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 what it means to see by faith.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
Seeing by Faith
"We walk by faith, not by sight." Second Corinthians, Chapter 5, Verse 7
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast we share some insights into seeing by faith. Scripture says, "we walk by faith and not by sight." When the time had come for Jesus to be betrayed and crucified, the apostles were extremely upset, for they perceived that their hopes and dreams of a material kingdom were about to be destroyed forever. But even at crucial moments, when doubt and despair threatened to block out the light of truth, they were still required to walk by faith and not by sight. And as we continue this faith journey towards the Father, we invariably pass through circumstances that require us to walk by faith and not by sight. These are the experiences that transition us from one level of spiritual status to another, and often times during these interludes, things appear confused, and we cannot see our way.
But we must remember as with the apostles that even though their present concept of the kingdom was about to go up in smoke, something greater was about to happen to them. But at that particular time, it was impossible for them to materially see it. The only thing they could materially see was the destruction of their cherished hopes and dreams. In such a situation, they had to see by faith, just as we must, for the spiritual journey does not proceed in a linear fashion but in an elliptical one. This means that the divine values and meanings that we are extracting from a particular experience may appear to disappear as they move into the curved portion of the ellipse of the spiritual journey. Here we must proceed by faith and not by sight. On the material side of this journey, it may appear that we have run into a brick wall in terms of progressive meanings.
But such is not the case. We are merely moving from one level of divine values and meanings to another. Thus, to see by faith means that even though the values and meanings that we were pursuing appear to have temporarily vanished, we must continue to behold them with the eye of faith. At such times, the Spirit of Truth will guide the anxious feet of our souls. When we move into what appears to be a disagreeable situation, where it appears that there is nothing that we can do that is both good and wise, such a situation is extremely hard on our emotions and creates havoc in our minds as they try to wrestle with problems that apparently have no favorable material solution. Such a situation requires patience, and while we exercise this patience, we must maintain our faith and trust in the goodness of God, while we allow our hope to sustain us as our souls and minds grow into the new values and meanings.
To see by faith requires that we understand and fully except that "uncertainty with security is the essence of the Paradise adventure--uncertainty in time and in mind, uncertainty as to the events of the unfolding Paradise ascent; security in spirit and in eternity, security in the unqualified trust of the creature son in the divine compassion and infinite love of the Universal Father; uncertainty as an inexperienced citizen of the universe; security as an ascending son in the universe mansions of an all-powerful, all-wise, and all-loving Father." Whenever we are dogged by the hounds of impatience and the rabid dogs of doubt, when these destroyers of serenity enter into our sleep and wake us, we must remember this: Nothing of spiritual value is ever lost, and we will eventually move through the experience, once more enjoying the now present divine values and meanings that were shrouded in the clouds of transition as we turned into the elliptical wing of the spiritual journey.
To see by faith requires that, in the midst of all of this uncertainty, we reaffirm our dedication to doing the Father’’s will. A soul that is dedicated to doing the Father’’s will, will not be moved no matter the emotional turmoil or the physical suffering. When we are pushed to our human limits, when we have exhausted our capacity to cope, then we’’ve actually opened the door to welcome the unlimited coping power of the Father. That is, we receive spiritual energy and moral stamina which helps us continue the spiritual journey. There is no force in the universe that can pry us out of the Father’’s hands except our own choices.
To see by faith requires that we must be tested under all possible conditions until our loyalty towards the Father is perfected. We must continue to reveal His love and the mercy of His Son even while we linger in the arms of material and emotional difficulty. We must continue to have faith and trust in Him, even if we have to pray all night long to elevate our souls until they rise to the level of oneness with the Father.
Consider this parable of the footsteps in the sand. A traveler walks along a sandy beach, leaving his footsteps behind him as he makes his way along the shoreline, enjoying the refreshing breeze blowing off the ocean. Eventually he gets lonely and desires to have some company to enjoy his walk, so he invites his friend to walk with him. As they walk, enjoying each other’’s company, there are now two sets of footprints in the sand. As they continue to walk, a strange thing happens--there is once more only one set of footprints in the sand. What is the meaning of this?
Before we begin our spiritual journey, before we begin communing with our heavenly Father, before we begin to do His will, we are only conscious of our own. There is only one. After we decide to do the Father’’s will, there is now two--our will and the Father’’s will. When we learn to do His will, then there is only one. Our wills have become one with the Father.
We may have prayed just as we have been taught from childhood, but the petitions are not from our souls. But as we continue, the difficulties of life force us to begin to pray in our own right. No longer do we recite the set petitions from childhood but utter petitions reflective of our true needs. As such a time we enter into true communion with our heavenly Father.
As we continue this process of two-way communion with the Father, we learn how to do the Father’’s will. Our souls begin to reflect His glorious character. We may continue to be stressed in our lives, but the display of spirit continues. True prayer is learning how to do the Father’’s will. Still, as we to live and continue to learn how to do the Father’’s will, we run into cyclones of adversity. These cyclones of adversity drives us so close to the Father that we become one with Him. Now our wills have become His will, His channel for perfectly revealing His loving character through us by the power of the spirit of His Son, Jesus, the Spirit of Truth.
When we have truly become one with Him, we become true worshipers. The adverse experience caused us to become so dependent on him, so trustful of His goodness, so hopeful of His guidance, that we have become one with Him. Seeing by faith means to refuse doubting the goodness of God or His love and mercy for us; it is refusing to doubt the effectiveness of His guidance for our souls. Seeing by faith is to acknowledge our oneness with Him, and when we believe that we are one with Him, we are one with him, and we show forth His glorious character of love and mercy, and our souls bask in the glorious light of His outpouring of divine values, while our minds are filled with the divine meanings of such values. Finally, brothers and sisters, to see by faith is to see the heavenly Father as revealed by His Son, Jesus. And such faith-vision fills our souls with unspeakable joy and imparts a peace to our souls that passes all understanding. We know that we will emerge from the experience with a higher consciousness of the heavenly Father.
This concludes today's message on understanding what it means to see by faith. 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.