Begin With God
Paul L. Garlington
 
“Go then, eat your bread in happiness, and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; FOR GOD HAS ALREADY APPROVED YOUR WORKS.” (Eccles 9:7) What is this work that God has already approved, the work that leaves us feeling the joy of it is so now? Surely it is the self-interrogation process; the process whereby you begin with God as the only power and relentlessly refuse to concede even the possibility of another power, presence or intelligence but this One God. This is your “work” and it always meets with God’s approval (i.e., because you now glorify God, God will now glorify you with the glory that you had with Him before the appearance of a problem began).

When is the need for the self-interrogation process warranted? Whenever you are finally fed up with experiences that seem to relentlessly mock the truth that God is all there is. When this happens, you are moved to that state of mind that says, “Something has got to change.” Being fed up is a legitimate emotion. You don’t have to know how, nor need you be able to do something about the situation. All you have to do is be at the point where you are prepared, with 100% intentionality (i.e., a whole heart and a willing mind), to do whatever is necessary to see this appearance no more. At this point, and no other, the help you so desperately seek will finally manifest itself.

When you are fed up to the extent that you are no longer inclined to blame God, or anyone else for that matter, you are assuredly ready to say without reservations, “If it is to be, it is up to me.” Until you have come to this place of being fed up, you will not change, you cannot change, and there will be no help forthcoming. All so-called help in the interim will always focus on symptoms and not cause. If on the other hand, like Abraham, your commitment to begin with God is absolute, you will turn and discover a ram caught in the thicket (i.e., the way out of your painful dilemma). Every assistance needed will begin to manifest itself precisely at the point when you are fed up to the point of resolve that you can say, “By any means necessary.” It is precisely because of this reality that I now refuse to talk to people until I sense that they are at the point of the “blessed breakdown.” Until such a state obtains, such a one will still want to negotiate the terms of surrender to God as the only power.

If change is ever to occur, you must get to that critical juncture where you are sick and tired of experiencing something other than the presence of perfect everything. You must be totally prepared to acknowledge that you have given yourself to a belief in two powers. Is there any other way that we can account for negative appearances when God, good is the only power? Every problem, therefore, is simply our belief manifesting in the world of our experience. Our attention is then hypnotically riveted to the appearance of a problem, rather than exposing the true culprit, the false belief. And so, when you attempt to work on the problem rather than the belief, even if it seems like you’ve solved the perplexing conundrum, it is only temporary. Trust me, it’s coming up again. Why? Because the belief (cause) is still inside of you working havoc. Hence, if your circumstances are to change, your surrender to the truth that God, good is the only power must be total and unconditional. You simply MUST sacrifice all futile speculation.

Futile speculation betrays the fact that you think you know another power called evil apparently causing evil circumstances. Is there another power? No! Therefore when you turn from God to another power that cannot in point of fact exist, that is turning to futility. We have now arrived at the heart of the human dilemma. Man paradoxically delays his “Day of Salvation” by resisting the very truth that his heart longs for. He must inevitably come to the blessed breakdown before he will concede he is his own worst enemy. Until this crises mounts, he seeks deliverance from consequences, while simultaneously holding tenaciously to his cherished beliefs that dishonor God. He is like a child who wants to do what he pleases, when, how and to whom he pleases, with total impunity with regard to consequences. When his illusion of immunity breaks down, he wants to run to God, his supernatural daddy, to make the bad things go away and restore his feeling of it is well. Unfortunately, because he has no intention of changing (growing up), he can “rest assured” that not only will it occur again, it will always be more intense than the former experience.

It is only when people are totally bankrupt with regard to the futile speculation that they have held so dear that they then embrace the truth that makes them free. Don’t despair, however, if you hit the wall. On the contrary, rejoice and be exceedingly glad for this is the inevitable sign that the goodness of God is leading you to repentance. Like every long distance runner who knows what it means to “hit the wall” and then finds to his delight his second wind, you also will discover to your never-ending joy, an unlimited capacity to run on this journey of no distance and not get weary. Until a man has found the kingdom and sold everything to have that kingdom, he is simply seeking confirmation of his thoughts that are not God’s thoughts and his ways that are not God’s ways. But when you have hit the wall and experienced your blessed breakdown, you are ready to seek the kingdom of perfect everything. Or put another way, you are ready to BEGIN WITH GOD.

So what does it mean to begin with God? We literally turn our attention FROM the problem TO God conceding that God is, God is One, God is the only One, God is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient. Therefore a problem cannot have place, presence, or power. Once you accept that God is all, anything that is not God, is not. These are the eternal, inevitable facts. If God is all, evil is not--End of story. “All things came into being by Him and apart from Him, nothing came into being that has come into being.” (Jn 1:3) In other words, the one and only creator is God, and He looks at everything He has created, pronouncing it good and very good.

Therefore, if you faithfully follow the self-interrogation process, by beginning with God and reasoning from what God is, you can always establish what is not. When doing math, you cannot begin with what is not and be successful. You have to begin with what is. And once you have reasoned in a consistent, logical, mathematical process from what is, you can clearly establish, beyond shadow of doubt, what is not. In like manner, the self-interrogation process, whereby you begin with God, is equally as certain as the mathematical process. To begin with God, the one and only God, the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent One, you must deduce that there can be no other. This rids you of any seeming problem.

It is not enough that you take my word for the fact that there are no problems, only God, good. You must do the work for yourself. Never, ever, trust or rely upon the opinion of others. Have no fear, because the very process glorifies God, God will guide you, bearing witness to Himself, as He brings you to the only possible conclusion--It’s All Good. Don’t confer with flesh and blood! Isn’t that like seeking the counsel of the fox for the best way to protect the hen house from the fox? After having completed the process successfully, you will let go, relax, and shut up all discussion about the so-called problems, knowing that even God can’t solve what doesn’t exist to be solved.

“Go then...” When? After you have done the self-interrogation process. “Eat your bread in happiness, and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; for God has already approved your works.” To begin with God, relentlessly refusing to concede another power, presence or intelligence, IS the work that God has approved. Go for yourself! “Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you mightily and you shall prophesy (i.e., declare the truth that glorifies God) with them and be changed into another man,...and do for yourself what the occasion requires; for God is with you.” (1 Sam 10:6,7) “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Thy name, O Most High; to declare Thy lovingkindness in the morning, and Thy faithfulness by night, with the ten-stringed lute, and with the harp; with resounding music upon the lyre. For Thou, O Lord, hast made me glad by what THOU HAST DONE, I will sing for joy at the works of Thy hands.” (Ps 92:1-4)

It is at this point of gladness that you then understand what Jesus meant when He said, “Father, THE HOUR HAS COME;...And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” (Jn 17:1,5) Before the world of problems and discord caused by the sense of separation from God, good was. Do you get it? Are you ready to come back to that place where you begin with God? Where you joyfully lean into that silly feeling that leads to “the wisdom that is pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy”? (Jm 3:17)

And finally, “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary.” (Gal 6:9) In God’s economy, the “due” time is the “dew” time, and it occurs every MORNING revealing the manna that sustains us. Why? In omnipresence, NOW is always the acceptable time, NOW is always the day of salvation. “God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved. God will help her when MORNING dawns.” Nevertheless, surely we’ve all said along with the psalmist, “Show me a sign for good that those who hate me may see it, and be ashamed, because Thou, O Lord, has helped me and comforted me.” (Ps 86: 17)

Behold, I bring you tiding of a great joy. Your absolute commitment to begin with God IS THE SIGN that the winds of God, good are already blowing upon you and everything that concerns you. Since our only problem is departure from the truth that God is One, and besides Him, there is none other, returning with our whole heart, conceding no glory to another is the infallible sign that God is on the scene. NO OTHER ADJUSTMENT IS NECESSARY!

Listen! Can’t you hear it? “There is the sound of the roar of a heavy shower.” Having lifted your eyes from the appearance of problems to God who is all in all, can you now see it? It’s a cloud as small as a man’s hand. Your famine is most assuredly over. Keep up your courage. Not only will you lose nothing, but there will be a restoration that is so awesome that the former things will not be remembered or even come to mind.

“Go then, eat your bread in happiness, and drink your wine (joy) with a cheerful heart; FOR GOD HAS ALREADY APPROVED YOUR WORKS.”

 
 

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