The Need to Turn Aside
Wade E Taylor
“And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of My people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows. And I am come down to deliver them....” Exodus 3:7-8
Each of us has a personal need in some area of our life experience, or are burdened for another. For this “word” to become personally meaningful, place your name, or the name of someone you pray for, in place of “my people,” and then prayerfully re-read this “word” from the Lord – “I am come down to deliver (you) them.”
Concerning the area in which you desire intervention, Jesus is saying, “I know your sorrows, therefore, I am come down to deliver you.” The Lord is always “down” as He is omnipresent, but this “down” is more than Jesus visiting a particular person and location, as it speaks of the direct intervention of the Lord concerning a specific need.
“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
“Your Father shall reward you openly.” This speaks of the approbation, or the personalized favor of God through His localized presence – “I am come down.” When we pray, we are to believe that the Lord is not only present, but also that He is paying special attention to our prayer - “your Father which sees in secret….” This is beyond our ability to understand, but we can experience and enjoy the fruit of this experience.
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6
To those who are earnestly and diligently seeking His presence, the Lord will reveal or manifest Himself.
“He that has My commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves Me: and he that loves Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him.” John 14:21
The word, “manifest” means that the Lord will make Himself personally known to us through one, or a combination of our five physical senses. That is, we will perceive through our physical senses, not only the fact of the presence of the Lord, but the feeling of His person and thoughts.
The Lord desires to make Himself known to us. Moses provides an excellent example of this experience.
“Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the back side of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.” Exodus 3:1
Moses had been reared in the palace of Pharaoh, yet he knew that the “call of God” rested upon his life. Therefore, when he saw an Israelite being afflicted by an Egyptian, he delivered him, “for he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them.” However, we are told that “they understood not” (Acts 7:22-25).
As a result, Moses fled into the wilderness where he kept the flock of Jethro, the priest of Midian. He was not functioning in his calling, yet he was not discouraged or bitter, as he was still leading “sheep” toward the mountain of God.
“And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire, out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. 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 3:2-4
This “flame of fire in a bush that was not consumed” speaks of the “manifest” presence of the Lord that is yet available to us.
If we understand and practice the following, we will be brought into a rich spiritual life experience in communion and fellowship with Jesus. Notice that the Lord did not speak to Moses until after he had turned aside. The Lord had been waiting for Moses to notice and respond to His manifested presence in this burning bush.
At the time of this experience, Moses had been in the wilderness for forty years. This burning bush may have been there for years, but Moses was so intent on moving toward the mountain of God (religious activity) that it remained without being seen. Finally, his self-ability became so depleted, that he noticed, and was willing to turn aside.
This bush burned - but it was not consumed. This tells us that this bush is still burning at this present time. This speaks of the Lord’s presence being manifested in intervention. Today, many Christians have the idea that the presence of the Lord can be found only in the things they are doing for the Lord, but the Lord has much more to offer us. He desires to bring us into an active cooperative relationship with Him, in which we work together.
Therefore, the Lord requires us to come to the end of our own strength and acknowledge Him. Only then will He respond.
The statement, "I will now turn aside," is the key to the Lord’s presence becoming manifested to us. We usually say that we are waiting for the Lord. However, the Lord is waiting for us. It is very important that we recognize and respond to His approach toward us. If we do not respond to the seeking presence of the Lord now, then, during the time of His return, we will not respond either. It is very important that we recognize and turn aside into His presence now, in whatever measure He may desire to appear, or come to us.
The response of the Lord was, “I am come down.” He is always down (omnipresence), but He is speaking of a manifestation, or of an unfolding revelation of His (manifest) presence. When Moses turned, the Lord said,
“Do not come near here. Put off your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you stand is holy ground.” Exodus 3:5
Previously, Moses had taken the initiative. Now, because he stopped and turned aside, the Lord is taking the initiative. Many, who sincerely love and serve Jesus, have also taken the initiative in seeking His will and presence. May we also set all these pressures of religious activity aside, and turn aside to wait in His presence. Only then can the Lord also ask us to take off our shoes (our working for the Lord).
This requires our knowing the voice of the Lord, and also, our being willingly obedient in response to what is heard. There is a progression in our Christian experience, which if followed, will lead us to the place in which we will become both willing and anxious to turn aside, so the Lord will be able to reveal His manifest presence to us.
All too few recognize the value of an open Heaven, where the “Son” can indeed “shine” upon His people. An open heaven does not just happen. It must be diligently sought after and cultivated.
“But we all, with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” II Corinthians 3:18
It is the manifested glory of the Lord that changes us (changed from glory to glory). Have you ever felt the anointing on a certain Gospel song or message, as you listened. How did this anointing get on the CD? The machine is not sensitive to the anointing, but there is an explanation. The anointing has an electrical characteristic which is picked up by the microphone and recorded on the CD. Thus, if a person is anointed, that anointing is being broadcast.
There is an electrical characteristic within our physical being. All of us have experienced an electrical shock after we walked across a dry carpet. We picked up an electrical charge, which was released when we touched something that was grounded. So also, when we are in the presence of the anointing, we become “charged.” This charge then affects our entire being. When we touch another, it is imparted to them.
When we sit under an anointed ministry, far more takes place than our mentally understanding the message. There is a realignment of our spirit that changes us, so we become spiritually sensitive and hungry. The anointing creates within us a capacity for His presence, which changes us into His image.
In our secular life experience, we move in a world that is “without form.” It is only as God intervenes and speaks that the earth takes on form and becomes productive. Thus, as we come under the influence of His anointing, or the manifestation of His presence, we take on spiritual “substance” and become productive.
After Moses turned aside, he was able to return to Egypt and deliver Israel, because He had stood in the presence of the “burning bush.”
As we turn aside to spend time in the Lord’s presence, there is a resultant readjustment of our being, and we come into alignment with that which is spiritual. Thus, it is very important that we sit under an anointed ministry.
One church may have outstanding teaching of the Word, but no manifest presence of the Lord. Another church may be lacking in this area, but has the abiding presence of the Lord. The wise, spiritually hungry person should choose to sit under the anointing, as this is more important; but if both can be found together, heaven has come to earth.
When we come into His revealed presence, the molecular structure of our being changes, and we take on a sensitivity to His voice and presence, and in this presence, the Lord changes us into His likeness.
It is here, when we turn aside into His presence and open our spirit to receive, that we will be “made ready” to fulfill our part in bringing about the deliverance that the Lord’s people so desperately need.