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 meaning of the turning point.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Turning Point
"Choose you this day whom ye shall serve: whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Josh, Chapter 24, Verse 15
Brothers and sisters, this morning we explore the juncture where we become totally dependent on the heavenly Father for guidance, direction, and moral and spiritual strength. This is the point where there are no competing desires for our loyalty when it comes to him.
Consider this story: Jesus and one of his children are walking along the beach; and as they walk they talk of many things; most of the time, they talk about the failure of the child to trust him completely. Now the child is willing to trust the Father but still holds something back from the Father’’s searchlight of trust. As they walk and continue their conversation, the child tells the Father of his many errors of judgment. He tells the Father that he does not mean to make the mistakes he makes. At the time, he was certain that it was the right decision, so he had not bother to share this particular problem with the Father. It seemed like the right decision initially, but as the consequences began to unravel, he was both amazed and distraught at his lack of wisdom and true understanding. He was engaged in the conversation with the Father to try to understand where he had gone wrong.
As they continue to walk along the beach, the child said to his Father, "I want to have a closer walk with you," and the Father smiled at his child, and said, "You can have as close a walk with me as you desire." The child asked how this could be accomplished. The Father said, "You see these footsteps in the sand? One set belongs to you, the other to me. We can become so close that there will only be one set of footprint, and no one will be able to tell where your footprints are. They will be hid within mine. My footsteps are large enough to swallow up yours. We can become one."
They continued to walk, and the child looked down at both sets of footprints, and then asked about the process for becoming one. The Father said, "Just follow in my footsteps and you will understand. A picture is worth a thousand words. When your desire becomes so great that there is nothing in the whole wide world that is more important to you than being one with me, then it will happen." The child said, "You know that I love you, Father, and I always want to be in your presence." And the Father said, "Yes, I know that you love me and you are always within my presence, but there are a few things that you love more than me. When you love me totally, then you will be one with me."
And the child told the Father that there is nothing that he loved more than him. The Father replied, ““You probably have never stopped to think that the things you put before choosing my will are the things that you still love more than me." And the child stopped to reflect on this. He didn’’t understand. The Father said, "You do understand, but you don’’t recognize the understanding." Just a moment ago, we were talking about some decisions you made without consulting with me." ““Oh, yes, I remember now,”” said the child. "I did not think that meant I loved something over my love for you." "Where ever your supreme loyalty lies, there also lies the object of your love. Anything that you put before me, no matter how unimportant you think it might be or how insignificant you think it might be reflects the distance between you and me,”” said the Father.
"But how do I learn to eliminate the distance between you and me?" The Father said, "Well, it’’s important for you to know that doing my will requires that you submit all things with a moral or spiritual significance to me. If you don’’t do that, then you are leaning to your own understanding. And you know that saying, ‘‘There is a way that seems right to man, but the way of leads to damnation." "Gee, I sure don’’t want to be damned. I love you, Father, said the child. "Of course you love me, but you should understand that your love for me has to grow. It must grow to such an extent that nothing separates you from me."
"And there are other things that you have not seriously tried to submit to me. Sometimes fear can be an object of love in a negative sense. That is, you want to get rid of it, but you are unwilling to take the steps that will eliminate it from within you. Consider this: By confronting the things you are afraid of, you conquer it. As long as you keep running away from the things you fear, by not sincerely confronting them, they will always control you. And that distance between you and I that you want to see gone will remain. When you become dedicated to a cause completely so that nothing rivals it, and when you become absolutely convinced of the righteousness of the cause, so convinced that you are willing to lay down your life for it, then the fear will vanish. Fear is an emotion of the mind, not of the body. The body is not afraid, the mind is. Fear being an emotion cannot remain in the presence of absolute dedication to a cause. And how much greater is the cause of being dedicated to doing my will."
"It is all a matter of trust. You must trust in my goodness. You already know that no harm can befall your soul which also exists within the mind. So it is a matter of deciding what you trust more. Do you trust the forecasts of fear that says, if you do this or make this decision, something terrible will happen to you; or do you trust the forecasts of the Father which says, I am the all-powerful and all merciful one? You are precious in my sight. My presence here with you is my guarantee of my love for you and the guarantee of your safety. If you trust me with your soul, rather than trusting the forecasts of fear, you need never be afraid again."
How do we move to this higher level of being one with him? How do we remove all distances between our souls and the Father? Let’’s start with our understanding. When it comes to moral and spiritual matters, if we will seek the Father’’s will before making these decisions, we will have the benefit of the Father’’s understanding. And we will be pleasantly surprised at our moral and spiritual outcomes. And once we have arrived at the Father’’s understanding, seek the courage and the power to execute the decision. Nothing succeeds like moral and spiritual success. Nothing reinforces trust like moral and spiritual success.
Now let’’s look at the next hurdle that keeps us separated. Fear of loss, fear of not having adequate resources, fear of being left alone, fear of pain and suffering, fear of not measuring up, fear of failure, fear of embarrassment, fear of trusting. The list goes on and on. How do we get rid of these fears? "When you love me with all your heart, all your mind, all your might, then will these fears lose the power to control your attitude. You do realize that it is fear that destroys your tranquility of mind and spirit? Perfect love casts out all fear out of the mind and soul. The divine sentiment of love is greater than the human sentiment of fear.””
When the circumstances of life cause us to fear, we should acknowledge them for what they are, but at the same time submit them to the Father’’s will. In short, we should face the occasion that has brought these fears to the surface and choose the correct choice regardless. When we desire to do the Father’’s will rather than our own, we will find adequate power to do that will, despite our emotions. Once we do this, fear will disappear. Even so, most of our fears are groundless and baseless. We may never experience our greatest fear. As we uproot these fears one by one, the distance between our soul and spirit will decrease until finally there is no moral or spiritual distance. ““We shall be one. But even so my child, I will always be with you. I will never leave you alone or forsake you. I will wait patiently for you to come to the turning point where you trust and love me completely. You can depend upon me."
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning of the turning point. 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.