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Hear and respond to the voice of God speaking His Word of Liberating Truth!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

for July 22-28, 2019

Prepared by: Kathy Fitzer

[Warren: Insights on select citations from Cobbey Crisler, Ken Cooper and others are available to be downloaded in the upper right of CedarS online versions of inspirational offerings on and applications of this week’s Christian Science Bible Lesson.]

From the time we were little kids we’ve been taught to “tell the truth.” In order to tell the truth, we need to know what the truth is. And, although this admonition is usually thought of in terms of accurately describing events, there is a deeper sense of telling the truth that has a much greater impact on living a healthy, happy, prosperous life that includes being a blessing to our world. In order to tell the truth about man’s being, we have to know (understand) Truth — the reality of God and His universe. And, in order to tell this kind of truth — that is often contrary to the testimony of the material senses — we need to be able to recognize spiritual truth.

The key to seeing through the lie of material sense and discerning the actual truth about any situation is summed up in the simplicity of the Golden Text. The Amplified Bible, says, “I will hear [with expectant hope] what God the Lord will say.” It’s all about being receptive to Mind’s revealing! God is always speaking, and revealing reality. We can know that nothing can keep us from receiving this message of Truth — the source of all good — and from having it abide with us, being led by it, healed by it, and living our life in accord with it .

Responsive Reading: God dictated the “Ten Commandments” to Moses thousands of years ago. And this set of relatively few words continues to guide people in the way of Truth today as they provide a structure of how to think that keeps us aligned with God — aligned with Truth. Because God’s guiding words are “not hidden” we can easily respond to (act on) God’s guidance. In that way, we remain “connected” to God who is our very life. God’s commands aren’t rules meant to limit our freedom or make life dull. Just the opposite! Rather, they provide a foundation on which to build that is solid, unmovable. Isn’t that a key attribute of truth? It doesn’t change. It doesn’t vary depending on circumstances. Thinking about Truth as a synonym for God, we recognize that Truth is “the rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment.” The Hebrew word translated as judgment is mishpat. It includes the idea of divine law. This law is always good and always right. Acting in accord with God’s commands (to love God supremely and love our fellow man) enables us to experience all of the wonderful things that constitute the harmonious realm of God — constitute the truth of being. And the best part is that it isn’t a law out there someplace that we have to struggle to obey. Rather, “the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.” God doesn’t make us struggle — but builds into us all that we need to abide with Him … in Truth. Just as Moses clearly heard God’s voice … so can we!

Section 1: The immediacy of the abiding Word of God

Once again, we are reminded that all that really exists is the “the Word”. This Word has always been, and is the Creator of all things. If the Word of God declares something to be, it is true and lasting. There is no other Creator — and no other Truth. (B1) The term Word, or logos comes from the primary Greek verb lego which can be translated “put forth, speak, tell.” Strong’s translates the Word as “the Divine Expression (i.e. Christ) as well as utterance, speech, and talk. So … God speaks, things happen! Look how immediately things happen. God said, “Let there be light.” Without delay … there was light! (B2) The Psalmist realized this when speaking of God having created all things . .. “he spake … it was done”! No waiting. “He commanded, and it stood fast.” (B3) To stand fast (according to the Greek) is to abide, dwell, remain, stand firm. So … what God commands doesn’t come and go. We can count on good always being there. We just have to acknowledge this abiding Word of God (God’s command) and respond to it (Truth). (B5) The lies of mortal sense constantly bombarding us are powerless!

The “Science of Christianity” is the knowledge of Christ — or the knowledge of the Word, the knowledge of Truth expressed — the comprehension or understanding of facts. According to Webster’s 1828 dictionary, truth is “conformity to fact or reality; the exact accordance with that which is, or has been, or shall be; the true state of facts or things.” The Word of God (or Divine Science) reveals this truth. This Word says to erroneous belief (a belief that we don’t have to ever fall for), “‘God is All-in-all,’ and the light of ever-present Love illumines the universe.” (S7) The Word of God is forever speaking and its light revealing. As we acknowledge it and listen, we can hear and feel this Truth. We (and all) are truly governed by it forever and always!

Section 2: Listen attentively to hear the voice of Truth

Time and time again we read in the Bible about individuals hearing God speak to them in an audible voice. But, at the time that Samuel heard and responded to God’s voice, these experiences were not common. It was ultimately Eli — the priest under whom Samuel was studying — that recognized that the voice Samuel heard was God’s. But, Eli hadn’t had that experience. This was to be a new beginning for Israel. A Bible commentary brings out that Shiloh (where Eli and Samuel were) had been a ritual center under the leadership of Eli. But, as leadership shifted to Samuel, it would become the center for the prophetic word. (New Interpreters) That indicated that things would be happening! The prophet Samuel would continue to speak for God — sharing His Word with the people. He would be the one who would find and anoint David as king. (B8) His spiritual sense enabled him to hear God’s voice even before he really knew or understood God — and it grew from there. Mrs. Eddy had a similar experience as a child — hearing God calling her name and thinking that it was her mother calling her. Her mother, like Eli, understood and helped Mary know how to respond.

We may not hear God’s call to us as an actual voice, but that doesn’t mean we can’t hear the divine message and respond to it. God is always speaking. In order to receive God’s revelation of Truth, we need to respond attentively as described by the Psalmist … “on thee do I wait all the day.” (B6) The Hebrew word translated as wait means literally to bind together, perhaps by twisting. It also includes the idea of expecting and eagerly looking for. So, as we eagerly expect to have our thought bound and twisted in unity with the divine message ever coming from God to man, and patiently listen, we can be confident that we can and will hear God directing our thought, our path, our lives. (S12) Just as it is difficult to hear the person next to us talking if there is too much outside noise going on, it is difficult to hear what God is saying if we are constantly allowing ourselves to be distracted by the extraneous noises of worry, fear, busyness, human opinions, etc. “A false sense of life, substance, and mind hides the divine possibilities, and conceals scientific demonstration.” (S8) So, let’s be sure to acknowledge as consistently as possible the ever-presence of God’s Word and expect to hear the messages meant just for us — the revelation of Truth — coming through in a way that we recognize and can respond to. (S13) As we are in tune with the voice of Truth — knowing our thought is twisted tightly with, and inseparable from, God —, we’ll be able to share with others as Samuel did. There is no one way of receiving the Word. As we are receptive and expectant, we’ll hear what we need to hear — and can respond!

Section 3: The still, small voice of Truth

To me, this section is a beautiful extension of the last one — again illustrating that God’s Word is always there to guide us, protect us and remove our fears. Fearing for his life after it was threatened by Queen Jezebel, and feeling completely alone, Elijah took refuge in a cave. (B10) We may sometimes feel similarly bombarded by troubles. It may feel like everyone has turned against us or no one understands us … or disease, lack, addiction, depression, grief, fear, or any number of other kinds of problems have so consumed us that we see no way out. We may be tempted to crawl into the cave of despair, and give up. But, just as God called to Elijah — spoke right to him and called him out of the cave — God speaks to each one of His children in a way that is irresistible. It’s helpful to know that this is true for those we care about, too. WE don’t have to be the one to speak to them, or convince them that everything will be okay. The message may come through us … but we can also trust that no intermediator is necessary for the message to be delivered directly from God! This is helpful to remember as we pray for world issues, too. We can trust that “the ‘still, small voice’ of scientific thought reaches over continent and ocean to the globe’s remotest bound.” And that it is heard! (S16)

God’s voice is still and quiet — although it will be spoken in a way that can be individually recognized, so we should never outline just what form it will take. The point is, God doesn’t speak through destructive elements — the wind, earthquake and fire of human problems, fear, and consuming despair — but with quiet assurance. I’m reminded of how teachers sometimes get the attention of students in a classroom that have become too loud. Rather than trying to shout over the noise, the teacher starts to speak very quietly. Before long, the noise level in the classroom comes down. The quiet voice is heard and responded to! Elijah was assured that he was not alone and was encouraged to get back on track — which, of course, he did. We need to think of ourselves as modern-day prophets. As “spiritual seers” we can listen attentively for the still small voice to direct our right desires. As we focus on the “facts of spiritual Truth” we will not only hear God’s voice ourselves, but can help lift up others as we respond. (S16)

Section 4: Preparing the soil of thought so the Word of God may take root and grow

I suspect we all have identified at different times with the various conditions of thought described in the parable in this section, often known as the “sower and the seed.” It seems east to stray onto the wayside — to hear something really inspiring and then totally lose track of it. I know what it feels like to deal with rocky soil where my inspiration doesn’t have what it needs to take root … to get a really clear sense of being spiritual and know that harmony is the only reality and then something bad comes up (physical or mental) and I get sucked in by the temptation, get overwhelmed by symptoms, and the conviction of Truth slips away. And I know what it feels like to have inspiration choked by thorns ….. to get filled up full with a spiritual consciousness of God’s omnipotence and omnipresence and then the thorns of distraction crowd in and my thought is consumed by all of the day-to-day human stuff going on and I lose my focus on reality. But, I ALSO know what it feels like when inspiration is planted in the good soil that God has prepared for the seed that is continually being planted in thought. (B13) That is the joy of holding on to the good, disputing the false reports and staying focused on spiritual reality as we confidently navigate day-to-day human activities. And we can all cherish that it is natural to our being to have that kind of soil be what constitutes our thought.

A picture comes to me of taking a hike. We need to watch where we step. We want to stay on the path (not wander onto the hard wayside), and avoid the slippery rocks and thorns. The same is true about watching thought. Keeping our thought-path free of hardened, surface-level, thinking and avoiding the loose rocks (falling for the temptations of either pleasure or pain), and stepping around the thorns of distraction, we can proceed along the path of spiritual sense like Jesus did — and taught us to do.

Jesus was constantly bombarded by “symptoms” and complaints, and other human distractions. But his spirituality (his understanding that he was inseparable from his Father-Mother God) was “the good soil wherein the seed of Truth springs up and bears much fruit.” (S20) As we acknowledge that spiritual nature to be ours, too — and practice the Christly qualities of being “honest, unselfish, loving, and meek (humble)” — we can stay on a good thought-path where the seed of truth can take root and grow. (S22) Patience and persistence are so important! God wants His Word to take root, grow, prosper, and bear fruit. Expect to be inspired and refuse to be discouraged by the wandering, rocky and thorny times. And then watch as God’s messages more naturally stick and grow in thought, and good becomes more natural than bad — unlimiting Spirit more real than limiting matter.

Section 5: Know the Truth and expect it to immediately dissolve the lie

When you correct a mistake, things change, right? For instance, you’re planning a party and accidentally figure that 8 plus 2 is 9 instead of 10. Based on that, you set 9 places at the table instead of 10. Then, the guests arrive and one doesn’t have a place to sit. Discovering this, you immediately re-do the math, go and get another place setting and prepare another plate. The guest is fed. No delay! That’s how the Word of God works. It is quick (lively), powerful (effectual), and sharper than a two-edged sword (able to cut decisively by a single stroke). The healing activity of the Word is immediate. It responds to every need when the need is discerned and the presence of the Word acknowledged. (B15) The centurion (a captain of 100 men) didn’t feel the need for Jesus to come to his house to have healing happen. Speak the Word — KNOW, or thoroughly realize, the Truth that corrects the mistake of a sick servant — and disease disappears. To know is “to perceive with certainty; to have a clear and certain perception of truth, fact, or any thing that actually exists. To know a thing precludes all doubt or uncertainty of its existence.” (Webster 1828)

Immediate healing is natural and should be expected. But, it’s not always that quick. From a human standpoint, this kind of knowing can seem really hard to do in the face of disease, accidents, or other threatening circumstances. Do we give in to discouragement or give up? NO!!! We need to (and God enables us to) hold on to what is true and trust Truth to do what it does. it isn’t our knowing about Truth that brings healing … it is Truth itself. Do you wonder if the darkness is going to disappear when the light switch is flipped? We can trust Truth like we trust light. We just need the conviction and persistence to find and flip the switch. Mrs. Eddy gives very clear instruction, “Mentally insist that harmony is the fact, and that sickness is a temporal dream. Realize the presence of health and the fact of harmonious being, until the body corresponds with the normal conditions of health and harmony.” (S27) Truth is immediate. But, it may take some persistence on our part to hold to that truth sufficiently in order to see the effects of its correcting action. Keep on knowing! We have so many examples (from the Bible and modern times) of the immediate effectiveness of Truth realized. God is constantly speaking. Nothing can keep us from hearing, seeing, and knowing healing Truth!

Section 6: God’s varied voice

Elijah heard God through a “still small voice.” But, God’s voice may be heard in lots of different ways. Sometimes it thunders. (B17) The point is … God speaks, and man hears! Because God is infinite (without limits) in nature, it’s natural that God’s communication would come in limitless ways. The important thing is to realize that God does speak to us (and to ALL) and will speak in whatever kind of voice is needed in order for each one to hear.

When Jesus came to Jerusalem for the Passover, many, including Gentile Greeks, wanted to see him. Jesus had become famous, especially after raising Lazarus from the dead. As a side note … I found it interesting that apparently the Greeks asked Philip about Jesus because Philip was a Greek name. Seems to be human nature to seek information from those with whom we can most closely identify. The disciples went to Jesus to let him know of all the people asking about him, and his response was to refer to his upcoming crucifixion, saying “The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.” There is a part here that is not in the Lesson where Jesus basically says to himself … “should I ask to be saved from this (crucifixion)? But, this is my mission … to glorify the name of my Father.” One meaning of the word glorify (from the Greek) is to magnify. God was first glorified through the appearance of the Messiah. Further glorification would come as Jesus’ name and message was magnified as a result of the crucifixion and resurrection. All of this had been prophesied. Jesus knew he had to go through it all. The interesting point is that his request was for God to glorify GOD’S name! Another indication of Jesus’ meekness (humility) was his understanding that nothing was about him. Everything was always about God! Jesus had no power of his own (as we don’t) but reflected the fullness of God’s power (as we do.) And, then God responded in a voice that ALL heard!! Because, as Jesus said … the answer wasn’t for him. Jesus understood his mission. The answer was for everyone else! (B18)

Included in the idea of Jesus being glorified, or magnified, is that his mission, message, and demonstration of healing and salvation from sin, disease, and death be continued. He said, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (B20) That is a promise. We are simply asked to be willing to continue to think and live in accord with Jesus’ teachings and example the best we can.

Mary Baker Eddy writes, “Truth brings the elements of liberty.” (S29) The freedom that we seek is ours as we recognize the presence of Truth. The question to ask ourselves is, “Am I living the life that approaches the supreme good?” (S30) To approach is to “come near.” Nothing can prevent us from coming near — or staying close — to God with our thoughts. And that’s why “it is possible, — yea, it is the duty and privilege of every child, man, and woman, — to follow in some degree the example of the Master by the demonstration of Truth and life, of health and holiness.” (S31) Just because we’re not making all of the demonstrations that Jesus made doesn’t mean we should be discouraged. Do what you can …. use what you know. Practice using what you have glimpsed. (S32)

Children are natural healers because they just put to use the facts they have and don’t question whether it is enough. There’s a good lesson there! Truth is true and we can trust God to reveal whatever it is we need to know in order to face whatever problem may present itself to us! Nothing too big or too hard for Truth. So, listen and hear and let Truth — the Word (the command) of God — bring healing!!!

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