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 we seek to understand spiritual bravery.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
“I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, here am I; send me.” Isaiah, Chapter 6, Verse 8.
Brothers and sisters, in today’s broadcast we shall examine spiritual bravery, and shall contrast it with material, intellectual and moral bravery by giving examples. We shall see the role that faith plays in the exercise of spiritual bravery. We know that even in the material arena, it requires bravery to make new progress. We hope that this discussion will give us additional insights into our never ending efforts of acquiring those divine values and meanings that constitute divine perfection.
Bravery be it material, intellectual, moral or spiritual involves some risk, some danger of loss. But the values by which the impulse of bravery is marshaled is of such a nature as to be worth the risk of engaging in the act that puts the self at risk. In material combat, the value is victory as well as the overwhelming desire to stand by one’s comrades as they battle for the victory. Now in material combat, the combatants have received special training for the battle. They understand the importance of the victory, the importance of the battle and how it ties in with the ultimate victory. They also understand the value of the victory.
A clear cut example of material bravery was that bravery that was displayed during World War II. In this battle the world was threatened with the loss of freedom and the ability of each country to choose its own path. This was total war, and the stakes were very high, the outcome determining the world at we know it. Every soldier fighting the aggressors understood this, and realized the importance of winning the war. They were therefore willing to engage in this war, knowing that they could be killed as many of them were killed. This kind of bravery is buttressed by the comrades next to you who stand with you as you do battle. This kind of bravery is the lowest kind of bravery. Not because it is insignificant, but because of the relationship to faith in carrying it out. " It is easy to die in the line of physical battle when your courage is strengthened by the presence of your fighting comrades, but it requires a higher and more profound form of human courage and devotion calmly and all alone to lay down your life for the love of a truth enshrined in your mortal heart.”
The next higher level of bravery is mind bravery. This is the battle against ignorance and superstition. And to no small degree, we are engaged in this battle for knowledge today. We know that during the Middle Ages, individuals were put to death, burned at the stake for pursuing knowledge that went against the current teachings. It required courage to break with the current level of understanding, an understanding that maintained the world was flat and that the earth was the center of the solar system to name just a few. And just as with the material battles, there was great opposition to this forward thrust of eradicating ignorance and superstition. But the value of knowledge is such that it forward thrust compels the intellect to pursue all contradictions, and not be satisfied until, there is consistency in the ideas that are put forth as being true. True ideas are known by their internal consistency, and can be reproduced. It requires courage to follow the dictates of reasons. This consistent battle of knowledge versus ignorance will continue as those courageous and brave minds continue to assault the walls of ignorance and superstitions, not ceasing the battle until all barriers that shackle the human mind are demolished.
The next higher level of bravery is moral bravery. As we ascend this scale of bravery, faith begins to play a higher and higher role, for as we ascend it becomes more and more difficult to demonstrate materially just what is at stake. Moral bravery grows out of the recognition of right and wrong, and the obligation inherent in recognizing right and wrong, and the duty to choose that which is right over that which is wrong. Now we know that most individuals accept the current moral standards, even though they might recognize a higher moral standard within themselves.
Moral cowards never achieve high planes of philosophic thinking; it requires courage to invade new levels of experience and to attempt the exploration of unknown realms of intellectual living. One of the saddest events in the history of our country was the practice of human slavery in the face of the Christian doctrine that declared that all men are children of God, and the Constitution that declared that all men were equal. Now there were many who did not think about the relationships of these statement in regard to the practice, but there were many who did, and those who did felt into three groups: Those who denied the humanity of slaves, and therefore the Christian doctrine and the Constitutional statements did not apply to them, and those who recognized the truth of slavery, but choose not to do anything about it, and finally those who recognized the truth that slaves were human beings and worked tirelessly to end it.
It is easy to discern the moral cowards, but even they are not as bad as those who ran away from the truth in their own minds. Those who refuse to do moral thinking are really morally dead. But those who rose to the standard of right and refuse to compromise their insight, and their sense of propriety rose to the level of true faith. “But truth can never become man's possession without the exercise of faith. This is true because man's thoughts, wisdom, ethics, and ideals will never rise higher than his faith, his sublime hope. And all such true faith is predicated on profound reflection, sincere self-criticism, and uncompromising moral consciousness. Faith is the inspiration of the spiritized creative imagination.” Now as you can see this courage is not blind nor presumptive but is in response to true spiritual insight, and the ever increasing ideals revealed by the divine spirit in the minds and souls of men.
And now let us consider the highest level of bravery, spiritual courage. It requires spiritual bravery to make an eternal commitment to doing the Father’s will, to accept a spiritual assignment, a rescue mission to the island of evil and error, to rescue the victims who are trapped in spiritual poverty and darkness; to work alone with faith for the most part without the other comrades, comrades who have gone onto other assignments in their particular areas of influence, who are dedicated and consecrated to doing the Father’s will; to work year after year tirelessly, and solely depending upon faith as your eyes and your ears.
It requires spiritual bravery to continually display the Father’s character, to display the fruits of he spirit. Never in our eternal career will there come a time when these values of the Father’s character will ever change. And so we begin down here with the eye of faith to sustain us, fighting the battle of truth, giving our last full measure until we succeed with the mission that has been given us or until we are replaced for another assignment. No spiritual bravery is no small feat, but rather the supreme response of the self to the revealed ideals of the Father’s love and the mercy of His Son, Jesus
This concludes today's message on the meaning of the spiritual bravery. 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.