Potential 4: Fight…and Surrender

Jesus allowed his body to be painfully executed, and then later rose again. The third step in “taking up your cross” is to allow the Lord to win your spiritual battles, by surrendering your need to serve yourself. Develop this habit: when you are confronted with the selfish attitude you are asking the Lord to remove from you, remind yourself that it is against the Lord’s will, and let go of that part of you that your higher self wants to break free from.

When Jesus allowed himself to be arrested, tried, tortured and executed, and then rose from the dead, part of what he was doing was showing us a path that will lead each person to the amazing potential he sees in each of us. Therefore, take up your cross and follow the Lord by walking a new path that includes self-examination, prayer, and spiritual struggle, so that you can fulfill your beautiful potential.

Listen to part 4 of Potential, “Fight…and Surrender”:

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Here are the readings from “Fight…and Surrender”:

Mark 15:22-39

And they brought him to the place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull). And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. And they crucified him and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take. And it was the third hour when they crucified him. And the inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.” And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left. And the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “He was numbered with the transgressors.”

And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!”

So also the chief priests with the scribes mocked him to one another, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe.”

Those who were crucified with him also reviled him.

And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.

And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.”

And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.”

And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.

And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”

Heaven and Hell 533

…It is not so hard to lead the life of heaven as people think, because it is simply a matter of recognizing, when something attractive comes up that we know is dishonest or unfair, that this is not to be done because it is against the divine commandments. If we get used to thinking like this, and from this familiarity form a habit, then we are gradually united to heaven. To the extent that we are united to heaven, the higher levels of our minds are opened, and to the extent that they are opened, we see what is dishonest and unfair; and to the extent that we see this, these qualities can be dispelled. For no evil can be banished until it has been seen. This is a state we can enter because of our freedom, since everyone is free to think in this way. However, once the process has started, the Lord works his wonders within us, and causes us not only to see evils but to refuse them and eventually to turn away from them. This is the meaning of the Lord’s words, “My yoke is easy and my burden light” (Matthew 11:30).

It is important to realize, though, that the difficulty of thinking like this and also of resisting evils increases to the extent that we deliberately do evil things-in fact, to that extent we become used to doing them until ultimately we no longer see them. Then we come to love them and to excuse them to gratify our love and to rationalize them with all kinds of self-deceptions and call them permissible and good. This happens, though, to people who in early adulthood plunge into all kinds of evil without restraint and at the same time at heart reject everything divine.

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