by Wade E Taylor
If the Lord had made spirituality both attractive and easy to attain, multitudes would have followed Him. “For many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14).
There is a vast difference between a prophet and a politician. The term “grass roots” refers to the discovery of what people think and want. The politician then offers what the majority wants and as a result, becomes popular and is elected. In other words, the politician seeks out which way the majority is going. Then, he stands in front of them and says, “Follow me.”
But the prophet stands alone and says, “You are going the wrong way, turn around.” The politician is popular because he relates to the majority. The prophet is never popular because his word is costly and requires change. People often are deceived because they choose that which is presently comfortable, rather than being willing to pay the “price of truth.”
“Buy the truth, and sell it not….” Proverbs 23:23
Truth is always costly and the result may not be seen, but to choose less, in the long run is much more costly.
“But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required….” Luke 12:48
Those who continually look for “something for nothing” are open to deception. Many of these will compromise, rather than submit to the Lord’s way. The Lord works very slowly, but very thoroughly, as He is more interested in what we are becoming than in what we are doing. Our “self” will always seek comfort, and a life of ease.
The enemy of our spiritual life also sought for his personal gain.
“For you have said in your heart: I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.” Isaiah 14:13-14 NKJV
Satan sought his own will and comfort – “I will.” Jesus always said, “Thy will be done.” Jesus never acted on His own, or sought His own gain and comfort.
After Jesus was baptized, the heavens opened and the Father spoke, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 17:5). The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus, and the approbation, or the favor of God rested upon Him.
But immediately after this, He was led into the wilderness where He was tested for forty days. At the end of this time, Jesus became intensely hungry, and the enemy came to remind Him that He could do something about this intense hunger. Jesus refused, saying that His Father had not told Him to do this.
Each of us “hungers” for all kinds of things. We can submit these “hungers” to the will, and to the Word of God, as Jesus did – “It is written….” Or, we can act on our own, seeking self satisfaction. In effect, Satan said, “If you are the Son of God, you do not need to be hungry; therefore, You should do something about it.”
Satan acted very concerned and may have shed some sympathy tears about the hunger that Jesus was experiencing. Had Jesus done this, Satan would have viciously turned on Him just as soon as He had satisfied His hunger by turning stones into bread. Satan could now say, “I hungered for prestige and popularity. I wanted to be seen and heard, so I acted on it”(I will ascend). Now, You cannot judge me, as You fed your hunger, and now, You are no different from me.”
If Jesus had failed this simple but profound test, it would have resulted in His becoming disqualified to become our Saviour. Rather, Jesus said, “…Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word….” (Luke 4:4). Later, the angels came and fed Him a much better meal.
Jesus said, “…I do nothing of Myself….” (John 8:28). Jesus walked on water because He had a word to do so. Thus, Jesus was not walking on water, but on the “substance” of the word that He had heard from His Father (Matthew 14:25-31).
While in the boat, Peter said, “Lord, if this is You, bid me come.” Jesus responded with the word, “come.” Peter stepped out of the boat and began to walk, not on water, but on the word that he had received – “come.” He did well until he looked down from Jesus to the water, and as a result, began to sink. But Jesus reached out and took him by the hand and pulled him up. The Lord is always present in every test.
Our being tested precedes the blessing. Thus, Acts 1:8 becomes a powerful present word.
“But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses to Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:8
The word “after” confirms to us that we must first be tested, before we can speak the word of the Lord with substance and power.
This is the price that must be paid.
Many can say, “I have some truth.” Jesus said, “I am the truth.” He could only say this because He chose to put the will of His Father ahead of His own comfort and satisfaction.
There is no easy formula to success, as there is always a price. When we choose the purpose of the Lord rather than our own satisfaction and comfort, it can be said that we are “Buying the truth” (Proverbs 23:23).
Many are called, but few are willing to pay the price of truth. May we be found among those who are willing to do so.