“What is that light?” I asked myself, as I peered through the darkness of the cave.
Walking a bit farther, the path curved to the right, and after rounding the bend, I saw a pale glow from a jagged crack in the wall. It was definitely not a reflection from my flashlight. I approached the glowing crack and peered into it as far as I could see, but the glow seemed to come from deep inside the mountain, and the crack was too narrow for me to follow it.
I stood there for a moment, puzzled, wondering if perhaps I was witnessing the resurrection of an old or extinct volcano. Or perhaps I was seeing evidence of a secret room which had been built for an occult society or a secret government operation.
The slightest whiff of a breeze coming from the crack then brushed my face as a soft feather. And then I heard it—a voice as soft as from a small girl, barely audible, yet clear and confident. Was the voice truly audible? Or had the silence of the cave enhanced my ability to hear the voice of silence? I could not tell for sure, but it did not matter. I had heard something or someone.
At first I thought perhaps someone from the resort at the foot of the mountain had followed me into the cave. There were other vacationers staying there for varying amounts of time, each eager to climb the mountains or to hunt game or to fish for trout in one of the mountain streams. But glancing back toward the way in which I had come, it was clear that I was alone, except for the presence in the glowing crack in the wall of the cave.
A thrill of fear swept my being from my belly to the top of my head. Feeling like an intruder into a potentially dangerous situation, I turned to leave as quickly and quietly as I could. But just then a distinct voice stopped me in my tracks: “Anava! Take off your shoes, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” 1
The command was irresistible, and I found myself complying immediately without question, while the voice paused. The rocky floor of the cave felt cool on my warm feet, as I stood facing the glowing light from the jagged crack. The glow seemed to shine a bit brighter, or was it just that my eyes had increased in perceptivity? It was difficult to tell, since the results were the same, and there was nothing in my previous experience comparable to this.
Finally, I broke the thick silence: “Who are you?”
“I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and I am your God as well. Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you. 2 I called you by name from the beginning and have led you all your life in order to bring you to this place today.”
A feeling of electrical power surged through me, as if lightning had struck the mountain and I had been electrocuted through my bare feet. My strength dissolved, and I collapsed to the floor of the cave, for how long, I cannot tell. But presently, the voice spoke like a clear trumpet sounding in the stillness of time. “Arise, do not be afraid. Take courage!”
With that, strength returned to my body, and I rose upon my knees, facing the light from the crack in the mountain cave. “What name did you call me?”
“Anava. In heaven it is the name of your New Creation Man that was begotten by My Spirit.”
“What does it mean?” I asked.
“It means Humility. Your New Man was begotten by the seed of humility. That holy seed remains in you, 3 and this is how you are known among the angels. When you transferred your identity from your flesh man to your spirit man, you began to walk in this name. Have you not seen a change in your nature over the years while learning to walk?” asked the Voice.
“Yes, but I was unaware of the meaning of this. I thought I was just growing up.”
“You were,” the Voice replied, “but spiritual maturity is measured by your ability to identify continually with Anava, for that is who you are becoming.”
“But I thought we were to come fully into the image of Christ,” I said, puzzled. “Are we not to have all of His nature?”
“Yes,” the Voice responded, “but each also has his own unique nature. Humility is the dominant nature given to you, but as you continue to identify with this nature, all of the other characteristics of Christ are added to you. Each part of the nature of Christ is fully dependent upon the others. All acts of righteousness are only righteous because they are supported by every aspect of Christ’s nature. It is the same with unrighteous acts. A violation of one law breaks the entire law, though one sin is dominant.”
I pondered this for a moment, nodding in agreement. To commit murder is to steal a life and to dishonor one’s father and to bear false witness of the One in whose image we were created. In fact, to do anything apart from perfect love is to fall short of the glory of God. One cannot violate any divine law apart from a lack of perfect love.
“So what do you wish to tell me?” I blurted. “Why have you come to me?”
“I have come to give you knowledge and understanding, so that you may convey My words to those with ears to hear. Those who hear will be blessed; those who cannot hear will find Me at a later time when they are ready.”
Then, as if anticipating the doubt and feeling of inadequacy arising in my thoughts, He continued, “True humility does not overstep its boundaries. Do not concern yourself with the deaf and blind, for they are My responsibility, not yours. Your calling is important, but do not try to do what only My Spirit can do, lest you become discouraged and beset yourself with guilt over failure. If men do not have ears to hear, it does not mean that you have failed in your calling.”
“But,” I lamented, “I am a man with unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips. 4 How can I help but fail even with limited responsibility?”
Just then the light in the crack seemed to form a small fiery whirlwind, congealing into a divine spark that reached across the darkness and touched my lips. “Behold, this has touched your lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin is forgiven.” 5
Immediately, I felt reassured—cleansed somehow. Mostly, it felt as if an unseen barrier of darkness separating me from the light had been removed, and I felt an instant sense of unity with the God of Light and Enlightenment. Old things passed away, 6 and I was able to see all things anew with the clarity of the New Creation Man.
The Voice continued, "My light is coming into the world, but there is gross darkness upon the hearts of men. I am looking for those who will take My light to the world."
I spoke then with a growing sense of confidence, as I approached His throne of grace. “I’m available. Send me!” 7
The Voice then spoke: “In times past I sent men to deliver messages that only few could hear, for they lived in times of destruction and disintegration. But now I am sending you to bring those evil times to a close. You are the tithe 8 of the earth, that which has been set aside for such a time as this. What I say to you, I say to the entire people of the tithe—for you are not alone—you are a holy seed, a people set apart for My service, called from before the foundation of the world to be manifested at the proper season at the end of this age.”
“Go now, and ponder this calling. Search your heart, count the cost, and if you bear witness to My word, return to hear more.”
“Why must I wait? I want to do your will now.”
But the Voice said, “My presence has undone you, for I took you by surprise. You need time to settle down, so that your will is not driven by emotion. If I accepted your decision today, men would justify their own acts of coercion in their dealings on earth. They would use Me as their model to justify their fraudulent way of persuading men. I accept your present decision in the spirit in which it is given, but I am giving you time to count the cost and to search your heart. My desire and purpose is not to make your will obedient to Mine, but to allow you to return in agreement. I want unity, not slavery.”
With that, I bowed my head, turned, and walked slowly to the entrance of the cave, making my way back down the mountain to the lodge where I had reserved my room. As I passed through the lobby, the owner of the lodge looked at me intently, and his eyes remained fixed on me until I passed beyond his view.
But I did not stop to greet him, for on this most unusual day I had much to think about.
- Exodus 3:5
- Jeremiah 1:5
- 1 John 3:9
- Isaiah 6:5
- Isaiah 6:6, 7
- 2 Corinthians 5:17
- Isaiah 6:8
- Isaiah 6:13