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 we learn to do the Father's will.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message
How We Learn to Do the Father's Will
And he said, the God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and
see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth." Acts, Chapter 22, Verse 14.
Brothers and sisters, in today's broadcast, we shall consider the technique whereby we, the mortal
sons and daughters of the heavenly Father learn how to do His Will. We know that in order to learn
something, we must be taught. Sometimes we can teach ourselves, but the more effective method
is to have someone who has intimate knowledge, an expert, to impart the instructions to us. Before
preceding, a summary of what will is might be helpful. Will applies to the moral and spiritual
choosing of our minds and not to material choices.
We know that the Father is will, and this will represents not only His desire to act, to accomplish
some task, but it also represents His essence. In short, this will not only includes the volitional act
but also embodies the complete moral and spiritual character of His unfathomable nature. And when
this will acts, it has the complete force of His entire being. There are no conflicts in His decisions,
no divided loyalties. Thus when He acts, His acts are all characterized by love--truth, beauty, and
goodness. We know that often when we act, we are filled with conflicts and divided loyalties. The
thing that we would do, often we do it not; while the thing we would not do, we often wind up doing.
It becomes clear that our will must be adjusted, elevated, purified so that it joins with the Fathers's
will before we can perfectly carry out the Father's will.
A short while ago, I observed my neighbor teaching one of his grandchildren how to operate a riding
mower. As the rider mower moves across the lawn, the blade cuts the grass. Now at this stage of the
instruction, the child was just sitting on the seat in between the grandfather's legs, and he just rode
along as the grandfather cut the lawn. This is the observation phase. At first the child is fascinated
by the enjoyment of just riding and being close to his grandfather, but as he continues to ride, he
begins to focus his attention on what his grandfather is doing. He makes note of the pattern that his
grandfather uses in cutting the grass, how he deals with certain changes in the terrain, for example,
such as avoiding pitfalls like holes that may cause the mower to turn over. He notices how the speed
and direction of the riding mower is adjusted under various circumstances. The child is still too
young and not strong enough to steer the wheels at this time.
Soon the grandfather secures a smaller model of this tractor. It does not have a blade underneath it,
but it does have a steering wheel, a pedal for accelerating, and a brake for stopping. For a few years,
the child became adept at driving this vehicle, and his skill at steering continues to improve. Soon
the child is able to sit between the grandfather's legs and hold the steering wheel of the riding mower.
At first the grandfather holds his own hand over the child's, literally guiding the child as he drives
the lawn mower. As times passes, the child's steering and the grandfather's steering become as one.
There is no need for the grandfather to exert pressure on his hand to turn the steering wheel in the
way that it should go, and the child has learned how to perfectly steer the lawn mower over various
types of terrain.
Three factors, then, impacted this learning process. First is the child's capacity to learn but inability
to cooperate. This is an unavoidable delay and is due to the delays of time and the handicaps of
space. The second factor is the child's ability to cooperate but a lack of experience, the opportunity
to practice. And third is the child's occasional willfulness, a refusal to cooperate with the learning
The first barrier is caused by the child's lack of physical and intellectual ability. As he grows and
develops, he will soon overcome these transient barriers. The second factor is due to the child's lack
of experience. There are certain timed penalties that prevent the child from mastering the operation
of the lawn mower. He simply must gain experience with all the variations of operating the lawn
mower under different circumstances of terrain. The third factor is due to the child's relative maturity
but lack of wisdom, and his steering must be redirected. Sometimes this is caused by the child not
fully appreciating the subtleties of operating the lawn mower under various circumstances. Other
times the child has his own (incorrect) concepts of how the lawn mower should be operated. In short,
he lacks wisdom.
There is a fourth phase of learning, but it does not apply to any useful effort to properly operate the
lawn mower. This phase is the refusal to cooperate at all, the instructions to operate the lawn mower
properly having been abandoned. He has given up, and the grandfather has ceased his own efforts
to instruct him. We will therefore not consider this factor in our discussion of learning how to do the
Father's will because, for our purpose, we assume that we are indeed desirous of learning how to do
the Father's will. And we do so having used this material analogy as background.
We have the ability and the capacity to learn and execute the Father's will. And though it requires
time, the human will can rest with confidence that, if the learning and the execution of the Father's
will is our supreme desire, we can master it while still living in the flesh. It requires undivided
loyalty for the human will to execute the Father's will, for when we do so, we are actually executing
the outward force of His character, a force that is undivided, that has the support of His entire divine
personality. Therefore, we must do the same. Our decision to do the Father's will must have the
complete and total support of our own personalities. There can be no divided loyalties. Once our
loyalty and faith are mobilized, we are in the position to pay attention to the spiritual instructions the
Father provides that will teach us how to do His will. In actuality, the Father is the source of the
instruction (content), but His Son, Jesus, teaches us the content. Jesus displays the Father's character,
which we copy when we learn how to do the Father's will.
The Son provides guidance for the human will. Through his Spirit of Truth, it literally guides the
hands of the soul so that it steers the human will to choose that which is true, beautiful, and good in
each situation and circumstance of life. From the soul's point of view, there are three factors involved
in learning how to do the Father's will. (The last factor actually incorporates the instruction into the
very fiber of the soul, and thus learning takes place.)
First there is prayer. During prayer the soul receives instruction. During prayer spiritual tests are
graded and corrections are made in the form of concepts provided for achieving the Father's will.
During prayer wisdom is received as well as all qualities that are associated with learning how to do
the Father's will, such as the Fruits of the Spirit. Prayer is two-way communication that involves the
exchange of human values and meanings for divine ones. This exchange is manifested by the subtle
changes of the soul's petitions and is realized by new meanings and values that emerge from
progressive experiences subsequent to these petitions.
Second is service. By loving service, the soul actually demonstrates that it has learned the lessons
of how to do the Father's will. This service is progressive and increasingly difficult, thus providing
the exercise needed for continued soul growth. During the service aspect, the soul demonstrates that
it is capable of carrying out instructions acceptably.
The final phase of learning how to do the Father's will is the practice of worship. This is the
wholehearted desire of the soul to be Godlike, the wholehearted desire to do the Father's will, to
become Godlike in all divinity aspects. This incessant yearning--along with faith--literally transforms
the soul into the image of the Son, Jesus, whereby the soul actually becomes Godlike.
Now lets us look at the spiritual analysis of this process. First we must assume there is a desire to
learn how to do the Father's will. This is quickly followed by the appearance of faith, which envelops
the desire and presents it to the human will for action. When the human will acts, the Father reacts
and accepts the desire. Then begins the process of learning. During this period, the human will first
observes how the Father acts through His Son, Jesus. The Son only does that which he sees the
Father do. This period lasts until the human will is sufficiently mature to begin to act on the Father's
will. When a certain level of maturity is reached, the Spirit begins active instruction, and the Spirit
of Truth takes up its role to guide the hands of the soul as it steers the wheels of the Father's will.
With the Spirit of Truth, the soul is able to make marvelous progress and is able to achieve the
amazing feat of perfectly executing the Father's will. This final phase is the result of continuous
practice-service until doing the Father's will is mastered.
This concludes today's message on understanding how we learn to do the Father's will. 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.