Book One, Lesson Nine

Book One, Lesson Nine

In His Presence

"And l will walk among you, and will be your God,
and ye shall be my people. "
Leviticus 26:12
Affirmation
Our Father who art in heaven, may Thy kingdom come in earth through Thy presence in me, that the light of Thy word may shine unto those that I meet day by day. May Thy presence in my brother be such that I may glorify Thee. May I so conduct my own life that others may know Thy presence abides with me, and thus glorify Thee. 262-30

[Based on Edgar Cayce readings 262-31 through 262-34]
Tift up your heads, О ye gates;
And be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors,
And the King of glory shall come in."
Introduction
Our thoughts, our words, our activities, and our general outlook on life are motivated by our concept of Him whom we worship. Our inner life and reaction to all environs and associations are expressions of what we have done about or with the knowledge and consciousness of His presence abiding with us.

When we keep His presence as a thing apart, something to be experienced or something of which to be aware, then, when we are disturbed in some manner, we lose sight of the fact that to abide in His presence can be the experience, the knowledge, and the understanding of all who seek to do His bidding. His presence abides with us always, for it is in Him we live and move and have our being. We must realize this, and come to know and understand that we are children of God.

God is Spirit, standing back of everything in creation. God is One. We cannot separate Him from His creation. We may try to do so, but in so doing we become dual, mystified, and confused. When we separate ourselves or think ourselves apart from our Maker, we are like ships without rudders.

The oneness is ever existent, but it is only through our realization and our acknowledgment of its existence that the change is worked in us, and life takes on a new aspect. We are free-will agents. God is not a person in the sense that we think of persons; yet, to those of us who seek His presence, He is very personal. He is God to all-Father, to those who seek.

It is our oneness with the Father that the Master stressed while on earth in a physical body, when He declared that He could do nothing of Himself: It was the Father within Him that did the works. Just so we, to do the works of God, must seek ever to be conscious of the Presence within. All the guidance, help, supply, joy, peace, and whatever goes to make life worth living is within. "Seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you."

Know, О ye children, the Lord thy God is One. Each spirit, each manifestation-either in this or any other sphere of development-moves toward the knowledge, the understanding, and the conception of that One-Him, God, Jehovah, Yah-the All One.

It is only when we listen to the still small voice within and know that His presence is with us that we come to the realization that we are one with Him.

The Knowledge of His Presence
It is within the human soul, the simplest unit of God (which we would make complex), that we will find Him abiding. Sensing the presence of God within and without, we become quiet, throw off anxiety, and are conscious of a renewing power. The Spirit of God speaks through the soul-the soul forces. How may we know this? We must study and meditate until we realize what attitude we hold concerning His presence. People of old have said, "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it." We, too, may feel at times that it is physically impossible to attain to that knowledge. May we not take God at His word and accept His free gift of grace, love, and mercy? "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not." "I am the Lord. I change not."

We obscure the knowledge of His presence by considering it as a thing apart. Let us not quench the spirit within. As His spirit bears witness with our spirit, not only will we understand ourselves better, but there will come a fuller understanding of our neighbor, our friend, or our enemy. As we go fearlessly on into whatever work is before us, let us trust in His care, knowing that His presence will overshadow lis. The light will shine ahead and show the way. He will keep our stumbling feet from faltering and will allow no harm to overtake us. May we live each moment aware of His presence and let our work testify for us.

As self is less and less magnified and more hope and reliance is sought in His Word, each of us will become more and more aware of His abiding presence. All who would know Him must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. How often have we read, "The Lord is my shepherd," and doubted the truth of it as applying to us. By submitting our will to divine guidance we come step by step into the realization that He will withhold no good thing from those who seek Him, who seek to do His will.

The Preparation of Self
The realization that we are ever in His presence is not always easy when we allow the cares of the world to creep in and draw us away in body and mind. As we are in various stages of growth, во we are in different states of consciousness. What might be absolutely necessary for the preparation of self for one of us, for another might be secondary. It is well, however, for all to observe:

1. The laws of righteous judgment and clean living.

2. Special hours for meditation and prayer, that we may be strengthened during times of severe temptation and trials.

3. The realization that He is ever with us, whether we are in sorrow or joy, for mind is the builder.

4. Such standards of conduct that others may know that what we profess with our lips to believe is in keeping with that which we hold as our ideal.

We should be living examples of what we profess. Many of us follow from afar and our actions are not in keeping with the Christ Consciousness. We often give others the wrong impression of His attributes manifesting through us.

"If ye love me, keep my commandments." What are His commandments? "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my little ones, ye have done it unto me." "I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am [in consciousness], there ye may be also."

Finally, as we abide in His presence, though there may come tri als of every kind, and though tears may flow from the breaking up of the carnal forces within, the spirit is made glad, even as He in the hour of trial smiled upon him by whom He was denied.

Let us remember that physically, mentally, and spiritually we continually reflect our understanding of His presence. Let us study to show ourselves approved unto Him day by day; for in so doing the light of His presence shows forth in our precepts, in our examples, in our words, and in our works.

As we look upon our fellow humans, we find that their activities, in whatever sphere they may be, are expressions of the attitudes they have builded regarding God. Their life reflects what they worship. Their actions show the spirit which is within them. Are they not using the same measure for us?

In the physical body, good health is a reflection of our observance of physical laws. Even the small details involving the care of the body are important, for they are either in accord with laws that bring a finer type of expression or lead to inharmony. The physical surroundings, the type of companions sought, and every physical action express to others our concept of how near God, law, and love are to us.

As the activities of the body reflect the strength of the physical person, so the activities of the mind reflect the strength of the mental body. The question of controlling our actions physically is in part answered by laws and customs made by mortals; but the problems of controlling our thoughts, which truly maybe just as harmful and out of tune with the Infinite, are personal matters which must be met by each individual. Thought vibrations go out, words are spoken, deeds are done, and all carry to others their influences and their impressions of our understanding of God.

How spiritual are our lives? How often do we seek through meditation and prayer contacts with our Creator? Do our attitudes and our philosophies of life center about a spiritual ideal? Others look for these signs and are influenced by them. We believe, but do we express our belief in our words, thoughts, deeds, and attitudes?

Experiencing the Abiding Presence
The consciousness that He walks and talks with us, and that His promises are ever present, brings abiding peace. This makes for joy in service, even though it requires that there be greater and greater sacrifices of the carnal forces within our experiences. Joy does not come through service that benefits self. One that serves through kind words, thoughts, or deeds, gives of oneself, even as He, the Master.

With the realization of being in His presence comes that peace which casts out all fear and loneliness. There comes a feeling of being a part of the scheme of things. This is recognizing the God within as well as without. With this realization the way is easier. We will have more consideration for others. Condemnation will be cast aside and we will have a desire to bless.

"My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest." The protection of the Holy Spirit is His promise, if we are faithful. As we use what we know, not waiting for physical results before going on to the next step, we will find-when we least expect it- that which we desire has been granted. We are children in faith, knowledge, and understanding; we have to be taught and disciplined. Could a child be trusted with a live wire? No more could we be trusted with divine power until we, through love, discipline, and faith come to understand the divine law. It is the Father's good pleasure to give us the kingdom. It is ours only when we learn through patience to possess our souls.

Personal Experiences
"I was arrested on a false charge. In the presence of hardened officers of the law these words came to me: 'If God be with you, who can be against you?' And then came the words of the Master, 'Be not afraid' His presence was greater than any other, and the situation, which had the material outlook of humiliation and shame, was turned to the glorifying of His name in the earth. My awareness of the great need of His presence made me more conscious of it. In Him we do, indeed, live and move and have our being. Each thought, word, and act is an opportunity to advertise His presence. Let us then be an advertisement for God."

"I was asked to give a talk in public. The request came so suddenly that I had no opportunity to prepare myself. I was tempted to devote my period for meditation to study the subject, but the Spirit forbade, assuring me He that is within is greater than he that is without. I barkened and with scarcely a thought appeared before the congregation. Never had I felt so keenly the presence of the Spirit as on this occasion. The words came without effort. I felt that there was a message of helpfulness, inspiration, and power being given through me. It was not I, but the Spirit within, that was doing the work. Others bore witness that the message was to them one above the ordinary, not only in words, but in power, and in presentation. Surely, we are strong when we acknowledge our own weakness and rely on the Presence within. It is only when we forget God that troubles overtake us. If we today, at this time of testing, would place our hope of deliverance in the hands of the Father instead of humankind, we would not fail to come out more than conquerors."

There is within me a knowledge that His presence abides with me always as a part of me, not apart from me. Through the toil of the day, through the quiet hours of the night, He is always near. When burdens of the material life are heavy, if I stop and listen, He assures me that He is with me."

Let Us Remember That Our Guard Is Ever in His Presence
Let us not be afraid in the presence of our Maker. He is willing to fulfill His promises to His children and ready to make known His ways unto those who will seek His face. The God who wrought the beauties of nature and set the 1aws which govern the harmonious symphony of the universe could not have left a part of His creation without guidance or without a sustaining force. The way is exemplified in the Son, and there are those universal Forces ever ready to aid and strengthen those who seek to travel this way.

Bow thine heads, О ye men that would seek His presence. Be strong in His might. Falter not at thy own weak self. Know that thy Redeemer liveth and may this day make known in thy own heart His presence abiding with thee. Root from thy body, thy consciousness, aught that would hinder His entering in, for He would sup with thee. Wilt thou then, О man, make known thine own decisions? Will ye be one with Him? The way which I guard leads to that of glory in the might of the Lord. I, Michael, would guide thee. Do not disobey. Do not falter. Thou knowest the way. 262-33

Let us glory in the Lord, not in self, and not in the wisdom of the earth-knowing that those who partake alone of the mental may easily become stumbling stones in the way of many. Let the Spirit of Truth that is within separate the chaff from the wheat, that we may enter into the full knowledge of His presence, and shut out those things that would hinder or cause doubt or in any way make us afraid. (See 262-32.)

Let this be our prayer:

Our Father who art in heaven, may Thy kingdom come in earth through Thy presence in me, that the light of Thy word may shine unto those that I meet day by day. May Thy presence in my brother be such that I may glorify Thee. May I so conduct my own life that others may know Thy presence abides with me, and thus glorify Thee. 262-30

Come! Let our hearts be lifted in praise and adoration of the wondrous love that the Father sheds upon the children of men.

Come! Let all be glad in the opportunities that are given to serve in His name day by day.

Come! Let us be joyful in the truth that "Inasmuch as ye did it unto the least of these my little ones, ye did it unto me." Let the love of the Son be magnified in our lives that others may know that the joyousness of service brings peace and harmony to our hearts as we serve.

Come! Give thanks unto Him, for we would make our own lives and our own bodies a dwelling place of the love that the Father would manifest unto His children.

Come! Give place to His Holy Name that there may come joyousness in the hearts of all at the coming of the Christ into the lives and the experiences of many. (See 281-14.)