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21 STEPS TO A SPIRITUAL AWAKENING

Step 9: Committing Ourselves 

We counted the cost and determined that the only life worth living is one based on truth and dedicated to our loving heavenly Father. We wholeheartedly committed every aspect of our lives to God and to doing his will.

Primitive man’s native belligerence, suspicion, and cunning kept him alive in a hostile world, and these instincts of self-preservation still serve us, but complicate spiritual progress because we are programmed down deep not to trust. But to enter the kingdom, that is exactly what we must do.

Entering the kingdom requires us to lay aside every thing, activity, or relationship that stands between ourselves and the divine life. If our commitment to God is other than unconditional, if we hold back even a little, our spiritual commitment is partial because we remain in charge. If we obey our Father ninety-nine times out of one hundred, we are holding back from unquestioning obedience, because each new situation requires a fresh calculation as to whether or not, this time, we will follow the divine leading. Outward behavior notwithstanding, there is little spiritual difference between obeying God ninety-nine percent of the time and one percent of the time, the difference being merely of degree. Only in the lives of those who have decided, in advance, to follow his will no matter what the cost or consequences, can the Father express himself fully. What if we could live that way, even for an hour? If problems that have burdened us for years could suddenly fall away, never to return? If we could see the angels who walk beside us, supporting us in each of life’s battles? If we could be absolutely certain that the events of our daily lives were part of a far-reaching plan designed by an all-wise Being?

The Father bleaches out the stains that blemish our inner selves, making clean our hearts. As God lives in and through us, we become more effective and less subject to normal human constraints; as agents of him who controls the circumstances of the whirling worlds of space, we accomplish more. In working with God, God works through us. Entering this mysterious kingdom brightens the hues and shades of the world around us; the leaves on every oak seem to vibrate with thankfulness for the gift of life. We sense the limitless adventure God stretches before us, our small part of his never-ending story of mercy and provision.

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REFERENCES

Even to approach the knowing of a divine personality, all of man's personality endowments must be wholly consecrated to the effort; halfhearted, partial devotion will be unavailing. 1:6.5

To isolate part of life and call it religion is to disintegrate life and to distort religion. And this is just why the God of worship claims all allegiance or none. 102:6.1

The secret of survival is wrapped up in the supreme human desire to be Godlike and in the associated willingness to do and be any and all things which are essential to the final attainment of that overmastering desire. 110:3.2

When man consecrates his will to the doing of the Father's will, when man gives God all that he has, then does God make that man more than he is. 117:4.14

That which the lad wanted most to do he was unconsciously actually doing. And it was, and is, ever thus. That which the enlightened and reflective human imagination of spiritual teaching and leading wholeheartedly and unselfishly wants to do and be, becomes measurably creative in accordance with the degree of mortal dedication to the divine doing of the Father's will. When man goes in partnership with God, great things may, and do, happen. 132:7.9

"Those who first seek to enter the kingdom, thus beginning to strive for a nobility of character like that of my Father, shall presently possess all else that is needful. But I say to you in all sincerity: Unless you seek entrance into the kingdom with the faith and trusting dependence of a little child, you shall in no wise gain admission." 137:8.8

The right to enter the kingdom is conditioned by faith, personal belief. The cost of remaining in the progressive ascent of the kingdom is the pearl of great price, in order to possess which a man sells all that he has. 140:8.28

"The heathen strike directly for their objectives; you are guilty of too much chronic yearning. If you desire to enter the kingdom, why do you not take it by spiritual assault even as the heathen take a city they lay siege to? You are hardly worthy of the kingdom when your service consists so largely in an attitude of regretting the past, whining over the present, and vainly hoping for the future." 155:1.3

Almost every human being has some one thing which is held on to as a pet evil, and which the entrance into the kingdom of heaven requires as a part of the price of admission. 163:2.7

"But the Father requires that the affections of his children be pure and undivided. Whatever thing or person comes between you and the love of the truths of the kingdom, must be surrendered." 163:3.3

Jesus taught that, by faith, the believer enters the kingdom now. In the various discourses he taught that two things are essential to faith-entrance into the kingdom:

  • 1. Faith, sincerity. To come as a little child, to receive the bestowal of sonship as a gift; to submit to the doing of the Father's will without questioning and in the full confidence and genuine trustfulness of the Father's wisdom; to come into the kingdom free from prejudice and preconception; to be open-minded and teachable like an unspoiled child.
  • 2. Truth hunger. The thirst for righteousness, a change of mind, the acquirement of the motive to be like God and to find God. 170:2.18
"You who would follow after me from this time on, must be willing to pay the price of wholehearted dedication to the doing of my Father's will. If you would be my disciples, you must be willing to forsake father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters. If any one of you would now be my disciple, you must be willing to give up even your life just as the Son of Man is about to offer up his life for the completion of the mission of doing the Father's will on earth and in the flesh." 171:2.2

"Now, then, must each of you sit down and count the cost of being my disciple. From now on you will not be able to follow after us, listening to the teaching and beholding the works; you will be required to face bitter persecutions and to bear witness for this gospel in the face of crushing disappointment. If you are unwilling to renounce all that you are and to dedicate all that you have, then are you unworthy to be my disciple." 171:2.4



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