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.
Today we seek to understand the joy of spiritual living.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Joy of Spiritual Living
"These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you; and that your joy
might be full. And this is my commandment, that ye love one another as I have loved you."
John, Chapter 15, Verses 11 and 12.
A fine mist fills the air. In any given instant, it does not appear to be very wet, but as the day wears
on, and we continue to work in the mist, our clothes become saturated. They become wet. The only
way to prevent this mist from saturating our clothes is to wear a protective garment.
Take your burdens to the Lord, and leave them there. Come to me all you who labor, and I will give
you rest, says Jesus. And yet we take our burdens to the Lord, but we are unable to leave them there.
We pray and pray to be delivered from a burden, or to be given strength to carry the burden, but still
we find ourselves unable to leave them there very long.
Brothers and sisters, why should this be so? Is it because we do not have enough faith? Is it because
we do not believe, and if so why not? In order for the heavenly Father to be the heavenly Father, the
approach to Him must be available to all of us, no matter what our educational status, our race, creed
or degree of spiritual development. The standards for the approach to the heavenly Father cannot be
so high that only a few can reach them. The heavenly Father loves all of his children, and He loves
each of them. There are no favorites. He loves the sinner as well as the righteous person. His grace
and salvation are open to all. "Knock and the door shall be opened." "Seek and you shall find."
And yet we remain burdened down under a thousand cares without much joy in our lives. Our only
consolation appears to be the hope for the reward in the next life. With such heavy hearts, we can
hardly hope to set very much of an example that will entice others into the Kingdom. More often
than not, some of us enter the Kingdom not because of attractiveness of the Kingdom seen in the life
of other believers, but because we have come to the end of the rope and have no where else to turn.
Our attitude is often summarized by such a statement as this: I have nothing to lose by trying this,
and it may just help me.
Why is there so little joy of Jesus in our lives as we carry out our daily tasks? Why is there so little
of the patience of Jesus in the midst of material impatience? Why is there so little meekness in the
midst of arrogance? Why is there so little temperance in the midst of excessiveness? Why is there
so little goodness in the midst of evil? Why is there so little faith in the midst of unbelief? And why
is there so little love in the face of hate?
Brothers and sisters, the whole process of prayer has been misunderstood, and the purpose of
worship has been waylaid. Today in so many of our lives, prayer and worship appear to be a
technique for achieving an emotional high. The heavenly Father is not selfish. He is an unselfish
loving person who loves each of us with an infinite and eternal affection. Because he is unselfish,
his love is unselfish as well as the other divine qualities of His character that we are desirous of
obtaining. No divine quality can be obtained for selfish reasons. In fact, the joy and peace along with
the other fruits of the spirits are by-products of doing the Father's will as revealed in Jesus.
To share Jesus' rest, we must also share his labor. The process of prayer is an exchange process
whereby we exchange our will for the divine will. Worship is the technique whereby we get a chance
to look at the divine will that is being exchanged. Imagine a living mirror. The human quality stands
in front of the divine mirror, but what is reflected back is the divine quality. Thus selfishness looks
into the divine mirror and sees unselfishness. Hate looks into the divine mirror and sees love.
Turmoil looks into the divine mirror and sees peace. Sorrow looks into the divine mirror and sees
joy. Impatience look into the divine mirror and sees patience. Unbelief looks into the divine mirror
and sees faith. Evil looks into the divine mirror and sees goodness. Despair looks into the divine
mirror and sees hope. Pride looks into the divine mirror and sees meekness. Roughness looks into
the divine mirror and sees gentleness. But these qualities are a part of God and must be exchanged.
We must use them as the Father uses them. Trying to acquire these qualities for a selfish reason is
futile. They must be acquired for unselfish reasons.
Often times we go into prayer not to submit our wills for the divine will but to have the divine will
submit to ours. And this is why we are unable to relieve our burdens. When we submit our wills to
the divine will, we take on the work of the divine will which is to help others through loving service.
To the extent we are willing to wholeheartedly execute this divine will is the extent to which we can
experience the joy of the Lord.
Brothers and sisters, we must always remember that we remain children of men as long as we are
in the flesh. But we can experience the joy of the spirit. We can have the weight removed from our
burdens. We can become so lost in the exhilarating task of lovingly serving our brothers and sisters,
that the weight of the burden disappears. It is still there but its power to burden us has decreased.
And as we continue to pray and consecrate our wills to doing the divine will, like a fine mist of rain,
the joy of the divine will gradually falls over us, gently but most assuredly saturating us.
This concludes today's message on the joy of spiritual living. 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.