Know That I Am
Reverend Karen Laughman
From the beginning of humankind, we have sought to understand the mystery and the meaning of life and death. Every culture has traditions, rituals and beliefs to recognize the human yearning to feel connected to, guided by and protected by a higher power. We call this higher power God… and we know that God has many names. In Unity, we honor all the ways and paths to finding and being with the Spirit of God.
My message today is based upon the well- known verse in Psalm 46:10 which says, “Be Still and know that I Am God.” I have been drawn to this verse as I contemplate on how we can apply this simple message in our daily and spiritual lives. “Be Still and Know that I Am God.” Chapter 46 of Psalms tells us that God is always with us. The chapter begins with “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.” We are told we need not be afraid, even if the earth is shaken and mountains fall into the ocean depths; Nations can rage and kingdoms can totter, but we are given the assurance that God is always with us. As we affirm in our Unity Prayer of Protection, Wherever we are, God is and with God’s Presence, All is Well. We describe God in our Unity tradition as ever- present Spirit, ever powerful, the Source of all good.
In Psalm 46: verse 10, we are asked to be still and remember who God is as we do in our first principle in Unity when we say there is only one Presence and Power in the Universe, the Source and Creator of all, God the Good. A fundamental Unity teaching is that the Spirit of God’s presence, goodness and power dwells within us. God as Spirit is powerful and good. We are created in God’s image as Spirit, and therefore we are divinely powerful and good. This knowing of our Divine Being is what we can call the I Am. The I Am in us is God’s Eternal Presence. The I AM is our essence in our deepest places. It is our Christ Presence, our Buddha Nature, our Atman, which is the Sanskrit word for the inner self and soul. As spiritual Divine Beings, we are unlimited and infinite.. as God is. We have the most powerful force of the Universe inside us, and therefore, we have unlimited possibilities!
The key to God’s Kingdom is knowing we are One with Divine Mind. There is no separation between our consciousness and the consciousness of God. Just as there is one Presence and one Power.. there is one Consciousness. This awareness of our Divine Consciousness happens when we become still…for me when I am aware of this consciousness, it is a rush of tranquility in my mind, body, and spirit. And, at the same time, I feel alive. This is what I call Divine Spirit. It is always there, but when I can become still, it looms in my Being as tranquility and aliveness. With an open mind and receptive heart, we can become still and feel the peace, joy and love of Divine Presence. This can happen when we meditate and pray, when we are silent in nature, when we look silently look into the eyes of someone we love. Be still and know I AM God.
It is important to remember who we are in Spirit as we each have our own divine destiny to fulfill with our individual gifts and interests. Each of us are created to be exactly who we are, and we can confidently say I AM Divine Expression… (let’s say this out loud).
I AM is a powerful statement to focus your beliefs and attract the power of the Universe on your behalf. The words that follow I Am become an important part of our consciousness. In Unity, we believe we create our reality with our thoughts and our words. Positive affirmations about ourselves and our lives create positive outcomes. And, what we give our attention to grows.
You may know of the Native American legend about a grandfather who is teaching his grandson about life. He tells the boy that there is a fight going on inside us between two wolves. One wolf is angry, envious, greedy, arrogant, dishonest, hateful and has negative thoughts about itself and others. The other wolf is joyful, peaceful, loving, hopeful, kind, humble, generous, truthful, and faithful. The boy asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins the fight?” The wise grandfather simply replied “The wolf you feed is the winner.” We need to be aware of what we are feeding our minds and hearts. Positive thoughts and actions metaphysically attract goodness and blessings in our lives.
As I prepared for this talk, I read Joel Osteen’s book titled, “The Power of I Am” because I liked the title. When his father died, he took over his Dad’s ministry. In the beginning, Joel had self-doubt, but felt he had a calling. He made an intention to only say positive I AMs to himself, and he built a large and successful church serving many people’s spiritual needs.
He encourages others to practice positive I AMs, which he says is a magnet for blessings. He writes that “each of us are anointed.. meaning we have received a calling from God which empowers us to live the best life we can.” Anointing is receiving the power and Presence of God which Joel states “can destroy sickness, poverty, depression, addiction, oppression and fear.” This philosophy though it is stated in different ways is similar to what our Unity co-founders, Charles and Myrtle Fillmore taught, which became the foundation of our Unity faith.
Joel Osteen suggests that “We prophesize our future with positive, I AMs which plant seeds to our greatness and open doors to infinite possibilities.” We know in Unity when we speak positively of ourselves and our possibilities, we become the best that we can be for our best life. Joel encourages us to make a statement of faith when we start our day and become a magnet for blessings. One of those statements can be “All is Well and I invite God’s goodness in my day. We can make declarations of faith.. believing in ourselves and our possibilities. “I am powerful, I am valuable, I am smart and talented. I am victorious.”
I AM Affirmations can transform our consciousness and our lives…. This is how powerful they are.
We all have setbacks and make mistakes, and these are opportunities to learn lessons and mature and grow with patience, persistence and develop character. We need to remember we are bigger than our obstacles and there is a Universal force within us that is more powerful than any difficulty. Everything that happens to us prepares us for our ultimate purpose. There was a man who worked for a home improvement company for 30 years and was let go due to a corporate restructuring. Imagine how he felt, but he didn’t let this defeat him. He gathered some friends and created a new vision. He and his friends started their own company. They called it “Home Depot.” This is what creative thinking and confidence can do. This is what persistence can do.
When we persist with our positive I AMs, we open ourselves to the power within us to manifest our dreams. Joel declares, “You cannot talk lack and expect abundance. You cannot speak doubt and overcome obstacles.” In Unity we are encouraged to use denials if we have negative recordings in our thought patterns. Deny those negative thoughts and replace them with positive affirmations and positive I AMs.
With faith, everything is possible, and every day is a new day. When we are having a challenge and may feel discouraged, we can shift our perspective and affirm the glass is half full instead of half empty. Do as Unity minister and teacher Revered Paul Hasselbeck suggests, “Faith it ‘til you make it.” Isn’t that better than ‘fake it until you make it?” Faith it ‘til you make it.” Remember, God’s Presence is always with you. Affirm you can do all things through your powerful inner Christ. Pray for guidance, be still and listen for guidance. Allow Spirit to support you. Hebrews 6:12 confirms “I am going to be still and know good will come my way.” And Jesus said “Seek the kingdom and all good things will be added unto you.”
Trust in Divine Order. Trust the Universe is showing up for you with the right people and opportunities for goodness in your life. Start thinking, talking and acting as if it is happening now. Faith creates energy for victory. Declare I AM smart, confident, joyful, loved and loving. Declare freedom from anything holding you back whether it may be health issues, addiction issues, money issues, pain, relationship issues. Believe you are stepping into the fullness of your destiny, and be everything you were created you to be.!
Each of us has incredible potential. In her lessons on the series, “Keys to the Kingdom” Sandy has talked about vision. What is your vision for your life? How do you want to make a difference in the world? What are your short and long term goals? Are you investing your time wisely and purposely pursuing your dreams? None of us need to stay in a job we don’t like and doesn’t use our gifts. None of us need to stay in a relationship that doesn’t meet our needs or make us happy. None of us need to be stuck in negative thought patterns which cause us to be stuck in ways that harm our well-being. Each of us has divine energy to open new doors. Each of us can dare to believe we are powerful beyond measure.
This positive energy moves us forward. Joel Osteen declares, “We have God’s DNA. Greatness is in our genes. Dream Big, Believe Big, Pray Big.” And, I remind you…You are Divine Expression. Jesus affirmed in John 14:12, “You will do great things.” What is the next level you want to go to in your life? Often all we need is creative thought and imagination, which are a part of our divine power. I heard somewhere that there are three kinds of people: quitters, campers and climbers. You may have quit in the past. You may be camping now. You can be a climber and go for what you truly want. You can step into the fullest of your destiny with your Divine Power knowing and declaring your I AMs.
Be Still and Know The Power of I AM
Recognize, Affirm and Realize Your Divine Potential
Imagine Your Possibilities
Step Forward in Faith
I want to end with some thoughts for Meditation:
I AM Peace. Peace is the Truth of My Being. I feel the spirit of God flowing through me and I am calm and serene. I am an expression of God’s perfect peace. Peace begins with me. My peace helps create harmony around me and in the world. My mind is poised and my heart is serene as I respond to life’s circumstances peacefully from my Christ nature. Peace be Still.
I AM Love: Love is the Truth of My Being. The love of God enfolds me. God is Love and My Divine Christ Presence is Love. I see and behold the Divine in every person and experience oneness and unity with all. I am kind, generous and compassionate toward others. I listen with an open heart. I radiate love to myself, my family, friends and to every person everywhere, known and unknown.
I AM Joy: Joy is the Truth of My Being. Spirit is the Source of my joy, and innate joy is mine. I feel exuberant and excited about my life and my possibilities. I celebrate goodness, love and beauty. I live each day with joy and gratitude, receptive to God’s infinite good and supply. My joyful energy creates more joy in me and for those around me.
I AM Powerful: Power is the Truth of My Being. I claim and embody my Divine identity with inherent spiritual powers. In the midst of shifting circumstances, I remain confident, courageous and tenacious. I see and know what is mine to do. I face my future strong, wise and unafraid. I choose and determine my destiny.
I AM Healthy: God’s Presence is in me as health and well-being. Every cell of my body is filled with Divine life. Divine healing power strengthens and revitalizes me. Centered in the Spirit of life, I am vibrantly alive and whole. I appreciate and honor my body and care for my spiritual, mental and physical well-being. I am in perfect balance.
I AM Prosperous: I am created in the image of God with unlimited possibilities. All I need is within me. I trust Divine wisdom and Divine order in my life. I receive Divine ideas and imagine my dreams fulfilled. I focus on the good of God and I expect abundance. I am grateful and give thanks for the stream of good in my life. I know that infinite blessings are coming to me right now.
And, so it is. Be Still and Let us go into Silent Meditation.