To live after the flesh or to be carnally minded means that you live in the fear or love of the form or creature instead of the Creator. From the moment you accept invisible Spirit as the one Cause and Creative Principle and stop fearing what mortal man can do to me, or mortal bullets can do to me, or mortal sin can do to me, or mortal disease: stop fearing anything that has form and have all of your faith and hope and reliance on the invisible. Stop looking at your money to find out whether you have an abundance of supply but acknowledge that Spirit is supply and money is only an avenue of exchange.
Now, as long as you live in the belief that a certain amount of money represents wealth or poverty you are living in the flesh as far as supply is concerned and you will have limitation forever. The moment that you understand that the Spirit of the Lord God is upon me and it is my supply you will find yourself gradually brought into an abundance that will not decrease and will not be subject to whether stocks are up or down or whether businesses are having a boom or bust. Your supply will go on and on and on and be abundant. Now it doesn’t mean that it may not decrease and increase but it won’t decrease below what your righteous abundant needs require.
Now then the same way, as long as you are fearing what mortal man can do to you, whether the mortal man is the Kaiser in Germany, Hitler in Germany, or Stalin in Russia, you are living after the flesh. You are fearing the creature instead of trusting the Creator. As long as your hope is that if we have more bombs than the other fellow, we are safe. You are trusting the creature, the form more than the Creator. When you believe that you have to have bombproof shelters instead of living in God, you are trusting the creature; the form, the effect, and that’s idolatry.
So then, to live after the Spirit does not mean to change your present mode of life. It doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy your comfortable homes, your good food, your good clothing, your marriages, your children, your parents. It does not mean we have to become an ascetic. It does not mean we become some kind of an emotional saint. No, no, to change from living after the flesh to living after the Spirit means a change your consciousness up here.
Where do you place your faith now: in invisible spirit or the form called flesh? If you think you need companionship, are you thinking in terms of needing human beings or needing greater realization of God? That is, to live after the Spirit when you declare that my need is a greater realization of the Presence of God. When I have that, I’ll have all the human companionship necessary. If you continue to live in the belief that you need money, you are living after the flesh. And the end of that is limitation and death. When you commence to realize; “no, no, the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He leadeth me beside the still waters. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. It is his good pleasure to give me the kingdom.” God is my supply. You have now made the transition from living in the flesh to living in the spirit.
So it is. You are not called upon to live the life of an ascetic. There is no evidence anywhere in the world that an ascetic is any closer to heaven than the normal, natural person with a family, a home, a marriage, a comfortable income and all the rest of these things of what we call human good. The evil does not lie in being rich but placing our faith in riches. The evil does not lie in marriage and family. It lies in some of the sensual concepts of marriage and family that some people still indulge. It doesn’t mean that we’re not to be normal men and women. It doesn’t mean that we’re not to live normal family lives. It just means that all of these things should be beautiful relationships based on our mutual love of God and of each other as offspring of God. Then you’ll see you are living in the spirit and not in the flesh. “For if ye live after the flesh,” says Paul, “ye shall die. But if ye through the spirit do mortify the deeds of the body ye shall live. For as many as are lead by the spirit of God, they are the Sons of God.”
Do you believe for a minute that a Son of God has ever died? Do you believe for a minute that the son of God has ever known poverty, lack or limitation? Do you believe that the son of God has ever known sin or disease? And you know the answer is no. The son of mortals, yes. The son of man, yes. The Son of God, definitely no. The son of God lives and moves and has his being in his Father’s mansions. And His Father has many mansions.
Therefore, to live spiritually means to live without fear or faith in that which is called the creature, the form or effect. But to live always in the assurance that the kingdom of God in me is my life, my all, my supply, my safety, my security, my peace, my joy, my companionship and then let it unfold in whatever normal human way it will. So you see that life, as we understand it in the spirit, is a very joyous experience. It is not a denial of the flesh as such. It is not a denial of the nice things of life. It is a denial of sense indulgence. It is a denial of drunkenness and bestiality and all the rest of these things. But those things never enter the mind of the son of God for there are so many wonderful joys and companionships, so many wonderful evidences of prosperity and of abundance; of grace and truth and life and love that there’s no taste left in one for those grosser aspects of life.
Now, this all means you and me individually. It means your individual development of your consciousness, my individual development of my mine. I cannot live on any higher level of consciousness than any level I attain through practice, study, meditation. Nor can you. So it is that there is no condemnation for whatever your present mode of life is, because I know that you are living at your present state of unfoldment. And that as it increases so will your spiritual nature and spiritual demonstration increase. And so on the other hand, you may not look at me and judge or criticize if I do not seem to have attained the full Christhood, for I claim only to have attained whatever measure I have attained and that is the measure I am living. Do you follow that? That everything is a matter of development, of unfoldment and not one of us can live a minute beyond the degree of our unfoldment of today.
Now, the spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God, and if children then heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ. And there you are. If we accept that this is all a matter of your consciousness and mine, it’s a transition that has to take place in us here and now. If we accept that in our original identity we were created sons of God and that we are heirs; joint heirs with Christ in God to all the heavenly riches. Then from this moment on we do not think any longer in terms of getting but in terms of unfolding from within, in terms of sharing, giving, pouring, letting through. Then the Father, which seeth in secret, rewards us openly.