My family recently bought a book about the Great Wall of China. It's full of pictures. One that particularly struck me showed people lined up on part of the wall, decked out with period garb and weapons. Tourists had the opportunity to play the role of ancient defenders against "barbarians from the north."
Looking at that picture, I couldn't help thinking about the evolution of attackers and defense systems in the world, particularly in the light of recent threats by North Korea and Iran. Even a sophisticated military defense can be challenged as it tries to keep pace with changes in technology and the threats individual nations face. That got me wondering how to find a more effective defense, and maybe – better still – promote a lasting global peace. Is there a sure way for nations to be free of attackers, including nuclear missiles, and other threats?
The Bible points to God and indicates something of how the divine presence saves: "My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart" (Ps. 7:10). God is the one power, the almighty defender, who saves us as we lift our hearts and lives up to Him. In so doing, we find a change of consciousness, a peaceful trust in His care. Such prayer can help change the world for the better, and it provides a sure defense. It helps us prove that we each actually live in divine Spirit, and that we are spiritual.
Actually, nothing exists independently of consciousness, and so, when we hear about the threat of an attack at home or abroad, we can respond by resisting fear, and also by recognizing that all people – including those who have made the threat – are under God's law of love. The attack we need to resist is one that challenges our consciousness or awareness of God's all-presence.
This is prayer, which brings to light new ways to negotiate peace or greater understanding among nations. As intelligence and peacefulness influence such contacts, the threat of violence must disappear. This is the central message of the Bible. The ancient Israelites repeatedly found protection and safety in God, from enemies in various forms – including armies, diseases, and natural disasters.
The message of the Bible's New Testament culminates in the life of Christ Jesus, who taught how we can find God's sure presence in our lives. The Christ-message is one of redemption. We learn that God constitutes our very existence.
Author and religious leader Mary Baker Eddy described the divine law that keeps us safe, enabling us to feel God's presence in our lives, as "Christian Science." In her book "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," she credited Christ Jesus' teachings as the basis for this Science.
"Jesus of Nazareth," she wrote, "taught and demonstrated man's oneness with the Father, and for this we owe him endless homage" (p. 18). She also said: "The belief that man has existence or mind separate from God is a dying error. This error Jesus met with divine Science and proved its nothingness" (p. 42). What was his proof? He healed many who were ill, and fed thousands from a small supply of food. And, despite threats from a crowd intent on throwing him off a cliff, he passed by safely. He calmed at least one storm that could have sunk the boat that he and his disciples were on. And among so many other proofs, he raised himself from the grave after being crucified.
Jesus proved any separation from God as baseless and without power. There is in fact no real power or law to interfere with our life in God. Today, we can prove this for ourselves and help prove it for humanity. This can be done through the same spiritualization of thought that Christ Jesus lived and taught.
God's goodness is always present for every one of us to discover, and this means more than just a good feeling. It's an enlightened consciousness, in which we learn to know more of God's goodness and experience it. The operation of divine law can cure even the world's most intractable problems. This is the surest form of defense anyone could want, and it will eliminate threats to ourselves and to all those around us.