Dedicating Ourselves To Knowing God
I HAD to meet an unexpectedly large payment at a time when funds were already at rock bottom. I could pay it only by going into debt, which I did.At this point I didn't specifically turn to any of the Bible stories that would seem appropriate in such a situation. I didn't ponder the feeding of the five thousand by Christ Jesus, the provision of manna and quails for the children of Israel wandering through the wilderness under Moses' inspired direction, the filling of the widow's empty vessels with oil as a result of Elisha's prayers. What did occur in this case was that one evening I found myself wanting to know more about God, irrespective of the trouble I was facing at the time. I felt led to try to understand a little more about His nature as divine Truth. Truth is one of the terms for God clearly implied in the Bible. Nothing was farther from my mind than my financial situation when I opened the Bible and the writings of Mary Baker Eddy (Mrs. Eddy discovered and founded Christian Science) and started to study relevant references. Nor did that aspect of experience cross my thoughts as I worked in prayer throughout that evening. I had a good time, and the task felt fruitful. I really rose in my concept of God as Truth when I came across a powerful passage in a book called No and Yes by Mrs. Eddy. She writes: "It is Truth's knowledge of its own infinitude which forbids the genuine existence of even a claim to error. This knowledge is light wherein there is no darkness,--not light holding darkness within itself. The consciousness of light is like the eternal law of God, revealing Him and nothing else. Experiences like the one I had are difficult to describe adequately in writing. But what it boiled down to was that I suddenly felt a complete conviction of the truth of those last words of the quotationHim and nothing else. It was much more than just an intellectual acceptance of that concept. It was a rock solid sense of the presence and reality of God. I knew with clarity something of Truth's absolute allness and its boundless beauty, and that was all I knew at that point. I didn't study much more that evening. I soon went to bed. The next day the money that was needed came in from an unanticipated source. To say I was surprised would be both right and wrong. I had no reason at all to expect the funding needed to wipe out my debt to come from that particular source, at that time. But the spiritual sense of Truth's allness I had gained left me unsurprised at the practical evidence of that fact. I felt I had been healed by the unconditional sincerity of my desire to know mor e of God. The Master, Christ Jesus, describes the healing process I experienced when he states, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. I discovered that the sincere desire to know God is rewarded by the capacity to do so. It was proved to me that the realization of that very capacity results in needful improvements in our situation. Dedicating ourselves to knowing God, I found, makes good sense on every level of our lives! My own experience was a tas te of the larger proofs of this by Biblical prophets. It was their very dedication to the knowledge of God that empowered Elisha to help the widow, Moses to prove the availability of provision for the children of Israel, and Jesus to feed a multitude. To be a Christian in the deepest, truest sense is to cultivate the spiritual understanding of existence that motivated the Master. This effort might be likened to signing on the dotted line of a contract that commits the signatory to dedicate himself to knowing God, and thus to living the loving life that flows from such knowing. Really dedicating ourselves to knowing God blesses others as it blesses us. It is an adventure and a joy, as well as a true source of protection, as I found in the above experie nce. Above all, in proportion as we do come to know God more and more substantially, we come to know more concretely man's real spiritual being as His reflection. That's our true nature, God's expression. That's what we're proving when a new or deeper understanding of God brings about a practical change in our circumstances. In the light of such true self-knowledge it becomes increasingly apparent that despite evidence to the contrary, dedicating ourselves to knowing God is what's natural, not self-absorption or fascination with worldly things, no matter how exciting these might temporarily appear to be. It's true that dedicating ourselves to knowing God can sometimes seem the hardest thing to do. But when we're faithful to the inner desire to do so, the things that seem difficult in our lives begin to recede in the presence of Christ, God's spiritual revelation of "Him and nothing else.