In the book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mrs. Eddy writes “Clad in the panoply of Love, human hatred cannot reach you. ” In my limited understanding, I always thought it meant if anyone hated me, it couldn’t harm me. In the fifteenth century, the word “panoply” was defined as a complete suit of armor, spiritual armor. Recently, I realized it meant if I was indeed clad in the panoply of Love, I could not think of dark thoughts such as doubt, hatred, bitterness, etc.
If I am with someone who irritates me and I focus on God’s child rather than irritants, the traits will fall away in my sight. I refuse to give in to something that does not strengthen me spiritually. 1 Chronicles 16:27 states “Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy in his dwelling place.”
Recently on a Friday, we received our annual report of some funds we had invested and it made no sense. When we called the office of our financial people, there was no answer because they take Fridays off. My husband and I looked over and over at the paper work and there was so much fear in our thoughts, it looked as if in time we would deplete those funds completely. Our appointment with them was going to be on Tuesday so I didn’t want to spend the duration of our time in fear so I prayed to know the Truth. Eventually, peace came into my thought and yet, I didn’t know how it would happen but I knew God had this and I trusted Him.
Five minutes into our meeting, our financial man had explained it to us and we had even more than we had expected. No numbers were changed or manipulated but we were calm, trusting and receptive. Learned so much from that meeting and saw how it applied to much in my life. Fear has always got to be removed and that is with Love. Fear and Love can never co-exist. Love is always the answer.
Psalm 112:7 states “He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.”
This morning I have been working with the word “dominion”. From the fifteenth century, the definition is supreme authority, lordship or power. One of the first things that come to mind is in order to feel that, forgiveness is key. Never have I have felt dominion if I am angry or resentful in any way. Holding on to bitterness or hatred of any kind will and does keep me from peace.
Then I was reminded of how Jesus healed and often, it was the multitude so it could not be personally. What He always saw was God expressed! He could only be capable of doing that if He was experiencing dominion. Forgiveness must be impartial!
Genesis 1:27-28 states “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” As the Bible tells us to have dominion, it has to be possible or it would have never been written. Today I will watch carefully what I let enter into my thinking.
Read where a gentleman sat down beside a man who seemed to be studying on a subway going in to Boston. When he asked the man what he was studying , the other man replied that his son had failed his math test on fractions and he was trying to learn it so he could help his son. The gentleman told him he was a retired math teacher so maybe he could help. For the duration of the ride, he explained fractions to the man where he could understand, and pass it on to his son. Then I found something written about gratitude by Melody Beattie which reads as follows:
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
This morning I had such a productive study period. Beginning my prayers always start with our Father, One God, Omnipotent and Omnipresent Good. Then I thought rather than start with God, just stay with God. To me that means, holding to kindness, love and humility. From there, I looked at forgiveness which is not always the easiest thing to do, but I know it is not a choice or a suggestion, but it is a decision. When I find it difficult to forgive, usually I expect something from the other person. When something goes unforgiven, it feels as if I have a weight on my shoulder but the minute I forgive, I am immediately out of bondage. Sometimes, it is me that needs forgiveness. That, too, can prove difficult until I know that God loves me completely!
My phone rang during this time and it was someone panicking because they were have problems with their computer and the man they depended on had just boarded an airplane to go to another state to get married. She was deeply concerned because this is her busy time of the year, which is preparing tax returns for her clients. It was so apparent to me that no one needed to suffer in order for someone else to have a wonderful, loving event in his life. Also, it is God who is always there and he doesn’t need another to be an exclusive answer to a challenge. God is in control, the only Creator and always dots every “i” and crosses every “t”. The battle is always His and the outcome is always perfect!
Proverbs 29:25 states “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.”
This morning as I was studying my Bible Lesson, a distracting thought kept coming up! Last year my husband and I had purchased a pricey travel package. Recently, they hadn’t returned our telephone calls and we were getting a bit antsy thinking we may have made a mistake. The more I tried to “not think about it”, the more it would impede upon my prayer work. Then it occurred to me that I needed to prayerfully work about this.
First I thought that God is always in control and knows only Truth which means this can easily be a “win win” situation for all of us. The more I prayed about this, the freer I became and then the telephone rang. It was the young woman at the agency apologizing for not calling back. We had a very productive conversation and I feel so much better about everything. This distraction had turned into an opportunity for love to be expressed and healing to occur.
Philippians 4:4 states “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” I began rejoicing before the healing had taken place, not before!
Recently I read an article about a teacher who every Friday asks her 11 year-old students to list four classmates they would like to have at their table. Also, list a student who had been outstanding that week. She could study these lists and see who was never mentioned or seldom mentioned and spend time in working with those students. She could figure out who may be bullying or being bullied and work and pray about the situation. She did that without having the students tell on each other.
Nehemiah 8:10 states “Nehemiah said, ‘Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.'” God always dots every “I” and crosses every “t” and leaves nothing to chance. We just need to be alert and listen.
As I sit at my desk early this morning, where I can normally see out all my windows for a distance, due to the heavy fog, the view is limited. Now I don’t sit and worry, fret and wring my hands for I know that this will lift and clear up. Would love to have the same kind of thinking with so-called challenges. Instead of fretting, just knowing in my heart that all is well and God is still in control and always will be!
It is for me seeing through the mist or even rising higher in consciousness and seeing the big picture. The faith I have here is exactly what I experience before going to sleep at night. The new day will soon be dawning. Mark 10:27 states “Jesus looked at them and said, With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.'”
This morning as I was praying and studying, the telephone rang and it was a robotic call so I hung up. Next, I thought of the junk mail we get and have to toss. Then I thought of unwanted thoughts suggesting a lack of good somewhere in my life. They are all the same. I don’t have to listen to a call or order something I don’t want or need so I don’t need to “buy into” a false belief that doesn’t come from God!
We had recently made a road trip and driven several hours in the car for the last two days and when I got out of bed this morning, I felt stiff and achy. As I studied and prayed this morning, I thought this stiffness was due to riding in the car for hours. Not true, I don’t have to take this as a reality anymore than I have to sell our house just because we get realty ads in the mail!
Philippians 4:6-7 states “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Last night we went to a wonderful restaurant for New Year’s Eve and when we arrived and told them we had made reservations, they replied they didn’t ever reserve tables. I had made a point of calling several weeks earlier since they have a special menu for New Year’s Eve but the lady assured us we didn’t have one. My husband wanted to walk out and I was a little perturbed but turned inwardly to God to replace irritation for love for this young lady trying to do her job in a very busy, chaotic situation.
We were soon seated, had a wonderful meal and met a couple from our town. We were at the next town over. Then we came home and watched our college team win a bowl game in which they played better than they had all year! It turned out to be a marvelous evening but I was well aware that had I not gotten dominion at the restaurant, it could have turned out much differently.
Isaiah 43:18-19 states “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” In the past, I would have demanded to see the manager and insisted on being seated right away! By releasing that trait that was never a part of my true identity as a child of God, my evening was perfect!