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Do it right – Take up permanent residence in Soul!
Application Ideas for the Weekly Bible Lesson: “Soul and Body” for Nov. 15-21, 2004
Prepared by:  Kathy Fitzer, CS of St. Louis, MO

Golden Text (Ps. 90:1):  The Lord is indeed “our dwelling place in all generations.” If we live in God – in Soul – we always have been and always will be governed by the life-giving laws of Soul.  So why give any thought to fluctuating health-theories that insist that we dwell in body, must bow down to the demands of the body and are governed by the whims of the body?  Rebel at that thought and establish your residency today!

Responsive Reading (Luke 12: 22-31):  How much time and effort do we spend thinking about (even worrying about) what we look like, where our money is coming from or how we’re going to spend it, what we’re going to eat and how it will affect us, if we have the intelligence we need to perform well in our job or at school, or the strength and athleticism to pursue the physical activity we desire?  Jesus is telling us here what a waste that kind of thought-taking is!  When did worrying and wondering ever accomplish anything?  In fact, feeling anxious simply proves our lack of faith in God, who is abundantly providing everything we will ever need.  It shows we are looking for answers in the wrong direction. If God provides for the plants and animals – that don’t spend hours focused on a checking account balance, working out,  putting on make up and fixing their hair, shopping, or considering what they eat – surely He is providing for man!  Let’s stop seeking things (including physical healing) and start seeking the kingdom of heaven – focus thought on who we are, as the child of God, rather than on what we have; focus on what we are becoming (how we are growing spiritually) rather that how we will get ahead humanly.  Check your thought often – what’s your focus and where’s your trust?  Seek God, and watch God care for you!

Section I:  Relationship of Soul and body – God and man.  Get it right!
We see several Bible citations in this section that refer to why we should praise God for his sovereignty.  It tells us, “in him we live, and move, and have our being.”  (B-2)  This is one of those great statements worth memorizing and considering often.  If we accept the fact that we live, move, and have our being in Spirit, Soul, (synonyms for God) we find freedom!  We can’t be fooled by the belief that we live in a mortal body, with all of its limitations – even though that’s what our eyes report.   Before people knew better, they looked at the physical evidence and deduced that the earth was the center of the universe.  Although it has been helpful to have that misconception corrected, it isn’t nearly as vital as it is to correct the universally accepted misconception regarding the relationship of God and man.  The very harmony of our being is jeopardized by the “error relating to soul and body, which reverses the order of Science and assigns to matter the power and prerogative of Spirit, so that man becomes the most absolutely weak and inharmonious creature in the universe.” (S-2)  That is a strong statement.  In the first chapter of Genesis, God gave man dominion!  So, we need to get it right:  “Principle is not in its idea.”  Soul, Mind, Life (God) is not in man – man is the expression of Soul.  (S-3) Think carefully about the difference.  As we fully accept that relationship, we find that God provides everything we need.  Ps. 142 (B-3) teaches us to correctly recognize our relation to God and shows why we are asking God for help.  The New English Bible translates v.7 this way:  “Set me free from my prison so that I may praise thy name.”  We need to get it right in order to more fully praise God, which meets our every need!

Section II:  Food has no effect on the Life of man.  Health laws are fickle.
Food is one of the biggest (if not the biggest) idols of current times.  We give it power to make us fat or thin, make us sick and make us well.  We worry about the quantity and the quality of our food, and in extreme cases it in some way affects the majority of our waking hours.  What’s wrong with this picture?  Daniel recognized the folly of this sort of thinking as he rejected the king’s meat and wine and asked to be fed pulse to eat and water to drink.  Daniel was symbolically rejecting the belief that the king was the source of his good.  Feasting was traditionally a symbol of power.  Daniel was determined to be subject to God alone.  Although he had been called to “serve” the king, he refused to serve matter – including laws regarding what type of food would make him strong and healthy. (B-5)  Jesus was tempted by the devil to exercise his power as the son of God to satisfy his hunger and maintain his strength by turning stones into bread after fasting for 40 days in the wilderness.  Jesus’ response was to quote Deut. 8:3, referring to God’s provision of manna to the children of Israel, and teaching them to live according to God’s commands.  Jesus recognized his purpose as being to respond to God’s commands.  Thus he completely trusted God to take care of his needs. (B-6)  Mortal mind has decided that food is necessary for man’s life.  That being true, lack of food or the wrong food can take away man’s life.  Don’t buy in on it!!!!  Health-theories are always changing!  Don’t buy in on any of them, and God will provide you with the sense of balance that you need.  It takes constant alertness.  Guard against giving in to false appetite.  “Take no thought for what you eat” (RR) means take no thought.  It doesn’t mean to make a God out of appetite and then pray that food can’t hurt you.  “God is our Life” and satisfies us – not food.  “In that perfect day of understanding, we shall neither eat to live nor live to eat.”  (S-9)  Whether you think you have a problem with food or not, pray with this section to reverse the popular thought that food does so strongly govern man!

Section III:  Exercise your freedom to express strength
Health-theories are rampant concerning the benefits of exercise.  But if we believe that a strong body comes from working-out, then the same reasoning dictates that lack of exercise must result in a weak body.  What does the law of God say about all of this?  Mrs. Eddy has a lot to say about the lack of logic that exercise produces strength.  Think about the fact that muscles are as material as things like a hammer, a set of weights or an exercise machine. Yet, the hammer, weights, or machine don’t get larger or stronger as they are used.  Why?  “Because nobody believes that mind is producing such a result on the hammer.” “Not because of muscular exercise, but by reason of the blacksmith’s faith in exercise, his arm becomes stronger.” (S-13)  Is it wrong to be physically active and strong?  Consider your motives.  The Bible gives good guidance.  The Message translates I Tim. 4: 8 this way, “Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever.” (B-9) Athletics and physical activity offer wonderful outlets to practice discipline and control of the body.  That needs to be the motive.  Mrs. Eddy writes, “Sooner or later we shall learn that the fetters of man’s finite capacity are forged by the illusion that he lives in body instead of in Soul, in matter instead of in Spirit.” (S-14)  So our goal is to be freed from those fetters by understanding that we live in Soul – not in body – thus breaking the limits of matter and bringing the body under the control of Spirit. (B-10)  The body changes as thought changes.  Paul writes in Romans, “be not conformed to this world:”  Phillips translates it this way:  “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold.” (B-11)  The media is so full of theories regarding exercise.  Watch what you accept.  This is the same media that is full of the dangers of exercise.  Be active to express the strength that is already yours.  “It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.”  (B-7)  What more could we ask for?  God promises good and only good.

Section IV:  Health – the natural state of Soul
Health is natural.  Look up to God, recognize your status in the kingdom of Soul, and feel God’s power to remove whatever false belief would plague you.  The healing of the woman who has been bowed together 18 years (B-14) is a familiar one, but one not to be glossed over.  The New Interpreter’s Bible suggests that the reference to the “spirit of infirmity” is an indication that the diseased condition was believed to be the work of invading demons.  That takes it out of the realm of a self-acting body and shows the effect of thought on the body.  It was the woman’s thought that Jesus called out to.  The Christ, Truth, freed the woman from an erroneous – though long-standing – belief.  Once the belief was gone, she was free to stand upright and she glorified God.  That was the real healing – not just that she was freed from the disease, but her recognition that is was God that freed her.  Just wanting to be free of pain or disease isn’t enough.  To express health as the natural state of dwelling in Soul should be our goal.  Jesus spoke with authority because he understood the freedom that is inherent in the realm of Soul.  It is vital that we speak with this same authority whenever addressing a false belief.  It is Soul that “master(s) the false evidences of the corporeal senses” and “assert(s) its claims over mortality and disease.” (S-20)  As we understand God, the discord that results from our ignorance of God disappears.  (S-16)  What is required of us is to trust God and meekly turn to Him, acknowledging His great power. (B-12 & B-15)  “Man has a sensationless body;” (S-17)  Don’t let the lying physical senses tell you otherwise!

Section V:  Sight, hearing, and comprehension – indestructible senses of Soul
We’re told that God made “the hearing ear and the seeing eye.”  (B-19)  Spirit didn’t make material eardrums and material eyeballs, so what is it that sees and hears?  “Mind alone possesses all faculties, perception, and comprehension.” (S-24)  And what Mind knows, man knows – by reflection.  Everything is truly a mode of consciousness.  In order to increase our perception, we simply must become more conscious of God’s ever-presence.  A so-called material brain, eye, or ear can do nothing of itself. (S-22)  Rather, “the so-called material senses must yield to the infinite Spirit, named God.”  (S-21) Paul didn’t physically see Jesus (Jesus had already been crucified), yet he saw the light of the Christ and heard Jesus’ commands.  Spiritual, not material, sense conveyed this impression to him.  (S-23) So Paul could say, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit:  for the spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”  (B-18)  God is always conscious of His own creation and it is this self-conscious state that causes His creation to constantly see and know Him.   As long as Mind remains, the Mind-faculties can’t be lost.  Knowledge of this scientific fact restores sight and hearing, just as it did centuries ago.  (S-25) 

Section VI:  What a beauty you are – the radiant reflection of Soul
Is beauty in matter?  Does it fade with time?  Do some have it and some don’t?  The physical senses might say that’s true, but we’ve already determined that it is dangerous to depend on the testimony of the physical senses.  The Bible citations in this section are full of references to God’s beauty.  Where must we dwell (i.e. where should we keep our thinking) and what must we seek if we are going to find God’s beauty?  Look for all the action words, and consciously respond to this activity.  The amount of time, energy, and money poured into efforts to make the physical body more beautiful is such a waste, when the answer lies in realizing that beauty is the natural quality of immortal Soul, forever reflected by man – not something that needs to be cultivated, but inherent in each one. Fashions change.  Trends come and go, but true radiance is constant – having nothing to do with shape of the body, style or color of hair, or what clothes are worn.  Mrs. Eddy writes, “Comeliness and grace are independent of matter.  ….  Beauty is a thing of life, which dwells forever in the eternal Mind and reflects the charms of his goodness in expression, form, outline, and color.” (S-28)  As the reflection of Soul, you possess a unique radiance that is always beautiful, like the beauty of light dancing on water.  Rather than trying to squeeze matter into a mold, recognize that you are “coexistent and eternal with God” (S-30) and appreciate the reflected grace that is forever developing in you – as you recognize beauty as an attribute of Soul, as eternal as truth. (S-28)

Summary:  As you recognize that you dwell as an idea in Soul, you will bring your body under subjection. As you seek the kingdom of heaven above all else, you will feel God’s care, and you will discover that health, strength, and beauty are attributes of Soul – natural to all – and  never dependent on diet, exercise, or any other fallible human theory.  Establish residency and exercise your freedom!

(Camp Director’s Note: As the latest in a long series of CedarS weekly lesson “mets” (metaphysical application ideas) contributed by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians, this document is intended to initiate further study as well as to encourage the application of ideas found in the Weekly Bible Lessons. Sent originally JUST to campers, staff and CedarS families who wanted to continue in their homes and Sunday Schools the same inspiration felt at camp, CedarS lesson “mets” are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive or in any way a substitute for daily lesson study in the books. The thoughts presented are the inspiration of the moment and are offered to give a bit of dimension, background and daily applicability to some of the ideas and passages being studied. The Lesson-Sermon speaks individually through the Christ to everyone providing unique insights and applications.  We are glad you requested this metaphysical sharing and hope that you find some of these ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey, in your deeper digging in the books and in closer bonding with your Comforter and Pastor .)

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