God’s almighty power and wisdom expresses itself most characteristically in the acceptance of what the world calls weakness or foolishness.
Matthew tells the story of one who – Knowing himself to be the personification of God’s creative power and wisdom – questions himself, saying: “If you are the Son of God, turn this stone into bread.” (Matthew 4) Then he quoted the 8th chapter of Deuteronomy, saying: “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’ “Here we discover that his hunger is no longer for bread made with flour, but for the hearing of the word of God, with understanding. The conflict recorded in this chapter is taking place in the mind of the individual, although it appears to be happening on the outside. Standing on the pinnacle, his adversary quoted the 91st Psalm, saying: “If you are the Son of God cast yourself down from here, for it is written, ‘He will give his angels power to lift you up lest you dash your foot against a stone.'” Then, quoting the 6th chapter of Deuteronomy, he replied: “It is written, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ”
In the third and final temptation he is shown all of the kingdoms of the earth and their glory, when the adversary said: “All of these are yours if you will bend down and worship me.” Again, quoting the 6th chapter of Deuteronomy, he replies: “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’ “Then the adversary departs, and the great ministry begins. Who is the Lord your God, that you should worship and serve? Your own wonderful human imagination, he who is one with the God who created the world. The richest definition of God given to us in scripture is: the Father of the Lord our God. I discovered I was God’s son by experiencing scripture, but the son and God the Father are one!
Both the Father and the Son are defined as power, with wisdom added to the Son. In the Book of Mark, the high priest asked: “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” and he replied, “I am, and you shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of Power.” Power is capitalized in this passage, as it is the name given to God. In the Book of Luke, he is first called the Blessed, then Power, I am called the wisdom of God. Matthew tells of one who knows God has unfolded within him, and all of the characteristics of God as belonging to him – but he is puzzled and puts himself to the test. Scripture tells the story as though another being appears; but when God unveils himself, you question yourself, saying: if this is true, I should be able to do anything, for all things are possible to God. But I must not tempt the Lord. The only way is to trust him. So again let me repeat: God’s almighty power and wisdom expresses itself most characteristically in the acceptance of what the world calls weakness or foolishness.
When I was drafted, and we as a country were at war, in the eyes of the world I was foolish to believe that I could be honorably discharged without going to war. As far as the world was concerned, I was in for the duration, but I didn’t want any part of it. I firmly believed that Jesus Christ was my own wonderful human imagination, that he was one with God, and that all things were possible to him. I knew I could not compel God to do anything. That He would act only as I imagined!
Trusting God, I slept as though I were honorably discharged and out of the army. I did everything in my mind’s eye that I would do were it a physical fact, and fell asleep in that knowledge. Then, in vision, I saw my discharge paper with the word “Disapproved” crossed out and the hand of God write “Approved” above it in bold script. And when I heard the words: “That which I have done, I have done. Do nothing!” I did nothing. Nine days later I was honorably discharged and back in my home in New York City.
Remembering what I had done to get out of the army, when I was confronted with a similar problem a few years later, I applied the same principle to get out of the island of Barbados. Like Paul, I knew whom I have believed; so when I was told I could not leave the island for months, I assumed once more that I am where I would like to be. I slept in the assumption it was true, and within hours the confirmation was mine. So you see, I know, from experimental faith, the one in whom I believe. You must believe in your human imagination and make him the rock upon which you stand. He is the Lord your God, and the only one whom you serve. If you are going to serve another, then you do not know God. If your boss tells you to do what he says and eventually you will get a raise, and your trust is in your boss, then you don’t trust the Lord your God. Put your faith in anyone outside of your own wonderful human imagination and you don’t trust God, for there is no other creative power!
If you put your trust in knowing the right people, having stocks and bonds, or money in the bank, you are trusting false gods. In 1925 I was in London, dancing for one hundred pounds a week. That was $480 U.S. dollars. We had an offer to go to Paris and on to Germany if we would accept payment in marks or francs, but we declined, for they were of no value. Their money was printed so fast, the paper was more valuable than that which was printed on it. I had traveled to London with a German family who were American by adoption. They had enormous securities in marks, and thought themselves very rich; but when we returned, they were poorer than church mice, as every cent they had was gone. Putting their trust in German marks was trusting a false god. Your boss is a false god. I don’t care what it is – everything outside of self is false.
Now, after the third temptation we discover the mind is at peace, and there is no more conflict within. There is no devil, no Satan – only doubts. Doubt, in the mind of one who was born by the grace of God, gives God the feeling of impossibility. In Blake’s “Vision of the Last Judgment” he so wisely personified doubt, saying: “Satan thinks that sin displeases God. He ought to know that nothing displeases God but unbelief and eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.”
Unless you believe you are the one you formerly believed to be up in heaven, and therefore outside of you, you will continue to miss your mark in life. Believing in himself when confronted by the last temptation, he said: “You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.” Are you serving him? If so, things will come to pass, for there is no other channel that one can accept, other than confidence and trust in self! Believe in the Lord thy God one hundred per cent! If you need a certain amount of money and you have no collateral or anyone to turn to on the outside, will you trust the Lord your God to provide it for you? Knowing that all things are possible to God, will you turn to him in absolute confidence and trust, and mentally assume you had the money? Not being concerned as to how the money will come to you, will you test God’s power and wisdom by falling asleep aware of having the money? If you will, you are serving God and in a way your surface mind could not devise, the money will be yours. Then, having tested the depths of your own being, you will know whom (not what) you have trusted. You will know whom you have believed. And that sure knowledge will vindicate your past trust. This is how God’s wonderful principle works.
One night in New York City I was on the radio from midnight until 6:00 o’clock in the morning, with a panel of five men and one moderator. When I spoke of imagination creating reality, a professor said: “If that is true, turn this white pencil into a yellow one.” I said: “All right. Bring me some yellow paint and I will do it.” Wanting me to use my imagination and change the pencil instantly, I said: “You know, you are the scoffer of the Bible. I tell you, you shall not tempt the Lord your God.” Then he questioned: “Are you my God?” and I replied: “I didn’t say that. You must find the Lord your God, because you are tempting him. You do not know it, because you haven’t found him yet, but you will.” Every child born of woman will reveal himself as the Son of God, and know he is God’s power and wisdom. And since all things are possible to God, all things are possible to him. Then, confronting himself, when his adversary says: “Turn this pencil into a yellow one,” he will imagine it yellow. If the pencil remains white when he thinks of it, he has not trusted the Lord. But if he persists in having a yellow pencil, by trusting the Lord completely, someone he may admire or does not want to offend, will give him a yellow one.
Whatever your desire may be, imagine it is fulfilled, and trust the Lord your God implicitly. If it takes a million people to play the part they must play in order to produce what you have assumed you are, they will do it. This is the world in which we live.
Jesus Christ is your own wonderful human imagination! Believe me. The Father’s name is I AM. Everyone who can say I AM is God’s image, yet there is only one God the Father! Learn to trust your I Amness and firmly believe in him, and you will know the day when the Lord shall be king over all the earth, and his name shall be one, and the Lord one! I have found the Lord of whom Moses and the law and the prophets wrote. I heard of him and learned to trust him, long before He unveiled himself in me in a series of events which belong only to the Son of God. Then I knew I was the identical being that the world worships on the outside, and calls Jesus Christ.
Men go to church and pray to a god who does not exist, when the only God makes man alive, for man could not breathe, were God not housed within him. So when you find God, trust him implicitly; but let me warn you: He will not accept your orders! Only as you imagine the wish fulfilled, will He act upon it. Tonight, as you put your head on that pillow, snuggle into the mood of the wish fulfilled in absolute confidence, and trust that God has ways and means your surface mind knows not of. I urge you to believe me, that you also may say with Paul: “I know whom I have believed.” You will not fail, when you find the Lord your God, who is your own wonderful human imagination. You will learn to trust him completely. Knowing there is no need to help God by devising the means to fulfill your desire, you will move under compulsion, when the time for its fulfillment appears.
A lady I know took off to Paris with her two children, leaving her maid in charge of her apartment in New York City. When the lady returned, the apartment was empty, and the maid was no where to be found. The lady contacted the police, hired private detectives, and did everything humanly possible to find her furniture – to no avail. Then she came to me. We sat quietly in the silence and she returned to her apartment in her imagination. She walked through the rooms, feeling conscious of being there, now! She saw the furniture just as it had been before, touched the keys of her piano, and knew everything was back in place again.
A few days later, this lady went to her bank on Madison Avenue. Leaving the bank, she turned in the wrong direction and walked one block before she realized what she was doing. Looking down, she saw a familiar pair of ankles, and suddenly realized she had found her maid. As the light changed, she grabbed the girl and made her take her to where the furniture was stored. This lady now has her furniture back, every piece intact. All we did was trust the Lord our God. What would I have done to find the furniture for her, when the New York police or private detectives could not? But we trusted the Lord, our God. We didn’t get down on our knees and plead for help, but simply sat in the silence and imagined. I assumed she was telling me she had found the furniture, and everything was in perfect order. When we broke the silence, I – trusting the Lord to bring it to pass – simply forgot it.
So I ask: who is the Lord who creates all things? I am! Scripture tells us that all things were made by the Lord, and without him was not anything made that was made. I know exactly what we did and I know what happened, therefore, I know exactly how it was made! Man finds it difficult to believe that such a power is housed within him. He reads the scripture: “Do you not realize that Jesus Christ, the power and wisdom of God who is one with God is in you?” and still bows before man-made little altars, and believes that someone on the outside is especially equipped to interpret God for him.
There are those who dare to claim that they are the sole deposit of the wisdom of God. What nonsense! God is housed in every child born of woman. But, being misled, man worships a false God, one who never existed and never will exist. There is no intermediary between you and God. Don’t think of God with Jesus Christ as the intermediary between you and Him. There is only God! He became just as you are, that you may become as He is! This is the story.
The King James Version of the 20th chapter of the Book of Acts gives the true, literal translation of the Greek as: “By the blood of God we are redeemed.” The RSV translated the word as “Lord”, which always means “Jesus”. But redemption comes from God. Becoming just as you are, with all of your weaknesses and limitations that you may become as He is, God redeems you, for you are his love! Trust God completely. He uses the weakness and foolishness of man, because the wisdom of this world is foolishness in his eyes. Men think themselves so wise. Rationalizing everything, man thinks he will find God one day on some planet or in a corner, but he never will. Man will go to the moon, the stars, and every place he desires, because whatever man can imagine, man can do!
Someone, today, who knows nothing of science, is dreaming fiction; and tomorrow the so-called scientific mind will devise the means to fulfill it, because God is the one who is writing the fiction and fulfilling it, and all things are possible to God. I urge you to dream your fiction and trust the Lord, your God implicitly that you, too, may say: “I know whom I have believed.” Then let it happen, and it will.
Many years ago my father and brother, Victor, went to see a spot overlooking the water on 35 acres, which is quite large on the island of Barbados. Three sisters lived in a home there, and sold their cattle to my father. At the time he mentioned he would be interested in purchasing their property if they should ever desire to sell. Then, turning to Victor, he said: “This would be the ideal spot for a hotel.” A few years later the ladies decided to sell. One man with a great deal of money wanted those 35 acres very much, but was in Brazil the day my father – who had imagined owning it – bought it. Now a beautiful hotel is on that spot. It is very popular and always crowded winter and summer, all because my father had a dream and dared to trust the Lord his God, who he knew to be within himself.
My father would never go to church. He didn’t like the minister at all. What wonderful stories we have of my father and the minister. One day the minister said to my father: “I am one of the chosen.” My father looked at him and said: “I wouldn’t have chosen you.” He was just as brash as that with everything he did. He had no respect for the man. He never saw the inside of a church, except when we children were baptized. When my sixth brother was to be baptized – by this same minister – my father took two sea captains as godfathers. At the last moment the minister asked if the two gentlemen were Episcopalians, and when one claimed to be a Presbyterian and the other a Methodist, the minister informed my father that the child could not be baptized with these men as godfathers. With that my father said: “Give me my son. I will baptize him myself.” He took the child out of the minister’s arms, dipped his free hand in the water, sprinkled it on the child’s face and said: “In the name of Jesus, your name is Fred” and walked out. And that’s his name -Fred Goddard. That’s the kind of man my father was and still is. Not a bone in his body lacked courage. He found the Lord as his own wonderful human imagination, so when he wanted something he simply imagined he had it, and walked in that knowledge.
I promise you, when you find the Lord and really trust him, you will know a peace you have never known before. You will never again bow before anything or anyone. Knowing that only your own wonderful human imagination is holy, He will be the only one you will ever serve!
Now let us go into the silence.