Lead Us Not Into Temptation

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The facts are these – the more you pray, the more time you spend in meditation and spiritual treatment, the more sensitive you become. And if you spend a great deal of time working on your soul in the right way, you will become very sensitive. This is excellent, but like everything in the universe, it works both ways. The more sensitive and spiritual you become, the more powerful and effective are your prayers, you do better healing, and you advance rapidly. But, for the same reason, you also become susceptible to forms of temptation that simply do not beset those at an earlier stage. You will also find that for ordinary faults, even things that many men and women of the world would consider trifling, you will be sharply punished, and this is well because it keeps you up to the mark. The seemingly minor transgressions would fritter away our spiritual power if not promptly dealt with.

No one at this level will be tempted to pick a pocket, or burgle a house; but this does not by any means imply that one will not have difficulties, and because of their subtly, even greater difficulties to meet. As we advance, new and powerful temptations await us on the path, ever ready to hurl us down if we are not watchful – temptations to work for self-glory, and self-aggrandizement  instead of for God; for personal honors and distinctions, even for material gain, temptations to allow personal preferences to hold sway in our counsels when it is a sacred duty to deal with all men in perfect impartiality. Above and beyond all other sins the deadly sin of spiritual pride, truly “the last infirmity of the noble mind”, lurks on this road. Many fine souls who have triumphantly surmounted all other testing have lapsed into a condition of superiority and self-righteousness that has fallen like a curtain of steel between them and God. Great knowledge brings great responsibility. Great responsibility betrayed brings terrible punishment in its train. Ones knowledge of the Truth, however little it may be, is a sacred trust for humanity that must not be violated. While we should  never make the mistake of casting our pearls before swine, nor urge the Truth in quarters where it is not welcome, we must do all that we wisely can to spread the true knowledge of God among mankind, that not one of “these little ones” may go hungry through our selfishness or our neglect. “Feed my lambs, feed my sheep.”

The old occult writers were so vividly sensible of these dangers that, with their instinct for dramatization, they spoke of the soul as being challenged by various tests as it traversed the upward road. It was as though the traveler was halted at various gates or turnpike bars, and tested by some ordeal to determine whether he were ready to advance any further. If he succeeded in passing the test, they said, he was allowed to continue upon his way with the blessing of the challenger. If, however, he failed to survive the ordeal, he was forbidden to proceed.

Now, some less experienced souls, eager for rapid advancement, have rashly desired to be subjected immediately to all kinds of tests, and have even looked about, seeking for difficulties to overcome. As though one’s own personality did not already have present quite enough material for any one man or woman to deal with. Forgetting the lesson of our Lord’s own ordeal in the wilderness, forgetting the injunction “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God,” they have virtually done this very thing, with sad results. And so Jesus has inserted this clause, in which we pray that we may not have to meet anything that is too much for us at the present level of our understanding. And, if we are wise, and work daily as we should for wisdom, understanding, purity, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we never shall never find ourselves in any difficulty for which we have not the understanding necessary to clear ourselves. Nothing shall by any means hurt you. Behold I am with you always.

-Emmet Fox

Every day is a day when we must carry God’s will into all of our activities, said an alcoholic with a spiritual experience, and someone who had never believed in God before. It is amazing to watch the walls of ignorance, close-mindedness, and judgment crumble after enough pain, suffering, and violent depression attack the city of our soul. The most staunch believer in nothing, or in science, the biggest atheists and agnostics all find out that no matter what equation or explanation for how the world began, no matter what it is that the Truth is in belief of a higher power beyond their own understanding. I am not going to debate with anyone on this issue, because there is no point, everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and ideas. The point is this: does what you believe in help yourself become a better person? Does your belief actualize a higher self that wants to help others? Does your belief transcend the material world and lift you up to a higher code of conduct, values, and morals? Does it save you from dying, doing something bad, or living a life that is wrong?

If it doesn’t, honestly ask yourself why not? Why aren’t you living a better life? If you are happy with the one you have and are content with it, who is to thank for that? If you did it yourself on your own resources and thinking and actions, how did you do it? Was it because you were the best at what you did? Or was it because you got lucky? Or was it by chance? You worked hard to get to where you are at in life, and that is great. But what now? What now after all has been accomplished? What will you do? Look around and ask yourself if the world is okay, if there is someone who needs help, or if there is nothing you can do to change it.

I am tired of hearing the debate on how the world began. If you argue on either side you are missing the point. Whether or not God created the world or not is irrelevant to the present moment and what God really means. God is love, and if you believe in love then you believe in God. When you believe in God you believe in helping other people. God is an ideal, a higher being for us to strive for. Trying to explain and be the one with all the answers and be right about how humans evolved or how the earth was created is nice, and good for you if you come up with a really good theory…does that change anything? Does it give someone who is hurting so much they wish to end it all any comfort and hope to feel better? Does finding out who is right and who is wrong solve anything other than masturbating and jerking off the ego? No, it doesn’t.

As the soul travels the upward road to enlightenment and higher living, above the material and fake world that exists for the devil’s amusement, the challenges become harder and harder. Human beings are so susceptible to greed, lust, hatred, jealousy, and thoughts that are evil.

Deliver us from evil is a line that is said without any meaning but should be given our full attention. What is this evil that the Lord’s Prayer speaks of? Once the soul grows and becomes more mature after overcoming obstacles such as selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear, it is in our thoughts that the evil does the most damage. Any negative thought is evil, because it has the potential to cut us off from the rest of humanity and isolate us in depression, anger, and violence. All we have to do is turn on the news to see just how sick the mind becomes after thinking negative, evil thoughts. It all starts with out thoughts, all the actions from shooting someone for playing loud music to overdosing on heroin, it all begins with negative thoughts.

If God is love then hatred is Satan.

To be delivered from evil means to be delivered from our own minds to a way of thinking that is spiritual, positive, and in tune with love. Our biggest enemy is ourselves. We beat that enemy by losing so much interest in the self and looking at what we can do for the next man who is still suffering and farther behind than us.

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