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 spiritual truths to me, and I want to share them with you.
This morning we seek to understand the acceptance of divine guidance. And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Acceptance of Divine Guidance
Jesus said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray to the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever, even the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him, for he dwelleth with you and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless." John, Chapter 14, Verses 15-18
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast we examine the process and reality of accepting divine guidance. We know that as we traverse this mortal life, we eventually run into complex difficulties, where our own understanding is insufficient. At such time, we seek divine guidance. Seeking divine guidance is next in importance to seeking knowledge of the Father’’s will. In reality, when we seek guidance, we are petitioning the Father for divine wisdom. When we pray for knowledge of the Father’’s will, we must be mindful to seek for divine wisdom as the two are intimately related. We must seek to know the Father’’s will before divine guidance can be made available, and without divine guidance we cannot execute the Father’’s will in our moral and spiritual struggles.
"There is a way that seems right to man, but the way thereof leads to death. In our endeavors, we must be willing to accept the Father’’s will in order to accept divine guidance. But how do we apply this divine wisdom to our moral and spiritual affairs? (But we must always remember that we cannot receive that which is beyond our ability to comprehend.) When we seek to execute the divine will, we are seeking to make decisions according to the divine nature. Thus, we can only execute the divine will to the extent that we have acquired the divine nature. Perfect execution of the divine will means that we have acquired perfection of the divine nature and that the character of our souls has become indistinguishable from the character of our divine spirit, indistinguishable from the divine nature. Prayer enlarges our capacity to receive divine wisdom.
The Father reveals himself by nature, which is best comprehended as we view the life of His Son, Jesus. Jesus is the personal revelation of the Father’’s nature. To see how the Father responds to a given moral or spiritual situation, we must look to the divine Son, whose spirit encapsulates our souls. This Spirit of Truth guides us and personalizes the divine wisdom of the Father. No one comes to the Father except by the Son. But how do we know that we are receiving divine guidance? And how do we know when we are accepting and--by contrast--rejecting it? The reception of divine guidance like all spiritual qualities are received by faith.
We must return to the basic truth: God is our Father, and we are His sons and daughters. And if God is our Father and we are His sons and daughters, we are entitled to received His guidance. The Father loves us.
But often this guidance is not recognized because we have not discovered the divine plan for our lives and therefore are not cooperating with it. "The Father’’s spirit indwells our mind and brings the perfect plan for our lives, the ideal career. They begin work with a definite and predetermined plan for our intellectual and spiritual development, but it is not incumbent upon us to accept this plan. We are all subjects of predestination, but it is not foreordained that we must accept this divine predestination. We are at full liberty to reject any part or all of the Father’’s spirit. It is Father’’s spirit mission ““to effect such mind changes and to make such spiritual adjustments as we may willingly and intelligently authorize, to the end that he may gain more influence over the direction of our lives." The divine spirit seeks to influence us to dedicate our lives to doing the Father’’s will.
In order to understand the spiritual nature of this plan, we must understand that this plan concerns the details of our spiritual perfection. Spiritual perfection consists in the grasp of divine values and meanings, the ability and the willingness to allow these divine values and meanings to direct our decisions. Out of our value systems, we make our decisions. So the divine plan consists in actualizing the divine values and meanings that will perfect our souls. We must understand that the experiences we undergo, and consequently the decisions we make, are designed to actualize these divine values and meanings.
So when we think of cooperating with the divine plan for our lives, we should be thinking in terms of how we can expedite the revelations of divine values and meanings in our lives and incorporate them into the very fabrics of souls, and thus display these divine values and meanings into our outer life. In short, we want to do the divine will. We can best recognize the divine will by praying in truth and in spirit.
Intellectually we are given certain talents, predispositions towards certain skills. Often, it may require some time before these skills and talents manifest themselves, but they appear early in rudimentary form. For example, a person who is gifted at dancing, singing, or playing the piano shows these traits at an early age, and though some of our predispositions may not be as dramatic as that, they still exist.
When we move to actualize these predispositions, we move into the vehicle that will be used to reveal divine values and meanings. To fully actualize this predisposition into actual skills that are recognizable, we must do our best. We must be willing to be sincere, persistent, and hard working. When we do this we elevate the attitude of our souls to that level whereby they can begin to receive the divine values and meanings out of the struggles designed to actualize our talents. As we seek to actualize these skills, we traverse many conflicts, but eventually we are confronted with the supreme conflict.
The supreme conflict which is precipitated by the divine spirit is whether these God-given talents should be used purely for self or for other selves, that is, whether or not the Father’’s will is going to be chosen or the human will. When the human will recognizes and chooses the Father’’s will, the talents the Father has given us are used to help others. In short, the motive for using these talents shifts from the self to the divine self. When we choose in favor of the unselfish use of our talents, then we have recognized the divine spirit and have made the decision to do the Father’’s will.
This is the born-again experience, where the orientation has changed from concerns of self to the unselfish service of our brothers and sisters. The motive is to lovingly serve others according to the talents the Father has provided us with. So when we embark upon the decision to do the Father’’s will, we seek to know that will, thus receiving divine values and meanings. We receive guidance on how to implement divine values and meanings in a given moral and spiritual situation as they are reflected in our decisions. This is what it means to accept divine guidance.
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning of accepting divine guidance. 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.