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 faith and insight.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
Faith and Insight
"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 examine the relationship between faith and insight, and how these two relate to the accuracy of our efforts to do the Father’’s will. We know that there are repercussions to doing the Father’’s will in our inner life, while in our outer life, the revelation of His love flows through us. But today we want to put our efforts on a more firm basis. What can we know by faith? Just exactly what is doing the Father’’s will? And what assurances do we have that we are in fact doing the Father’’s will? How does God answer our prayers? Does he literally answer them? What is the assurance that we are in fact talking to a spiritual person rather than our own imagination?
Faith is the only tool that we have for knowing God. But what do we mean by knowing God? We know that we can not see Him with the eyes of the flesh. We must see him with the eyes of our spiritualized minds. God is love and the perception of this love is the viewing of God. Always will we know him because we trust him. Jesus is the personal revelation of the Father. All who find the Father find him first. To know Jesus is to know God. Jesus and the Father are one. Whosoever has seen the Son has seen the Father. Because of the Spirit of Jesus, the Spirit of Truth living in our minds and souls, we can know the Jesus, can know the Truth. Jesus is the Truth, the Way, and the Life. We can never know him by the understanding of facts about him. All t hat allows us to do is know about him. To know him, we must experience him, and to experience him is experience his love, to love one another even as he loves us. And this love of Jesus is the love of the Father.
"Jesus is the spiritual lens in human likeness which makes visible to the material creature Him who is invisible. He is your elder brother who, in the flesh, makes known to you a Being of infinite attributes whom not even the celestial hosts can presume fully to understand. But all of this must consist in the personal experience of the individual believer. God who is spirit can be known only as a spiritual experience. God can be revealed to the finite sons of the material worlds, by the divine Son of the spiritual realms, only as a Father. You can know the Eternal as a Father; you can worship him as the God of universes, the infinite Creator of all existences."
So we see that like any other person, we can only truly know them as we experience them. To know someone really means not just to recognize that they are a person, but to know their character. And character is something that is only really revealed through experience. Thus as we have our material experiences, right beside them and with them, the spiritual experience of God as Father unfolds. Now since God is a Spirit, an infinite and eternal spirit, He is the absolute spiritual Value, not a thing.
We know a human being is a combination of thing and value; we perceive the thing immediately with our material minds, but to perceive the value of a human being requires some time. It takes time to appreciate the worthwhileness of an individual. God as Father is no different. Just as it takes time for a child to recognize the value of her parents, it requires time for the spiritual child to recognize the value of his spiritual Father. Now since the Spiritual Father is a value, our petitions must be of the nature of values.
"Do not be so slothful as to ask God to solve your difficulties, but never hesitate to ask him for wisdom and spiritual strength to guide and sustain you while you yourself resolutely and courageously attack the problems at hand." Wisdom to guide and spiritual strength to sustain us as we, not God, resolutely and courageously attack the problem at hand. Some material problems of a physical nature cannot be resolved but must be adjusted to. And this is the function of wisdom: to show which problems can be resolved and which ones must be adjusted to. But it requires time to adjust to material problems. In the meantime, the spiritual Father floods the mind and soul with undying hope, this eternal forerunner of a better tomorrow.
How do we know that our faith is true, that is, how do we know that we are exercising it correctly? There are two factors here. One is the faith has to be spiritual since its object is God, who is spirit. Secondly having directed this faith towards its correct object (God), its purpose must be to do the Father’’s will. And the doing of the Father’’s will is the wholehearted decision to become Godlike, to acquire a spiritual character like the heavenly Father as revealed in His Son, Jesus. And as we pray to our heavenly Father, seeking his will, He reveals himself to us. But just what does the Father reveal to us in response to our petitions for His will?
When we petition the Father for his will, we are in reality seeking to become like He is, perfect. So the Father reveals those values and meanings of His character to us, the values and meanings of love--truth, beauty, and goodness. These values of truth, beauty, and goodness are within the soul, the part of us that knows God. But it takes some time before the meanings of truth, beauty, and goodness become available to the mind. And this is because the material mind has to be spiritualized before it can comprehend the ever-increasing meanings of the divine values of truth, beauty, and goodness.
The constant discovery of new meanings out of old meanings is the sure internal proof that our souls are experiencing the character of the spiritual Father while the outward display of the character fruits validate our revelation of the experience of the heavenly Father. "While you cannot observe the divine spirit at work in your minds, there is a practical method of discovering the degree to which you have yielded the control of your soul powers to the teaching and guidance of this indwelling spirit of the heavenly Father, and that is the degree of your love for your fellow men. This spirit of the Father partakes of the love of the Father, and as it dominates man, it unfailingly leads in the direction of divine worship and loving regard for one's fellows."
To recognize and understand the teachings of the divine spirit in our minds requires faith and insight. The wholehearted belief that the heavenly Father is alive in our minds and souls creates the consciousness of that fact and truth and causes us to behave in our total being (mind, spirit, and soul) as if this is a fact and truth; a fact and truth just as real as the material facts and truth, just operating in a different arena, the spiritual arena. We can proceed with confidence in this spiritual arena just as we can proceed with confidence in the material arena. It is this insight that we can operate in the spiritual arena that allows us to boldly claim that we are more than just flesh and blood. "Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God. We realize through our faith that we are sons and daughters of God, dedicated to doing His will, dedicated to revealing His love to our brothers and sisters.
This concludes today's message on the relationship between faith and insight. 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