After I graduated from college and returned to my family’s farm for a career in growing apples, I struggled mightily with the question, “What can I do with my life to do the most good?” I was successful at growing fruit, and hungry people needed food to eat, so my career choice felt fine. But I also had neighbors suffering from disease, depression, loneliness, anger, pain, and other troubles. My heart went out to them. I wanted to help.
Eventually, I realized that I didn’t have to be a sideline observer of people’s woes. I could help them find healing through my practice of Christian Science. As I committed to helping others through Christian Science, people asked for help, and I was ready to respond with prayer. When I prayed as explained in Christian Science, I was heartened to see sick people getting well, pain going away, supply being found in the face of lack, and hope and happiness returning where there had been sadness. Even though my business career was flourishing, the reward of seeing people overcome numerous forms of evil through God’s power was far more rewarding to me than any number of apples produced by our orchard. I felt I had found a calling that empowered me to do the most good with my life. I left the farm and devoted myself full time to the Cause of Christian Science healing, and it has proved to be one of the most satisfying life-decisions I ever made.
Looking back, I fell in love with the practice of Christian Science because it’s at the heart of a Cause that helps humanity meet the greatest need of all—to know God and to understand man’s relation to God and how God’s love and care meets human needs. It follows in the footsteps of Jesus, who understood better than anyone that mankind’s primary need is always spiritual. He healed the sick, fed the hungry, dissolved pain, restored sanity, calmed storms, and raised the dead through relying on spiritual power. His understanding of God’s omnipotence empowered him to conquer evil and restore health and harmony to the sick and suffering through prayer, and he expected his followers to do the same. He taught, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need” (Matthew 6:33, New Living Translation). I have found this instruction to be true as I’ve applied the truths of Christian Science in my life and for those who ask for help.
The need for healing through Christian Science, and for healers dedicated to helping their neighbor out of suffering through its teachings, is greater than ever. News reports are aired daily from all over the globe of individuals, communities, even nations, fighting for survival against disease, hatred, violence, poverty, oppression, weather and geological conditions, prejudice, and homelessness. There is certainly favorable news to report on behalf of humanity, but everyone has a right to health and happiness, and no one should be overlooked.
Understanding the pressing needs, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, urged those who would listen: “Never was there a more solemn and imperious call than God makes to us all, right here, for fervent devotion and an absolute consecration to the greatest and holiest of all causes. The hour is come. The great battle of Armageddon is upon us” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 177). The battle of Armageddon symbolizes the ultimate battle between good and evil. It includes the second coming of Christ, in which Christ defeats all that would oppose God. As Jesus Christ proved, God is good, and, in truth, possesses absolute power on earth, as in heaven, to conquer sin, disease, and death. And Mary Baker Eddy explained that evil is in actuality just a mistaken belief with no real power. Her mentioning “the great battle of Armageddon” is not meant to sound ominous or scary, but to serve as a wake-up call to humanity, that the time to demonstrate the power of good over evil beliefs is now.
Any time we feel threatened by evil, it’s a call to rise in the strength of God to overcome it through acknowledging His omnipotence.
Some Christian theologies preach that the final battle between good and evil will happen at a distant unknown date, but from Mrs. Eddy’s point of view, the battle was already happening. The second coming of Christ had occurred in her discovery of Christian Science, which explained the power of God to rectify all wrong. Salvation of humanity from evil would not be a physical Jesus descending out of the sky later, but the teachings of the divine Science of Christ—explaining how to follow Jesus’ instructions—practiced today, by which we can bear witness to the destruction of sin, disease, and death through the ever-present Christ. The time to fight and win this battle is now, not tomorrow; and every time we overcome evil by yielding to and holding to the omnipotence of God, the final victory over every claim of evil draws closer.
There was a time when I needed to stand fast to see God’s power overcome evil. Over twenty years ago, a lump started to form on my forehead. I prayed daily for relief and steadily grew in my understanding of God’s almighty power. But the growth continued to worsen, and after several months it became ominous looking, to the point where I would not leave the house. I felt, in a way, quarantined at home because I didn’t want to draw attention to myself. My career as a Christian Science healer appeared doomed. It felt as if Armageddon had engulfed me, and I was losing the battle.
As I persevered with my prayers, I studied Mrs. Eddy’s statement from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “Mankind must learn that evil is not power” (p. 102). From outward appearances, it looked as though evil had power and was destroying my future. But after pondering Mrs. Eddy’s statement further, I saw that my suffering was an opportunity to prove that evil has no power. I needed to look at the trial from a spiritual point of view and gain the lessons I could learn. I decided that I knew with conviction that God was omnipotent good, and that I could disbelieve and defeat this claim of evil, and prove its unreality.
Inspired with a fresh perspective, and ceasing to feel sorry for myself, I prayed to see the power of God as the only power. I took the truth that God is All to heart and strove to see that there was no other reality, influence, presence, place, cause, or effect than divine Love. I saw that in the allness of God there was no evil to threaten me—no evil disease, enemy, or commonly held belief that could harm me. I knew that I was actually made by God in His image, so I willingly let God uplift my thought to the heights of heavenly ideas, where I could see nothing but Love. As I did this, all sense of evil and fear vanished. I felt safe, as though I was mentally soaring with God’s angels. A few days later a foreign substance was expelled from my forehead, and all attendant symptoms were soon gone. The healing has remained complete (see “Face the foe fearlessly,” Journal, February 2014).
It appears that Armageddon is being played out in the lives of people around the world fighting for freedom from oppression, disease, disaster, and hopelessness every day. Any time we feel threatened by evil, it’s a call to rise in the strength of God to overcome it through acknowledging His omnipotence. Christian Science gives us the spiritual weapons—spiritual truths—we need to take a stand on the winning, and ultimately only, side. God is all-powerful good. Evil has no place in all of God’s creation. God made man free and whole. We can help one another experience our God-given right to freedom from evil by praying for each other and demonstrating the reign of God over our lives.
Understanding the opportunity and urgency of the moment, Mary Baker Eddy implored her followers: “Will you doff your lavender-kid zeal, and become real and consecrated warriors? Will you give yourselves wholly and irrevocably to the great work of establishing the truth, the gospel, and the Science which are necessary to the salvation of the world from error, sin, disease, and death? Answer at once and practically, and answer aright!” (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 177).
The world needs Christian Science more than ever. It’s the one Cause that can bring the greatest good to humanity. Its practice not only meets the physical need, but improves one morally, mentally, and spiritually. It opens thought to spiritual reality and lets the power of Christ take hold and bring healing. It does more than give a neighbor a fish to eat, or even teach a neighbor how to fish. It teaches one’s neighbor where to fish—to find all health, supply, love, peace, and purpose in God, the source of all good. It meets the most basic of human needs: to know God’s allness and goodness.
Winning the war of good over evil is a Cause that is fought in human consciousness, by acknowledging and yielding to the allness of God.
After Mrs. Eddy’s discovery of Christian Science, it was no longer a question for her as to how humanity was going to be saved from suffering: It would be through Christian healing. Christ Jesus’ method of salvation had been fully revealed to her, and she then shared it through teaching others how to heal through the truth Jesus taught and proved. Mankind did not need to wait for a future-world salvation. She saw that the time for healing was now. The pressing need was for individuals willing to step up and do the work. With friends and neighbors crying out for relief from suffering, it is incumbent for anyone with a heart to ask, “Am I ready to answer the call? Am I willing to become a ‘real and consecrated warrior’ who is ready to face the claims of evil and deny them reality by recognizing and proving the supremacy of God?”
A “real and consecrated warrior” is an individual dedicated to winning a battle and determined to secure a victory for the Cause he fights for. This battle is won through understanding the totality of God and the unreality of evil. As Mary Baker Eddy wrote, “The Christian Scientist has enlisted to lessen evil, disease, and death; and he will overcome them by understanding their nothingness and the allness of God, or good” (Science and Health, p. 450). Any individual who wants to see the triumph of good over evil can engage with and enlist in this Cause, and contribute to the ultimate ending of evil on earth.
The human mind is often quick to make excuses when called upon to serve. Some might object that they have no time to help others, that they don’t have sufficient understanding, or that someone else can do the work. But we can quickly silence these mental enemies to progress by remembering that God gives us the understanding and ability we need to contribute to meeting the need of any moment. There is a moral and spiritual imperative to help others in need, and doing so not only benefits others, but also oneself.
Christian love is all-inclusive. Jesus established a ministry of helping others rise above trouble. It was and is a requirement of his followers that they forsake selfish interest and devote time and effort to demonstrating the healing power of God for the benefit of neighbors. “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!” he instructed (Matthew 10:8, New Living Translation).
There are no material barriers to enlisting in the Cause of Christian Science and demonstrating the power and presence of God to help and heal. It does not matter how much money one has, one’s age, what one’s past education is, or where one lives. Winning the war of good over evil is a Cause that is fought in human consciousness, by acknowledging and yielding to the allness of God. It’s about living true to Christ’s leading, and demonstrating the reality of God’s omnipresence and the unreality of evil in whatever circumstances one faces. Anyone who loves God and yearns to help their neighbor triumph over suffering can make a positive difference.
Opportunities to conquer evil, disease, and fear of death abound—at home, in the workplace, in the classroom, on social media, in the sickroom, in casual encounters, in conversations with neighbors. It’s a Cause that knows no borders or limits. No special funding is required to succeed. As individuals act upon any opportunity they see to overcome evil with good, the supremacy of God is demonstrated to a degree, and mankind benefited.
With the battle of Armageddon upon us, it’s time to prove the reality of God and the unreality of evil now. This is not a time to stand idle or fritter away moments in the vain amusements of the times. The age needs workers who are willing to commit to and unite with the greatest Cause the world has ever known—the work of demonstrating the power of God to overcome evil of every sort.
Are you ready to become a “real and consecrated warrior”? Are you ready to engage and change the world for the better? “Answer aright,” and answer now.
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