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 shared many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we seek to understand the relationship between divine communion and faith.
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast we explore the relationship between divine communion and faith. And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
Divine Communion and Faith
"Men ought always to pray and not to faint." Luke, Chapter 18, Verse 1
"When children have their ideals, do not dislodge them; let them grow. And while you are learning to think as men, you should also be learning to pray as children."
While we are living in the material body, it is impossible for the material mind to recognize when our souls commune with the Father. Therefore, the Father gives us faith as the assurance of this divine communion. Because the material mind doubts, faith is always a challenge for it.
Sometimes we can have a strong emotional response to divine communion. Usually this occurs when things are going smoothly in the outward life, and we have no turmoil in the material mind. We are able to express our thoughts to the Father, and we feel as if he has heard us, and we emotionally feel his presence and feel good about the whole experience. At such times, we are reluctant to consciously end the communion, but of course unconsciously the communion goes on. Then there are other times when we are harassed by doubts, when we feel that the Father is far away, and we can’’t quite get the contact we crave. We feel that somehow we are not quite getting through. We feel unable to adequately express our thoughts to the Father. Sometimes, the thoughts melt away before we can express them. And sometimes we are stressed so hard emotionally because of the outer life that we are unable to sort out our thoughts. We try to see with our material minds, but the material mind sees nothing.
What are we to make of this situation? One day we feel that we are so close to his presence, and the next day we feel so far away. One day up, one day down. We should be thankful for those pleasant emotional interludes in our life, those emotions that reflect a temporary peace with the realities of the material world, but we should remember that our communion with the Father is not subject to the ups and downs of life. Our emotional state is not a reflection of our communion with the Father. We commune with the Father soul to spirit, and this interchange takes place regardless of our emotional feelings. There is no force in the universe that can prevent our wholehearted desire to commune with the Father from being actualized once we desire it.
Communion with Father is a pleasant break away from the material struggles of life. It is a refreshing time when we consciously enter his presence and consciously receive the full impact of his love. We receive his wisdom and fellowship with him. Here we gain inspiration to continue with the material struggle, to gain moral stamina and spiritual power, to resist being shunted away from our life purpose. Here we further commit ourselves to his divine plan for our lives and lovingly submit our wills to doing his will. Here we gain that continuous impression upon our consciousness of his divine image. It is a renewal of our mind and spirit. No, communion is not where we go to have the material difficulties of our life removed but to gain courage and inspiration to confront them head on and to master them.
Consider this analogy: A child begins her first day at school. This is the first time that she has been separated from her mother for any significant time. This is a new experience for the child, and the child has quite a bit of anxiety as she confronts so much that is new. She has been placed in an organized learning experience, and it is somewhat frustrating. She has to adjust to the rules of this environment. No longer can she talk whenever she feels like it, but now must raise her hand and be recognized before she can speak. And as this new training proceeds, all she can think about is the loss of her pleasant home environment, where she could talk as much as she pleased; where she could run and play to her heart’’s content, where she could have a pleasant time with no real stresses placed upon her. If she wanted a snack, she could have one whenever she wanted one, but now she has to wait until the so-called lunch hour and recess before she can eat anything or play. As the day wears on, she looks forward to going home where she can relax and be herself. And she wonders why she can’’t just stay home and be with her mother, whom she loves so much.
The school day finally comes to an end, and she arrives safely back home. She is so excited and can hardly wait to tell her mom all about it. She tells her everything that she has done that day. All the new things that she has learned and some of them, difficult. Mom just listens to her and smiles, and checks off the benchmarks of her progress. Together, they do her homework, with mom assisting with any difficult spots as the child completes her first assignment. Mom knows that she has a long way to go before she finishes the educational processes.
She knows that she has quite a bit of adjustments to make, but she does not discourage her child with this information. She knows that it is easier for the child to make these continuous adjustments if she is not given foreknowledge of what is coming. She knows that as she continues to grow and develop, she will also make the necessary adjustment. No point in filling her with fear over something that will not be fearful when the time comes.
She encourages her and inspires her. She tells her to always do her best. And she says to her that if sometimes you do not succeed, be sure to try and try again until you do. And this is the best attitude to have when facing any kind of challenge. She praises her for her successes, and tells her how proud she is of her. Under this influence, the child gains confidence and begins to look eagerly for new learning experiences, but the best part of it all is when she can come home and tell her mom all about it. She just loves being in her mother’’s presence, where she can bask in love. This has such a wonderful effect on her. It fills her with joy and happiness and a sense that everything is all right. It seems to equip her to bravely face challenges. It does take away the difficulty, but somehow it makes it easier to overcome the difficulty. And during all of this interaction with her mom, she is in a very subtle way taking on her values, her attitudes, her way of doing things. She is becoming just like her mom
Now the spiritual parallels are obvious so we will not belabor the point but will highlight certain comparisons. As we commune with the Father, we also begin to take on his qualities. Like the little child, we enjoy basking in his love and learning how he thinks and how he behaves. We learn about his character. And we develop a sense that no real harm can befall us. We receive guidance and direction from him. And the more time we spend with him, the more we understand him. Every single time we seek to know his will, he makes us just a little bit more like he is. And eventually we spend so much time with him under his loving influence, that we know him. We become like him.
Now the material child has a material mind so that she can see all of these interactions with her mother, and thus faith is not required for her to realize that they are real. She inherently knows that they are real because she is conscious of them. But when we come to commune with the heavenly Father, who is a spiritual person, our material mind cannot know these transactions that are between our souls, our future self, and his spirit. And though the result of these transactions are clearly discerned externally in those who also commune with Father, it requires faith to know of these intimate transaction between our souls and the Father.
"Without faith it is impossible to please God, for those who come to him must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Faith makes our communion with our heavenly Father real to us. It is our faith that allows us to continue with this process that is largely outside the consciousness of our material mind, though the meanings of these transactions are increasingly discerned by the spiritualizing mind. That is, as we continue to commune with the Father, we become increasingly conscious of the meanings of our communion with him.
And like the material child, whose concerns change as she gets older and more developed, our concerns changes as we grow. And just like the child who is concerned with such elementary concerns increasingly approaches the concerns of the adult, so do we as spiritual children change our concerns with the heavenly Father as we grow. More and more our concerns are of a moral and spiritual nature and less of a material nature. But it cannot be overstated that faith is necessary and important in all these spiritual transactions.
This concludes today's message on understanding the relationship between communion and faith. 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.