Price of Commitment
Wade E Taylor
Many years ago, I visited a small church, which had an exceptional
flow of worship and an excellent teaching ministry. A phone
call was received from a man who said that he was part of
a group of Satanists who were going from church to church
to wreck their service, and that they were coming to the next
service at this church. The word of wisdom came to do nothing,
other than trusting the Lord.
When the Satanists arrived, the congregation began to worship.
These were worshippers who knew how to flow in the anointing
and worship, but this expression of worship was beyond the
norm, as it flowed upward in intensity, and in beautiful harmony
to the Lord. The presence of the Lord began to stir, and the
Satanists literally got up and ran out the door.
Later, at the pastor’s home, one of the Satanists called.
He said that they had gone into several churches and broke
up their meeting, but they could not stay at this meeting.
He asked, “What do you have that is different?”
The pastor explained to him, and he accepted the Lord on the
phone. He showed up at the next service and asked for prayer,
saying he was being attacked. He testified, and received much
attention and prayer.
After several services, he stopped attending. The pastor
called to find out why. He said, “I missed having the
power that I had, so I went back to the Satanists. I thought
that when I accepted the Lord, I would receive power from
Him, but I did not receive any.”
Acts 1:8 states, “You shall receive power after,”
not “when.” Power is never when. The Word tells
us that spiritual “strength,” (power) comes after
we spend time waiting in His presence.
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their
strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall
run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
The Satanist thought, “I have left one relationship
and entered into another, and I should have the same power
that I had before.” But, this does not happen, as there
is a “process” that we must go through. The Lord
is far more interested in what we are becoming, than in what
we are doing. The Lord’s power is only given to those
who have committed their lives unconditionally to Him, have
been tested and approved, and whom He can trust to rightly
use this power.
Theref0re, there is a “conditioning process”
that we must be subjected to, in order to be “made ready,”
“And Jesus said to them, Come you after Me, and I will
make you to become fishers of men.” Mark 1:17
Jesus placed the emphasis on our being “made ready”
(make you to become fishers) rather than on fishing –
on our “becoming” rather than on what we “do.”
Once we have become, what we do will be much more effective.
I was traveling in northern Minnesota, and as I crossed a
bridge over a small creek, I noticed a sign that said, “This
is the Mississippi River.” If a small boat were to be
put in this creek, it would float along with the current,
and eventually arrive in New Orleans, as everything easily
flows down stream. However, this is not true of our relationship
to the Lord. In true Christianity, we put our boat in the
water in New Orleans, and head for Minnesota, which involves
much work, as we are pushing against the normal flow of life.
Matthew 22:14 tells us that “many are called.”
Many have the opportunity to enter into a deeper walk, but
there is a requirement. “Many are called, but few are
willing to expend the effort that it takes to move their boat
from New Orleans to Minnesota.” The Scripture says that
we “wrestle” against principalities and powers.
There is an active warfare that resists our coming to experientially
(intimately) know the Lord.
The outworking of a life that is truly committed to the Lord
is not easy. There are battles and struggles, and we are attacked
by the enemy of our commitment. If you are being attacked,
you should be encouraged. This means that you are making progress
toward the goal (spiritual maturity), and the enemy has noticed.
“To him that overcomes…” (Revelation 3:21).
This can be said in another way - “To the one who faces
a problem, rises above it, and fulfills the intent and purpose
of the Lord.” We are to “over” come and
gain a victory, not avoid, or go around the problem. This
victory becomes an upward step in the development of our spiritual
Therefore, there is more than just our having power, or our
being blessed. Before the blessing can be imparted and become
power in our life, it must be tested. There is an enemy that
will actively seek to hinder. I often thought, “Lord
why don’t you just zap Satan, life would be so much
better.” But then, there would be no over-comers.
The heart of our Christian walk is not our choosing between
right or wrong. Rather, our spiritual life is to be built
in relation to life and death - the “tree of life,”
or, the “tree of knowledge.” When I choose life,
I am choosing the way of the Lord, the higher dimension of
His faithfulness. I am submitting my life to the death of
the cross, that His life might be lived through my life.
And Jesus being full of the Holy Spirit … was led by
the Spirit into the wilderness.” Luke 4:1
Jesus did not stumble into the wilderness, as it was not
an accident. Jesus was led into the presence of Satan by the
Holy Spirit. He was both faithful and victorious, overcoming
the attack of the enemy.
The Satanist who liked the “feeling” of power
that he had in the satanic realm, thought that God would immediately
give him the same thing, and even more. Therefore, he was
disappointed. Had he stayed and gone through the process,
he would have come into a true level of spiritual maturity,
where the power of the Lord could have flowed out through
him, and many would have been delivered from satanic deception.
He was not patient and would not submit to the testings that
would qualify him.
“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him:
for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife has made
herself ready.” Revelation 19:7
“His wife has made herself ready.” How? By overcoming.
“And to her it was granted that she should array herself
in fine linen.” At the time of our salvation, our garments
were made white in the blood of the Lamb. But, we are to weave
a Bridal garment. This Bridal garment is woven of the acts
of heart obedience. It is not wool, which is work or labor,
but rather, it is woven of linen, which speaks of rest.
“Let the saints be joyful in glory; let them sing aloud
upon their beds.” Psalm 149:5
These are those who have overcome, and are “caught
up” into His presence and purposes. For us to “overcome”
means that we have entered His rest (they are singing on their
beds). This is the very heart of an overcoming life. We give
up the right to make a way for ourselves, and instead, submit
our lives for a higher purpose - to become the vessel, through
which the life and ministry of Jesus can be expressed to all
those who hunger and seek Him.
“And you shall remember all the way which the Lord
your God led you these forty years in the wilderness, to humble
you, and to prove you, to know what was in your heart, whether
you would keep His commandments, or no.
And He humbled you, and allowed you to hunger, and fed you
with manna, which you knew not … that He might make
you know that man does not live by bread only, but by every
word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord does man live.”
We are given a free will, where we make choices and decisions.
In foreknowledge the Lord knows the outcome, but we must make
the choice or decision. We are going to either rebel, or we
will yield and meet the Lord in a deeper level.
“But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall
stand when He appears? For His is like a refiner’s fire,
and like fullers’ soap: And He shall sit as a refiner
and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi,
and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer to
the Lord an offering in righteousness.” Malachi 3:2-3
In this day, the Lord is qualifying and preparing those who
are willing to go through this processing - through difficulties
without complaining, or faulting God. He is refining and purifying
those who “in that day” will have a new song.
“And they sung a new song … And have made us
to our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”
Revelation 5:9a, 10
This is a “people within a people” - those who
have yielded their lives and have experientially become that
which the Lord would have them be. Then, “in that day”
they will stand in the presence of the Lord and hear Him say:
“Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been
faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many
things: enter you into the joy of your Lord.” Matthew