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OBEDIENCE

 

“Today we will speak about Obedience! The Manifestation of God is a perfect example of real obedience. Like Him, we must sacrifice everything; every plan, every longing and ideal must be given up completely to the Will of God. We must look to God for all we desire, all we attain. The Will of God must outwork Its Purposes in us. Our human will must be laid down in sacrifice and love. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has given everything in sacrifice and obedience to the Will of God. I am only His Servant, nothing more. All our soul-powers, our outward self, our inward self must be consecrated to God in service and sacrifice. Even life must be given if necessary. If we have not reached this station of nothingness, we have not attained to real obedience to the Will of God. A pupil must submit entirely to the will of the teacher. This is true Sacrifice—true Obedience.”

“Real obedience and real sacrifice are identical—absolute readiness to follow and perform whatever you are called upon to do in the Cause of God. When you really love God, you will be willing to sacrifice everything and submit yourself entirely to His Will. Consecrate yourself wholly to Him. His Will is everything, His service paramount. If they were to burn Me, kill or torture Me—no matter what affliction may descend upon Me, I shall welcome it as one welcomes pleasure. These are precious moments in ‘Akká, so precious we wish they might never end. How is the Bahá’í Faith progressing in America? After you return, the believers will be in a much stronger and better condition. But this cannot be unless they see and know he Will and Desire of God. I have no wish but His Will. His Will is Abdu’l-Bahá. If each human creature had his own will and way, spiritual development would be impossible. The soldiers in an army are under the will and control of one commander; therefore, they are united and can press on to victory. If each soldier carried out his own inclination and desire, there would be just that many different intentions and nothing would be accomplished. One thousand soldiers under the control of a commander can overthrow and defeat any number of disorganized troops. Without a directing will all would be conquered and defeated. Be sure, therefore, that if the believers are not united in the Will of God they will not be assisted. This is especially necessary because all of them are under the Tent of the Covenant in this Revelation. There is strength only in unity. Under one Tent there is union and harmony. The Covenant of God in this Day of Manifestation is a Lifeboat, an Ark of Salvation. All true followers of the Blessed Perfection are sheltered and protected in this Ark. Whoever leaves it, trusting in his own will and strength, will drown and be destroyed. For the Blessed Perfection left no possibility for discord, disagreement, and dissension. The Covenant is like the sea, and the believers are as the fishes in the sea. If a fish leaves the water, it cannot live. There is nothing to equal, nothing so effective as the Covenant of God to bring about and continue Unity. Christ said to Peter, 'Thou art the rock upon which I will build My church.' Therefore, all the disciples followed Peter, and there was no dissension among them. The Blessed Perfection wrote a Testament or Covenant with His Own Pen so that no one who obeys it will deny or disobey God. This point is expressed very clearly in the Covenant He revealed. Therefore, there can be no possibility, no position of disobedience. He knew that Muhammad-‘Alí would disobey the Covenant. By violating the Covenant he has become a fallen branch. The Covenant was also written by Muhammad-‘Alí’s own hand from dictation of the Blessed Perfection who knew he would disobey. What cause of union could be greater than the Covenant God has revealed through His Manifestation Bahá‘u’lláh? Many of those who followed Muhammad-‘Alí are coming back. After the departure of Bahá‘u’lláh all the beautiful blossoms upon the Tree of Life were destroyed by Muhammad-‘Alí and must now be grown again by the Love of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. The work and mission of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá are very great. No one could express the grief which followed the turning away from the Covenant by Muhammad-‘Alí. We should be thankful that the Blessed Perfection, foreseeing this action, ordained a Center of the Covenant through which, by allegiance and love, we may protect and preserve the Revelation of God.”


At the time Muhammad-‘Alí denied the Covenant and occasioned so much grief and suffering, the perfect calmness and spiritual strength of the Holy Leaf were most remarkable. The Blessed Perfection devotedly loved ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and when He appeared, His expression would change from gravity to one of great happiness and joy. Before His Ascension, the Blessed Perfection, realizing the trouble Muhammad-‘Alí would bring about, would say, “Becheveh Áqá!” (“O to be pitied Master!”)[4]


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