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 will ponder our lives as seek to understand more on the recognition and execution of the Father’’s will.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
More on the Recognizing and Executing the Father’’s Will
““And Jesus said speaking of the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, ‘‘ . . . And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.’’" John, Chapter 16, Verse 8
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast, we shall continue our discussion on recognizing and executing the Father’’s will. We know that what lies at the heart of prayer is our most urgent desire. Thus we urgently seek to recognize the answers the Father provides based on these petitions, for herein lie conscious relief and comfort, the satisfaction of hope and faith. Recognizing the answer to prayer relieves anxiety and frustration and yields satisfaction. But we before we can enter the hallway of the reception of prayer, we must undergo further preparation. We want to really understand what we mean by recognizing and executing the Father’’s will. Let us ponder this material analogy to further help us understand what this means.
Yesterday while driving on the interstate highway, we were having a discussion about this same concept. As we drove along, there were various exit signs posted along the interstate highway, and as we approached one of these signs, the posting became clearer and clearer until we could clearly recognize what exit the sign was pointing to. When we got to the exit that we wanted, after recognizing that it was indeed the exist, we took the exit (executed) and turned off of the interstate highway, and thereafter soon pulled into the driveway of our home safely.
Now this simple material analogy carries a powerful spiritual meaning. I am sure that there have been many times when we have failed to recognize the proper exit while driving on the interstate highway. Sometimes it may have been due to confusion over whether this was indeed the right exit; other times the right exit may not have been recognized until it was too late to take the exist safely; and other times we may have had the exit completely wrong and did not recognize that it was wrong until we had taken it. Now it appears that with proper preparation for the trip that we had planned to take, studying our maps carefully, we could have avoided those errors; however, if we choose the wrong set of directions, then there is no way we can take the correct exit. And this is where the spiritual analogy arises: if we do not clearly discern the exit (recognize the Father’’s will), then there is no way that we can properly take the correct exit (choose the Father’’s will).
Our problem usually because of lack of appropriate instruction. We have usually been taught that our relationship with the Father is material as well as spiritual. We have somehow been led to believe, despite our personal experiences, that asking the Father for material favor is somehow spiritual and that, if we exercise enough faith, the material answer will be forthcoming. This has caused no end of confusion and frustration. We have failed to discern that we are on a spiritual journey with a spiritual destination, not a material journey with a material destination. When framed this way, the difficulty is easily discernible.
Being material beings, it is natural that we should pray to God whom we believe loves us and only wants what is best for us. So if we have material needs that we cannot meet, it is only natural that we should pray and ask the Father to meet those needs for us. And we are correct in believing that the Father loves us and wants what is best for us; but what we fail to understand is what is best for us. The Father wants us to grow and develop, to become spiritual, and thus He wants us to go through the experiences of life, not remove us from them. Through these various experiences we come to a better understanding of our relationship with Him. The result of material beings with spiritual potentials subject to the experiences of life, being in constant contact with the Heavenly Father, is the gradual spiritualization of that same being.
We start out praying to the Father with basically a materialistic selfish attitude and end up with a spiritually unselfish attitude, dedicated to doing the Father’’s will rather than our own. But what has happened during the interval? Gradually as time has passed and we have continued to maintain contact with the Father, we moved away from the purely material aspect of ourselves and moved into the more spiritual phases of ourselves as is indicated by the slowly changing nature of our prayers and our ever-increasing efforts to recognize and execute the Father’’s will..
Concerning the difference between the human will and God’’s will: the human will is the way of the human; the will of God is the way of God. There is a vast difference between the two, qualitatively as well as quantitatively, "for my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways by ways, said the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." Therefore to do the will of God is to choose the thoughts and ways of God. To do the will of God, therefore, is the progressive experience of becoming more and more like God, and God is the source and destiny of all that is good and beautiful and true. We must gradually move away from choices that reflect our material selves to those that reflect the Father’’s character. As we choose, so we become. If we choose our way, we become even more material, gradually destroying our spiritual potentials. If we choose the Father’’s way, we become more spiritual and less material.
Our experiences and the Spirit of Truth’’s preparation have gradually pushed out the error in our prayers. And also during this process, we have become more and more like the Father. This helped us recognize the Father’’s point of view--his character. And like the human example of a child becoming grown and taking on family responsibilities, the now adult viewpoint is almost indistinguishable from that of the parent, which the child so bitterly criticized during the immature years. When it comes to the problems of life and their solutions, the spiritual adult looks at the spiritual problems of life in the same way.
The spiritual adult recognizes the Father’’s will (the Father’’s character traits) because he has acquired these same traits. Have become more like the Father in this way, the adult can execute them in his spiritual decisions. And when this process has become perfected, just as Jesus, the Son of God, perfectly represents the Father, the spiritual adult will perfectly represent Jesus, who is the revelation of the Father. In short Jesus represents the Father the same way the Father would execute a similar situation if He were personally present. When we perfect the recognition of the Father, having become supremely like Him, we will represent Jesus in a given situation the same way that Jesus would execute a similar situation if he were present.
Jesus is the Son of Man and the Son of God, a combination of man and God. While living here he made material decisions, rendering to Caesar the things of Caesar and rendering to God the things of God. In his spiritual life, he made spiritual decisions that revealed the love and mercy of the Father to his earthly brothers and sisters. And today his mighty Spirit of Truth newly endows our souls, helping us to more accurately and more readily recognize the Father’’s character and empowering us to execute decisions that are reflective of the Father’’s character. And it is these influences and progressive spiritual choices that allow us to accurately recognize and execute the Father’’s will with ever-increasing wisdom and perfection.
This concludes today's message on understanding more on recognizing and executing 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.