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 our God our Father. Over the years, the heavenly Father has shared many spiritual truths with me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we seek to understand the supremacy of faith.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Supremacy of Faith
"And the Lord said, ‘‘if ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.’’" Luke Chapter 17, Verse 6
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast we examine the supremacy of faith, especially as it applies to guidance and direction and the application of wisdom in decision-making. We believe that dedication to doing the Father’’s will equips us to successfully meet all requirements of the human state. By doing the Father’’s will, we avail ourselves of His guidance, direction, and wisdom. This creates a problem for the material mind, which is not privy to the source of guidance and direction that we receive from the Father. This, in turn, creates quite a bit of anxiety and turmoil in our minds when confronted with difficult decisions. Prior decisions made earlier create no anxiety and suspense because we have mastered them. So when problems of a similar nature appear, we make short work of them.
But difficulty arises when we are faced with a problem requiring a decision that we have not yet experienced. Such a situation is problematic because it tests our faith. In any given situation, there are always two ways of doing something--two ways of making an decision. There is the divine way, the Father’’s way, or the human way, our way. Invariably when we are confronted with the necessity of making a decision, there is a tendency to shrink from it because we dislike the process of working through it. It is very difficult when the material mind seeks to exert its will, to choose the path of least resistance. And as we work our way through the decision process, these two choices are always present.
But this difficulty is further complicated by the fact that choosing the Father’’s will is a faith choice. This faith-choice remains spiritual, not material. We have no proof that we have chosen his will other than our desire to choose it. And only time validates the accuracy of our choice. When we desire to do the Father’’s will, we must maintain faith in the effectiveness of our desire to choose that will. If we have sought the Father’’s will, prior to making a decision, than we must faith-accept that we have done that will.
Sometimes in our desire to make the right decision, we consult with our friends and associates, but some of these friends and associates have not been living their lives subject to the Father’’s will, and it is unlikely that the advice that they give us, if different from the advice we have been able to discern from the Father, is wise. When our friends and associates who are giving advice not subject to the Father’’s will, their motives likely are selfish and temporal in its significance. It is hard to explain to them that we are trying to make a decision subject to the Father’’s will. The problem with accepting advice from those who are not striving to do the Father’’s will is that their decisions are likely to be divorced from the experience of the past and the forecasts of the future. We know that when decisions are not based upon the Father’’s will (which includes past, present, and future), we make the same errors again and again.
When we make decisions subject to the Father’’s will, we draw upon our experiences, extracting wisdom from them, and try as best we can to project the effects of the decision that we are contemplating into the future. When we consider the past and future significance of a decision, our decisions escape from the purely present and begin to take on eternal significance. But we must work through this process, which can be quite difficult and emotionally trying.
View in your mind Jesus’’ struggle in the Garden of Gethsamine. Earlier in the evening it had not seemed so difficult to drink the cup, but as the human Jesus bade farewell to his apostles and sent them to their rest, the trial grew more appalling. Jesus experienced that natural ebb and flow of feeling that is common to all human experience, and just now he was weary from work, exhausted from the long hours of strenuous labor and painful anxiety concerning the safety of his apostles. While no mortal can presume to understand the thoughts and feelings of the incarnate Son of God at such a time, we know that he endured great anguish and suffered untold sorrow, for the perspiration rolled off his face in great drops. He was at last convinced that the Father intended to allow natural events to take their course; he was fully determined to employ none of his sovereign power as the supreme head of a universe to save himself."
To help us work through these difficulties; consider these words of wisdom, "Successful living is nothing more or less than the art of the mastery of dependable techniques for solving common problems. The first step in the solution of any problem is to locate the difficulty, to isolate the problem, and frankly to recognize its nature and gravity. The great mistake is that, when life problems excite our profound fears, we refuse to recognize them. Likewise, when the acknowledgment of our difficulties entails the reduction of our long-cherished conceit, the admission of envy, or the abandonment of deep-seated prejudices, the average person prefers to cling to the old illusions of safety and to the long-cherished false feelings of security. Only a brave person is willing honestly to admit, and fearlessly to face, what a sincere and logical mind discovers."
"The wise and effective solution of any problem demands that the mind shall be free from bias, passion, and all other purely personal prejudices which might interfere with the disinterested survey of the actual factors that go to make up the problem presenting itself for solution. The solution of life problems requires courage and sincerity. Only honest and brave individuals are able to follow valiantly through the perplexing and confusing maze of living to where the logic of a fearless mind may lead. And this emancipation of the mind and soul can never be effected without the driving power of an intelligent enthusiasm which borders on religious zeal. It requires the lure of a great ideal to drive man on in the pursuit of a goal which is beset with difficult material problems and manifold intellectual hazards." And this lure of the great ideal is the pursuit of the Father’’s will.
When we finally sort through all of the aspects of the problem, we are now ready to make a decision subject to the Father’’s will. We recognize that after many years of seeking to know the Father’’s will in making life decisions, we are far better equipped to make this decision apart from the advice of our well meaning associates and friends, whose advise, while they may wish the best for us, is based upon purely selfish considerations, the very thing that we have spent so much of our efforts trying to move away from. We seek a solution to our problems, and the motive should not be selfish but based upon our understanding of the Father’’s will.
And after we make our way through all of the anguish and emotional agony, our tranquility of mind and spirit depends upon our faith-acceptance that the decision is the Father’’s will. Our faith-decision must trump the well-meaning advice of our friends and associates. Once we make the decision, we are restored to our usual calm and majestic appearance. Even as Jesus was when he made his supreme decision in the Garden of Gethsamine. In the Garden of Gethsamine, Jesus passed the supreme test of the full realization of human nature. He stared his impending cruel death in the face and did not flinch. He did not run away. He continued to bear witness to the truth even though it meant a cruel death on the cross. The spirit had triumphed over the flesh; ““faith had asserted itself over all human tendencies to fear or entertain doubt. The supreme test of the full realization of human nature had been met and acceptably passed. Once more the Son of Man was prepared to face his enemies with equanimity and in the full assurance of his invincibility as a mortal man unreservedly dedicated to the doing of his Father's will." And once again, we are reminded that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and if we follow him, we will meet every human challenge that confronts us during the mortal life.
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning of the supremacy of faith. 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.