There are a zillion blogs on the internet that give people “steps of success,” and many of them contain wonderful practical wisdom. In my opinion, there is a “step” in the steps to success that is frequently missing, and that is having an “appointment” with God. I do not worship the God of a religion, but the One Spirit that intelligently governs creation and has a purpose for every part of it. Does the nameless and infinitely glorious One who is manifesting this very miraculous moment, and this very indescribably massive universe, have a religion? Can the Infinite One be called a Muslim, or a Jew, or a Christian, or a Hindu? Like tiny bickering birds scattering when a majestic lion appears on the scene, the confusing doctrines of our Earth’s various religions vanish entirely when you have an inward revelation that there is a Great Something that is responsible for everything, that It is intimately aware of you, and that It has a purpose for your existence. Ultimately we are all different forms of God Itself, but in this post I am discussing God in Its personal aspect of Creator. That is for another discussion, however…
In my opinion, this Great Something has a purpose for everyone, a plan A. However, “God is a gentleman,” so to speak, and although He holds the key to our material and spiritual fulfillment, He will never force us to seek Him or to ask for His help. God can do things for you in an instant that it would take you lifetimes to do on your own. God can open doors of opportunity in a day that people work their entire lives for. God can give you inward joy that when compared to all the wealth in the world is like a massive diamond compared to a dust ball in your pocket.
Yet, as the great Hebrew prophet Yeshua discovered, when it comes to the Creator there is a mysterious principal of, “Ask, and you shall receive.” It never occurs to many people that this statement is not mere philosophy, that God is real, and will respond to heartfelt prayers if they are offered with sincere faith. This is why any “steps to success” method is incomplete without the first and most vital step, which is to offer your life to God, and to seek His purpose for you. In America, from birth we are taught, “I must find MY passions,” “What do I want to do with MY life?”, etc. This inquiry is indeed important, but it should come only after the first step, which is this: saying to the Great Spirit, “Lord, this whole universe is YOURS. My life is YOURS. What do YOU want me to do? What is YOUR will for me?”
If you prostrate yourself before the Lord of the Universe and say with complete sincerity, “O Lord, reveal Thy will for me!” doors will spiritually open in that instant that are beyond your capacity to open (though it may take years for them to manifest), and guidance will eventually be given that is beyond what human wisdom can grasp. For when you are about God’s purpose, He is about your purpose. When the desire of your heart is to do His will, you are given favor from God that no human being or circumstance can thwart. Your life will be utterly revolutionized when you stop thinking, “What am I capable of,” and replace this thought with, “What is God Almighty capable of doing through me, by His grace?”
Most people have time for everything but God. But think of this: If you had a one-on-one interview with Barack Obama at 5 a.m. tomorrow morning, would you be there? Of course you probably would! Yet how many of us take God that seriously? How many of us even consider taking the time to consult God about our life direction? If you do begin to take this prospect seriously, you will accomplish more in that moment of conscious ego-submission than years of toiling to attain your self-created goals.
Purity of Intention
Human civilization is like an anthill to God. All of our intelligence is simply a fraction of His Intelligence that He allows us to temporarily borrow. He is far from impressed by our cunning, our creativity, our sharpness, or even by our self-discipline. Rather, God mostly cares about our “heart,” or our deepest inward intention. He withdraws His favor from people that are great in their own eyes, but uplifts and actively strengthens the humble who give Him the credit. That is why another powerful “tool for success” is the willingness to feel and to say, “To God be the glory, for He alone is the Doer!”
There is a mysterious principal that getting farther in accomplishing God’s will often involves doing less outwardly. God is seeking our love and obedience, and our relationship with Him must come first. He must be more important than anything that we do with our lives. In fact, communing with God is the very purpose of life itself! And when we seek Him first, He has promised to guide us into His will as a byproduct of our inner state. As Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita, “Those who worship me and meditate on me constantly, without any other thought – I will provide for all their needs.”
When our inner self is purified and “tuned” to God, we don’t even need to pray about specific things He already knows that we need. All we should really be praying is, “Oh Lord, happiness is found in You alone! Therefore, reveal Thyself to me! Secondarily, all is Thine. Therefore, reveal to me Thy will!” In the moment you pray a prayer like this, a mysterious chain of events is set into motion that will, in time, lead you to a full realization of the Omnipresent Beloved who alone can satisfy your wandering heart.
There are many later steps involved in seeking God’s will and accomplishing His purposes for us. The topic of “Divine will” is very vast and complex, and is something I will elaborate on in later posts and talk more extensively about in my book (found in the tab above). It is not as simple as simply praying and assuming God will take care of everything. It is obvious that we cannot simply pray without doing work ourselves, confronting our own karma, living ethically, and taking risks. What I am talking about today is a first step whose power most people don’t fully grasp. So often we inwardly think, “I am going to work my way to the top!” “I am going to master this, master that…”,“I am going to be the best!” Then our mind devises a million strategies to implement our goals.
Yet how often does it occur to us to temporarily set all that aside and bow down before the Great Spirit? How often does it occur to us to first, before planning and strategizing, conduct a meeting with the Sovereign Boss, the Eternal Coach, the Universal Director of the Cosmic Movie, and simply ask what He wants us to be doing? Many preachers talk far too much about sin, and say that God is angry and considers it a sin if you do not seek His will. Trust me, although God loves you beyond anyone’s capacity to describe, He is Self-Sufficient and will be just fine if you choose not to seek Him. Additionally, He operates with grace alone – His love for you is unconditional, and is never dependent on what you do, or your zeal for Him. Seeking God is not about “shoulds,” but about your own happiness. If you truly understood how much power God has to help you, and how much inward Joy He Himself can give you, it wouldn’t be a challenge to go first to Him instead of the innumerable other places or people you could go to for help or happiness.
Conclusion – Rededication
To conclude, I advise anyone seeking their vocation to first rededicate your life to the Creator before even considering other steps. In Judaism, the celebration of Hanukah was originally called, the “Feast of Dedication.” Over 2,000 years ago, in the time of the Maccabees, the Greeks overtook Jerusalem and the Jewish temple to the One True God, and placed idols within it. The Maccabees, through God’s supernatural help, defeated the Greeks, removed the idols from the temple, and then rededicated the temple to God during a prolonged feast.
This is a symbolic picture we can all learn from. To me, the temple is symbolic of our own inner being, for we ourselves are the “temple” of the Spirit. An idol these days is not a god of stone or wood. It could be success; it could be sex; it could be a hobby; it could be anything we prioritize above our relationship with God. None of us has the full picture, and life is itself an adventure that God won’t obviously give us all the answers to at once. But before planning, before scheming, before getting out the drawing board, we should first rededicate our temple, our life, to God. Get rid of your heart’s idols, and realize that God Himself is the key to your happiness!
The Spirit’s love is eternal, and incomparably more satisfying than anything that passes away in the cosmic wink of time. As Yogananda taught his disciples to pray, we should ask God to, “Tempt me more than temptation!” for if you truly knew what God was, you would be far more tempted by Him than fleeting pleasures or the honor of people which passes like the morning dew. As Ramakrishna taught, finding God is like removing dirt from a needle that is then drawn to a super-magnet the size of a football field. Once we remove the “dirt” of idolatry, or the desire for impermanent things, we can realize how much infinitely superior is the incorruptible Joy of God.
Are you worried about your future? Are you feeling overwhelmed by the number of choices you could make? Before using your reason, first rededicate your heart to the Maker of your heart. Rededicate your life to the One True God, bow before Him, ask to know His will, and most importantly ask to know He Himself. Not only is this a strategy that will rid you of much anxiety; it is actually the greatest strategy for success conceivable.
And don’t be fooled that life is about success. Will anyone remember Steve Jobs or Warren Buffett in 1,000 years? In 5,000 years? In 100,000? God Himself is the goal of life, and is Life; how great and blissful is the realization that the omnipresent Beloved is seeing out of your very own eyes, and is manifesting right now as everything around you!
When we seek Him first, everything else will fall into place. My deepest prayer is that you would realize how much joy, bliss, and love are found in the God within you. Every outward goal pales in comparison to the supreme bliss of communing with God, who is Bliss Itself and our own very Self – if you but knew it. I also hope you will understand that God has the power to achieve through you far more than you could even dream of. So when you are making your life’s “to do” list, remember there is only one name that belongs at the top.
All praise to God! Even the most glorious physical events and egotistically powerful human beings actually offer praise to God, though they may not know it – for their power is but a borrowed and infinitesimal fraction of His infinite power. This universe is but a shadow of God’s indescribable greatness; to Him be the praise and the glory forever!
Thanks for reading, my friends,
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