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 fullness of God.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
Filled with the Fullness of God
Jesus said: " If a man love, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." John Chapter 14, Verse 23
Brothers and sisters, in today broadcast, we share some insight into the fullness of God, the supreme goal of living the spiritual life while yet still living the life in the flesh. Jesus has shown us how to live the heavenly life while living the earthly life, and we follow this example set by Jesus by submitting our will to the heavenly Father. Jesus has rightly said that we are to be perfect even as the heavenly Father is perfect. And since this command applies to all of his children who have different intellectual and physical attributes, it does not apply to that aspect of our existence. The only thing that we all have that is subject to the Father’’s command is our souls, our characters. And this command can be obeyed by all of his children because their exist no limitations in our souls that bar us from responding to this command. Let us use a material analogy that will give us a feel for responding to this command. Subsequently we become filled with the fullness of the heavenly Father through His Son, Jesus.
A glass sits on the table. It is empty at the moment, but we can see there is a potential to fill the glass with water. We begin by pouring a small amount of water into the glass, and we see right away that the status of the glass has now changed. There still exists a large volume that needs to be filled but the volume has changed. As we continue to pour in the water by small amounts, the status of the glass changes further. We soon reach the halfway mark, where we run into the paradox of whether the glass is half full or half empty. But as we continue to pour water into the glass, the volume left to be filled further decreases until the water fills the complete volume of the glass, and if we continue to pour water into the glass after it is full, it will began to overflow, and it will continue to overflow as long as we continue to pour water into it. If the water stops pouring, the water will no longer overflow the glass, and the water in the glass will become stagnant. If this condition continues, the water will become unfit to drink and must be thrown out.
In obeying the Father’’s mandate to be perfect, we start off with a small amount of goodness in our souls. Our souls have the capacity to be filled such that goodness will overflow our souls once they become filled with the Father’’s goodness. As our souls continue to be filled, there remains less and less room for evil. And we want to further decrease the evil, actual or potential, that remains in our souls. In short, we want to be filled with the goodness of God. When our souls are filled with the Father’’s goodness, there is no room for evil.
The technique whereby our souls become filled with the goodness of the heavenly Father is by the technique of recognizing the Father’’s will, submitting to that will, learning how to do that will, culminating in our perfectly doing the Father’’s will. How do we learn how to do this? We must look to the Spirit of Truth, the spirit of Jesus, to show us the way. He is the way, the truth, and the life. We begin this process by making a decision to do the Father’’s will. The mechanism for filling our souls with the goodness of the Father is our faith-activated prayers, our petitions. Our prayers must be activated by faith, for "without faith, it is impossible to please him: For he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Without faith in God, we will not seek to recognize his will, nor submit to it, nor learn how to do it, and this will not culminate in perfectly doing that will. Without faith in God, we will not develop a desire to do his will.
Once our faith is activated, and we are spiritually convinced that we are indeed in contact with the heavenly Father, we begin to recognize the difference between his will and our will. Having made a spiritual decision to do the Father’’s will, the Father rewards us by revealing his will to us, and we immediately recognize it because even though it appears in our souls and minds, it is qualitatively different from our will. We recognize the Father’’s will as consisting of all those unselfish altruistic impulses, urges, and desires which we acknowledge are different from self-serving selfish impulses, urges, and desires that rightfully are a part of us. Because we recognize ourselves, we are able to recognize the divine self.
Using our material analogy, the decision to do the Father’’s will represents the beginning of the Father pouring the waters of goodness into our souls. When we recognize these divine qualities, this is the recognition that the glasses of our souls are beginning to be filled with the living waters of goodness. We then move on to submitting to the divine will, and we do this by making a decision. If we recognize something as being different from our own, than we can by an act of will submit to it, choose it. This technique is similar to recognizing the superiority of one thing over the other, and choosing the superior in place of the inferior.
In our personal relations, not our corporate relations, we can always choose which nature we will submit to. But the process of responding with the divine will requires wisdom, otherwise we will do evil rather than good. With experience, and with the Spirit of Truth, we learn how to acceptably do the divine will. This Spirit of Truth unerringly guides us into that conduct that is most acceptable to the Father. As we accept this Spirit of Truth, the glasses of our souls begin to fill up, and if we continue to submit to the Father’’s will under the guidance of the Spirit of Truth, the glasses of our souls soon begin to overflow with the goodness of the Father’’s love.
Now a strange thing happens when we allow the glasses of our souls to become filled with the living waters of divine goodness. They become stained with divine goodness. The stain is of such a nature that it cannot be removed as long as the living waters are flowing in and flowing out. The stains of goodness are constantly renewed.
Now we return back to our faith-activated prayers. In our moral and spiritual environment, as we interact with our brothers and sisters, we find that we don’’t respond to them with all the factors of divine goodness. We find that some of them rub us the wrong way; some of them we just don’’t like for a variety of reasons. We may perceive them as a threat, or there may not be any reason at all that we can identify. We don’’t "know them" and they appear "strange." Some of them evoke such feelings of uneasiness that we rather just avoid them, leave them to somebody else to minster to. We recognize that in some, in the face of hatred, we fail to portray the love of divine goodness. In others, in the face of impatience, we may fail to portray the patience of divine goodness; in still others who are in need of mercy, having fallen from grace, we may fail to show mercy. Further out on the limb of despair, we may fail to forgive those who have unjustly wronged us, utterly refuse to take them back in and fellowship with them.
If we want to effect change in the person with whom we are unable to display all aspects divine goodness, we must change our attitude towards them. This is done by praying for them every day until righteous attitudes are firmly established in our souls. Faith-activated praying for our estranged brothers and sisters brings about a change in our attitude because we become privileged with the vision of "seeing" them as the heavenly Father "sees" them. And after having changed our attitude towards them, we want to spiritually influence them so that we bring about a change in them. And this is just why intimate contact with the person is necessary along with the communicated knowledge that you are praying for them. This intimate contact with them allows that overflowing of divine goodness to spill over into them. Remember, it is the goodness of God that causes repentance. When we interact with our brothers and sisters this way, we have perfectly learned how to do the Father’’s will. Our souls become filled and overflow with the goodness of God. And we naturally crave to have this living water of goodness refresh other souls.
This concludes today's message on being filled with the fullness of the God. 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.