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. In today’’s broadcast, we share some insight concerning the grasp of faith.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Grasp of Faith
"And the Lord said, ‘‘if ye had the faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, ‘‘Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea, and it should obey you.’’" Luke, Chapter 17, Verse 6
Brothers and sisters, we share some insight concerning the grasp of faith. There is no area of our spiritual journey that does not require the grasp of faith. The acquirement of divine values and meanings require the grasp of faith. And we know from experience that sometimes our grasp is not as firm as it should be and the value and meaning slips through our fingers. We want to show how the faith-grasp works and how we can improve our grasp of divine values and meanings. We shall use a material analogy.
Climbing a mountain is a dangerous task and much training must go into mastering it. Mastery of the tools, such as ropes, special shoes, clothing, and spikes must be accomplished before attempting to climb the mountain, and necessary supplies such as food, water, and shelter must be carried along with the climber. The climber must be in excellent condition, and he must know the safest route to pursue when attempting to climb the mountain. He must have a guide, someone who has mastered the mountain already. When all of these criteria are met, the climber is ready to begin. As he begins to climb the mountain, he must have a firm footing, plus a firm grasp upon the ledge that he is pulling himself up by. Without this, he will lose his footing and his grip and fall off of the mountain. If he falls off the side of the mountain, he becomes dependent upon his safety spikes and ropes to break and stop his fall. As he proceeds, he gradually pushes and pulls himself up the wall of the mountain until he reaches the top.
Having been born again, born of the spirit, we are now equipped to begin penetrating the divine values and meanings of perfection of our relationship with the heavenly Father. When attempting to grasp these spiritual values and meanings, it is important to get a firm grip upon them with our faith, lest they slip through our fingers. But we have all experienced difficulty in maintaining spiritual values and meanings once they have appeared in our minds and souls. We know that for some reason, they tend to become obscured at times. What is the cause of this obscurity? What is it that steals the joy of recognizing spiritual values and meanings and claiming them as our own? Well, we know that since these values and meanings are acquired by and through faith, their obscurity can only be due to the lack of a firm faith grasp upon them. Something in us tends to weaken our grasp upon these spiritual values and meanings that have been revealed to us, and that we have provisionally accepted. Then the storm clouds of trials and tribulations rise upon the horizon and obscures them.
Jesus said that true believers have only one battle to fight and that is the battle against doubt. Doubt is a function of the status of the material mind. The more material-minded we are, the greater the potential for doubt to function. And since we are dual-natured beings, material and potentially spiritual, doubt waxes mighty within us when it comes to spiritual values and meanings because they are not real to the material mind. But we also know that faith has the power to overcome all doubt when it comes to the spiritual values and meanings associated with divine sonship and perfecting our relationship with the Father.
Jesus, the Son of God, overcame doubt. He took on the form of a human being and mastered this doubt. Of doubt it is said, "your doubts are strongest just before they collapse." In any struggle between two opposing forces, the force that is exerted tends to reach its maximum in an attempt to gain the victory, but having reached that peak, it can go no further. Since it has expended all of its energy in reaching its maximum potential, it collapses. Thus, in the contest between spiritual faith and doubt, spiritual faith is destined to win because of its superior power. What is required is that we continue to exercise this faith until it vanquishes doubt, and the spiritual value and meaning become firmly entrenched in our souls and minds.
But before engaging in such a magnificent contest, we must remember to separate the reality of the material from the reality of the spiritual. If we try to use spiritual faith to win material battles, we are doomed to fail, for spiritual faith does not fight in that arena. If doubt tries to win spiritual battles, it is doomed to fail, for doubt really has not control over spiritual realities, over divine values and meanings. So it is a question of not allowing material realities to interpret spiritual values and meanings. As David Crocket, said, "Be sure you are right, and then go ahead."
Jesus demonstrated the effective use of this spiritual faith by exercising absolute trust in the Father’’s watchcare and by dedicating and consecrating his will to doing the Father’’s will. Having assumed these faith positions, he proceeded through life absolutely assured of his spiritual invincibility.
And we can follow Jesus along this faith journey and experience the assurances he did. The Spirit of Truth, the spirit of the victorious Jesus, envelops our souls and empowers us to proceed in the faith conquest of perfecting our relationship with the heavenly Father. When the spirit reveals to us new values and meanings, the Spirit of Truth grasps these values, thus empowering us to live them. We need not fear error when grasping divine values and meanings. This Spirit of Truth makes these values and meanings meaningful to our souls and minds. In truth, if we are sincere, we cannot embrace a value or a meaning that is not significant to us.
Thus, the proof of whether a divine value or divine meaning is true is whether it is meaningful and whether we can conduct ourselves according to it. Although there follows the growth of divine values and meanings in our souls and minds, they are still meaningful at every stage of the growth process. The fact that divine values and meanings remain significant to us indicates that the hand of faith has a firm grip on them.
But we want to gain further insight as to how we can make sure that the hand of faith firmly grasps divine values and meanings. We want to know how to prevent them from slipping out of the hand of faith, which is subject to our will. Though we cannot eliminate doubt from the material mind, this does not mean that doubt can overrule our spiritual decisions. Doubt is also subject to our will.
When doubt arises after discerning a divine value and meaning, we must exert our will in the face of doubt by declaring, "not my will but your will be done." By doing this, we make available all the spiritual power of the divine spirit to maintain and stabilize our spiritual attitude. This continuous exertion of faith in the face of doubt ensures that newly discovered divine values and meanings are not lost amid the doubting currents of the material mind.
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning of the grasp of faith. 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