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 the spiritual mastery of the material mind.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
Spiritual Mastery of the Material Mind
"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Matthew, Chapter 5, Verse 48
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast we explore the spiritual mastery of the material mind. Is it possible to obey the Father’’s command to be perfect even as He is perfect in this life? And if it is possible how do we go about achieving it? We shall be most keenly interested in the particulars of this victory. We know that the opinion of most brothers and sisters believe that obeying such a command is impossible. And they say this because they look at their present status of imperfection and generalize that status to the whole of life. We shall show that such is not the case.
We believe that if you ask you shall receive, that if you knock the door will be opened. In short, if you ask for the power to do this you will be given the power to do this, and if you ask to be shown the way you shall be shown the way. But let us divert our discussion for a moment while we look at a material analogy that will help us better grasp the truth that we are sharing. We know that material mastery of the material life follows certain steps. We shall summarize them, and then having captured the flavor of this material conquest, we shall then move on to the consideration of the spiritual mastery of the material mind.
The mastery of the material life begins with the birth of the child. Immediately the growth process begins that moves the child toward mastery over his physical apparatus, and those of us who are parents are very familiar with these benchmarks, as we have waited anxiously and with keen expectation as the growing child makes these rapid strides initially. We watch as the child begins to roll over, and begins to make cooing sounds. We watch as the child develops the ability to sit up, and then begins to crawl. We are very proud as we watch the child learn to stand with support and then glide, that process whereby using fixed objects in his reach, he moves across the room. And then this process is soon followed by the ability to walk, which is admittedly shaky at first. But skill comes with practice and in a very short time, the child is walking without assistance. And then he begins to run, that process that forces parents to discover new energy sources as they are forced to keep up with child, to prevent him from injuring himself, for the child does not have the ability yet to discern danger. We shall have more to say about danger and fear later on in our discussion.
And also throughout this process of gaining control over his physical apparatus, the social habit of toilet training the child begins. Sometimes this can be a protracted event. The child also learns to speak and to communicate his needs and desires. And this is the early stage of the child’’s development, and it all happens as far as the child is concerned (and the parent as well) without any particular power, other than to nourish and encourage those abilities when they make their appearance. Now what parent would say that it is impossible for the child to make these achievements? The parents actually expect the child to make these achievements, and are sorely disappointed when something goes wrong and the child is mentally challenged or handicapped in the conquest of his physical apparatus.
Expectation is the key word here. The parent is expecting this development to occur, and therefore has the attitude that it will happen. Because of their expectations parents are willing to spend large amounts of time in assisting the child to master these physical abilities. And the same goes for the emotional, intellectual and moral training, and to some degree the religious training; but these last stages of development, the emotional, the intellectual, the moral and the spiritual levels, are somewhat retarded in some children who are otherwise normal, and this is because these qualities are not recognized as being overly important in parents who consider themselves successful in their own life mastery or if they have all of their physical needs met and abide by current mores.
As long as the body is taken care of and they are accepted socially, then all of the other attributes of the self do not have an overriding priority attached to them, particularly is this true of the spiritual life, in which very few individuals have made spiritual goals their supreme purpose for living. And now we begin to glimpse some insight into why the overwhelming majority believe that it is impossible to obey the merciful command of the Father to be perfect even as he is perfect. But just as it is possible to achieve physical perfection of the functions of the material body, it is also possible to achieve spiritual perfection of the functions of the material mind.
We have dealt with things of the body, but when we come to the material mind, we are in the process of dealing with meanings. We want to conquer the material mind by giving it a new set of meanings. In short, we want to spiritualize the material mind, and in doing that we shall also gain mastery over the direction of physical functioning. What we desire to do is to submit the human being’’s will to the will of the heavenly Father, who is the power, pattern, and know-how for spiritual perfection. And if we change the meanings of the mind, and submit the human will to the divine will, then will the conduct of the physical apparatus change from selfish pursuits to unselfish pursuits. In other words, the powers of the self will be used to serve other selves.
So the first step in this process is to acknowledge that it is possible, just as it is possible for the normal growing child to gain mastery over his physical apparatus. Next, we must become fearless. We must boldly assume our true identity. We are sons of the heavenly Father. We must take some time to reflect on the meaning of that wonderful truth. If we are sons of the heavenly Father, then the substance of the heavenly Father is also a part of our sustenance. We are indeed one with him, and though it does not appear so when looking at it from the material point of view, it is so when looking at it from the spiritual point of view. All of the children of the Father have souls that were created by the heavenly Father so that we could be his sons and daughters. And this status is confirmed by the appearance in our minds of the urge to be perfect even as the Father is perfect, and by the divine values in our soul that constitute our standard for living as well as the exquisite meanings of those values. Now the only step remaining for us to take is to submit to the Father’’s will, and then we are on our way towards mastering the material mind and subsequently mastering the material life.
Faith says that we can do it; doubt says we cannot. Faith is the quality that is given to us by the heavenly Father which connects our will and soul to the Father. Doubt, on the other hand, is sponsored by the material mind, which is skeptical of spiritual reality. We should embrace those divine meanings that appear in our minds. When divine meanings appear in our minds and we embrace them they become a part of our minds, spiritualizing them. We should not work on them or plan to adopt them at some later time when the material conditions are more favorable. In others words we should not wait to adopt spiritual meanings because of the fear of what they will do to our material lives. We must eradicate from our character such traits as procrastination, equivocation, insincerity, problem avoidance, unfairness, and ease seeking. We must become completely loyal to truth.
We should recognize the basis for our fearlessness: the faith recognition that we are sons of the all-powerful, all-loving, and merciful Father, in whose eyes we are precious. No harm can befall our souls. His presence is the guarantee. And since no harm can befall our souls, there is no basis for fear. Fear gets replaced by divine love.
When we choose the divine meanings, sponsored by the Father, the Spirit supplies the power to make them real in our outer lives, while the Son provides the wisdom to effectively utilize them in our personal relationships. We must be bold in accepting our divine sonship with the Father. And if we consistently choose divine values as our standard and divine meanings as the satisfaction of those standards, we shall awake one morning in this life and realize that we have in spirit obeyed the Father’’s mandate to be perfect even as he is perfect.
And what a joyful and glorious morning that will be--we will still be the sons of man as well as the sons of God, but what a different kind of son of man we shall be and what a glorious son of God we shall be. We shall perfectly reflect the love of the Father and the mercy of the Son at all times and under all circumstances, and our primary spiritual concern in this life will be the consistent display of this divine love and mercy. And it all becomes an actual reality by our consistently asserting faith in the face of doubt, and by submitting all our moral and spiritual experiences and their consequences to the Father’’s will.
This concludes today's message on the spiritual mastery of the material mind. 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.