Greetings, 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 what it means to spiritually master this life.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Spiritual Mastery of Life
"Jesus answered them, 'Verily, verily I say unto you, whosoever comitteth sin is the servant
of sin, and the servant abideth not in the house forever, but the Son abideth forever. If the Son
therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.'" John, Chapter 8, Verses 35 and 36.
Brothers and sisters, the greatest freedom we can experience is the liberating freedom of truth, which
Jesus provides by revealing the reality of the Father's love for his children. When we seek to
spiritually master life, we are in fact talking about mastering ourselves and our attitudes towards the
problems of life. The following is a material example.
Mount Everest is the tallest mountain on earth. For a long time, it remained the supreme physical
challenge, but eventually it gave way due to the persistence of those whose purpose was to conquer
it. How did they accomplish this mighty feat? First, they acquired knowledge and understanding as
the result of many failed trips to reach the summit. Each failure added wisdom, which is an essential
quality for successfully undertaking any endeavor. Climbers learned how to plan for every step of
the way. They learned to consider the amount of time it would take, physical requirements, weather
conditions, adequate food, water and lodging. But most importantly, they had the will to scale Mt.
Everest. When all of these factors were appropriately addressed, the feat was accomplished.
Mastering the spiritual life requires finding reliable and dependable methods for confronting our
daily problems. And like the material example given, there will be some aspects of our challenge that
will remain out of reach, but the spiritual aspects concealed within these problems give way after our
concerted effort. Spiritual values and meanings are revealed regardless of what the material outcome
may be. There may be handicaps and limitations that cannot be overcome in a given time frame, but
the spiritual mastery of life presents no such barrier. It is within the context of interacting with life
that the potentials hidden within our souls become actualized. Spiritual values and meanings are
concealed within the experiences of daily living.
The trick is to recognize these values and meanings when they appear and subsequently make them
apart of who we are. This requires courage, strength, determination, persistence, desire, will, and
most of all, faith. It requires dedication to doing the Father's will, which is the source of all we need
to master self and-- in the process--life. You might think of life similar to a piece of sandpaper. Life
is the stimulus by which the self is mastered.
Within each situation, it becomes clear what is needed to successfully negotiate the experience.
Within a given situation, all the divine values and meanings are present, though usually one usually
predominates. There is one value that is being highlighted for us. When we encounter experiences
that require us to be more than we are, there is quite a bit of emotional antagonism as the self is
forced out of its comfort zone. The animal nature rebels at the effort of unpleasant exertion. The
animal nature dislikes exertional stimuli. It prefers a life of ease. But the environment in which we
live makes sure that does not happen.
So what are the qualities we need as we grapple with the realities of life? The need for patience
grows out of the realization that sustained effort will be required to solve the particular problem we
are having. Without the exercise of patience, failure is sure to crown our efforts. But when patience
is exercised, the self is prepared to acquire more patience in the next progressive experience. And
as you can surmise, there is no way we can pass the next test, unless we pass the first experience.
When the exertional stimulus causes no emotional upheavals or resentment, then has the value been
mastered and the meaning realized for that particular experience.
As we continue to struggle, we realize that we need faith and hope in order to sustain us. It requires
a faith that encompasses each situation no matter how different or difficult. When this faith is
exercised, it has the power to sustain our souls as we wrestle with tendencies toward selfishness, all
the time trying to reach the selfless nature of the Father. Faith is that master value that has the power
to transform potentials to actuals within our souls. There are many spiritual qualities that are
concealed within the experiences of life. There is divine love, mercy, goodness, joy, and peace, just
to name a few. I am sure we can think of many more. But the willingness to wrestle with the
problems of life causes these qualities to emerge. The mastery of life, then, is the mastery of all the
divine values and meanings contained within life.
By doing the Father's will--which is always the way of love, patience, mercy and forgiveness--we
are enabled to conquer all of those potential spiritual qualities and make them actually apart of our
characters. And as we continue through life, confronting the various vicissitudes of life, following
Jesus every step of the way, we master the experiences and in the process master ourselves. Spiritual
mastery is accomplished by submitting to the Father's will (subjecting ourselves to spiritual ideals)
in every life experience. And when we reach that advanced status where we respond to each of life's
recurring situations with the attitude of "not my will but your will be done," then we have mastered
ourselves and subsequently the experiences of life. And when we reach that state, we are filled with
consciousness of the divine and realize the Son, Jesus, has indeed freed us from evil and sin and has
launched us upon the high seas of divine service.
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning of mastering the spiritual life. 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.