When there is an absence of the Soul, when there is an absence of a spiritual sense in man you have only a mind and body, and that mind and body can just as well be dedicated to evil as it can be to good. It can be dedicated to good power as well as to bad power, but not when Soul has been awakened, not when the Soul has been realized. Not when the Spirit is opened, then man loses the capacity to be bad; he loses the capacity to use his mind or body for erroneous purposes.
He has no choice. Sometimes, it is thought that man has a choice as to be good or evil or to be spiritual or not spiritual, but he has no such choice. As long as his soul faculties are not awakened he has got to live in the realm of mind and body and he can be bad or good, or a combination of bad and good. But once the Spirit is awakened; once one has received the tiniest bit of dedication, the mind becomes a purer instrument. The body becomes a purer instrument and as we will discover, we will be enabled to use mind and body into a far greater age than our past generations.
Here comes a difficulty: at certain stages of our development, we hear words like these, read words like these and we have an inner feeling of the rightness of them. Then we have the feeling we would like to do that and tomorrow we start our regular business lives and we find it well-nigh impossible. It sound so well today, it sounded so easy today, and so desirable but oh, tomorrow, when we have our relatives on our neck and our bosses and the rest, then it becomes an impossibility.
And here is where in the beginning it is necessary for us to make a choice whether or not the goal is worth striving for because if we decide the goal is worth striving for, we will make some effort toward a dedication or consecration that will lead us to the eventual point to which we must come. That is where we realize the futility of our own dedication, devotion and consecration and realize unless we have been dedicated by God all our self-dedication is going to come to a very quick end.
However, it is a step that each one of us has to take. We have to make the decision to be worthy, we have to make the decision to try to practice principles. We have to make the decision to remember consciously, and then as time goes on it gives the opportunity, it provides the preparation for the entrance of God.
Now that brings us to an essential point of our particular work in this message. It starts with the Master’s statement, “I stand at the door and knock.” First of all, we have to put the book away, even the Bible and ask ourselves what this means: “I stand at the door and knock.” It has no reference to Jesus because he was crucified 2000 years ago and according to the reports, he ascended on a cloud: went out of sight and hasn’t been seen since. And yet there it stands for all time: “I stand at the door and knock.”
Well, we have discovered whenever the Master spoke of I; (I AM come that you might have life and you might have life more abundantly; I AM the Bread, the Meat, the Wine, the Water; I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life; I AM the Resurrection,) whenever He spoke of I in that sense He was speaking of the CHRIST, the Spirit, the Soul of Man: the Spiritual essence of Being. Therefore this statement really means that my Soul, my purified Self, not purified Self, no, my Pure Self—that which was never impure; that part of me which is really Divine, the I of me, the Soul of me from before my birth; this spiritual Presence and power was standing here at the door of my consciousness seeking entrance.
Through ignorance; spiritual ignorance, religious ignorance, we didn’t know that therefore we lived out here in our lives with whatever occupied us. We went through some very nice experiences, we went through some very bad ones. We went through some very rich ones and some very poor ones; very pure ones and very sinful ones and all the time we could have avoided it all and have nothing but Heaven on Earth but no one told us that the Soul of Man: God is the Soul of Man.
His own Soul is always standing at the very door of his consciousness, knocking for entrance into the mind and body—trying to take us over and live our lives; to bring us to the place that Paul came to when he said, “I live, yet not I but Christ liveth my life.” And this same Christ or Son of God; the same Spirit or Soul is waiting to take over our lives and govern it. To make the crooked places straight, to go before us to prepare mansions for us. But we don’t know that, we haven’t been taught that. So we struggle.
But now, now through spiritual revelation we know that I do stand at the door of your consciousness and knock. I, your Soul, your Divine Self is knocking at the door of your mind, seeking entrance to take over the government of your mind to consecrate your mind to itself; to its uses instead of to your uses. To consecrate your body to its uses, not to your pleasures. To take over your home, your residence, your business office and consecrate it to its purpose.
Ah, if you could only know what a new sense of life this awakens in us once we know that my body is the Temple of the Living God; therefore my body should not be at my disposal or my particular use but should, every day, be dedicated to God for God’s use.
My home should not be my palace. My home should be, every day, turned over to God, that God may take that home and use it for God’s purpose. My talents, whatever they may be, came forth from God. One has an artistic talent; one has a scientific talent, an inventive talent. Another a commercial, industrial talent, a money talent, a government talent, but the difference comes into a person’s life when they turn their talents back to God, and their home and their mind and their body, and let God dedicate it to God’s own use, that I may be a fit instrument for the Divine.
Now, life becomes something entirely different because I begin to perceive, even if through a glass darkly at first; I begin to perceive that there is a purpose in life of which I had no knowledge.
He never said this at all! He said, “If you abide in me and let My word abide in you, then shall you bear fruit richly.” In other words, when you permit God dedication to take over your mind and your body and remember, several times a day, that the mind and the body are really to serve as God’s instruments, you find that we ourselves will make less use of mind and body and God will make more use of these.
So too, we do not make a place holy; we do not make a building holy, but by opening our consciousness we let God in and God makes it holy. So we come back to this: Everyday there should be a period in which we remember the statement: “I stand at the door and knock” and then close the eyes, turn within and remember that through your mind, by opening yourself, “Speak Lord, Thy servant hears,” you invite God in.