Greetings and good morning, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we seek to understand the relationship between crisis and spiritual revelation.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
Crisis and Spiritual Revelation
Jesus prayed:"O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will but as thou wilt." Matthew Chapter 26, Verse 39.
We are climbing Jacob’’s ladder,
Every rung goes higher and higher.
Brothers and sisters, in today broadcast we examine the relationship between crisis and spiritual revelations. While it may not be apparent to our material eyes, crisis are times of great spiritual revelations. We shall show how this happens.
This morning I was reading an article in Time Magazine that told how President Roosevelt used the great depression, a time of immense economical disaster with over 16 percent of the country’’s citizens suffering unemployment. This was a grave time in our nation and if not handled properly could have derailed our experiment with democracy. But he used these economic crises to bring about transformations in our economy and our nation that not only demolished the crisis but made our country better for it. Some of the reforms are still with us, such as social security, monetary policy reforms, and a host of others.
The Chinese word for crisis is formed by joining the ideograph for danger and opportunity. Thus we see that these people have developed a philosophy for meeting crisis not as an unmitigated disaster but also an opportunity for success. We recognize that in a crisis, there is always the possibility of failure, but there is also the possibility of success. It depends upon what we do with the lemons that we are given. We can allow the bitter taste of it to turn us sour or we can make lemonade with it, a most delicious drink. If we are living in a flood plan, and we know that the river is going to rise, we can always move to a higher elevation to live. All throughout history, crises when handled properly have led to better and greater advances. It has only led to stagnation when those involved in the crisis continued to insist on perpetuating the status quo that no longer exists as evident by the crisis.
There is a spiritual counterpart to every material crisis. And while on the material end, we struggle with finding the wherewithal to move above and beyond the crisis by inventing some new and better mechanism for placing our material activities on a better and higher material plane, the spiritual crises emerge in the form of a conflict of values. The spiritual crisis presents itself when we are confronted with the necessity to choose a higher moral or spiritual decision than the one we are currently pursuing. And always does the Father say, "if you love me, you will keep my commandment.”” That is, if we love the Father, we will choose the righteous decision just as Jesus did.
Dedication to doing the Father’’s will is "devoted living, is creative living, original, and spontaneous.”” ““New revelations of truth,”” of our relationship with the heavenly Father, ““arise out of moral and spiritual conflicts which initiated new and better reaction habits in the place of older and inferior reaction patterns. New meanings only emerge amid conflict; and conflict persists only in the face of refusal to espouse the higher values connoted in superior meanings." Dedication to doing the Father’’s will requires a life of rigorous growth. It never means a life of stagnation and ease. Always must we grow, and the only way we can grow is by making increasingly difficult moral and spiritual choices.
Spiritual conflict arises because of the need to grow. There is no unchanging spiritual ground for growing souls to stand upon. They must keep moving or fall back. No alternative exists. Progress is the watchword of doing the Father’’s will. We should use all material and spiritual conflicts for further growth. We must constantly make progress in acquiring a character like Jesus. The Father has commanded us to be perfect even as He is perfect as demonstrated by His Son, Jesus. Therefore must we constantly progress toward that divine ideal. Even though we must live the material life with its necessities, we must learn to render to Caesar the things of Caesar, and render to God the things of God. We must constantly submit our will to the Father’’s will in every crisis of growth. By submitting our will to the Father’’s will, we receive the spiritual values and meanings of the higher choice, and this constitute growth towards spiritual perfection.
And we can see right away that we have no hope of obeying the Father’’s command if we refuse to submit our will to his will by choosing the higher value rather than the lower value when we are presented with conflict. If our supreme goals for living are spiritual rather than material, we will not fail to acquire spiritual values and meanings because we will consistently choose the higher values when given the choice. Failure to move forward signifies the failure to set spiritual goals. We should not cling to the vanishing material life as life’’s goal but rather should we move towards the emerging spiritual life. The Spirit of Truth empowers us in purpose and ideals so that we can increasingly execute the Father’’s will in perfection.
Failure exists because of the refusal to voluntarily move forward. We think that most mortals cling to the vanishing material life as life’’s goal, rather than moving towards the emerging spiritual life as the goal of life. As the quote above states that " Even though you must live your material life through, even though you cannot escape the body and its necessities, nonetheless, in purpose and ideals you are empowered increasingly to subject the animal nature to the mastery of the Spirit." We can as it were climb Jacob’’s ladder, we can use each and every crisis to move to a higher spiritual plane of living.
When our houses of pleasant living and familiar dwellings are swept away by the tornadoes of life, instead of continually bemoaning the loss of our house of pleasant bygone days, instead "of regretting the past, whining over the present, and vainly hoping for the future,”” we can move to build another and better house of spiritual living and enjoy the scenery of the meanings of truth. And when we are locked in a material reality from which we cannot escape, we can move our aspirations from the material to the spiritual where there are no barriers to progress. We don’’t have to passively drift down the river to the waterfall of doom--we can use the mighty breaststroke of our supreme desire in consonance with the Father’’s will to move up the river against the currents of material adversity.
In the face of these crises of living, we can rededicate and consecrate our will to doing the Father’’s will. We can reaffirm our faith in the Father and his divine plan for our lives, a plan though having its beginning in this life has its fruition in eternity and infinity. Thus the assessment of this life can furnish only a glimpse of the wisdom and effectiveness of the Father’’s plan for our lives. We are therefore constrained to say in our hearts that we don’’t believe he’’s brought us this far to leave us now. Each crisis should be viewed as an opportunity to raise our faith to a higher level. Faith cannot rise any higher than our desires, and our desires are not likely to rise to a higher level unless there is some compelling event in our lives that shakes and wakes it from the bed of pleasant slumbering.
We can use each crisis to increase our trust in the Father. Our trust is unlikely to raise any higher than the desire for it, and like faith our desire for trust will not rise any higher than the need for it, a need that is only perceived when we cannot see our way clear. And we can increase our hope in the face of hopeless situations, a hope that can only be increased when the statue of our most precious dreams is demolished by the winds of change. We can take our hope, our trust and our faith and use it to transport our souls which are born again to the Spirit of Truth and enjoy the perfection in the spirit. Crises invite increased spiritual revelations of divine values and meanings on ever-ascending levels of spiritual character attainment.
And finally when we have complied with all of these remedies, we can fully comprehend the meaning of Jesus’’ admonition to us: "In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. Peace I leave you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be trouble; neither let it be afraid."
This concludes today's message on understanding the relationship between crisis and spiritual revelation. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.