A few months ago, I heard Dave Gieselman (on a Facebook Live) speaking about “faith in or access to” God/Source/Creator. It impacted me enough to make a note to myself – what do I believe? Do I have faith in? Or do I have “access to”?
And what might be the difference for me?
Then, this morning, I was reading information assigned by Rev. Donna Kopitsky for my Prosperity class, and I was hit with another question:
Am I waiting for God to produce something “for me” or “through me”?
The exact quote from Rev. Donna’s affirmation and words were:
…God can do no more for me than God can do through me…Rev. Donna Kopitsky
This reminded me a little of a story you may have already heard, about the man trapped on his roof by a flood:
A man was trapped in his house during a flood. He began praying to God to rescue him. He had a vision in his head of God’s hand reaching down from heaven and lifting him to safety. The water started to rise in his house. His neighbour urged him to leave and offered him a ride to safety. The man yelled back, “I am waiting for God to save me.” The neighbour drove off in his pick-up truck.
The man continued to pray and hold on to his vision. As the water began rising in his house, he had to climb up to the roof. A boat came by with some people heading for safe ground. They yelled at the man to grab a rope they were ready to throw and take him to safety. He told them that he was waiting for God to save him. They shook their heads and moved on.
The man continued to pray, believing with all his heart that he would be saved by God. The flood waters continued to rise. A helicopter flew by and a voice came over a loudspeaker offering to lower a ladder and take him off the roof. The man waved the helicopter away, shouting back that he was waiting for God to save him. The helicopter left. The flooding water came over the roof and caught him up and swept him away. He drowned.
When he reached heaven and asked, “God, why did you not save me? I believed in you with all my heart. Why did you let me drown?”
God replied, “I sent you a pick-up truck, a boat and a helicopter and you refused all of them. What else could I possibly do for you?”
If you think of all the hungry in the world, and the prayers we send to God asking him to feed the hungry – are we ignoring the response that God gives us “I can do no more for you than I can do through you“?
So, today, I am sent back again to the question that Dave asked back in September:
Do I have faith in God or access to God?
What difference does it make in the way that I relate to God and life?
For me, the difference lies in my level of response-ability – how will I respond to the situation before me? What is my ability to respond? When I consider my belief of my childhood and the way that I was taught to believe, it was almost with a helplessness.
Culturally, in Panama, when you say to someone “see you tomorrow”, they used to (not so much any more) respond with “si Dios quiere” – “if God wills it”. I thought that was very spiritual, until I began to recognise that it can also be a cop-out and a way to say “It was simply out of my control – God did not want me to”. I missed my bus and couldn’t make it to work – because obviously God didn’t want me too (conveniently).
And although my dad used to say “pray as if God is the only one that can do anything and then work as if God did not exist“, my prayers were more like begging and pleading than actual faith!
I hoped that God would hear my prayer and grant it – much more like Father Christmas than Divine Love in Spirit form that was omni-present. But, the same way that Father Christmas is in the North Pole and receives the letters from hundreds of thousands of children, God was seated up in heaven, surrounded by a host of singing angels, and totally distant from me, no matter how many “I’ve got Jesus in my heart” songs we might sing.
On the other hand, if instead of having faith in a God, seated far away in heaven, I have access to an ever-present, ever mindful Spirit – Divine Love – light, all-consuming fire, all-knowing, all-seeing, sun and shield, that is as near to me as the air that I breathe… How much more powerful is it to know that I have access, at any moment of the day, to this within my heart and soul, than faith in a God that is far away, seated on a throne in heaven?
The problem with access to “ever-present, ever mindful Spirit – Divine Love – light, all-consuming fire, all-knowing, all-seeing, sun and shield” is that rather than having to pray and make my requests known “out there”, suddenly I have to be open to listening to the answers that may be given to my prayers. If I only need think it and it is already known, then I have to listen for the still, small voice with the answer.
And once I have the answer, then I am called upon to do.
You see a beggar in the streets, and you take a moment to pray for them. Sometimes the answer is YOU go back and feed & clothe them. Oh, but HOW we want to ignore that still, small voice then!
My response-ability is my ability to respond: I have a problem, I ask for a solution, I listen and hear the answer from the still, small voice, and THEN I have to actually do as I am told. This is no Father Christmas that will simply appear with a magic wand to take away all the problems.
Charles Fillmore suggests that prosperity comes in the following manner:
This is open the door of your mind to an inflow of substance-filled ideas. As they come, use them freely. … They are God’s ideas given to you in answr to your prayer and in order to supply your needs. They are substance, intelligent, loving, eager to manifest themselves to meet your need.Charles Fillmore “Prosperity”
Often, the answer to our prayers comes dressed in overalls and looks a lot like hard work.
So, when we ask God to answer our prayers, in faith, we have to understand that we have access to God and many times the answer to prayer is not just “for us”, but through us. We may be the answer to our prayers – and not only called upon to believe, but also to do.
We want the hungry children of the world to be fed. But what are we called to do about it? How are we investing our abundance in this world to feed them? How are we participating in becoming part of the solution and not simply “saying a prayer” for them?
And many times, as we pray, and then we listen in the silence, we have flashes of inspiration – but we write them off – why would I do that? How will this work?
Nonetheless, if we do nothing, we are like the man on the roof with the flood waters rising – waiting for a supernatural rescue from God, when the answer is one that has been given to us. And we have the ability to respond to the challenge before us.
We just need to move!
This is stepping into the power of access to God. And in the end, by acting upon the still small voice, we are showing we not only have access to, but faith in God.