Lesson 154 2021

Lesson 154 

I am among the ministers of God. 

1. Let us today be neither arrogant nor falsely humble. ²We have gone beyond such foolishness. ³We cannot judge ourselves, nor need we do so. ⁴These are but attempts to hold decision off, and to delay commitment to our function. ⁵It is not our part to judge our worth, nor can we know what role is best for us; what we can do within a larger plan we cannot see in its entirety. ⁶Our part is cast in Heaven, not in hell. ⁷And what we think is weakness can be strength; what we believe to be our strength is often arrogance. 

This paragraph is so important. When I realized that I was called to ministry, I was conflicted. My heart knew my call was genuine and it didn’t doubt for a moment. But my mind was filled with doubt and couldn’t see how this was ever going to work for me. I couldn’t imagine myself being worthy of this call and so couldn’t have faith in it. But that call … I just couldn’t ignore it. It was such a strong yes. So, in spite of what my mind was saying, I did it anyway. In spite of all my doubts and fears, my ministry has been exactly as it should be and has brought me so much joy. 

2. Whatever your appointed role may be, it was selected by the Voice for God, Whose function is to speak for you as well. ²Seeing your strengths exactly as they are, and equally aware of where they can be best applied, for what, to whom and when, He chooses and accepts your part for you. ³He does not work without your own consent. ⁴But He is not deceived in what you are, and listens only to His Voice in you. 

All my doubts were like so much nonsense to the Holy Spirit. He knew they were in me, but He wasn’t interested in them. He knows me and knows what I can do best and how my strengths can be used to the benefit of the Sonship. I was given the role that was needed and that I could fulfill if I chose to do so. 

3. It is through His ability to hear one Voice which is His Own that you become aware at last there is one Voice in you. ²And that one Voice appoints your function, and relays it to you, giving you the strength to understand it, do what it entails, and to succeed in everything you do that is related to it. ³God has joined His Son in this, and thus His Son becomes His messenger of unity with Him. 

I made this whole thing much harder than it needed to be because of my fears, my self-doubts, and guilt but the Holy Spirit gave me the strength and the guidance that made it possible for me to overcome all of that. So the role He gave me also contained the perfect lessons to help me wake up. Here is an example. I was not a writer. I had tried many times but the result was pretty awful. Only one time had I ever written anything that was good and that was an article that I wrote for Unity Magazine. I did it out of love and gratitude for all that magazine had given me and I asked God to help me. 

Evidently, writing was supposed to be part of my ministry because the Holy Spirit put me on that path very quickly. He prompted me to start writing every morning by asking Him questions and then writing what I received. this taught me to have faith in Him to communicate to me what He wanted me to know. Then He put in my path a book that showed a way to do the lessons as a journal and I started doing that. 

Then Pathways of Light has a quarterly magazine that I enjoy as much as I did the Unity magazine and I quickly became grateful for Pathways of Light. So, I decided to write for them. Like everything I did in the beginning and for a long time, I worried and fretted over being able to do it and being able to do it well. But I did it anyway and have continued to do so for years now.  

This led to writing my book. And I balked at that more than any of the other things I was led to do. But the perfect person was put in my life and he just nagged me until I did it and then put me in touch with the perfect publisher. In retrospect, I see how one thing led to the other and how I could see His ever-present help and guidance in each step.  

4. It is this joining, through the Voice for God, of Father and of Son, that sets apart salvation from the world. ²It is this Voice which speaks of laws the world does not obey; which promises salvation from all sin, with guilt abolished in the mind that God created sinless. ³Now this mind becomes aware again of Who created it, and of His lasting union with itself. ⁴So is its Self the one reality in which its will and that of God are joined. 

Everything I have done on behalf of the Sonship has been important to the overall plan of Atonement in ways that I might be aware of and ways I cannot know, and it has been essential to me as well. To be a savior, one must be saved and as one saves, that one is saved. That is just another way of saying that I needed what I was willing to give and that giving is receiving, or as Jesus describes it, we are always the first receivers of what we give. In spite of my lack of faith in myself and my fears of failure, I did what was asked of me and in the doing, the belief in sin and guilt began to fall away and miracles replaced those insane ideas. 

5. A messenger is not the one who writes the message he delivers. ²Nor does he question the right of him who does, nor ask why he has chosen those who will receive the message that he brings. ³It is enough that he accept it, give it to the ones for whom it is intended, and fulfill his role in its delivery. ⁴If he determines what the messages should be, or what their purpose is, or where they should be carried, he is failing to perform his proper part as bringer of the Word. 

This part of the process, this surrendering to the message without deciding where it goes or changing it in any way, this is the part that I take very seriously. I don’t mean that I did it perfectly, but I did the very best that I could in every moment. I worried that I would screw this up and, in the beginning, I would have a thought to write something and I didn’t know for sure that it was right but the guidance was to share it. I would sit at the computer with my finger on the send button and I would sometimes cry, I was so afraid. But I would send it anyway. I didn’t feel confident in myself, but I learned confidence in the Holy Spirit to get the message to me in some way and I learned confidence in myself. 

6. There is one major difference in the role of Heaven’s messengers, which sets them off from those the world appoints. ²The messages that they deliver are intended first for them. ³And it is only as they can accept them for themselves that they become able to bring them further, and to give them everywhere that they were meant to be. ⁴Like earthly messengers, they did not write the messages they bear, but they become their first receivers in the truest sense, receiving to prepare themselves to give. 

7. An earthly messenger fulfills his role by giving all his messages away. ²The messengers of God perform their part by their acceptance of His messages as for themselves, and show they understand the messages by giving them away. ³They choose no roles that are not given them by His authority. ⁴And so they gain by every message that they give away. 

I have learned through my own experience that this is true. When I was still working, I would be frustrated at all the hours spent at work when I could be a full-time minister. I couldn’t understand why it was happening the way it was, but though I argued with the Holy Spirit about it, I stayed the course. As a result, He showed me that my work was my ministry, that everything was my ministry. I had just finished with one of those arguments with the Holy Spirit about wasting my time with this job when I got to my next customer. 

This was a favorite customer because she was always friendly and fun to visit. But this time saw that she was upset about something and didn’t want to talk to me. As a sales representative, I judged that the best thing to do was to leave and come back another time. As I was opening the door to leave, the Holy Spirit turned me around. I heard myself say that I could see something was wrong and asked if she wanted to talk about it.  

She put the closed sign on the door and we sat together while she shared her problems with me and all along, I had no idea what to say or do. I just listened and kept asking Holy Spirit to give me words if they were needed. In the end, all He told me to do was to pray with her so we held hands and I said what came into my mind. Before I left, she told me that I had no idea how important it was that we had this talk.  

My customer received what was needed for her and I received the answer to my doubts about staying with my job. I learned that it is not the form of the ministry that is important. It is not up to me what I do or how I do it, only that I follow instructions. Now I am grateful for every opportunity to work with someone or to write something that is helpful to another. I realize that what I say or do is teaching myself first and then teaching others. What a perfect plan for awakening the Sonship. It is seamless and efficient and so very lovely. 

8. Would you receive the messages of God? ²For thus do you become His messenger. ³You are appointed now. ⁴And yet you wait to give the messages you have received. ⁵And so you do not know that they are yours, and do not recognize them. ⁶No one can receive and understand he has received until he gives. ⁷For in the giving is his own acceptance of what he received. 

9. You who are now the messenger of God, receive His messages. ²For that is part of your appointed role. ³God has not failed to offer what you need, nor has it been left unaccepted. ⁴Yet another part of your appointed task is yet to be accomplished. ⁵He Who has received for you the messages of God would have them be received by you as well. ⁶For thus do you identify with Him and claim your own. 

The role given to me was as a minister in a very specific way. I was guided to become a minister through a program offered by Pathways of Light. It was perfect for my own growth and for what was to come. But being ordained is not what made me a minister of God. Accepting the messages one receives and then being willing to share them with whoever the Holy Spirit put on your path is what makes a minister of God. Anyone can do this with no special training other than following the path you are led to. In this way, you identify with God and remember who you are. 

10. It is this joining that we undertake to recognize today. ²We will not seek to keep our minds apart from Him Who speaks for us, for it is but our voice we hear as we attend Him. ³He alone can speak to us and for us, joining in one Voice the getting and the giving of God’s Word; the giving and receiving of His Will. 

11. We practice giving Him what He would have, that we may recognize His gifts to us. ²He needs our voice that He may speak through us. ³He needs our hands to hold His messages, and carry them to those whom He appoints. ⁴He needs our feet to bring us where He wills, that those who wait in misery may be at last delivered. ⁵And He needs our will united with His Own, that we may be the true receivers of the gifts He gives. 

Each time I read something like this in the Course, my heart opens wide and I am filled with gratitude to know my part and to fulfill it. I do truly want to be His hands and His feet. I do truly want to be helpful to everyone I meet. I am grateful that I as I give His gifts, I receive them. 

12. Let us but learn this lesson for today: We will not recognize what we receive until we give it. ²You have heard this said a hundred ways, a hundred times, and yet belief is lacking still. ³But this is sure; until belief is given it, you will receive a thousand miracles and then receive a thousand more, but will not know that God Himself has left no gift beyond what you already have; nor has denied the tiniest of blessings to His Son. ⁴What can this mean to you, until you have identified with Him and with His Own? 

Let us but learn this lesson for today: We will not recognize what we receive until we give it. How is it that we are to give what we have received? I write and I teach and counsel. But most important, and this is something that we are to do regardless of the specific role we are playing, I learn innocence and that is what I teach by seeing everyone as innocent.  

It might be that someone has attacked me and my response is to resist the ego desire to defend myself. It is to know they are innocent and to know I have no need for defense. My defenselessness is my message. There are many ways we can teach innocence and love. We can teach joy and peace. We do this with our words but we do it most effectively with the life we live. 

13. Our lesson for today is stated thus: 

²I am among the ministers of God, and I am grateful that I have the means by which to recognize that I am free. 

14. The world recedes as we light up our minds, and realize these holy words are true. ²They are the message sent to us today from our Creator. ³Now we demonstrate how they have changed our minds about ourselves, and what our function is. ⁴For as we prove that we accept no will we do not share, our many gifts from our Creator will spring to our sight and leap into our hands, and we will recognize what we received. 

(ACIM, W-154.1:1–14:4

And once again, we are asked to go within and spend some time with our Self. We are asked to go within and allow our minds to be healed so that we can remember who we are and share this with whoever is brought into our lives to learn it for themselves.