Want A Spiritual Tan? Lord, Turn Us Again and Cause Your Face to Shine
January 6, 2010 by Lynne Lee
This guest post from Wade Taylor is a call to turn and bask in the presence of the Lord.
“If He fills Heaven and earth, then He presently fills the area we occupy now. No matter where we are, the Lord is there. But we were created for more than this. We need the manifestation of His presence—His approbation and favor resting upon us, the Son-shine, the warmth of His glory shining upon us, to change us so in its reflection Jesus will be seen by others. The fact of His presence is not enough, the Lord desires us to have the fullness of His presence.”
For we are His workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has prepared that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 Darby Translation
The Lord seeks those who are both sensitive and responsive to His presence, that they might be prepared and made available to Him for His purposes. Therefore, the Lord “works” within us, to accomplish His higher purposes through us. These “good works” are the means or the circumstances that He uses to bring this about. Our part is to recognize His presence and cooperate with Him in whatever He seeks to accomplish.
At times, we lack a healthy “fear of the Lord,” and to some measure, we tend to take the Lord for granted. Whenever He stirs us to bring about changes within us, we should respond by “focusing” our attention toward that which He seeks to accomplish.
It is Not About What We Have Accomplished, But What We Have Become
The ministry of John the Baptist prepared the way for the first coming of the Lord.
…Behold, I send My messenger before your face, which shall prepare your way before you. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare you the way of the Lord, make His paths straight. Mark 1:2-3
A voice such as this is urgently needed in our day, as we approach the time of His return. As a “voice” was prepared in that day, so also at this present time a “voice” is again being made ready to prepare the way of the Lord concerning His end-time purposes. When we stand before the Lord, our spiritual life will be measured against His life.
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:13
We will not be graded “quantitatively,” by all that we have accomplished, but rather “qualitatively,” by what we have become. The Lord said, “Well done (not “much done”) you good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21). It is the “measure” (30, 60, 100-fold) of the fullness of Christ (our life measured in comparison to His life) to which we have come that will determine our placement in His Kingdom.
To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His Throne. Revelation 3:21
The “Arrangement” Intended to Bring Us Into the Higher Purpose for Which We Were Created
In the beginning, the Lord made an “arrangement” that was intended to bring Adam into the higher purpose for which he had been created (to live in a special environment for times of communion and fellowship with his Creator). In guised form, this arrangement has been set before each one of us, in which we are continually being forced to make decisions concerning it.
This “point of testing” has to do with our choosing either the “tree of life” or the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:9, 16-17). The way that we respond, or react, to each of these will greatly affect the development of our spiritual life. With a higher purpose in view, the Lord made the “tree of life” very ordinary, and the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” very attractive.
The tree of life (as being the Lord Jesus Christ) appears to us as being “a root out of a dry ground, (having no) form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no (outward) beauty that we should desire Him” (Isaiah 53:2). Spiritual things are desirable only to those who have been born of the Spirit, and are spiritually minded.
The tree of the knowledge of good and evil (as being our self-life) is quite different. It “appears” to be “good for food…pleasant to the eyes, and (one) to be desired” (Genesis 3:6). It appeals to every aspect of our flesh life. Thus, on the surface, a temporal self-centered life appears to be very attractive. However, this is deceptive, as it will pass away in a moment, and offers no true inner satisfaction, nor eternal reward.
Thus, we are not only judged for what we do, which is outward and visible, as the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; but we are also judged for what we have “become” through what we do. This compares to the tree of life where the true beauty is inward.
Paul said in Philippians 3:11, “If by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead.” He sought an “out-resurrection” from among the living dead, to experience the life that flows out from the “tree of life,” by being lifted above the influence of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which leads to death.
Paul understood that there is a veiled spiritual life, which is hidden from the natural man, into which he could press and experience. He passionately desired this above any single thing in his natural life. He was gifted, and therefore could have acquired much in temporal things. But he willingly let these go, counting them as being refuse, that he might attain to that which he saw in the “Tree of Life”—the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth to those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in anything you are otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this to you.” Philippians 3:12-15
There is a prayer in the Psalms in which this same desire to experience the fullness of the Lord is expressed.
“Return, we beseech You, O God of hosts: look down from Heaven, and behold, and visit this vine; and the vineyard which Your right hand has planted, and the branch that You made strong for Yourself.” Psalm 80:14-15
“Turn Us Again, Cause Your Face to Shine”
The Lord is omnipresent, that is, He fills Heaven and earth. Beyond His omnipresence is His manifest presence. When we ask Him to “return,” we are seeking His manifest presence, and His personal working in our lives.
“Turn us again, O Lord God of hosts, cause Your face to shine; and we shall be saved.” Psalm 80:19
“Turn us again.” The Lord will respond when we are willing to turn away from those things which are “pleasant to the eye, good for food, and to be desired,” and express a desire to look afresh upon the Lord Jesus Christ in the fullness of His presence, even though He may presently appear to us as being only a “root out of a dry ground.”
“Cause Your face to shine.” This prayer comes from deep within our innermost being. We were created to experience and enjoy His manifest presence. When we give expression to this desire, the Lord will respond and make known His presence to us.
Several years ago, I made an emergency trip to Florida and was there for only one day. When I returned, I mentioned to someone that I had just come back from Florida. They responded, “Where is your tan?” Because I had been in the land of the sun, they expected to see evidence. There is a far better sun, spelled “Son.” When I have been in the presence of “The Son” and He shines upon me, there should be evidence that can be seen.
Ephesians 6:12 tells us that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
This darkness is over us and seriously impedes the light of the “Son” from shining upon us, unless we knowingly contend for an open Heaven, and push back this darkness.
Thus, there is something better than just a good service. There is the possibility of having an open Heaven through which the manifest presence of our Lord comes to personally move in our midst. If this is taking place, then there will be the evidence of our receiving a “spiritual tan.”
The Lord Desires Us to Look Upon and Depend Upon Him Alone
“Am I a God at hand,” says the Lord, “and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him?” says the Lord. Do not I fill Heaven and earth?” says the Lord. Jeremiah 23:23-24
If He fills Heaven and earth, then He presently fills the area we occupy now. No matter where we are, the Lord is there. But we were created for more than this. We need the manifestation of His presence—His approbation and favor resting upon us, the Son-shine, the warmth of His glory shining upon us, to change us so in its reflection Jesus will be seen by others. The fact of His presence is not enough, the Lord desires us to have the fullness of His presence.
When the children of Israel came up out of Egypt, they were led into a wilderness. This was a Divine arrangement whereby He might experientially make the value of His presence known to them. Thus, in the barrenness of the wilderness, the Lord gave the revelation of the “cloud by day” to protect from the heat of the desert, and the “pillar of fire” by night to give light and heat from its cold nights.
The Lord greatly desired Israel to look upon and depend upon Him alone. Therefore, He provided a visible witness of His presence with them, a pillar of fire by night, and a cloud by day. This divine provision was manifest, and they were to stay or move only as it stayed or moved.
“Moreover, brethren, I would not that you should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized to Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” I Corinthians 10:1-4
Did you notice that the “spiritual Rock” followed them? The Rock, the Lord Jesus Christ, was supposed to lead, as they followed. Instead, something had gone wrong and now the Lord is following them. They had gotten ahead of His presence. Thus, His call to “turn again.”
“Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.” I Corinthians 10:6
These things are our examples. As they were to abide in His presence, so we are to abide in the presence of the Lord. At times we say, “Lord, this is what we are doing, please come and bless it.” We do this rather than to “turn again” and say, “Lord, we submit to Your program; we desire to come into the place of Your abiding presence, where we might follow You.”
It is Time for Us to “Turn Again” and to Seek His Face to Shine Upon Us, as Never Before
Today, as never before, we have taken for granted the fact of His presence, without realizing that we are not receiving a “spiritual tan.” If we desire this “tan,” then we must sit where the sun is brightly shining. We cannot sit in a room and say, “The Lord knows my heart, and I want a tan, so I will just believe.” We must contend for His presence, for an open Heaven.
The first step is to recognize any hindrance to our receiving. Left to myself, I will make my own way and take the Lord for granted. Most churches have a tendency to substitute liturgy when the presence of the Lord is missing, rather than to seek the reason as to why they are not experiencing the presence of the Lord.
My soul cleaves to the dust: quicken You me according to Your word. Psalm 119:25
We are the temple of the Lord. In Matthew 21:12, “Jesus went into the temple of God.” He was already there in the sense of “omnipresence.” But, in His manifest presence, He entered within.
Jesus answered and said to him, “If a man loves Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him.” John 14:23
His omnipresence is absolute, His manifest presence, conditional.The “if” sets before us a condition that we must meet in order to receive the promise.
And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves. Matthew 21:12
When the Lord comes within, He will do within His present day temple (us) just as He did in the temple of that day. He will deal with the things that are a hindrance to His abiding presence.
If you be willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land. Isaiah 1:19
We should have within each of our lives, and in each of our places of fellowship, such a presence of the Lord that those who come will say, “I feel the presence of the Lord, there is something different here.” If this is not being said, something is lacking.
It is time for us to “turn again” and to seek His face to shine upon us, as never before.
Wade Taylor Wade Taylor Ministries
About Wade Taylor: Wade has been serving others as a teacher and spiritual father for over 50 years. He is respected and loved by many for his quality of spirit and walk with his Lord. He is an anointed author, bringing forth deep truths of the Spirit with a clarity and simplicity that draws the reader up into a closer walk with the Lord Jesus Christ.
As posted on The Elijah List