Greeting, 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 the perception of spirit.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Perception of Spirit
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. And we beheld his glory, the glory as of
the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." John, Chapter 1, Verse 14.
Brothers and sisters,"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from
the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." All goodness
is from the Father. The Father reveals this goodness through his son, Jesus, while it is displayed in
the Spirit. The perception of goodness entails the process of revelation, recognition, and finally
realization. These three processes are coordinated in worship, prayer, and service.
Worship is the process whereby divine goodness is revealed. The process of worship increasingly
and progressively makes us like the Father, as revealed in his son, Jesus. The urge to worship is
intrinsic to our nature. The stimulus of fear awakens the worship urge in us. The consciousness of
powerlessness in the face of overwhelming powerful forces caused us ages ago to identify with these
forces with the idea of becoming like them, of acquiring their power. But as soon as we identified
with a force, we immediately became conscious of a greater force. This shifting of loyalty continued
until we achieved consciousness of the final force--God. This fear of God motivated the worship
impulse until the Divine Word became flesh and revealed the love of God to us. Now it is the love
of God that motivates our urge to worship.
Next there is the recognition response. This is the process of prayer, and like worship, it was
motivated in its earlier stages by fear. This fear caused us to make all kinds of petitions to win the
favor of the overwhelming and hostile forces that impinged on and affected us. In its earlier form
prayer was selfish, and the content of the prayer was usually a request to have our will gratified. But
as we learned to manage the effects of lesser forces, our requests for material intervention shifted
to higher and higher objects of forces until we reached the highest object of force--God. We
continued our requests for favors up through material favors, intellectual favors, and finally spiritual
favors, and herein the level of requests rested until the Divine Word became flesh, and revealed man
seeking God's will rather than his own. Prayer is also an exchange process--a process where the ideas
of man are exchanged for the ideals of God, the will of man is exchanged for the will of God, the
temporal is exchanged for the eternal, and the material for the spiritual.
The next and final stage of spirit perception is the realization of divine goodness. In this stage we
actually attempted to attain the consciousness of Divine favor. In earlier times, the attempt to attain
the consciousness of Divine favor evolved up through the giving of various sacrifices, including the
sacrifices of human life. But even this did not bring a consciousness of divine favor. And herein the
matter rested until the Divine Word became flesh and revealed to the hunger consciousness of man
how to achieve the consciousness of divine favor. The Word made flesh accomplished this
consciousness of Divine favor through loving service to others. Jesus, the Word, lived a selfless life.
He sacrificed all his selfish urges and desires for the unselfish urges and desires of God, and this
created the consciousness of divine favor, the realization of spirit perception, divine goodness.
And so the stage has been set for the revelation, recognition, and realization of divine goodness as
coordinated in worship, prayer, and loving service to our response of God seeking, God knowing,
and God revealing. We have through faith received a revelation of the God of love, the heavenly
Father. The constant display of divine spirit is the realization of divine spirit.
To realize God, we must do the Father's will as revealed in his son, Jesus. Seeking the Father for the
purpose of carrying out our will is and remain unavailing. Such a selfish quest is contradictory to
God revealing, God recognition, and God realization. Only by doing the Father's will--to seek to do
something for the Father--is there any basis for a mutual relationship. And the Father has already
reached out to us through his son, Jesus. It remains for us to reach back through loving service to our
brothers and sisters.
This concludes today's message on the perception of spirit. 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.