God's Work in God's Way

Various narratives in the Scriptures illustrate the fact that to trust in human or personal strength is to produce a temporary sense of estrangement from God. If God's work is to be done by us, it must be done in God's way and at His command. Any attempt to act the part that properly belongs to another, or to bring to pass good results through the operation of material sense or human will power, not only must prove abortive, but is apt to lead for the time being into a condition of perplexity and loneliness where we may leisurely ponder the truths of Christian Science and must pass through a period of self-examination before we can accomplish the good we desire.

We read that Moses, by attempting to save the Israelite by the arm of flesh, was forced to flee into the wilderness, an experience which must, after the brilliance of the Egyptian court have been one of "loneliness; doubt; darkness," to quote from Mrs. Eddy's definition of wilderness (Science and Health, p. 597). Nevertheless it also proved, as she further defines it, an experience of "spontaneity of thought and idea; the vestibule in which a material sense of things disappears, and spiritual sense unfolds the great facts of existence."

Elijah also, endeavoring, as may be conjectured, to turn the Israelites by force to "the God of Israel," slew all the prophets of Baal by the brook Kishon, and the sequel finds him flying from an idolatrous queen to Beer-sheba, about one hundred and ten miles south of Mount Carmel. Here, realizing that his problem must be worked out with God alone, he left his servant and journeyed into the wilderness, probably the desert of Paran, on the west side of the Arabian Desert. Away from the excitement of active service, where the temptation to be overwhelmed by success, or error, is apt to be strong, he could overcome sense and self, feed upon divinely prepared food, and learn to do God's work in God's way and at God's command. Divine Truth sustained him in the wilderness, and this spiritual meal supported him till he had come to Mount Horeb in the southern part of the Sinai peninsula. Here we find him elevated above the desert sand; above the loneliness, doubt, and darkness that had beset him, having attained a spiritual altitude where error could not present its false appearance.

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March 30, 1918

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