Choosing Your Vision

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Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net which was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind; when it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into vessels but threw away the bad” (Matthew 13:47-48).

What is a “good” fish, and what is a “bad” fish? In the realm of the Divine, there is no such distinction. God is equally invested in the carp and the tuna. Determining the difference between a good fish and a bad fish depends on who is doing the determining. If you want fish you intend to sell through a pet store, you use one standard of judgment. If you are supplying a restaurant, you use another standard.

Your mind is a net that is constantly being cast into the sea of infinite possibilities of ideas. The ideas you bring in and hang onto culminate as the conditions of your life.  When you set a goal for yourself, your choice of the mental pictures and of the thoughts and feelings you hold about that goal become relevant. Excitement toward your objective becomes a good fish. Doubts in your abilities become bad fish. You want all the creative energy of your being to support your vision so you make an effort to dismiss your doubts and reaffirm your excitement.

This principle holds true at all levels of action, not just mental and emotional. The activities you engage in, the conversations you conduct, the types of television shows you watch, the material you read all have their impact on the vision you desire to express. If you engage only in actions that support your vision, your vision will become a manifest entity. If you engage in actions that diminish your vision, you will get only a partial and inadequate demonstration.

The message of this parable is simple: Hold on to the ideas and actions that support your vision and let go of the ideas and actions that do not.

 

Recognize Your Good

Gems of Truth: Spiritual Wisdom from the Words of Jesus

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And he said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed upon the ground, and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how. The earth produces of itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear’” (Mark 4:26-28).

Jesus was a master at explaining abstract metaphysical processes using simple agricultural metaphors. In this saying from Mark, he reveals two very helpful bits of information when it comes to manifesting the desires of our heart. First, when you scatter seed, an invisible force takes over to grow that seed. You are responsible for the sowing, not the growing. Second, once the seed starts to grow it follows an orderly process that begins so humbly we may not recognize it.

Holding a mental and emotional vision is the equivalent of sowing seed. This is how we, as individuals, were designed to be supplied. We are given a mind capable of initiating any material condition we desire. We hold to the ideal, sleep and rise night and day, and the ideal begins to manifest, we know not how. We do not need to know how; that is not our department.

When the manifestation begins to occur, we often do not recognize it. It may appear as a feeling of success, or a change in circumstances so slight that we consider it inconsequential. Plant a field of wheat and it will first appear as grass. But because you know what you planted, you know you are seeing the potential for bushels of flour.

Keep your vision on the “full grain in the ear” but learn to recognize and give thanks for the “blade” when it appears. The slightest change in circumstance is evidence that your desire is manifesting. If you pray for abundance and find a dime on the street, think of it as the first blade of manifestation. Soon you will see many blades and these will grow into “ears” which will, in turn, transform into the condition or thing that you desire.

Commitment to the Ideal

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Jesus said to him, ‘No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God’” (Luke 9:62).

There is a significant number of Bible verses attributed to Jesus that give keys to understanding and practical application of our spiritual resources. Absolute commitment to an ideal is another key.

We are beginning to understand that there is a definite connection between our consciousness and the way our life unfolds. We have come to see that if we can play a role in creating what we see in our experience, we can also play a role in creating what we would like to see. The image we hold of our self and our life influences our thoughts, our feelings, and our actions that go into building the external side of our life.

When you use your imagination to form a new picture of what you would like to see in your life, you discover quickly how easily that picture is challenged. The old self-image does not just dissolve because you decide you don’t want it anymore. You still have plenty of emotion and logic tied up in the old. So it’s important to understand that a permanent change of mind requires a commitment. One moment you can hold a wonderful ideal and the next moment find it, like a sand castle, washed away by a wave of negative emotion.

Right here is where you need to remember the advice of Jesus. Put your hand to the plow and keep it there, no matter how you feel and no matter what appearances are saying. One moment may indeed bring the appearance of failure, but the next moment will present the opportunity for success. If you throw up your hands and walk away from your plow in that apparent moment of failure, you will not see your opportunity for success. You’ll never get your “field” in shape to produce the abundance you desire.

Refuse to quit, and you will see your life transform.

The Tie that Binds

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I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:19).

One of the most important features found in the teachings of Jesus is his understanding of the relationship between God and the individual. This understanding is important, not so much for its futuristic impact as for its impact on daily life. “God is Spirit,” he said, “and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” God is invisible, like a breath of air, but very real and very responsive. This presence permeates all, but most importantly, it permeates and is responsive to each person.

God does not respond to us on a capricious whim, but by law. In the above statement, Jesus points out why our life unfolds the way it does. If you think of “earth” as your mind and “heaven” as the creative process of God, you see that Jesus was talking about the process of converting spiritual energy into the material layout of our lifescape. To bind something on earth is to form a definite mental and emotional image of it and then charge this image with enough faith to bring it about. The unseen, formless energy of Spirit then goes to work to bring into manifestation that which you have “bound” in your own consciousness. Thus, what you bind on earth, or latch onto in your mind, assures that the universal, creative process of Spirit will follow suit.

To begin to create a new life through this conscious “binding” process, you must first embrace your life just as it is. If you are thinking of your life as a kind of prison from which you must escape, you are creating barred doors that will prevent your freedom. Accept that you have created life as you are experiencing it now and begin blessing the good that abounds. Hold a vision of your life as healthy, prosperous, and successful, and getting better. In creating a vision of where you would like to go, include much praise and thanksgiving for where you are.

The Resurrection Principle

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Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24).

According to Matthew’s version of the resurrection, when “Mary Mag’dalene and the other Mary went to see the sepulcher,” they found it empty. An angel was there to tell them Jesus had risen from the dead. The Easter story presents the defining principle for both mainstream and alternative Christianity. In both cases, Easter illustrates that life, not death, is the truth behind all appearances to the contrary. We celebrate Easter in the Spring because all around us we see the resurrection of new life from the dry stalks and branches of apparent death, and we marvel at the tenacity and the proliferation of this mysterious, living energy. Traditional Christianity draws its meaning of Easter from the past, projecting its fulfillment as a glorious and everlasting future. In metaphysical Christianity, we invoke the principle of resurrection in our current affairs by letting go of the old and affirming the new. Life is always creating new channels through which to express itself. Our work is to make ourselves as open as possible to the renewing energy of this resurrecting force so that every point of our experience may expand and flourish. Are you sealed in a tomb of fear and negation, worried about your future, uncertain about the outcome of some current situation? Then begin to release this fear and affirm that the resurrecting power of life is now lifting you beyond all restrictions, all uncertainty, all inhibitions, and that your life is full of new possibilities, and those possibilities are unfolding now, like the spring buds bursting all around you. Open your mind to God’s resurrecting life right now, right where you are, and enjoy the blessings of a transformed experience.