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 meaning of spiritual guidance.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Concept of Spiritual Guidance
"How be it when the the Spirit of Truth is come, he will guide you into all truth; for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mind, and shall show it unto you." John, Chapter 16, Verses 13 and 14
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast, we explore the meaning of spiritual guidance. As we make our way through this life with its moral and spiritual highways, we may become confused, lose our way, and require guidance.
We are told that guidance is forthcoming when we ask for it. The problem is that our tranquility of spirit depends on our ability to faith-grasp the guidance provided because we are unconscious of receiving it. We know that the Spirit of Truth surrounds our souls and guides us into Truth. Yet during a moral and spiritual crisis, we don’’t always feel that we are begin guided. As one brother said when he was told to pray about an emotional difficulty that he was having as a result of a disagreeable experience, ““I prayed and still did not feel better emotionally.””
We, brothers and sisters of light, engage in prayer and worship. This consciously initiative process has far-reaching spiritual consequences. Though our material minds are not in a position to appreciate them, there are nevertheless spiritual ramifications of consistent communion with the heavenly Father.
As we puzzle over the moral and spiritual difficulties of the moment, we ask if it is possible that we might mistake the Father’’s guidance. Our faith instructs us that the Father loves us and that he would never led us astray, that the mechanism of revealing his will to us is flawless and that His guidance is as well. We maintain that when we seek to know the Father’’s will, the Father’’s will is revealed to us; when we seek guidance, it is also provided. To help us understand this, we shall use a material analogy.
A car has a steering wheel; it is not conscious of being steered. If it was conscious, it would know after the fact that it was being guided. It would not beware of the minute adjustments that were being made from moment to moment unless some serious deviations were required. It would not know that the steering had been corrected until it reached its destination. But as it reflected back, it could indeed see that it had been steered. Our spiritual guidance is similar to this analogy.
When we seek to know the Father’’s will, we are in fact seeking to know His character. This knowledge of His character is imputed to our souls, and our souls reflect the degree that our character has been transformed into the image of His Son, Jesus. This is important because the degree to which our character is like the image of His Son, Jesus, is the degree to which our decisions are reflective of the Father’’s will. In our minds, our decisions are choices between right and wrong, good and evil. We can begin to see right away that our concepts of right and wrong will depend upon the degree to which we have developed a character like Jesus. (At one point in our history, large numbers of people thought slavery was right.) So when we enter into a crisis, we enter it with the character that we have been able to develop, and our decisions will reflect this.
As time goes on, when we look back, we may discern a higher level of wisdom that could have been applied to our decision-making. But that is because we will have grown, we will have become more like God and therefore see more and more as He sees. The differential in wisdom in a former experience will not be because we did not discern the Father’’s will then. We can only choose that which we know.
And concerning guidance, when it comes to moral and spiritual values, the same concept applies. We can only be guided with the moral and spiritual values that we possess at a given level of growth. But this is still guidance. As we grow and develop morally and spiritually, we are able to achieve a higher guidance, but this is because we have grown and not because we have rejected the guidance given earlier. Even so, the guidance we receive can only be discerned in reflecting back because the guidance is given at the time the decision is made, the time when it is needed. And as the material mind views the situation, it may still be dissatisfied at the outcome due to emotional factors.
But we should always remember if we have sincerely and wholeheartedly sought the Father’’s will, and have sought His guidance, then the outcome that we are left with is the best that can be done at that time, under the circumstances. We are experiencing and growing beings, and we must always accommodate an incomplete response. Jesus referred to such a state in the Parable of the Sower.
Concerning our emotional response, we all know that emotions fade eventually. Emotions are reactions to how we feel about what we are experiencing. We can facilitate the easing of our emotional response by expressing the way we feel to the Father and to our brothers and sisters who love us.
Concerning our spiritual tranquility, we must exercise faith in the goodness of the Father. If we have sought His will and His guidance, then we must faith-accept that he has revealed His will to us and provided guidance for us. Our souls, of necessity, must experience the storms of life, but our souls are invulnerable to them if we entrust them to the Father. We must faith-accept this invincibility and rest with assurance that this, too, will pass and allow our souls to return to their rest.
When we seek the Father’’s will, the Father reveals that will by making us more and more like He is, gradually transforming us into the image of His Son, Jesus. This is a growth process and takes time. The degree of transformation is also the degree that we can comprehend the truth, the beauty, and the goodness of His love. The more truth, beauty, and goodness our decisions contain, the greater our degree of Godlikeness. And so it is with spiritual guidance, which is individual and unique: the degree of wisdom that we can bring to bear on a given moral and spiritual decision depends upon the degree of Godlikeness we enjoy. Recall how we marveled at the degree of truth, beauty, and goodness that was shown in the decisions Jesus made when he walked the earth. He achieved the fullness of Godlikeness as a human being and revealed the Father perfectly to us.
This concludes today's message on the meaning of spiritual 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.