Pinecrest Bible Training Center

John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone.

Beginning in 2008 the vision and bible school that God so graciously gave Wade Taylor beginning in 1968 came to an abrupt end, falling into the ground and dying.-

We now wait for God to raise up and bring forth His seed of promise in another, that the vision fail not.

Summer 1986
The Long Way PART 1
Sergio Valori, Pastor
Emmanuel Fellowship
Reading, Penna

"God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near. . ." (Exodus 13:17.

It would seem logical to the natural mind that the shortest way possible should be taken to any destination. Yet, we find God repeatedly taking His people the `long way'. Mentally, we know that His ways and thoughts are infinitely higher than ours, but we still wrestle to understand them. Perhaps we should cease from the struggle to understand them and begin to submit to them in trust. Understanding comes as we obey, not before we obey.

In His wisdom and foresight, God did not take Israel to Canaan via the short route because they were not ready for war. Israel was still a child, untrained and unskilled in the ways of war. God did not want His child to turn back in fear, nor would He allow him to be destroyed. The short way usually looks easy and appealing, but there is a potential in it for our ruination.

Along with that, there were positive reasons for taking them the `long way. 'Before bringing them into a land of prosperity and dominion, God wanted to bring them unto Himself in proper relationship. The long way of the wilderness would offer opportunity for that. Having come out of Egypt with a proud and defiant spirit (Exodus 14:8), they needed to be humbled. God will not fellowship the proud, for He dwells only with those of a contrite and humble spirit (Isa 57:15). He looks for a people whose heart and spirit are broken, submissive and dependent.

It takes the long way of the wilderness to cause us to lose our self-sufficiency and to develop a relationship of faith and trust. The relentless pressure of unchanging circumstances brings about a breaking in our spirit and causes us to throw ourselves on Him in utter dependency.

The `long way' is the way of testing. In the words of Deuteronomy 8:2, "to prove (test) thee. . .whether thou wouldest keep His commandments, or no". Every vessel God chooses must of necessity undergo the tests of obedience, faith, and trust. In giving Adam a commandment, God prepared the way for the test of obedience, a test which would either break or strengthen their relationship. Likewise, Abraham's faith and obedience were tested repeatedly, until on Moriah he passed the supreme test and lived on in unbroken fellowship with God and His purpose.

Thus it would be in God taking Israel by the `long way' of the wilderness. They would be tested many times, each test being an opportunity to have their faith refined and their obedience established. Every test, if passed, could bring them closer to qualifying for rulership in Canaan. Their relationship with God could become stronger. They could acquire the spiritual character and stature so vital in fulfilling His purposes.

It is the `long way' that exposes our hearts. Notice again in Deut 8:2, "to know what was in thine heart". God knew what was in their heart, but they did not. Their hearts had to be exposed so they could see their need and have opportunity to repent. Oh, the murmuring, the lusting, and the idolatry that was in their hearts! Like Peter, we often think that we know our hearts and that we are ready even to die for Him. But God allows certain things to happen, or certain circumstances to develop that reveal the true state of our heart.

This exposure of our hearts gives us an opportunity to prove the reality of His transforming power. When Job saw the Lord, he saw also his own state o being, that it was full of reasonings and pride. But in that moment, he cried out unto the Lord and said, "I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes" Job42:6. Likewise David, after the sin resident in his "inward parts" had been exposed, cried out, "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me" Psalm 51:10.

Finally, God's `long way' is a learning process designed to bring us into life. In Deut 8:3, we find "And He humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger... that He might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live". God wanted them to learn the secret of living. He longed to bring them into the "path of life".

Bread signifies all that sustains our natural life. Oh, what great concern and worry these Israelites exercised over their daily provision of bread and water. By their preoccupation in this dimension of life, they failed to hear and obey that living Word that was proceeding out of the mouth of God. Jesus said, "Take no thought for your life". (Greek: `psuche' or soul life.) Matt6:25. "But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Matt 6:33.

God's `long way' usually "suffers us to hunger," exposing our soul life to the chastening of the Lord. This chastening is not easy, nor readily accepted. We go through the cycle of questioning, complaining, and being rebuked by the Lord. Eventually, we learn that this way of chastening is not meant to destroy us, but to mature us and bring us unto His holiness. It is designed to deliver us from the pursuit of our own way and align us to His way.

Oh, how faithful God has been to show us the way! Indeed, His promise is that when you turn to the right hand or to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind thee saying, "THIS IS THE WAY, WALK YE IN IT" Isa 30:21.