Greetings, 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. We continue with our exploration of the divine plan for our lives. This morning we place emphasis on the nature of how we cooperate with the divine plan and show how our decisions either expedite or impede the divine plan for our lives.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
More on the Divine Plan
"In my Father’’s house are many mansions: If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you" John, Chapter 14, Verse 2
The oil of patience lubricates the gears of success as they turn.
Brothers and sisters, subsequent to overcoming the sluggishness of our animal nature, at some point in our journey, we come to realize that the divine plan for our lives is true, beautiful, and good, and that it is motivated by the great love that the Father has for us and overshadowed by his mercy.
The divine plan is given to us in the form of the divine spirit. The purpose of this spirit is spiritually to recreate us. This plan is flawless, but since we are free will creatures, we have the ability to reject, modify, or defer the plan for our transformation to some future date. How can we cooperate with a plan that we are not aware? How can we know when we are successfully cooperating with it and not failing to cooperative with it? What happens if our lives are cut short before we complete the divine plan? What is our fate then? These questions may seem problematic until we realize that the divine plan is designed to make us perfect even as the heavenly Father is perfect. Although the divine plan begins in this life, it is fulfilled in eternity. The divine spirit is fully cognizant of our potentials, and this plan is designed to unfold those potentials. This plan is uniquely designed for each individual. The extent to which we follow, cooperate, with the plan is the degree to which we do the Father’’s will, since it is the Father’’s will that we follow the plan.
The recognition of the plan is no more than the recognition of choosing right over wrong in any given situation. In any given situation, there are always two ways to choose, two courses of action to follow. If we did not have this ability to recognize right from wrong and choose right over wrong, the divine spirit would never enter our minds. The fact that the divine spirit has entered our minds and co-created our souls is proof that we know the divine plan. If we know the divine plan, we can choose it. We don’’t want to infer that we actually know the details of the plan, the ins and outs of it, but we refer to that junction where we are presented with the present phase of the plan to be implemented. Remember the divine spirit is eternal and makes contact with us always in the present. In the present we have an opportunity to choose; in choosing right over wrong, we demonstrate that we have survival value, that we can respond to the Father’’s mandate to be perfect even as he is perfect.
We must develop intellectually, morally, and spiritually. The failure to wholeheartedly accept these truths prevents us from accepting and cooperating with the mechanism of the divine plan. We long for a life of ease, a life free of difficulties. Were it not for the coercion of life struggles, many of us would not make progress at all. We dislike the emotional agony often associated with conflicting moral choices. As the experiences of life begin to unfold with the elements of the divine plan concealed within then, we are presented with intellectual, moral, and spiritual stimuli on which to exert ourselves according to our potentials.
As we are confronted with these increasingly difficult challenges, we choose whether we will fully meet them, meet them partially, or not meet them at all. Certainly when we find ourselves aligned with the forces of "procrastination, equivocation, insincerity, problem avoidance, unfairness, and ease seeking," we are headed in the wrong direction. Because the divine plan involves struggle, and we can never know beforehand what the next experience will bring, we often shrink from the challenges that are part of it. We often fall back or take a route more to the liking of our ease-seeking souls. Thus we fail to fully cooperate with the divine plan for our lives.
Since the divine plan is a living and experiential plan, we can only know what the plan is for our lives as we experience it daily. We are experiential creatures and we cannot know what we have not yet experienced. But even so, consider these human reactions to possible foreknowledge: If we think an experience is good, we tend to anticipate it; if we think that it is bad, we tend to avoid it. Thus it is wise to withhold the details of the unfolding plan. While we may have feelings about our moral choices, these feelings do not determine whether or not an experience is good or evil. How we feel about an experience does not determine whether or not it is right for us. Moral choosing takes place on a plane above our feelings.
Lacking true spiritual insight into the purpose of life experiences makes anticipation unwise. True, we can look back over different stages of our lives and discern that phase of the divine plan in operation. We can also discern the degree to which we have cooperated with it, the degree to which we have modified or rejected portions of it and deferred others. But we must remember that decision by decision, we are certainly determining our fate.
We must complete the divine plan for our lives either here or in the next life if we are to continue to survive. Remember, Jesus said, "In my Father’’s house are many mansions." And if we are mowed down prematurely by the blades of the accidents of time, the divine plan continues to unfold on the next level of existence. Consider these insights: We know that we do not appreciate the value of something until we have earned it. Thus the divine values and meanings that are concealed within the divine plan cannot be given to us without experience. Without experience, they remain just words, intellectual constructs without real meaning to us. It is necessary to experience the struggles of life in order for spiritual values and meanings to possess meaning for us. The nature and order of our experiences depend upon our hidden potentials.
What we experience depends not only on our decisions, but also the decision of others as well as the circumstances of life over which we have no control. The Father’’s spirit selects the values and meanings that we need from a particular experience. Whether we are traversing the stage of youth, middle age or old age, a phase of the plan always awaits us. For those who have modified, or rejected parts of the plan, remedial instructions will be required to acquire values and meanings not obtained because of the failure to cooperate wholeheartedly. But we should remember, to whom much is given, much is expected. If we are given a long natural life to live, then we will be held accountable for how we spent that life. One thing is for sure: if we have the potential to complete the divine plan, we are certainly going to be given an opportunity. Only persistent willful rejection can defeat us.
This concludes today's message on understanding more of the divine plan for our lives. 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