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. In today’’s discussion, we discuss the spiritual fast track, a course of pursuit that maximizes the conversion from potential growth to actual spiritual growth. And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Fast Track
"And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man." Luke, Chapter 2, Verse 52
Brothers and sisters, we shall provide some insights related to accelerated spiritual group using the example of Jesus, who in one short life exhausted the spiritual potentials resident within a human being and did all of this before he was thirty years of age. Before we proceed, let us consider a material analogy to help us get a feel for this accelerated course of spiritual growth.
Sometimes, a human being appears on the scene who is gifted intellectually. Because of this gift, he moves through a course of study at a much more rapid pace than his peers. The student completes his course requirements several years sooner than his peers. The gifted person is able to thus achieve because he was born with this intellectual gift and his peers were not. Thus his peers are handicapped in comparison.
This happens throughout life both in the intellectual and material realms. But in the spiritual arena, no such handicaps exist. All are able to embark on the fast track of spiritual growth if we choose it. The fact that so few choose the fast track speaks to a lack of desire and will. Latent spiritual potentials that could have been expressed in this life lay undeveloped.
Jesus, the Son of God, our Creator Father and Creator of our universe, took on the form of a human being. He was born into the world as a helpless infant. He emptied himself of any knowledge of his pre-existence; he proceeded through life from birth to death just as you and I. In the process of living a purely human life, Jesus perfected his human self and revealed the heavenly Father to mankind. As we study the life of Jesus, we see that his humanity was real, and that he passed through all the stages of a human being. His life was truly human.
How did Jesus manage to perfect his human life in one short time? He received no special considerations. He did not go off to some mystical retreat. He lived his life just as you and I, suffering the ups and downs of life. He experienced disappointments, suffered, enjoyed happy times, made adjustments to the manifold challenges in his life. He prayed with strong feelings and tears when locked in the conflicts of life; he prayed for moral and spiritual strength as he wrestled with his moral obligations and eventually mastered them. And his prayers were effective because he believed. Because of the probable death of his Father when he was young, he had to function as a father to his younger brothers and sisters and provide for that family until such a time as they were able to take care of themselves.
So as we look at the life of Jesus and try to identify what it was that he did that was different from what we do, we notice one signal thing. He submitted his will to the Father’’s will consistently. In every moral and spiritual crisis, he sought the Father’’s will. He maintained unbroken communion--intelligent prayer and sincere worship--with the Father. This unbroken communion with the heavenly Father was the secret to his mastering the human life spiritually in one short life time.
How did Jesus engage in unbroken communion? It is obvious that he did not engage in prayer or conscious worship all the time, even though he often went off by himself to seek the Father’’s will. There were episodes in his life where he did consciously seek to know the Father’’s will in the face of moral or spiritual problems. But he was involved in a real active and intense material life that engaged his time. So we must rule out the concept of unbroken communion as meaning conscious continuous prayer and worship.
We are told that words are valueless when praying, even though they provide psychological comfort for our minds. The Father answers the intent, the true desires, of our hearts. We are also told the function of prayer is to teach us how to do the Father’’s will. How does prayer teach us how to do the Father’’s will? Prayer makes us more conscious of the divine will, while worship makes us like that divine will.
And we are told that "the doing of the will of God is nothing more or less than an exhibition of creature willingness to share the inner life with God ———— with the very God who has made such a creature life of inner meaning-value possible. Sharing is Godlike--divine."
Striving to become Godlike, acquiring a character like Jesus is the secret to becoming perfect as th heavenly Father is perfect. Doing the Father’s will is also the secret to surviving this mortal life, and ultimately acquiring divine perfection in all divinity aspects as relate to doing the divine will. Since the Father’s spirit and the Son’s spirit lives within us, as we share their influence in our lives by during their will, becoming like them we become like them. We choose the divine will whenever there is a situation when there are two ways to do a given thing. When we choose the higher way, we choose the Father’s way.
And now we can see how Jesus was able to perfect his human life in one short life time--by dedicating and consecrating himself to doing the Father will. This process of actively, positively and cooperatively choosing the Father’’s will when such desires and impulse of the material mind differed from the leading of the divine will perfected his character and spiritualized his mind. In conjunction with his guardian angels, working through the social and ethical environment providing suitable stimuli, the desire to do the Father’’s will above all else redounded to his astonishing spiritual achievement--divine perfection.
It is obvious that Jesus was on the fast track, but he provided a way that we could all enter on the fast track as he did. He left his victorious Spirit of Truth to guide us as he himself was guided. Keep in mind that the human Jesus had only available to him, the scriptures for intellectual appropriation, his valiant divine spirit, and his spiritual helpers, the same spiritual resources that we have. Many do not accept being on the fast track because they lack a supreme desire. Desire propels us on the fast track and causes us to choose the Father’’s will in the moral and spiritual arenas. When we are confronted with a moral or spiritual situation, it becomes apparent that there is a conflict in our mind. Our internal harmony is disrupted as we are forced to consider and choose which choice we are going to make. Will we choose the higher choice represented by the leadings of the divine spirit, or will we choose the lower choice, the selfish choice represented by our natural mind?
As we observe our social and ethical environments and the decisions that we make as a result of interacting in those environments, it becomes apparent that the social body is dominated by selfish and material decisions. The moral and spiritual appeal goes unheeded most of the time. It is only when we observe spectacular disasters that we see the situation reverse, where the magnitude of the human tragedy shocks us into responding to the needs of our fellow human beings. Our spiritual helpers run into resistance as their plans for our growth are constantly derailed because we choose the lower rather than the higher choice. And on the inside, while the Father’’s spirit may be living there, his influence is not allowed to reign supreme because of our selfish and materialistic desires, impulses, and free will choices.
We enter upon the fast track by our supreme desire for continuous communion, constantly sharing the inner life with the heavenly Father. We stay on the fast track by constantly responding to his leadings when they differ from what we would naturally choose to do.
This concludes today's message on understanding the fast track of spiritual growth. 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.