by Wade E Taylor
Many years ago, I was privileged to speak at a ministers retreat north of Anchorage, Alaska. A few days after I returned home, I was able to go to Barbados, an Island in the southern part of the West Indies, for a much needed time of rest, and to spend time in prayer.
When I left Anchorage, Alaska, it was considerably below zero. The wind was driving the snow that was falling, and the cold was bone chilling. When I arrived in Barbados, it was 85 degrees and the sun was shining brightly on the palm trees, especially on the multicolored flowers that were everywhere.
Both Alaska and Barbados were outstanding, each in their own way. I had exchanged majestic mile high, barren, yet impressive, snow covered mountains and ice glaciers for palm and coconut trees, along with the beautiful flowers and fruit trees that were everywhere. The contrast between Alaska and Barbados made a lasting impression on me.
Many Scriptural truths are established thru contrast. An example is in Luke 3:2:
“Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came to John, the son of Zechariah, in the wilderness.”
Here, the religious system of that day is contrasted with a man clothed in a leather girdle, alone in the wilderness, but through whom God could speak. The contrast and irony in this passage of Scripture is intense.
“Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests.” The fully developed and functioning religious system of that day should have been able to “hear” the present word of the Lord. Since they could not hear, the Lord prepared an individual who could hear; who, at the appointed time, said something that had never been said before, “Behold, the Lamb of God.”
Another example is the life of Abraham, which is contrasted with that of Lot. Or, Isaac, who is contrasted with Ishmael, or the life of Jacob, contrasted with that of Esau. In the New Testament, Mary, who sat at the feet of Jesus, is contrasted with Martha, who served.
As I meditated on the contrast that I saw so vividly between Alaska and Barbados, the Lord quickened these Scriptural contrasts to me, and I saw a principle at work.
In each of the above situations that were set forth in Scripture, through contrast, the natural lineage sought its own way and end, while the spiritual lineage was dependent on an act or intervention of God for its establishment and provision. In I Corinthians 15:45 we are told:
“That was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.”
Initially, the natural seemed to flourish, but ultimately the spiritual lineage was brought forth to establish His purpose and glory. The contrast in each of these instances in Scripture is very pronounced and meaningful.
Many of us have struggled for years, seeking the higher purpose of the Lord for our lives. Through the goodness of the Lord, as we approach the end-time, this is beginning to change. The “line of the natural” (those who seemingly are being blessed, while we patiently wait and trust), will no longer predominate. We are beginning to enter a “new day” in which the emphasis will be on the “spiritual line” – the bringing forth of the higher purpose of the Lord, by preparing those who are being spiritually stirred; those who are seeking to go beyond their present spiritual experience, to better know His presence, His anointing, and His voice.
In our culture, we have been taught that “bigger is better,” and that “quantity is a sign of the Lord’s blessing.” Yet in the Scriptural examples, this is clearly disproven, as the establishing of the “spiritual line” requires a time of testing and suffering. In each of these examples, the spiritual line flourished, after Divine Intervention and provision.
This pattern and principle will find its full outworking within each of us, who are willing to place the totality of our being, unconditionally in the hands of the Lord.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:1-2
The Lord ever seeks to bring forth a “spiritual line” – those who personally, experientially, know Jesus, and desire to walk with Him in the outworking of His present day purposes, as did John the Baptist who, through the time of his separation, became “the voice of One crying in the wilderness.”
If you truly find yourself to be spiritually hungry, and are searching for “something more,” consider that the Lord may be calling you to come apart to Himself.
“Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.”
“And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burned. And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And He said, Draw not near here: put off your shoes from off your feet, for the place where on you stand is holy ground.”
“Moreover He said, I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of My people, which are in Egypt, And have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good land and a large, to a land flowing with milk and honey….” Exodus 3:1-8
So also for us, as we turn aside and allow the Lord to have His way in our lives, that which He intends for us is far better than anything that we could work out for ourselves – “a land flowing with milk and honey.”
“But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love Him. But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God.” I Corinthians 2:9-10