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 insight into the prompting of the divine spirit. We are desirous of recognizing these promptings so that we can respond to them.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Prompting of the Divine Spirit
"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of Truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak." John, Chapter 16, Verses 13
Brothers and sisters, to help us understand the concept of spirit prompting, let us look at some material analogies. In our material lives, we are constantly being prompted or reminded. We set alarm clocks before going to bed to remind us to get up a certain time. We remind each other of important events so that we don’’t miss them. We write down important dates on the calendar.
I remember when our daughter was in elementary school. One of the requirements at the end of the school year was to write a story or short essay. Some of these children had difficulty thinking of anything to write about. Their minds were deadlocked. To help them to break this ice, the instructor would give them several subjects to choose from. These were in fact prompts. Prompts enable us to focus on a subject to bring out ideas. We can then organize and write down these ideas on paper.
On the spiritual side, we are also constantly being prompted, though often we don’’t consciously recognize these prompts, thus failing to act on them. The divine spirit is the source of that outward altruistic service urge. But the divine spirit also provides inward service to our struggling souls. Thus there are outward and inner prompts. As we pursue the Father’’s will, we become more conscious and more responsive to these inner and outward prompts. These spiritual prompts are not to be confused with the prompting of conscience.
The prompting of conscience is based on the sum total of what we have been taught is right. Thus we see the dictates of conscience will vary depending upon the morality of the social group of which we are a part. "Conscience, rightly, prompts us to do what is right, but the divine spirit tells us what is truly right." Conscience is the human ideal of what is right; the prompting of the divine spirit is the standard of the divine ideal of righteousness.
Discerning what is truly right is directly proportional to our moral and spiritual growth. If we are standing behind a tall wall, it is impossible to see over it unless we have some sort of device that will elevate us to the top where our vision is not obscured. Well, 2,000 years ago, Jesus, the Son of God, gave us such a device in the form of the Spirit of Truth. When our immature souls are surrounded by this good spirit, then this spirit can interpret the prompting of the divine spirit and we can respond correctly.
But we must remember the limitations of this Spirit of Truth in the mortal life; the Spirit of Truth guides us in our relationship with the heavenly Father and with one another. It is a spirit of love, wherein our souls are freed from the bondage of selfishness and isolation and set at liberty to enjoy the relationship with the heavenly Father, and to lovingly, even mercifully, serve our brothers and sisters. This Spirit allows us to live the heavenly life even while we still live the mortal life. This Spirit allows us to take the reactions of another life and impose it upon the life in the flesh. Thus we are equipped to live the spiritual life even while we continue on in the flesh.
And now let us consider the prompting of the divine spirit interpreted by the Spirit of Truth. Our arena of service is not far off. It is right where we are, right in our immediate moral and social environments. Thus we respond to the prompting of the spirit in regard to one another. And this is important. One of the criteria for effective service is to know the service area. If we serve those who are in our immediate environment, we are more likely than not to know them; having knowledge of them we are likely to know what their true needs are and thus can provide them.
Charity begins at home. Let us consider the service opportunities that are right in front of us.
When we encounter a service situation, that is, when we recognize a need that we can wisely fill, it is the spirit that empowers us to even recognize the situation, for we know there are many who are blinded to the needs of others. They just don’’t see them. We can begin by greeting each other in the morning. "Good morning." "How are you feeling?" This conveys both good will and a genuine interest in the other person’’s welfare. If we discern that our mate or family member may be feeling down, then we can offer words of encouragement, or if we see something that we know the other person is desirous of having done, we can do that. It does not have to be a big thing; just doing little things contain very large, positive meanings. If we see something that needs to be done, and we are able to do it, then we should do it. These are service opportunities that are carried out in a spirit of love, even mercy. And there are many occasions that arise where the spirit prompts us to intervene.
But there is also the prompting of the spirit within and to our souls. As we continue in this life, we face certain vicissitudes that place tremendous stresses on us, and we often become discouraged and despairing. Under such circumstances, it is the prompting of the divine spirit, that says, "Be of good cheer." It is the divine spirit that says, "Be encouraged.”” It is the divine spirit that injects courage and hope into the soul under such circumstances. And when we feel alone, it is the divine spirit, that says, "Fear not, I am with you." And when we feel that we are at the end of our wits, it is the divine spirit that says, "hold on, I am coming." This spirit strengthens us on the inside. This spirit renews our minds and spirits. And when the waters of adversity overflow us, this divine spirit anchors our souls to the eternal foundation of goodness When we feel that the night of suffering has been too long, the divine spirit comforts us and says, "it won’’t be this way always."
And when we stumble and fall, it is the divine spirit that imparts mercy and grace to help us pick ourselves up and continue on with the race of life. When we can’’t see our way because life has turned into a curve, it is this divine spirit that says "follow me, I am the way, the truth, and the life." As we desire to follow this spirit, it leads and guides us through the uncharted territories of life. When we reach a point in the journey where values and meanings are temporarily hidden, this spirit says to us, "We walk by faith and not by sight." It says, "Trust me."
And when we become weary and wonder why all of this uphill struggle is taking place, it is this same spirit that says, "Come to me all who are weary and heaven laden, and I will give you rest." It is this same spirit that says, "Learn of me, for I am lowly and meek.”” It is this spirit that says, "You are to be perfect even as the heavenly Father is perfect." And it is this spirit that invites us to worship the heavenly Father, to bathe in his love and his mercy. And finally it is this spirit that prompts us to share all of these revelations of truth, beauty, and goodness, even love with our brothers and sisters. We are to do for them what has been done for us. Pass the love on.
This concludes today's message on understanding how pray transforms 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.