The Full Spectrum of Your Twelve Powers, Jennifer Gates, YFM Director
In order to achieve bold spiritual living, each of us must take full ownership of the amazing powers which we possess. Over the summer in our Youth Ministry classes, we have been learning about the Twelve Powers – Faith, Love, Zeal, Order, Will, Wisdom, Imagination, Life, Power, Strength, Understanding, and Release. Through discussion, games, stories, and activities, children and teens, spanning from 18 months to 17 years old – along with their adult leaders and volunteers (ages not disclosed!) – have examined, studied, grappled with, and inhabited each of these powers. It has been an amazing study that we look forward to sharing with our congregation.
We are spending our next two Sundays in the Youth Ministry classrooms reviewing the powers individually and as they relate to one another and planning how each of our participants will work together to bring these powers to life. We’d love for you to prepare along with us, so we offer this summary of each of the powers for your reading pleasure!
Unity minister and author, Winifred Wilkinson Hausmann , in her book Your God Given Potential, has this to say about the Power of Faith: “Faith is that quality in us which enables us to look past appearances of lack, limitation or difficulty, to take hold of the divine idea and believe in it even though we do not see any evidence of it except in our mind. Through faith we know with an inner knowing the Truth that has not yet expressed in our manifest world.” Faith sees beyond what is, beyond what is apparent to the eye. Faith informs us that the power within us is greater than the power of the world.
Love is the healing, harmonizing and uniting power within each of us. Love joins and binds everything in the universe together. Erich Fromm, in The Art of Loving, tells us that, “Love is not primarily a relationship to a specific person; it is an attitude, an orientation of character that determines the relatedness of a person to the world as a whole, not towards the object of love.”
Unity co-founder, Charles Fillmore , explains the Power of Zeal in this way, “Zeal – Intensity, ardor, enthusiasm: the inward fire of the soul that urges humankind onward, regardless of the intellectual mind of caution and conservatism. “
When you think of the Power of Zeal, think of how you feel when you are playing your favorite sport or instrument, or simply enjoying a beautiful day outside – maybe at the playground, in a park, at the beach – wherever your favorite place is. Can you feel that energy of zeal? Your heart beating a little faster, excitement, keen attention.
And, on the Power of Order, Mr. Fillmore states, “Order is the first law of the universe. Indeed, there could be no universe unless its various parts were kept in perfect harmony.” Life often seems to flow more easily when things are orderly, and when we are also open to the flexibility of the adjusting power within order.
The Power of Will can be understood as the ability to choose, decide, command, lead, determine. It is our job in developing our inborn powers to reeducate the will, the directing power of our mind, to teach it to become receptive to spiritual motivation, rather than to goals determined by our materialistic pursuits alone. One way or another, we are using our will, our executive mind power, all the time. We choose a course of action. We resist or resent. We submit or fight back. We aim high or we slide backward
Wisdom is the ability to evaluate, discern, and apply what you know. One of the faculties most prized by Jesus was the gift of wisdom, or spiritual judgment. … Always he pointed to the importance of judging by the standards of the higher Self, rather than by the example set in the world. Never did he react to any person or any situation with the expected response of human living. Always he acted and spoke from the light within himself, the light that enabled him to judge by spiritual methods, to answer from divine insight into the motives of others, the potentiality of good and the revelation of the Christ within. Our purpose in developing this faculty is to let the light of Spirit shine through us, directing all our thoughts, words, actions and motivations. Wisdom must also be employed in directing the activities and unfoldment of the other eleven qualities.
Unity writer, James Dillet Freeman, tells us that, “Imagination is the act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before wholly perceived in reality … a power that frees us from the limitations of our senses … the power of conception. “
And, on the Power of Life, Unity co-founder Charles Fillmore states that “The first step in the realization of life is always to know that God is life, abundant, omnipresent, eternal, and the second step is to make positive connection with God life by declaring oneness with it.”
One of the important things that we believe and practice at Unity of San Antonio is affirmative prayer and meditation. Taking time to express and feel our gratitude for the world that supports us and to connect to the energy that is all around us.
In her book, Divine Audacity, Rev. Linda Martella-Whitsett has this to say about the Power of Power: “We are created for power. It’s in us to succeed, to move forward, and to accomplish. As is true for all our abilities, power can be used to improve or control our material life, and it can be cultivated as spiritual power for inner transformation as well as for blessing others.”
And, on the Power of Strength, she states, “Spiritual strength is our capacity to stand undaunted in the midst of shifting circumstances, to act courageously, and to stay the course.”
Unity writer, Winifred Wilkinson Hausmann has this to say about the Power of Understanding: “Understanding is important in developing our spiritual nature, because it is the faculty which puts feet under our prayers and gives our spiritual activity something to stand on.”
And, on the Power of Release, Unity co-founder, Charles Fillmore wrote, “… it is very necessary that the eliminative faculty be quickened in one, and a right balance between receiving and giving, laying hold and letting go, be established.”
While each of our Twelve Powers holds great promise alone, there are also any number of ways in which many can function together. Using this brief synopsis as a miniature guide, take some time over the next couple of weeks to think about the many ways your powers show up for you each day.