Good morning, brothers and sisters. We shall explore the force of the spiritual desire as it interplays with faith, will, and trust. "Without faith it is impossible to please God, for those who come to him must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Since faith is the only tool that we have for reaching God, we must have "faith in the effectiveness of the supreme human desire to do the will of God--to be like God." And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Force of the Spiritual Desire
"Men ought always to pray and not to faint." Luke, Chapter 18, Verse 1
Spiritual desire, when it first erupts in our souls does not begin at supreme levels. It takes time for it to grow. The fact that it does not happen instantly brings about the need for trust. Similar to planting a seed in the ground, there is a lot of unseen work underway. In fact, this desire incubates in the soul before we begin to notice it in our minds.
When this desire finally comes to our consciousness, we may not recognize it. It manifests as a restlessness that cannot be satisfied by material means. After all efforts to satisfy this restlessness by material means, it still remains. This desire is the hunger for truth and the thirst for righteousness. This desire must grow, and as it grows the force of it also grows.
When we make moral and spiritual decisions, there is a moral and spiritual force involved; the more difficult the moral or spiritual decision, the greater the force that the decisions carries. The greatest moral and spiritual decision that we can make is the decision to do the Father’’s will, but to "even to approach the knowing of a divine personality, all of man's personality endowments must be wholly consecrated to the effort; halfhearted, partial devotion will be unavailing." Our desire must be supreme. Only then can the force of the desire be supreme. To know a spiritual personality is to become like that spiritual personality. To know the heavenly Father, we must become like him. We must acquire a character like his. We can do this only by making moral and spiritual decisions of increasing difficulty until we reach supreme levels.
We can feel the force needed to make moral and spiritual decisions as they become more and more difficult to make. And we also know that making these decisions allows the divine spirit to become one with us in response to our desire. Faith is involved in the mobilization of the moral and spiritual force. Will is the agency of execution for desire and operates in the moral and spiritual realm only when the desire is supreme. In other words, will does not make a decision on behalf of moral and spiritual realities unless the desire for such a decision is supreme. Decisions are either made or not made. Only those decisions that enjoy the complete support of the moral and spiritual desires become decisions. To help us obtain a firmer grasp of the understanding of the force of desire, let us consider a material analogy.
When a woman first conceives a child, she is usually unaware at first. But soon the first signs began to appear. The most obvious sign is the missed period, and this may be accompanied by nausea. After a while the nausea is identified with pregnancy state, which is confirmed by tests. Then the process of growth and development begins in earnest, and there soon begins to appear more visible signs of pregnancy, such as breast and lower abdomen enlargement. Soon the child begins to move about in the womb, and the mother detects these movements. The growth process continues on for about nine months. At the appropriate time, a signal is sent from the brain to start contractions. These contractions are weak at first, but they soon increase until they are able to push the baby out into the new world. This process of contraction of the muscles of the womb is called labor.
When our souls are first conceived, there is a period of time when we are consciously unaware of it. But as it begins to grow, we become aware of it by an increase in the force of the desire for truth and righteousness--the desire to do the Father’’s will. This desire eventually meets resistance from the doubting of the material mind, which threatens to shut down the desire to do the Father’’s will. But this desire is an eternal one and cannot be dislodged by doubt. It can only be shut down by the loss of the desire to do the Father’’s will, by a willful decision. Doubt only serves to make the desire stronger. Any obstacle of doubt or other competing desire increases the force of the desire. And this force continues to overcome all obstacles and competing desires that stand in the way of the desire to do the will of the heavenly Father. Eventually this desire gives birth to the soul where it can experience and satisfy its hunger for truth and thirst for righteousness.
e, doubt raises it head. The greatest value of recognition that we can realize in this life is the recognition and realization of the value of divine sonship, that we are in effect sons and daughters of the heavenly Father. Doubt as to the reality of this truth is the greatest obstacle that we must overcome, and it requires the supreme assertion of faith coupled with the supreme desire. Once we grasp this value, all other values pertaining to divine sonship and the relationship with the Father are grasped without the obstacle of doubt. Since this achievement represents the actualization of our supreme desire, the doubt that was overcome in acquiring it can never become supreme anymore. Once we truly grasp this truth will we have actualized our supreme desire in the spirit.
Faith is the catalyst that transmutes desire into actual realities. It translates the potential state of becoming Godlike, of doing the Father’’s will, to the actual state of doing the Father’’s will, of becoming like the Father through his Son. But faith is not an easy quality to master, for as long as we live in these material bodies, doubt will always be there casting a skeptical glance at our faith efforts. But as the obstacles of doubt arise that appear to block our pathway to doing the Father’’s will in perfection, we must reaffirm our faith in the effectiveness of the desire to do the Father’’s will. When the qualities of hope and trust appear to diminish in the face of some emotional or material upheaval in our lives, we must reaffirm our desire to trust the Father and his plan for our lives. We must keep hope alive by linking it to our faith, and reaffirm our hope to that day when we achieve divine perfection that the Father has commanded of us. We must take the long-distance view, the eternal view.
During the times, when we feel that we don’’t have the moral and spiritual power to continue, we must seek to know the Father’’s will and receive that sustaining power to continue this awesome race to achieve divine perfection. Whenever any quality appears to be threatened by doubt, we must reaffirm our desire for that quality. Every time we seek to know and execute the Father’’s will, additional spiritual and moral power is imparted to the soul, and our characters take on more and more of the qualities of the Father. This affirmation of the needed qualities increase the force of our spiritual desire and allow us to gain a firmer hold of the Father’’s image as displayed by his Son, Jesus. It allows us to become more and more like the Father.
As time goes on, the force of this desire increases to where it becomes supreme, overwhelming all other desires. And when this happens, all resistance to the soul’’s desires evaporates, and the soul is now free to wholeheartedly pursue the Father’’s will with ever-increasing perfection. "If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed."
This concludes today's message on understanding the force of the 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.