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 revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we seek to understand the meaning of the challenge of spiritual perfection.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Challenge of Spiritual Perfection
"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 discuss the challenge of spiritual perfection. This challenge has been giving to us by our heavenly Father, and we want to understand the degree to which we have accepted it. We hope to provide some additional insights into the process of acquiring spiritual perfection and thus inspire the faith of those who may have become weary in well doing. We know that some of us have ducked this challenge or have refused to pick it up wholeheartedly. They are like laborers who begin the day and just when they are called to really exert themselves cave in and give up. They quit even before they really start, sitting on the sidelines of the road of truth, "regretting the past, whining over the present, and vainly hoping for the future," one that can never be unless they heed the injunction to be perfect even as the heavenly Father is perfect.
As these brothers and sisters sit by the road of truth, forlorn and dejected, they become confused. They are like the rich young man who refused to give up his love of wealth as the price for entering the kingdom of heaven. When he ran into his first obstacle to self surrender, he failed. These souls are like water running down the face of the mountain, running into an obstacle. Because there is a way around the obstacle the water chooses that way instead of flowing over it. The water has no choice. By its very nature, it follows the path of least resistance, but the souls of those who have a choice, with the spirit of Jesus, the Spirit of Truth, can choose to overcome the obstacles that stand in the way of achieving spiritual perfection rather than going around it, which leads to a dead-end. They can choose to submit to the Father’’s will.
The challenge to be spiritually perfect was brought to our world two thousand years ago when God the Father issued this proclamation: "Be you perfect, even as I am perfect." And this urge to spiritual perfection "ever urges our souls onward and beckons us inward in that long and fascinating struggle for the attainment of higher and higher levels of spiritual values and true universe meanings." There can be no greater challenge to our souls then this challenge of spiritual perfection. As we attain higher and higher divine values and meanings, we move on apace to our goal of divine perfection with the Spirit of Truth leading us every step of the way, saying follow me. ““I am the way, the truth, and the life."
In accepting the challenge of spiritual perfection on our world we are accepting the challenge of perfecting our character, of perfecting our submission to the divine will. When we enter the kingdom of heaven, we accept the spiritual challenge of divine perfection and begin that ceaseless struggle to strive for a nobility of character like the heavenly Father’’s. And in making this commitment everything else that we need for this supreme challenge shall be given to us. "Ask and you shall receive.”” Those who seek to enter the spiritual kingdom of divine values and meanings are in fact and truth seeking to do God’’s will. The doing of the Father’’s will is to follow Jesus who reveals this will to our souls. When we do the Father’’s will, we share our inner life with him and come under His merciful influence. This sharing of the inner life with the Father reveals divine values and meanings.
These are released into the mind and soul alongside and intermingled with human meanings and values. And conflict breaks out immediately as might be expected. The nature of the conflict is that the self resents serving others. There is a war going on in the mind of man at all times. And this war has to do with the needs and desires of self as opposed to the needs and desires of other selves. The needs of other selves are sponsored by the divine spirit.
The human will is the arbiter of which impulses will be chosen. The human will can choose the divine impulses or the selfish impulses of the human nature. Each time the human will chooses the divine impulse, the soul approaches divine perfection just a little more. This choosing of the Father’’s will is the alignment of the human will with the divine will and can be likened to an assembly line. All of the components for making a particular product must be assembled in the right order and placed on the assembly line at the right time in order for the product to be assembled properly. Now at key points on the assembly line, the products are fed into the assembly line and afterwards are inspected to make sure they have been assembled properly and that they are working properly. Jesus demonstrated this very truth in his earthly life. When asked to act prematurely, he would say it is not time. When asked to delay action, he would say but it is time. Here we see the acme of wisdom, courage, and patience.
In the soul and mind of mortals, divine values must be assembled in the right order and at the right time before they can be expressed properly. Now we have been given this Spirit of Truth that assures us that the divine values will be assembled properly and expressed properly. From the human perspective, it takes some time to learn how to follow this Spirit of Truth in perfection, but the Spirit of Truth always provides the proper guidance at the level that the soul can comprehend. Like a small child learning to ride a bike who initially starts our shaky and unsteady as he begins, but who with experience gains confidence and skill at riding so that not only can he ride it without falling off but can also become very skilled at it, so it is with one who submits to the Father’’s will. He gains confidence and skill at executing the will and his comprehension of the divine values and meanings continue to increase until he has mastered all of the divine values and meanings displayed by the divine Son, Jesus, when he lived his life in the flesh.
And as this challenge to spiritual perfection is accepted wholeheartedly, our souls and minds eventually gain comprehension of the supreme level of divine values and meanings. The evidence of true spiritual development consists in the exhibition of ““a human personality motivated by love, activated by unselfish ministry, and dominated by the wholehearted worship of the perfection ideals of divinity." Since God is love, if we make this love our highest value, we will overcome all obstacles that stand in the way, since divine love when chosen cannot be conquered: it conquers all, even the self. When this conquest finally takes place as a result of consistently choosing the Father’’s will under all circumstances and conditions, through all trials and tribulations, then will such a grateful soul utter these words of the hymn to his spiritual Father: "Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee; how great thou art; how great thou art."
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning of the spiritual challenge of perfection. 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