Coeur d'Alene Teaching Mission Group
November 21, 1999
Jessona (Jonathan TR): I, Jessona, greet you today, and I extend to you the greetings from those in my corps who would like to acknowledge your good nature and your devotion to this process of growth and cooperation with many ministering spirits who are here eager to be of assistance in your growth, and likewise in the growth of everyone on this sphere. I would like to speak on the topic of devotion today. Let me address this topic by looking at those factors that lead up to a devoted stature and those conditions that follow such an attainment.
Perhaps at times of frustration you may say to yourself, "If I were only more devout I would have accomplished..." such and such. In reality it is not devotion but rather discipline or the drive of duty that would cause you to complete the effort. Devotion is not unlike the experience of the assurance of eternal life. For those in doubt of their standing before God, efforts are taken to gain a sense of assurance by such techniques as obeying the "commandments of God", following the doctrines of an accepted religion, accepting some sense of granted salvation through grace. The focus is to acquire that hilltop of assurance. But when the assurance is attained, behaviors that follow take on a new dimension; now you live and act out of that assurance. No longer is salvation your goal, but it has now become your platform from which you spring forward into the rest of your eternal life. Devotion is just like this. Once you have become a personality permeated with devotion, then your activities become conditioned by this state of being. This kind of devotion is not off again, on again. It becomes a fundamental frequency of your character. Out of this devotion springs effortless endurance, unfatiguing diligence. These behavioral outworkings are effortless because they are propelled by that fundamental devotion.
You note that when you are attracted to, inwardly driven toward, accomplishing a task or attaining a new state of being for yourself or discovering a new factor, a new aspect of life or reality or truth, that it is quite easy to be focused and directed towards that new horizon. You express a devotion that is not external, not qualified by any obligations that others may ask of you. This inner fount of devout energy drives you there almost in the sense that you are racing toward your goal and devotion is driving behind you, pushing you, and yet devotion is just a step ahead pulling you forward, and you are trying as fast as you can to keep up. There is no struggle; it is really more of an exciting chase.
As you increasingly devote yourself to the will of the Father and to the way of the Supreme, you find it easier each day to manifest those truths and those principles and those patterns that you have discovered throughout your spiritual growth. There are no props to uphold this loyalty; there are no guards standing about you making sure you conform. You have no sense that your devotion would falter and you would be displeasing to the Father. Rather that ceases to be a fear, for you know in all certainty of the Father's unceasing love and eternal watchcare. Through this confidence of faith you have but one choice, and it is a choice of free will, and that is to be a devout son or daughter of God.
If I may play with this word and dissect it and extract another word, "vote", you can consider yourself as one who is devout, as being one who no longer needs to vote. Your decision is final; your standing is clear, and your future is certain of attainment as you are faith-glimpsing it at this hour. All tendency to waver ceases.
Now I would like to address what I am sure you each experience, and that is fluctuation, distraction, or that sense that, "today I feel spiritual. Yesterday I felt animal." This should never cause you to be concerned over your state of devotion to the Father. The very presence of frustration in yourself, once again, discloses that you are a devout disciple. If it were not of any concern to you what your behavior was like in any given circumstance, then you would have reason to consider where your heart lies. This quality of being is why a kingdom-liver can stand calmly by while all earthly things crash. This is why one can forsake all comforts and be driven into a mission where personal safety and well-being is put at risk in the name of a higher cause and for the betterment of other people. It matters not whether you have succeeded in your attempts, for it is fulfilling in itself to be about the Father's business, success or otherwise. To be such a devoted citizen of the universe is to be ever willing and on the lookout for what you may contribute, and you would be looking for some service form, no matter what the conditions are around you, that even though you would prefer that a situation were more conducive to the revelation of truth and the experience of goodness in another individual, this does not restrain you from making your attempts at upliftment anyway. It does not concern you that the situation may not be just right and it would disintegrate, for you are propelled by an inner drive to be about the work of the Father, regardless.
I am curious as to your thoughts regarding my comments today and solicit your feedback.
Evelyn: I spend a lot of time looking after my own creature comforts and only as an afterthought watching for service opportunities. I appreciate your assurance that noticing those things is good.
Jessona: I would express to you the hope that I did not convey any burden or misunderstanding that expressions of ministry are signs of a devout life and that care for your own well-being is not devout, for you are the Father's daughter as is anyone around you. But you have indicated a very important point, and that is that you notice your orientation, your concerns, and even their fluctuation from one mode to another. This very notice-ability of yourself is the precise condition needed for the Father's Indwelling Presence to work for your soul comforts.
The beauty of a devoted life is that it springs from willingness and is not something you must acquire. Much as each shoot of a stalk of corn emerges from the center of the previous ones, devotion is the emergence of willingness. Hardships do not increase it. Successes and ease of life do not increase it. In spite of any point in the spectrum of experiences of life, devotion can still be, just as can faith, just as can love.
Evelyn: Devotion is close to the same as faith in that it involves action and willingness. Faith is belief enacted.
Jessona: This is true, and devotion instigates actions that are derived from within your own being independent of a duty-sensibility. Though duty may be an aspect of devoted action, it is not the qualification of being devout. Duty can propel the ascending soul to a discovery in oneself of this ability to be devout, but duty bears upon the soul from the outside, where devotion emerges from within, just as belief comes into the mind from the outside, and faith emerges from the core. Faith emerges in spite of a set of beliefs or doctrines, and you witness the faith of many of your fellows who hold to diverse philosophic and religious thoughts. This is likewise true of the devout and the duty-bound individual. The sense of obligation changes. The duties will be different, but the devotion is identical. The difference, the distinction between these two comparisons: belief and faith, and duty and devotion is the difference in the level between a mind-oriented approach and a spirit/soul-oriented approach. Herein enters the secret to understanding the teaching of the master about living the Golden Rule.
To have transformed this rule of living from "doing unto others as you would have them do to you" into "treating your fellows as you can best perceive the Father would treat them" you can rise to that level of complete devotion where the condition of who would best treat or be treated or wish to be treated ceases to be a factor, a qualification, and you as a universe, cosmic being, simply do for others. This would include your own self, for is it not true that the Father would treat you likewise? No longer would you ask, "I will treat another this way because, is it not that the Father would do so?" You now treat others simply because it is such a part of your being, you are so in love with the Father Himself, that you need not ask any longer what He would do. His actions will emerge from you.
This is a confidence of faith that is discovered through practice. The more you witness this result, the more you can trust the Father's continual guidance, and the less time will be taken deliberating over whether or not you perceive the best choice that He, the Father, would make. It becomes natural; it becomes "as you pass by", and you begin to live a life much like Jesus did when he visited your world.
My corps of angels are reassigned periodically, and I witness in every band, every troupe, that comes into the corps great devotion. But I likewise witness in the reassignment there is never once a sense of disappointment or loss of the feeling of devotion when reassigned, for the devotion transcends the assignment. It is a propellant for any undertaking.
Faith is much the same. A faith son of God may abandon a traditional religion, may travel through many philosophical thought systems, and never once lose that faith-drive. Though Michael, when here, ran into the great resistance of the powerful religion of his time, this did not lessen his devotion to the Father and his faith in the transcendent power of the Father's truth. He knew that he would soon be reassigned; he would finish his seventh bestowal; he would be done with creature experience. He knew the task would fall to others, but he maintained a steady, forward revelation right up to and through his death. His ministry never ceased even though he was in great pain, even though he was extremely exhausted, even though he had the human experience of abandonment and being friendless and being even hated and spit upon.
Having stressed all this, I would add the caution that both devotion and faith must still retain wholesome scrutiny and deep thinking, reflection upon what is true and good and beautiful, for it is sad to have witnessed upon this world devotion applied to causes that have been unbecoming of the revelation of the Father.
The term "blind faith" in my view is an oxymoron, for faith is the vision of the soul.
Unless you have contributions to make, I will take my leave, and let you know that Elyon is making his rounds with your friends and fellows today and is not here in attendance, though he has the capability of being in touch and is at this moment quite cognizant of our meeting and sends his love as always.
Though you will traverse the many steps that climb to Paradise, though your search for the Father at His central abode will take you through world upon world and experience upon experience and friendship after friendship and lesson after lesson, do always remember the Father resides within you at this very hour, and His full Father qualities, the very qualities you will rediscover when you enter the portals of Paradise, and though the revelation at that time will be one you'll be capable of grasping and at this hour is beyond your mortal facilities to grasp, right now all of Him is with you in total care and watchcare for your future.