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 seek to understand the nature of true relationships.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: And every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." James, Chapter 15, Verse 2
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast we explore the nature of true relationships. We know that we have a relationship with the Father, but what is its nature? We are told that if we believe Jesus in our hearts and confess him with our mouths, then is salvation assured. In other words, when the soul desires God and the mind believes God, then are we saved. But we know that "not ever one that saith unto me, ‘‘Lord, Lord,’’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." How can so-called believers who pray several times a day to God strap a suicide explosive vest upon their persons and blow up innocent people? And their sponsors thank God for this victory over their so-called enemies.
But even though the religious fanatics pray, they do not believe God, do not know him, and do not desire him. They do not know his Son, Jesus, a personal revelation of the Father. Half-hearted believers and fanatics are different sides of the same coin. They both have developed a concept of what they think God (reality) should be, and they seek God to actualize it for them. In short, they seek to actualize their will. How is it that those believers who pray all the time make so little spiritual progress in this life. What is going on here? How do we explain this dichotomy?
We know that the heavenly Father loves us, and it is never his fault when we fail to develop spiritually. He is absolutely perfect, all wise, all seeing, all knowing. He provides guidance for us as we tread the path of this life. The Father provides us with ample spiritual helpers, and he lives inside of our souls along with his "Spirit of Truth," which is the Word of God, to lead and guide us in the paths of true righteousness. And since it is never the Father’’s fault, it has to be ours. It is the nature of this fault that we shall explore this morning, and in the process we shall learn how to correct this fault and arrive at the nature of true relationships.
Because we are self-conscious beings, we can also recognize other selves and they can also recognize us. We are known as we know. And we demonstrate this truth in our social lives as we interact with other human beings. But even though this is so, we cannot be absolutely certain of another human being’’s reality as we can of the reality of the presence of God that lives within us. And this is so because the presence of God living within us is absolute and our fellow human beings are not. And it is because of this presence of God in our minds, his spirit, that it is no more of a mystery to know the mind of God than it is for us to be sure of the consciousness of knowing any other mind, human or superhuman. The technique whereby we can accept another's idea as ours is the same whereby we may "let the mind which was in Christ be also in you."
We are aware of our own self-consciousness and we are aware of other consciousness, even God Consciousness. The consciousness of all these purely selfish urges, impulses, and desires is the consciousness of self; those unselfish urges, impulses, desires are the consciousness of God. "Man tends to identify the urge to be self-serving with his ego--himself. In contrast he is inclined to identify the will to be altruistic with some influence outside himself--God. And indeed is such a judgment right, for all such non-self desires do actually have their origin in the leadings of the divine spirit. The impulse of this spirit is realized in human consciousness as the urge to be altruistic, fellow-creature minded." Experience has shown us that this is true and we have the power to choose. We have free will. We can choose our will or we can choose the divine will, the impulses of self or the impulses of God. We know that ““every good and perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." Therefore we know that every urge, desire, impulse, thought, word, deed that is true, beautiful, and good comes from God.
When believers reject the consciousness of God within their own minds and souls and instead accept self-serving words from their holy books, then have they departed from the true, beautiful, and good, from the consciousness of God’’s will within their own consciousness. By an ingenious series of self-deceptions they are led to believe that what they want is God’’s will. By searching their holy books they invariably find something that justifies what they want and then they go on to misconstrue this as being God’’s will. Now having gone down this path of error, they mobilize their faith, and pray and pray trying to actualize their petitions. And the more they pray, the more fanatical they become. Now this kind of error can be avoided by relying on the God consciousness within them. While it is quite alright to read about the religious experiences of other people, the final judgment of what is true, beautiful, and good must be the standard within in, God consciousness enshrouded by the Spirit of Truth.
We can facilitate this process by moving away from relating ourselves to God as God and take up our rightful relationship with God as Father. When we relate to God as Father, we immediately close the door on a host of errors. For the Father concept implies that we are his children, and if we are his children, then we must seek to know and do his will rather than our own. The Father’’s spirit within us is the standard for knowing him, and his Spirit of Truth guides us into the standard. The Spirit of Truth interprets the Father’’s consciousness and shows us how to wisely minister that consciousness to our brothers and sisters. By seeking the Father’’s will within, the process of becoming like him, our attitude remains purely spiritual. We move away from our selfish and aggrandizing efforts clothed in the garments of religion to the living relationship between us and the Father. And since this process involves our becoming perfect even as he is perfect, there is no room for error, since we are seeking to become like him and manifest his character on the outside. This solves the problem of fanaticism. There is no danger with engaging the fruits of the spirit.
Our true relationship is maintained by a sincere desire to do the Father’’s will. It ever remains true that whosoever shall seek to do the Father’’s will, shall know it. Jesus speaking of the divine spirit living with the mind and soul said, "For this commandment which I give you this day is not hidden from you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, who shall go up for us to heaven and bring it down to us that we may hear and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, who will go over the sea for us to bring the commandment to us that we may hear and do it? No, the word of life is very near to you, even in your presence and in your heart, that you may know and obey it."
Since the Father’’s will lives within the minds and souls of his children, they need look no further than their souls to find the Father’’s will, to find that which is true, beautiful, and good. Then will they immediately begin to acquire a character like the Father as revealed in His Son. They will immediately begin to display the fruits of the spirit, which are love, goodness, faith, gentleness, temperance, meekness, long suffering, joy, and peace. These qualities are like water in a desert-- harming no one but benefitting all. These qualities display nothing that will harm another individual. They contain nothing that would cause a person to abandon his moral and social obligations. But when and if a person turns his back upon the Father’’s will, and goes in search of a will more to his liking, then has he opened the door to self-deception. In reality what he is then seeking is his own will. It is forever true that when a person abandons the Father’’s will as he is likely to interpret whatever he reads or hears into the image of his own desires, thus giving birth to error and fanaticism. It is forever true that no one comes to the Father except by the Son, who is the personal revelation of the Father. Thus, in order to have a true relationship with the Father, we must seek his Son, the Spirit of Truth, which reveals the Father to us.
This concludes today's message on understanding the nature of true relationships. 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.