Dear Friends in our Lord’s Purpose and Calling,
A promise I love is found in Zechariah 1:3. “…Turn ye unto me, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the Lord of hosts.”
What a promise! Putting the Lord first is more than our devotional time each morning. It is an attitude of heart where we seek to know the mind of Christ in situations we face, walk in His ways, first and foremost pleasing Him.
My prayer is that this writing by my dad will be a blessing, strength and encouragement to you. We will continue to feature one of his writings each month. Many of my thoughts are under “Messages to Hear” though I am hoping to write more again myself in the near future.
As we begin a new year, may the Lord bless you as never before.
In His Love,
Nancy Taylor Warner
Putting The Lord First
Wade E Taylor
Each of us has varying amounts of information about Jesus, and many are satisfied with this. But some are being stirred to seek a higher level of spirituality in which they experience not only His presence or power, but have an active personal relationship with Him.
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear My voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20
Jesus desires to make Himself personally known to us. Therefore, it is essential that we respond to this inner stirring of the Spirit, especially at this present time, as we are approaching the Kingdom Age. Jesus said that we cannot enter the Kingdom, except we first become as little children.
“…Allow the little children to come to Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say to you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.” Mark 10:14-15
It is important for us to understand that the Lord may move in ways that differ from our past expectations or experiences. This means that our approach to this present stirring within our spirit must be with a child-like trust and faith.
“But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.” I Corinthians 1:27
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” I Corinthians 2:12
The Lord’s response to our seeking may be in a way that is not familiar to us, or that may appear offensive to our intellect. The Lord may do this to see if we are really sincere, and if we are willing to accept Him on His terms. Herein is the test of our child-like faith and trust.
“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
The Lord will respond to the expression of our heart’s desire to know Him. As we vocally express to Him our love for Him, “Lord, I love You,” He will become singularly interested in us.
Some time ago, I was struggling to find something I had misplaced. Finally I prayed, asking the Lord to help me, and quickly it was found. If I considered this, I would have to say, “When all else fails, pray.” Rather, I should have prayed first. The Lord helped me, but I had missed a choice opportunity to establish and demonstrate my dependence upon Him.
The Lord is saying that He will respond in a special way to those who seek Him “early” (those that seek Me early shall find Me). This “early” means that we quickly set aside whatever we were doing, and with a single eye, respond to His quickening presence in unquestioning, unqualified anticipation of all that will follow, without any attempt on our part to understand why or what.
“But seek you first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
When we put the Lord first, and in all things acknowledge our utter dependence upon Him, then He will make Himself known to us, and also, He will work in our behalf. As a result, we will receive spiritual “substance,” which means that our life will become a witness of His life. This is the “testimony of Jesus,” which is the expression of His life flowing out through the expression of our relationship to Him (Revelation 19:10).
“And He goes up into a mountain, and called to Him whom He would: and they came to Him. And He ordained twelve, that they should be with Him, and that He might send them forth to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils.” Mark 3:13-15
Our primary calling is to come to the Lord, spending quality time in fellowship with Him. As we are faithful in our part (our coming to Him), He will be faithful in His part (our being sent forth in ministry). This ministry may take many forms, from the expression of our personal experience as a witness to another, to our being called into some level of ministry.
The important thing is that we have spent time with Jesus so we might receive the “substance” that is to be given in the outworking of our ministry. Our time of preparation is very important, as we can only give that which we have received.
Thus, as we spend time in His presence, the Lord will impart into our lives the seed (potential) for all that pertains to our calling. It is one thing to be called (He ordained twelve that they should be with Him), but another to be sent (that He might send them forth to preach…).
In Matthew chapter thirteen, a sower went forth to sow. Some of this seed fell by the wayside and was eaten by the birds. It is very important that the seed (Word of God) fall into carefully prepared soil (our being in the center of His will and purpose for us). The distance from the hardened soil of the wayside to this prepared soil is only one step.
This step that we take into the place of preparation is very important, but while this inner work of the Holy Spirit is taking place, there may be no evidence of a harvest. This should not concern us, as during this time of change, the important thing is the changes that are taking place within us, rather than what we are accomplishing.
“And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. 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.” Exodus 3:3-4
There have been times when I have struggled to meet the Lord, trying all kinds of ways, but getting nowhere. Then, I became quiet and found that all the Lord required of me was for me to take one step to the side. When I did this, He was there – He had been there, waiting for me to wear myself out, so I would yield and come His way. I had been trying to force the Lord to move as I thought He should. All I had to do was yield and come His way, in child-like faith.
The demands of our soulish desires are very real, and ever present. To seek Him “early” requires of us a time of heart preparation. This involves a crucifixion of these self-centered desires, with a determination to seek the Lord and spend time alone with Him.
We must become serious concerning spiritual things. As we do this, the Lord will draw us to Himself and impart into us an adequate supply of the “substance” (the creative living Word) that will meet the need, that He might send us forth to preach the word, heal the sick, and cast out devils.