Stumbling

The Almighty—we cannot find him;
he is great in power and justice,
and abundant righteousness he will not violate.

Therefore mortals fear him; he does not regard any who are wise in their own conceit. (Job 37:23-24)

Jesus said to his disciples, “Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to anyone by whom they come! It would be better for you if a millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea than for you to cause one of these little ones to stumble.” (Luke 17:1-2)

For Contemplation

Unfortunately, in weakness and misunderstanding, we can attribute to God our own selfish motives. We try to justify our actions or our ideas out of self-protection and fear. We justify evil in the name of God knowing full well that the end does not justify the means. We are what we do and what we say, and the evidence of our spiritual context is how we live. Using words and calling them “God’s will” demeans us and demeans God, for no one knows the will of God. We lose perspective and we ignore God when, out of our own conceit, we believe that we fully understand God’s intention. When we speak to others and use God’s name, we deceive them and misrepresent God to them. They stumble when they follow advice or counsel that we give to protect and justify what we believe and do. We cannot add anything to the truth; it is sufficient unto itself because it is of God. How foolish we become trying to give evidence of God outside of us. How foolish of us to proclaim God’s will in events we can neither control nor understand. By placing love and truth inside of our being, our essence coming from God’s own essence, God has shown us that we must humbly look within. We must search our own thoughts, our own intentions, and submit ourselves to the consequences of God’s law. It is by our submission to God that we bear witness to God. God does not need our proclamation of God’s intention.

Prayer

Almighty and everlasting God, we lose sight of you when we are so sure we can reveal your will to others. We do not trust you or your divine law and we intervene selfishly out of fear. We fear surrendering to your justice because we cannot comprehend your mercy. Help us use our strength to study your law. Help us to use our minds to seek awareness of your presence. Help us to use our intellect to look inward to the truth you have written into our very being. Help us to trust the consequences of your justice. In all that we do, we dedicate our effort to your glory; let us accept the results that depend on you. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

From The Readings

2012-206 Learn to stand and be patient in the presence of those who would try to distract you or change the focus, whether they would try to deceive you about the true intention or the true message that is found in Christ. You have connected with this. There are those things that you read and write that show this resonance, and it is because there is a mutual recognition between you and Christ, and as follows from this, a recognition and connection of God. You will continue to see that as time goes forward in the earthly plane of your existence, that all things will be given to you, all things will be added unto you to fulfill all of the purpose that is intended.

2012-207 Don’t let others diminish your experience of the life and the enlightenment that you have found in Christ. Do not let this be diminished by the limited understanding, by selfishness or narrow- mindedness, or the ego-related orientation that claims God for its own.

2012-209 Remember that devotion begins with an interior attitude toward all of life and toward everything that you do. Anything that you do can be transformed into an act of devotion. You already practice this in the ways that you try to do the best possible work or make someone feel the best they can feel or to make their experience so positive. This can be applied in more areas in your life, in Jeffrey’s life, both together and in each area of work that both of you perform. You like music and that is a good place to rest in and experience devotion. But devotion is always connected to acts of devotion through the work you do and the attitude that you bring to that work and the people around you. This is why sometimes we ask you to do something before you are given the full understanding of what to do. It is in the attempt or in the struggle or in what feels like floundering around, that the true form, in this case the true form of your devotion, begins to take shape. You are devoted to the truth, you are devoted to God, and you are devoted to the ways that these things are made manifest in the world. And through the things you do, devotion becomes manifest.