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You dwell in God … not in a mortal body or material circumstances!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for The Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

Soul and Body”
for May 15 through May 21, 2023

by Kathy Fitzer of Lake St. Louis, MO


It’s so important to fully understand the relationship of Soul and body and to realize that our identity (and the identity of all) is the full expression of Soul.  We live in limitless immortal Soul, not in a limited, mortal body, or in a chaotic material world. This is very freeing!! I enjoyed looking for all of the references this week to dwelling in, abiding in, expressing, reflecting, evolving from, coexisting with Soul, planted in the house of the Lord, and grounded on the rock of Life, inseparable from God. We seek refuge and security in our human home, but there is a certain amount of vulnerability even there. What a wonderful promise we have in the 91st Psalm: “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.  … Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. … He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him” (Psalm 91:1–6, 9–11, 15).  What a promise!  I know that it’s tempting to say, “But … look at all the bad things that happen to people every day!”  That certainly seems to be true.  And that’s why it’s so important to gain greater clarity about what is truly going on.

The Amplified Bible translates the Golden Text as, “Lord, You have been our dwelling place [our refuge, our sanctuary, our stability] in all generations.”  And, the Easy-to-Read translation says, “My Lord, you have been our home forever and ever.”  As we understand that none of us have ever really had a dwelling place except in God, we’re able to reverse the false testimony of the material senses.  Our prayers are so important.  As we practice magnifying the good, we will see more clearly all the good that God has designed for each of His/Her precious ideas.  We must expect to see healing.

I found it interesting that to dwell is defined, not only as where we live, but also what our attention or thought is fixed on. The spiritual sense of the 23rd Psalm, given in Science and Health, describes “the house of the Lord” in which we dwell “for ever” as the “consciousness of Love” (see Science and Health 578:16).   It is impossible to be fully conscious of two things at exactly the same time.  So, the more we are conscious of what Love is conscious of, the less any form of evil — disease, lack, division, destruction, discord, etc — has to occupy thought. That is not ignoring problems.  It is correcting them.

As we more consistently and completely see things as God sees them, we more quickly correct any false, negative report.  We are able to bear witness to good, and to healing.  Soul never dies.  So, harmony, joy, well-being, and the vibrancy of Life can never truly die — no matter what the material senses say!  This week, let’s grow in our understanding that we dwell in the safety, stability, and “enoughness” of Soul!

The Responsive Reading reveals that as we accept the fact that we live in Soul — in the consciousness of the ever-presence of God — nothing can disturb us or make us afraid.  I loved the translation of Psalm 27:3 in the New Living Translation: “Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid.  Even when I am attacked, I will remain confident.”  And, verse 5 says, “For he will conceal me [in his Temple] when troubles come; he will hide me in his sanctuary.  He will place me out of reach on a high rock.”

When trouble comes, rather than being mesmerized by the material testimony, we can yield thought to God, Soul, and see above the fog of discord, standing firm on the rock of Truth.  Verses 5 and 6 from Psalm 62 shows us what we need to do when confronted by reports of evil (whether personal or going on “in the world”).  Again, from the NLT, “Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.”  The key really is to not react, but to respond to Love’s knowing!  God is revealing His harmony.  And we can see it!!


 The Golden Text is repeated in this section (citation B4, Psalm 90:1).  I think it’s helpful to really focus on Mary Baker Eddy’s answer to the question, “What are body and Soul?” To help us understand what it means to make God our eternal “dwelling place” that isn’t defined by place, time, or bodily circumstances. I find the statement that “identity is the reflection of Spirit …” helpful because it makes soul not some ethereal something, but a description of who we are (our identity).  And this identity is the “reflection of Soul … of the one Ego, God.  Then we learn that this Soul is our (and everyone’s) “substance, Life, and intelligence … which is individualized, but not in matter … Man is the expression of Soul” (citation S2, 477:6, 19-26).

I see reflection and expression as being closely related.  In fact, Webster’s 1828 Dictionary includes “the expression of thought” in its definition of reflection, and the current Oxford dictionary included something similar.  So, in reality when we dwell in Soul, we are recognizing ourselves as God’s (or Mind’s) thought.  There’s nothing more safe or secure than that! Not only do we not dwell in material circumstances, nor are we defined by material standards and measurements, but also we do not dwell in a material body at all — which means we can’t be limited or defined by a material expression of body.

To realize the freedom of living in Soul rather than body, we must, as Moses taught, “love the Lord [our] God and to walk in all His ways and to keep His commandments and to cling to and unite with Him and to serve Him with all [our] heart and soul [[our] very life] (cit. B5, Joshua 22:1, 2, 4, 5 AMPC).

Mary Baker Eddy reiterates this requirement by saying that “this commandment includes much, even the surrender of all merely material sensation, affection, and worship” (cit. S5, 9:17-21).  But, lest this feels like more than we can always do, I liked this from the International Children’s Bible, “Continue to obey the teachings Moses gave you. That law is to love the Lord your God and obey his commands. Continue to follow him and serve him the very best you can.”  The very best we can!  That takes away the pressure.  But, we have to keep the expectation that Love never asks us to do more than we were made able to do.


 Here we have a repeat of a verse that appeared in the Responsive Reading, “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him” (cit. B5, Psalm 62:5).  I’m reminded of the statement from Science and Health that reads, “When the destination is desirable, expectation speeds our progress” (426:8–9).  Isaiah speaks to this expectation of progress when he tells the barren to “enlarge the place of thy tent … for thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left” (cit. B6, Isaiah 54:1-3).

The Shunammite woman had expanded her dwelling place to accommodate Elisha and his servant, but thought it impossible that she could have the child that she desired.  Elisha’s faith, however, rested “upon spirit instead of matter” (cit. S7, 430:6-7).  Consequently, he could assuredly promise that the Shunammite would bare a son — which, of course, she did (cit. B7, II Kings 4:8-12, 14-17).

As Mary Baker Eddy explains, “… reproduction by Spirit’s individual ideas is but the reflection of the creative power of the divine Principle of those ideas” (cit. S10, 301:31).  The understanding that “nothing but Spirit, Soul, can evolve Life, for Spirit is more than all else” applies any time there is a right desire for expansion — whether it is of a family, a home, a business, a career opportunity, a creative project, or an idea of any kind (cit. S8, 335:18-20).  As we get away from a limited sense of self, and let thought dwell completely in Soul as our source, we will find that nothing is impossible!


 The psalmist praises God that “holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved”  (cit. B8, Psalm 66:8,9).  Elisha also understood this sense of Life.  And, the Shunammite woman must have glimpsed it, giving her the courage to tell Elisha’s servant, “it is well” when her son lay lifeless at home.  We’re told that when Elisha arrived back at the house, he went in to see the child, “shut the door upon them twain, and prayed unto the Lord.”  We, of course, don’t know the exact nature of that prayer, but I suspect he was placing the child completely in the care of God, knowing that the child lived in Soul, so that his life could not be lost.  He shut the door on material sense, and opened thought wide to “the consciousness of Love”.  After embracing the boy, the child awoke and Elisha called his mother.  I loved that apparently the mother wasn’t hovering — but trusted her child to Elisha, and his understanding of God (cit. B9, II Kings 4:18-22,25-27,32,33,35,36).

Mary Baker Eddy puts into words ideas that Elisha may have been praying with,  “… man cannot be separated for an instant from God, if man reflects God.  Thus Science proves man’s existence to be intact” (cit. S13, 306:13).  And … “If it is true that man lives, this fact can never change in Science to the opposite belief that man dies. … Soul is never without its representative.  Man’s individual being can no more die nor disappear in unconsciousness than can Soul, for both are immortal” (cit. S14, 427:1-7).  It’s important to know that these ideas are true even if we haven’t completely demonstrated them, because holding to the perfect model will bring us closer and closer to seeing it, and experiencing the fullness of life here and now.

In Elisha’s case, a child was literally raised from the dead.  But, I love how the International Children’s Bible translates the verse from Psalm 66: “He protects our lives and does not let us be defeated.”  That really expands the application.

No matter what would seem to overwhelm us, or make us think something (a project, an idea, a job, a relationship, etc) is dead in the water, we can know that because all life is held safe in Soul, a right idea can never be defeated. All life is secure — cherished in Love and known in Mind.  All is well!  We can be confident of that, and speak “as one having authority” when we understand that the Life divine is “entirely separate from the belief and dream of material living”.  This Life reveals “spiritual understanding and the consciousness of man’s dominion over the whole earth” (cit. S15, 14:16-18).


 The psalmist gives us the solution for any situation about which we may be feeling discouraged.  I love the way The Message paraphrases Psalm 43: “Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God— soon I’ll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He’s my God” (cit. B10, Psalm 43:5).  One of the best ways I know to “fix my eyes on God” is to be grateful.

I realize that in the darkest hours it can seem difficult to feel gratitude.  But, start with the little things — gratitude for something good in the past, even if the present doesn’t seem too bright. Or, be grateful that things aren’t worse than they are, and focus on the good.  Keep thought moving as you stay focused on being conscious of what God, Good, is conscious of.

As Paul instructed, “Rejoice evermore” (cit. B12, I Thessalonians 5:16, 23). The more we can hold on to the idea that there is a power of Good (that we call God), and turn to that God, and focus on the Good, we gain confidence that God “shall pluck [our] feet out of the net” — whatever that net may look like at the moment (cit. B11, Psalm 25:1,15).

At the root of every problem — every limitation that would hold us back — is a misconception about what constitutes the essence of our being.  As the Christian Science textbook explains, “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” (cit. S17, 223:3).  Why not focus on learning the lesson sooner, rather than later?  Mary Baker Eddy tells us how.  We must “…divest thought of false trusts and material evidences in order that that spiritual facts of being may appear … “

The more we learn to watch thought and hold on to that which aligns with the consciousness of Love — with Spirit, Soul — the more we’ll recognize what thoughts to hold on to as true, and which to discard as impositions.  As we “sweep away the false and give place to the true” … we will discover that we aren’t governed by a material body or by a material set of circumstances.  Our “builder and maker is God” (cit. S19, 428:8).  And, it is good — hid in Soul.


 God made His creation to be healthy and whole.  So, let’s boldly claim that right of health for ourselves and for everyone.  Jesus healed wherever he went, overcoming every sort of resistance.  We often read of the Pharisees challenging the idea of people being healed on the Sabbath.  The Pharisees saw healing as a form of work, and work was prohibited on this day of rest.  But, in reality, healing isn’t work.  Rather, it’s the natural expression of God’s law in operation.  As we bear witness to the freedom that God has naturally bestowed on his creation, health is evidenced.

God, being all Good, doesn’t know anything but good.  So, any other report — of sickness or limitation of any kind — is a lie about God’s complete and perfect creation, and we need to rebel against such an imposition — as Jesus taught us to do.  Jesus commanded the man with the withered hand to open up his hand (cit. B15, Mark 3:1-5).  A belief of disease couldn’t resist such an expression of authority then — and it can’t resist it now.

As we read in our textbook, “Like the great Exemplar, the healer should speak to disease as one having authority over it, leaving Soul to master the false evidences of the corporeal senses and to assert its claims over mortality and disease” (cit. S24, 395:6-10).  Pages 390-395 of Science and Health are full of strong statements like this one. And, citation S23 reminds us that we “embrace [our] body in [our] thought and [we] should delineate upon it thoughts of health, not of sickness” (cit. S23, 208:25-31).

I find it important to remember that healing doesn’t come from exerting our will — but the will of God, who has designed His creation to be subject only to good.  Mary Baker Eddy puts it this way: “The effect of this Science is to stir the human mind to a change of base, on which it may yield to the harmony of the divine Mind” (cit. S25, 162:4).  Healing comes as we yield to God.  In order to yield we need to stop holding on to a false picture, as well as to the belief that we are personally governing. We aren’t speaking with any sense of personal authority, but with the authority of the supreme power — the authority of Soul!

 I saw this a little more clearly this winter.  I had fallen on some ice and my tail bone/lower back remained sore — especially when I walked.  I had prayed about the fact that accidents are unknown to God and that I was forever upright and whole, but the problem didn’t yield.  A light bulb went off and freedom came when I stopped working to find a greater sense of comfort, and focused on speaking with authority to honor God — to “prove the power of Spirit over the flesh” for the sake of standing firm with the fact of Soul’s supremacy.  Overnight, the situation was resolved — whereas there really hadn’t been a change for weeks, demonstrating to me that the freedom had nothing to do with the passing of time, but with asserting the authority of Soul (cit. S22, 316:7).


 The Lesson ends as it began with a reminder that we dwell in God — safe and secure.  Here, we’re given the promise that “those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts our God” (cit. B17, Psalm 92:13-15).  The original Hebrew for “planted” has also been translated “transplanted”.  Even when we have wandered off the path, God replants us on the rock of Truth.  The Contemporary English Version says that the righteous (those who are aligned with God) “will take root in your house, Lord God, and they will do well” (CEV).  God’s house — the consciousness of Love — is represented as a rock throughout the Bible.  Although actual plants cannot effectively take root on a rock, the symbolism here of God being our rock symbolizes stability and the idea of God being our refuge and a place to plant thought when earthly tumults present themselves to us.

We must constantly choose whether we will be influenced by mortal testimony or be “governed by Soul”, which reveals ever-present harmony (cit. S28, 273:18).  We have to start and stay with the absolute truth that “Man, made in His likeness, possesses and reflects God’s dominion over all the earth.  Man and woman as coexistent and eternal with God forever reflect, in glorified quality, the infinite Father-Mother God” (cit. S29, 516:9-12,19).  That is the fact.

So no matter how convincing mortal testimony is — saying either that we are being overwhelmed by trouble, or that we are personally responsible for achieving good — we will find reliable answers when we lift up our heads, and let our thought be planted in the knowledge that Love is ever-present and that we dwell in, and are governed by, Soul (the harmony, beauty, and gentle strength of our Creator) rather than in a material body or in material circumstances.

As we swim with the currents of Truth, rather than against them, and as we rest on the rock rather than struggling to gain footing on the shifting sand, we will recognize that God “has been our dwelling place” for ever and ever — and always will be!  Home is heaven (harmony). It is secure and will be revealed as we yield to the omnipotence and omnipresence of Love.  As Jesus said, “I can’t do anything on my own. As I listen to the Father, I make my judgments. My judgments are right because I don’t try to do what I want but what the one who sent me wants” (John 5:30, God’s Word).  So, let’s all support each other this week — and know that we are all being supported — by the fact that consciousness truly dwells in Soul, Love.  The divine will — which is all good — is done!

Some GEMs of BIBLE-BASED application ideas (from Cobbey Crisler & others) should be POSTED during the week and others will be added to the string and EMAILED together later in the week.  You can always check  for current GEMs at CedarS INSPIRATION website, whether or not you’ve  SUBSCRIBED here for this free, inspirational offering.

Also later in the week, look for Ken Cooper’s
contributions related to this Bible Lesson.

Gifts poured in for over 100 new trees to be planted this fall at camp— as well as bushes, shrubs, and native wildflowers.  All campers and visitors will be
blessed by your generosity and vision for generations to come!

ADDITIONAL GIFTS: Campers & staff will also be blessed bigtime by the donations made to additional areas of camp, including the horse program, activity equipment, camperships, and Christian Science nursing and practitioner services. If you haven’t yet checked out the GIVING TREE, there are still plenty of needs before summer!

We are deeply grateful for this latest outpouring of love and support,
The CedarS Team

P.S. For more about ways to keep CedarS operations ever more green and flourishing and/or to make a planned gift, a required IRA distribution or an ENDOWMENT GIFT (that will all be MATCHED), feel free anytime to call or text me (Warren Huff. Executive Director Emeritus and Project Manager) at 314-378-2574. I can put you in touch with our Financial Advisor/broker who donates all fee for stock transfers and sharing tailored, tax-advantaged giving approaches.

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