by Wade E Taylor
“And the disciples came, and said to Him, Why speak You to them in parables? He answered and said to them, Because it is given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.” Matthew 13:10-11
As we grow spiritually, we become aware that we are beginning to see and understand things that others neither see, nor understand.
As a result, we may become critical of those who do not see as we see, and we may even become proud, when we discover that we have spiritual understanding which others do not have. If we are making genuine spiritual progress, we will experience, in some measure or form, one or both of these reactions.
Although this is not good, it should encourage us, as it is an indication that we are making spiritual progress, and that we are entering a higher realm of spiritual life and understanding. However, if we are to continue to develop spiritually, our pride and critical spirit must be dealt with, and overcome. If not, this will be as far as we will go in our spiritual development, and worse, we will begin to lose ground, spiritually.
Fortunately, our Lord was a carpenter, and He knows how to make crosses. Jesus said:
“If any man will (choose to) come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his (own) cross, and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24 (comments added)
To take up “our” cross means that the Lord will uniquely arrange a circumstance (a cross), that He has personally designed to crucify our self-life. The word “if” tells us that this is an option that we ourselves must choose. We must give permission to our “carpenter” Lord to build this cross, upon which we ourselves will hang in order to die to our pride, and self-centered ways. Otherwise, He will not build this cross.
No one of us relishes a cross, nor will we appreciate the difficulties which He will arrange in order to crucify us. Once we are upon this cross with our hands and feet nailed, there is little that we can do to change the circumstances. None of us will like these restrictions to our liberty, but we must stay there until the work is done, and He has released us.
The normal habitat for a flower may be in the woods, or in a garden. But, if we desire a beautiful flower to display, we would go to a florist to obtain one that had been raised in a glass greenhouse. This glass “hot house” is a place where everything is intensified, to bring forth the beauty, and the full potential of this “flower” (you and I, changed into His image).
The Lord is bringing forth a people in this day, who have been prepared to display His glory. Therefore, special “hot houses” are being established for this purpose. Those who are spiritually perceptive are discerning where these places are. Those who respond, and place themselves in this environment, will come under the intensity of a special working of the Holy Spirit.
Many years ago, I worked in a greenhouse for a short time. I wheeled dirt from long flowerbeds within the greenhouse to the outside, and then replaced it with fresh dirt. It was over one hundred and twenty degrees within, and I would stop at the entrance, and wait a few minutes to get adjusted before I entered with a fresh load of dirt.
This environment was devastating to me, but the flowers flourished in it. I was told that this changing of the dirt was done each year to maintain the quality of the flowers that were produced.
Whenever I entered the greenhouse, I had only one thing in mind – to get out as quickly as possible. So also, we never seem to appreciate the dealings of the Lord, until after the flower (the fruit of the Spirit) appears. Then, we recognize that all we had gone through was worthwhile.
“And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon Him to hear the word of God, He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, and saw two ships standing by the lake… And He entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And He sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.” Luke 5:1-3
Because the people were pressing to hear, Jesus entered a ship and pushed out a little from the shore. This “thrusting out” refers to our being brought into a different atmosphere (hot house – divine activity), where we receive direct, personal attention from the Lord in preparation for something greater – “our being launched out into a deeper spiritual experience.”
“Now when He had left speaking, He said to Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.” Luke 5:4
Notice that the Lord did not stand on the shore and teach them. It is difficult for us to grasp the purpose and intensity of what He was doing, when He pushed out a little from the shore. He moved from the normal circumstances of life (land), and entered into a new atmosphere (water), in order to prepare them. After this was done, He then said, “launch out” – go even further into the deeper movings of the Holy Spirit and purposes of the Lord.
“I love them that love Me; and those that seek Me early shall find Me… that I may cause those that love Me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.” Proverbs 8:17, 21
This word, “early” has a special meaning that transcends the thought of the “first thing in the morning.”
I did not like wheeling dirt into the green house, as it was intensely hot within. “Early” means that I grabbed the handles of the wheelbarrow and proceeded, because I knew the Lord had directed me, and that there was a higher purpose than merely moving dirt.
Although I did not understand, I strongly felt that there was something in the heat of the atmosphere within the green house that would accomplish within me what the Lord desired. My part was to believe this and then act on it. “Early” means that I did not waste precious time struggling with my contrary feelings.
The Lord has a particular “hot house” for each one of us, which will expose our need and change us according to His purpose and desire.
Some flowers will grow almost anywhere, but when a special show-flower is needed, we go to the greenhouse and purchase one. So also, when the Lord desires to display the very best from within His Body (Bride), He will go to those who have entered the “hot house” of His preparation, and have come forth with spiritual “substance.”
This “substance” is the very life of the Lord that has been worked into our lives. Only then can we become a “witness” of His life – His life being seen through our lives.