by Wade E Taylor
“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….” Luke 5:1-2
Notice that the people were “pressing upon Jesus to hear the word of God.” Whenever we take a step toward the Lord, He will respond and begin to draw us closer to Himself.
There will always be “two ships” (two possibilities) in our spiritual life experience. These are placed in our path by the Lord to cause us to make a choice. Jesus will never enter the ship that relates to our self-life (our being in control of all that we say and do). When we make the right choice, Jesus will enter the ship that relates to His will and purpose for us, and become active in our spiritual life experience.
“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 5:3
The “land” speaks of our self-life, in which we are in control and can do as we please. The “water” represents the realm of the Spirit, where the Lord is in control. For us to be “thrust out a little from the land” speaks of giving up the right to do as we please, so Jesus can bring us into a submissive, cooperative relationship with Him.
Here, we will be “made ready” to function in the deeper realms of the Spirit (He sat down and taught the people). As we continue to make the right choices, the “water” will gradually become deeper and deeper until our feet can no longer reach the bottom.
“…At the noise of Your waterspouts, all Your waves and Your billows are gone over me.” Psalm 42:7
This tells us that the Lord is in control (All your waves and billows are gone over me). Only now could Jesus say the following:
“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
The heart consecration that we make by choosing to be obedient will prompt (release) Jesus to step into our “boat” (our life experience).
Our “willing obedience” is the determining factor in our becoming an overcomer. Being an “overcomer” is not the result of, or the reward for something that we do. Rather, it relates to the intent and issues of our heart, which determines our actions.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3
Our being “poor in spirit” means that we have come to the end of our “self-life.” We have placed ourselves and all that relates to us, under the headship of Jesus. We are now subject to the government of God, and as long as we walk in submission and obedience, it can be said that we are an “overcomer.”
We can only be obedient when it is possible for us to be disobedient. Therefore, the Lord will place circumstances in our path which will force us to make a choice. Thus, there were “two ships.” This also relates to the two trees in the Garden of Eden – the “tree of life,” and the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”
“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:16‑17
The Lord placed man in a probationary environment so he could be tested. Just as Jesus stepped into one of two ships, two trees were placed in the midst of Adam’s daily activities as the means by which this testing would be accomplished. These two trees are diversely different in their intent and purpose. Adam was told to freely partake of the one; but he was forbidden to eat of the other.
The “tree of life” relates to a life style in which Adam lived in a dependent union with the Lord. He could only abide in this realm by partaking of the “tree of life” daily (communion). This confirmed and maintained his full dependence upon his Creator. A description of the “tree of life” is found in Isaiah, chapter 53, which reveals that Jesus is the tree of life (a root out of a dry ground).
“For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.” Isaiah 53:2
Jesus is seen by fallen mankind as offering nothing that would (to them) make Him desirable. The beauty of Jesus is therefore within, and is recognized only by spiritual perception through “regeneration” and Holy Spirit “enabling.”
The “tree of knowledge” relates to our “earthly” life that results from Adam’s transgression in which he chose to become independent from God. The fruit of this tree appears to us as being very pleasant to our eyes, and desirable as food.
By divine intent, the way of the flesh is appealing to every aspect of the fallen human makeup, whereas spirituality is seemingly uninviting. It would seem that spirituality should have been made attractive, and sin ugly. Therefore, we might ask, “Lord, why did you make our self-life attractive, rather than our spirituality?”
There is an answer. This high calling of spirituality can be gained only by making the right choices. And, the Lord has not made this easy.
For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:14
Or, “Few will pay the price in order to be chosen.”
By divine design, there is a price to our being chosen by the Lord. Therefore, the Lord placed the beauty within, which can be seen only by spiritual perception, and given only to those who truly desire Him (those who pressed upon Jesus to hear the Word).
Outwardly, the tabernacle in the wilderness was covered with ugly badger skins, but within, it had a beautiful royal blue covering and the Lord’s Shekinah presence. It contained a wondrous glory which cannot be described, only experienced.
“But from the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of the heaven is taken by violence, and the violent seize on it.” Matthew 11:12 Darby
By divine arrangement, it takes a determined effort to press through to behold the beauty of the Lord. Few will push past the hindrances to gain this prize. Paul said:
“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14
This prize is not heaven, which is included in our redemption. Rather, the prize is being seated with Jesus in His throne, experiencing an active, cooperative relationship with Him (as a son), while we maintain our times of fellowship and communion with Him (as His bride).
“His lord said to him, Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter you into the joy of your lord.” Matthew 25:23
May each of us continue to press toward this prize, and rise above all that seeks to hinder our spiritual progress, or turn us away from becoming an overcomer (one who is seated with Jesus in His throne as His Bride).
“To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.” Revelation 3:21
At this present time, we have the opportunity to make the right choices, which will determine which “ship” we will be found in.
May we be among those who will be “launched out into the deep” in that day.
“And he that overcomes, and keeps My works to the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron….” Revelation 2:26-27