Gratitude for the Presence of God
At any moment you choose, however, you can begin to come into the agreement that if God is, then there is no power in person, place, thing, circumstance, or condition.
This is a major principle of The Infinite Way. Then you can say to the man with the withered arm, “Stretch forth thine arm,” or to the impotent man, “Rise up and pick up your bed,” or to the blind man, “Open your eyes,” or to someone else, “What did hinder you? Where is this power that is confining you? What is this power that is holding you back?” As you do that, you will find that there is no such power—you have merely believed in such a power and by your belief in it, have given it the only power it has.
We all must begin to have a real conviction that there is neither good nor evil, that there are not two powers. That does not mean that we shall not often be tempted with sin, disease, death, lack or limitation, accident and all manner of ill, but at each temptation we shall be able to rise up and say, “ ‘Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above.’2 Who said you were a power? I shall not fear what mortal man can do to me. I shall not fear what mortal conditions can do to me.” Then we shall find that, in a very short time, we shall have gained the dominion over this world which was given to us in the beginning. In the beginning, we were given dominion over the earth and everything in it, above it, and beneath it, but we have surrendered that dominion: We gave power to the stars and astrology; we gave power to the moon; we gave power to the sun; we gave power to food; we gave power to climate; we gave power to drugs. Step by step we have surrendered our dominion.
Now, firm in the conviction that there are not two powers, we begin to draw back our God-given dominion. It is not that we, of ourselves, have anything; but by the grace of God we have dominion over all that exists, and therefore, none of these things has power over us. This requires conscious effort and continual vigilance. Nobody succeeds on this path by sitting down and Waiting for something to happen; nobody succeeds by waiting for some unknown God to perform miracles. Each one of us must be a law unto whatever the situation is which we are facing. We assume our God-given dominion by realizing that all power has been invested in us by the grace of God, and that neither person, place, nor thing has any power over us. To all men is given the grace of God. How much of it we keep or how much of it we surrender is what determines our individual experience.
Our gratitude is for the Spirit of God which reveals Itself as harmony, whether it is harmony in what might be called some minor, insignificant aspect of life or in a major and crucial experience. Our gratitude is not a gratitude for things, but a gratitude for the principle which operates in every situation. It is a gratitude for the presence of God in individual affairs. The presence of God may appear as harmony in human relationships, or harmony of mind, body, or purse; but actually none of those things could have taken place separate and apart from the demonstration of the presence of God. Millions of people believe that the power to demonstrate God’s presence on earth was limited to a period of time two thousand years ago. Many people are worshipping a far-off God that they hope will do something for them on the other side of the grave, but they have long since lost hope that this God can do anything for them here and now. Yet the daily experience of many of our students is a living witness to the fact that God is available. They have proved the availability of God in every situation, circumstance, and condition.
The Proof of Our Gratitude
The proof of our gratitude is, and forever must be, the work that pours out through us. Words or dollars are but symbols of the real gratitude and sometimes most inadequate, though important, symbols. Only the fruitage of the Spirit can bear witness to the true sense of gratitude.
Those who have received some measure of light, illumination, or healing—the benediction of the Christ—through this message, become bearers of the Word unto others, no longer seeking only their own good but seeking more light, ever more light, for the benefit of those who are still in darkness. From this moment on, you should be less interested in what God or The Infinite Way can do for you, and more interested in God’s illumining you so that you may be a transparency for this message to the world, that is, to your world, be it wide or narrow in its scope.
To some it may be given to be a light in their homes and in their community; to others to go beyond the environs of their homes or community, carrying this message to the world. It makes no difference in what degree we are called upon to show forth that light. There is no one light more important than another, for without all the others, even the greatest one could not function properly. The great light that we know as Christ Jesus found it necessary that there be disciples. Inasmuch as Jesus Christ left no written word conveying his message to the world, we today would not have his teaching set forth so clearly and concisely, had it not been for those lights lesser than himself, but lights of sufficient magnitude to have left us the word in written form. So remember that the light which is deemed the greatest could not shine in its fullness without the assistance of all the other lights.
You have accepted the truth that God’s grace is your sufficiency. Therefore, you are committed not to try to demonstrate things, not to try to demonstrate conditions, not to try to use God or use Truth; but in all ways to turn within and let Truth use you, let Truth fulfill itself as the harmony of your daily experience. Then, when you are called upon to let that light shine in the experience of those who turn to you, you become a standard-bearer, you become a witness to the power and the presence of God on earth in this age. This is accomplished through your periods of meditation, by opening yourself to the consciousness of God’s presence and God’s power. It is accomplished by filling yourself with the letter of the Word whether it is the Word as found in our books, The Letter, or the recordings—all three—filling yourself as many minutes and as many hours as you can give to it in the day or night, filling yourself with His word, and with the realization of His presence so that you may be the transparency for this light.
It is unthinkable that Jesus would have wasted time praying, meditating, or doing mental work for his health, his supply, his safety, or his security. So must it be with us. As this message permeates our being, we would never dream of using it in connection with our own selves. Having made the contact, It cares for us, It governs us, It sustains, It protects; and therefore, our turning within is for the benefit of those who are still in darkness. In other words, it is as if we were to say, “I know now that there is no use in taking thought for my life, for what I shall eat or what I shall drink or wherewithal I shall
be clothed or housed. I have experienced the presence and power of God in my mind and body. I know It is there; I have felt It; now I will let It operate.” You will find then that, with no further thought for yourself, the prayer work or the meditation work in which you engage on behalf of those who seek you out or on behalf of the world at large becomes your own treatment, your own prayer, your own fulfillment—a seeking of your own in another’s good.
We are the light of the world in proportion as the Spirit of God dwells in us. The mesmerism of “this world” with its newspapers, its radios, and its television would deprive us of our God-given heritage. Attention to these outer things is what deprives us of our contact with God on the inner plane by taking from us the time that is necessary for us to use for our spiritual refreshment, spiritual study, and meditation. Those on this path dare not permit themselves to be ensnared by the pleasures and the sensations of the senses—even by the good things of the senses—to such a degree that they fail to set aside adequate periods for inner contemplation.