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 road of the divine plan.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Road of the Divine Plan
"In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is life." "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." Proverbs, Chapter 12, Verses 28 and 29
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast we share some further insights in the divine plan for our lives. Consider this scripture: "Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet." Sometimes we are dismayed and stunned by the rapidly changing events in our lives, and we wonder if our lives are proceeding along the road of the divine plan. Let’’s use a material analogy to further help us grasp the concept of the road of the divine plan.
If we are going to travel from a city in North Carolina to a city in New York, we must travel on a road that will get us there safely and efficiently with a minimum of delay. Most of this journey from North Carolina to New York can be made over the interstate highway system. This is a controlled system of highway with entries and exists constructed in a way that allows for efficient and safe travel. Since the roads are controlled, travelers are allowed to drive at higher speeds than usual. For the most part these roads have a minimum of two lanes for each direction of traffic; some have more during certain areas such as areas approaching or leaving large population centers. Occasionally, there is maintenance work done on the road, where the normal number of lanes may be reduced. And sometimes there are collisions on these roads which may shut down the flow of traffic in one direction for hours. Rarely are there times when traffic has to be diverted off of the interstate highway all together.
The interstate highway system does not travel in a straight line from North Carolina to New York. There are many factors that cause it to deviate from a straight line. Some areas are not suited to withstand the weight of this traffic and detours must be made for the construction of the road. These can be seen as graceful curves in the road. There are overpasses and bridges that must be traversed, bridging population centers and bodies of water. There is one section where bridges and tunnels are used to cross a body of water. Sometimes the amount of traffic on these roads becomes very congested, and the flow of traffic is slowed down considerably. But eventually the road does reach New York: the traveler can safely exit, having reached his destination.
Now the road of life is in many ways similar to the highway system. Just as we proceed from one point to another in the highway system, we proceed from birth to death on the road of life. There is a divine plan concealed within this highway of life, and the purpose of this divine plan is to perfect the souls of beings who travel on it. As we travel this road of life, moving from birth to death, like the highway system, the route is not a straight line. There are detours, curves, delays. Sometimes the detours are unavoidable. They are apart of the structure of progressive life.
And detours usually mean delays, but not all detours are caused by the progressive structure of life. Sometimes they are caused by travelers refusing to proceed at the optimal speed. Sometimes they are caused by the traveler proceeding too fast for the prevailing conditions, ending up creating accidents and delaying the process. Sometimes the road of life has curves that move away from a straight line. These curves are caused by the delays of time and handicaps of space. Sometimes there are bodies of obstacles to be traversed either by bridging or tunneling or sometimes both. Sometimes the travels of life create delays by "insincerity, equivocation, ease seeking, and problem avoidance."
The road of life must be traversed, but how much progress a given traveler makes is dependent upon his willingness to do his best as he travels from the beginning to the end. Sometimes the traveler becomes fearful as he is confronted with what appears to be dangerous terrain, lacking the courage to continue in the face of the increasing difficulty the road of life offers. And there are many other examples of such problems.
Just as there are signs on the interstate highway system that give information concerning traffic conditions, road conditions, various exit points, speed conditions, and other information that may be needed from time to time, there are signs on the road of life, signs of information, wisdom, and warnings. We even have one who guides and directs us as we traverse this road. And this guide is none other than the spirit of Jesus, the Spirit of Truth, who always cries, "This is the way, the truth, and the life." And just as there are rest stops, areas of beauty, and other amenities that take the boredom out of what would otherwise be a monotonous trip along with interstate, there are revelations of truth, beauty and goodness along the road of life. Always if we are to benefit from the guidance of signs, we must pay attention to them and act accordingly, otherwise they will avail us of nothing, and we are sure to speed out of control as we journey to our ultimate destination.
The divine plan is intertwined, immersed and enmeshed with this road of life, and this road of life conceals the divine plan so that as we travel down the road of life doing our very best, we also travel down the road of the divine plan for our lives. The plan has as its chief purpose the perfection of our souls. We must travel from the imperfect state to the perfected state, and in this process, there are certain character traits that we must possess ourselves of. And these character traits only become a part of our character as we travel down the road of life doing our very best in the increasingly difficult road being traveled. Sometimes we hit a very difficult and protracted experience. While we may think of this from the purely human perspective as being awful, the divine plan makes full use of this situation by using it as an occasion to develop patience in our soul.
As we struggle with the obstacles that we have run up against, our patience increases to the point where it approximates the patience of the divine plan, and at that point it becomes a part of our character. Forthwith does the divine plan reveal the divine values and meanings of patience. Also made available at that time is divine wisdom, so that if we run into a similar situation, we are equipped to not only deal with it effectively and efficiently, but we grasp the higher divine values and meanings from it readily.
And as we continue down this road of life, we find that the detours and obstacles, the delay and handicaps are all a part of the divine plan for our lives. These perceived negative factors in our journey are in fact essential for our growth, for it is through them that the divine values and meanings are revealed. It is the comprehension of supreme divine values and meanings that constitute spiritual perfection. We measure our journey to spiritual perfection by our ever increasing comprehension of divine values and meanings until they reach supreme levels. And with the Spirit of Truth guiding us every step of the way, we can be sure that if we follow this guidance, choosing truth over error, good over evil, and beauty over ugliness, we will comprehend ever increasing divine values and meanings that will eventually reach supreme levels.
And this Spirit of Truth always urges us to make the best decision that we can make under the given circumstances. These righteous decisions are then used to stimulate our growth. But overshadowing all of these struggles that the divine plan makes use of is the overriding love that the heavenly Father, the creator of the divine plan, has for us. This divine love ensures that we will be successful, and that no harm can befall us. If we continue on the road of the divine plan, we will reach our destination--spiritual perfection.
This concludes today's message on understanding the road of the divine plan. 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.