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 what it means to trust but verify.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
Trust but Verify
"O taste and see that the Lord is good: Blessed is the man that trusteth in him." Psalm, Chapter 34, Verse 8
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast we discuss the spiritual concept of trust and verify. We know that tranquility of spirit and peace of mind depends on our ability and our willingness to trust the heavenly Father, whose children we are. In trying to more fully understand this trust, we must distinguish between the fact of experience that we are progressing through and the truth of the trust that we experience in our souls. Because we are going through an experience that is disagreeable in no way impairs the validity of maintaining our trust in the Father. If we only trust the Father when things are moving according to our material sense of well being, we are not going to develop much trust in Him. It therefore follows that the greater the need to trust, the greater trust is required. Trust only becomes actual when first there is a need, second when there is a desire, and third when we make a decision to trust the Father.
We want to trust the Father. We really do, but our material minds bulk at the notion of trusting anyone or anything that does no alleviate its material distress. And so the material mind goes round and round, trying to find a way out of its dilemmas. We have long since known that the solution to a particular experience is to go through it. Going through the experience of trusting the Father validates trust itself. But first we shall use a material analogy to help us grasp this vital concept.
Towards the end of the Cold War, it became apparent that some way needed to be found to limit the number of nuclear weapons that the two great superpowers had aimed at each other. They had a sufficient amount of nuclear weapons to destroy each other many times over. And this build up had proceeded over the years due to a policy of mutually assured destruction if one should attack the other. There was the concept of first strike followed by the concept of overwhelming retaliation, so that if a country did make a first strike, it would never be able to survive the retaliation. And this balance of terror had continued to grow in magnitude.
So it was in the interest of both superpowers to attempt to reduce and ultimately to eliminate the threat of mutual destruction. But there was so much suspicion between the sides that it was hard to trust each other. So the concept arose to trust but verify. The verification would ensure that the trust was not misplaced. Under the agreement ,each side agreed to allow the other side to inspect the weapons. In this way, each side could be sure that the other side was not cheating and building up such a massive array of nuclear weapons, that a first strike would so cripple the other side, that it would be unable to retaliate. Now we shall delineate the spiritual concept of trust but verify.
Our dilemma arises because not only do we have a material nature, but we also have a moral and spiritual nature. And it is our failure to distinguish between these two natures that gives rise to our dilemma. The material nature is mortal; the spiritual nature is immortal or has the potential to become immortal by spirit identification. Having a material nature that is mortal and being conscious of that mortal state coupled with the desire to survive causes us to attempt to use all and everything that will help us to survive. We thus make no distinction between trusting the Father with our material and spiritual natures.
This dilemma is further exacerbated by the fact that we discern our spiritual nature by faith, while we are wholly conscious of our material nature. When we trust the Father with our material nature, we are often disappointed because the material nature is subject to precise material laws. And whatever happens to that material nature is according to the material laws that govern it. Indeed the spiritual nature is also subject to the laws of the spirit, but the laws of the spirit are derived from love.
In order for us to have an understanding of the basis for trusting the spiritual Father, we must recognize the arena in which that trust is warranted. But before we move into details about this trust, let us see if there is any admonitions that we can use to help our material natures. The knowledge of our material natures is still unfolding. Thus when we approach the material nature, we do so with partial knowledge. We still must make use of this partial knowledge to the best of our ability and our wisdom. And when we have exhausted our ability to apply this material knowledge, there is nothing else that we can do, unless there is further knowledge made available for our particular problem, which more times than not does not happen. The slow discovery of knowledge of our material nature is not likely to be of complete use to us in a given situation. And when the material nature finally gives way, we must faith-shift our identification to the spiritual nature, which is the province of the Father’’s trust.
First of all we do have an overriding need to trust the Father, seeing as our only hope of surviving this life lies in trusting Him. And since there is not only the compelling need to trust him with our deepest values and hopes, the desire arises to trust him. And since we really do desire to survive this life, we make the decision to trust Him. But what is the nature of this decision to trust the Father? Is it a purely intellectual decision? The conscious intellect may make such a decision, but the decision is moral and spiritual. A moral and spiritual decision embraces such parameters as right and wrong, such qualities as spiritual worth. A moral decision is based on having the ability to choose the higher over the lower, given two choices. When the ability is demonstrated to choose the higher over the lower, than the basis is laid to develop a spiritual nature. This spiritual nature has a separate set of values than those of the material nature. The spiritual nature speaks to the nature of the heavenly Father, whereas the material nature speaks to animal nature.
After we make a decision to trust the Father, how do we validate this trust? First, such a decision immediately secures the spiritual nature from any and all harmful effects. The spiritual nature thrives in the midst of material adversity. No matter what the material nature experiences, the spiritual natures grows more and more like the Father. It appears that the more difficult the moral and spiritual choices, the greater the growth of the spiritual nature. It seems that the material environment wherein we interact with each other morally and spiritually stimulates the growth of the spiritual nature because the fruits of the spirit increase in quality and quantity. When we decide to trust the Father with our spiritual natures, we are filled with hope in the face of despair. And nothing can dampen this hope for our spiritual future. We are filled with His goodness which in and of itself is the most powerful reason for trusting Him. The Father proves worthy of that trust by increasingly making us in the image of His Son, Jesus.
As we look back over our moral and spiritual experiences, we can truly say, "I am not yet what I would like to be, but thank God, I am not what I used to be." This realization of progress towards the Image of His Son is the verification of trust in the Father. After putting our trust in Him, if we looked back and so no growth at all, then we might be justified in doubting Him. But it is everlasting true that when we make the decision to trust Him and do His will, our very experiences validate our trust in Him, as we become a little less of what we were and a little more of what He is. Indeed! Trust but verify. Taste and see that God is good.
This concludes today's message on what it means to trust but verify the goodness of God. 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.