Choosing the The Type You Fulfill
When a shadow is cast it generally resembles the outline of the true object. When an old style type writer strikes the paper it leaves behind the imprint of the key. The type represents the actual key that created it. Spiritually speaking, our lives begin to show forth types and shadows when events that happen to us or actions we take a shadow or type of what is going on in the heavenly realm. This phenomenon of foreshadowing or typology often happened to Old Testament saints where what they did or what happened to them became examples of eternal truths or future events. For instance, when Abraham was commanded by God to offer His only son Isaac as a sacrifice that whole event foreshadowed and became a typological picture of the actual sacrifice of God’s only son on Golgotha. (Indeed, some even believe that the spot where Abraham offered Isaac was the actual spot where Christ would give His life many years hence)
When the sun casts a shadow on a sunny day you see the outline of the actual object on the ground at various angels depending on where the sun is in relation to the object. While you can see the general outline of the object you cannot make out much more of what the object looks like without actually looking at what cast the shadow. So to types and shadows are indistinct representations of actual events or truths of God that give us the general outline of what He is to show us.
As we begin to take on the character and image of God our lives begin to foreshadow and become types of different truths and events of the spiritual realm. Often times we do not know this and we wonder why certain things happen in our lives the way they do. Jonah probably was saying, “Why me Lord?” not realizing that what happened to him was much more than just having a bad day. Jonah’s trial was meant to be an example for all generations to come when an otherwise godly man tries to frustrate the will of his Father. Likewise, when Job suffered so much loss and heartache his troubles were not just some random set of events but answered the eternal question of why the righteous suffer.
Being caught in a type is a bit like being swept down a swiftly flowing river. Once you are in the flow of the water there is little else you can do but try to survive and hope you make it trough the rapids. When you are foreshadowing the heavenly realm anything you do, right or wrong, mirrors. in real life’ what is happening in the spiritual realm and you have little control over it other than choosing how you will react to it. For instance when Saul started making poor decisions and set himself on the path to destruction even his mistakes became a picture of how pride and fear can remove us from God’s election.
Here is the point I wish to make in this essay: though you may be caught in a type it is your actions which determine what part of that type you fulfill. For instance, if you are caught in the type of the outward church which says they are increased with goods and have need of nothing you do not have to continue in that type. You can make decisions and take actions which move you from fulfilling that shadow to fulfilling the shadow of being the inward church which sacrifices everything in order to have a relationship with God. The potential for Saul to obey God was always there and He did not have to become an example of the carnal man.
When you reach a certain point in God you will start fulfilling types and shadows in your life no matter what you do but you can choose which shadows you inhabit depending on the position you take in relation to God. If you find that your life is starting to become a tale of what not to do in God you can simply repent and change your direction becoming a tale of what happens to a person when they repent and do what is right. While you cannot escape reflecting heavenly truths you can choose which ones you will represent. King David was well on his way to foreshadowing a fallen king but through true repentance He came to represent those who sin greatly but find grace in God’s sight. What could have ruined His life became and example to all mankind of how greatly you can be forgiven if you will confess your sins and truly seek forgiveness.
Recognize that the types you may be starting fulfill in my life are not beyond my control to influence for better or for worse. Here is a truth,
“Though we cannot escape fulfilling some type we can choose which types we fulfill.”
If you find that you are caught in the grip of types and shadows you can also choose which ones you will ultimately fulfill. If you do nothing you will fulfill something but, though it may be instructive to others, it may not be pleasant or beneficial to you. If you are finding yourself caught in a negative type you can choose to be different and fulfill a positive type. It will require sacrifice and difficult decisions but you are not without choice and do have the ability to shape the outcome of your own future in God.
Lastly, I wish to say a word about predestination. Some people mistakenly believe that they are predestined to do this or that according to the foreknowledge of God. That is to say they have little or no free will or control of their future which they believe has been predetermined by God. I want to say that though predestination does exist in practical terms it has little relevance in our lives. Being finite we cannot know or understand predestination and so to us our decisions appear, at least, as free will. Those who espouse predestination or fate sometimes just do so as a way to justify indecision or lack of action. They prefer just to “go with the flow” rather than do anything to influence the outcome of events. However, if you fight for what God has promised you and do your best to fulfill it then were not those actions “predestinated” also? The fact is that we do have free will and at least in our reality and existence concepts such as fate have little meaning.
In conclusion, I council you to leave the things that only God can understand to God and to set your will to following Him with all your heart, soul, mind believing that you can make positive decisions that will allow you to foreshadow great things in God.