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 will ponder our lives as we seek to understand the spiritual value and meaning of conflict.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Spiritual Value of Conflict
"Jesus said: Nevertheless not what I will, but what Thou will." Mark. Chapter 14, Verse 36.
Our daily lives are filled with conflict. Always is the conflict between what we should do and what we want to do. As we grapple with conflict, we might ask ourselves, why is this happening to me? A few of our well meaning friends might answer, why not you? This answer, though true, does not offer any satisfaction to the turmoil that is raging in our souls. We long to find a soul satisfying answer to our dilemma, a soothing answer for our ruffled emotions. and a reasonable answer for our minds. New ideas and ideals are constantly forming within us though we are unaware of this. Often these new values and meanings collide head on with our old ideas thereby producing conflict. Conflict is the result. It becomes harder to act when multiple choices for how we can act are available.
Now it is obvious that we must make some kind of choice, and we intuitively understand that the choice will either improve our characters or make them worse. If we want to obey the Father's command to be perfect even as He is perfect, then we must make the decision that enhances our character. As we think about how to make the best decision we must ignore our emotions and all material considerations. Our only concern must be the spiritual outcome of the decision.
When we choose to do the best we can think instead of what we want, we are choosing the Father's will. When we do what we want to do, we are choosing our will. Choosing our will during a conflict not only doesn't resolve the conflict but results in a loss of self-esteem and divine righteousness. By choosing the lower, we have diminished ourselves.
The Heavenly Father is merciful, he understands our frame, he knows that we are dust. His mercy supplies another opportunity for us to choose his will. Soon another conflict appears and we will go through the process all over again. This cycle continues as long as there remains the slightest desire in our souls to do his will--to become perfect even as he is perfect.
Many of us claim we don't know what the Father's will is, but we do. Consider this: Does our choosing between two courses of action that make no difference ever produce conflict? Is there ever conflict over choosing when we are already acting on the highest level of understanding and wisdom that we possess? Or does conflict only appear in our minds when the choice is between doing things the old and inferior way or doing things the new and superior way?
There must be always be two choices in our minds when we are confronted with making a moral or spiritual decision. If there were only one choice to make, then there would not be any conflict. Conflict only appears when there are two ways of doing things-our way or the Father's way. The Father's way is always the best way. The Father has commanded us to be perfect even as he is perfect, and we can only obey this command by making righteous decisions, and so does the Father offer us guidance by providing the right decision in our mind. But the Father does not force us to make that higher decision. That is our free will choice.
When and if we choose the highest decision in a given situation, the conflict immediately resolves, and we are given all the spiritual power and moral stamina needed to carry out the decision, even as Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane when he said, "not as I will, Father, but as you will." When we choose the Father's will, we become just a little bit more like him and a little less of what we were. We then enjoy the divine peace that passes all understanding and the spiritual joy that sustains us in the face of sorrow. Thus the spiritual value of conflict is that it allows us to choose the Father's will, and the meaning of the spiritual value of conflict is that we are in truth becoming perfect even as he is perfect.
When we embark on the train of truth, we are likely to come up against strange and unfamiliar territory. But the scenery, though unfamiliar, is truly beautiful and good. As truth lovers, we will continue to ride the train of truth no matter how confusing the way may appear until we reach that advanced stage of spiritual development where we can see with our spiritual eyes. But even now we can see with the eyes of faith.
Higher truth, knowledge of the better way, has been placed within us by the Father in response to the petitions of our hungry souls for truth. The Spirit of Truth convicts us of the righteousness of the higher truth that has appeared in our minds, and as we embrace it by making consistent decisions, we grow morally and spiritually and the conflict disappears. In the place of the conflict, we have a sustaining peace and a priceless joy. But soon new truth replaces the old, and the challenge reasserts itself in the never ending exploration of the Father.
This concludes today's message on the spiritual value of conflict. 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.