3/1/20 John 10:10 “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” Of the many challenges we face while walking this earth in these bodies, the feelings of lack are among the most insidious. Feelings of lack create many other dark feelings, including fear, victimhood, and unworthiness. A sense of lack can affect every area of our lives. We can feel that we don’t have enough money, love, intimacy, friends or other relationships. We can feel a lack of power, influence, status, appreciation, recognition, or esteem. We can believe we lack knowledge, intelligence, education, or problem-solving skills. We can feel that we lack resources, skills, abilities, talents, the right personality, health, or other gifts. The sense of lack can lead to depression, resentment, and a constant state of unsettled dis-ease. It is reflected in our language, when we talk about “wasting money”, or “wasting food”. We may tell ourselves that we are being practical, but behind that practicality is a fear of loss, of not having enough. A slight sense of dread accompanies the idea of lack. The reason we feel bad within when we think of lack, is because it contradicts the nature of God. God flows through Life as abundance; God flows through us as prosperity and plenty. When our human minds and egos embrace lack, our souls respond with suffering. Lack is the antithesis of Spirit. God says, “For I know the plans I have for you; plans to prosper you, and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” Christ came to give us abundant life, not meager life. We often think that abundance means money or wealth. While this is certainly part of what can come to us abundantly, it is just a small part of God’s intended abundance for us. One definition of abundance is: living with a degree of plentifulness. The areas that I mentioned before regarding lack, are meant for us to feel abundance. We may not have enough money right now, at least not as much as we would like. But we are not poor; we are just broke. Poor is a state of mind the outside world uses as a label for who we are. Being broke is a temporary condition that has nothing to do with who we are. We may be broke, short on cash, but we can have an abundance of friends, family, and love … if we change our mindset, and not let the world or our egos dictate who we are. Desires are a menace to abundance. Desirelessness is a high spiritual quality. When we can release our desires, the desires of our small self, there can be no lack. This includes releasing the results of our efforts. We sometimes serve others and long to see the effects of our help. That is desire reflecting lack; release it. The results of our efforts in any matter are privy to God alone. The word prosperity refers to the state of flourishing, succeeding, and thriving. Like abundance, this can mean financially, as well as in happiness, health, love, friendships, attitudes, and state of being – areas totally independent of wealth or money. God is a God of abundance, plenty, and overflowing. We have been given an environment with the air, water, food, and climate to thrive. We have an abundance of the raw materials to build shelter and machines, tools and clothing. We are given the evolutionary direction to develop the intelligence to imagine, dream, and create; we have developed the esthetic capability to enjoy music, dance, the visual arts, as well as the magnificent mountains, lakes, rivers, deserts, oceans, and animal life of this planet. We have developed the physical senses to enjoy the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures that surround us. God has directed our human evolution to include loving hearts and giving spirits. Roman 1:20 tells us: “For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.” When we stop to consider all that we have, we can only feel lack if we choose to focus in that direction. This is not to say that it is wrong, or spiritually weak, to experience loss. We absolutely will experience loss at some points in our lives; it is a universal experience. But we are not that loss; we are not broken, lost, or diminished. We have experienced the suffering of loss, and we can find wholeness again. Not just wholeness, but our sense of pain and loss can make us more empathetic to the pain and loss of others. In this sense, our loss can create an abundance of compassion and understanding that we could not have possessed without that experience. Through God, we can integrate our loss into who we are, transcend its pain while keeping it a part of us, and become more than we were. We are changed, reborn. Romans 12:2 teaches that when we do not conform to the patterns of the world, we can transform through the renewing of our minds. When we can transcend and transform beyond lack, we are moving toward co-creative abundance. This is prosperity that we and God create together. It is beyond the blessings derived solely from God’s Grace. With God’s help, we can start to look for abundance and prosperity and create it in our lives. We start by using our minds, thoughts, and imaginations to envision new possibilities. We can dream, plan, research and allow the thoughts and ideas of Spirit to flow in and through us. Next, we can trust that Christ is working with us, and have faith that we are moving in alignment with Spirit. We can believe and know that our imaginings are God-inspired. When we believe we are co-creating with God, we find ourselves surrounded by abundance and prosperity, because that is where our focus resides. After imagining and trusting, we can begin to understand that we truly are in a partnership with Spirit. We can continue to move into prayer and listen for the whispers of Christ, hear the still small voice of God, and feel the taps on the shoulder and nudges of Spirit. We can become better attuned to the presence of God in our lives, minds, and hearts. As we grow in the ability to discern Divine Guidance, we start to experience what is called ‘synchronicity’. Darlene told me last week that when she is in a hurry and prays, traffic lights are green as she enters an intersection. We may find empty parking spaces. The right and perfect information falls into our laps by what seems like pure coincidence. This is synchronicity, the palpable presence of Spirit active in our lives. We can be in constant communication with God regarding our imaginations and dreams, and be aware, awake, receptive, and responsive to our Divine Guidance. Next, we continue to do, to act, to move forward. Abundance is a blessing from God, and it can also be a co-creative experience. We’ve heard the expression, “Pray like it all depends upon God, and work like it all depends upon us.” We can act in harmony with the guidance we receive. If we are nudged in one direction, let us not resist, but move in that direction. Apathy, ignorance, and outright defiance are not conducive qualities to being co-creative with Spirit. We must do our part. Lastly, we must be grateful for the blessings that God provides. “Thank you, God, for this wonderful addition to my life!” Acknowledgement and gratitude lubricate the wheels of the giving and receiving cycle. We give thanks from the certainty that what we receive is not from our own efforts, ambitions, and skills alone, but from our cooperation with Spirit. Ideas take form through effort. Spirit provides the ideas; our minds and bodies provide the effort. Great ideas are useless without the effort of follow-through. Great talent is useless without an idea that warrants action. We may have talent and skills, but life is a co-creative process. God needs us; we need God. Imagination, Faith, Listening, Action, and Gratitude are the components of co-creative abundance with God. We do not suffer from lack; we suffer from mis-directed focus. Thich Nhat Hanh, in his book “Here You Are”, wrote, “When conditions are sufficient there is a manifestation.” In other words, when we have created the right inner environment, whatever we are desiring appears. When we have aligned with Christ, God’s blessings appear. If we constantly focus on the things we want, we are missing the point. First conditions, then living form. In the book “Blessings of the Cosmos: Benedictions from the Aramaic Words of Jesus”, Neil Douglas-Klotz translates familiar expressions of Jesus directly from the original Aramaic. The King James version translates Matthew 6:33 as “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” This is what Aramaic reveals in Jesus’ words: when we pursue a right relationship with the Universal One and allow this relationship to realign our lives, we produce a condition of receptivity in which anything we need to help us complete our purpose in life will be supplied by the universe. The message is clear: Create the proper condition, or environment, and what we need will appear. Through our thoughts, beliefs, awareness, actions, and thankfulness we create the proper spiritual conditions for God’s blessings to flow. Our fears, desires, thoughts of lack and separation create blockages in the flow of God’s abundance, resulting in a sense of lack and infertile soil within our souls. Nothing good can grow there. Our prosperity is an outer expression of our inner spiritual environment. What sort of spiritual condition are we creating? Is it one that is attracting God’s desires for us or our ego’s? Job 36:11 teaches: If they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment. Isn’t that what we want – prosperity and contentment? But who are we serving and obeying - God or Man; Spirit or the World; the Christ within or the ego within? Here is a Prosperity Covenant that can aid us in our commitment to serving Spirit. It is my prayer that we will surrender to the abundance of God. Spirit wants nothing more than we be joyously and amply fulfilled in all areas of our lives: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, with abundant health, peace, relationships, love, joy, finances, and more. I pray that we will accept the Divine Prosperity of Life that Christ came to provide, and through our thoughts, beliefs, awareness, actions, and gratitude we will co-create with God the life of our dreams. I pray we will transcend the blockages of our limited worldly perceptions and be reborn into the flow of infinite and loving prosperity and plenty.