How can you determine someone’s theological belief, or our own for that matter?
When I facilitate an introductory spiritual class, I pose the above questions. I then suggest we can determine one’s theology by asking:
· What is the nature of God?
· What is the nature of humanity?
· What is the relationship between the two?
There are probably no words that can fully define what God is. However, I believe one phrase comes close. That phrase is “God is Spirit." Spirit is unlimited and not confined in any way. God, or Spirit, is at every point in space and time. Therefore, God must always be right where we are. Moreover, most spiritual paths agree that God is love. These two qualities - Love and Spirit - begin to capture the essence of God.
Yet many of us have been trained to think that God is something or someone outside of ourselves, and if we pray aright, then God will give us something or answer our needs. However, nothing could be further from the truth. God does not answer our needs. God is the need. Or, more accurately, it is the consciousness of God that we must seek whenever we want something to change in our life. When that becomes the activity of our awareness, our need is answered.
Consequently, our spiritual work is to realize our oneness with the qualities of God – peace, love, joy, power, imagination, health, wholeness, and unlimited abundance. When these qualities become the activity of our awareness, that connection itself is the need answered. That realization then expresses itself on the material plane to provide what we think is missing in our life.
To catch that sense of oneness, we must wake up every day expecting good to show up in our life. We stop at noon to be silent and reaffirm our oneness with pure Spirit. We make sure not to go to bed until we feel grateful that all our needs are met, even before we see them manifest in physical form. This process helps us realize, and assures our consciousness, that we are one with the presence of God.
I often have conversations with people who have had a brilliant manifestation of need met. They will talk about what preceded the demonstration: the worry disappeared, figuring things out with the outer rational mind ceased, and all the doing stopped. Somewhere while communing with the presence of God, they realized all was well, and they released and let go. They then described the demonstration: they got the job they wanted, the physical body seemed to operate a little better, there was greater clarity in the relationship, or some insight happened.
Sometimes they mistakenly think those things were their need answered. They were not. The real need answered was that moment of clarity, insight, or connection in which the power and love of God became the activity of their awareness. That moment of God-awareness is the answer to their need.
There is a line in a song that I often sing to myself which says, “I used to think that I needed somebody, but all I needed was my connection with God.” It's a reminder that God does not jump up and answer our needs. Instead, it is our conscious connection to the Spirit of God that makes all the difference.
Peace and Blessings,