31 But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. [Isaiah 40:28 – 31]
The book of Isaiah, chapters 40 and beyond, documents the exile of the Hebrew people who were scattered out from Jerusalem and the land of Israel. Known as the period of the Babylonian Exile or Captivity, this period was quite difficult for the Hebrew people and is taught in traditional religious traditions as God’s punishment for their idolatry and rebellion; for their casual and “occasional contact” with God. The Babylonian Exile is historically accurate, and it also provides an important spiritual lesson.
In Joel Goldsmith’s book, “Practicing the Presence” he states that “…occasional contact with God, like the proverbial grain of truth, will work wonders; but we cannot expect a complete and perfect spiritual existence simply because once in awhile we remember to turn to God, or to devote a few hours to the study of spiritual books.”
Goldsmith writes in Chapter 2 that to “make a life of continuous good” we must pray without ceasing (advice similar to that given by St Paul in his letter to the Thessalonians) and goes on to explain that when we adopt this spiritual posture, “…the divine omnipotence and omniscience…goes before us to provide those things necessary for our existence.”
Modern religion, traditional and metaphysical, has often wandered into what some have called “vending machine spirituality” in that we inadvertently (and unintentionally) set up learning spiritual principles primarily as a way to get stuff. I happen to believe that prosperity teaching is especially vulnerable to getting off track in this way.
And I get it – it’s easier to teach complex spiritual principles when we can tie it to something immediate and concrete. In this modern era, people are easily distracted and often quite interested in learning how to get more of the stuff we think we’re lacking. Why NOT teach people how to manifest more money? It’s exciting, it gets people’s attention, it’s easy to add up the successes and it turns skeptics into believers in short order.
Except,… without the deeper spiritual foundations, the tools can quickly become items of occasional use, resulting in that occasional contact which falls short of the “complete and perfect spiritual existence” which will eventually result in spiritual bondange and exile; not the elevated experiences we were seeking when we first sought out a higher answer to life’s challenges.
In his Abundance Book, John Randolph Price included the following as one of the statements of principle:
I keep my mind and thoughts off “this world” and I place my entire focus on God within as the only Cause of my prosperity. I acknowledge the Inner Presence as the only activity in my financial affairs, as the substance of all things visible. I place my faith in the Principle of Abundance in action within me.
We can avoid a Babylonian exile of our own making if we follow the counsel of the prophet Isaiah (who was warning his people for years), Goldsmith, Price and others who remind us to acknowledge the Inner Presence; to pray without ceasing; to wait upon the Lord (be cognizant of and abide in spiritual Law).
And when we do, we will, with ease and effortlessness, mount up with wings like eagles, run and not be weary, walk and not faint as “…the divine omnipotence and omniscience…goes before us…” providing all that we need.
(C) 2017 Practitioner's Path