An elderly woman walked into the local country church. The friendly usher greeted her at the door and helped her up the flight of steps.
“Where would you like to sit?” he asked politely.
“The front row please,” she answered.
“You really don’t want to do that,” the usher said “The pastor is really boring.”
“Do you happen to know who I am?” the woman inquired.
No.” he said. “I’m the pastor’s mother,” she replied indignantly.
“”No.” she said.
“Good,” he answered.
Prosperity and the Power of Faith
Prosperity: God created me to experience a life of abundance. I claim my good.
A Journey of Spiritual Discovery is Unity’s Theme for 2015
Discover Your Passion is the sub theme for January
Faith and Prosperity is our topic for today’s lesson.
Of all the faculties, one of the ones Jesus spoke of most frequently was faith. You could say He had a passion for it.
For example: “Then he touched their eyes and said, ‘According to your faith let it be done to you.'” Matt 9:29
“Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only will you do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ it will be done.” Matt 21:21
“Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive.” Matt 21:22
“He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” Mark 5:34
Have faith. Believe. Trust. Over and over, Jesus emphasized this first of our 12 Spiritual Powers. Each month I plan to take the Power for that month and weave it into a lesson. Charles Fillmore defined Faith as —The ability to believe, intuit and perceive.
We’re going to look at faith and how it is linked to prosperity.
Faith is a deep conviction, a state of certainty, and a state of total assurance. Faith moves ideas in mind and causes them to express in our outer world. Jesus talked about faith and attributed the healings that he performed to the person’s faith. He had unshakable faith in God and in humankind. Sometimes our lack of faith feels as though it is as solid as a mountain. Yet Jesus said we could move mountains with our faith.
Faith has been defined in many ways. The writer of Hebrews referred to it as “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). Understood in this light, faith is that quality in us which enables us to look past appearances of lack, limitation or difficulty, to take hold of the divine idea and believe in it, even though we do not see any evidence of it except in our minds. Through faith we know with an inner knowing the Truth that has not yet expressed itself in our manifest world.
Faith is the acceptance by the intellect of the good God has in mind for each of us as that good expresses through our Christ within. Catherine Ponders, a wonderful Unity writer says, “Faith is a mind power and you are using it all the time. It constantly affects your health, wealth and happiness.” The extent to which you express health, wealth and happiness is Catherine’s definition of prosperity.
Winifred Wilkinson Hausmann has said “Faith does not come all at once with a mighty thud. It must grow. It must be encouraged. It must be invited and then made welcome. As Simon, the crude fisherman, became Peter, the dedicated apostle, so the ability to trust God must grow in our lives.”
I tend to disagree with that a bit. We don’t need to grow faith, we need to uncover it, discover it, release it. Let our faith become a part of us. Let our consciousness become aware of it and allow it to be brought forth. Our faith is already a part of us. We just have to let it open within us.
How do you develop faith?
Faith is the result of training your mind to think in a way it never has before. The best way to do this is through affirming… and affirming only the positive. Listen to what you are repeatedly saying to yourself and others. (I am tired. I never have enough. It is the cold or flu season, there’s always something.) Now is the time to take a conscious inventory and see where you have put your faith.
Abraham’s journey in the Hebrew Bible is testament to where he placed his faith. He was presented with the necessity of humankind to give up our dearest possessions, in his case his beloved son, give up our personal attachments, before we can realize divine guidance.
When Charles Fillmore envisioned the 12 Powers of Humankind, he placed each power in a part of the human body. As we go through the year and discover each power, we will see a significance with the placement of the power in the body.
In this instance, the location of the faith center is in the center of the head, between the ears and the eyes. When we put our faith in that which we see with our eyes or hear with our ears, we are using the faculty in a limited way, through our senses, and the results will come accordingly.
However, we can center the faculty of faith on our inner vision and our inner hearing, developing this faculty through prayer, meditation and contemplation, to know the potential God has given us. And when we do, our results will express the higher realization of our spiritual nature. At its highest level, faith is directed by our spiritual nature. We determine the direction of our faith, and as we do, we determine the results that we will have in our lives.
Prosperity is a state of mind. It is an example of our Faith and where we place our Faith. When you can love and give all that you have, you are prosperous. When you do what you love without pay or reward expected, you are prosperous. When you can love all people for who they are, not for what they can give you, you are a wealthy being.
One of my most favorite Christmas movies is “It’s A Wonderful Life”. And the most important part is at the end when Harry Bailey toasts his brother, George as the luckiest man in town, because he has friends. I cry every time.
That is prosperity.
Prosperity comes to us from Divine Mind through ideas. It’s what we DO with those ideas that forms our prosperity.
How many of you have had an idea to do something in business and then did not carry it through, only to find someone else had taken that same idea and make it a worthwhile endeavor? Where was your faith?
Have you put away your work to spend time with family or friends and afterward realized how wonderful it was? That’s prosperity.
Or, have you had a thought to do or say something, only to hold back until it was too late, realizing it would have aided someone? Missing a moment of connection is a loss in prosperity too. Have faith in the messages your intuition gives you, that is Spirit speaking to you.
Currently, in our classes, we are discussing the book, “The Gospel According to Starbucks –Living With a Grande Passion” by Leonard Sweet. In it, Sweet talks about the corporate philosophy of Starbucks and compares it to the Gospels. He comes from a traditional Christian back ground and some of his comments are not agreeable with my philosophy, but still there are some interesting ideas to consider.
And one of the questions he presents is are we living a GRANDE life? And abundant life? If one is living a GRANDE life, then they are part of the positive vibrations emanating into the cosmos, helping all life and the universe to grow in a positive way.
How can we be more prosperous than that?
And our faith helps use live a grande life, because our faith reminds us that prosperity is what Divine Spirit wants for us all.
Paula Ryan has a short story in one of Unity’s little booklets they make available. She tells of picking raspberries at her Great Grandmother’s farm as a child each day and always having enough berries for 2 pints.
Since she was young, her wisdom was under-developed, let’s say. So in her wisdom, she thought if she waited till the end of the week, she would save time and be able to pick 14 pints of berries all at one picking.
So, she tried it and was greatly disappointed to discover that, even tho a week had gone by, there was still only 2 pints of berries ready for picking.
She realized later that, as long as she was embracing the abundant supply of raspberries every day, the abundance continued. Only when she stopped embracing that abundance did the flow decrease. Thus she learned her first Law of Prosperity: ntil you learn to be happy with what you have, you won’t be happy with more.
Here’s what James Dillet Freeman, Unity’s Poet Lauret says about faith:
Faith is the foundation of religion. Psychologists analyze its nature. Mystics describe its effects. Theologians dispute its meaning. When we hear of miracles, we hear that they were wrought through faith. When we pray and do not get what we pray for, we are likely to be told that we do not have enough faith.
What is this faith that we are told is so important to us? Faith is not so much a matter of the mind as of the heart. Sometimes in seeking to understand Good as a principle, we lose sight of God as a presence. Theologians and philosophers can know God as words to set down in books, but a child that cannot even utter the name of God may have a faith beyond that of learned priests.
To have faith is not to theorize God, but to experience God. Faith is the opposite of fear. Have you ever felt the icy feet, the racing heart, the unnerved hands of fear? The hands of faith are strong and sure. The feet of faith move steady to the will. The heart of faith beats quietly in tune with God.
Faith is warmth, a feeling of well-being that envelops the body and overflows the mind. Faith brings an inward peace, a tranquil spirit. Faith is the expectation of the unexpected. Faith is an open and courageous heart. The arms of faith are outstretched, not in supplication but in surrender to life’s sovereign will, in submission to the ruling order of the universe, in receptivity to good.
Faith is the power to see in the disappointment of today the fulfillment of tomorrow, in the end of old hopes the beginning of new life. Faith is the inward power to see beyond the outward signs, the power to know that all is right when everything looks wrong. When our fondest dreams seem to go amiss and our dearest prayers seem to remain unanswered, faith is a vision of life that soars beyond the limitations of the self, these narrow senses, this imperfect reason, this drift of circumstance, and sees that our life is a part of something more than we have ever understood.
In spite of all that may seem and all that may happen there is an ultimate fulfillment, that all is truly well, that all must be well. Life has an eternal meaning, we are one with the infinite, and whatever may befall us, in the all-infolding, all-unfolding ever-ness of God, life will work out for good.
To have such faith is to have the serenity of the saint, the passion of the poet, and the exaltation of the mystic. You can learn to have faith. Faith is not an abstraction; it is an attitude toward life, a feeling about life. It does not come out of signs of miracles or any outward happenings so much as out of inward growth. If you cannot believe in much than in the little that you can, start where you are and grow. What seed can have a foreknowledge of the tree it will become? What thorny bush can prophesy the rose? What worm can tell of the butterfly?
Faith grows. If you find yourself deploring how little your faith is, think how far you have come with the little faith you have. As you climb a hill it is sometimes well to look back to see how far you have come instead of always looking at the interminable heights ahead. Sometimes you may have more faith than you imagine, and when you need it, you will find it there within you.
Have you never, standing by the sea or walking down a country road or wandering through a field or wood or gazing at the starry sky, suddenly been lifted up and out of yourself, overwhelmed by beauty, so that for a moment you were not anything at all, but were a part of all that is ?
Surely this is faith.
Have you never stood on a busy corner and felt your heart go out, clear out, to the people, all the people, your people, feeling their minds all winged with dreams like yours, feeling their hearts all big with yearnings like yours, feeling the human tide of life moving, ceaselessly moving, moving forward?
Surely this is faith.
Have you never in the silence of yourself felt a sense of being more than self?
Surely this is faith.
Faith grows. And the faith that grows out of questioning is stronger than the faith born of blind acceptance. It can withstand the shocks of circumstance. Only one who questions the universe and questions it in utter honesty can grow in his or her comprehension of the truth. Sometimes when we have much to meet it, we feel alone. Yet if we but keep on, we will not fail, we cannot fail even if we falter, even if we fall.
Even in defeat we are victorious; for we win the greatest victory of all, victory over ourselves. This is certain; we are not alone. We are one with the sovereign and sustaining will, one with the abiding order, one with the goodness and the heroism, one with the upward urge, one with the triumphant spirit of life. Though there be no shouts of praise, no laurels, we bear the whole race forward in our great stride, and the compassion that in-folds the world catches us to ourselves and presses us even into the inmost heart of life, even into the love of God himself. “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” When from your heart the troubled cry goes up, know that there is no cry but that somehow there is an answer. There is a love. There is a power. There is wisdom, and there is way to go. Let your heart hold fast; the way will be made plain. (From Angels Sing in Me)
Powerful words. I understand why he is the Poet Lauret. He captured faith and abundance together. Each time he asked, surely this is faith, he asks surely this is abundance.
Faith assures us of our prosperity. We just have to be open to faith and to receive our good, our abundance, however way it comes to us.
Here are some quotes that I really like but couldn’t find a place where they fit….
Prosperity is a way of living and thinking, and not just money or things. Poverty is a way of living and thinking, and not just a lack of money or things.
“What you think and what you feel and what manifests are always a match.”
All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.” Buddha
“For as one thinketh in his heart so is he.” Proverbs 23:7
“Therefore I say unto you, Whatsoever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” Jesus in Mark 11:24
“There is only a stream of well being which you are allowing or not.”
Jerry and Esther Hicks
Did you catch the one theme running through them all? Thinking, the mind, where’s your FAITH folks?
Ideas for practice:
Take some time in mediation and think about the prosperity you want in your life. Visualize it with all the vivid details you can think of. Create affirmations that will support and bring that into your life. Start them with an “I am” statement, such as “I am growing in faith every day.” Place them all around you where you can see them, on the mirror, on your computer, on the dashboard of your card. When you see them, say them aloud. Your word has power and it will affirm your faith to the universe for what you want. Take one for each day of the week, praying it on your way to work or at breakfast, setting the consciousness for the day.