Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of all poems,
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun, (there are millions of suns left,)
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books,
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self.
-- from "Song of Myself," by Walt Whitman
We spent the morning going to yard sales and second-hand stores looking for bargains. I found several items I could use and a few I really didn't need, but they were too good of a bargain to pass up! One item that will be put to good use was a baby gate for when our granddaughter starts crawling. It was a fourth of what it would cost new. Buying second-hand is a wonderful way to purchase things you need, but not good when it comes to your relationship with God.
Alan Cohen in Wisdom of the Heart states, "You can't have a second-hand relationship with God. Your true power lies in your direct connection with Spirit." I've remarked on this whenever I've read about the beginnings of religious movements. George Fox (Quakerism) and John Wesley (Methodism) are two examples that come to mind immediately. They were men who had a spiritual awakening and because others were attracted by what these men had experienced, as evidenced by their lives, an organized religion eventually grew up around them. Today neither organization looks anything like their founders. Why? It's because people began to imitate these men rather than seek out their own relationship with God. Because they did not have their own spiritual awakening their relationship with God was a second-hand relationship.
Cohen explains it this way, "If you try to know God through the interpretations of many who came before you, you won't know God--you'll end up knowing others' perceptions, which are often tainted with fear and guilt and are not at all an expression of love." And even if there is a genuine expression of love and you learn the tenets of the faith, it doesn't mean you have the Holy Spirit in you. Your relationship to your faith will be based on someone else's perceptions, not the Holy Spirit.
We are each individually made by and for God. He has a plan for us and knows what's best for us. No one else can tell us what that is. It has to come directly from God to us and in order to perceive what God is leading us to be and to do, we must have a first-hand, personal relationship with Him.
Father, I've heard it said that You have no grandchildren--just children. As one of your children, I shall look only to You for guidance. I will seek and I know I shall find, when I seek with my whole heart.
Link to scripture: 1 Corinthian 3:16
Take action: Do you have the Holy Spirit living in you?
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