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 1994

Delay of a Vision
Richard M. Riss

When the Lord calls us to a specific task, He may require a waiting period before its fulfillment. We must first be proven in character, and this entails various waiting periods before the realization of a God-given vision.

Patience, along with an unswerving confidence in the ability of God to perform His Word, is wrought into our lives through adverse circumstances. Certainly, if things came too easily, we would not appreciate them.

Moreover, the Lord desires to make known to us the limitlessness of His power. What better way to do this than to fulfill His promises in the face of what would seem as impossible obstacles to their fulfillment? If the Lord has made a promise, then ultimately, nothing in heaven or on earth can impede His purpose.

There are many examples of this principle in the Bible. Joseph was given a dream that he would rule over his brothers. But, before its realization, he was nearly killed, sold into slavery, imprisoned, and forgotten for many, many years. Moses understood that he was called to lead the people of Israel out of slavery, but he had to spend forty years in the desert before this vision was fulfilled. Abraham had been promised that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars of the heavens, yet not only did he have to wait many years before the fulfillment of this promise, but he was called upon to die to this vision when God asked him to sacrifice his son, Isaac.

There are examples in history also. John Knox is considered the founder of Presbyterianism. He had tremendous spiritual gifts, yet there were many long periods during his life when these gifts were not exercised. In 1547, soon after he was ordained, he was captured with several others by the French at Saint Andrews where he was pastor, and was imprisoned. For nineteen months he was a ship's galley-slave. In such circumstances, he probably had moments in which there were doubts about his calling.

After being freed in 1549, he began working towards this end. But, he became an exile four years later, upon the accession of Queen Mary who, as a Catholic, began persecuting Protestants in the British Isles. During the six years of his exile, he surely must have wondered whether it would be possible to fulfill his vision for bringing the Gospel to his countrymen in Scotland.

What would be your reaction if God called you to a certain ministry, and you were soon taken off into slavery, and later exiled from the country to which you were called to minister? It is certainly confusing when these things happen, but it is helpful to remember that such things often occurred in the lives of those who have received certain promises from God.

A promise from the Lord, or the bestowal of gifts, or callings from God, is no guarantee that the promise will be realized immediately, or that those gifts or callings can be freely exercised at the time they are given.

Such examples of delay in a vision being fulfilled abound throughout all of history. Interestingly, there is a noticeable correlation between the effectiveness of a ministry and the obstacles which stand in the way of its implementation.

One of the most powerful ministries this continent has known was that of Maria B. Woodworth-Etter. As a teenager, she had heard the voice of Jesus calling her to go into the highways and gather the lost sheep. She pondered this, yet did not know how it could be, since women in her generation did not work in public. Not only that, after she was married, everything that she and her family undertook seemed to be a failure. And as if that were not enough, her husband was opposed to her dream to work in Christ's vineyard.

Her growing family took her further away from her childhood call to ministry. At that time, being a woman was an enormous obstacle. She had very little formal education and no theological training. Her family responsibilities were heavy, and she was sickly. To make matters worse, five of her six children died, permanently affecting her husband, who lost his sanity as a result of this loss.

Throughout all of this, Maria Woodworth-Etter was acutely aware of the calling of God upon her life. She wrote, "my health was very poor, and many times I was brought near the brink of the grave. Everyone who saw me thought I would die. But the work the Lord was calling me to do came up before me so plainly that I thought he would raise me up, and open the way."

God gave her a vision, but for many long years, she had absolutely no idea how it could possibly be fulfilled. Yet the Lord eventually raised her up, and she ministered throughout the United States from 1880 until her death in 1924.

With little or no support from local churches, she organized huge Gospel campaigns. Her tent, with a capacity for eight thousand seats, was often too small to hold the crowds that flocked to her meetings to partake of the presence of God that accompanied her.

In one instance, at Tipton Indiana, for two weeks beginning Sunday, April 26, 1885, within a radius of about twenty miles of her meetings, many people were struck down by the power of God in their homes, in business places, and on the roads and streets. Some of them lay flat on their backs for hours, and had wonderful visions. Many of these people later entered the ministry.

God raised her up as an evangelist despite the many obstacles that seemed insurmountable. Yet, with God, all things are possible.

The birth of Ishmael was a result of Abraham's attempt to bring about God's promises in his own way. It is very easy to fall into this temptation. If God has promised us something, and it seems as if the opportunity for its fulfillment is passing away, then we are tempted to force the issue. The consequences are always unpleasant.

May our Lord grant us the grace to allow God to be God, and the patience to wait for the vision and for its fulfillment, according to His timetable - even when, to us, the fulfillment appears to be impossible.

In His time, it shall surely come.