You see the world at large has no access to God, because they have cut themselves off from contact with God. Not that they have done it intentionally or consciously, but for the past 1,700 years, it has naturally and normally developed that people’s interests should be in a different world. And so, they have gradually weaned themselves away from God contact, feeling that they were doing their duty to God if they went to church on Sunday or contributed to the poor box. But you see God and our relationship with God is deeper than that. Our relationship with God should be a constant communion with God. That was what the Master taught, that is what every mystic has known and has taught that our lives should be lived in God. We should live and move and have our being in God. The 91st Psalm calls attention to the fact that he that dwelleth in the secret place of the most high none of the evils of this world shall come nigh his dwelling place. But when they remember the 91st Psalm, they forget the first verse that is: they who dwell, who live in God to whom these errors of the world do not come.
I’m remembering, at this moment, a colonel in the British army in World War I who, when he was assigned his regiment, lined them up and said, “This is an unusual procedure but one which will be followed religiously. Every morning, we will have the recitation of the 91st Psalm. You will commit it to memory. You will recite it on as many occasions as possible. And for your own good, I tell you remember some passage from it morning, noon, and night, in and out of battle.” And that colonel, it is recorded, brought his regiment through four years of war without one death. That’s a miracle of an achievement, but it was made possible only by the fact of dwelling, of compelling these men, of showing them the rightness of living in that passage, in that realization of God continuously.
And so with us, it is in proportion that we dwell in God, live and move and have our being in God, abide in the Word—that also means live. Abide in the Word. Let the Word abide in us, live in us continuously morning, noon, and night. In that proportion, we are told the errors of this world will not come nigh your dwelling place. And so you see, errors have come nigh our dwelling place. We have been filled with sin, with disease, with lack, with death, with wars, with panics, with depressions. All of the evils of this world have come nigh our dwelling place, because we have not maintained the life preached by the Master when he taught this dwelling in the secret place, this abiding in the Word, letting the Word abide in us, so that we might be free of the discords of this world.
Now, to abide in forgiveness is one way of being with God, for forgiveness is an attribute of love, and Love is God. And so the more that we ponder the word forgiveness and the more we practice the act of forgiveness, the more we’re praying, the more we are living in God dwelling in the secret place.
And so it is with gratitude. Let us students, on this Way, learn not to be grateful for a healing, not to be grateful for supply, not to be grateful for harmony of one form or another, but let us learn to be grateful for the realization of God’s presence. Let us be grateful that the Omnipresence of God is our safety and security, our peace on Earth. Let us learn to abide in the realization that God’s presence is our fortress, our high tower, our medicine, our dwelling place. When we learn to have our gratitude expressed for any teaching, or any teacher, or any practitioner, or any individual experience that brings God’s presence to our mind or body, then we are properly expressing gratitude.
If we awaken in the morning and just behold some form of nature outside our window and remember then that it is the activity of God that is responsible for that, whether it is some beauty of spring or summer, fall or winter. Some activity of God is responsible for every form of good we behold. If we observe the blossoming of our fruit trees or berries, if we note the fruitage itself, remember it isn’t the fruit. It isn’t the berries. It is the Spirit or the Presence of a nature Law that brought forth that fruitage, and it is that for which we should be grateful. Then, we can use our berries or our fruits. Then, we can use our food and our money, letting them go and letting them come, because behind these is the Spirit that produced them. When our gratitude, then, is for the Spirit that produces our healings or our supply, when our gratitude is for the Spirit that holds us in its arms—underneath are the everlasting arms, in us, beneath us, above us, permeating us—when our gratitude is for the Spirit of God, then we are truly grateful.
And you see how that may have nothing to do with money, and yet, at other times, it may encourage us to give money, spend money, share money, but that’s all incidental to the main thing. The main thing is this idea of knowing that we are not to be grateful for any form of good but for the Spirit, which underlies that form, the Spirit, which produced that form. And then you learn to be just as grateful when you witness the healing of a headache, or indigestion, or a corn, as you would when you are told it was cancer, or consumption, or polio. For you will quickly learn then, “Well, what was the difference? What difference was in the two?”
And you’ll see eventually why there is no need to fear these more serious forms, according to human belief, these more serious forms of disease and sin. You will soon learn why the Master could walk up to the leper and touch the leprosy. Or why he could say to the woman taken in adultery, “Neither do I condemn thee,” because there was no horror to him in any of that. A big offense and a small offense were all the same. Why? They were all offenses against God, whether to our sense they were small offenses or big offenses. Therefore, his healings were just as simple, whether it was leprosy, whether it was consumption, whether it was the impotent men sitting at the pool, the crippled men, or whether it was the young boy who was a corpse, or the mother-in-law of Peter who was a corpse or near it.
You see the forms of disease and the forms of sin meant nothing to him. He knew that the healing power was the Spirit of God, and if the Spirit of God could be brought to the case, it made no difference then what degree of error was represented. Even when there were a multitude to be fed and only a few loaves and fishes, even that didn’t seem to startle him or frighten him, because he knew that men are not fed by bread alone but by the Spirit of God. And when the Spirit of God is present, there’s no limit, no limit to supply at all.