The Word Becoming a Personal
Wade E Taylor
"And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write;
These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits
of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works,
that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art
dead" Rev 3:1.
This Word to the church in Sardis also applies to those presently
in the Body of Christ who are outwardly "letter perfect,"
but have not experienced that which they believe. They contend
for the doctrines and precepts of the Word, yet have not allowed
these to change their lives. The Word of God has not become
an inner reality, as they have no personal spiritual life.
They are not spiritually sensitive, perceptive, or responsive.
For example, once when a minister spoke about the Baptism
in the Holy Spirit, he presented the need for receiving the
Baptism with intellectual accuracy and clarity. But he did
not impart a confidence and desire that would lead others
into this experience since he had not experienced it himself.
As a result, no one received the Baptism.
Later, another minister came and spoke on the Baptism in
the Holy Spirit. He gave a poor presentation, but was heavily
anointed and imparted a hunger and urgency to receive because
this experience was a personal reality that had changed his
life. As a result, many received the Baptism.
Dr Charles S. Price (A Latter
Rain era Evangelist) was a gifted Bible teacher
who had an ability to present the Word with profound clarity
and richness of expression. He once said that he often sat
at the feet of an elderly (Black)
woman who could neither read nor write. But she had received
deep spiritual insight through spending much time in fellowship
with the Lord and coming to personally know Him. She was able
to impart these truths to Dr Price because he was humble enough
to recognize the wealth of revelation that was within her,
and to sit at her feet to receive. (In
another story of Charles s. Price regarding the elderly black
Spirit-filled woman when he would have her over to his house
Dr. Price stated that he would make excuses to get this woman
to walk into every room of his house -- for where ever she
walked their would remain the sweet manifest presence of God
for hours, after this woman had long returned home for the
night. [While men coveted the gifts and teachings of Dr. Price
- he ever remained a shadow to this old black woman that could
neither read nor right who knew the Lord intimately and personally,
to whom the Lord revealed His secrets to.] Editor's additions)
"The secret of the LORD is with them that
fear Him; and he will shew them His
covenant" Psalm 25:14.
When the King James translation was written, the word "fear"
meant a deep reverence and trust. Those who exhibited this
quality understood that the truth they sought was hidden in
a "guised" form that was not available to the casual
seeker. Thus, the Lord reveals His "secrets" to
those who recognize and open their being to the "vessel"
in which these truths are contained. This requires an implicit
trust in the Lord that goes beyond reason, as the "container"
may not (seemingly) be desirable.
Many years ago, a minister came to speak in Chapel. He presented
the price that was attached to our coming into a personal
knowledge of the Lord Himself. When he finished, he asked
those who were willing to pay this price to come forward.
It was as if the anointing lifted and no one responded. He
repeated the challenge and still there was no response. Suddenly,
the presence of the Lord flooded the Chapel and almost everyone
rose to their feet and began to move forward. Then a word
came, "you are too late." Their response was surface
and emotional, and the Lord was seeking an inner heart response.
Though we missed, we learned a valuable lesson.
Thus, it is in the place where we feel the least spiritual
that our commitment to the Lord really counts. In the richness
and emotion of His presence, it is easy for us to make many
promises to the Lord that we do not keep.
A story is told about a housewife who came to the altar after
a stirring message on the love of God. She asked for a revelation
of His Love. She waited for some time, but nothing happened
and she went home disappointed.
When she arrived at home, her mother-in-law greeted her and
said she had come to live with her son. The next morning,
the mother-in-law saw a maid cleaning the house. She promptly
fired her and then told her daughter-in-law that she should
clean her own house.
Soon, this housewife was in her bedroom crying, pleading
with the Lord to remove her mother-in-law. The Lord reminded
her that she had asked for an experience of His love. He told
her to go and tell her mother-in-law that she loved her and
was glad she was there. But she was unable to do so.
Later, during the evening meal, her mother-in-law said, "Is
this the best food you can cook? My son deserves a better
meal than this." Again, she was in her bedroom pleading
with the Lord to remove her mother-in-law. And again, the
Lord told her to tell her mother-in-law that she loved her
and was glad she was there.
Finally, she met the Lord and was able to go to her mother-in-law
and do this from her heart and truly mean what she said. Later,
the mother-in-law appeared with her suitcase and said she
was leaving. The love that this housewife had sought at an
altar had been perfected within her in a real life situation.
Now she had a personal understanding of the "Love of
Often, we may not understand, or we are puzzled by the way
the Lord responds to that for which we ask, and little realize
that He desires His Word to first become a personal reality
within our being. We must be willing to allow this personalization
of the Word within us through our daily life.
Many times, we find ourselves in a situation where we feel
justified and right; that this is all that is required of
us and we are entitled to the intervention of the Lord in
our behalf. However, in the Kingdom we have no rights, as
all is to be submitted to His higher ways and purpose.
In the year of Jubilee, those who had been sold into slavery
were set free. But if a slave had a benevolent master and
desired to remain in servitude, his ear was pierced through
into the door casing as a witness of his willing submission.
During a chapel service in 1958, the Lord made clear to me
that I still maintained the right to my life and I was given
an opportunity to submit it to Him. I went to the pulpit and
confessed my condition and expressed my desire to give up
my right to freedom and become a "love slave." Suddenly,
the edge of the pulpit became as a door post. I bent over,
placed my ear lobe on this "door post" and asked
the Lord to pierce it, thus giving up the right to my own
Later, I complained about a situation in which I felt the
Lord was not responding to my need as I thought He should.
I said to the Lord, "this is not fair." He responded,
"You have no rights, you gave them up. Now, I am free
to use you as I desire." The Lord had something in mind
that was of greater value and purpose than that which I sought.
I am slowly coming to know that He knows best and that I
can fully trust my life in His hands. He is a benevolent master
who is truly interested in our well being. We can trust His
actions concerning our needs, even though at the time we may
Those in the church at Sardis were concerned about the "letter"
of the Word (outward) and as a result, Jesus said they were
"dead" (inward). The Lord is looking for a people
who will allow the Word to become active within their life
circumstances to transform them. These must submit their lives
unconditionally to the Lord, and invite Him to come within
to accomplish His purpose.
It is urgent that the letter of the Word become an experiential,
personal reality within our lives.