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 shared many revelations of spiritual truth with me, and I want to share them with you. In today’’s broadcast, we consider the pathway of progress.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Pathway of Progress
Jesus said, "In the world you will have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." John, Chapter 16, Verse 33
Brothers and sisters, the heavenly Father has created us as evolutionary creatures. We are the lowest of his creatures who are capable of knowing him, of worshiping him, and ascending to find him on Paradise. We have been placed in an evolutionary environment. The Father has commanded us to be perfect even as he is perfect. As we consider the techniques that can be used to perfect an evolutionary creature, we consider three possible pathways. First there is the pathway of gratification, next there is the pathway of neutrality, and finally the pathway of struggle. We are also given certain help from the spiritual forces to help us move forward.
Pathway of Gratification
Man has evolved from his animal legacy. As he gains human consciousness, he is devoid of knowledge and wisdom and must move forward from where he finds himself. He must begin that process of perfecting himself and the environment in which he lives. He must survive in a hostile environment. Because man is evolved from an animal, he has an animal nature. Animals only think when they are hungry. They do not move forward on their own. If man was presented with environmental ease, he would not make those adjustments that are essential to obey the Father’’s command. Thus, the ““greatest affliction of the cosmos is never to have been afflicted. Mortals only learn wisdom by experiencing tribulation."
In our society today, we see the devastating effects of the pursuit of pleasure. Because our society rewards certain individuals by liberating them from toil by bestowing large amounts of fame and wealth on them, they unwisely pursue pleasure. Those who pursue a life of pleasure speedily destroy themselves. So we see the pathway of gratification does not move man forward but rather destroys him. The pleasure principle does not help man to obey the supreme command to be perfect even as he is perfect. Ponder this: "Universe difficulties must be met and planetary obstacles must be encountered as a part of the experience training provided for the growth and development, the progressive perfection, of the evolving souls of mortal creatures. The spiritualization of the human soul requires intimate experience with the educational solving of a wide range of real universe problems. The animal nature and the lower forms of will creatures do not progress favorably in environmental ease. Problematic situations, coupled with exertion stimuli, conspire to produce those activities of mind, soul, and spirit which contribute mightily to the achievement of worthy goals of mortal progression and to the attainment of higher levels of spirit destiny."
Pathway of Neutrality
And now we consider the pathway of neutrality, where neither the stimuli of gratification or struggle is present. Man has all the potential locked up within him to obey the Father’’s eternal command to be perfect even as he is perfect, but these potentials require potent and sustained stimuli to bring them into existence. A neutral environment does not help unlock these potentials. Growth is the watchword of the universe. To ensure that growth takes place, man must be reared in a stimulating environment. We cannot stand still in an incomplete universe——we either move forward or backward.
Pathway of Struggle
Finally we consider the pathway of struggle. This the only pathway that will cause man to move forward. Only pain and suffering will drive mortal man down the road of progress. Because of his animal nature, he tends to avoid struggle. Primitive man only thought when he was hungry. As man moves forward in his struggle to master himself and his environment, he receives the assistance of spiritual forces to assist him in making material progress as well as spiritual progress. It is helpful to remember this: ". . .The universe of your origin is being forged out between the anvil of justice and the hammer of suffering; but those who wield the hammer are the children of mercy, the spirit offspring of the Infinite Spirit."
But it is not struggle all the time. There are moments when we receive a temporary respite from striving. Here we can display what we have achieved and can enjoy the gratification that results from worthwhile achievements. But through it all, the Father’’s love follows us, imparting his grace and mercy, and ever beckoning us to move forward towards him, to break the handicap of being incomplete and join him in divine perfection.
There are three pathways that can be considered in the approach to the evolutionary progress of man: the pathway of pain and suffering, the pathway of neutrality, and the pathway of gratification, and the pathway of combining all three of these options. Experience shows that all three are combined when applied to the evolutionary growth of man.
This concludes today’’s message on understanding the meaning of the pathway of progress. We hope you find something to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.