Finding God's Guidance
A FRIEND mentioned the other day that her girlfriend had had her own and her boyfriend's ``numbers'' done, and then their horoscope for good measure. She was happy because the prognosis was mostly good. You probably know people who do the same sort of thing.
Yet I have met very few people who admit to taking numerology, astrology, tarot cards, or the I Ching seriously. It's just fun, they say. Even so, while walking to my office in New York City, about ten blocks, I once counted twenty-four places where I could go and have my palm read or query the tarot cards.
With all this interest, many people are surprised to find that a Christian would have nothing to do with these kinds of activities. Far from being innocent fun, these practices dishonor--actually attempt to supplant--God. Some people are bound to say, Oh, you take these things too seriously. But anything that tends to usurp the prerogatives of God or to shift our own reliance on Him to anything else has a notable impact on our spiritual life and health.
The First Commandment is, we read in Exodus, ``Thou shalt have no other gods before me'' (20:3). Obeying this brought a great spiritual discipline into the lives of the children of Israel. They were not to worship the sun or the moon, the planets or the stars; they were to acknowledge no other cause, no other force or jurisdiction over their lives, other than the one God, the great I am, infinite Spirit. The sun could symbolize the glory of God, the number seven might symbolize completeness, but to confuse the symbols with the spiritual facts they represented was to fall prey to superstition. To give power to the symbols dishonors God and hides the spiritual facts they were intended to reveal. Worse still, it deprives one of an awareness of God's power and guidance in our day-to-day life.
The prophet Isaiah said, ``And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God?'' (8:19) In her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, provides this insight into the nature of Deity: ``God. The great I am; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence'' (p. 587). Doesn't this explanation of the source of all intelligence and guidance make it embarrassing to consider turning to the neighborhood numerologist?
For many people, though, the mystery is how to obtain divine aid. Our first step in finding God's help is to acknowledge Him, to recognize Him as infinite Mind, all-knowing and all-wise. God is our creator; we are His ideas and His influence works within us. The more we turn to Him in prayer, the more we feel the spiritual intuition that assures us that a step is right or wrong. We discern the operation of divine Love in our life and in the lives of others. The more we demonstrate our fidelity to God--turning only to Him for help and counsel, acknowledging only His power, knowing that good is omnipotent--the more we will find the progress, harmony, order, and assurance for which we naturally yearn.
Our supreme example in living this way is our Master, Christ Jesus. The Bible shows that he prayed regularly and deeply, with all his heart. He maintained a close communion with God. This filled his life with evidence of God's power. His works illustrated God's will, God's inexhaustible love. To Jesus the future was as firmly in the hands of God as the present. And he turned to God for assurance and direction. If we believe in Christ, we will turn to God as immediately as Jesus did for daily guidance.
The horoscope or tarot cards may provide momentary amusement or hope, but they separate us from Christ, Truth. Some evils appear innocent on the surface, but no one can afford the slightest divergence from the Science of Christianity, which reveals God's will and power at work in our lives today.