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A surprised mother found her four-year-old son crying as he was tying his shoes. She looked at the little boy and said, “Why are you crying?” He said, “Because I have to tie my shoes.” The mother said, “But you’ve just learned how. It isn’t that hard, is it?” “Yes,” he wailed, “But I’m going to have to do it for the rest of my life.”
Have you ever felt that way? Sometimes if we look ahead in our imagination, life can be a bit overwhelming.
I know it can be for many of us.
There are things that are overwhelming to you when you really think about it from the aspect of “I have to do this. I have to meet the challenge. I have to be up to the task.” A lot of times there is a long road ahead of us, and we need the power to go down that road.
Today we’re going to talk about tearing down the walls of doubt.
A while back on a Sunday after the game on television, I called a friend and said, “Did you see that game? Did you see the last five minutes?” My friend said, “What happened?”
The friend went on to tell me how they turned off the game because they just knew we had lost. In the last five minutes we actually went on to a great victory.
When you are working inside of yourself to tear down a wall of doubt, you need two forms of help: human and Divine.
There are many times when my friends and I have gotten together simply to believe in each other. We have walked, and talked, and believed, and great things have happened. We need friends like that. We need human friends.
Let me talk about the human power first. Do you remember the old story of Androcles and the Lion. In this story, a thorn was pulled from the lion’s paw. You see, Androcles was a slave. He has escaped his taskmaster and had run to find freedom.
He hid in a cave. While in there, he heard a noise. He turned around and saw he was being approached by a lion. He thought, “This is worse than what I escaped from.” He just knew he was going to be eaten; that he had come to the end of the line.
He cowered back to the back part of the cave, and the lion growled. Then he noticed a tear coming out of the lion’s eye, and the lion stuck out his paw. His paw was all swollen. In the middle of his paw was a thorn. Androcles withdrew the thorn carefully from the lion’s paw, and the lion smiled. The lion licked his face and then retreated. Androcles said,
“Whew! I’m glad that’s over!”
Three years later in Rome, Androcles had become a Christian. Roman persecutors seized him and ordered Androcles to renounce his faith. He did not. They told Androcles they were going to throw him into the lions. Guess which lion he faced?
The lion he had helped three years earlier. When the lion saw Androcles, he came out and instead of eating Androcles, he licked his face. Androcles was not put to death but was released because the Romans thought he was a person of high magic.
He was . . . and so are we.
I have a few questions for you now. How many lions have you befriended on your pathway of life? How many thorns have you withdrawn from or plucked out of swollen paws? Are you aware that someday you are going to be thrown into the arena?
We all, at various times, are thrown into an arena. Do you know what saves us? Those times when we have helped others; the times they have been at their worst and we have been at our best; the times we have helped them, pulling the thorns from swollen paws.
We are saved in that moment. Possibly some time ago you have befriended somebody. They see you and your life changes because of it.
It is the power of the Bible; it is the power of Christianity; it is the power that shares your power of what you can do.
You are going to be saved each and every time.
It has been said that one seed makes a tree and many trees a forest. The addition of one drop of water at a time turns a stream into a river. The river flows to replenish the sea. One step at a time is the way we make our journey of life.
As we think of what lies ahead, we can find relief from tension as we realize we are not called upon to live a whole year in one day. Our highest aspirations are reached one step at a time, one person at a time helping us.
That is the human part of this story. You know that’s important. You are not in this to be an individual. We are in this life to be spiritually interdependent. You know this is true with us. I need you. I admit it. I love being
with you and I love sharing with you.
Now, let us talk about God, the Divine. To really produce something that has the power to tear down walls inside of you and outside of you, you need help beyond yourself. You need help beyond the other people who are standing with you.
You need Divine help.
God is constantly whispering something to you. Do you know what that whisper says? Right now, God is whispering to each of us. The silent whisper says, “Surprise yourself!” The human shout inside of us says, “I’m afraid,” but God constantly says, “Surprise yourself.”
When you went to realize your dreams, you might have said inside of yourself, “I’m afraid,” but a greater mind rose inside of you and whispered, “Surprise yourself!” That is the giant persuader, the catalyst of the mind, that gets you moving.
As I speak this morning to this group of such fine individuals, I know that many of you have a log to cross. Many of you are looking at a twenty-foot ravine that requires you to jump it. And many of you realize you cannot go back. There’s nowhere else to go. You can’t go up, you can’t go down . . .
You pause and the human shouts inside of you and says, “I’m afraid.” Then, you are surrounded by some good friends.
This is what a friend is – someone who believes in you. The friends are with you saying, “Yes, you can do this.” Then, even though you’re still afraid, you get quiet for a moment, and you hear God’s secret whisper saying, “Surprise yourself!”
At that moment you know that you can do it. Nothing in the world can stop you. I brings you wonderful joy.
I would like to share with you from the Bible. This is a story you know from Joshua [Joshua 6:1-17, 20]. It is a story about the tearing down of the walls at Jericho. It has great truth for you today, and it has a Biblical principle inside of it.
Remember, when I read the Bible to you, it’s important to know that you are the characters in the story, and this is a story about you. Great truth can come from this as you realize that right now this is a story about your life and mine.
I’m not preaching at you; I’m here talking to myself as much as I’m talking to you.
Now Jericho was shut up inside and out because of the Israelites; no one came out and no one went in.
Think about yourself when you are filled with fear. When we are afraid, we shut ourselves up. I put a wall around my mind.
At this point, someone could come up to us and say something very positive, but we couldn’t hear them. We would repel that thought. All of our thoughts are shut up inside of myself, and all we can do is think within myself of our worry, our sickness, or and we are closed inside the gates of my mind. We have to tear down that wall, and I need help doing that. This is what this story is really about.
The Lord said to Joshua . . .Joshua is your name too. It means “whom Jehovah makes triumphant.” When God comes through you and makes you triumphant, you know that something miraculous has happened.
The Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have handed Jericho over to you, along with its king and soldier.”
Jericho is a city just over the Jordan in the land of Canaan. It was the first city taken and destroyed by the Israelites after their entering the Promised Land.
Again, let’s think about our journey. Each of us is on a journey. Sometimes we are walking and sometimes we are running, but we going to the Promised Land. The Promised Land is consciousness. What it means spiritually is “spiritual realization.”
Think about that. When you come to that point inside of yourself, when you get past all of the stuff and get to that point of spiritual realization, all is well and there is a great joy inside of you.
Jericho means “moon reflecting.” This is a fascinating thing. What is the moon? If we look up tonight and see the moon, what is that?
As we look at the moon, it does not shine of its own light, but merely reflects the light of the sun.
People looked at the moon and thought, “Gee, there must be a great fire in the moon.” But we know now that is not true.
We know it is simply reflecting the light.
What does this have to do with you? It talks about our intellect inside of ourselves. The intellect seems to express the light of understanding, but spiritual understanding reveals that it shines by reflected light. Even as the moon is a part of our planetary system, so the intellect has a legitimate place in God.
It is when the intellect becomes egotistical, when it thinks, when it originates its own light, that there is a problem. I’m not talking about being egotistical like when a person says, “I’m so beautiful.” I’m talking about being egotistical by saying, “I’m right! Don’t confuse me with the facts.
I know what I think, and I act because I think. I am right!” All the time it’s like staring at the moon trying to get a suntan. It’s hard to do.
Our intellect is reflected light. From where? From the wisdom from on high – the Mind of God. When we stop thinking of ourselves as the end-all, and turn to God, then the walls are torn down inside of us. Then we have the power to do what we need to do with our lives.
You shall march around the city, all the warriors circling the city once. Thus, you shall do for six days, with seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. On the sevenths day you shall march around the city seven times, the priests blowing the trumpets. When they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, as soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and all the people shall charge straight ahead.” So Joshua son of Nun summoned the priests and said to them,
“Take up the Ark of the Covenant, and have seven priests carry seven trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark of the Lord.” To the people he said, “Go forward and march around the city; have the armed men pass on before the ark of the Lord.”
As Joshua had commanded the people, the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the Lord went forward, blowing the trumpets, with the ark of the covenant of the Lord following them. And the armed men went before the priests who blew the trumpets; the rear guard came after the ark, while the trumpets blew continually. To the people Joshua gave this command: “You shall not shout or let your voice be heard, nor shall you utter a word, until the day I tell you to shout. Then you shall shout.” So, the ark of the Lord went around the city, circling it once; and they came into the camp, and spent the night in the camp.
Then Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the Lord. The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets of rams’ horns . . .
The reason I read so much at once is I wanted you to hear over and over again how they talk about the number seven.
It’s talked about throughout the Bible, and it has a real significance for you and for me – a Biblical principle of how to tear down walls inside of us.
Seven refers to the Divine law of perfection in the Divine natural human. In the spiritual, twelve is the spiritual number of completion.
But how do you fully manifest the man and woman while going on the journey to spiritual realization or the Promised Land?
Do you remember in the Bible where Elijah told Namun to bathe in the Jordan seven times? The Bible talks about the cleansing of us seven times over and over again.
If you go into a church today, you will find candlesticks that represent seven lamps, or the seven centers in the body.
You’ll see seven candles on the candelabras. It was that way in Biblical times also.
In times of old, the tabernacle represented the body of the human. The seven lamps were a symbol of the seven centers in the organism through which intelligence is expressed.
What are these seven centers inside of you?
The other two centers are:
7. Ability to connect with the wisdom from above – The Mind of God.
These are the areas to be developed inside the human. These are the ways to develop yourself as a divine human being.
We read about going around the city seven times. This is to enter every one of your abilities you have as a human, to pray so much that you see good, to pray so much that you hear good, to pray so much that you literally smell God around you, to pray so much that you taste God. It is talking about a spiritual completion inside of you, allowing a full day for each sense. It allows you to become so aware of the presence of God that you literally tear down any wall inside of you.
You will not use any physical force in doing this; neither did they. The walls will fall down on their own.
The walls you have inside of you now, will not be able to stand up when you totally surrender your own human senses to the mind of God and the power of God. It will occur.
Let me finish the story now. The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord passed on, blowing the trumpets continually. The armed men went before them, and the rear guard came after the ark of the Lord, while the trumpets blew continually. On the second day they marched around the city once and then returned to the camp. They did this for six days.
On the seventh day they rose early, at dawn, and marched around the city in the same manner seven times.
It was only on that day that they marched around the city seven times. And at the seventh time when the priests had blown the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city ..”
The “city” is a gathering together of thought people inside of yourself. Even your fears and your worries are starting to listen to God at that point. You have marched around your city so much that everyone is listening. All your senses come together and shout, and the walls inside of us are torn down.
” . . . The city and all that is in it shall be devoted to the Lord.” . . . So, the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpets, they raised a great shout, and the wall fell down flat; so the people charged straight ahead into the city and captured it.
That’s my story; it’s your story. Let’s do this.
God bless you 7 times, God bless you 70×7!
Prayer and Meditation__________________
In Genesis, the book of the beginning, it says, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them, and God said to them,
“Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth . . . And God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good,” Genesis 1:27-28, 31
Let us, during this prayer time, cast off the feeling of limitation and frustration that keeps us from being what we were created to be. Our Creator believes in us. Every creator worthy of the name believes in his or her creation. God believes in you! Even in the midst of your sense of separation, when you have a mistaken identity, a false sense of self, your Creator believes in you. Even in the dark night of your soul, (which is a time when all seems lost), God believes in you. Even when you fail to hear or turn away from the call of greatness that urges you to return to your Source, God believes in you.
Accept this now as you rest in the silence of prayer…
God believes in you. God has faith in you. God believes in me.
Think about that for a moment and allow it to empower you: God believes in me . . . God has faith in you. Because God believes in you, you can believe in God’s handiwork in you.
You can have faith in God’s image in you. Take heart. Listen to the following words and allow me to speak that silent voice inside of you. God believes in me. God has faith in me.
God created me in God’s image and after God’s likeness. My Creator believes in me. God put the Divine spirit within me. God knows the stuff of which I am made, and God has faith in me. I will no longer judge with my eyes and my ears. If others lose their faith in me, and even if I lose my faith in myself, God, You never lose your faith in me.
You always believe in me. God always trusts the Divine handiwork in me.
Accept this now as you rest in the silence of prayer…
God, I thank You for believing in me!
I am God’s creation. I believe in God as my Creator. My heavenly God and I are one, one in faith, one in belief, one in trust. A life energy is released in you as you meditate on these truths about you. The words are the leading edge of a whole new state of faith believing in and trusting in God, and in the image of God that you are following.
Accept this now as you rest in the silence of prayer…
I am filled and fulfilled by the growing realization that God has faith in me, and I have faith in God. God believes in me. I believe in God. God trusts me. I trust God. What a glorious partnership, in faith, my Creator shares with me.
Accept this now as you rest in the silence of prayer…
God has never left you. God has never forsaken you. God has loved you with an everlasting love. With a loving kindness, God has drawn us and awakened us. This is the revelation of the One who believes in us.
It is God’s good pleasure to give us the kingdom, not because we have worked hard to earn it or that we merit it, but because of the grace of our Creator who believes in us.
We are to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, all our souls, all our minds, all our strength, and our neighbor as ourselves. This is the natural expectation of the Creator who believes in us, and who knows the stuff we are made of. God expects us to believe in the Divine, to believe in ourselves, and to believe in our neighbor as God does.
As we close this wonderful time with God, we are to let our light shine in such a way that all who see it will know that its source is the God of light inside us and in them. This is the radiant desire of our Creator who believes in us.
In the nature of Jesus Christ we pray . . . Amen.
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