(Editor’s Note: This article has been “mined” from the Archives and is being re-published here. It is a presentation that was given by Neil Francey at the 2002 Queensland conference.)
The aim of this presentation is to explore a technique for acting in accordance with divine grace. Hopefully we will discover how, through our actions, we can have a real and personal experience of living in the loving overcare of our Father while enjoying heightened relationships with our family and friends.
What activities does The Urantia Book highlight as being the most important acts we can do?
- Home and family
- Service to others and the community
- Leading a life that is an example to others (the life of Jesus)
- Developing a personal relationship with God
- Faith through worship.
There is an action that operates above and beyond these essential commitments. Before we try to identify this however, we firstly have to define ‘doing’. The Urantia Book had a few surprises for me when I took a close look.
Thinking is Doing
…it is sad to record that so few persons on Urantia take delight in cultivating these qualities of courageous and independent cosmic thinking. [Paper 16:6.9, page 192:5 emphasis mine)
So few mortals are real thinkers; you do not spiritually develop and discipline your minds to the point of favourable liaison with the divine Adjusters. [Paper 110:7.6, page 1213:1 emphasis mine]
The divine spirit makes contact with mortal man, not by feelings or emotions, but in the realm of the highestand most spiritualized thinking. It is your thoughts, not your feelings, that lead you Godward. [Paper 101:1.3, page 1104:6 emphasis mine]
Making Choices and Decisions – This is Doing
Man can never wisely decide temporal issues or transcend the selfishness of personal interests unless he meditates in the presence of the sovereignty of God and reckons with the realities of divine meanings and spiritual values. [Paper 99:7.4, page 1093:2 emphasis mine]
The success of your Adjuster in the enterprise of piloting you through the mortal life and bringing about your survival depends not so much on the theories of your beliefs as upon your decisions, determinations, and steadfast faith. [Paper 110:3.2, page 1205:6 emphasis mine]
Moral will embraces decisions based on reasoned knowledge, augmented by wisdom, and sanctioned by religious faith. Such choices are acts of moral nature…[Paper 101:6.3, page 1111:7 emphasis mine]
Problem Solving is also Doing
Religious habits of thinking and acting are contributory to the economy of spiritual growth…Habits which favor religious growth embrace … worshipful problem solving… [Paper 100:1.8, page 1095:3 emphasis mine]
Being Spirit Led is Doing
“…some persons are naturally more happy than others. Much, very much, depends upon the willingness of man to be led and directed by the Father’s spirit which lives within him.” [Paper 149:5.2, page 1674:4 emphasis mine]
Such spirit-born individuals are so re-motivated in life that they can calmly stand by while their fondest ambitions perish and their keenest hopes crash; [Paper 100:2.8, page 1096:5 emphasis mine]
If you would be led by this spirit from above, very soon would you begin to see with the eyes of the spirit, and then by the wholehearted choice of spirit guidance would you be born of the spirit since your only purpose in living would be to do the will of your Father who is in heaven. [Paper 142:6.6, page 1602:6 emphasis mine]
Living Faith is Doing
When, by living faith, you become divinely God conscious, you are then born of the spirit…and attain the experience of finding God the Father on Paradise. [Paper 193:0.3. page 2052:3 emphasis mine)
Although religious experience is a purely spiritual subjective phenomenon, such an experience embraces a positive and living faith attitude toward the highest realms of universe objective reality. [Paper 103:9.5, page 1141:3 emphasis mine]
So there can be a process. If we implement this process what are we actually doing? The answer can be described as taking faith steps. Thinking, discovering values, making decisions and choices, solving problems, being spirit led—all actions in doing. This is the way we can implement the Father’s will. It is not so much asking ‘what is your will’ as allowing God to bestow his will.
All we have to DO is hand over to God. (Absolute, Total, Unqualified). To put it in a more loving way, a way that creates a relationship with God, acting with absolute trust in our Father for all things. This is real doing. (Real is defined as oneness with God, the unreal being the extent of our removal from true reality [God].)
By doing this, what is likely to happen? The results of our actions may never be known to us. There may be no direct reward or recognition from others. There may be no personal power or glory (the consequence is God’s). There’s no time line. We need to be prepared to act without knowing (faith steps). There may be personal risk involved. There is no set formula for action or success known to us. It does not mean a life of ease; it will involve sacrifices. There will be no ‘yes buts’, no excuses. It is not about asking for something for yourself.
Prayer needs to become worship. When all self-centered desires are lacking, prayer transforms into worship, sublime thinking into super-thinking [Paper 143:7.7, page 1616:9].
Let’s think about a small decision that you have to make—one that can be overcome in the short term. This could involve other people, a fear that you have about something, or an uncertainty about the way forward.
When the issues have been clearly identified, when you have taken it to a reasonable stage by doing, I want you to consciously and superconsciously hand it over. Pass it on to the Father so he can deal with it. And then leave it in his care with absolute confidence that He will resolve it with you. Trust in the Father’s loving overcare while you walk with Him through the fear, the decision, the uncertainty, until it has been beautifully and mysteriously resolved.
Our Human Role
We need to proceed on all fronts to encounter/create situations that will provide solutions. Life is not a passive experience of dependency on God’s grace. We earn it. This technique is not a substitute for taking action; it is not a cop-out. In fact it requires a heightened sense of life involvement. Here are some quotes on Action:
…the teachers of this new religion are now equipped with spiritual weapons. They are to go out to conquer theworld with unfailing forgiveness, matchless good will,and abounding love.. [Paper 194:3.11, page 2064:3 emphasis mine]
The contact of the mortal mind with its indwelling Adjuster, while often favored by devoted meditation, is more frequently facilitated by wholehearted and loving service in unselfish ministry to one’s fellow creatures. [Paper 91:7.2, page 1000:2 emphasis mine]
The motivation of faith makes experiential the full realization of man’s sonship with God, but action, completion of decisions, is essential to the evolutionary attainment of consciousness of progressive kinship with the cosmic actuality of the Supreme Being. [Paper 110:6.12, page 1211:2 emphasis mine]
The religion of Jesus demands living and spiritual experience. [Paper 160:5.12, page 1782:3 emphasis mine]
Trust and Faith
Remember life is all about decisions and more decisions. We must be prepared to accept the consequences. This is a process for character and spiritual growth. The aim is to gain trust until we have absolute trust.
Commit your way to the Lord—trust him— and he will bring it to pass. [Paper 131:2.10, page 1445:4 emphasis mine] … with God all things are possible.[Paper 163:3.2, page 1803:4 emphasis mine]
Mortals live in God, and so God has willed to live in mortals. As men trust themselves to him, so has he— and first—trusted a part of himself to be with men…[Paper 111:5.3, page 1221:4 emphasis mine]
Jesus taught that, by faith, the believer enters the kingdom now. [Paper 170:2.12, page 1861:2 emphasis mine]
So how do we do take faith steps? Steps that might help us hand over to God, to trust in the Father?
(Incorporating the seven adjutant mind spirits which represent an equivalent aspect of being.)
- It is a process in the mind to commit to this course of action. Engage in a dialogue with God. Make love the primary drive. (Understanding)
- It will involve decisions and more decisions for the present moment, for the short term, and for the long term. Seek guidance and direction from all sources e.g. lots of effort, research, friends and family. (Knowledge)
- Patience. Be prepared to wait and wait for a direction to present itself, to become clear. The process cannot be forced. Work with the Ministering Spirits, Thought Adjuster, and prayer. (Intuition)
- Proceed without knowing, sometimes without reason or logic. Forfeit your personal will. Sense the rhythm. Look out—something will happen. It always does. (Courage)
- Confirmation of the action will be given in some way. (Wisdom)
- Review and relate the experience into spiritual terms and values. (Council)
- Give thanks. (Worship)Now we have invoked the over-riding power of spirit—The Spirit of Truth. It prepares us for the Thought Adjuster, it personalizes truth, gives heightened fellowship with, and consciousness of, Michael. (What would Jesus do?) It gives a consciousness of Sonship with God.
Having started out on the way of life everlasting, having accepted the assignment and received your ordersto advance, do not fear the dangers of human forgetfulness and mortal inconstancy… for the Spirit of Truth will always speak, saying, “This is the way”. [Paper 34:7.8, page 383:2 emphasis mine]
The Example of Jesus
This is the real core of this presentation. We need to practice living in the presence of the Father. We need to have trust and implicit faith. Here are some ways Jesus did it:
…Jesus ever deferring his slightest wish to the will of the Father in heaven, and his daily life of implicit trust…
[Paper 139:4.9, page 1555:2 emphasis mine]
The secret of Jesus’ unparalleled religious life was his: consciousness of the presence of God; and he attained it by intelligent prayer and sincere worship— unbroken communion with God— and not by leadings, voices, visions, or extraordinary religious practices. [Paper 196:0.10, page 2089:0 emphasis mine]
He depended on the heavenly Father as a child leans upon its earthly parent, and his fervent faith never for one moment doubted the certainty of the heavenly Father’s overcare. [Paper 196:0.11, page 2089:1 emphasis mine]
What astounding results and benefits might happen if we were to live as Jesus lived? (A word of caution: we cannot say that Jesus’ life was made any easier because he had unbroken communication with God.)
We may experience an effortless energy flow. We may sense a power that seems to be at work. We may sense a knowing that something is going on. Life could become an incredible, inexplicable adventure. Life would be truly unique: potentials would become actuals; personality would become real. There could be a sense of freedom in the mind and heart, an increased capacity for spiritual receptivity and preparedness to take action, and a life of purpose. By living life to the fullest we experience a feeling of genuine happiness and the complete satisfaction of contributing to Light and Life. And who knows, one day it may even be fashionable.
JUST TRY IT. People may think you’re crazy, but love you for it anyway.