Jesus said “I Am With You Always”

A Course in Miracles asks that we pay attention to our thinking: that is the only level at which change is truly possible. It is the level at which Jesus can work with us. The effects of those thoughts – cumulatively the world of form – are meaningless.

My control can direct everything that does not matter, while my guidance can direct everything that does, if you so choose. Fear cannot be controlled by me, but it can be self-controlled (T-2.VI.1:3-4).

If we want to be peaceful and happy, then we must ask for Jesus’ help in watching our thoughts. The effects of our thinking – essentially the ups and downs of living in bodies in the world – are not properly our focus. Jesus will control the level of effect. And he will help us – if we are willing – to become more adept at the level of cause, which is thought.

In a sense, this is reminiscent of Jesus’ admonition to his disciples, urging them to a faith that transcended concern for the body.

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Most of us are aware of – and often quite obsessed with – bodily concerns. We want a job in order to feed ourselves and our families. We want certain accoutrements in order to feel self-esteem. Or we don’t have those things and so we feel bad about them. Our investment in these concerns is evidence that we are not giving our thoughts wholly over to Jesus.

It is important not to flagellate ourselves, however. Jesus is not asking us to wear sackcloth and ashes and confess what poor students of his course we are. He knows this and he still loves us. He is simply asking that we realize that change in the world of form is pointless. Will we not join him in a more practical healing process?

You do not need guidance except at the mind level. Correction belongs only at the level where change is possible. Change does not mean anything at the symptom level, where it cannot work (T-2.VI.3:5-7).

It doesn’t matter where we live, what we are wearing, who we are seeing or what we eat. Give those paltry concerns to Jesus who will take complete charge of them so that we might direct your energy entirely where it belongs: changing our mind in order to think the way Christ thinks. If this is our one goal, then we will know an abiding peace and not fear (T-2.VI.6:7-9).

This can feel like sacrifice – like we are giving up the sweet spot of life in the world – but we should be grateful for this simplicity and clarity! It is not a deprivation but a gift. We are not alone in needing this help, and our glad acceptance of it ensures the remembrance of our true Home.

You are not used to miracle-minded thinking, but you can be trained to think that way. All miracle workers need that kind of training (T-2.VII.1:9-10).

We are in good company when we humbly recognize our casual we are in our thinking and how recklessly we are in allowing body-thoughts and concerns to drive us. There is no punishment for this error: seeing it merely enables Jesus to demonstrate his Love and Justice the more clearly. Isn’t that what we want?

We are free when we surrender our will in order to follow Jesus: don’t sweat the form the following will take: what it will look like in the world. That’s not the point. It’s an inside process, an internal choice. There is nothing else.

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Susan September 19, 2013, 11:08 am

    Thank you for your message. It was helpful to me this morning. For the past few days I’ve been obsessing about giving up my daily cup of coffee due to health concerns. My ego is putting up HUGE resistance to this. I have given this over to the Holy Spirit but still am not getting a clear message to give it up or not. I will say it is clear to me that I am entrenched in “bodily” concerns, which detracts me from my main work to love and forgive. I still don’t know what to do but I know it doesn’t feel good to be so identified with my ego over this. Thanks, Sean

    • Sean Reagan September 19, 2013, 11:14 am

      You’re welcome, Susan. Thanks for reading. It’s hard to shift our focus from the level of the body to the level of the mind – it takes a miracle, really! But we aren’t alone in making the transition.

  • janine September 19, 2013, 11:14 am

    Dear Sean,
    Thank you so much again for a wonderfull post. It just matched so perfectly my mental occupations today. So much for Miracles!

    Much love janine

    • Sean Reagan September 19, 2013, 11:22 am

      Glad it was helpful, Janine! Thanks for reading . . .

  • Pamela September 19, 2013, 1:20 pm

    Sean, I very much agree that the level of mind is the only level at which change is truly possible. In fact, it is how Jesus defines the sometimes misunderstood phrase ‘accepting the atonement for yourself.” Specifically, in the discussion of the function of the Miracle worker we are told, “The sole responsibility of the miracle worker is to accept the Atonement for himself. This means you recognise that mind is the only creative level, and that its errors are healed by the Atonement.” And if that is true, then it follows as night follows day that we absolutely have to pay attention to our thinking.

    I was also thinking about the idea that Jesus will take care of the effects of our thinking and I believe, like you, that it can indeed be connected to the bible passage in Matthew 6 in which we are told to “Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat…” But the problem is that we seem to believe that actually doing this will result in our somehow having LESS than what we have now, less money to pay the utilities, our car payments, our medical bills, our mortgage, less clothes than we have now, less in the way of roof over our head (maybe even no roof), less food on the table, etc. However, remembering that “miracles arise from conviction” if we believe with real conviction, true assurance, and absolute confidence that Jesus is going to take care of all of our physical needs, why would we think he is somehow not going to do quite as good a job as we ourselves do? Moreover, if we examine his last words in the bible passage you cited, namely “and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these,” isn’t that saying we will find better or superior care-taking of our physical needs that what we provide for ourselves? I mean, as I see it, it is a ‘win-win’ situation all the way.

    • Sean Reagan September 19, 2013, 1:37 pm

      Hi Pamela,

      Yes, I think that Jesus is saying that God will take better care of us than we can. Absolutely. The trick is avoiding judgment in this regard: if God is going to take good care of me, that means I’ll make X amount of dollars and so forth. That’s not the care that God provides. The care that God provides yields the peace that is undisturbed by a million dollars today and zero dollars tomorrow. If we are invested in what is external – if we are confusing it even a little with Love – then we are confused and lost.

      We are all confused and lost here in the world – those sections I referred to make that very clear. We are in the world and these bodies because we are confused about form and content. Me, you, all of us. The course is a way out – not the only way but for some of us, a good way.

      If our expectation is that we’re going to live like Kings – or better than the Joneses – then I think we are paying attention to form. We are investing in form. All Jesus asks is that we continue to return our minds to “miracle-mindedness” which has nothing to do with form at all.

      I hope I’m clear that I’m not saying I’m exempt from this. I’m as messed up as anybody else. I’m simply saying that Jesus is still trying to teach us to trust him – and so long as we keep one eye on our bank account (or house or clothes or biceps or xbox360 or . . . ) and one eye on Jesus, then we’re not ready. We’ve got to let it all go. We’ve got to trust Him all the way!

      If I read your comment correctly, I think we pretty much agree on this. I’m sorry if I misunderstood you or come off as argumentative.

      Thanks for reading & sharing – I appreciate it!

      Sean

      • Pamela September 19, 2013, 3:12 pm

        We totally agree Sean. I am just saying it is as foolish to think that Jesus is going to give us x million dollars as it is foolish to think if we follow him we will find ourselves living on the streets with fleas in our hair, a case of pneumonia, children with thin and brittle bones because we can’t feed them, etc. Unlike us, Christ doesn’t believe in or know lack; let’s not think he does it.

        And you are right that if we have to keep one eye out to make sure all these physical needs are met while we are saying that we are trusting, we are not yet ready. This is why I coupled what I said with the idea that miracles arise from conviction. If we don’t have real trust, real faith, real assurance and real confidence in him doing this, we need to wait a little longer.

        • Sean Reagan September 19, 2013, 6:39 pm

          You wrote:

          I am just saying it is as foolish to think that Jesus is going to give us x million dollars as it is foolish to think if we follow him we will find ourselves living on the streets with fleas in our hair, a case of pneumonia, children with thin and brittle bones because we can’t feed them, etc.

          I say:

          Yes!

          Thank you, Pamela 🙂

  • Cheryl September 19, 2013, 5:05 pm

    Hey Sean,
    It’s interesting, but certainly not surprising, that at my last ACIM study group meeting, one member gave me a book he thought I would like. It’s titled God I Am, written by Peter O. Erbe. I had never heard of title nor author, but I was astonished by how it paralleled the Course, using somewhat different language. Yesterday I began the chapter on “Law of Supply” which begins a discussion of currency as consciousness by extensively quoting from Matthew (Sermon on the Mount, of course).

    Here is what the author says a little later:
    “My Being is my sustenance. God’s Being can only be Love. Currency in the form of money is but one form of the universal energy of love. Love, as the Source of ALL, can assume any form to meet a specific need.”

    This seems to parallel what you are saying about us confusing content with form. We get stuck in our ego thoughts about how abundance “should” manifest (form) in our lives, and forget that, in truth, it is all about the Love (content).

    Walking this walk often seems difficult but so many times it also delights. Getting the same content in two different forms certainly is one of those times. Thank you.

    • Sean Reagan September 19, 2013, 6:38 pm

      Hi Cheryl.

      I’m not familiar with that book (or author) but yes – I think that is the general idea, absolutely. We are invested in manifestation in this or that form (usually corresponding to our specific sense of lack – money, relationships, body image, social life, cars, etc.). That investment – maybe it is more accurate to say the expectation of return that investment breeds – is what screws us up in terms of peace.

      It is a very interesting space when we start to see all the modes in which the lesson of oneness shows up in the world. After a while, you start to feel like you don’t need to read about it anymore – you’re ready to just have the experience.

      Hope all is well!

      Sean

  • Cheryl September 19, 2013, 8:04 pm

    Yes! Experiential lessons of Oneness. Stay open and allow and they come fast and furious. And because they are so compelling, they pull us forward (or inward) on the path. And deepen our faith. It’s all good…even when our egos think quite differently.

    And, yes, all is well… 🙂

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