A Call to Turn Aside

Wade E Taylor

"Behold, the days come, says the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor thirsty for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it." Amos 8:11-12

Many consider this passage of Scripture to refer to a time during the latter days when ministry will be greatly hindered. However, the famine referred to in this Scripture is not the result of a lack of the "proclamation" of the Word. Rather, the Word can be heard over the pulpits of more churches than ever before. Radio and television preachers are plentiful. An abundance of Christian literature is available, especially on the Web.

The "letter of the Word" will continue to be increasingly available. However, the "words of the Lord" will become scarce in another way. Because of an increasing scarcity (famine) of "heart obedience" to the readily available "letter" of the Word, there is an increasing famine of the quickened, anointed Word.

We are living in the time of this dearth of the anointed, convicting, burning "words of the Lord" that have power to change lives.

The Laodicean church of Revelation 3:14-17 thought themselves to be "rich and increased in goods." Instead, the "word of the Lord" that was spoken directly to their spiritual condition exposed them as being "poor and blind." They were described by the Lord as being "spiritual babies" (naked), because they were not assimilating His Words into their being, nor were they seeking an active personal relationship with Him.

"Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." Revelation 3:17

Their interest was only in the things that the Lord could provide, rather than in their fellowship with the "One" (Jesus) who gave all these things. Therefore, they received a corrective word from the Lord.

"I counsel you to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness do not appear; and anoint your eyes with eyesalve, that you may see." Revelation 3:18

The Lord desires to perfect His nature (gold) through His workings and dealings within those who have yielded the totality of their being to Jesus, and are completely sold out to Him.

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10 NASB

This "gold tried in the fire" speaks of an intimate, direct encounter with God that causes all that is contrary to His nature to be consumed, as we are chastened and corrected by His Holy Spirit, which will result in our spiritual development and growth.

The Baptism of Jesus, which is an "immersion in the Holy Spirit and fire," has been made available to each of us. John said:

"I indeed baptize you with water to repentance: but He that comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." Matthew 3:11-12

This "Baptism" will burn away all of the dross that is within, and purify us to become as He is.

"For our God is a consuming fire." Hebrews 12:29

Our being changed into His image is of far greater eternal value than any of the temporal things that He may provide. Therefore, during this time of famine, a provision has been made by the Lord for each individual who is spiritually hungry and who earnestly seeks to become as "gold tried in the fire."

Jesus is standing outside the door of this present day Church, saying:

"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me." Revelation 3:20

This call is to the individual, who will respond to His voice.

"But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father which is in secret; and your Father which sees in secret shall reward you openly." Matthew 6:6

Those who are dissatisfied with their present spiritual experience and are seeking something more are being drawn aside into His presence. In spite of the famine, the Lord is present, waiting with His reward.

A similar call to turn aside had a vital part in the preparation of Moses to deliver the Lord's people who were in bondage to the world system of their day.

Moses understood that he was called to bring deliverance to the children of Israel, but this alone did not qualify him. He had sought to accomplish the will of God with his own ability and understanding, but had utterly failed, and as a result, fled into the wilderness.

"Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb." Exodus 3:1

"And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sinai an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush." Acts 7:30

"And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burned. And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I." Exodus 3:3-4.

Moses was moving toward the mountain of God because he had an intense desire to serve the Lord. In the barrenness of this wilderness, he finally noticed this "bush" that burned, but was not consumed, and "turned aside" to that which yet burns.

As Moses stood before the manifest Shekinah in the burning bush, all of his former ambition and drive melted away. His own eloquence was replaced with the words that the Lord personally spoke to him. He purchased "gold tried in the fire" of a present visitation, and was ready to fully obey the Lord.

From the "burning Word" that the Lord spoke came the impartation and anointing that would enable him to lead the children of Israel out from their bondage. Now Moses, who had been mighty and eloquent in words and deeds, could speak to the Lord and say:

"O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since You have spoken to Your servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue." Exodus 4:10

He is saying to the Lord, "In the past, I spoke quickly and acted upon what I thought was your word, but I have learned that this does not work. Now, unless you speak, I have nothing to say. Now, I will speak only Your words."

Previously, Moses fled from Pharaoh, but now Pharaoh shook as Moses spoke forth the anointed "words of the Lord." At Pharaoh's rejection of a quickened, present word, all of Egypt was caused to tremble, until the people of God were cast out of Egypt in a mighty deliverance.

In our day, when many are as Moses was - "mighty in word and deed," the Lord is looking for those whom He might take through a process of reduction, that they only speak His words. He is seeking for those who will turn aside when they recognize His "burning presence."

To those who have a "hearing ear," there is a "seeking presence" that is available, which transcends all that was discovered, or obtained in the past.

The Lord is asking, "Are you willing to turn aside and stand before My presence, at the burning bush of a present visitation, to hear a present word?"

If we will respond, the famine need not come, as you will hear and receive the anointed "word of deliverance" that will bring the Lord's people into a land that flows with milk and honey.