Image via WikipediaAs spiritual aspirants we must accept and embrace one major truth. The path is a process not a destination. There are times when we feel as though walking the path is joyous and simple. We should also anticipate times in which there are trials and it seems as though we have taken steps backwards.
How do we set off on the path to the Promised Land? It begins when we truly appreciate the presence and power of God in our lives (give thanks to the Lord). To call on his name means to depend on the character of God. When we accept God’s grace in humility, we surrender completely. We are filled with wonder and awe of God. Singing, prayer, praise, meditation (seek his presence) and study (remembrance of the works he has done) build that feeling in us. We cannot sit back and wait for God to enlighten us; we must actively seek knowledge and service. God has given us freewill. We must choose (his chosen ones) God. The path brings us to one realization: our relationship to God. Our experiences (offspring) are the product of our faith in God and our state of mind. When we get our relationship with God in order, our life falls into place (the land of Canaan as your portion for an inheritance).
Nomadic Israel symbolizes the beginnings of divine ideas that are not strong enough (few in number) to settle in our consciousness, so they wander in and out of our thoughts. We are endeavoring to follow divine guidance but are at this time battling with worldly impulses. Spirit protects those initial divine impulses (he allowed no one to oppress them), for they represent the potential of a great spiritual life. The lessons learned while wandering build up the spiritual context of the consciousness and create the promised permanent home.
The imagination (Joseph) is one of the most important gifts from God, it allows us to tap into divine wisdom. It is the seat of our creative power. Imagination can be enslaved to serve the only the worldly or intellectual. Eventually it must be freed to serve the spiritual. We all get intuitive insights. If we choose to listen to these ideas, eventually the mind begins to trust in these insights (what he said had come to pass). Imagination and dreams are the vehicles through which we receive divine guidance (God reveals himself to us) and make divine ideas manifest. Once the imagination is set free it becomes the lord of the house and ruler of all possessions.
The story of Israel’s bondage in Egypt and the Exodus represent our release from purely worldly perceptions. Our minds are in bondage to the will of the flesh. Despite this, there are still sparks of truth in our consciousness (God’s people) and God makes them fruitful and they multiply. There is a great battle in our consciousness, once the demand to free our mind is made (the plagues). They represent the dis-ease we experience in this process of transformation.
But this is only the first phase of our spiritual growth. We must spend forty years (a process of completeness) in the wilderness in preparation for our inheritance. Faith is a journey in which we have the opportunity to choose God every minute of every day (keep his statutes and observe his laws). Then we truly inhabit our Promised Land.
And so it is! Amen!