The First Commandment is clear: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." We may have learned that there is only one God, but seldom do we consider that we all have a different concept of God! What blasphemy, they say. We have one, and only one Lord. But since we are all in different states and stages of consciousness... And since God is generally considered infinite, that is a rather large concept for each and every mortal to grasp uniformly!
Jesus warned his disciples of their fellow, God-fearing Jews: "The time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service."
This shows that it is possible to harm someone in the name of God, so we do well to be open to self-examination.
To discover where we are, the following is most helpful:
"To ascertain what our progress is and what our state of Christianity, we have only to learn what God we acknowledge and obey. If we are progressing, God will become less personal and material to our understanding, and more practical, matter will be yielding to Spirit, and the Spirit we manifest will reveal us;" (1st Ed S&H)
So, if we are progressing, our concept of God must change. How? Less personal and material. Here are some outgrown misconceptions:
1. The harder we pray, the more likely the Almighty will hear. [Surely the All-knowing does not need to be informed of our needs. Should we not be praying to yield to His goodness?]
2. We must wait for that precious moment when He deems to speak to us. [The eternal Mind does not withhold for personal reasons, but is the constant outpouring of Life and Intelligence.]
3. When we attend church, it pleases Him and we feel closer to Him. ["Whither shall I go from His presence" says the Psalmist - even in hell, there He is.]
4. The more I do what I am supposed to do, the more He will smile on me. ["Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." Doing what you are supposed to do is a far cry from doing the will of the Father. The first is humanly prescribed, the second is moment by moment striving to acknowlege, listen and obey the ever-present Intelligence.]
Matter will be yielding to Spirit. Jesus declared "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing." If we accept this, we will be spending less and less time fretting over material wants, and more and more time striving to walk and talk with Him.
Finally, "the proof is in the pudding" - the Spirit we manifest will reveal us. And there is always room for improvement!