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 how to tell the divine thoughts from other thoughts.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
"How be it when he, the Spirit of Truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak." John, Chapter 16, Verse 13
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast we share some insights with you as to how to identify thoughts and mind of the divine spirit. We want to demonstrate this process. We ask you to follow the discussion and follow the steps to identifying the thoughts of the divine spirit. We know that the Spirit of Truth unerringly points to truth.
Let us start with the external thoughts of other minds. The other day at our study group, the question was asked, "How do you deal with the emotional aspects of a disagreeable situation?" One sister responded that she would more or less tell herself that the heavenly Father was in control, that everything was alright within her soul, and that everything would be all right. She reminded herself that this, like all unpleasant experiences, would pass also. It might take some time to adjust to the consequences of the experience, but the experience would invariably pass. Now I, for one, marveled at this insight. It was so simple, so true, so beautiful, so good, and yet so profound. We all comprehended what she was saying, and I pondered her thoughts in my mind for quite some time and even now think about them as I am facing a similar experience. And as I continued to listen to comments from other members of the study group, I also understood and comprehended their thoughts.
When the group dispersed, there were other thoughts expressed which I comprehended. And then I reflected that during a given day, there are many expressions of others that I comprehend. And though I may not remember the exact wording of these thoughts and have forgotten many, whenever these expressed thoughts appear in my mind, I have no difficulty distinguishing them from my own thoughts, no trouble at all. In fact, I don’’t have to think about the process of who said what. It happens automatically.
As we discriminate between these thoughts, we also have the power to allow them to remain neutral, ignore them, or execute them. There have been many an evil deed done because of the reflection upon some harmful thought by individuals who exercised this discriminatory ability of their minds.
It goes without saying that we have our own internal thoughts, as we reflect upon the various stimuli in our outer life as well as our inner life. There are many thoughts from past experiences that come into our minds seemingly of their own volition. We are all aware of some distressing thoughts from past experience arising in our minds and casting a shadow over our moods. And we are familiar with the practice of having thoughts about a future experience or about an experience that we are about to embark on. Some of these thoughts can be most depressing and aggravating. Again, we have no difficulty discriminating our thoughts from the thoughts of others. We can exercise these thoughts, that is express them, and perhaps allow them to propel us into some action. For example, we may have a thought about some household item we need. This thought can cause us to take action, to go and purchase the needed household item.
The process of taking other thoughts into our minds is the process of integration. We all recognize that though the person is not in our minds, the thoughts of that person are. And we can identify these thoughts as separate from ours. Sometimes external thoughts are so helpful that we adopt them as our own. An example of this is a good recipe.
On this occasion the thoughts of the person furnishing the recipe coincides with the desire of the recipient, the one who wishes to have the recipe. The two become one, even though we can still recognize the source of the recipe as distinct from the person who is receiving it. The recipient has made another’’s thought her own. Again, we note the recipient of this thought can execute it by actually using it to make the delicious meal. And we know if the instructions are followed to the letter, the meal will be replicated nicely.
Just as we have been able to differentiate these external and purely internal selfish thoughts, we shall see that we can identify and distinguish the third source of thoughts, which spring from God in our mind, the divine spirit. And just as the external person who is the source of external thoughts is not in our mind, the person who is the source of this spirit is not in our minds either. But just as we have no difficulty in distinguishing our thoughts from the external thoughts, we shall see that we have no difficulty distinguishing the divine thoughts from our other thoughts.
Divine thoughts--unlike the thoughts of the self or material thought--are spiritual thoughts, the essence of God, the heavenly Father. The first great divide between material thoughts and divine thoughts is unselfishness.
But there is more to this. Divine thoughts are true, beautiful, and good. We refer to the heavenly Father’’s thoughts when we say divine thoughts are true. They will always remain the same quality no matter how often we visit them, or how often we use them.
When we speak of the thoughts being good, we refer to dependability and reliability. No matter how difficult our lives or how desperate we feel, the Father’’s thoughts will always be there saying "you can trust and depend on me. I will never let you down. I am your Father, and you are my child. You are precious in my sight. I will always be with you no matter where you go or what happens to you. And because I am always with you, nothing can really harm you." And again we discern that not only are those thoughts good but they are also true.
When we speak of the Father’’s thoughts as being beautiful, we acknowledge how they all fit together and evoke feelings of harmony within our souls and emotions of beauty in our minds. No matter whether we pursue the thoughts of truth, beauty, or goodness, they all lead to one another. Thus, there is beauty in truth and goodness; truth in beauty and goodness; and goodness in truth and beauty. When these divine values unite, they become love, which produce the greatest of all spiritual thoughts. Thoughts of divine love redound to the actual presence of God.
Divine thoughts are always present. Unlike purely human thoughts, with their quality being affected by our moods, divine thoughts remain constant. Whether we are emotionally happy or sad, divine thoughts are always joyful. No matter what we experience, divine thoughts, with their life-giving hope, remain ever intact. And just like the eternal thoughts, and the purely selfish thoughts in our minds, we can execute these thoughts. We can even make them ours just as we saw with the recipe for a delicious meal. ““The technique whereby you can accept another's idea as yours is the same whereby you may ‘‘let the mind which was in Christ be also in you.’’””
But like all thoughts that we wish to verbalize, we must first have a desire to speak. Then comes recognition. This is done by reflection. Then we choose which thoughts we’’d like to express. This is done by will. Last, with wisdom, our thoughts are verbalized.
The thoughts of God, then, are expressed using the words of God and are expressed via the Spirit. Thus when we choose the thoughts of God, we become their expression. We display them to our brothers and sisters via the spirit, and these same divine thoughts having been expressed by another sister or brother can be received by us via the spirit and can become our own thoughts. These divine thoughts can be stimulated much in the same way as other thoughts. They can be stimulated by desire, by outside stimuli, or by the divine spirit itself in response to the sincere desire to know the Father, to comprehend the meanings of divine values, and they can be received via the spirit into our minds and souls from others.
This concludes today's message on understanding how to discriminate between divine thoughts and other thoughts. 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.