Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Lesson 166 I am entrusted with the gifts of God.

LESSON 166


I am entrusted with the gifts of God.


All things are given you. God's trust in you is limitless. He knows His Son. He gives without exception, holding nothing back that can contribute to your happiness. And yet, unless your will is one with His, His gifts are not received. But what would make you think there is another will than His?


Here is the paradox that underlies the making of the world. This world is not the Will of God, and so it is not real. Yet those who think it real must still believe there is another will, and one that leads to opposite effects from those He wills. Impossible indeed; but every mind that looks upon the world and judges it as certain, solid, trustworthy and true believes in two creators; or in one, himself alone. But never in one God.


The gifts of God are not acceptable to anyone who holds such strange beliefs. He must believe that to accept God's gifts, however evident they may become, however urgently he may be called to claim them as his own, is to be pressed to treachery against himself. He must deny their presence, contradict the truth, and suffer to preserve the world he made.


Here is the only home he thinks he knows. Here is the only safety he believes that he can find. Without the world he made is he an outcast; homeless and afraid. He does not realize that it is here he is afraid indeed, and homeless, too; an outcast wandering so far from home, so long away, he does not realize he has forgotten where he came from, where he goes, and even who he really is.


Yet in his lonely, senseless wanderings, God's gifts go with him, all unknown to him. He cannot lose them. But he will not look at what is given him. He wanders on, aware of the futility he sees about him everywhere, perceiving how his little lot but dwindles, as he goes ahead to nowhere. Still he wanders on in misery and poverty, alone though God is with him, and a treasure his so great that everything the world contains is valueless before its magnitude.


He seems a sorry figure; weary, worn, in threadbare clothing, and with feet that bleed a little from the rocky road he walks. No one but has identified with him, for everyone who comes here has pursued the path he follows, and has felt defeat and hopelessness as he is feeling them. Yet is he really tragic, when you see that he is following the way he chose, and need but realize Who walks with him and open up his treasures to be free?


This is your chosen self, the one you made as a replacement for reality. This is the self you savagely defend against all reason, every evidence, and all the witnesses with proof to show this is not you. You heed them not. You go on your appointed way, with eyes cast down lest you might catch a glimpse of truth, and be released from self-deception and set free.


You cower fearfully lest you should feel Christ's touch upon your shoulder, and perceive His gentle hand directing you to look upon your gifts. How could you then proclaim your poverty in exile? He would make you laugh at this perception of yourself. Where is self-pity then? And what becomes of all the tragedy you sought to make for him whom God intended only joy?


Your ancient fear has come upon you now, and justice has caught up with you at last. Christ's hand has touched your shoulder, and you feel that you are not alone. You even think the miserable self you thought was you may not be your Identity. Perhaps God's Word is truer than your own. Perhaps His gifts to you are real. Perhaps He has not wholly been outwitted by your plan to keep His Son in deep oblivion, and go the way you chose without your Self.


God's Will does not oppose. It merely is. It is not God you have imprisoned in your plan to lose your Self. He does not know about a plan so alien to His Will. There was a need He did not understand, to which He gave an Answer. That is all. And you who have this Answer given you have need no more of anything but this.


Now do we live, for now we cannot die. The wish for death is answered, and the sight that looked upon it now has been replaced by vision which perceives that you are not what you pretend to be. One walks with you Who gently answers all your fears with this one merciful reply, "It is not so." He points to all the gifts you have each time the thought of poverty oppresses you, and speaks of His Companionship when you perceive yourself as lonely and afraid.


Yet He reminds you still of one thing more you had forgotten. For His touch on you has made you like Himself. The gifts you have are not for you alone. What He has come to offer you, you now must learn to give. This is the lesson that His giving holds, for He has saved you from the solitude you sought to make in which to hide from God. He has reminded you of all the gifts that God has given you. He speaks as well of what becomes your will when you accept these gifts, and recognize they are your own.


The gifts are yours, entrusted to your care, to give to all who chose the lonely road you have escaped. They do not understand they but pursue their wishes. It is you who teach them now. For you have learned of Christ there is another way for them to walk. Teach them by showing them the happiness that comes to those who feel the touch of Christ, and recognize God's gifts. Let sorrow not tempt you to be unfaithful to your trust.


Your sighs will now betray the hopes of those who look to you for their release. Your tears are theirs. If you are sick, you but withhold their healing. What you fear but teaches them their fears are justified. Your hand becomes the giver of Christ's touch; your change of mind becomes the proof that who accepts God's gifts can never suffer anything. You are entrusted with the world's release from pain.


Betray it not. Become the living proof of what Christ's touch can offer everyone. God has entrusted all His gifts to you. Be witness in your happiness to how transformed the mind becomes which chooses to accept His gifts, and feel the touch of Christ. Such is your mission now. For God entrusts the giving of His gifts to all who have received them. He has shared His joy with you. And now you go to share it with the world.





The Following is Forwarded from Pathwaysoflight.org


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Lesson 166
"I am entrusted with the gifts of God."

Today's lesson is asking us to exemplify what we are learning from the Course. To truly have the gifts the Course is offering us we must live them. It is not enough to just repeat the words that God has given me His joy and His Love. I need to accept His joy and be joyous. This is how I offer salvation to the world. This is how I offer joy to my brother -- by demonstrating joy. I can only demonstrate joy when I align my will with God's, when I remember that His Will and mine are one and the same.

If I perceive myself attacked by a brother and respond with attack, I have made the world real and denied my Creator's Will. His Will is to love and nothing else. The more I am able to take my thoughts of attack to the Holy Spirit to let them be transformed, the more I will live in peace and joy and the more I will give the gifts of peace and joy. The transformation of my thoughts and beliefs comes in many ways, but the end result is that what I perceived as attack I have been led to see as a call for Love.

Sometimes I recognize the call for Love in another. Sometimes I recognize the call for Love in myself. And oftentimes I see it in both. The Holy Spirit always answers those calls for Love with Love. He reminds me that God created me in Love, has not changed His Mind about me, and so I already have the Love I seek. He reminds me that I am worthy because God has deemed me worthy. Sometimes the transformation of perception leads to an action or expression to a brother to help Him know that he is loved in a form that he can receive. Sometimes it is only a thought of Love in my mind that I can offer, but always, as I give the gift, I receive the gift. I feel the strength of Love in my heart grow.

Today let me recognize the Love that I have and am. Let me freely give It so that I may receive It's blessing. Thus do I fulfill God's trust in me that He has demonstrated by His gifts to me.


God's gifts to me are His Love, His peace and His joy. God's gift to me is true happiness. God's gift to me is Heaven. Jesus tells us in earlier lessons that we are Heaven. We have been given Heaven. It is our only Identity. Our job now is to let go of wandering in the wilderness like the prodigal son. Our job now is to accept our inheritance from our Father in Heaven. Our job now is to be willing to be led back to Heaven by the Holy Spirit.

We can tell if we are allowing ourselves to be led back to Heaven by the amount of peace, love and joy we let in to our awareness. When we let peace, love and joy into our awareness, we feel it. We are one with these gifts. When we are one with these gifts, we spontaneously give these gifts of peace, love and joy. When we receive Love we give Love. Within the action of receiving is the action of giving. It is all one.

It is interesting to recognize that the most important thing we can give any brother is the gift of peace, the gift of Love, the gift of joy. In order to give these gifts, we must first receive them. And inherent in receiving them is giving them. So today my top priority is to give God's peace, God's Love and God's joy to everyone, because God's gifts are always all inclusive. I do this by being willing to receive God's gifts.

My practice today is asking myself often, "Am I actively receiving God's gifts of peace, love and joy right now?" If not, my job is to open my mind to the Holy Spirit and ask with desire. What I ask for in my heart of hearts I will receive. What a wonderful opportunity I have today -- the practice of receiving the gifts of God and giving them away.


I have succeeded in making it a habit to ask Holy Spirit to take my thoughts of attack and transform them. Though I don't always do it, I do it more often than not. It is making a huge difference in my life. I realized this morning that I almost never follo

my request by asking for God's Love and comfort.
I am not asking for joy. I think this tells me that I am resisting my true Self and clinging instead to the self I made. I think the only way to change this is by a conscious decision to do so. I will spend today reminding myself that I want God's gifts of peace love and joy and asking for them. I am sure that receiving them will increase my motivation.

It is essential I do this because I must have them so that I can give them away. This is my part in the salvation of the world. I think that unconsciously I was beginning to realize what I've been doing because lately it has been bothering me a lot that I am so seldom accepting these gifts from God. I've been talking to Holy Spirit about it, but somehow I've been thinking of them as rewards, nice but hardly necessary, and perhaps not deserved yet. I see it differently now and I thank God for this new vision.

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