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. This
morning we ponder our lives as seek to understand the meaning of the guidance and direction of the
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Guidance and Direction of the Heavenly Father
"When the Spirit of Truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of
himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to
come." John, Chapter 16, Verse 13.
Brothers and sisters, we know that the heavenly Father guides and directs his children through the
Spirit of Truth, the spirit of Jesus, but this guidance is spiritual and therefore takes place in our souls.
We define spiritual guidance as that wisdom that directs our decisions so that we stay on the path
of truth and righteousness. It keeps us from straying from our decision to do the Father's will. We
define spiritual direction as the path that leads us to our goal of acquiring a character like Jesus'.
In the fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel, after their mother dies, the father takes on a new wife, one who
does not love them. She conspires to get rid of them and finally induces the father to take them out
into the deep woods and leave them. Fortunately, the children overhear this plot and prepare
themselves to survive it. Hansel collects some smooth white stones that will illuminate when the
light of the moon shines on them. As the children's Father leads them through the woods, Hansel
drops the smooth stones along the way. After the Father abandons his children deep in the forest and
the moon comes up, the light reflects off of the white smooth stones, and Hansel and Gretel are able
to find their way back home.
This story illustrates guidance and direction. In this situation, guidance is the selection of the smooth
stones that have the ability to reflect light and that have been carefully strewn along the path. As long
as Hansel and Gretel follow the trail of stones, they will be led back home. The direction is provided
by the trail of stones itself. In short the string of stones leading from the children's home to the
location in the forest is the direction back home. Thus we feel the sense of guidance and direction
in this fairy tale. Truth is simply everywhere.
A person decides that he would like to take a trip to a certain destination. His means of travel will
be an automobile. He studies the map and plots out the most direct route that will take him to his
destination. He wisely looks for key points (guidance) on the map that will serve as check points that
tell him he is indeed on the right road. He then begins his journey after suitable preparation. He
makes sure that he is heading in the right direction, and he takes notes as he passes each guide post.
Keeping on the road and following the guideposts ensures that he will arrive at his destination. And
he does. He is guided by the check points along the road to his destination. As time passes, he gets
closer to his destination as verified by the check points. Again we feel the sense of guidance and
direction in this example.
A ship is able to cross the oceans starting from one point to another distant shore. It does this by
direction and guidance. Once the ship identifies its destination and direction, that is whether to go
north, south, east or west, it sets its guidance system to precisely follow the course. The guidance
system is such that it can make course adjustment to the ship's direction so that it stays on course.
Sometimes this guidance system may be a compass or a star. With today's technology, computers
and satellites provide the guidance for whatever direction or point on the globe is selected. Unlike
the highway or a path in the woods, the ship sails across an ocean that has no visible line of direction
to follow. The guidance and direction takes place at a higher level.
The Father guides and directs us using spiritual means, using the Spirit of Truth. He guides us by
imparting wisdom so the spiritual decisions are made consonant with the goal identified, which is
himself. This Spirit of Truth speaks for Jesus, giving the direction and guidance to our souls for each
moral and spiritual encounter. The Spirit of Truth guides and directs us towards the Father through
the Son, for no one comes to the Father except through the Son. This involves selecting certain
values and meanings. Correctly choosing constitutes progress towards Him, spiritual growth.
We begin the journey as mortal beings, so we must extract these spiritual values and meanings
through the material environment that we live in. The Heavenly Father reproduces the spiritual
counterpart of these material activities and deposits then in our souls. These values and meanings
are concealed within daily life. As we choose, so we become. What we are becoming is like the
Father's Son, Jesus--the image of the Father. Each correct decision moves us further along the path
of this destination.
The Father's spirit provides the value, the Spirit of Truth provides the guidance, and our spiritual
helpers, the angels, manipulates our environment and circumstances so that the appropriate value is
presented to the soul. To the extent that we choose the values presented is the method by which we
have made use of the Spirit of Truth. And as these values are acted on, they blaze a trial from time
to eternity, to the Father's actual presence on paradise. We know that Father works through love. And
so our journey is one of love, through simple love, complex love, adventurous love, difficult love,
joyous love, and finally the mastery of love. In essence, these different values of love have to be
mastered in order to complete the journey. The experience of loving divinely is progressive and
increasingly difficult. In practical terms this means that we are presented with people who are
increasingly difficult to love. As we make the effort to love these sometime love-deprived brothers
and sisters using the techniques and skills imparted to us through guidance and experience, we
master that particular value and subsequently that meaning associated with it.
And like the stones in Hansel and Gretel, like the automobile making a trip, and the ship crossing
the mighty ocean, the Father through the Spirit of Truth skillfully guides and directs us through all
the values and meanings of progressive growth until that day in eternity when the soul gloriously
stands in the very presence of the heavenly Father on Paradise.
This concludes today's message on the meaning of the guidance and direction of the heavenly Father.
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.