Spirit working in and through us leads us to eternal life. But it is important to remember that the spiritual path is a challenging one. Every step along the way we are being asked to change and grow. Any creature that is not prodded by discomfort has a predisposition towards a state of rest. Human beings are no exception. Our minds cling desperately to things that we think we know. Let the rebellious not exalt themselves, so that they do not create any permanent states of mind. We cannot control what thoughts enter our consciousness, but we have complete control over which ones we allow to linger.
Tests are not to punish us but to guide us back to God (you have tried us as silver is tried). God is Law. Just as if we try to break a law of nature we may create an unwanted consequence (i.e., jumping off of a building and falling to the ground), if we break the laws of Being we will create unwanted tests. These tests begin as gentle reminders but become more difficult, the more reticent we are. If we look to the heart of the matter, the tests are more about us testing God than God testing us. We do not believe that God can and will take care of all of our needs and wants only our happiness, so we get in the way by trying to do things our own way. Over time we are able to broaden and deepen our faith in God (you brought us out to a spacious place).
We can only enter God’s house (spiritual consciousness), after we have released our attachment to our beliefs (burnt offerings). Rams, bulls and goats represent beliefs on the worldly plane that must be sacrificed, in order that new spiritual ones can replace them. When we enter God’s house with burnt offerings, we are coming empty. Fire has a cleansing and purifying effect, and leaves only ashes that can be easily swept away. Spirit requires us to leave our baggage behind and step forward into a new consciousness.
All those who approach prayer and praise with reverence (fear of God), will stir up the presence of Spirit within (he was extolled with my tongue). If there is any habit remaining that shuts God out of the mind (iniquity), our prayers cannot be answered. This is not because God does not listen, but because we can only receive that which we understand and accept. But when we make our request from a place of knowing, we receive all that we truly need. The blessing of God is that God never turns away steadfast love and mercy from any who authentically seek.
And so it is! Amen!