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21 STEPS TO A SPIRITUAL AWAKENING

Step 3: Accepting God's Grace

We recognized that we cannot produce spiritual reactions to life in the absence of divine power and saw that all spiritual qualities are gifts of God which we cannot earn, but may freely accept.

God’s grace might seem a wind that blows whithersoever it wills, but its source is no secret. All good things descend from the Father of mercy, and until we realize that, we struggle against life with shortened sword and battered helmet. We cannot achieve spiritual goals by unaided human power–God alone carries us beyond our limitations into self-realization. We find fulfillment in the relationship, and God finds another child as we accept the divine spirit he has given to indwell our minds.

God’s grace is the storehouse of our possibilities, from which awaken gifts and talents that exceed our human capacities. His healing balm overcomes our mental, emotional, and spiritual handicaps; his mountain-moving power hacks out new paths of achievement in the confused jungle of our lives.

Our new spiritual leadings are unfailingly consistent with what, deep within, we’ve always known is true. Living truth, welling up from within, has freed us from slavish conformity to conventional patterns of thought and action. We are bound by God’s spirit, not by the outward forms or practices of humanity. Our new life is a gift from God, not bought with human coin or earned through self-sacrifice, self-help, or positive thinking. Commitment, acted upon, becomes faith, down whose channels God pours that inner peace which alone makes life worth living.

Grace supports us in every trial; grace gives us power when we are weak; grace comforts us when we are downcast. Grace issues from the Master Builder whose eternal design encompasses all that we might do or be, every possibility for our future achievement. God has supplied us with life itself, and apart from him we are bereft, abandoned, and useless. God knows our names and the way we tread and leads us by the hand through the soil of human existence.

We thank you, Father, for giving us our lives, for all the varied circumstances that constitute this earthly environment, and for the eternal fitness of its arrangement. Give us courage to act on your grace, that our lives profit both ourselves and our world.

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REFERENCES

The consciousness of a victorious human life on earth is born of that creature faith which dares to challenge each recurring episode of existence when confronted with the awful spectacle of human limitations, by the unfailing declaration: Even if I cannot do this, there lives in me one who can and will do it, a part of the Father-Absolute of the universe of universes. And that is "the victory which overcomes the world, even your faith." 4:4.9

This covenant of Melchizedek with Abraham represents the great Urantian agreement between divinity and humanity whereby God agrees to do everything; man only agrees to believe God's promises and follow his instructions. 93:6.4

Man's sole contribution to growth is the mobilization of the total powers of his personality--living faith. 100:3.7

Among other things, the Adjuster pleaded "that he more faithfully give me his sincere co-operation, more cheerfully endure the tasks of my emplacement, more faithfully carry out the program of my arrangement, more patiently go through the trials of my selection, more persistently and cheerfully tread the path of my choosing, more humbly receive credit that may accrue as a result of my ceaseless endeavors--thus transmit my admonition to the man of my indwelling." 110:7.10

"By the old way you seek to suppress, obey, and conform to the rules of living; by the new way you are first transformed by the Spirit of Truth and thereby strengthened in your inner soul by the constant spiritual renewing of your mind, and so are you endowed with the power of the certain and joyous performance of the gracious, acceptable, and perfect will of God. Forget not--it is your personal faith in the exceedingly great and precious promises of God that ensures your becoming partakers of the divine nature." 143:2.4

"It is the very goodness of God that leads men into true and genuine repentance. Your secret of the mastery of self is bound up with your faith in the indwelling spirit, which ever works by love. Even this saving faith you have not of yourselves; it also is the gift of God." 143:2.7

In all praying, remember that sonship is a gift. No child has aught to do with earning the status of son or daughter. The earth child comes into being by the will of its parents. Even so, the child of God comes into grace and the new life of the spirit by the will of the Father in heaven. Therefore must the kingdom of heaven--divine sonship--be received as by a little child. 144:4.3

"Salvation is the gift of the Father and is revealed by his Sons. Acceptance by faith on your part makes you a partaker of the divine nature, a son or a daughter of God. By faith you are justified; by faith are you saved; and by this same faith are you eternally advanced in the way of progressive and divine perfection." 150:5.3

"You cannot buy salvation; you cannot earn righteousness. Salvation is the gift of God, and righteousness is the natural fruit of the spirit-born life of sonship in the kingdom." 150:5.5

"You see, then, that the Father gives salvation to the children of men, and this salvation is a free gift to all who have the faith to receive sonship in the divine family. There is nothing man can do to earn this salvation. Works of self-righteousness cannot buy the favor of God, and much praying in public will not atone for lack of living faith in the heart." 167:5.1

"It is your faith that saves your souls. Salvation is the gift of God to all who believe they are his sons. But be not deceived; while salvation is the free gift of God and is bestowed upon all who accept it by faith, there follows the experience of bearing the fruits of this spirit life as it is lived in the flesh." 193:1.2



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