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 seek to understand the power within us.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Power within Us
"But as many as received him, to them gave he the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." John, Chapter 1, Verse 13
Brothers and sisters, we discuss the power within us to become sons of God, our heavenly Father. Elite military units train recruits to bring out their highest material potentials. This training tests the limits of their physical endurance, challenges their determination and dedication, causes them to rise to a level, where their only concern is the accomplishment of their mission. They learn to ignore pain, hunger, fatigue, and become fearless. The only thing that can stop them from carrying out their mission is physical incapacitation or death. Those who cannot reach this level are weeded out.
Reaching this level is tough: recruits have to come to terms with their purpose and the price they are willing to pay to reach this level. They have to overcome doubt and gain that unshakeable confidence that they can complete the training. It takes a while before the recruits can reach this level, but for those who do, the rest of the training cannot derail them. If it is humanely possible for them to complete it, they know that they will. They have mobilized all of their human potentials to master this training. This is physical self actualization.
But there is a greater challenge. This is the spiritual challenge. This challenge will test the very fibers of our souls. It will test not just our temporal purpose, but will test our eternal purpose. It will not only test our temporal will but will test our eternal will. This challenge will test the best within us. It will challenge mind, soul, and spirit. It will challenge us to master and subordinate the human nature to the divine nature. It will challenge us to obey the Father’s eternal command to be perfect even as the heavenly Father is perfect. There are so few of us who accept this challenge, but for those who do there is a greater power within that they can tap into, "for the Kingdom of God is not in word, but in power."
This power makes us more than a conqueror. Whereas elite military units may conquer their foes, the spirit not only conquers the human nature but causes it to joyfully serve it. How do we tap into this power within?
Jesus said that he was the way, the truth, and the life. That no one comes to the Father except through him. And since this inner power is the Father’s spirit, we must go through Jesus in order to tap it. We must do the Father’s will. We must learn to submit our wills to the Father’s will. We must surrender our wills to the Father’s will. We must submit every desire, urge, and purpose to the Father’s will.
Prayer is the secret to learning how to discern and execute the Father’s will. As we enter prayer, we enter into the presence of the Father’s, with our souls surrounded by the Spirit of Truth. The Spirit of Truth interprets the thoughts of the Father and reveals to our souls conduct that is acceptable to the Father. As we continue to pray and submit our wills to the Father’s will, the nature of our prayers change from seeking to actualize our will to seeking to actualize the Father’s will. We learn that there is a vast difference between our will and the Father’s will at first. As time goes on, the separation between our wills and the Father’s will becomes less until the day when there is no separation between our wills and the Father’s will at all. Through His Son, Jesus, we have become one. We have moved from doing our wills to doing the Father’s will.
The ending to all of our petitions is "Not my will but your will be done." Or more precisely, "It is my will that your will be done."
Even though both forms are equal to the same reality, the positive form of submitting to the Father’s will has a psychological benefit over the negative form. Whereas in the negative form, "not my will be done, but your will be done," the petitioner in addition to outlining the nature of the moral and spiritual problem suggests a path of conduct that may or may not be the Father’s will. And if the choice does not equal the Father’s will, he must suffer some degree of emotional disappointment as his will chooses the Father’s will.
In the positive form the nature of the moral and spiritual problem is also outlined; in this case, however, the petitioner is not emotionally invested in a path of conduct. Rather does he seek the Father’s path of conduct without having to abandon the conduct that he might have proposed. In this way, there is no emotional investment in the proposed human choice and thus no emotional disappointment.
Now that we understand how to tap into this inner power, we are ready to accept the challenge, to be perfect even as the Father is perfect. And this is no easy task. This is no walk in the park, for this challenge requires all the dedication, endurance, perseverance, tenacity, faith, hope, courage, and all the human power that we possess. This requires a supreme effort and therefore requires us to mobilize all the power that we can muster. This mobilization is required to meet the Father’s spirit. But because of the Spirit of Truth, we are empowered to mobilize these powers and make the supreme effort. As Jesus said to his apostles, “Because my Father is a God of love and delights in the practice of mercy, do not imbibe the idea that the service of the kingdom is to be one of monotonous ease. The Paradise ascent is the supreme adventure of all time, the rugged achievement of eternity. The service of the kingdom on earth will call for all the courageous manhood that you and your coworkers can muster. Many of you will be put to death for your loyalty to the gospel of this kingdom. It is easy to die in the line of physical battle when your courage is strengthened by the presence of your fighting comrades, but it requires a higher and more profound form of human courage and devotion calmly and all alone to lay down your life for the love of a truth enshrined in your mortal heart.”
We must learn to trust the Father, to depend absolutely on him. We must exercise living faith in order to activate this inner power in our lives. We must have faith in the effectiveness of our supreme desire to do the Father’s will. We must not allow our emotional or material difficulties to derail our faith in the goodness of the Father. We must insist that the Father is in us and that he is going through all of these experiences with and as us. We must insist on wholeheartedly believing that there is no moral or spiritual challenge to great for us to overcome when we are in submission to the Father’s will. There may be many sleepless nights; there might be many episodes of depression and anxiety. There may be many days of uncertainty when we can’t see our way clear, days that turn into weeks, and weeks that turn into months, and months that turn into years. But none of these can defeat our wholehearted desire to do the Father’s will.
If we truly desire to do the Father’s will, that is proof that we are indeed acquiring a character like Jesus. And as the moral and spiritual storms rage, so does the strength of inner resolve increase. The greater the moral or spiritual difficulty, the more determined are we to overcome them. And with the Spirit of Truth surrounding our souls, the victory is already ours. We just have to realize it by going through the experience. And when we align our will to his will within the Spirit of Truth, the power flows, enlightening, uplifting, and blessing countless other souls.
When we align our wills with his will by our desire for the same, "Such a creature choice is not a surrender of will. It is a consecration of will, an expansion of will, a glorification of will, a perfecting of will." We enter that zone where the power within the Father’s will becomes available to us to demolish all barriers that stand in the way of our becoming perfect even as he is perfect. The challenge to be perfect is awesome, but the power to meet such a challenge is overwhelming. We shall prevail. This is spiritual self-actualization: the perfect display of the character of Jesus.
This concludes today's message on understanding the power within us. 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.