ACIM Daily Lesson 71 Only God’s plan for salvation will work.
Only God’s plan for salvation will work.
ACIM Daily Lesson 71
Only God’s plan for salvation will work.
1. You may not realize that the ego has set up a plan for salvation in opposition to God’s. ²It is this plan in which you believe. ³Since it is the opposite of God’s, you also believe that to accept God’s plan in place of the ego’s is to be damned. ⁴This sounds preposterous, of course. ⁵Yet after we have considered just what the ego’s plan is, perhaps you will realize that, however preposterous it may be, you do believe in it.
The ego’s plan is to fix the world. We need to end war, to control global warming, to stop mass shootings, to find a solution to world hunger, and on and on. I’m not saying we shouldn’t do these things. That would be a helpful use of our time while here if we are doing it out of love and not fear or anger. But the list of things to be done is endless and none of them will bring us the peace of God. None of those good works will awaken us and so we will just find that we have other problems to solve.
Or Maybe I Need to Fix my Life
Perhaps we think that working closer to home is the solution. We need to fix our relationships, keep our children from straying too far from safety. Or the solution might be to find the right person to marry, get a better job, make more money. Maybe the body is the problem and we could fix it with cosmetic surgery, or losing weight. The list is endless and no matter what we accomplish we always find more problems.
God’s plan does not include fixing anything outside us, so if that is our plan, God’s plan seems scary. It feels as if He doesn’t want us to have what makes us happy. In actuality, He wants for us exactly what will make us happy. The difference is that He knows what that is and we do not.
If This Were Different, I Would Be Saved
2. The ego’s plan for salvation centers around holding grievances. ²It maintains that, if someone else spoke or acted differently, if some external circumstance or event were changed, you would be saved. ³Thus, the source of salvation is constantly perceived as outside yourself. ⁴Each grievance you hold is a declaration, and an assertion in which you believe, that says, “If this were different, I would be saved.” ⁵The change of mind necessary for salvation is thus demanded of everyone and everything except yourself.
If we are honest with ourselves, most of us will see that we have spent a lot of our life chasing salvation. I think of it this way, I am chasing salvation if I think I can’t be happy unless… whatever it is that I’ve convinced myself I can’t live without. It could be a special love interest or a thinner body. Or maybe it is a new car or a nicer house, maybe a dream vacation or happier children.
In the past, it has been feeling loved and safe. And whatever or whoever got in the way of what I thought I had to have, was a problem. I held a grievance and wanted the obstacle gone. Those grievances were what blocked what would actually save me. I was my own worst enemy. Well, actually, I was my only enemy however it seemed to me.
The Fruitless Search
3. The role assigned to your own mind in this plan, then, is simply to determine what, other than itself, must change if you are to be saved. ²According to this insane plan, any perceived source of salvation is acceptable provided that it will not work. ³This ensures that the fruitless search will continue, for the illusion persists that, although this hope has always failed, there is still grounds for hope in other places and in other things. ⁴Another person will yet serve better; another situation will yet offer success.
I’ve been married and divorced three times. Each time, I thought I had to be married this man. I believed that with all my heart and did what it took to make it happen, because, after all, I just knew my happiness depended on it. Clearly, that was not true. The fruitless search for the perfect love would have continued endlessly had I not found the Course instead.
Seek Only There
4. Such is the ego’s plan for your salvation. ²Surely you can see how it is in strict accord with the ego’s basic doctrine, “Seek but do not find.” ³For what could more surely guarantee that you will not find salvation than to channelize all your efforts in searching for it where it is not?
5. God’s plan for salvation works simply because, by following His direction, you seek for salvation where it is. ²But if you are to succeed, as God promises you will, you must be willing to seek there only. ³Otherwise, your purpose is divided and you will attempt to follow two plans for salvation that are diametrically opposed in all ways. ⁴The result can only bring confusion, misery and a deep sense of failure and despair.
I am fully convinced that salvation lies within and nowhere else. This morning I woke up thinking about two disturbing situations, one personal and the other global. That I was upset by one thought led to the upset about the other thought. And it would have gone on to other upsets had I not stopped it at the second thought. The solution was to look with the Holy Spirit at both situations and see that it was not my purpose to correct either.
I asked Jesus to help me do my part to end suffering for all time and he directed me to release some untrue thoughts in my mind. Clearly, I cannot believe in the ego’s solution and the Holy Spirit’s solution and expect to succeed. I would be pulled in two opposing directions at the same time. Nothing would get done. I know my part is to heal my own mind. My only function is to accept God’s plan for salvation for myself.
Only God’s Plan Works
6. How can you escape all this? ²Very simply. ³The idea for today is the answer. ⁴Only God’s plan for salvation will work. ⁵There can be no real conflict about this, because there is no possible alternative to God’s plan that will save you. ⁶His is the only plan that is certain in its outcome. ⁷His is the only plan that must succeed.
7. Let us practice recognizing this certainty today. ²And let us rejoice that there is an answer to what seems to be a conflict with no resolution possible. ³All things are possible to God. ⁴Salvation must be yours because of His plan, which cannot fail.
This is the truth that must be accepted if I want salvation. I have tried and tried again to find it through so many other plans. Nothing worked. God’s plan is working and I am so very grateful to have discovered this. Occasionally, I will foolishly wander off this narrow path. I will see some shiny object or enticing idea and think something outside me will bring me happiness. But I quickly and joyfully return to the only plan that will work.
The Ego Doesn’t Want a Solution That Works
8. Begin the two longer practice periods for today by thinking about today’s idea, and realizing that it contains two parts, each making equal contribution to the whole. ²God’s plan for your salvation will work, and other plans will not. ³Do not allow yourself to become depressed or angry at the second part; it is inherent in the first. ⁴And in the first is your full release from all your own insane attempts and mad proposals to free yourself. ⁵They have led to depression and anger; but God’s plan will succeed. ⁶It will lead to release and joy.
I remember when I first really considered what Jesus was telling me in this part of the lesson. I was happy that God’s plan would work. Finally, something would work! But I felt resistance to the idea that nothing else would work. Now it seems silly that I had that reaction. Why would I want to continue trying and failing when I had a certain solution? I don’t know the answer to that, other than the ego mind doesn’t actually want the solution. I am just glad that I finally came to my senses.
9. Remembering this, let us devote the remainder of the extended practice periods to asking God to reveal His plan to us. ²Ask Him very specifically:
³What would You have me do?
⁴Where would You have me go?
⁵What would You have me say, and to whom?
⁶Give Him full charge of the rest of the practice period, and let Him tell you what needs to be done by you in His plan for your salvation. ⁷He will answer in proportion to your willingness to hear His Voice. ⁸Refuse not to hear. ⁹The very fact that you are doing the exercises proves that you have some willingness to listen. ¹⁰This is enough to establish your claim to God’s answer.
10. In the shorter practice periods, tell yourself often that God’s plan for salvation, and only His, will work. ²Be alert to all temptation to hold grievances today, and respond to them with this form of today’s idea:
³Holding grievances is the opposite of God’s plan for salvation. ⁴And only His plan will work.
⁵Try to remember today’s idea some six or seven times an hour. ⁶There could be no better way to spend a half minute or less than to remember the Source of your salvation, and to see It where It is.
What Would He Have Me do?
I always get out of bed thinking I know what is next on my agenda. After all, I have this calendar that keeps me on track and it is full. But then, I stop and I ask Him what He would have me do now. If I continue this all during the day, I am happy and my day is peaceful no matter how much there is to do. And I am peaceful about what might not get done because I trust His plan. I try to always to ask Him what to say. I especially want to always ask what to say. How happy my day is and how peaceful it is, depends on how closely I follow His plan. I make every effort to do so, and if I fail to do so, I notice the result and see my error. I forgive it and start again on that perfect and narrow path to salvation.
To enjoy the Pathways of Light Insights on ACIM Lesson 71 click here.
If you found this content helpful, please share on social media so more people can read and learn.