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 explore the eyes of the soul.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Eyes of the Soul
"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." First Corinthians Chapter 2, Verse 14
Brothers and sisters, while the eyes of the body allow us to see material reality, the eyes of the soul allows us to see spiritual reality. We cannot see God with eyes of the flesh, " . . . But it is not necessary to see God with the eyes of the flesh in order to discern him by the faith-vision of the spiritualized mind." What is the nature of this spiritual reality viewed by the eyes of the soul? What barriers prevent the eyes of the soul from seeing clearly or not being able to see at all?
Our bodies have two eyes that function like a camera. They reflect the light from an object onto the back of the eyes to an area called the retina. On the retina are special cells that are triggered by the light. This causes the cells to send a signal to the brain, where a picture is duplicated. This image is relayed to our material minds where we derive meanings from it and make appropriate decisions regarding it. For example, if we were attempting to cross a busy, unsafe street, the eyes would reflect to the brain the vehicles moving up and down the street rapidly. Our mind would then derive meaning from this picture based on our experience with similar pictures and the knowledge that we have about these pictures. We would then exercise judgment and make a decision. In this case, we would make a decision not to attempt to cross the busy street at that particular instance——we would wait until the visual image of the street showed that there was a break in the traffic.
But sometimes with the material eyes, distortion occurs due to a faulty lens or inadequate lighting. The lens may be obscured with cataracts or may be distorted such that the eyes can only see things that are close to it or are far away. Sometimes the entire eyeball may be misshaped so that images appear distorted and blurry. We correct these deficiencies with special lenses or in the case of cataracts with surgery to remove the opacified lens. If light is insufficient, we illuminate the area so that we can see objects clearly. But even after we take all of these measures, there may still be misinterpretation of the image in the brain due to poor observational skills.
When viewing spiritual reality, we also need eyes to see the things of the spirit, values. The eyes we use to view spiritual reality are the soul. When the soul is presented with a value, the light of truth emitted by the value is received in the soul. The soul then comprehends the value and reflects meaning to our spiritualized minds. We then exercise spiritual judgment and make a spiritual decision. Remember, the things of the spirit are spiritually discerned.
Like material eyes, where distortion may occur due to faulty lens, there also occur spiritual distortions. The lens of the soul may be obscured with the cataracts of error such that it views the value poorly. In turn, an erroneous meaning to the mind is sent, and an erroneous decision is made. In other cases, the soul maybe so distorted by moral impurities that it cannot receive the value, and distortion of concept is inevitable. This results in poor judgment and, consequently, evil.
At other times the lens of the soul may be so misshapen that the values cannot be seen when they are far away and can only be seen when they are nearby; and sometimes just the opposite happens. These flaws in the lens of the soul cause problems with the reception of the divine values under certain circumstances. Thus when the soul is locked in one of its incessant moral and spiritual struggles, the divine values seem far, far away. Because of insufficient faith, it loses the ability to see the divine values through the trials and tribulations. At other times the soul may drift into the currents of ease seeking and lose the ability and desire to see the divine values right underneath its nose, as it were.
The greatest spiritual value of all is the heavenly Father. The Father radiates love to the soul. This love can be handicapped in its reception. If the soul is totally blind, totally selfish, and has not been born again, it cannot perceive the Father’’s love. The soul only can receive this divine light when it passes it on to another. The light of the soul should light other souls. But thanks be to God, we have a spiritual consultant who specializes in treating and curing all the sight diseases of the soul. This is the Spirit of Truth. In the case of a blind soul, this spiritual specialist can perform a delicate operation and restore soul-vision via the born again experience. This operation causes the soul to be born again when it consents by choosing to do the Father’’s will. The soul will then be able to see the divine value of love.
The Spirit of Truth through its power of love removes all moral infirmities from the soul. Through the practice of worship and submitting to the Father’’s will, the soul becomes pure and remains pure. It becomes immune to moral impurities and thus qualifies to see the value of the heavenly Father. When the soul is pure, it can discern the presence of the heavenly Father. It is a beautiful thing for the soul to see the heavenly Father who is love. This causes reactions of beauty in the soul, and fills it with joy, hope, and supreme satisfaction.
This Spirit of Truth is also skilled in removing the cataracts of error from the lens of the soul. The Spirit of Truth replaces the cataracts of error with the crystal clear lens of truth. The soul can then see the relationship that exists between itself and the heavenly Father, a relationship characterized by love and mercy. Without this operation, it is impossible to discern the Father’’s love in our present material state. But now that we have removed all of the obstructions from the vision of the soul, we can see the values of the truth, beauty, and goodness of the Father’’s love. We were once blind but now we see. What is this love we now see?
We know that love is the manifestation of the divine spirit. How shall we define this divine manifestation? What are its characteristics? What does it look like and what does it feel like? What does it do for us? In short, what is its value and meaning?
We must have a starting point for comparison, so let’’s start with romantic love——an affection for someone we admire and desire and want to be related to. We crave to be in this person’’s presence at all times. We begin to think of ourselves as being one with the person. We become a couple with exclusivity. This romantic affection though brief in its duration lifts us out of ourselves, changes the way we view ourselves, and our lives. Hardship seems to be robbed of its sting when we are in a romantic embrace. We have all experienced this romantic affection and recognize it when we see it.
Just as romantic affection affects our emotions, though it has no real effect upon our material circumstances, spiritual affection affects our spiritual nature, our souls. It is from someone, the heavenly Father, whom we admire and desire to be related to in this way. We crave to be in his presence at all times and desire to be one with him. Our souls become exclusively devoted to him. This affection lifts us out of ourselves, changes the way we view ourselves, and our lives. Hardship is robbed of its sting when we are in its embrace. The soul is the core part of us. It is the part of us that experiences divine affection, the part of us that experiences spiritual reality, the love of the heavenly Father. It is the part of us that responds to truth, beauty, and goodness. It is the part of us that craves to know the heavenly Father. The soul is the part of us that is destined to literally stand in the heavenly Father’’s presence and recognize him.
But what does spirit affection look like as we view it with the eyes of the soul? Just as we know what romantic affection looks like, we also know what spiritual affection looks like. We say it looks like something that is true, beautiful, and good, and then we would go one better and say that it is true, beautiful, and good. What does it feel like? It feels good, feels right, and also feels true and beautiful. While it does not remove us from the difficulties of life, it does inspire us to transcend them. It lifts us out of ourselves and fills us with unselfishness. It gives us courage, endurance, and hope as we make our way through this material life. It tells us that "it won’’t always be this way."
This divine affection is never indisposed. It is active at all states and under all circumstances. It matters not whether it is the spring time, summer, fall, or winter time of life. It never tires; it never sleeps. It never runs out of energy; it is all powerful in its influence once accepted. It is unselfish in its lavish bestowal and continues to bestow itself in new ways, new meanings. And while there may be an emotional response to this divine affection, the divine affection is not emotional nor is it dependent on emotions for it operation. It transcends emotions and every other quality of the material self. Experiencing this divine affection means that we are eternally secure in the embrace of an all-powerful, all loving, and all merciful Father.
It is a funny thing about this affection, which is the manifestation of the divine spirit. The more we view it, the more we desire to become like it. As we keep looking at it with the eyes of our souls, our vision becomes sharper and sharper, so sharp we can see how to perfectly copy it. This divine affection causes us to strive for perfection and causes us to love others as Jesus loves us.
This concludes today's message on understanding the eyes of the soul. 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.