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 shared many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. In today’’s broadcast we examine the effectiveness of the supreme desire to perfectly recognize and execute the Father’’s will.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Effectiveness of the Supreme Desire
"Therefore I say unto you, whatsoever things ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them." Mark, Chapter 11, Verse 24
Brothers and sisters, we are vitally interested in knowing whether salvation is contingent upon faith in the effectiveness of the supreme desire to do God’’s will. Salvation requires that we enter the kingdom of heaven. What is the kingdom of heaven and how do we enter it?
We know that the kingdom of heaven is not of this world, for Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world.”” We know also that the kingdom is not material, for we are told, "The kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost (spirit)." "The kingdom of heaven consists in these three essentials: first, recognition of the fact of the sovereignty of God; second, belief in the truth of sonship with God; and third, faith in the effectiveness of the supreme human desire to do the will of God--to be like God. And this is the good news of the gospel: that by faith every mortal may have all these essentials of salvation."
Let us examine these three criteria more closely.
The Sovereignty of God: God is the absolute, eternal, and infinite ruler of all infinity and eternity. Nothing exists without him. He is the creator, the controller, and the upholder of all divine reality. He is the source of all life; he bestows eternal life upon his children.
Sonship with God: God is our heavenly Father; we are his sons and daughters. Jesus reveals this to us when he lived the life in the flesh. If God is our Father and we are his sons and daughter; then his life flows in us, and this life is eternal; thus if we choose to do his will, this life becomes actual in us.
Faith: Faith in the effectiveness of the supreme human desire to do the will of God is a gift given to us by the heavenly Father because we lack spiritual maturity. The gift is given while we are still living the flesh. This faith when used actualizes our spiritual potentials so that we can survive this mortal life. It is effective intrinsically because it is comes directly from God. But having given us this gift, it is incumbent upon to use it, to exercise it. How do we exercise faith so that it becomes effective? We know that this faith is not exercised supremely all the time, that is, we allow doubt to become a barrier between the application of our effort and faith.
Doubt arises in our minds because our material minds are unable to comprehend spiritual reality——an experience of the soul. When the material mind tries to apply spiritual faith to material reality, it becomes skeptical. And this skepticism causes us to disbelieve or prevent us from whole-heartedly believing. We must understand that the spiritual experience is an experience of the soul, the inner self. It has no bearing on material reality. The problems of material living are not corrected by spiritual faith. Material problems only can be corrected by the discovery and application of the material laws governing them. But because faith is a real reality in the soul, it sometimes influences our attitude towards the material problems of living. Let us let our faith stand for the relationship between our souls and the heavenly Father and refuse to yield to the temptation to allow it to stand for anything else.
But how do we conquer these impulses and thoughts that seek to link spiritual faith to the solution of material difficulties? Although the material mind is skeptical of the claims of faith, we feel faith’’s power in our soul. It constantly urges us to believe. It is like a mighty dynamo running and ready to go. While it is natural to want to be delivered or find solutions to our material difficulties, this is not the province of spiritual faith. When such thoughts and impulses appear in our minds--as they will--we should instruct them that they are not the province of spiritual faith. Yes, doubt remains a part of our existence as long as we live in the material life, but when we dedicate and consecrate our will to doing the Father’’s will, doubt becomes powerless to tear us away from the faith-grasp of our Father’’s goodness.
Supreme Desire: For our faith to be effective, it must become supreme. The supreme exercise of faith is linked directly to our desire. Our desire must become supreme, for it is will that acts on behalf of our desires. How do we know when our desire has become supreme? We know it when all competing values are below it and none are above it. Our desire ascends to supreme levels through experience. Each experience teaches us the value of desire. But prior to embarking upon such a magnificent, in effect, becoming perfect even as the heavenly Father is perfect, we must dedicate our will to doing the Father’’s will.
True dedication is a quality that many do not really understand. When most of us say we are dedicated, we really mean as long as there’’s no interference with some prior interest we’’re pursuing. We can catch a glimpse of true dedication by watching a mother care for her helpless infant. The normal mother subordinates all other considerations in taking care of her infant. True dedication is only disclosed under the circumstances of testing, for the degree of dedication is not revealed until we are confronted with another choice. Each choice that the mother makes on behalf of the infant moves her to the level of supreme dedication to her infant, even when the mother sacrifices her life so that the child may live. "Greater love hath no man than this--that a man lay down his life for his friends."
Closely related to dedication is consecration. Consecration is the act of making our dedication sacred. It is setting aside all previous loyalties in favor of loyalty, which is sponsored by God. This consecration means we make such a dedication in the presence of God, and he becomes a formal partner to such dedication. Hereafter, the partnership will proceed with an air of sacredness. This consecration of dedication assures that our desire to do the Father’’s will, will proceed to supreme levels.
As we are experiencing creatures, our dedication must ascend to supreme levels. And we may not quite realize it at first, but there are barriers to be overcome while progressing. Almost every human being has some entrenched value that must be sacrificed before reaching the highlands of supreme values. The desire must reach levels where there are no competing values above it, and all over values are below it. And as we climb the rungs of the ladder to supreme values, each intervening value is recognized and subordinated to the higher value. Giving up these ““pet evils”” signify that our loyalty——and our faith and trust——have ascended to supreme levels as well.
In the material life, our will responds to our material desires. We decide what the priority shall be in choosing; in the spiritual life, our moral will responds to our moral and spiritual desires. We decide what the priority should be in making moral and spiritual decisions, which in turn has been decided by the strength of our desires. It is the strength of our desire that decides what priority is established to a given choice. And when that priority is established, the will unfailing acts accordingly. But the supreme desire is effective because it is in concert with the Father’’s will, and whatever the son or daughter of the heavenly Father desires, and the Father wills, is.
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning of the effectiveness of the supreme spiritual desire. 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.