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 will ponder our lives as we seek to understand the divine plan and the
circumstances of life.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Divine Plan and the Circumstances of Life
"And he said unto them, 'how is it that ye sought me? knew ye not that I must be in my
Father's house?'" Luke, Chapter 2, Verse 49.
Brothers and sisters, have you approved the divine plan for your life?
A pilgrim before starting out on a great adventure studies the road map of the area to be covered. He
takes notes of the road that takes the most direct route. He notices the areas where he will have to
detour because of work on the road, or because of other circumstances. He makes an estimate of how
long the trip will take. Finally after gathering up all the supplies that he will need, he embarks upon
Brothers and sisters, the heavenly Father has a divine plan for our lives. This plan is perfect and
infallible. But because we have been given free will, we may reject the plan totally or modify it; we
may accept portions of it or reject portions of it. And according to the analogy above, we know that
by rejecting portions or modifying the divine plan will cause delay and cause us to run the risk of not
arriving at the final destination at all. The final destination is divine perfection, worshipful embrace
by the heavenly Father, and finally eternal service in the infinite discovery of the divines values and
meanings of the heavenly Father.
We may ask what is the nature of the plan? How do we accept the plan, or how do we reject the
plan? How do we modify it? Spiritual plans are qualitatively different from material ones, though
they are similar. Both have a beginning, achievements of bench marks, and finally relative goal
achievement, relative in the eternal sense because there is never any end to the final goal of the
spiritual plan because the goal is infinite and eternal and absolute. There is simply no end to the
discovery of divine values and meanings of the Father's love.
The material journey has a beginning in that the pilgrim actually begins to move toward his goal,
covering distance. The spiritual journey has a beginning also. This beginning is marked by the
creation of the soul. In a spiritual sense this may be conceived as the self that actually embarks on
the journey. Though the journey is initiated in the material self, the material self does not survive
mortal death to complete the next stage of the journey.
The spiritual journey is qualitative as well as experiential. The material journey is quantitative as
well as experiential. The spiritual journey has to do with the growth of the soul to pure spiritual
levels. This is a journey inward as opposed to a journey outward. The soul grows, and as it grows
it recognizes spiritual values and meanings. As the journey continues, the depth and breadth of these
values and meanings increase, reflecting the qualitative growth of the soul.
The heavenly Father has pre-knowledge of every thing that happens in our lives, including the
material, moral, intellectual, social, and spiritual events. Having foreknowledge, He is able to
manipulate them so that they serve as a stimulus for growth. Starting out imperfect or incomplete
as we are, we are bound to make mistakes in our choices or sometimes to rebel against making the
choice that we should make--thus the need for the heavenly Father to have a plan that allows for and
compensates for detours away from the main path. The growth of the soul is basically a process of
response to stimuli. As we respond to the stimuli by choosing good over evil, this choosing of good
over evil becomes the substance by which the heavenly Father spiritualizes us, the method by which
we grow spiritually, the method by which we become Godlike. Thus, are souls composed of
The circumstances of life are arranged so that they present us with a variety of situations in the moral
and social environment, whereas the material environment creates situations that require a moral
response. A material disaster confronts us with the choice of choosing how we will relate to the
victims of that disaster, thus calling forth the moral response. These circumstances are of such a
nature that they cause progressively and more difficult choices to be made. If we choose wisely,
growth occurs; if we choose unwisely growth is delayed.
Once the first moral decision is made, it sets off a chain reaction of moral decisions and problems
to be solved. The solution of these problems allows us to comprehend higher levels of divine values
and meanings. These experiences contain truth, beauty, and goodness of the Father's love. These
circumstances present us with trials in that they require us to make decisions and abide by them even
though they may not be pleasant or easy in the material sense.
These decisions are tantamount to making progress on the journey. They steer us in a certain
direction. The choosing of the highest value in any given circumstance is cooperation with the plan
of the Father, for it is through these choices that the heavenly Father is enabled to create us
spiritually in time and space with the minimum of delay and handicap.
Brothers and sisters, have you approved the divine plan for your life? Are you choosing the decision
with the highest value in the circumstances of life? If you are, then you are approving the divine plan
for your life.
This concludes today's message on understanding the divine plan and the circumstances of life. 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.