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21 STEPS TO A SPIRITUAL AWAKENING

Step 11: Balancing Physical With Spiritual 

We passed through conflict as God empowered us to exchange material for spiritual goals. We are better balancing our human needs with our lives in the spirit.

This step concerns the reconciliation of total inner commitment with the exigencies of daily existence, balancing what is good for us with what is good for others. Is it possible to live in this world and yet, as Jesus said, not be of this world? How can we act spiritually when we are every second hostage to flesh and blood? How can we resist experiencing anger, lust, greed, and selfishness when the survival instincts programmed into us by the Creator compel us to react that very way? Is the Master’s selfless way compatible with life’s practicalities, to say nothing of achieving success in its undertakings? Our instinctual drives perpetuate the species and keep us alive in an often cruel world, but how do we reconcile these inborn urges with their opposites: Jesus’ admonitions to give away our cloaks, walk the second mile, and save our lives by losing them?

Our Father is well aware of the difficult transition all must pass through adapting to the new life in the spirit, and he will safely guide every soul committed to his keeping. God can balance the needs of our bodies with the desires of our souls and requires only our cooperation for the transition to be positive and productive.

The spiritual world is real and important, and this physical world is real and important, offering as it does learning experiences we will never again encounter in our upward ascent through the many mansions of the Father’s universe. The body’s need for food, shelter, and clothing is no less real than the soul’s need for faith, hope, and love. We live out our ideals on the stage of this physical world that contains the intermeshed and often incongruously associated circumstances of people and things in which we find ourselves. The insistent demands of this physical world provide an ongoing check of our spiritual intentions, preventing them from becoming mere abstractions or fantasies. In this world we must compromise, balance, and reconcile the multiform competing forces and interests as best we can, and rarely will our triaged responses to these complex problems afford the satisfaction of a perfect solution. Perfection is our goal, but it is not attainable in this world. The Father takes all this into account, and we should not hinder his work in us by self-recrimination or thoughts of failure. Our ship has been launched onto the uncharted waters of an eternal career, and the Power that set the universe in motion can and will do for us what humanly would be impossible.

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Those God-knowing men and women who have been born of the Spirit experience no more conflict with their mortal natures than do the inhabitants of the most normal of worlds, planets which have never been tainted with sin nor touched by rebellion. Faith sons work on intellectual levels and live on spiritual planes far above the conflicts produced by unrestrained or unnatural physical desires. The normal urges of animal beings and the natural appetites and impulses of the physical nature are not in conflict with even the highest spiritual attainment except in the minds of ignorant, mistaught, or unfortunately overconscientious persons.

Having started out on the way of life everlasting, having accepted the assignment and received your orders to advance, do not fear the dangers of human forgetfulness and mortal inconstancy, do not be troubled with doubts of failure or by perplexing confusion, do not falter and question your status and standing, for in every dark hour, at every crossroad in the forward struggle, the Spirit of Truth will always speak, saying, "This is the way." 34:7.7&8

When it comes to the sharp and well-defined conflicts between the higher and lower tendencies of the races, between what really is right or wrong (not merely what you may call right and wrong), you can depend upon it that the Adjuster will always participate in some definite and active manner in such experiences. The fact that such Adjuster activity may be unconscious to the human partner does not in the least detract from its value and reality. 108:5.9

The great problem of life is the adjustment of the ancestral tendencies of living to the demands of the spiritual urges initiated by the divine presence of the Mystery Monitor. While in the universe and superuniverse careers no man can serve two masters, in the life you now live on Urantia every man must perforce serve two masters. He must become adept in the art of a continuous human temporal compromise while he yields spiritual allegiance to but one master; and this is why so many falter and fail, grow weary and succumb to the stress of the evolutionary struggle. 109:5.4

The human mind does not well stand the conflict of double allegiance. It is a severe strain on the soul to undergo the experience of an effort to serve both good and evil. The supremely happy and efficiently unified mind is the one wholly dedicated to the doing of the will of the Father in heaven. Unresolved conflicts destroy unity and may terminate in mind disruption. But the survival character of a soul is not fostered by attempting to secure peace of mind at any price, by the surrender of noble aspirations, and by the compromise of spiritual ideals; rather is such peace attained by the stalwart assertion of the triumph of that which is true, and this victory is achieved in the overcoming of evil with the potent force of good. 133:7.12

"While you will experience great joy in the service of my Father, you should also be prepared for trouble, for I warn you that it will be only through much tribulation that many will enter the kingdom. But those who have found the kingdom, their joy will be full, and they shall be called the blest of all the earth." 137:6.5

It requires time for men and women to effect radical and extensive changes in their basic and fundamental concepts of social conduct, philosophic attitudes, and religious convictions. 152:6.1

"You know that men are all too often led into temptation by the urge of their own selfishness and by the impulses of their animal natures. When you are in this way tempted, I admonish you that, while you recognize temptation honestly and sincerely for just what it is, you intelligently redirect the energies of spirit, mind, and body, which are seeking expression, into higher channels and toward more idealistic goals. In this way may you transform your temptations into the highest types of uplifting mortal ministry while you almost wholly avoid these wasteful and weakening conflicts between the animal and spiritual natures." 156:5.4

Forewarn all believers regarding the fringe of conflict which must be traversed by all who pass from the life as it is lived in the flesh to the higher life as it is lived in the spirit. To those who live quite wholly within either realm, there is little conflict or confusion, but all are doomed to experience more or less uncertainty during the times of transition between the two levels of living. In entering the kingdom, you cannot escape its responsibilities or avoid its obligations, but remember: The gospel yoke is easy and the burden of truth is light. 159:3.7

Teach all believers that those who enter the kingdom are not thereby rendered immune to the accidents of time or to the ordinary catastrophes of nature. Believing the gospel will not prevent getting into trouble, but it will insure that you shall be unafraid when trouble does overtake you. If you dare to believe in me and wholeheartedly proceed to follow after me, you shall most certainly by so doing enter upon the sure pathway to trouble. I do not promise to deliver you from the waters of adversity, but I do promise to go with you through all of them. 159:3.13

 



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