Children or Sons? Part Two

Children or Sons?

PART TWO

“When I was a child, I spoke like a child,
I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.
When I became a man,
I gave up childish ways”
1CORINTHIANS 13:11

What a man speaks, thinks and reasons reveals what he is. The true revelation of what one has become is by what one does. By virtue of being born anew we all start our journey in Him as children. What a privilege it is to taste of the free unmerited Grace of God! Peter encourages the young ones in Christ…

“As newborn babes,
desire the sincere milk of the word,
that ye may grow thereby”
1 PETER 2:2

It is in drinking the sincere milk of the Word that we grow. That desire for His Word is the hallmark of one who has the Spirit of God living and dwelling within; a desire to know and understand this God who by Grace has called us unto Himself. That very milk of the Word is to produce growth and change where we go from being fed and nurtured into the place of BECOMING bread and substance for others. We begin to put away the childish things and begin to care more for our Father’s will than our own. We aspire to see HIS HOUSE become a place where HE is honored and glorified. We learn to care less about what others think of us and more about living life to honor Him.

This process of growing and becoming is only known through the life of Discipleship; the reality of knowing His Life is found through the medium of identification. The true giving up of childish things can only be realized by the process of BECOMING a man (…when I became a man, I put away childish things…). The idea of becoming is a concept that few understand for we have equated salvation as an ACT rather than a journey. Salvation is a LIFE not an event. The cry of Paul’s heart was…

“Not that I have already attained,
or am already perfected; but I press on,
that I may lay hold of that
for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended;
but one thing I do,
forgetting those things which are behind
and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
I press toward the goal for the prize
of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Therefore let us, as many as are mature,
have this mind”
PHILLIPIANS 3:12 – 15

The only way for one to know such a cry is through the process of becoming a man in His image. We may fill our lives with teachings and intellectual understanding but to know of this heart one must be a partaker of HIS LIFE. This pursuit is not a desire of the natural man; it is the CRY of the Spirit of God to go from a child into the maturity of Christ.

We live in a time of complacency and compromise; childishness and immaturity are commonly accepted. Little is expected of one another and as a result little is changed. May God press us into greater heights and depths in the knowing of HIM. May His Grace so abound in us that we know in reality the joy of counting our lives expendable for the sake of knowing and pleasing Him!

“…THAT WE SHOULD NO LONGER BE CHILDREN,
tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine,
by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
but, SPEAKING THE TRUTH IN LOVE,
MAY GROW UP in all things INTO Him who is the head even Christ
from whom the whole body,
joined and knit together by what every joint supplies,
according to the effective working by which every part does its share,
causes growth of the body
for the edifying of itself in love”
EPHESIANS 4:14 – 16

Ω

“The spheres God brings us into are not meant to teach us something
but to make us something”
Oswald Chambers (1874–1917)

Brian Troxel

PSALM 23 – HIS ANOINTING OIL – Part 20 –

PSALM 23

PART TWENTY

HIS ANOINTING OIL

“Thou anointest my head with oil”
PSALM 23:5

The anointing brings sanctification, power and ability. It takes ordinary people and empowers them to be expressions of Glory and manifests the gifts and the calling of a merciful and Most High God. There is, however, more to this anointing than power and divine enablement; empowered vessels can still be selfish and wounded. They can be carnal, absorbed with self, deceived and fragile. It is necessary for us to know and understand that the full work of God is to MAKE us, in thought, word and deed, a people who ARE like Him!

“And hath MADE us kings and priests unto God…”
Revelation 1:6

The Hebrew Word*, translated “Oil” in this verse, denotes fatness, richness, with clear references to cleansing and healing. In order for us to be made rich and fat in the blessings of our God we must become whole within the very heart of our being. Without the healing and cleansing aspect of the work of the Holy Spirit we would be blemishes to all that God has purposed man should be. The scriptures are full of examples of men and women who have power without character and the resulting horror of such things. Power without character is the great evil in the world today, whether it be political, financial, judicial, and above all, religious.

It is interesting to see that the express meaning of the word used in the Hebrew for Oil conveys the essential purpose of God in His plan of redemption and salvation. It is to be unto us the power of God working to bring forth of His richness, His abundance and His enablement to shine forth the character, the person and the heart of the ANOINTED ONE, CHRIST JESUS our Lord! Within the flow of the Life of the Son in us that power (dunamis Greek) is active and alive to transform the fallen sons of Adam into the Children of God!

Let us not become discouraged in His dealings with us. Let us realize that while a large segment of the “Christian” world seeks power, signs and wonders there is a quiet and determined work of the Holy Spirit to bring us to the place of being vessels fit and prepared for the Master’s use; vessels that know the deep cost of walking in forgiveness, of knowing how to extend mercy to others, having peace in the midst of conflict, grace for others, clinging to truth at all costs and the power to declare the purposes of God to those around us regardless of the consequences! These vessels are shaped by the knowing of themselves and because of that knowledge they see and understand others more clearly. They have been freed from the bitterness and strife within their own hearts that the sweetness of His healing waters may flow. In all of these things we BECOME approved unto our God. It is in the anointing oil having HIS way within the very recesses of our hearts that we know of His Joy and approval in our lives.

We read…

“But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver,
but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour,
sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work”
II TIMOTHY 2:20 – 21

To that end let us run the race that is set before us that we might be vessels of honour, sanctified and ready for the Master’s use.

Ω

“The Holy Spirit is the gift of the Risen Christ. His anointing filling,
empowering work is a baptism of love that gives power
to make Jesus real to you and known to others”
Winkie Prateny

* “שֶׁמֶן A masculine noun meaning fat, oil. This word has a wide range of figurative meanings relating to richness and plenty. Most simply, it is used of food, relating to feasts of good, rich food (Isa. 25:6). It is also used frequently of oil. This can be oil used for food and cooking (Deut. 8:8; 32:13); for oil which was used to anoint holy objects or kings (Ex. 30:25; 1 Sam. 10:1); or for oil used as an ointment to soothe and cleanse, leading to healing (Ps. 133:2; Isa. 1:6). The figurative meanings are also important. This word can be used to signify strength, such as in Isaiah 10:27 where growing fat meant growing strong. It also frequently relates to fruitfulness and fertile places where good things grew (Isa. 5:1; 28:1). The overall picture one gets from this word is that of richness, strength, and fertility.”

THE COMPLETE
WORD STUDY DICTIONARY:
OLD TESTAMENT
Warren Baker, D.R.E.
Eugene Carpenter, Ph.D.

Brian Troxel

PSALM 23 – PART 12 – THY ROD and THY STAFF –

PSALM 23

PART TWELVE

THY ROD and THY STAFF

“Thy Rod and Thy staff
they comfort me”
PSALM 23:4

We see here that the ministration of His Rod and His Staff are meant to have a profound effect upon our lives. We must realize in all of the scriptures that change and growth are to be the normal Christian experience. The word in the Hebrew that is translated “comfort” here has a lot more to do with the ability “to be sorry, be moved to pity, have compassion” (BDB Hebrew Definitions) than with what our word comfort means in the English language.

This Hebrew Word is translated 104 times in the KJV; 67 times having to do with the various forms of the word comfort (comfort, comforteth, comforts, comforted….) and the majority of the remainder being translated in various forms of the word repent (repent, repenteth, repents, repenting…). Strong’s concordance when defining this word says the following… “A primitive root; properly to sigh, that is, breathe strongly; by implication to be sorry, that is, (in a favorable sense) to pity, console or (reflexively) rue.” The purpose of God working and transforming our lives is to MAKE US men and women who reveal HIM in truth and in character. The Rod and the Staff of the great Shepherd is to produce in us a condition of heart that reveals Him in the everyday outflow of our lives. Without becoming our lives will always be an act of trying to “appear” righteousness; a labour of great and continual effort to show a semblance of righteousness rather than simply being the real thing.

The Rod and Staff are the tools of the ONE loving Shepherd. They are both manifestations of the SAME HEART and in fact the Rod is also the Staff. It is how it is used that determines its expression. The same gracious God who administers correction is the same one who heals, restores and leads us to “green pastures”, “quite waters” and in the “paths of righteousness”.

All of God’s dealings with us are to one end; to make us expressions of HIS GLORY by what we are. It is in becoming HIS righteousness that we can in fact DO righteousness. Therefore we do not faint in His dealings with us for that is the only means by which we may grow.

Those who have been able to see the purposes of God in the daily grind of life are able to find the grace to submit themselves under the “mighty hand of God” and thereby profit in wisdom, understanding, and the character development that is necessary in this journey.

The true purpose of teaching is to produce right thinking and right thinking must bring forth right living. The scriptures declare that we are to be “…transformed BY the renewing of our minds…” Unless the ministry of truth is producing CHANGE within the people of God it is a vain thing. Faith comes by hearing and by faith alone will this life of becoming be possible.

“In the destiny of every moral being there is an object more worthy of God than happiness.
It is character. And the grand aim of man’s creation is the development of a grand character,
and grand character is, by its very nature, the product of probationary discipline”
Austin Phelps

Brian Troxel

PSALM 23 – PART 9 – THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH –

PSALM 23

PART NINE

THE VALLEY
OF THE SHADOW
OF DEATH

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…”
PSALM 23:4

The Valley of the Shadow of Death is a place that we are to walk through. Valleys are places where our vision is reduced, our world shrinks, we are hemmed in by steep mountainsides and there is little or no room for others. It is a place of walking without being able to see; a place where the sun rises late and sinks early, a place of darkness and distress. It is here that we also catch the fragrance of the “Lily of the Valley” and though we cannot see Him there is a lingering sense that we are not far from His care.

We all love the mountaintop experiences where our vision sees far and our faith soars as we see the purposes of God in Christ. It is on the mountaintops that we see beyond where we now stand and the wind of His Spirit blows upon our face. The heart rises in eagerness to go from where we are to distant lands of promise, power and relationship. These are good moments and necessary ones as our Great Shepherd stirs our hearts to a greater longing for more of Him! It is these experiences that give us vision but it is in the valleys that WE BECOME the life that we see in Him from the heights. This journey of faith is one of becoming through identification with HIM. Many love the teachings, the visionary aspects of the Christian landscape, but THE CALL OF GOD is one of picking up our cross and following HIM! It is a life of discipline; a life of following the Lamb wherever HE goes. It is not about us, it is about HIM. It is the valley that separates the disciples from the adherents. It is the place of becoming where we learn in full measure that within ourselves dwells no good thing. In the learning of this we begin to grasp the wonder and power of a love that surpasses understanding, a forgiveness that is unmerited, and a joy in God our saviour.

It is in the Valleys that the metal is forged and faith becomes an unshakeable substance within the life of those who would dare cross over. It is here that the prisoner Joseph becomes “Zaphnath-Paaneah”.

“He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant:
Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron:
Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him”
PSALM 105:18

Time is not sufficient to speak of the countless others all over the world (even at this very moment) who are enduring persecutions, trials, testings and even death for HIS NAME SAKE. These valleys of great sorrow and suffering, though grievous and heartrending, are the means to new places of LIFE within HIM. It is the broken pitchers of Gideon’s army that revealed the inner light causing the hosts of Midian to flee and bringing great victory to the people of God. Those that are broken in the hands of their God can never be broken by the experiences of life.

It is the Valleys where the stamina is wrought into the life of the overcomer. It is in the Valley of experience that the end of man ushers in the strength and glory of God. It is here that we learn of a truth that HIS GRACE IS SUFFICIENT!

The secret of the message of the valley is that we walk through it. We do not succumb to it, we do not spend our life sitting in it; we walk THROUGH IT. We keep moving, trusting, and walking until the DAY dawns and HIS GLORY is seen!

Ω

Lord, we pray for the very substance of your faith to empower, enlarge and encourage every one of your people who at this moment are walking in the valley of the shadow of death. We pray that the Glory of WHO YOU ARE will be their fortress, their Rock and their High Tower in this time of need. May there be a new seeing of you, learning of you and worship of you arise from this place that in the end of the journey may come forth the declaration of FAITH…

“Great and marvellous are your works, Lord God Almighty!
Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints!”
REVELATION 15:2 – 3

Brian Troxel

ABIDE PART TWO

ABIDE

PART TWO

“If  you keep My commandments,
you will abide in My love”
JOHN 15:10

LOVE is not an attribute of God; it is what HE is within the essence of HIMSELF. HE IS Love. Therefore, in order for me to know what Love is, I must know HIM who is Love. A man’s concept of love can only be true to the extent that he KNOWS God and LOVES God. There are many within the Christian world who that think because God is Love, HE simply overlooks how we live, how we misrepresent Him in this world and how we treat one another. This is one of the lies that keep us from developing into HIS LIKENESS.

“For God so loved the world
that HE GAVE HIS ONLY SON”
Luke 22:32

Love does not overlook sin, it atones for it. True Love is righteous; it is holy and it ever seeks to bring others into its reality. It is in keeping the commandments of God, that I am enabled to live within its powerful sphere of influence. I cannot do evil, think evil and walk in my SELF and think to abide in God. It is an absurdity. The next couple of verses bring out the reason why we are to KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS…

“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you,
and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment,
that you love one another as I have loved you“
JOHN 15:11 – 12

It is in LOVING others that we abide in that which is LOVE. Seeking God’s love for our SELF is the very antithesis of actually finding it. When we cut others off from our life, we cut off the very means by which we are to abide in HIS LOVE. When we fail to speak truth, when we remain unconcerned about the spiritual condition of our brothers and sisters, we will find ourselves outside the scope of HIS LOVE. Apathy and neglect are the sins that clothe themselves in religious garments of “it is none of my business”, “it is between them and God” or “I don’t know if such a thing is true”. Love finds out, love searches out, love cares that a man has not progressed in his walk with God. Love risks relationship to be an extension of God’s heart and desire. Love ever seeks to be God’s heart to God’s people. It does not ignore sin; it does not overlook the issues that hold a life from the streams of HIS Grace.

Some are willing to help with the symptoms of sin but love goes to the core of the matter. Love ever seeks right “being” through which right “doing” becomes the effortless expression. People can only do right by becoming right. It is easier to cater to the symptoms than to actually deal with the root of the matter which results in the same circuitous pattern of behaviour. To love a person requires caring enough to bring them to the point of pain and discovery; to be willing to walk along side someone till we see a heart made free by His love within.

We are to LOVE ONE ANOTHER, AS HE HAS LOVED US! He is not interested in leaving me in my darkness, my carnal tendencies and my own lack of development. HIS Love for me reveals the hidden things, the things that I am blind to in order that I may grow up into HIM. His Love in others confronts me, helps me and causes me to consider my ways. The Love of God is what motivates us to interact with one another, HIS Truth is what makes us FREE and HIS Joy is the fruit of relationship.

“…but, speaking the truth in love,
may GROW UP in all things into Him who is the head—Christ”
EPHESIANS 4:15

Ω

“If we want the advantages of love,
then we must be willing to take the risks of love.
And that requires vulnerability.
Of course, we can refuse this path
and trod another one devoid of openness.
But the toll on such a road is extremely high.
Charles (Chuck) Swindoll

Brian Troxel

HEART OF A PRIEST PART FIVE

THE HEART OF A PRIEST

PART FIVE

“At that time the LORD separated the tribe of Levi,
to bear the ark of the covenant of the LORD,
to stand before the LORD to minister unto him,
and to bless in his name”

DEUTERONOMY 10:8

In the Old Testament in the days of Israel, men were born priests by virtue of belonging to a certain tribe. (There were qualifications for the priests which we will cover at a later date) In the New Testament we see that we are made priests through the dealings of God and the cooperation by faith of our lives with Him.

“And hath made* us kings and priests unto God…”
Revelation 1:6

All of God’s dealings with His own are to this one end, to make us in thought, word and deed men and women who reveal the Great High Priest. In distresses, weakness, temptation and great fiery trials the imprint of His grace, mercy and longsuffering are woven into the fabric of our being so that in the passing of time all of His graces become the unconscious outflow of our own lives. Let us not waste time in consternation over the trials that come upon us, for He is at work to bring forth in us depths of mercy that cannot be learned by sermons and teachings. These qualities cannot be known by textbooks and weekend seminars; they must be learned in the crucible of life and by taking His yoke upon us. He has come to lead us and guide us into ALL truth and we must see that truth is a person (not a collection of facts). It is in knowing Him that we see and know what truth really is.

What a man is is revealed by what he does.

We cannot expect to send men and women to Bible School and by intellectual understanding have any hope of producing the true priesthood of the New Covenant. We must first know HIM! And in the process of learning of Him we discover that He is HOLY! Men, who know not God, fear not God. Wisdom only begins within those who have touched the sphere of HIS HOLINESS, who have seen themselves by virtue of seeing HIM. Isaiah prophesied for a season and yet in the passing of King Uzziah, Isaiah SAW the Lord, High and Lifted up and immediately he knew his true condition and the condition of those around him. The Glory of God is the great leveller of ALL MEN. Calvary’s real value is only known by the touching of God’s Holiness. We see and hear little of the Blood in this hour because we have lost sight of the Holiness of God! The true priests of God are those who have seen and known their unworthiness, they have felt the weight of their own wickedness, the futility of psychological methods and the programs of men and self help ideas, to rid themselves of the principle of sin. But, thanks be to God, we are not left to our own resources, there is a river that flows where sin can be cleansed, hearts made crimson with sin’s dark stain can be cleansed whiter than the snow, mourning can be turned to dancing and the crooked places made straight. His name is Jesus, His name is Emanuel, His name is Prince of Peace and He has all authority to save those that come to Him by faith and trust. This is our God and in knowing HIM and HIM alone do we have the right and the privilege of becoming a royal priesthood unto our God. The priesthood of the individual believer in not a doctrine, it must be the reality of the Body of Christ. Those who are functioning and walking in some measure of this high calling cannot find rest in their own attainment, for the purpose of ministry is to bring others into their own expression. The key word of Ephesians 4:11- 13 is the word TILL

“…Till we all come in the unity of the faith,
and of the knowledge of the Son of God,
unto a perfect man,
unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ”

Ephesians 4:13

Only those in whose hearts this truth is a passion and a fire that burns with the singularity of purpose to see this one thing come to pass will know of the precious truth of the heart of a priest. It is not about us, it is all about HIM! Let us recognize that in the Old Testament the priests HAD NO INHERITANCE IN THE LAND. TRUE PRIESTS SEEK NOT THEIR OWN BUT ONLY LIVE TO SEE THE GLORY OF GOD ARISE IN THIS DAY SO THAT IN ALL THINGS HE MIGHT HAVE THE PREMINENCE.

“The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne,
and worship him that liveth for ever and ever,
and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power:
for thou hast created all things,
and for thy pleasure they are and were created”

Revelation 4:10

*MADE (The Greek Word used here poieō means “To make, form, produce, bring about, cause, spoken of any external act as manifested in the production of something tangible, corporeal, obvious to the senses, completed action”   Spiros Zodhiates, TH.D

Brian Troxel