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 victory
of the Spirit.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Spirit's Victory
"For whosoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even your faith." 1 John, Chapter 5, Verse 4.
Prayer is the process whereby our souls engage in that sublime experience of attempting to express its desires. It is a means of spiritually communicating with the Father, who is spirit." The Spirit also helps our infirmities, for we know not what we should pray for as we should. But the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." When translated by the spirit, these yearnings for spiritual perfection are sent to the spiritual Father. But these petitions are subject to our free-will choices and decisions. Thus, unless we choose to pray, communication between the soul and the heavenly Father doesn't occur.
When we first begin to pray earnestly, it is usually because something has gone wrong in our everyday, material lives. We begin life as a purely material human being although we posses spiritual potentials. As our material natures develop, so do our spiritual natures. This creates a problem: we have two natures--material and spiritual--functioning within us at the same time. The material nature is doomed to die, while the spiritual nature is destined for eternal life.
It is very difficult to sort out these conflicting drives. The material nature marshals its soldiers of pride, hate, greed, lust, cruelty, cowardice, and fear from behind its fortress of selfishness and material possessions. The spiritual nature begins it battle using the weapons of love, mercy, and forgiveness. It fires back with thoughts and actions filled with truth, beauty, and goodness from behind its fortress of spiritual fruits: love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.
Our material nature begins to sustain losses immediately. The first loss follows the realization that we are material beings subject to physical laws. As we pursue selfish goals, we experience increasing unhappiness, sorrow, disappointment, and one material loss after another. Diseases, natural disasters, and the death of our loved ones, followed by the loss of dreams, ambitions, and ever-increasing moral conflicts, are defeats of the material nature.
Our material casualties continue to increase until we abandon our reliance upon ourselves and pray for help in our material affairs. In doing so we discover that kind of help is not forthcoming. We awaken to the realization that our material natures are wholly subject to material laws. Finally, we realize the necessity of transferring our consciousness to our souls. At this junction our spiritual nature begins to accelerate its war of love, ever gaining victories of truth, beauty, and goodness, forcing the material nature to labor on behalf of its high spiritual ideals. Gradually our minds begin to recognize the true nature of prayer as we relegate things of a material nature to the realms of the material. Instead we strive to attain those indestructible spiritual realities that our evolving souls have begun to experience. We render to Caesar the things of Caesar and to God the things of God. Our prayers take on a more spiritual nature and this enables our minds to recognize the answer to our prayers.
We pray for more love and realize the answer to that prayer is that our capacity to love and accept love increases in a never-ending shower of affection for our newly recognized sisters and brothers. We pray for mercy and mercy is our answer, for we realize that nothing of spiritual value is ever lost. When we fall short of our ideals, we pray for forgiveness and experience this forgiveness as we forgive our sisters and brothers for their shortcomings. A true child of God is coming into being as our appetites for truth, beauty, and goodness, united in love, explode in the fireworks of true worship--the wholehearted desire to do the Father's will.
This concludes today's message on the meaning of the spirit's victory. 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.