(A concept of God) is not God. Remember that statement. A concept of God is not God. A belief about God is not God. A statement about God is not God. Only God is God. Whatever you may think about God does not make that the power. Let us understand this; we have believed that God is power. And because of our understanding of the word power, we have sought to use God as we would use a power. Now then, the mistake comes, not from the statement that God is power, but from our understanding, or misunderstanding of the nature of the word power. It might rightly be said that God is power. But the moment that that is said it becomes necessary for us to change our concept of the meaning of the word power.
Let us see how that works: In one way, the word power means something that we can use, like the power of electricity, the power of heat, the power of cold. We can use those things. We can utilize them for our purposes. They are powers. Wind is a power that can be harnessed, that can be used. Is God that kind of power? No, no, God isn’t that kind of power. God is not any kind of power that can be used. Yet in another sense, God is power.
Now let us see how that works: We know that if we plant roses, roses will grow. We know that no matter where on earth we come in contact with two times two, the result is four. We know that do, re, mi no matter where met, and under what conditions have certain value. Do is always do, re is always re, mi is always mi. We may sing them off key, so may all the rest of the world. That has nothing to do with the value do, re, mi. That is always absolute, complete.
It is the same with numbers: number one, two, three, four, five. Each one of those numbers is complete within itself and it always has the same value whether you meet those numbers in one country or another, whether you voice them in one language or another, the value is always the same. Now who made that so? Not you, certainly not I, not any man. But there is a principle of life that is given to number one, two, three, their values. The do, re, mi, their value. There is a principle of life that expresses itself in complete and perfect tones of music, complete and perfect numbers, complete and perfect laws of the universe. That is why we have the sun, moon, stars, each complete in themselves. Each unit in themselves, each given certain qualities and activities, and who made it so in the beginning and who maintains it so? That which we call God. Therefore, God is the power of this universe. God is the power—we call It the creative principle—and the maintaining and sustaining principle of this universe. Now, can we use that power? No. No, no, there is no one that can take that power unto himself and use it for any purpose. That power just is, you can bring yourself into accord with that power, you can bring yourself under the reign, under the government of that power, but you cannot use it. You cannot move a single star in heaven. You cannot change the tides. The hours of their coming and going is set for a thousand years ahead. Now, God is power in the sense that God is the creative principle and the maintaining and the sustaining principle of this universe. God has given us the day to follow night, the night to follow day. God has given us the sun for certain purposes, the ocean for tides. God has given us the land, the valleys, the mountains, the woods. All of this God has given us. But, God has not given us any power to get God to use power for our purposes. Is that clear? God is power. If it weren’t for the power of God we probably would not have air to breathe. We probably would not have oceans to sail. We probably would not have oil in the ground, or coal. There is a power of God but it is not a power that we can use. No one can set out and say, “I am going to use God power and put coal in my ground or oil or gold or silver or platinum.” But the power of God does place it there and we may avail ourselves of that which God has done. You see God in a different light there. Now this is important because when you come to bringing out harmony in your experience, and all of us want that, all of us need more of it than we have, physical, mental, moral, and financial harmony, harmony in relationships. Let us remember to begin with, that we cannot use God for that purpose.
However, we can know this: God has already established through law the means of our physical, mental, moral, financial and human, or so called human harmony. Therefore, it becomes our need to learn this spiritual law, or these spiritual laws, avail ourselves of them, bring ourselves in harmony with them. Never seek to use them. That will not do. You can walk outside in the sunlight and take the benefit of its warmth, and in the warmer climates of its suntan, but you cannot go to the sun and use it for your purpose. You can avail yourself of its power and that is all.
Now, when you come to what we call prayer or healing work, remember as you sit down in silence that you are not going to God to get something, you are not sitting down to try to bring God down to your universe. That you are sitting there for the realization of that which already is, for its unfoldment, and then a miracle begins. You will refrain from mental effort. You will refrain from what heretofore has been called in metaphysical work, mental work, mental treatment. You will refrain from this attempt to use your mind and thought to bring something about. Something that you never had the possibility of bringing about. You will learn to sit quietly and peacefully and let it come to you, let it appear. You will become a beholder and you will … it’s almost as if you watched it come over your shoulder out here into visibility. But you will not be straining mentally to bring it about. You will not be straining mentally to create it.
In these coming months to gain for yourselves this realization of God as power, yet God as not power, it will be necessary for you to bring yourself to the realization of the function of God in our experience. It is not the function of God to be used as if we in our pitiful little wisdom could tell God what to do or how to do it or what we need as if we could advise God. Somewhere in scripture it tells us that we know not how to pray. We must let the Spirit bear witness with our spirit. We must let the Spirit make intersession for us.
In other words, let Spirit, God, do the praying. And I have said in the writings, that ultimately in our practice, in our spiritual practice, in the healing work, we do not pray or give a treatment. It is God that prays; we become a witness to God praying in us. God revealing Its proof. You may say, not our knowing the truth, but God knowing the truth in us. And that is the actual top of the mountain in prayer when prayer becomes the word of God revealing Itself to us. Not when we go to God but when God reveals Itself within us. That comes about through the development of a state of receptivity within us—the ability to listen, to hear that still small voice; the ability to refrain from using mental powers.
Now, as we pass from that word power we will take up another word—this time the word love. And we know from John that God is love. I have heard many people say, “I don’t believe it. I only have to look out at this world and see the injustices and the discords and the diseases that innocent people suffer, even innocent children, and I know that God isn’t love. God isn’t caring for those children. God isn’t caring for those people.” And there you see comes again the misinterpretation of the word love. When we think of love we think of the love that exists between friends, parents to child, husband to wife or wife to husband, children to parents. We think of love in those terms. And I think we can agree with some of our friends that God isn’t that kind of love.
Ah! Then our first reaction is God is not love. Yes that’s true in the same sense that last night we brought out God is not power. Now we see God as power in an entirely different light because the word power has a different meaning. So we must start thinking of love as we think of love. We must start with a statement: God is not love. Then, when we have cleared ourselves of God as love as we might think of love, we would be ready for the interpretation of what John meant when he said, “God is Love.” Then we’ll find a meaning of love that had nothing to do with anything that we ever thought of as love.