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PROCESS

CHAPTER 13

Process is how you do what you believe it is.

Thought: Whatever is is by process.

Word: Eph. 4:13: "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."

Conclusion: Coming into unity is our choice: so anything that happens within our experience as we come to the stature of the fullness of Christ, is a result of a series of choices and attitudes deliberate, or otherwise.

You may notice that the author often uses the word "universe" instead of God or Satan. There are times when argument arises over who did what. Did God do thus and so or did the devil? The purpose of this book is not intended to understand whether the Lord or the devil caused something to happen. Rather, it is the author's intention to show whatever happens, happens in perfection. Nothing ever "just happens." Our process is about this, therefore, the author uses the term "universe" to suggest a perfection of all things working together. God is in full awareness of His universe and it has always worked perfectly.

Our lives are a series of processes. Our dreams, goals and aspirations are the beginning of those processes. The realization of those are the results of process. The concept that there is a process ordained by the universe to each thing you do is worthwhile noticing.

As we have seen, when you experience a desire, the universe sets about helping you create that desire. In most instances, it is not created at once. There is a process you must go through before you and the universe create what you want. Since our circumstances come out of the truth of our character, our character must change to cause a change in the circumstances we want.

If a man wants to build a house, that desire is used to help him create his home. The house isn't suddenly there, is it? The man must draw plans, excavate the site and go through the process of constructing the new house. He must saw, nail, drill and all the other processes involved in the construction of the building. When he has gone through the process of building the house, he then has his dream. He has created a house and gone through the ordained process for doing so.

The Bible provides an excellent example of how process works in the story of Jacob, the grandson of Abraham. Jacob had a calling within his heart. Like his father and grandfather, he knew he was to be the father of many nations. Let us label that calling or desire, point "A." Jacob is really about all of us, for each of us has a dream, a desire, a calling that we want to accomplish. When we realize this calling, the universe begins the process to fulfill it. For Jacob and us, this process can be painful if we try to go from point A to Z without traversing the twenty-four letters in the middle. Jacob really started out wrong by his deception of his brother, Esau. He conned his brother to trade away his birthright for food when he came in from hunting, then he deceived his father into giving him the blessing that belonged to his older brother.

"And he [Isaac, Jacob and Esau's father, aged and near death] said, Your brother came with subtlety and has taken away your blessing. And he [Esau] said, Is he not rightly named Jacob? for he has supplanted me these two times, he took away my birthright and, behold, now he has taken away my blessing also." Genesis 27:35,36.

Jacob reasoned that by obtaining his brother's blessing and birthright, he could hasten the dream of becoming a great nation. He did not realize he must become honest before this dream could be fulfilled. Process can never be short-circuited without consequences that actually prolong the fulfillment. Whenever we attempt to cut short the process the universe has for us, we run head-on into trouble. Jacob is no exception. He went from his father's home to the home of his uncle, Laban. There he fell in love with Laban's younger daughter, Rachel, and agreed to work seven years for her. The Bible says that the years passed like a day to him, for he loved Rachel very much. When he went to claim his wife, however, something was wrong.

"And Laban gathered together all the men of the place and made a feast. And it happened that, in the evening, Laban took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob and he went in unto her....And it came to pass that in the morning, behold it was Leah: and Jacob said to Laban, What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for Rachel? Why have you deceived me?" Genesis 29:22-25.

We have seen how a person gets from the universe what he gives it. Jacob had given deceit, and reaped the same from his uncle. Before he could be a great nation, he had to be rid of that fault, and it was a painful lesson that was part of the process.

Process has its pleasure too. Jacob's household grew and his wealth multiplied greatly. There was still process though. He still felt a great rift with his brother. He knew that Esau was out to kill him and destroy his dream. When, after much agony of mind and heart, he met Esau, things went differently from what he had expected.

"And Jacob lifted up his eyes and looked and, behold, Esau had come. And Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him and they wept." Genesis 33:1-4.

Process dictated that Jacob make peace with Esau. He had planned an elaborate gift to appease his brother if he was still angry. Esau didn't even want the gift. The night before this encounter, Jacob had wrestled with an angel all night. He had refused to allow the being to go, so he was given a blessing. He was blessed, and the dream was renewed within him.

The process for Jacob involved some pain. This is always true if we attempt to go from A to Z without the necessary steps in between. One might well ask why process is necessary. The answer is because we are almost never ready for our dreams. Jacob couldn't be the father and leader of a great nation while he held deceit in his heart. While he was at odds with his brother he couldn't have his dream. The universe merely took him through the processes necessary to prepare him to receive his dream.

We are all in process. Some of us are in several at once. If we try to short-circuit them, if we try to shorten the process, if we complain and are bitter because of the things we have to endure to obtain our goals, we are complicating and making more difficult what must be. The divine mind has a purpose for each one. Nothing is allowed to come to us that is not needed to prepare us for our aspirations and dreams. For example: a man has a desire to be married, to love and protect and provide for a family. Marriage involves many things and he must go through a process of developing within himself those characteristics that will allow him to be a good husband and provider. If he decides to move in with a lady and "try things for awhile" without the process of commitment, he is short-circuiting the process and will, sooner or later, fail. Union without commitment cannot last. If commitment is entered into, the relationship will bond.

One of the rewards of being employed in a job you like is financial. If your context is just making money, you will surely have trouble with process, but if your context is service, your job will fulfill your money needs and your other needs as well. Some men try to get the rewards of the job without the process. Our society calls them thieves, robbers and burglars. They have tried to shortcut the process, and they pay very dearly for it.

In Psalm 145:16, David said, "You open your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing." God does this through process. He does not do this out of an arbitrary whim. He knows each of us and what each of us needs before we may realize our dreams. He ordains the path we take that we might be prepared for the dream or desire. If we take shortcuts, we are not prepared for the reward and usually suffer for our actions.

The one aspect of process that we find the hardest to accept is time. We tend to want our desires immediately, not in the future. The fact that we are not ready to receive them means little to us. The universe knows that if we were given our desires before the process, we would abuse and misuse what we were given. Many give up during their processes, thinking that their dreams will never be met, so why continue trying to create them. This is a mistake for us to do. More often than not, you give up just before you were to get your desire. In fact, if we give up, it shows that we had other priorities, albeit negative ones.

When a dream seems to be fading in the distance because of what you think are obstacles that you cannot get over, know that this is only part of the process and do not allow yourself to give up that dream. Accept the process you are going through. This will allow you to understand how they operate and see how they have prepared you to receive your heart's desire.

Process involves at least two factors. One is the process that facilitates change and bringing one into agreement with the universal law and the divine mind. Every step we have taken away from, or every step we are born away from, must be taken to return to harmony. Many wail, "Why doesn't God just work a miracle and take all my problems away?" If that was how it worked, God could just work a miracle and destroy all the evil in the universe and make everybody good and that would be that. God forces no man to do anything. When we desire to enter into the mind of God, we must do it by agreement and process. Every block of selfishness we have built, we will have to tear down one by one. Sorry folks, no magic in the universe. You have to take a house down like you put it up. We need to find agreement with the law at each step of the way. If we refuse this process, it is simply the choice of refusing to enter into the kingdom. Millions choose that way and those millions include many Christians who reject the law as not operable. God is no respecter of persons. Whomever refuses to go through the process, Christian or not, simply won't get there.

The second area of process is created to bring strength and endurance. Remember that Adam and Eve had no sin at all and, yet, they had not developed strength of purpose. They chose error even without propensities to evil. How much more we need to learn strength of purpose. Our principles must be set firm as steel so that if an angel from heaven would come to change that purpose, we would not turn to the right or left. We must be set like flint. This works by producing in us a great desire. God gives us that desire and we set out to accomplish it. As with Israel there are always giants in the land to break our resolve. As our desire increases, the giants increase in size until we commit our life to the desire. We would die rather than fail. When we enter into a resolve such as that, the giant dies and we move into that desire and see its fulfillment. At that time we find a new land where there are more giants to kill. The failure of Israel in entering the promised land was in their fear of giants. They did not get the desire of their hearts because of fear. Instead, they got to die in the wilderness which was the desire of their hearts.

In life, if we let any giant block the way of our desire, we will discover the place where the victim lives. "I couldn't do that because...." There may be perverted desires that we ought not do. The word of God should adjust those, not giants. Our life of process will be about receiving greater and greater desires and killing larger and larger giants until we enter into the perfect mind of God. At that time Jesus will come for the second time and we will see Him as He is. Fear not the desires of your heart and fear not the giants. The giants are lies until our faith gives them substance.

Let us look now at how prayer works within process. What is prayer? Why does it work and why doesn't it work? Many people in many different religions pray and they receive as many different answers. There are those who never pray, yet it appears their lives work well enough, so "why should I concern myself with it?" We will be dealing with some of these questions.

There are those who deal with prayer as if it were magic. "If I pray, God will be good to me and give me what I want." A companion thought is that we should only pray once, for if we pray more than once we show a lack of faith. If that were true, why pray at all? If God needs to hear it once so that He will know what our desire is, then He is not a God who has the power to do anything about it. If God already knows our need, and He does, then why mention it at all? Prayer is not a function of letting God know anything, yet prayer is indispensable to the Christian. Let us look at what it is and does.

First of all, prayer moves the arm of God. While you are praying and desiring, His arm is moving. When you are not, it is not. In Daniel Chapter 10, we have the story of the effort of Daniel to make the way clear in the rebuilding of the temple at Jerusalem. Daniel, with the cause of God on his heart, prayed and fasted for three weeks not just a few minutes one Monday morning so that the Lord could be told the need. At the beginning of the prayer the angel was dispatched, but it was not until three weeks had passed before the victory and answer could be given. Dan. 10:12,13: "Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days; but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia." Daniel's continued prayer energy to have the powers of heaven intercede, brought the power of God to accomplish his desire. After the three weeks the king of Persia, Cyrus, relented and victory was given.

Our prayers begin the process of having our desires fulfilled, and it may take many days, months or years to finally accomplish the request. Sometimes in life we have built great barriers which must be cleared away, not only on the outside of us, but on the inside as well. We may ask for God's provision, but we ourselves are so selfish that God cannot bring us provision until He can convince us to give up our selfishness. Once we are brought to a place that we are willing to give that which we would like to have, God can fully bring the answer to our request. We are ultimately the ones who design how long it will take for an answer. Answered prayer then is process, not magic. There are no lucky charms connected with prayer.

There are many people who bemoan the fact that they have prayed so many years and have not had their prayer answered. Why not? We may have prayed many years that our nervousness would go away. God brings to our attention how coffee can cause that problem. Instead of giving up the cause of the problem, we consult the lusts of our flesh to see if it is okay. The flesh says "no" so we don't give up the cause of our problem. We then set out to blame God for not answering our prayer when in reality He answered it perfectly. We were just not willing to pay the price of the answer. We want a God of magic, not righteousness.

The problems caused by smoking, drinking, the food we eat, and the television programs we watch are too numerous to mention. We pray that God will answer and when He does, we decide we don't want to give up the cause, so we keep the effect and blame God for that. What a foolish generation we are!

We have seen how prayer moves the arm of God. Prayer also is designed to move our arm. Prayer causes us to be clear in our minds as to what we should do or what we should accept.

In Matt. 26:39 we see how Jesus began to pray for the passing of the cup from Him if it be possible. Our Saviour was troubled and tempted by Satan to give up the work. He was told it was hopeless. Jesus prayed this prayer three times, not just once. Was three times showing a lack of faith? I think not. I would say that three times showed His faith. It took three times for Him to be clear in His mind that what was about to happen was the Father's will and He stood ready to get it done. Prayer is the tool that brings us into perfect agreement with God. It puts us in the place in life whereby we can receive the answer God seeks to give us.

The Lord gave us His promise, "Ask and ye shall receive." Why is it we are so willing to believe that God has not kept His promise? Why do we so freely call Him a liar? Whenever we say we have kept the conditions and God did not answer, we become a tool of Satan to deceive and undermine the truth of God. God always keeps His promises. If there has been a failure some place in our life, let's look at the cause which is us, not God. He has done His work and He has always done His work, you can be certain of that.

As we view how process is working and always has, just know that the universe is perfect. The cause and effect relations are ever working for the completion of all things. As you see areas of failure in life, just take care of those. What else do we have to do? That is what we are doing here. Know that God is always true to His word. It is you and I who must learn to be true to it. Blessings!

Process - Bible Study

1. Through process we are to attain to the fullness of Christ.

Eph. 4:11-13: "And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the equipment of the saints, for the work of ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."

2. The Word of God will cause this process to take place.

1 Peter 2:2: "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby."

3. We are commanded to experience this.

2 Peter 3:18: "But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ...."

4. When will the end of the world come?

Dan 12:7: "...When the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end...."

Process - E.G. White

"Of every Christian the Lord requires growth in efficiency and capability in every line. Christ has paid us our wages, even His own blood and suffering, to secure our willing service. He came to our world to give us an example of how we should work, and what spirit we should bring into our labor.

"But Christ has given us no assurance that to attain perfection of character is an easy matter. A noble, all-round character is not inherited. It does not come to us by accident. A noble character is earned by individual effort through the merits and grace of Christ. God gives the talents, the powers of the mind; we form the character. It is formed by hard, stern battles with self. Conflict after conflict must be waged against hereditary tendencies. We shall have to criticize ourselves closely, and allow not one unfavorable trait to remain uncorrected.

"Let no one say, I cannot remedy my defects of character. If you come to this decision, you will certainly fail of obtaining everlasting life. The impossibility lies in you own will. If you will not, then you cannot overcome. The real difficulty arises from the corruption of an unsanctified heart, and an unwillingness to submit to the control of God." COL 330-331.

Self-Knowledge Resumé

  1. Do I find myself impatient when I do not receive something I want right away?
  2. Do I find that what I want never comes to me?
  3. Am I lazy?
  4. Do I sit around and generally feel bored?
  5. Have I ever put forth diligent, consistent efforts toward a goal and have it not take place?
  6. Do I recognize the barriers I place in the path of my desires?
  7. Do I recognize the reasons God has allowed delay with some of my desires?
  8. Is my context in life to just let life be, whatever it is, or do I do something?
  9. Do I see what I want and put forth consistent effort to accomplish it?
  10. Do I ever let circumstances decide that maybe God does not want me to have my desires?
  11. Do I experience frustration over things that seem to hinder my desires?
  12. Do I quit going after a desire at some point? Have I ever quit?

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