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. Today, we seek to understand the stimuli for spiritual perfection.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Stimuli for Spiritual Perfection
Jesus said," Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew Chapter 5, Verse 48.
Brothers and sisters, in today’s broadcast we discuss the spiritual stimuli needed for our spiritual growth and ultimate perfection, and these stimuli reside in matter, mind and spirit. All of these stimuli work together to propel us toward spiritual perfection as commanded by the heavenly Father through His Son, Jesus. The stimuli for spiritual perfection is both intrinsic and extrinsic, that is the external environment and the internal environment conspire to move us towards spiritual perfection. And they are linked this way: Matter is responsive to mind while mind is responsive to spirit. As we begin our careers on earth, we are largely an unrealized spiritual potential.
As we view our material environment, we see the ugliness. We see a mass of uncoordinated contrasts. We become dissatisfied with our material environment. And this dissatisfaction serves as an effective stimulus to move us towards improving our material environment, ever striving to perfect it. When we view the human tragedy of premature death from some deadly disease or the crippling handicaps of some chronic illness, again the stimulus of dissatisfaction with the way things are causes us to search to find a cure or if not a cure than to prevent the illness from occurring. The chaos of our physical environment stimulate us to pursue ways of increasing the beauty of our environment.
When we truly come to appreciate beauty in our external environment, the extrinsic value gives way to the internal stimulus that pulls us ever upward in our quest for the values of spiritual beauty. We begin to appreciate beauty for its own sake. Were it not for the driving stimulus of dissatisfaction followed by the pulling stimulus of satisfaction, we would do nothing to improve our physical environment.
As we survey our moral environment, we see evil, lots of evil. The sorrow, pain, and disappointment that we experience as the result of choosing evil drives us on to pursue goodness. The results of immorality-wars, social, upheavals, betrayals, all lead to a desire for trustworthiness. The desire to be able to depend upon our brothers and sisters stimulate us to become dependable-to be moral, to be good. As we move from the extrinsic stimulus of evil, either actual or potential, the internal stimulus takes over causing us to pursue goodness for its own sake, to thirst for righteousness. In our struggles with our brothers and sisters, who are pursuing evil, we exert goodness in the face of evil, thereby augmenting our own content of goodness, and making a spiritual appeal to the soul of the evil doer. It is the goodness of God that causes repentance. The internal stimulus persuades us that not only does good overcome evil, but only good can overcome evil. Evil only produces more evil.
As we view the disharmony of life, its conflicting values, as we view the bulk of humanity wandering here and there-in effect lost, and as we see the unhappiness produced by error, the stimulus of dissatisfaction causes us to pursue truth. As we try to understand, to correlate our experiences, and to reduce our error rate, we begin more and more to appreciate the values of truth. As the appreciation of truth increases, the internal stimulus takes over as we seek more and more revelations of truth, to hunger for truth. And these revelations of truth are forthcoming in our desire for them by the Spirit of Truth, the spirit of Jesus.
We are truly driven forward in the march of progress. If we were not, we would quickly become satisfied, and stagnate. Our animal natures crave for an unchanging environment of ease seeking. We crave comfort, ease, and pleasure, and would avoid the rigorous struggles of progressive advancement if we could, but the struggle is much too coercive to allow for that. The difficulty of the uphill struggle causes us to seek for superhuman help from God. Our problems are so difficult at times, that they seem to defy solution.
But in our prayer life, we re sustained and stabilized. We come to understand that the truth, beauty, and goodness that we are being driven toward by the external stimulus of error, ugliness, and evil represent the only way we can progress during the early stages of our spiritual development, and represent mercy as we struggle towards our goal of spiritual perfection. After we reach the level of spiritual achievement whereby the internal stimulus is able to lure us upward in the never ending discovery of truth, beauty, and goodness, we recognize a supernal love coming forth from a loving Father through his Son that is the source of truth, beauty, and goodness, ever beckoning us toward the source of all things, meanings, and values, even God the Father.
This concludes today’s message on understanding the stimuli for spiritual perfection. 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.