The Law Of Contrast
Wade E Taylor
Recently, I was privileged to speak at a ministers retreat
north of Anchorage, Alaska. A week after I returned home to
Pinecrest, I left with Dr. Richard Forde, a teacher at Pinecrest,
to go to Barbados, an Island in the southern part of the West
Indies where he has a home, for an intensely 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 brightly shining on the palm
trees and the multicolored flowers that were everywhere.
Both Alaska and Barbados were outstanding in their own ways.
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 truths in the Scripture are established thru contrast.
An example is in Luke 3:2. "Annas and Caiphas being the
high priests, the word of God came unto John, the son of Zacharias,
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 irony and contrast in this passage of Scripture is intense.
Another example is the life of Abraham which is contrasted
with that of Lot. Or, Isaac who is contrasted with Ismael,
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 line sought its own way and
end, while the spiritual line was dependent on an act or intervention
of God for its establishment and provision. In 1 Corinthians
15:45 we are told, "For that is 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 line was brought forth to establish His purpose
and glory. The contrast in each of these instances in Scripture
is very pronounced and meaningful.
Pinecrest has struggled for years under an intense financial
burden. Through the goodness of the Lord, and His people who
were willing to give, this has in a large measure changed.
The "line of the natural", the financial struggle,
no longer predominates. Now, Pinecrest can enter a new day
in which the emphasis can be on the "spiritual line",
the bringing forth of His higher purpose in training lives
to know His presence, His anointing and His voice.
In our society, we have been taught that "bigger is
better", and that "quantity is the sign of his blessing".
Yet in the Scriptural examples, this is clearly disproven,
as the establishing of the "Spiritual line" required
a time of testing and suffering. Then the Spiritual line flourished,
after Divine Intervention and provision.
This pattern and principle has found its outworking in the
life of Pinecrest, which was called to prepare lives to personally
know the Lord and to train ministries of "quality"
for His purposes.
Pinecrest is clearly called of the Lord to produce a "Spiritual
line" that experientially knows and walks with the Lord,
as did John the Baptist, who through the preparation of the
Lord, became "THE VOICE OF ONE crying in the wilderness".
It is my desire and prayer that Pinecrest will produce Quality
rather than Quantity, Abrahams rather than Lots.
Your love towards the Lord and your desire to please Him
through your financial support of this ministry is greatly
appreciated that this vision and ministry may reach the reality
and purpose that the Lord intended for it.