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. This morning we will ponder our lives as we seek to understand the nature of the horses
of spiritual growth.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Nature of the Horses of Spiritual Growth
"Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect
work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. " James, Chapter 1, Verses 4
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast we shall discuss the nature of the horses of spiritual
growth. These are the load-pulling forces that move the soul into new areas of values and meanings.
I mention them here but do not tell you what they are for the purpose of stimulating the spiritual
imagination: when you encounter them later in the broadcast, it will have the impact of magnifying
their meanings. We shall use some material analogies to assist us in grasping the meaning of these
spiritual work horses.
During the earlier times of man’’s sojourn on earth before he domesticated animals, if he wanted to
move an object from one point to another he had to use his own power to accomplish them.
Sometimes they would work in teams. Eventually man learned to tame the horse, and this was a great
advance in transporting himself and his baggage. Man learned to capture the forces of horses by
hooking them up to wagons. And these animals became the primary transport of human beings until
the industrial age replaced them with machines.
When man entered the industrial age, his intellect became the workhorse of progress. By studying
the laws of the material world and manipulating them, he launched himself into a new era. His mind
was now able to solve all kinds of material problems, thus creating modern society. But having
entered modern society, where the material needs of man have been satisfied (relatively speaking),
slumbering spiritual challenges begin to manifest themselves more and more. In fact the more
complicated society becomes the greater the need for spiritual growth--only spiritual growth can
prevent man from destroying himself. Only spiritual growth can reveal that God is man’’s spiritual
Father, and that we are all brothers and sisters. But how is man to acquire this growth, and how can
he cooperate with it? What are the workhorses of spiritual growth?
Spiritual growth begins when the Father’’s spirit arrives in the mind of man and there in association
with the moral mind of man creates the soul. Spiritual growth, then, is the growth of the soul. The
moral mind of man contributes to the growth of the soul by making moral decisions, and as these
decisions continue to be made, the soul grows to where it becomes aware of spiritual reality. For
relatively long periods, the Father’’s spirit pervades the mind and soul with divine urges, desires, and
thoughts. As the mind of man chooses these divine values so does the soul continue to make spiritual
growth. But progress is relatively slow without the use of the work horses of spiritual growth.
Without them, we would have an analogous situation before man discovered the use of horses to
assist him in his need for transport and burden bearing. Now there is somewhat of a paradox of these
spiritual work horses in that they are both the tools for growth as well as the indicators of growth.
Faith and longsuffering are the work hoses of spiritual growth. Faith is that mysterious value given
to man by the heavenly Father to assist him in the acquirement, realization, and utilization of
spiritual growth. "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." But
this spiritual quality in the material mind gives rise to doubt, for the material mind is skeptical of the
reality of all reality, which it can not quantify and demonstrate to the outside world. So here is the
dilemma. A tool is given to help man acquire spirituality, but the mind of man is skeptical of the
effectiveness of such a tool. When it tries to use this tool in altering material reality, it fails as it
learns that material reality is governed by a different set of laws.
But the presence in the mind of divine qualities is a reality, and not just a psychological aspect of the
psyche. When this faith is exercised with the correct reality, it is just as effective and reliable as the
laws of the material world. The proper reality for faith is spiritual. And faith aims to transform the
character of man the material into man the spiritual. This transformation of the material character
into the spiritual character is achieved by the whole-hearted belief in its power, demonstrated by
actually using the divine values in the outer life. The values of divine love and loving service when
initiated in the outer life are both the proof of the spiritual character as well as the indicator of the
Other than the way of faith, there exists no other way by which mortal man can move from the
material nature to his spiritual nature. Whereas the material mind is adequate for manipulating the
laws of material reality, it utterly fails when trying to apply this same technique to spiritual reality.
That is material laws are ineffective when applied to spiritual problems. " What knowledge and
reason cannot do for us, true wisdom admonishes us to allow faith to accomplish through religious
insight and spiritual transformation." Faith is valid. It is given to us by the heavenly Father to
accomplish that task of becoming perfect in spirit as He is perfect. "Without faith, it is impossible
to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them
that diligently seek him."
Doubt is a hard thing to overcome. Because we have such material handicaps in this life, we are
sorely pressed for help, and our material concepts define faith as being valid only if it is able to
directly alter these material difficulties. And the difficulty of embracing faith wholeheartedly is made
even more difficult by the delays of time, for even though the perfection in the spirit is given in
response to our faith submitting of our wills to the Father’’s will, there still remains the delays of
time as this spiritual perfection is realized in the outer life. Loving service is the mechanism whereby
our faith becomes justified, for it is through loving service that we realize the forecasts of faith, that
is, it is through loving service that we realize perfection of our spiritual character.
This spiritual faith was given a tremendous shot of credibility when the divine Son, Jesus, took on
the human form and as a human being traversed the chasm from the human nature to the divine
nature. He accomplished all of this with his faith because he wholeheartedly believed in the reality
of spiritual values and embraced them in his life. And now his mighty Spirit of Truth seeks to
accomplish the same thing in each mortal’’s life. All that is required for the believer to do is to
wholeheartedly believe that it can be done, and this reality becomes actual.
Spiritual knowledge like all knowledge does not become real until it is invested with the tinge of
emotions and actually used. Until then, though the material knowledge may be real to some other
mortal, it is not real to another until he makes use of that knowledge. So by believing and acting as
if we have perfect spiritual characters, we actually make that a bonafide reality in our personal loving
service ministry. And this is done with the Spirit of Truth. We escape from the vicious wheel of the
animal nature, that nature that takes us away and afar from those true, beautiful, and good impulses
that we discern in our souls, and that we are so desirous of acquiring,
But do not overlook the other work horse of spiritual growth. Do not overlook long suffering. And
again this work horse of spiritual growth is also an indicator as well as a tool of spiritual growth.
Long suffering is that quality that is imparted to the soul, that allows it to maintain its divine poise
of grace and truth. Long suffering withstands all assaults on the human soul. Long suffering will
always reflect the forbearance of the heavenly Father and his magnificent character of restraint. Long
suffering empowers the soul to consistently reveal the Father’’s goodness, that very goodness that
is destined to sweep all on lookers into the magnificent gentle sea of truth. This work horse of
spiritual growth achieves for us what nothing in the purely material armory can do for us. The
material mind is short on patience and long on aggressiveness. The material mind has a time
consciousness that is aware that time is running out, and keeps measuring how close it is to its goals
that has been set. It does not have the eternal viewpoint, but the soul that has wrapped up long
suffering in its character does have the eternal viewpoint and delights in the Father’’s presence while
it reveals His magnificent character to his benighted brothers and sisters.
The work horses of spiritual growth, faith, and longsuffering under the tutelage of the Spirit of Truth
guarantees success in our efforts to become perfect even as the heavenly Father is perfect. We must
simply believe it to receive it.
This concludes today's message on understanding the nature of spiritual prayer. 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