Wade E Taylor
"To the angel in 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.
There are those in the body of Christ who, like those in
the Church in Sardis, are saved and contend for right doctrine
and outward conformity; but they have not allowed these things
to come within and affect their personal lives and spirituality.
It is vitally important that objective truth, which is the
letter of the Word, become a personal reality within our life
experience. We are to be changed by the Word, our lives being
made conformable to His life.
A Bible Teacher once taught on the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
He was doctrinally correct in every detail concerning the
Baptism. However, he had not personally received this experience,
and therefore could not convey its experiential aspect. As
a result, no one was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Later, a Pastor spoke on the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
He was sadly lacking in ability and gave a poor presentation.
However, his life had been greatly affected by the Baptism
in the Holy Spirit, and his desire was to impart this experience
to others. As a result, many received.
Dr Charles Price had a profound ability to present spiritual
truth in ways that few have matched. This gift of being able
to give expression to spiritual reality in written form was
enviable. He said that he would often go to the home of an
elderly lady who could neither read or write, and sit at her
feet to learn of her. She maintained a deep personal relationship
with the Lord and as a result, He had revealed many deep truths
to her. However, she was unable to communicate these. Yet
Charles Price was humble enough to learn from her, and then
through his profound gift of expression, share these truths
No matter how limited we are, or what our abilities may be,
the Lord can and will make Himself personally known to us.
"The secret of the Lord is with them that
fear him" Psalm 25:14.
This word "fear" does not mean our being afraid,
but rather conveys the thought of a deep reverence, or respect
that results from an intimate love relationship with the Lord,
in which He reveals His secrets.
Many years ago, a minister came to the school and presented
a message with a very anointed challenge of commitment, and
made plain the cost of accepting this. At the end of the service,
he asked if there were those who would make this commitment.
No one moved, so he made the offer again, and none moved.
Suddenly the glory of the Lord came upon the service, and
many jumped to their feet and began to come forward. Then
a powerful prophetic word came in which it was said, "You
are too late."
They had responded to an external quickening of His presence,
rather than to an inward conviction of heart to unconditionally
submit their all to Him.
The day will come in which "every knee will bow and
every tongue confess," but there is little reward for
this, as this ability is given; there is no cost involved.
It is when we feel the least spiritual that we are able to
make the deepest commitment.
Those who promise the Lord many things in the intensity of
an emotional altar service seldom keep their commitment. But
those who make their commitment in the pressures of life experience
and heart decision will stand by that commitment, and the
Lord will respond and reward them with the understanding of
His ways, in ways that few experience.
Hattie Hammond once told the following true story, which
I have never forgotten. A particular lady was challenged by
a message, and had gone to the altar afterward, asking the
Lord for an understanding of His love. She waited some time,
expecting a big "glob" of love to fall upon her,
causing her to feel good. Nothing seemingly happened, so she
felt she was not spiritual, and went home.
But she had asked the Lord for a revelation of His love,
and the Lord heard this request. Our problem is that often
the answer does not come in the way we expect, and as a result,
we do not rightly interpret the circumstances in which we
She arrived home to find that her mother-in-law had come,
not for a visit, but to live. The next morning, this mother-in-law
came out of her room and noticed a woman cleaning the house,
and asked who she was. She responded, "I come each week
to clean this house."
Immediately, the mother-in-law said, "you are fired,
let my son's lazy wife clean her own house. My son works hard
for his money." The wife overheard this and soon was
in her bedroom crying, pleading with the Lord to get this
woman out of her house.
Instead, the Lord responded, "Go and tell her that you
love her, and that you are glad she is here." The wife
protested and said she could never do that, as she hated her.
The Lord said, "Do you remember that you asked Me for
an understanding of My love? This is the only way that you
will ever understand."
She finally came from her room and managed to get a meal
ready. When they sat down together at the table, her mother-in-law
said, "my son deserves better food than this, is this
the best you can do?" The wife retreated to her room,
and begged the Lord to get this woman out of her house.
But the Lord again said to her, "Tell her you love her,
and that you are glad she is here." Along with this,
the Lord began to speak to her about His love, how He loved
us when we also were unlovable. Soon she began to realize
that love was more than a warm gooey feeling that makes us
feel good. She bawled some more, then melted as the revelation
of the love of God began to settle within her being.
Finally, she was able to truly tell her mother-in-law that
she was glad she was in her home. A few hours later she noticed
her mother-in-law coming down the stairs with her suitcase.
She said she needed to visit and bless some other members
of the family.
Perhaps she may visit you. Hopefully, you will be able to
rightly respond to her.
Often we do not understand the implications of our prayers.
However, the Lord does, and He knows how to make an arrangement
in which our answer will not only come, but we will be changed
in the process. We may rightly understand the letter of the
Word, but unless it has been personalized in our experience,
it is not ours. The facts of the Lord are one thing. His ways
To each of the seven Churches in Revelation, the first thing
the Lord said was, "I know your works." It is not
the works we perform that are important to the Lord, but rather
what the works have done to us.
"For many are called, but few are chosen" Matt
This is true because few are willing to persevere in allowing
the personalization of the Word in their life experience,
as this wife had done. Many times we find ourselves in a situation
in which we are tempted to say, "I do not need to put
up with this, as I have my rights." We do have our rights,
but these may leave us short of that which the Lord intends.
He is looking for something far greater, the way in which
the problems we face have changed us into His image and likeness.
In ancient Israel, those who had been sold into bondage were
released in the year of Jubilee. However, if a slave had a
benevolent master with whom they desired to stay, their ear
was pierced, which identified them as a "love slave."
When Adam and Eve partook of the tree of knowledge, they
gained their freedom to choose for themselves by partaking
of the forbidden fruit. Later, an animal was slain, and they
were covered with its skin. This was the first shedding of
blood for the forgiveness of sin. But they had eaten something
which was still within them. This was the right to their own
lives, apart from any submission to God.
Therefore Jesus said,
"IF any man will come after Me, let him deny
himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
For whosoever will save his life shall lose
it: and whosoever will lose his life for My
sake shall find it" Matt 16:24-25.
We gained the right to our own lives through our forefathers.
Jesus will not take this right from us, but we can give up
our right to freedom and become a love-slave to Him. Thus,
the cross is optional, "IF."
Jesus said to the Church at Sardis, "You have a name
that you live, but you are dead." They were saved and
doctrinally correct, but they had not been changed. The Lord
is looking for those who will allow the Word to be applied
to their life experience, and change them.
Years ago, when I owned a television business, a particular
TV set needed repairs but the repairman refused to go to that
particular house, so I went. I still remember their name,
as it was Benjamin Franklin. I had to drive through an open
field to get to the house. When I arrived, the stench was
so bad and the flies so numerous that I could hardly stay
within the house long enough to fix the set.
Later, the set needed repairs again, so I returned. When
I arrived, the wife was all excited. She said she had visited
some friends who took her to a gospel meeting and she had
been saved and healed. She had a back deformity, and had never
been able to touch her hair. Now she could move her arms freely
and was truly excited. But the intense stench was still within
I invited her and her husband to Church and offered to take
them. When we entered the Church, this repulsive stench arrived
with them. Later, the pastor told me they were not welcome,
because they upset the members.
Some time later, I again visited their home and was amazed
to see a pastor from a large modernistic church sitting at
their table, eating with them. This was almost impossible,
as there seemingly were millions of flies in the house, along
with the horrible stench. But he was there, eating their food.
Later, he sent women from his church to help clean the house,
and teach her about cleanliness.
The Full Gospel Church, who was critical of this modernistic
Church had missed a choice opportunity to demonstrate the
love of God.
"For ye see your calling, brethren, how that
not many wise men after the flesh, not many
mighty, not many noble, are called: But God
hath chosen the foolish things of the world
to confound the wise; and God hath chosen
the weak things of the world to confound
the things which are mighty; And base things
of the world, and things which are despised,
hath God chosen, yea, and things which are
not, to bring to nought things that are:
That no flesh should glory IN HIS
PRESENCE" I Cor 1:26-29.
It is important that we rightly discern the time of His visitation.
God is a seeking God who desires to make Himself known. He
chooses means whereby He is able to test the sincerity of
our words, and of our heart. If there is a problem within
us, He knows how to expose and deal with it, if we will rightly
The Lord will make Himself known to those who will take up
their cross and die to their own ways, and sense of comfort