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 shared many revelations of spiritual truth with me, and I want to share them with you. In today’’s broadcast, we reflect further on the Father’’s will.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
Reflection Upon the Father’’s Will
"Jesus said unto them, ‘‘My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.’’" John, Chapter, Verse 34
Brothers and sisters, there have been many ingenious methods of the material mind to discern God’’s will. Most of these methods have been intellectual, even emotional. Although the Father’’s will is moral, morality is not the Father’’s will. The Father’’s will is living love: "If you love one another as I love you, all men will know that you are my disciples." There are many aspects of this will that we don’’t fully comprehend. Especially is this true when we seek to know his will in some undertaking, or when we are faced with some crises that might require a change in direction. We seek to know which way to go. It is at such time that we dearly seek to know what his will is.
What is will? Will is an inherent ability that allows us to make decisions. It allows us to decide which reality we will experience. As we choose, so do we become father to another reality of experience. The Father, who is the source of our free will, also has will. The Father is will--absolute, eternal, and infinite. And he has placed his will, his spirit in us. So whom shall we turn to teach and demonstrate this will to us so that we might choose it? As Jesus said, "This command which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, ‘‘Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it’’? Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, ‘‘who shall go over the sea for us and bring it to us so that we may do it?’’ But the word [the Father’’s will] is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it."
Jesus said, " I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is my Father’’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that everyone which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day."
In order to execute the Father ‘‘s will, we must turn to Jesus, whose Spirit of Truth demonstrates perfectly to our souls how to execute the Father’’s will. There has been a lot of controversy over what the Father’’s will is. It seems that the Father’’s will has become a method for accumulating material things. But as we study the life of Jesus both before his awareness of his pre-existence and after his awareness, we do not see him engaged in any kind of material aggrandizement for himself or his disciples. In fact, one of the reasons the five thousand refused to follow Jesus after he had fed them was because he refused to be their kind of king. While we may not be in a position to appreciate all the reasons why he performed material miracles, we know the performance of these miracles was not arbitrary.
As we study his life, we see that he lived an ordinary one. He was a carpenter by trade. He was truly human as well as divine. As he continued to live his life, he grew morally and spiritually, and he continued this growth until he perfected it. At this point of perfecting his human life, he became aware of his pre-existence (as is noted in the baptism in the Jordan by John, when the divine spirit spoke, saying, "this is a beloved Son in whom I am well pleased"). After his baptism, he began his mission. From reading about his life in the scriptures, playing close attention to what he said, and the interaction he had with his disciples and others, it becomes clear as to what the Father’’s will is.
First, he came down from heaven to reveal the Father to mankind and to live the mortal life just as you and I must do and as a perfected mortal. He said that whosoever has seen him had seen the Father. He said, "Before Abraham was, I am," signifying his eternal status. As we observe his character, we are convicted in our souls that this is indeed the revelation of the spiritual Father. As a part of this, he offered eternal life to all who would believe in him. He said that he would raise us from the dead on the last day. What was it that Jesus wanted his disciples to believe? Jesus wanted his disciples to accept his revelation of the Father and strive to acquire a spiritual and moral character like the Father.
He promised that if we would believe in him, we would develop a character like the Father. He exhorted us to be perfect even as the heavenly Father is perfect. He told us that he would send his Spirit into our souls when he left the world and that this Spirit of Truth would lead us into all truth. He wanted us to emulate him as the perfect example of doing the Father’’s will. Jesus went about doing good. He offered us a way into the kingdom of heaven while living life in the flesh. He commanded us to love each other as he loved us and to love our neighbor as we loved ourselves. He said if we did that, this would be the proof that we were his disciples and proof to the world that we were indeed his disciples. He told us that we were sons and daughters of God and taught us to initiate our prayers with the words, "Our Father who art in heaven," signifying our relationship to God.
And this is the spiritual proof that Jesus is the Son of God, thus the revelation of the Father: While we live our mortal lives, we interact with each other. As we interact with each other, we are influenced to a certain degree by each other either positively or negatively. But this influence is not lasting. It stops when we stop interacting with the person or the person dies. No dead person can influence our characters. As we read about our heroes of old, we may admire their life, even their characters. We may even try to imitate their characters, but this imitation soon withers under the adverse storms of life as our true character is revealed.
If we truly believe in Jesus, we will increasingly acquire a character like his. We will become motivated by love and dominated by mercy. The display of the fruits of the spirit will ever increase in quality in our lives. We will experience joy, peace, and righteousness in the spirit. And the fact this happens is proof that he is alive, imparting his divine nature to all who believe in him and who seek to do the Father’’s will through him. But we must be careful to follow him and not the shadow. A shadow changes but the source of the shadow does not change. It remains the same regardless of the degree of light cast upon it. And while there is much to be learned from the study of other intellectual sources, and these sources may contain much truth, they cannot compare in any way with the living spirit of Jesus, the Spirit of Truth, which actually reveals the Father to our souls.
When trials and tribulations cross our paths, we may look to Jesus to be empowered to respond to these trials and tribulations as he would. This is the choosing of the Father’’s will.
This concludes today's message on further reflections upon 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