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 shared many spiritual truths with to me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we seek to understand the spiritual realities of faith.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Spiritual Realities of Faith
““Jesus said, "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye love one another.’’”” John, Chapter 13, Verse 34
Brothers and sisters, the spiritual realities of faith are of a subjective nature in our material minds. These realities are so far above the nature of our material minds that they can only be grasped by the faith of the mind, that magnificent tool given to us by the heavenly Father so that we can become aware of them in our souls. The primary spiritual reality in our souls is the Father’’s spirit. This is a spirit of love, from which all other spiritual qualities are derived. The qualities of truth, beauty, and goodness all emanate from this spirit. And there are other spirits surrounding our souls such as the Spirit of Truth. This spirit guides our souls as we seek to follow the Father’’s ideals. It is the Spirit of the way, the truth, and the life. The main target of the spiritual realities of faith is our moral realities, the recognition and acceptance of the obligations of duty.
There are other spiritual beings and entities that work from the outside with us and upon us, as our material natures transform into spiritual ones. As with some material energies that we cannot see but become aware of through the effects they have on our material environments, these realities cannot be seen material; however, we can see the character effects of these spirits, the process of transforming us into perfected spirits. But they are not real to the material mind, and we cannot materially demonstrate their validity to the material world. But these subjective realities of the soul produce powerful objective effects in the outer life. Let us consider this material analogy.
A space shuttle is a marvelous machine. It can transport human beings from earth to space where they can remain for weeks, and then safely bring them home again. Now we know that our world is bombarded by meteorites all the time, but our atmosphere is such that the friction of moving burns most of them up before they have a chance to reach the ground. Some of them are large enough that they survive the passage through the atmosphere and strike the earth. Now the shuttle is not a very large spacecraft comparatively speaking, and it would suffer the same fate as most of the meteorites were it not for tiles that coat its surface. These tiles coat the entire space shuttle and can withstand the passage of the spacecraft in conjunction with a controlled entry and a controlled path to the ground. These tiles are necessary for the survival of the spacecraft--we have witnessed tragedy when some of the tiles wore loose, killing all of the occupants aboard.
We are moral beings and we do well to carry out our moral duties, even though some of them we dislike. We don’’t have to like them--we just have to do them. Moral responsibilities can be carried out in the same way a slave is forced to carry out his master’’ orders: with resentment. But carrying out moral responsibilities can never eclipse the service of love which is both moral and spiritual. If we carry out your moral responsibilities, we do well; but we will never become more than a conqueror in carrying them out. For even though the self carries them out, there always remains the element of resentment in carrying them out. The animal nature rebels at the thought of using its resources for anything other than itself. And since the self resents it resources from being used for others, there is always the real danger that the definition of what is moral will consort with the lower definition rather than with the higher, a limitation that is not encountered with the spiritual realities of divine service. In fact, the hallmark of divine service is its superior quality of performance.
"When a kingdom believer is called upon to serve the civil government, let him render such service as a temporal citizen of such a government, albeit such a believer should display in his civil service all of the ordinary traits of citizenship as these have been enhanced by the spiritual enlightenment of the ennobling association of the mind of mortal man with the indwelling spirit of the eternal God. If the unbeliever can qualify as a superior civil servant, you should seriously question whether the roots of truth in your heart have not died from the lack of the living waters of combined spiritual communion and social service. The consciousness of sonship with God should quicken the entire life service of every man, woman, and child who has become the possessor of such a mighty stimulus to all the inherent powers of a human personality." In serving our brothers and sisters, we recognize that in providing such a service, we are indeed serving God.
In the kingdom of heaven, our moral obligations are encapsulated by the spirit of love. So the Father expresses himself though our moral obligations by the quality of our decisions, and these qualities are of love, patience, mercy and forgiveness. They are saturated with divine goodness. Like the space shuttle that is shielded from the friction of passing through the atmosphere, by encapsulating our moral decisions with the spirit of love, the moral decision is shielded from the frictions of self. By the skillful guidance of the Spirit of Truth, we evade the friction of irritation and selfishness of the lower self. Instead of seeing duty, we see opportunity to serve our brothers and sisters and in this way serve our heavenly Father.
And what a spiritual joy it is to serve our brothers and sisters with an unselfish motive, with the desire only to serve, with the realization that by serving in this manner we are experiencing the active presence of our heavenly Father as well as revealing him to our brothers and sisters. As we continue to serve our brothers and sisters, the consciousness of the heavenly Father grows greater and greater in our souls. This growing consciousness is stimulated by the ever-increasing difficulty of the moral decisions. But no matter how difficult these moral decisions are, they are always encapsulated with the suitable tiles of love and mercy. No moral decisions can ever be of such a nature that it cannot be encapsulated by the tiles of love. And if these moral decisions are encapsulated by the tiles of love, there can be no protest because these encapsulated tiles now soar through the spiritual currents where there exist no resistance to the flow of the Father’’s love and mercy. The Spirit of Truth safely guides us past the enslaving barriers of morality into the freedom of divine service. It is no insignificant experience to realize the growing consciousness of the heavenly Father within our souls.
By entering the kingdom of heaven by faith, that is, by submitting our will to the Father’’s will, we are enabled to experience these spiritual realities in our souls. We really can experience the tranquility of spirit, where our spiritual purpose is fixed, where nothing in the entire universe can disturb this spiritual purpose that is the result of doing the Father’’s will. We really can experience that divine stability of purpose, that purpose that will not be moved or detracted. We really can experience that spiritual joy that is the result of serving our brothers and sisters unselfishly and consequently realizing that we are sons and daughters of the heavenly Father. We really can exhibit long suffering; we can override the material nature of its desire to be impatient. We can experience divine peace, rest for our souls.
We can really thrive in divine communion with the heavenly Father through worship. We can increasingly become like he is, spiritually perfect. And we can really talk to his Son, Jesus, who is the personal revelation of the heavenly Father. We can tell him about our struggles, our anxieties, our fears, and receive comfort and encouragement. We really can quiet our emotional storms by seeking to know the Father’’s will. We can experience eternal life in our souls, which is reflected by our consciousness of spiritual invincibility. Though we remain mortal, we can still cry, ““our Vindicator lives.”” We will survive the mortal life and continue to live on and on and beyond until we stand in the presence of our heavenly Father on the shores of Paradise, the haven of perfected spirits.
This concludes today's message on understanding the spiritual realities of 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.