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 spiritual truths with me, and I want to share them with you. In today’’s broadcast we share further insight into the practice of seeking to know the Father’’s will.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
Seeking to Know the Father’’s Will
"If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God or whether I speak of myself." John, Chapter 7, Verse 17
Brothers and sisters, we know that as we continue to grapple with the increasing moral conflicts and spiritual difficulties, we seek guidance and directions. We also seek the moral stamina and spiritual power to continue with the inward journey of perfecting our souls. We also seek divine wisdom as to how to best adjust ourselves to the rapidly changing ups and downs of material life. In seeking to know the Father’’s will, we are also seeking to know the divine values and meanings in any given moral or spiritual situation.
In seeking to know the Father’’s will, we want to demonstrate how the Father’’s responds to our requests; and how we recognize and respond to the answer. Finally we want to show that the most effective way of summarizing all of these requests is to seek to know the Father’’s will. This is especially true when the issues have been come so complicated that we don’’t know how to sort them out. Sometimes moral issues have so many sides to them, seemingly to be contradictory.
But before we begin, let us set the environment in which we are going to communicate with the heavenly Father, and thus receive the answers to our petitions. And even though these communications with the heavenly Father are absolutely real as is our relationship, no such communication can be demonstrated objectively to the outside world. The only way this communication and relationship is demonstrable to the outside world is in the quality of the decisions that we make as they have been modified and influenced by our relationship with him.
Thus our relationship with him is faith-based because of the inability of our conscious material minds to see him. We must view him with the eyes of our soul, a vision that is not available to the material mind. Faith stands for the reality of the heavenly Father, for the relationship that we have with him, and the communications or interactions of that relationship. Our faith defines that relationship as one of Father and child. We are the sons and daughters of the heavenly Father; furthermore, this relationship is characterized by love and mercy. The Father stands ready to assist us at all times with our moral and spiritual difficulties.
As a part of this relationship, our faith instructs us that we can petition the Father and receive an answer to our petitions. No matter how things appear to our material minds, the Father always responds. It may appear to our material minds that the Father either has not heard our prayers or is ignoring them, but such an assessment by the material mind is erroneous. The Father is always working. Although at times we may not be aware of the work of the Father in our souls and minds, nevertheless he is at work within them. No prayer uttered in faith and sincerity fails to elicit a response from the Father.
While it is often true that the Father has to modify and defer the answer to our prayer because of lack of capacity to receive the answer, he provides us with an answer to our immediate situation and files away the answer we may not have capacity to receive at this time. But rest assured--if we pray to the Father for an immediate moral or spiritual problem, he will answer right away. Sometimes we may not recognize the answer because it is not the answer we were expecting. But such is the nature of divine wisdom: it transcends mere human wisdom and understanding, which often is based upon material and selfish considerations. But whether we recognize the answer or not, if we are sincere in our petitions, our decisions and attitudes will be modified to reflect the answer from the Father.
Now that we have defined the environment in which we are to operate morally and spiritually, let us see how this works in practice. Let’’s take a snapshot out of the moral and spiritual life of a brother who is struggling with a moral and spiritual problem. Now this problem is of such a nature that it is difficult to understand all of its ramifications and components. It is causing quite a bit of disequilibrium in his moral and spiritual environment, and so the brother decides to take the problem in faith and with the attitude of accepting the Father’’s will to the heavenly Father.
One of the things that happens when we take a problem to the heavenly Father is that appealing to the Father places our mind in a quiet space, where we can see a bit clearer the nature and gravity of the problem, as well spotlighting any selfish consideration of the problem that may be obscuring our understanding. As we reflect on the problem and present it to him, his searchlight of truth shines on it, allowing us to see all the components of the problem. We thus gain a divine understanding of it. And now that we can clearly see the problem, having removed the shadow of selfishness from it, we are now in a position to consider the possible solution.
As we continue with our meditation consciously within the Father’’s presence (this is reflected by our desire to do this within the Father’’s presence and our faith that instructs us that we are indeed in his presence), we begin to think about past experiences with such a problem. We gain wisdom from looking at past experiences with similar problems and review how this problem was solved. In reviewing the solution, we may discover that we have additional insight into it that we did not have before. We also look at how the solution of this problem worked its way into the future. That would be our present state, and we can clearly see what the ramifications are for this problem. Having reckoned with the wisdom from the past, we now attempt to see how a possible solution to this new problem will work out in the future. Will the solution be true, beautiful, and good? And now having reckoned with the wisdom extracted from the past, and the forecasts of the future, we are now ready to receive the revelations of truth, beauty, and goodness in the present. We ready to implement the solution of the past-present-future, the solutions sponsored by the heavenly Father, who is eternal.
We formulate our decision. We move from the paralysis of dead center to choosing the decision of the highest value, by choosing the highest level of understanding and wisdom that we comprehend. By choosing the decision of the highest understanding and wisdom that we possess, we choose the decision of the highest value, which is the Father’’s will. In experiencing and growing creatures, the decision of the highest value at any given time or the decision of the highest understanding and wisdom that we possess is always the Father’’s will. This is so because whenever we seek the Father’’s will, a transformation occurs in our souls and character.
In experiential creatures the transformation may be slight. But it has the effect of elevating our value system so that the decision of the highest value is elevated, and this elevation can never stop until we achieve divine perfection, until we see exactly as the Father sees. So when we act on the highest level of wisdom and understanding that we possess, we are actually acting out of the new growth of our souls and character. In other words, we have begun to see just a little bit more as the Father sees, and our decisions reflect that increased comprehension of truth, beauty, and goodness. As our souls grow, we are able to comprehend more and more revelations of truth, beauty, and goodness as reflected in our decisions of ever-increasing moral and spiritual complexity.
As we look at the decisions that we make subject to the Father’’s will, we see that they are indeed true, beautiful, and good. When we pray and seek the Father’’s will, our faith should instruct us that when we seek his will, we are indeed finding his will, and this will is reflected in the moral and spiritual decisions that we make. And when we make these adjustments in our value system on the inside by seeking the Father’’s will, we automatically make those necessary adjustments on the outside. We know that we have made the necessary value adjustment because the value adjustments are meaningful, signifying that we have indeed experienced this particular value in our souls. Yes, this is a time process, and often from our point of view, it appears that things are really not moving, or they are moving so slowly as to be imperceptible. But we know that the flowers do bloom in the springtime, even though throughout the winter, it appears as if they never will.
Finally in the face of our moral and spiritual difficulties, we should always seek to know the Father’’s will. This practice will not only insure that we make the decision of the highest value but will insure continuous value elevation until we reach divine perfection. The purpose of all human struggle is perfection. As our value system is elevated, we are gradually freed from the handicaps of a material existence. We are delivered into the spiritual world, where we are truly free. The Spirit of Truth will show us the way and guide us.
This concludes today's message on understanding what it means to seek to know 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