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 faith is the power of the sailboat of our spiritual imagination.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
Faith: The Power of the Sailboat of Our spiritual Imagination
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”” Hebrews, Chapter 11, Verse 1
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast, we discuss the power of faith in stimulating our spiritual imagination. We know at the bottom of our faith achievements lies faith. Without faith, we are powerless to imagine new spiritual values and their meanings. Yet why is something as vital as this is so difficult to exercise? Faith in spiritual realities apparently to the material mind is not a bonafide reality. But yet the propensity to believe constantly nags at us, for almost at every turn there are problems that require faith for their solution. "Lord I believe help my unbelief" applies to all of us more or less. The inertia of the material mind keeps contaminating our spiritual imagination. Just as soon as we are able to grasp a new spiritual value, doubt begins to erode it almost immediately. Indeed Jesus says that we only have one battle, and that is the battle against doubt. So how do we liberate our faith from the clutches of material reality? How do we liberate our spiritual imagination, and set it afloat upon the high seas of the discovery of new truth? How do we allow faith to empower the spiritual currents that fill the sails of our spiritual imagination?
Divine things have to be loved in order to be known. Divine things are spiritual values and meanings. Now here we wish to make a fine distinction to avoid the paradox of loving something that we don’’t know. Knowing about something is not the same as knowing it. There are countless things in our material life that we know about but have no actual experiential knowledge of them. In short, we don’’t know them. And so it is with divine things: in order to move from knowing about them to knowing them, we must love them based on what we know about their attributes. Their attributes must be appealing to the best in us, so that we become desirous of knowing them, and move to the supreme level of desiring them, of loving them.
Divine things are supreme and therefore require a supreme effort in acquiring them. And again we remind you that divine values have not become supreme in our lives until there are no competing values. There are no other values above them and all other values are below them.
And here is where faith comes in. In the material world, when we are desirous of obtaining something, we must use material means to acquire them. Thinking about them will not bring them into existence. And while the thinking may be necessary in the planning stages, the thinking must give way to action. In the spiritual arena, our spiritual imagination is necessary to conceive the values that we are desirous of obtaining. After conceiving the value, we must take action; we must faith-embrace the value for it to be known. Without the faith-embrace of the spiritually imagined value, it will never move from the potential state to the actual state and will thus remain unknown.
Faith is not only required to bring the value into existence, but to start with faith powers the spiritual imagination. Faith is a powerful tool, and we should learn how to skillfully use it. We know that spiritual faith can be applied to other areas that are not the proper province of spiritual faith. This misapplication results in error, which is followed by disappointment. The proper province of faith is the spiritual arena, more specifically applied to the power of our supreme desire and ability to do the Father’’s will.
The quality of faith again empowers us with the spiritual imagination to conceive of the divine will and then moves on to empower our desire and will to actually choose it. In choosing, we are in fact agreeing to become Godlike, to acquire the spiritual image of His Son. We are choosing divine values and thus the meanings that are a part of the Father’’s character. The greatest of these divine values associated with the Father’’s character is love.
Love is the greatest of all spiritual realities, and we can all testify that though there are countless volumes written about the divine affection, never do we know this divine value unless we love it (allow it to flow through us). We pursue with all our hearts those things we love. This is just what it takes to know the divine affection, to know the Father, for the Father is love.
In seeking the Father’’s will, we are seeking the values of his character that apply to a given situation, and we are seeking the highest level of understanding and wisdom that we possess to bring to bear upon a given situation. In one moral or spiritual situation, patience may be the aspect of the Father’’s character that we need for the solution. In another situation, we may need to act and to act forcefully. We seek the courage of our convictions to act according to the highest level of understanding and wisdom that we possess. And in a multitude of situations, various combinations of the values of the Father’’s character are brought to bear in a given situation.
But we must remember that in any given situation short of divine perfection, our level of understanding and wisdom will also be short of divine perfection. Through the many years of seeking to know the Father’’s will, we have come to understand through various trials and tribulations, through much anxiety and sleepless nights of seeking the Father’’s will, that the Father is not going to tell us what to do. We are his free will sons and daughters, and we must exercise that free will. Admittedly guidance and direction is always applied when we seek his will to the degree that we have become like him. The Father selects the particular value that is needed at the time that a decision is made. The Father transmits his will to us by making us like he is. The degree to which we can discern the Father’’s will in any given situation is the degree to which we have become Father-like.
When we seek to know the Father’’s will, to ascertain the highest level of wisdom and understanding that we possess, we have reached the maximum limits of our spiritual development in the image of his Son at a given time. When we make a decision, we must have understanding and wisdom to make a righteous one. The understanding and wisdom that we possess at a given point is directly related to our Godlikeness. This also holds for our ability to understand the qualities of truth, beauty, and goodness. When we seek to do the Father’’s will, we are in fact seeking to enter the kingdom of heaven. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness." "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”” In other words, without faith, it is impossible to do the Father’’s will.
When we seek to do the Father’’s will, when we seek to know that will, we are seeking His righteousness. We are seeking to know the aspects of divine character we have been able to develop. This being the case, decisions we make must be made based upon the divine value systems that we have been able to incorporate within our souls. As we seek to know the Father’’s will, we must use our spiritual imagination to grasp that aspect of the Father’’s character that we need in a given situation. And it is our faith that allows us to do this. Our faith transmutes our characters into the character of the image of the Father’’s Son.
Our understanding and wisdom tells us that we are being created in the image of the Father’’s Son, the image of His character. We have the faith assurance of knowing that whatever decision we make subject to the Father’’s will, subject to the highest level of understanding and wisdom that we possess, which is the degree to which we have become like the Father, that decision will be the Father’’s will. We simply cannot make decisions that are not meaningful or wise. We must proceed as we are and where we are as His perfecting sons and daughters. If we exercise faith in the growth process, we will continue to make progress in our Godlikeness, and our decisions will constantly be saturated with the divine understanding and wisdom that we are capable of bringing to bear on a given situation.
How do we liberate our faith from the clutches of material reality? How do we liberate our spiritual imagination and set it afloat upon the high seas of the discovery of new truth? How do allow faith to fill the spiritual currents that propel the sails of our spiritual imagination? We have the power within us to believe. With a simple leap, we release the power of faith. With that release, we experience the power of faith, and the spiritual currents of truth fill the sails of our imagination.
This concludes today's message on understanding how faith is the power of the sailboat of our spiritual imagination. 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.