and say that this is mine. It can’t be mine, and it can’t be yours, it’s God’s. We are instruments for Its expression. We are vehicles. We are servants unto that universe. We serve it as it serves us, and that’s the end of it. There’s no such thing as personal possessions. Now, it is true, looking out at life from a materialistic standpoint, the only answer to everything is “get.” Get, acquire, achieve, and of course, those who have been successful at it have proven to us the uselessness of it.
The few exceptions have been those who have accepted their wealth as a trust, those who have had some measure of spiritual understanding along with their acquisitions, and have understood that they hold it in trust for families, for employees, for humanity. They show forth an exception to that rule. But on the whole, the individual who brings forth the fullest measure of prosperity—because that measure of prosperity doesn’t result in an over abundance of material possessions—it appears forth as infinite supply, infinite good, but not burdensome wealth. And in that sense then, we are able to maintain our spiritual integrity and not become overwhelmed with possessions.
Now, prosperity, spiritual prosperity, is the normal and natural experience for us just as health is, just as immortality is, but if you try to acquire health through material means, you can only acquire a certain amount of it and only for a certain amount of years.
The very minute that you had a whole retinue of physicians and surgeons and all the rest of medical fraternity, they could only keep you in health up to a certain point and for a certain amount of years, and then, in spite of them, it would fall away.
Whereas health, spiritually discerned, is a permanent thing and never dependant on outer conditions. Health and harmony, wholeness, completeness, immortality, all these are ours, and not subject to outer conditions once we attain them through spiritual realization.
Let us examine that for a moment. In the material universe, your life is dependent on the action of heart, liver, lungs—what we call organs and functions of the body.
In spiritual understanding, the organs and functions of your body are dependent upon the life, which you are. You are the life, you are the soul, the substance of your being, and that life which you are, acts in and through your body, and maintains it and sustains it unto eternity.
There never would be such a thing as age or a sign of age, and there couldn’t be after we gain the realization that it isn’t the body acting upon life, but life acting upon the body.