Feature – Obedience,The Essential Spiritual Mechanism
by ANTHONY WHITEHOUSE, CS
It is critical we see the power inherent in a particular spiritual mechanism, that of obedience.
I am not talking here about personal obedience to a leader or state but mental obedience to the ultimate dictums we find in the Bible of “Thou shalt have no other Gods before me ” (Exo 20:3) and “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Php 2:5)
These dictums require absolute obedience to the idea of a perfect God and a perfect creation and leaves no room for any other state of being.
The problem is, and I am sure we all know similar circumstances, where we find we have not been healed of a problem, or one of our neighbors is continuing to give us grief, and we start wondering where we have gone wrong.
The answer is that we have not done anything to merit being challenged by such issues, but we have, somewhere along the line, become disobedient to the all-embracing nature of the divine Mind which requires that we NEVER hold error as real. At first sight, it is the little things we overlook which actually represent total disobedience to the demand “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God will all thy heart and with all thy Soul (Mat 22:37) and him only shalt thou serve.”( Mat 4:10)
But the subtlety of error is such that we are frequently disobedient in our duty without even realizing it. And this disobedience though seemingly innocuous is actually debilitating.
The notion that I am sick or fragile is disobedient to the divine command “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God (i.e. “I”) in vain.”(Exo 20:7)
‘I have an unhealed problem’ is disobedient to God’s edict “and he saw all that that he had made and it was very good”( Gen1:31)
“Man is the image and likeness of God”(S&H 414:26) insists that we are disobedient if we hold ourselves to be temporal and corporeal, and ruminate about what life is like after death.
The problem, and this is the critical issue we need to take on board, is not with challenge in front of us, the problem is with the disobedience which encourages us to even contemplate error as real. The thing we have to realize is that we are being disobedient to the divine view if we even consider error in any form.
This oversight leads us to better understand why we find the following verse in Romans 5 ,19 ” For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” Jesus demonstrated the power inherent in being mentally obedient.
Adam had no idea of the cost of being disobedient until he disobeyed and unleashed a material sense of creation upon himself. It took the total obedience of Jesus the Christ to demonstrate that the only way out of this morass of error was complete obedience. It is easy to obey when you see the cost of disobedience-ten thousand years of human misery.
St Paul for obvious reasons requires us to “bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
If we are struggling with any problem it is simply because we have been disobedient to the spiritual sense that God’s creation is perfect now, always has been perfect, and will remain perfect.You cannot solve a problem without being obedient to the notion that, as the child of God, we cannot have a problem.
When Jesus said his “yoke is easy and my burden is light “(Mat 11:30) he understood that the discipline required in being obedient was a lot less taxing than the effort required to solve problems humanly.
I have always admired the way in which our leader is able to nail down issues in succint language.She refers to the issue of obedience in her commentary on Mark 16:18 and points out that it heals. What greater recommendation can we have?
“They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them.” This is an unqualified statement of the duty and ability of Christians to heal the sick; and it contains no argument for a creed or doctrine, it implies no necessity beyond the understanding of God, and obedience to His government, that heals both mind and body; God, — not a person to whom we should pray to heal the sick, but the Life, Love, and Truth that destroy error and death.