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 with me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we seek to understand the meaning of moral and spiritual support.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
Moral and Spiritual Support
Jesus said, "If a man love me, 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
His soul gave way
When he leaned upon straw
That tragic and eventful day.
Brothers and sisters, this morning we discuss the moral and spiritual support that is available to us when we lean not unto our own understanding but to the everlasting rock of salvation and comfort. In our journey through this life, our soul becomes aware rather early of the need to make moral and spiritual decisions. Consider this: ". . . Moral choice and spiritual attainment, the ability to know God and the urge to be like him are the characteristics of the soul. The soul of man cannot exist apart from moral thinking and spiritual activity. A stagnant soul is a dying soul."
Having been endowed with moral and spiritual natures, it is the Father’’s will that we perfect them. The only way this can happen is by making progressive choices. We don’’t start off making advanced moral and spiritual decisions at first but we gradually learn to make them as they grow in difficulty. Moral and spiritual resistance must be encountered to bring forth the slumbering moral and spiritual potentials of the soul. It must be of some resistance such that it will provide stimuli for increased growth, just as an athlete’’s training is progressively rigorous.
Moral and spiritual growth require moral and spiritual exercises, but this is daunting. We must learn to discern the right choice and then summon the courage to make the right choice. Consider this: "Every human being very early experiences something of a conflict between his self-seeking and his altruistic impulses, and many times the first experience of God-consciousness may be attained as the result of seeking for superhuman help in the task of resolving such moral conflicts."
The soul must have an eternal foundation for support, which indeed is provided in the form of the Father’’s spirit that lives within our minds and souls. Divine support is no more than a thought away. We seek and gain moral stamina and spiritual power to meet the ever-increasing challenges of life. When we are faced with a difficult moral decision, if we seek the Father’’s will, the Father will provide the courage and determination to choose the highest decision available in such a situation. The spirit of the Father reinforces and supports our decision due to its unshakeable foundation. Here the soul can lean as long and as hard as it wishes without any fear of our support giving way.
Sometimes our brothers and sisters can provide some support but not always. Sometimes they may not be as dedicated and consecrated to doing the Father’’s will and therefore cannot discern the value in question in the compelling situation. Then we may become astonished at their lack of support and find ourselves standing all alone, humanly speaking. At such time the soul acquires a new consciousness of the Father presence. After seeking the Father’’s will in the aftermath of being abandoned, the soul may cry out, "Are you there, Father?" And the Father replies, "Of course I am here. I am the essence of strength that allows you to remain unmoved; I am the power of your decision, the comfort in your loneliness, the encourager of your righteousness. I am the peace within your soul, the tranquility of your spirit." "I am always with you--just a desire away."
Sometimes when we are left stranded on a moral island by ourselves, we may be tempted to take the first ship off of the island of moral disquiet regardless of the destination. Before embarking upon the ship of unknown destination, we should consider this: "The human mind does not well stand the conflict of double allegiance. It is a severe strain on the soul to undergo the experience of an effort to serve both good and evil. The supremely happy and efficiently unified mind is the one wholly dedicated to the doing of the will of the Father in heaven. Unresolved conflicts destroy unity and may terminate in mind disruption. But the survival character of a soul is not fostered by attempting to secure peace of mind at any price, by the surrender of noble aspirations, and by the compromise of spiritual ideals; rather is such peace attained by the stalwart assertion of the triumph of that which is true, and this victory is achieved in the overcoming of evil with the potent force of good."
After the moral storm clouds have cleared, having being dispersed by the force of the moral wind, the soul may then bask in the sunshine of moral nobility, there to enjoy his triumph of good over evil and to enjoy a brief break while he replenishes his depleted energies. But the soul does not rest long before it re-enters the never-ending fray of choosing good over evil. The result of all of this continuous choosing is growth and ultimately perfection of our moral and spiritual natures.
As the soul continues through this life, it comes to depend solely on the Father for moral and spiritual support. This is a good thing. It is not that moral support from our brothers and sisters is to be despised, far from it. It’’s just that seeking inner moral support is far superior than seeking it outside of ourselves because the former depends only on our desire to do the Father’’s will. Whereas receiving external moral support is subject to the desire and degree of doing the Father’’s will by others. Thus, when filtered through these souls the support may not be of the strength or purity that is required for the occasion at hand.
There is a similar phenomenon at play related to the manifestation of the Father’’s presence in the world. This, too, is subject to our desire to do the Father’’s will. So, the Father’’s presence in the world is not consistent or complete due to lack of cooperation, dedication, and consecration of the human will to align with the Father’’s. When we seek for the Father’’s will on the inside, we encounter no barrier to discerning his presence other than those imposed by ourselves——our own lack of desire and wholehearted dedication to doing the Father’’s will.
It is better to seek the source. We close with this hymn:
Time is filled with swift transition,
Naught of earth unmoved can stand,
Build your hopes on things eternal,
Hold to God’’s unchanging hand.
Hold to God’’’’s unchanging hand,
Hold to God’’’’s unchanging hand;
Build your hopes on things eternal,
Hold to God’’’’s unchanging hand.
Trust in Him who will not leave you,
Whatsoever years may bring,
If by earthly friends forsaken
Still more closely to Him cling.
Covet not this world’’s vain riches
That so rapidly decay,
Seek to gain the heavenly treasures,
They will never pass away.
When your journey is completed,
If to God you have been true,
Fair and bright the home in glory
Your enraptured soul will view.
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning of moral and spiritual support. 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.