CHILDREN OR SONS? Part One

Children or Sons?

PART ONE

“Beloved, now are we the sons (Greek children) of God,
and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:
but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him;
for we shall see him as he is.
And every man that hath this hope in him
purifieth himself, even as he is pure”
1JOHN 3:2 – 3

This powerful, liberating truth of God speaks to all those who by FAITH have been born anew into the family of God; “…we are God’s children NOW”! This is not determined by the feelings or circumstances of life; this is the certainty of God. We are now children of His whereby we cry “Abba, Father”. To most of Christendom this is as far and as deep as things go. The beginning has become the end and we have manufactured a doctrinal thesis to keep this as the status quo. We see here in First John that there is to be a living hope that beats within our hearts of us growing into the full undimmed expression of HIM in our lives…that when HE appears we SHALL BE LIKE HIM! This is manifested by the maturation of a growing purity within the hearts of those who know of this living hope.

Doctrinal hopes have no power to convey this quest for life. It is simply a teaching that we believe which lays no claim to our personal lives. It is a religious concept that robs the WORD of its power and authority (Mark 7:13). There is little or no cost associated with such a “belief” and the adherents of such go through life with very little change. Children of God, loved of HIM, yet bereft of experiencing the glory and privilege of growing and developing into the sons of God. In the New Testament the Greek words used to differentiate between these two (for children and sons) are distinct*. As a child develops added responsibilities are given and with these responsibilities the added privileges of life. We do not give a three year old the car keys. God measures out to His own the pounds and the talents according to their “ability” and we see the withholding of truth to those who are unexercised in the development of true spiritual discernment.

“For every one that useth milk
is unskilful in the word of righteousness:
for he is a babe.
But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age,
even those who by reason of use
have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil”
HEBREWS 5:13 – 14

And again:

“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual,
but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
I have fed you with milk, and not with meat:
for hitherto ye were not able to bear it,
neither yet now are ye able”
1CORINTHIANS 3:1

Strong meat belongs to those who have grown from a child toward that full-aged development by the exercising of their senses to discern “good and evil”. Discernment is developed by growing into a pure heart so that we can see clearly and objectively (1Corinthians 2:15). “Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him” (Malachi 3:18). It is only by us becoming pure in heart that we shall see God and have the ability to discern between good and evil.

“And everyone that has THIS hope in him purifies himself as he is pure”

The revelation of our hope is revealed in a growing purity. That hope is the bridge between what we are now and what we will be when HE appears. All we need to do is to look at the parables of Jesus. They all speak of faith as a living, growing dynamic that is filled with HIS very life. The parable of the sower clearly states that the fruitfulness of a life is completely dependent upon the soil of the heart into which the precious seed falls. The seed that fell on the stony ground is the SAME seed that fell into the soil that brought forth the hundred fold harvest. The only difference is the soil; not the seed.

*NOTE
Huios (son) at times refers to a legal heir and thus, by implication, an adult. It seems to underscore the character or maturity of the individual. Teknon (child or children) is a more general designation for offspring and contemplates the individual as one who is parented, one who has been born to another. For example, Jesus is never designated as teknon or teknon Theou (gen. of Theos (G2316), God), Son of God, but always ho huios, the Son, the Son of God or the Son of Man

Also:

“The difference between believers as “children of God” and as “sons of God” is brought out in Rom. 8:14-21. The Spirit bears witness with their spirit that they are “children of God,” and, as such, they are His heirs and joint-heirs with Christ. This stresses the fact of their spiritual birth (vv. 16, 17). On the other hand, “as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God,” i.e., “these and no other.” Their conduct gives evidence of the dignity of their relationship and their likeness to His character.” (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testaments Words, by W.E. Vine)

Brian Troxel

WORDS OF LIFE

WORDS OF LIFE

“And in Lystra a certain man without strength in his feet was sitting,
a cripple from his mother’s womb, who had never walked”
ACTS 14:8

This is the common condition of the common man. In things relating to the Spirit we are all weak and without strength; “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5.6). Without strength, crippled from our mother’s womb and without the innate ability to walk right and be right. It is in that condition that the God of all Glory comes and speaks strength, life and a new ability to “rise up and walk”! By HIS virtue and power we are made alive to rise up out of the shadows and the miry places to walk in newness of life. As the prophet of old says…

“The Lord God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills”
HABAKKUK 3:19

He comes that we might begin to live and walk upon the high places; to see in the realms of the Spirit such wonders of HIS Grace that we are “changed from glory to glory”. His purpose is not merely that we can walk and live in righteousness; HIS purpose is to bring us to the place where we speak the same WORD OF LIFE into those around us and that we become fishers of men and a powerful expression of HIM whom we love and worship. This same crippled man at Lystra heard Paul speak….

“This man heard Paul speaking.
Paul, observing him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed,
said with a loud voice,
“Stand up straight on your feet!”
And he leaped and walked…”
ACTS 14:9

What do men hear when we speak? What faith is communicated from the core of our lives? Have we settled for a life conditioned to the status quo or do we look into the ever living word and hear the voice of the Son calling for a deeper and fuller expression of who HE IS? If the things we communicate do not stir the heart of another, if they do not cause a greater longing to know HIM and walk with HIM, then our lives need repentance and change. Powerless words come from powerless lives. Paul prayed for Philemon….

“That the communication of thy faith
may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing
which is in you in Christ Jesus”
PHILEMON 1:6

God’s real purpose is to bring us to the place of being able to COMMUNICATE our faith into the lives of those around us. To see men and women who are crippled, lost and without strength, hear and rise up and walk anew. We are not talking about the doctrines and the teachings of men. We are speaking of a living faith that makes others live; a faith streaming from our heart that communicates a hunger, a love and an intensity to know and please HIM.

“If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said,
out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water”
JOHN 7:37 – 38

“Believest thou this?”
JOHN 11;26

Brian Troxel

SHOW & TELL

SHOW & TELL

“…show forth his salvation from day to day”
PSALM 96:2

The Hebrew word used here for show means to declare, preach, bear tidings and to show forth a message. The truth of God’s salvation, His purpose and His Presence in our hearts should be one of showing forth what He has done in our lives and a telling of that to the world around us. To whatever measure we have tasted and seen of His goodness there should be a demonstration of it in our lives. Who we are should validate what we declare. The evidence of the one should give weight to the things we say. Our daily responses with family and friends, our business dealings, our interactions with co-workers and even with the guy who cuts you off in traffic should be something that shows his salvation!

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts:
and be ready always to give an answer
to every man that asketh you a reason
of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear”
1 PETER 3:15

The loss of impact in this world brought about by religious words from lives that are out of sync with His message is tragic. The purpose of His dealings in our lives is to make the one the verity of the other. We need to be declaring Him in the world around us, we need to be bolder in our testimony of Him to this world, but let us also have a greater awareness of the accountability of our actions and words. We are exhorted in the book of James…

“So speak ye, and so do
as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty…”
JAMES 2:12

We need to be reminded that we are accountable to the judge of all men for the words we speak and the actions we take. The message we bear is HIM. Let us seek that continual work of His transformation in our lives that we may show as well as tell.

“Herein is our love made perfect,
that we may have boldness in the day of judgment:
because as he is, so are we in this world
1 JOHN 4:17

Brian Troxel

THE WILLINGNESS OF GOD

THE WILLINGNESS OF GOD

“…a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus;
and he fell on his face and implored Him, saying,
“Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean”
LUKE 5:12

We read here of a man with a good measure of FAITH. It was a faith that had moved beyond the fact that Jesus was not only ABLE to heal into the simplicity of knowing that if Jesus was WILLING he would be healed. Faith is ever progressive and in this man’s life he begins to explore God’s character and willingness. So must we also move from not only knowing His ability but also knowing the very core of God’s heart for us. Is HE willing to reach down into the leprosy of our own hearts to heal and cleanse us from that stain of what we are?

The wonder here of God’s response is one that communicates the heart and purpose of the New Testament…

“Then He put out His hand and touched him, saying,
“I AM WILLING; be cleansed.”
MARK 5:13

Let the words of this HEART ring loud and clear within the recesses of our own needs. Let it drive away the condemnation of the enemy and the inner fears of our own sense of unworthiness.

“I AM WILLING”

May we arise today with the surety of HOPE that HE has not changed. That willingness coupled with the Almighty Power of the Living God is our anchor. Not only is HE ABLE but HE is WILLING! We are not left to our own devices to limp through life weighted down with our untold needs. The wonder of His Love and His Heart enables us to draw from Him His answer for the issues of our heart. Real answers for real needs because a real faith is touching a real God.

Ω

“When the even was come,
they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils:
and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:
That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses…”
MATTHEW 8:16 – 17

Brian Troxel

TO HIM THAT OVERCOMES

TO HIM THAT OVERCOMES

“He that overcometh shall inherit all things;
and I will be his God, and he shall be my son”
REVELATION 21:7

Throughout the New Testament we read much about faith and confession yet here in the Last Book of the Bible we read more about overcoming; we read of being called, chosen and faithful. We read of great suffering where all that is dark and evil rises up in great wrath upon all who would live “godly in Christ Jesus.” We read the letters written to the seven Churches where there is much amiss with sin, compromise and lost love. Worst of all we read of one church that shows Jesus on the outside knocking at the door seeking for any individual to open to Him. To each of these churches in their various stages of weakness, compromise and decay we hear the promise of Him saying to “him (individually) that overcomes will I GIVE…” The promise is not to those who say “Lord, Lord…”. The promise is not to those who have great understanding. The promise is to those who by a living faith have discovered in HIM the very LIFE to overcome all the trials and testings that they have encountered. To be sons of God is more than a simple statement of faith; it is more than a teaching, more than an association with a church or teacher. It is a life that reveals the only begotten ONE; a life of identification with the ONE who has overcome all things. It is in knowing that without HIM we can do nothing, but IN HIM we can do all things. Sonship is revealed in the lives of those who are being weaned from earthly agendas, religious affiliations, and causes to support. Our commonality with one another is because we live and move in HIM. We turn our back upon the things that have divided and secularized HIS CHURCH; we place no confidence in anything other than Christ Jesus our Lord. Our brotherhood is true because we have ONE FATHER. We believe in ONE LORD, we have one faith and hope and HIS NAME IS JESUS.

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God,
these are the sons of God”
ROMANS 8:14

Somewhere in the muddled teachings of this day we have ignored the clear presentation of the Scriptures and have replaced it with a “theology” that offers a “salvation” that is free from effort. The cross is mentioned as if it were optional (“…he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. Matthew 10:38); a religious atmosphere where little is required or expected. The results? People who though precious and loved of the Father have failed to GROW UP and BECOME sons of God through the medium of obedience, faith and death to self. A victorious Christian life is rarely taught or expected. TO HIM THAT OVERCOMES is not an idealistic concept but the earnest expectation of all those who follow HIM, are LED of HIM and above all LOVE HIM with all their whole being. It is time to stop and consider our ways, to stop playing church, to stop consoling ourselves with compromise. In HIM alone is our rest, our peace, our fruitfulness and our JOY! To him that overcomes is the promise given. He that overcomes is the one who can declare with great thankfulness of heart that of a truth JESUS IS THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE! It is in overcoming that we reveal the truth of this in our lives.

Faith is the means by which truth
becomes the substance and reality of our lives.

In our desire to obey, in our desire to follow Him, and in our desire to know this life of victory we must confront the weaknesses of our own hearts and wills. We must (as Abraham) consider our own body as good as dead in the ability to please God and in this place discover the power of a living faith that believes in HIM who is able!!! In all these things we are more than CONQUERORS THROUGH HIM THAT LOVES US!

Ω

“Any battle for victory, power, and deliverance
– from ourselves and from sin –
which is not based constantly upon
the gazing and the beholding of the Lord Jesus,
with the heart and life lifted up to Him,
is doomed to failure”
Alan Redpath

Brian Troxel

PSALM 23 – THE OVERFLOWING CUP – PART 21

PSALM 23

PART TWENTY ONE

HIS ABUNDANCE

“my cup runneth over”
PSALM 23:5

The overflowing cup is a result of the Anointing. This life of abundance and flow is the RESULT of HIS LIFE and HIS influence in our lives. Man left to himself is a desert; an unruly patch of weeds, thorns and thistles. The only hope of Glory for any man is “Christ IN us…”! This abundant flow of the grace of God is known along with the keen recognition that within ourselves we are barren and impoverished. Only He has the ability to make the desert bloom, the barren land a fruitful field and the fountains of living water to flow without measure. So much time is spent by many of God’s people focusing on their lack and their own condition that they remove themselves from the fountain of His abundance. We need to take note of the Word of God in this regard…

“He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said,
out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive:
for the Holy Ghost was not yet given…”
JOHN 7:38 – 39

The flow of this river out of the lives of His people is based not only on the Holy Spirit being given but also being received! There is much emphasis on sending men and women to Bible schools, conferences and seminars when the real need is to see them filled, empowered and living in the power, the government and the vitality of the Holy Spirit! Teaching will not empower a man (as good and as necessary as that is). True teaching must bring the people of God into the pursuit, passion and the desire for others to know of this essential reality.

Christians are not to be impoverished, selfish, carnal and wounded people. They are to be living epistles of the living God. The abundance is to be of such an order and of such a nature that the world will behold the works that the Spirit of God produces within our lives and will cause them to Glorify OUR FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works,
and glorify your Father which is in heaven”
MATTHEW 5:16

True light produces True Works! The gracious pouring out of the Holy Spirit is to produce something far higher, far deeper and far more comprehensive than merely speaking in tongues. It is to produce a life teeming with the grace and glory of God; a life that bears fruit in every circumstance, a life that can identify with the pain and suffering of others, a life of abundance that flows out to others with the faith and mercy of our great God. It is to be a life that stands for truth and God’s way in a day of growing darkness and apostasy with a boldness to declare the council and purposes of God regardless of the consequences. Such things are only ours through a life that has received and continues to receive the pouring forth of this unmerited gift of the Holy Spirit.

Let us never stop growing and living and seeking and desiring more of all that He desires to give for we are reminded that the Spirit of God is poured out without measure! It is we who determine the depth of its influence and Lordship in our lives; it is we who must ask, must knock, must seek this anointing that is now ours because Jesus has been Glorified! (John 7:39)

How we must see that this GIFT is given not on the basis of our own merit but it is given because JESUS HAS BEEN GLORIFIED! Therefore the abundance, the life of overflowing is ours because of HIS MERIT and HIS ASCENSION!!!

“Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high,
he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men”
EPHESIANS 4:8

Let us re-evaluate the measure of the life that we live today as compared to the purpose that God has for us in CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD!

“Amplius” means broader, fuller, wider.
That is God’s perpetual word to us in relation to filling of the Holy Spirit.
We can never have enough to satisfy His yearning desire.
When we have apprehended most,
there are always unexpected supplies in store
ready to be drawn upon”
FB Meyer

Brian Troxel

APOSTASY AND THE SPIRIT OF GRACE

APOSTASY
And
THE SPIRIT OF GRACE

THE GREAT FALLING AWAY

“Let no man deceive you by any means:
for that day shall not come,
except there come a falling away (ἀποστασια) first,
and that man of sin be revealed”
II THESSALONIANS 2:2

Apostasy. What does it mean and what does it look like? The Greek word used here for “a falling away” is ἀποστασια, a female derivative of the Greek Word ἀποστασιον that is translated “DIVORCE” in the New Testament (see Strong’s Concordance #646 and #647). Divorce is the result of a relationship where, over a period of time, the love has died. So it is with the word APOSTASY: it is the result of a love for God that has grown cold over time. The decay is so subtle and deceptive that the heart can scarcely discern it. The reason love grows cold in this day of obscurity is that “iniquity abounds” (lawlessness) within the house hold of faith; the wages of SIN are no longer to be feared, morals are loose and boundaries become less and less sure. The preaching from the pulpit is intended to create a “seeker friendly” atmosphere. The LIVING WORD of God is no longer offensive to the proud, the arrogant, and the haughty. We are told that God is LOVE therefore HE could not possibly be angry with SIN and the suffering it causes. We are presented with a meek and gentle Jesus that we cannot seem to reconcile with the ONE who cleansed the Temple, or with the New Testament judgement that fell on Ananias and Sapphira. We tend to pass over literally hundreds of warnings given to us in the New and Old Testament from a God who HATES SIN and JUDGES INIQUITY. As a result Grace has become cheap and meaningless in the ministration of the Gospel. It is God’s estimation of SIN that gives GRACE value and import. Amazing Grace is really only known by those who have truly known within their hearts the touch and the taste of the FEAR of the LORD! (A grace that saved me from a hell- bent life style is the only reason I am here. There was and is nothing good within me yet while I was in that hellish state, so lost and so ignorant, HE CAME. That is GRACE!) We do God a tremendous disservice when we appeal to men with human reason and carnal salesmanship rather than ministering in the power and the unction of the Holy Ghost! Men like John the Baptist would be disallowed in our church services as we would consider him uncouth and reckless. Men like Jeremiah and Isaiah would be far too fanatical for our polished presentation of the Gospel. Elijah would be too far out there for the comfortable environment we have produced.

It is for this very reason that we have fallen under the spell of APOSTASY AND LOOSE LIVING! Men and women see nothing strange about sitting in a pew or a living room couch for years with little or no expression of WHO GOD IS IN THEIR LIFE! Unaware of an eternal calling to be living ministrations of power and light! Unaware that they are called FOR A PURPOSE; not to give 10% of their earnings into an offering plate but to give 100% of their lives unto the King of Kings! How can we not look at what we call “church” and wonder at the incredible contradiction between what we see today and what we see in the New Testament? Where are those who can no longer be anaesthetized by the doctrinal statements, church programs and deep sounding teachings that have rendered the people of God harmless and impotent in a world racing towards judgement? Where are the cries that are birthed out of an inconsolable grief over the lack of HIS PRESENCE AND HIS POWER IN OUR MIDST? Where are those who are grieved by the insensitivity of how we treat one another, how we act in business, in our work and in our homes in terms of walking in such a way that men would ask “what is the hope” that lies within us? Our preaching first and foremost is to be with our lives and how we conduct ourselves, by how we treat our wives or how we treat our husbands? Where are those who would sound the alarm over a divorce rate that is OVER SIXTY PERCENT? Where are the preachers in the pulpit that rise up to the challenge of divorce and remarriage within the CHURCH? Where are those who will preach the Gospel even if it means that a large percentage of the pews will be empty the next week? Where are those who preach the truth because they desire to be found faithful unto HIM rather than to be considered a successful pastor due to the size of the congregation rather than the quality of the lives to whom they minister?

We are in the DAY of APOSTASY and men know it not for the most insidious result of sin and iniquity is that it numbs the hearts of those it holds. That is why leprosy is the figure of sin in the Old Testament. People with this disease lose their body parts one at a time because they no longer have the ability to feel pain.

We are in the DAY of the falling away, when the hearts of men grow cold and indifferent, where religion replaces relationship, where traditions of men usurp obedience, and the Sunday meeting goes on whether God shows up or not. Do we not read the “love of MANY shall grow cold”, that “strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and FEW there be that find it” and again “MANY shall say in that day LORD, LORD… And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity”? Do we not read these things and tremble? Can we not give ear to the voice of God in this hour? Let us see and feel the weight of all that is transpiring around us and began to cry out to God to move afresh in HIS CHURCH.

The DAY of the Lord is at hand for the APOSTASY is growing like a cancer and men see it not just as in the days of Noah when the “flood came and took them all away”! Read carefully and you will see that it was not Noah who was taken away. It was those “who knew not”; those that lived in carelessness and were too caught up in the world to notice that the DAY of Judgement was upon them. Jesus said the Day of His return would be as it was in the days of Noah…

The Day of the Lord is at hand for we also read that Jesus said that the Day of the Lord would be as it was in the days of LOT when promiscuity and sexual perversion filled the land. Do we not see this same thing and how it has flooded the Church in our day? Where are those who will cry out unto God for HIM to pour out the “spirit of GRACE and SUPPLICATION” that will bring the people of God to mourning, confession and repentance?

“And I will pour upon the house of David,
and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
the spirit of grace and of supplications:
and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced…
In that day shall there be a great mourning…”
ZACHARIAH 12:10 – 14

This mourning is the RESULT of the spirit of GRACE and SUPPLICATIONS being poured out on the people of God! Grace to return us to a people of a broken heart, a contrite spirit and a life that once again trembles and honours God’s Word! In the pouring out of such grace upon us and the resulting response from our hearts we read of God’s response…

“In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David
and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness”
ZACHARIAH 13:1

Even so Lord pour out upon us the “spirit of GRACE and SUPPLICATIONS” that we may be turned from our carnality and carelessness. Turn us again unto the right way, the way of repentance and restoration. May we as the prodigal son return broken and contrite from the folly of our worldly ways, where we have secularized your people, we have called ourselves by other names, we have met in the name of an organization, a teacher and a movement rather than simply coming together unto THEE. We have separated ourselves from the “lesser” brethren. We have elevated ourselves against those who are blood washed in the same blood that has purchased us, and in so doing we have separated ourselves from you. Bring us again to the common faith; to the discerning of the Body of Christ. Cause us to hate the sin in our hearts more than the inconsistencies in our brothers and sisters. Work in us to will and to DO of your good pleasure. Unite those who are yours that we may once again meet in the power of your Name and the Glory of your Presence.

EVEN SO LORD COME!

Brian Troxel

FORWARD

“Tell the children of Israel
to go forward”

“And the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me?
Tell the children of Israel to go forward”
EXODUS 14:15

The Red Sea on one side the hosts of Egypt on the other. In the face of such a situation the God of all Glory speaks to tell the people of God to move forward. The word to move forward PRECEEDED the opening of the Red Sea. Faith must precede the revelation of God’s Glory. Faith is revealed by the walk it produces. We are living in a day of words, teachings, books and seminars yet we see so little reality! For Faith to be Faith it must reveal its Author. In the midst of obscurity, passivity and apathy there are people who are hearing the Word to move forward regardless of what they SEE. For Faith comes by hearing not by seeing.

In the midst of a prolonged siege, when the famine had reached a breaking point, the King burst into where Elisha was staying only to hear a word of promise for the next day…

“Then Elisha said,
“Hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord:
‘Tomorrow about this time a seah of fine flour shall be sold for a shekel,
and two seahs of barley for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria.’”
So an officer on whose hand the king leaned
answered the man of God and said,
“Look, if the Lord would make windows in heaven, could this thing be?”
And he said, “In fact, you shall see it with your eyes,
but you shall not eat of it.”
II KINGS 7:1 -2

Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the EVIDENCE of things not seen! The evidence of God’s purposes for this DAY must be expressed by DOING and MOVING toward the thing that we know in our hearts to be true. The real evidence of the prayer of Jesus being answered is found within the hearts of those who are moving forward; pressing, seeking, knocking and knowing of a truth that this thing must be. Faith is never static and faith is never without works. Faith gives birth to a hope that is unshakeable in the character and the promises of God. Faith will never leave a man in poverty; never produce a Word in a man without the resources to become an expression of its verity. Our God is real and so is the faith in those who have hearts to believe.

Tell my people to MOVE FORWARD. This is the Word of the Lord for this hour; time to see the hurts of HIS people healed, the sectarian ways and the agendas of men brought down. To move in such a way as to see this Body of Christ arise out of the ashes. It is time to move forward against the issues of our own hearts in the resignation of our wills and our hearts unto HIM that is worthy. It is time to move forward against all of the obstacles that seem to hinder us from the fullness of all that HE has called us unto; to seek the welfare of the people of God.

Let us move toward a new depth of fellowship that has nothing to do with the old and static ways of men and begin to meet in the NAME, the PERSON and the wonder of HIS PRESENCE. Let us so pour out our lives into the lives of those around us that they would begin to WALK and FUNCTION within the power of HIS CALL unto them. No longer interested in our portion but, by virtue of touching the HEART of God, more concerned for others than we are for ourselves. It is time to be as the SON who, at the age of twelve, said “I MUST be about my Father’s business”. If HE is living in us then that heart must beat within us as well.

“Tell the children of Israel
to go forward”

Brian Troxel

PSALM 23 – PART 15 – HIS STAFF

PSALM 23

PART FIFTEEN

THY STAFF

“Thy STAFF…comforts* me”
PSALM 23:4

The Hebrew Word translated here as staff has two meanings. The first is translated generally as anything that supports and stabilizes (A feminine noun indicating a support, a supply. It is used of what firms up, keeps stable, furnishes needed supplies…{TCWS of the Old Testament}). It is this aspect that causes us to trust in Him, lean upon Him and draw from Him strength for all our daily needs. On our journey of LIFE we discover the truth of all that HE is to us. Through this unseen support and ministration we began to see that HE is not only our saviour but indeed HE is our salvation on a daily basis. It is in the present truth of HIS life that we find ourselves in full agreement with Psalm 46:1; HE is our PRESENT HELP in trouble. Not a God that is afar off, but a God who is present and real. It is this present help that *comforts us, humble us and causes us to exclaim with the writer of the Book of Hebrews “what is man that thou art mindful of him or the son of man that thou shouldst visit him”. These are moments when HIS unmerited goodness causes us to be humbled and broken; HIS goodness expressed in the face of our stubbornness and pride.

His staff supports, leads and guides, gently nudging us into the path that HE has chosen. It is HIS staff that leads us to green pastures, quiet waters and causes us to know that HE is ever watching over the lives of HIS own. How good and faithful is our Shepherd. How merciful and gracious are His ways with us. Left to ourselves we are all like sheep that “have wandered astray”. We have sought out our own ways, our own pastures and without Him we would ever be lost in the wilderness of our own wisdom with our own miserable resources. The LORD is our Shepherd and it is in the ministration of His staff that we are comforted and made right. It gives us hope and comfort when we feel the sting of His correction for it is in learning of Him that we grow in the wisdom and love of our shepherd. It is in learning of Him that we can be more effective in our ministration of that life to one another. For the Body of Christ to become ONE in heart, faith and reality there must be a corporate expression of His heart to one another. It is in learning of Him that we are no longer able to segregate ourselves from each other. For to have the Love of God beating in our hearts we must come to the place of loving what He loves and hating what He hates. We can no longer pick and choose who may be our brother or sister. We can no longer elevate one ministry over and above another for we have seen that each ministration of His life is necessary to reveal His fullness.

It is in being humbled by His goodness that we become expressions of that goodness to one another. It is in the appreciation of His unmerited grace that we become expressions of that grace to those around us. The truth of the staff enables us to walk no longer in the poverty of our own resources. Rather it brings us to the recognition of a supply of strength that is beyond ourselves; a strength to stand when we have no strength; a hope in His supply that will not allow us to succumb to the testings we must endure. His staff becomes a point of strength where we can declare the “Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not lack…” He has come, HE is come to be to us all that our present circumstances require. We are not to feel as chaff driven by the wind, we are not to feel as sheep having no shepherd, and we are not to be as orphans without hope in this world. He has come to strengthen us in HIM, to bring us to the place of trust in the God of our provision. He has come to make us PARTAKERS OF THE RICHES OF HIS FATHERS HOUSE!

His staff comforts us, enables us and causes us to become rich in the provisions of our God.

“The LORD God is my strength,
and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet,
and he will make me to walk upon mine high places”
HABBAKUK 3:19

* See Psalm 23 Part 12 for the definition of the Hebrew Word used here

Brian Troxel

PSALM 23 – PART 14 – CORRECTION AND GROWTH –

PSALM 23

PART FOURTEEN

CORRECTION AND GROWTH

“Thy Rod…comforts* me”
PSALM 23:4

Without correction and accountability personal growth and fruitfulness becomes stagnated and stunted. Men who refuse correction cease to grow and cease to live. Jesus said “every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit”. We see this truth so aptly revealed in the world around us. Everything concerning life needs to be channelled in order to have direction and purpose. A river without banks is a flood, electricity without a path and a purpose we call “static” and a believer in God who has no personal vision or “mark” (Philippians 3:14) is one who will be without discipline or purpose. A good landscaper prunes his garden that it may grow and become all that he has purposed and envisioned it to be when he planted it. Jesus said that His father was the Vinedresser and they that are of this Vine (Jesus) are to bear fruit that the Father may be glorified. Therefore Fruit is anything that pleases and glorifies the Father.

It is in us receiving of His correction that we grow in fruitfulness and the inherent ability to bring forth expressions of the Son to glorify the Father. Let us hear the admonition from God’s Word; “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor detest His correction; For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights” (Proverbs 3:11 – 12) The proof of God’s Love and His ongoing investment into our lives is REVEALED IN HIS ROD. We read In the Old and New Testament of the evident Hand of God actively expressing His Love and correction in the lives of people; some were EXERCISED by it and others refused it with eternal consequences. Men who refuse correction choose a life that eventually comes to ruin. God’s Word has summed up this truth in one powerful verse…

“He who keeps instruction (Hebrew: correction) is in the way of life,
But he who refuses correction goes astray”
PROVERBS 10:17

Does this not convey to us the reason behind the apostasy in our land today? Is there not a reason that the LOVE OF MANY has grown cold and indifferent? People are content to go through the motions of religion while failing to realize that we are here to BEAR FRUIT unto HIM who has called us out of darkness into HIS LIGHT that we might ever live to GLORIFY HIM.

God’s Word to HIS PEOPLE today is one of grave importance; one that reveals and lays bare the reason that we are in such disarray, impotence and apathy….

“I have even sent to you all My servants the prophets,
daily rising up early and sending them.
Yet they did not obey Me or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck…
This is a nation that does not obey the voice of the Lord their God
NOR RECEIVE CORRECTION.
Truth has perished and has been cut off from their mouth”
JEREMIAH 7:25 – 28

It is a Day for us to turn, to receive correction and to be EXERCISED in it that we may come forth as Gold tried in the Fire; purified and freed from our own agendas to DO THE WILL OF HIM that there may be Glory and Honour in His House.

King David knew well the power of change and repentance found in the ministration of truth from others in His day and the fruit that comes from the receiving of it.

“Let the righteous strike me; It shall be a kindness.
And let him rebuke me: It shall be as excellent oil;
Let my head not refuse it”
PSALM 141:5

Ω

“Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance,
baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession,
absolution without personal confession.
Cheap grace is grace without discipleship,
grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

* See Psalm 23 Part 12 for the definition of the Hebrew Word used here

Brian Troxel