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20. You Cant Beat Spiritual Law

The law is that what I give out comes back to me multiplied. Then the way to success of any kind, as I may convince myself by experience, is to begin giving out what I want to have come back. If I have no money, obviously I cannot give money. But money is the mere symbol of service, and I can always give service of some kind.

The way for me to give is to give something that I have to the person nearest to me who needs it most, without expectation of return from him or her, knowing that God is my paymaster and that He is the best of all paymasters. "He will pay me and He will pay me well; He will not fail to pay me," writes Basil King. He will begin paying me when I begin working exclusively for Him. He will not let me work on and on without any encouragement or sign of His approval, just to see how long I can stand it. He will give me the help I need, because He cannot help giving it. He too conforms to the law, because He is the law. Let us try to remember, you and I, that we are working with real law all the time. If you turn on the electric current, you get light or heat, because you are obeying a law. If you obey the law you cannot help getting light or heat. Well, if you turn on the law of giving, you cannot help receiving, can you?

The greatest blessing that ever came into my life--and I mean concrete, material blessing, too, and not some imaginary or vague uplift of spirit--came when I took up a bit of service I was asked to perform at a time when I was in what I thought desperate straits for material things. It looked as if there was not a chance in the world that any money would come to me as a result of this service. It was not a service for which money is paid. I have never been paid for it in money. As I continued in the service I did not see that it produced any opportunity to get money. All that it produced was the opportunity to give more unremunerative service. Plenty of people were willing to have me serve them in certain ways. But I had made up my mind that giving was the way to receiving, and I had the sense to stick to it--or I may better say, I was led to stick to it simply because I was trying to find out how to obey the law. I thought it was not going to pay. I was accustomed to saying that I had tried everything and that nothing produced for me, and I grew discouraged and desperate. But all the time I got along; I was taken care of--in what I thought little ways and ways that did not satisfy me, to be sure; but I was encouraged to go on serving.

Emerson says: "If you serve an ungrateful master, serve him the more. Put God in your debt. Every stroke shall be repaid. The longer the payment is

withholden, the better for you; for compound interest on compound interest is the rate and usage of this exchequer." I read that over and over and learned it and repeated it and thought it and believed it. Then I learned by heart what Jesus says: "Give, and it shall be given unto you." And I repeated that, and repeated it, and believed it, and stuck to my giving--giving everything I had to the thing I was called upon to do.

I am not setting myself up as a model for you. I am simply telling you about a method that did for me what you want done for you. It is like repeating to you a recipe for bread that I once found made good bread, and telling you that it will make good bread for you also if you will follow it exactly. This was my experience when I began to give service: Presently things began to come to me in unexpected ways from sources that to all appearances were entirely unconnected with the work I was doing, and I began to get fulfillment of my heart's desires. I cannot detail all the things that happened to me; but I can tell you this: I found that the way out of an individual trouble is exactly what Jesus says it is. Why not follow it just as carefully as you would follow a bread recipe? that is, put in all the ingredients in full measure. For "With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured unto you." Just let go of worry, and believe that the law is going to work. It is; because when people are really willing to do all they really know as their share, if it is law, it never fails to work.

Let us apply the principle. Does not your own experience teach you that it will prove itself ? If you want a job, begin giving service somewhere along that line. Let us see; God says that if you will commit your ways to Him, He will direct your paths. If you do not know what vocation you should be in, give your services along any line, and your particular line will open to you. "Whatsoever he doeth shall prosper." So you will find everything that your heart desires: health, money, friends, success, the development of your talents, home, prosperity, love, happiness. For God, if He is law, does not stint anybody. God is the law of love, and He loves you. He sets you the example that He wants you to follow; He gives, gives lavishly, regardless of return, patiently, joyously. Suppose we try His method. Imitate God. He knows how to obey His own law, because He is the law itself!

I do not mean to preach at you. As a matter of fact, I am merely rejoicing on paper that this is all true and that it has been given me to find it out. The blessing of finding it out came through practicing the law of giving and receiving at a time when I seemed not to have a thing in the world to give except an idea or two that I thought somebody else might use. I mean to continue to practice the application of this law, just as I practice paying my fare on the trolley line knowing I shall get a ride. Both laws work in the same way. They do! And they never "slip up," if I may use such an expression for the sake of emphasis. Never! Never! They cannot. Things are made that way! Seeds grow to plants when they are planted. All the service that you give out brings its return. These are your planting: deeds, words, thoughts--everything.

21."Now Is the Accepted Time"

"Be ye therefore perfect," Jesus said. That seems a hard saying, doesn't it? Because we look upon perfection as a goal so far beyond us.

But He added, "Even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Isn't this the clue to our approach to the ideal? If we let God express Himself through us, will the result fall short of perfection? "The Father abiding in me doeth his works."

There is a fragment of a verse somewhere that says, "Having done all, to stand." Doesn't that mean that, having let go and placed our problem lovingly in the hands of the Father, leaving it all quietly to God, we shall find ourselves arriving at contentment, happiness, peace? And the greatest of these is peace.

With worry forgotten, anxiety stilled, and fear forever done away with, what can heart desire beyond the resulting peace? Peace is the secret of achievement, the root soil of love, the prerequisite of union with the indwelling Christ. When human hearts know peace, they overflow with joy.

Peace is not mere passivity, resignation, inactivity. It is utter well-being, conscious and unconscious. Peace is heaven. Must we wait till the world is at peace, till crime and war and sin vanish from the earth, before you and I can have peace? Certainly not. Peace is an atmosphere of the heart, a state of the individual soul, and has nothing to do with environment or circumstance.

"A thousand shall fall at thy side, And ten thousand at thy right hand, But it shall not come nigh thee."

The 91st Psalm tells what peace is. It is dwelling "in the secret place of the Most High."

We all know what peace is, even if only from momentary experiences of it. It is the priceless summum bonum toward which our heart forever yearns. Yet it is within our reach, yours and mine, if we are only content, "having done all, to stand."

If we are committed to a life of giving, a life of loving, a life of being--of being an open channel--peace is the inevitable result. When we begin that life, peace begins. As we grow into that life, peace grows into us. Perhaps it will take a completed eternity to open every channel to God and find complete peace. But we can find a "peace of God, which passeth all understanding" now.

"Now is the accepted time." It is the accepted time for beginning to live, for beginning to love, for beginning to give, for beginning to enjoy. Everything God asks of us, everything God promises us is for the eternal now. We think it will take time, at best, to get what we want. How long would it take to become galvanized if you should take hold of a live wire? God is a live wire, and

heaven is the current that flows through Him. Does it shock you to think in such simple terms of God? Why? Isn't electricity one of the manifestations of God's power? God tells us to think simply--as simply as a child.

"But," you say, "not all of God's laws work instantaneously. We are told about planting and waiting for the harvest."

That illustrates one phase of working with God. I spoke of the live wire to illustrate another phase. Time concerns matters of material, earthly things. For food and clothes and houses and money I may have to wait awhile. But for the big things I do not have to wait at all. If I begin really to work with God, the instantaneous result is love. If I really, actually leave all results quietly to God, the instantaneous result is peace. The instantaneous result of peace is joy. What do I think food and clothing and houses and money will give me, anyway? Will they give me love and peace and joy?

It is only the arrival of the things "added" that takes time. The coming of the kingdom is instantaneous--the instant we seek. "Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." When? "When ye shall search for me." The addition of the things that my Heavenly Father knows I have need of will follow--inevitably.

"But isn't it going to take time for me to do the things referred to in the phrase 'Having done all, to stand' "?

Yes, if you think so. But why should you think it takes time to "leave it all quietly to God"? That is all you have to do.

"But I have to love my enemies. Won't that take time?"

Of course--if you think so. But suppose you leave all that quietly to God?

"But won't it take time for me to begin to love?"

If you think so, yes. But if you turn to God with the thought of loving them that despitefully use you, before you ask He will answer.

"Then it is all a matter of my thinking? I don't know how to think right. It will take time for me to learn--if I ever do."

Will it? Why not leave all that quietly to God? That's right thinking--isn't it?

"But wait a minute! Won't it take time for me to begin to give?"

The essence of giving is in the thought of giving, isn't it? We've discussed the time it takes to think.

"Well, anyway, it is going to take time for me to receive." "All things whatsoever the Father hath are mine." Do you want tomorrow's food today?

"But I want health today."

Why not leave it all quietly to God?

"But perhaps I find it impossible to believe all these beautiful things."

Why not leave that quietly to God?

You see, you can't "poke holes" in Truth. It is unanswerable. All it demands of you is to try it. You find it hard only because you have the habit of believing something else. Anticipating your question, I answer that it doesn't take time to break a habit if you will put it lovingly in the hands of the Father.

John Burroughs wrote a fine poem which he called "Waiting." Here is the first stanza:

"Serene, I fold my hands and wait, Nor care for wind, or tide, or sea; I rave no more 'gainst time or fate, For, lo! my own shall come to me."

Are we not all much too much concerned with activities in the material world? When we think of giving, why not think of the best things we have to give? Love, for instance. Prayer, for instance. If we remember that everything that ultimately becomes manifest in the material world begins first in thought, that removes a mountain of difficulties, doesn't it?

Perhaps we are afraid or ashamed to commit ourselves to a life of faith and trust and love. We think perhaps we may be disappointed and become ridiculous. What do we mean by committing ourselves? Telling somebody else we are going to try it? What do we mean by becoming ridiculous? In somebody else's eyes? Well, why tell anybody what we are trying to do? Why risk the ridicule? We do not have to advertise our undertaking. We do not have to risk anything. Indeed, the less we advertise it the better.

But if we really do begin the life of "working with God," we shall forget all about advertising and risks. To be sure, what we are doing will advertise itself--in results. Instead of ridicule, we shall promptly have large numbers of people around us asking us what has happened to us--how we do it--how they can do it too. We shall have something to give, we shall find it easy to love, we shall gain wisdom, we shall see multiform opportunities on all sides of us, we shall achieve.

And there shall be added unto us "exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think." Because, when we begin working with God, God works with us--and God works miracles.


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