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Posts Tagged ‘Service unto the Lord’

SPIRITUAL HABITAT

PART TWO

THE ALTAR

“…he built an altar there and called on the name of the LORD,
and he pitched his tent there;
and there Isaac’s servants dug a well”
GENESIS 26:25

This verse immediately follows Isaac receiving a promise and a visitation from the LORD. The PROMISE was no longer just Abraham’s it was now Isaac’s. The promise was given because of Abraham’s life of faith and obedience but there must come a time where the promise of God becomes our own. HIS promise not only becomes Isaac’s own but it produces a life of response within him. In the reception of the promise Isaac builds an Altar, calls on his God, pitches his tent (dwelling/abiding) and digs a well.

THE ALTAR

In the New Testament the altar speaks of many things but for the sake of brevity we will sum up the altar in the life of the individual believer as the place of true worship. This worship is to become a way of life for the true child of God. The Altar speaks of much more than a short time of singing one day a week; it is the place where we live and grow in our relationship in HIM, where we begin to realize that we are to offer ourselves unto HIM (Rom. 12:1) as a living sacrifice, where we offer the praises of our hearts, where we bow down under the weight of a Glory that softens our hearts and allows us to touch the very Holiness of HIS PRESENCE and the wonder of HIS BEING. It is here that we commune with HIM in the private sphere of our lives hidden away from the seeing of men. Here we offer prayers and the secrets of our heart in the most intimate of transactions with a Holy God. It is here that we learn of Him, we touch HIM, and HE speaks to us of things that words fail to convey. In this seeing of HIM we discover the truth of whom we are and the staggering contrast between who HE is and what we are. We begin to understand that even angelic perfection, though sinless and pure, cannot look upon HIM in HIS undimmed Glory in the heavens.

The Altar is the only place where we can touch such places of Glory. Here we are CHANGED into the Glory that we see from Glory to Glory; “EVEN AS BY the SPIRIT OF THE LORD”. As the Son walked this earth HE would spend hours alone with HIS FATHER in that perfect HOLY UNION that HE had from all eternity. The New Covenant provides ACCESS for us into the Holiest of ALL because of our lives being “HID with Christ in God”. It is by virtue of such a living reality that we can grow into the place of living and abiding at the very ALTAR of God. It becomes our spiritual habitat as we learn to abide in HIM.

The Altar is not only a place of sacrifice, communion and worship it is also the place of PROVISION; a PLACE where we eat and partake of HIM. It is the place of the “hidden manna” that comes to us by the seeing of HIM and the eating of HIM in the secret place. We read in Hebrews…

“We have an altar,
whereof they have no right to eat
which serve the tabernacle”
HEBREWS 13:10

And again…

“Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things
live of the things of the temple?
and they which wait at the altar
are partakers with the altar?”
I CORINTHIANS 9:13

Suffice it to say that the way of the ALTAR is the way of life. In the life of Isaac the first act of his response to GOD was the building of the altar. In the New Testament all spiritual realities are “made without hands” and as such we build our altar by simply spending time with HIM in the secret places of our hearts until it becomes our spiritual habitat. The Altar preceded the pitching of Isaac’s tent for it is in the “building” of the one that the life of “abiding” is cultivated.

Brian Troxel

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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

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BY FAITH

PART TWO

“For by it (Faith) the elders obtained a good testimony*
HEBREWS 11:2

Faith is the only means by which men can please God. Faith is the “essentia” of man’s witness unto God and the only expression which garners God’s approval. Through faith these men and women of old OBTAINED a worthy commendation from the living God! By their lives being governed by the promises of God they “reckoned”, “accounted” and “judged” God faithful to see them through. Just as “faith without works is dead” so are works without faith dead and worthless. We must see that the life OF FAITH, a life lived IN FAITH and a life lived BY FAITH is the only thing acceptable to our God!

“…for whatsoever is not of faith is sin”
ROMANS 14:23

Faith is to be the indispensable element of our daily walk whether at home, work or any other situation of life. Faith is the criteria by which all our actions are weighed. Whatever point we are at in the development of our faith is what we reveal in the common flow of our life. We cannot live in the estimation of others for true faith is only concerned with the pleasing of our Heavenly Father. As our faith develops so will the revelation of that faith be in our life. Many try to live their lives according to the acceptability of what others may think, to attempt to please or impress others with their carefully planned actions, but this is neither faith nor a life pleasing to God. Faith seeks ONLY to glorify its Author. There is a freedom in simple childlike faith that gives us liberty from the opinions of men, living solely for His pleasure.

“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith:
as it is written, The just shall live by faith”
ROMANS 1:17

The righteousness of God can only be revealed through our lives to the degree that Faith has been developed within us. Our life of faith is progressive “from faith to faith”, a living dynamic gift that God has given to us by His Mercy. Faith must grow through the experiences of life, through trial, tribulation and seeing God’s hand move in the daily aspects of our life! How good He is to those who trust Him! How faithful He is to those who rely on Him in all that we go through! How can we not desire that our trust in Him grows as well as our love FOR Him? Is He not to be the sole purpose of our life? Can we not seek to live our lives to the fullest extent of the faith that is at work in us, so that we may please Him more and more in the passing of our days?

“We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren,
as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly”
II THESSALONIANS 1:3

Ω

John Paton was making a translation of the Scriptures into a language spoken in the country where he was a missionary, and searched long for the world for “Faith”. The natives had no word for “believe” One day, while working on his translation, a native entered his room, exhausted and flung himself down on the nearest chair, and placed his feet on the chair across from him. The native remarked how good it was to lean his whole weight into that chair. Dr. Paton noted the word he had used for “lean his whole weight.” He had his word for “believe”.
John G. Paton

*“Literally, “were witnessed of;” that is, an honorable testimony was borne to them in consequence of their faith”
Barnes New Testament Notes

Brian Troxel

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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

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PSALM 23

PART NINETEEN

HIS ANOINTING

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

In the Old Testament there were three expressions that were anointed in God’s people; Priests, Kings and Prophets. These were to be holy expressions necessary for the ministration of God’s Laws, His Mercy and His Council. This anointing was to sanctify, empower and to declare the calling of God upon a man for God’s specific purposes.

“…thou shalt anoint UNTO ME him whom I name unto thee”
1 SAMUEL 16:3

The anointing is to bring forth a life that is lived UNTO HIM. It is to work in and saturate a man’s life until his whole being is lived UNTO the Lord. It is a most significant sign of a life that has been CHOSEN by God to be lived unto God for His own end. We read of this same thing in the New Testament…

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you:
and ye shall be witnesses UNTO ME both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea,
and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth”
ACTS 1:8

This anointing has come to all those who have been washed in the precious blood of the Lamb; all who have sought for and desired a LIFE of separation by seeking and desiring the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. This is not to live a life unto ourselves or to seek to build up a church or ministry but to be witnesses UNTO HIM! It is to live our daily lives with the cry within our hearts for Him to “work in us to will and to DO of His good pleasure” that we might truly know of the Joy of the Lord (HIS JOY) welling up in our lives. It is to grow in our walk with Him by living in the sensitivity of our hearts to that anointing that would teach us all things that pertain to His Life being lived in us.

“Thou anointest my head with oil” is more than just a poetic phrase. It is a substantial reality REQUIRED for any life to live and be equipped to walk in the WAY of the SON. This anointing is an essential step in the journey of a life that no longer desires anything but Him, that no longer desires to live out of the miserable resources of self and can no longer find satisfaction in anything else. For this anointing must birth a realization that in every place and in every moment He is watching us and knows our thought life; our motivations and our actions are weighed in the balances of His righteousness. This anointing brings us to the awful realization that we are in truth “witnesses UNTO HIM”!

This anointing causes us to be open to the search light of truth within the very core of our own heart. It causes us to know that it matters very little what men think or say for we have discovered the reason for living is to glorify Him, please Him and to know Him more and more in this brief journey of life.

This anointing also causes us to speak truth, to live truth and to become more true to the life that we see in Him. It is BECAUSE of this anointing that men can be empowered to become Priests, Kings and Prophets unto our God. It is because of His gracious call, His Power and His Mercy that ordinary men and women BECOME authentic and powerful expressions of the MOST HIGH GOD!

We need look no further than the young child David to see the effect of this anointing as he grew INTO the call and purposes of God; King, a Priest and a Prophet of the MOST HIGH! Can we not expect GREATER THINGS to arise from a New Covenant that has made provision for our sin by the precious blood of the spotless perfect Lamb; who has now BECOME our baptiser, our way, our truth and our LIFE? Shall we not go on to know Him in a fullness that will please and glorify the Father? Did He not abolish the Old Testament because it could not make anything perfect and whole?

“For the law made nothing perfect,
but the bringing in of a better hope did;
by the which we draw nigh unto God”
HEBREWS 7:19

He has brought forth a New and Living Ministration of the Life of the Son that we might live in the wonder and the glorious provision of His anointing! He IS come and the scriptures testify that we have received of this anointing that we might be taught of Him and empowered of Him to become witnesses of His Life in this world.

“But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you”

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 Pratney

Brian Troxel

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PSALM 23

PART SEVENTEEN

THE PLACE OF FEASTING

“Thou preparest a table before me
in the presence of mine enemies”
PSALM 23:5

This table has been set with rich provisions and is there for us to eat and drink and become strong thereby. It is not a table for mere talking and listening but it is the table of the Bread of HIS LIFE which must be consumed in order that it becomes a reality in our lives. We have had much in terms of teaching; in fact much of our Christian experience in this land is really one of LISTENING to didactical teaching and the dissemination of information. It becomes an intellectual exercise and much of it remains purely theoretical in its actual application. We have become good at hearing, debating, and discussing the doctrines and concepts of men without the substance of LIVING in the reality of the LIFE OF CHRIST. The outward FORM of TEACHING is necessary for a season but somewhere it must give way to the EXPERIENCE and WALK in every true disciple. Notice that this TABLE OF PROVISION is not set in the confines of a nice and comfortable Christian Setting but in the PRESENCE OF OUR ENEMIES! The PROVISION comes as we OVERCOME our enemies.

It is in the conflicts of life that we discover His strength. Here, as the WORD of GOD is eaten and made real, we no longer live in ethereal teachings, concepts and good sounding religious ideas. Instead HIS LIFE is discovered WITHIN the conflicts of our daily lives! We discover the wonder of a living FAITH that must bring what I have heard into my WALK! This is where Christ becomes the EXPERIENCE of the individual believer. By its very nature the life of overcoming can only be appropriated on an individual basis. The corporate expression is only as valid as the authenticity of the individual. Just because I LISTEN to good teaching does not mean my Christian experience is valid. The validity of my LIFE in Christ can only be known by the expression of HIS LIFE in me. In order for that to be the truth of my life it requires not only a hearing of HIS WORD but it must give way to a doing of that WORD; obedience is the ONLY way to the life of OVERCOMING. If there is no obedience there can be no OVERCOMING!

In the Gospels we see and hear Jesus teaching the WORD concerning the Kingdom of God and we are struck with the wonder and the wisdom found within the beauty of HIS words. However, HE does not allow the Disciples to linger in the place of hearing only. Because HE is not just a teacher (but has come to fulfill His Father’s will) we see Him sending the Disciples to live and walk out that which He has spoken of. He sends them out to heal the sick, cast out demons and to declare the WORD of the Kingdom! Likewise the WORD must become flesh in our own experience. We must eat of the provisions of this table in the presence of our enemies! Not only the obvious, external ones but more importantly the enemies of our heart, the weaknesses of our flesh and the “I” that is always clamouring for pre-eminence, comfort and its own way. We must find HIM as our victory here or it will matter very little what we know. Judas heard and saw the Glory of Christ yet in the end he betrayed HIM for his own ends. It is not enough to know and have an association with Jesus; we MUST EAT OF HIM at this table “prepared” for us in the “presence of our enemies”!

Men love knowledge and understanding. We love to discuss things, debate things and share things but Jesus came that men may have “LIFE and LIFE abundantly…” He did not come to bring a new teaching or to tickle men’s ears with revelatory speech. HE came to be the very EXPRESSION of the all that God is. Not an expression only but the MEANS by which the fallen race of man would become “THE BODY OF CHRIST” in the earth. For this reason HE sets this table of provision that we may BECOME “bone of HIS bone and flesh of His flesh” in demonstration in our daily life. It is crucial to see that the conflicts and tribulations of this life are given to us to become strong. May God save us from teachings that leave us impoverished, impotent and unable to walk and may we find HIS table “prepared” for us in the “presence of our enemies”.

Ω

Obstacles in the pathway of the weak
become stepping-stones in the pathway of the strong.
Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881)

Brian Troxel

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PSALM 23

PART SIXTEEN

THE KINGS TABLE

“Thou preparest a table before me… ”
PSALM 23:4

The table spoken of here is no ordinary table; it is the King’s Table. It is the Table of Royalty designated for Kings yet we find it set for those who follow the Shepherd! The Hebrew Word translated “TABLE*” here שֻׁלְחָן is properly defined as “a king’s table, (for) private use, sacred uses” (BDB Hebrew Definitions). It is the Hebrew Word used for the “Table of Show Bread”; the Hebrew word used when the Queen of Sheba visited Solomon’s “Table” and was astonished at the glory found therein. It is used when God was angry at Israel for how they treated HIS Table in their day of apostasy and neglect (see Malachi 1:7, 12). This is the Table that is provided to all who would follow their Shepherd and their King! It is a table of provision; a table of intimate and private concourse with the King of Kings. It is here that we eat of the Hidden Manna. It is here that HE comes and draws us aside to break the bread of fellowship and understanding that we may grow in strength and in our relationship with HIM. This is a PRIVATE TABLE reserved for those who follow HIM in Spirit and Truth; not with lip service but with all the passion of a heart that knows that nothing but Jesus can satisfy the longing within.

This is a prepared table. It is not one that is hastily set. The Hebrew word used here for “prepared” is translated most often in the Old Testament speaking of the armies of Israel being “arrayed” for battle. It is a prepared table for a prepared people. It is ordered and set with the utmost of care and attention to detail. God is never in a hurry. HE is always the ONE in CONTROL and HIS TABLE is prepared from eternity for our strengthening and preparation. While men would panic in the DAY of Battle our God is calm and purposed. We see Jesus at the last supper with His disciples, knowing full well the drama that was about to unfold, filled with PEACE and enjoying intimate fellowship with HIS disciples! There was no panic for HE was and is the REIGNING ONE! Let us draw near to this table and eat of HIM, with HIM and by HIM that we may arise as He PREPARED TO MEET the enemy in this HOUR.

This PRIVATE TABLE is seen throughout the Gospels as Jesus spoke in parables to the crowds and the religious leaders. Later He would take His Disciples aside to cause them to know and understand the truths of what HE had spoken. It is in these private moments that the “bread of LIFE” becomes alive to our hearts and we see and hear things in a new way! The reason men do not see the power of HIS LIFE pulsating in the Word of God is that they have not discovered this table. This table will only be found by those “who follow the Lamb” wherever HE goes. This is a table of relationship PREPARED for those who would eat of its rich provisions and walk in the strength of it. It is not a Table filled with sweet things only but also with meat seasoned with bitter herbs and bread to make men strong (EXODUS 12:8). It is, after all, the “Table of the Lord” and those who would minister Him must EAT ALL that is set before them. For it is in the eating of HIM that HE becomes a part of us!

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man,
and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life;
and I will raise him up at the last day.
For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me,
and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father:
so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me”
JOHN 6:52 – 57

This is not a table for the curious, for those who like to hear the latest teaching or those who run after signs and wonders. Rather it is a table set aside for those who will EAT of HIM through the medium of OBEDIENCE! Martyrs and Saints of all generations have eaten of this table and found FAITH and GRACE to overcome. May we follow the LAMB in our day to share at His table the prepared provision for the DAY THAT IS UPON US.

“…To him that overcometh
will I give to eat of the hidden manna”
REVELATION 2:17

Ω

“God walks with the humble; He reveals himself to the lowly;

 He gives understanding to the little ones;

He discloses his meaning to pure minds,

 but hides His grace from the curious and the proud”

THOMAS A KEMPIS

 

* Note the instances where this word is used it consistently refers to a table of royalty (good and bad), prophets and a table of showbread in the Tabernacle and Temples.

table, 56 Ex 25:23, Ex 25:27-28 (2), Ex 25:30, Ex 26:35 (3), Ex 30:27, Ex 31:8, Ex 35:13, Ex 37:10, Ex 37:14-16 (3), Ex 39:36, Ex 40:4, Ex 40:22, Ex 40:24, Lev 24:6, Num 3:31, Judg 1:7 (2), 1 Sam 20:29, 1 Sam 20:34, 2 Sam 9:7, 2 Sam 9:10-11 (2), 2 Sam 9:13, 2 Sam 19:28, 1 Kin 2:7, 1 Kin 4:27, 1 Kin 7:48, 1 Kin 10:5, 1 Kin 13:20, 1 Kin 18:19, 2 Kin 4:10, 1 Chr 28:16, 2 Chr 9:4, 2 Chr 13:11, 2 Chr 29:18, Neh 5:17, Ps 23:5, Ps 69:22, Ps 78:19, Ps 128:3, Prov 9:2, Isa 21:5, Isa 65:11, Ezek 23:41, Ezek 39:20, Ezek 41:22, Ezek 44:16, Dan 11:27, Mal 1:7, Mal 1:12

tables, 14 1 Chr 28:16 (2), 2 Chr 4:8, 2 Chr 4:19, Isa 28:8, Ezek 40:39-43 (9)

The Book of Hebrews declares that “We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat…” (Hebrews 13:10)  The only way to eat of this table is to Serve and Follow the LAMB OF GOD!!!

Brian Troxel

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“Nevertheless”

“And Simon answering said unto him, Master,
we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing:
nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net”
ISAIAH 51:4

True living faith will never be conditioned by experience. Faith, to be faith, must always find its dependence in God not ourselves. Though experience says one thing the cry and purpose of faith must remain undaunted. “Nevertheless” is the word of a man who sets aside his own resources, strengths and abilities and believes God in the moment. This faith must birth a doing in the now. “Nevertheless” is a word that gives way to the doing of a thing regardless of our past experience. It is a word that comes to those who believe, and by that believing there is a response in the now of our life. It is not the “faith” of Mary who said Lord I know “… in that day…” something will happen, for the Christ stands in our midst speaking “I AM the resurrection and the life…”

Let this word “nevertheless” speak to us of better things than what our experience would teach us; for those who listen and regard their experience cease to walk and live by faith. “Today if ye will hear HIS voice…” is the creed by which we must live. Men who don’t do won’t hear. The Word is to those who “have ears to hear” for with every hearing there must be a corresponding act of doing and obeying HIS WORD.

The Spirit of God is HERE to press us beyond our circumstances, our former experiences, and our own resources into the glorious provisions of a God who is constantly calling us to deeper waters, a higher vision and a greater dependency upon HIM. How good is our God! How gracious are HIS ways; the thing we are confronted with is HIS doorway into greater things in HIM!

Faith, to be faith, must always be fresh, living and beating within our hearts. Faith IN a teaching or an idea will eventually become stagnant and dead; the faith of the living Son is active and real! It is never static for it is always moving from one faith into a greater. Every living thing grows and everything static and stagnant remains the same.

“So David went on his way,
and Saul returned to his place”
1 SAMUEL 26:25

Two men; one ever moving on in the WAY of God the other set in ways of stagnancy, disobedience and compromise.

Ω

“Belief is truth held in the mind;
faith is fire in the heart”
Joseph Fort Newton (1880–1950)

Brian Troxel

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RIGHTEOUSNESS

PART ONE

“The Gentiles shall SEE your righteousness”
ISAIAH 62:2

We live in a time of great religious activity within the landscape of a secularized Christian “church”. Within this environment “righteousness” has taken on a profession of a faith that is to be stated and debated rather than a life that is actually to be lived. To the normal Christian “righteousness” is a term and a legal standing that we have because of the incredible sacrificial death of Jesus on the Cross; a powerful truth and the STARTING PLACE for all of God’s people. However we are exhorted to LIVE and GROW in this righteousness because of the LIFE of the Risen Christ who is the power and the source for us to LIVE in righteousness by the New Law made available to us; “The Law of Life that is in Christ Jesus”!

We see here in Isaiah that the real prophetic purpose of the New Covenant is to bring forth a righteousness that is real, true and actual in our daily lives. The “Gentiles shall SEE” this righteousness for it is not based on a teaching; it is revealed in the everyday life of EVERY believer! Righteousness first and foremost is CHARACTER. It must become the essence of what we are to such an extent we reveal HIM unconsciously in how we conduct the affairs of our life. Fruit is the expression that flows from character, from what a thing IS. An apple tree brings forth apples because that is the revelation and the offspring of what it is in itself.  Apples are the RESULT for fruit is simply the expression of the latent life of any organism. Love, Joy, Peace… are the EXPRESSIONS of a righteous life and godly character. The futility of trying to “do” or “express” the fruit of the Spirit without being connected as a branch to the vine is the horror and angst of a powerless religious life.

“In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river,
was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits,
each tree yielding its fruit every month.
The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations”
REVELATION 22:2

This “TREE OF LIFE” is the revelation of all that HE had purposed in the Creation of the World. We see it in the Garden of Eden in Genesis and we see it standing teeming with LIFE and FRUITFULNESS in the City of God! HIS purposes have not altered and HIS provision for this to BE the reality in our own lives is rich and full because of the Resurrection Life of the SON. This TREE is nourished by the RIVER of LIFE and so must our lives ever move more and more to that end. Trees grow from tiny seeds to a majestic stature, and so must we. The provisions we have and the wisdom of our great Shepherd in HIS dealings with us as we travel through this dark world on the path that ever leads onward and upward is for us to BECOME SONS of God by a new and living WAY!

“…to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning,
the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
that they might be called trees of righteousness,
the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified”
ISAIAH 61:2

It is in receiving HIS BEAUTY for our ashes, partaking of the Oil of HIS Joy that comes from mourning and lamenting our selfish carnal ways, that we are garmented in the PRAISES of HIM who is ABLE and WILLING to cause this to BE the substance of our lives. This life of BECOMING is one of trial, temptation, failure, victory and joy. It is a journey that must eclipse that which we now walk in… for a man’s vision must always surpass that which he currently knows.

Ω

“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…”
Philippians 3:13 – 15

Brian Troxel

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~ AGELESS FAITH ~

“Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart,
Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old?”
GENESIS 17:17

Our God is Able! Our God is willing! Faith does not consider circumstance. Faith is not determined by what it sees; it is founded upon what it hears. I see many who by reason of age (it is also my own battle) begin to settle and weaken in the vitality and relevance of the vision and the hope we have in Jesus. We see indications of this all around us in the lack of our pursuit of HIM; the absence of fervency in our seeking of HIM. The grip of the living expectation of all that HE has promised becomes an ideal and a doctrine rather than the IMPULSE that propels us on to greater things in HIM.

The thought struck me the other day that no where do we read of the Kingdom of God coming to us while we sit in total passivity. Rather what we read about is the Kingdom of God being ENTERED into by faith, obedience and much trial and tribulation. The failure of one generation must not rob the next of God’s purpose and intent. It is a day to challenge, a day to exhort, and a day to summon up every last bit of resources we have to see this great purpose of God come to pass. Men have grown weary. They have settled for a vision that no longer inspires, invigorates or PRODUCES an ardent pursuit of God. We have settled for knowing about the Kingdom instead of ENTERING INTO the Kingdom. We have allowed age, experience and comfort to rob us of the ONE THING…

“Seek ye FIRST the Kingdom of God…”

It is time to awaken out of our slumber for the Day is upon us, the hour has come, and the Bridegroom stands at the door looking for a Bride who has made herself ready. The Church that has rediscovered that it is in fact the BODY OF CHRIST, it is ONE and it is HIS,  and it will no longer tolerate the secularization and division that has rendered her powerless and ineffective. It is time for the true ministry of God to minister out of a heart that desires that HE WOULD HAVE THE PRE-EMINENCE in our midst that men might see the Body of Christ come to the “unity of the FAITH”. It is time for the true ministers of the Grace of God to be caught up with the burden of the Lord that we would LOVE ONE ANOTHER IN THE SAME MEASURE, THE SAME PURITY AND THE SAME INTENSITY THAT THE FATHER HAS LOVED THE SON. For if that is the prayer and heart of Jesus (John 17) should not that same burden and purpose burn within our hearts?

“Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.
Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD. Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of MINE HOUSE that is waste, and ye run every man unto his OWN HOUSE

Until we are more concerned with HIS house than we are with “our” little fellowship, “our” church and “our” ministry we will not see the blessing and the power of God! As long as we are content with what is, the new will not come forth. As long as we are content with a gospel that is not breaking forth with power and reality, as long as we are content with relationships that are in ruins, until we are broken with the things that break the heart of God, we will not know HIS GLORY in our midst.

“Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded. And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by. And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited. Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it. Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock. As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I am the LORD”
EZEKIEL 36:33 – 38

 
Brian Troxel

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