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 will ponder our lives as we seek to understand the meaning of the divine plea to our souls.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Divine Plea
"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." John, Chapter 26, Verse 28.
Good morning brothers and sisters, this morning we consider the plea of the divine spirit to our souls. We are told that the divine spirit that lives within our lives has a plan for our lives. This plan includes intellectual, spiritual and the combination of these two to evolve wisdom. Though this is an eternal plan, its inception starts for us when we make our first moral decision which qualifies us to receive the divine plan and begin its unfoldment. This then is a recital of the plea that the divine spirit makes to our soul to initiate and unfold this plan.
How does this plan unfold? We know that our present existence and our environment contain the raw material in which this plan unfolds and is actualized. It is within this environment that the divine spirit extracts the intellectual and spiritual values as we live within these environments. We are free will creatures and have the ability to reject or modify the divine plan for our lives. Let us consider how the environment and the divine spirit interact in bringing this plan to fruition.
Lets us remember that divine values and meaning are concealed in space and revealed in time. As we proceed in time and move through space, those values and meanings are extracted from the experiences that we undergo. So we must remember that experiences are a mean to an end, not an end of itself. It is the means by which we incorporate the divine values and meanings into our being. Remember temporal experiences will pass away, but the divine values and meanings being extracted from these experiences will never pass away. They are eternal. By keeping this in mind, we will not place supreme loyalties upon transient experiences.
By abiding by this admonition, we will on the one hand avoid becoming despairing over a seemingly endless experience and usher in hope, and on the other hand avoid becoming disappointed by treating pleasurable experiences as if they were eternal. As we experience, the divine spirit select the experiences that carry the divine values and meanings that we need at that particular junction. Lets us consider some of the admonitions that the divine spirit makes to our souls. The divine spirit admonishes us faithfully and sincerely cooperate with him. In any joint adventure, if success is to crown our efforts, sincere cooperation is essential to the undertaking. Without effective cooperation, the divine values and meanings the divine spirit is endeavoring to extract and reveal to our souls will be delayed. The divine spirit is always successful in extracting the divine values and meaning from the experience regardless whether or not we cooperate, but in order for these values to be incorporated within our souls cooperation is mandatory.
How do we cooperate with the divine spirit? We cooperate with the divine spirit by choosing the Father’s will over our own, and this is to always to choose the highest level of understanding and wisdom that we posses in making a decision, and doing our very best. When we are sincere, persistent, faithful, tenacious in our effort, relentless in the pursuit of our goal, immune to failure and disappointment, and exercise faith and trust, we align our will with the Father’s will.
The divine spirit also admonishes us to be cheerful in enduring the tasks that he has selected for us to pursue. A cheerful demeanor does much to take the weight out of a heavy laden task. It adds buoyancy to the purely human effort. But again how do we cheerfully endure these tasks of the divine spirit? How do we achieve that cheerfulness and avoid that downcast spirit that so often accompanies a difficult task? First of all it helps to widen our perspective of the purpose of all this uphill struggle. To often our focus is to narrow, being strictly confined to the problem at hand. And while it helpful to focus our attention on the problem at hand, it is also helpful to widen our prospective so that it embraces all the parameters of the problem.
There are mighty potentials slumbering in our souls that must be actualized, and a sunny disposition helps to actualize those potential more efficiently. I realize that this is a difficult thing to do, especially when held tightly in the embrace of physical and emotional anguish, but the persistent effort to seek the Father’s will will contribute much to the acquirement of a cheerful demeanor in the face of difficulties. A little laugher goes a long ways in refocusing the mind from the troubles of the moment and releases new energy for the resolution of the problem. It reduces our resistance to changes occurring within and without us. We are to be perfect even as the heavenly Father is perfect
The divine spirit also urges us to “ more faithfully carry out the program of his arrangement.” It is a sure sign of immaturity and moral indolence to drift away from the program at hand and drift towards one that is easier and more to our liking, one that may provide more immediate gratification. But the way of least resistance does not lead to growth. By being faithful, we will more readily recognize and receive the divine values and meanings that the divine spirit is endeavoring to incorporate in our souls. Remember the divine spirit is using the program for our own good, and faithfulness is required in order for him to reveal these values to us. “He who is faithful over small things will be faithful over great things.” Faithfulness is the badge of trustworthiness. Many protracted projects require faithfulness in order for them to yield their secrets, the divine values and meanings.
The divine spirit also urges us to “more patiently go through the trials of his selection.” Now this is a difficult admonition to abide by for trials are emotionally and sometimes physically trying, and may last a long time relatively speaking. Without patience, we will never successfully discover the divine values and meanings in the experience. “ Impatience is a spirit poison; anger is like a stone hurled into a hornet’’s nest.” Impatience sabotages the work of the spirit and gives way to anger which prevents the divine spirit from revealing anything to the soul.
The spirit is displaying eternal values to the soul, and it requires the soul to maintain a constant attitude in order for the these values to be incorporated into it. Time is a fragment of eternity. The time experience can be integrated with eternity by taking an attitude of patience. This allows time to become integrated into eternity.
The divine spirit urges us to “more persistently and cheerfully tread the path of his choosing.” Sometimes the path that the divine spirit chooses for us has many obstacles on it. Sometimes overcoming these obstacles present severe intellectual and emotional difficulties. They put a strain on our material mind, and causes us to rely more and more upon our faith, for ultimately we walk by faith and not by sight. But we should also remember that the more difficult the path is the greater are the divine values and meanings concealed within them. By being persistent and cheerful as we travel this path, we cause the experiential path to give us its secrets, for they only yield upon persistent effort. By being cheerful, that is maintaining an optimistic attitude, we eliminate the faith draining attitudes of despair and pessimism.
Finally the divine spirit pleads to us that we “more humbly receive credit that may accrue as a result of his ceaseless endeavors.” Humility of spirit is essential if we are to avoid the pitfalls of spiritual pride, for indeed it is pride that blinds the soul to its obligations, and to its place within the divine scheme of things. Spiritual pride goes before a fall. It is a dangerous condition to succumb to, for it is the antechamber of spiritual death.
We should recognize that the son only does that which he sees the Father do. All we can do is discover what is already pre-existent. If we maintain a humble spirit, the divine spirit can reveal divine values and meanings to our souls. Pride blocks the transmission of divine values and meanings to our souls. It offers effective resistance because the divine spirit is subject to our will in choosing the divine values and meanings. We must have a hunger for righteousness and thirst for truth. Pride block spiritual hunger and spiritual thirst. It disconnects us from the channel of the Father’s love and his mercy. The Father only asks us to be humble so that he can exalt us.
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning of the divine spirit’s plea to our souls. 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.