Quote for Today – Thomas Kelly

Quote for Today

“By inner persuasions He draws us to a few definite tasks, our tasks, God’s burdened heart particularizing his burdens in us. And He gives us the royal blindness of faith, and the seeing eye of the sensitized soul, and the grace of unflinching obedience”
Thomas R. Kelly

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

Thought for Today – The Way of Grace

Thought for Today

The Way of Grace

“The highway of the upright is to depart from evil:
he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul”
Proverbs 16:17

The way of grace is the way of righteousness. It is the path of all who follow their loving Shepherd. Psalm 23 declares that “he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness”. Those who follow Him know deep within their being that the “way of the Lord” leads us to “righteousness, peace and joy”. It is in the “keeping of His way” that we in fact “preserve our souls”.

Grace is ever given to hold us, keep us and sustain us in the “way of holiness”. The way of holiness is the only path to the seeing of Him and the knowing of Him (Hebrews 12:14). Grace is the power to walk, live and abide within the pavilion of His Kingdom. Grace to arise when we fall, Grace to endure temptations and Grace to know the joy of His salvation within our lives.

“through whom we have received grace and apostleship
to bring about the obedience of faith
among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake,”

Romans 1:5 (NASB)

The Way of Grace ever causes us to depart from evil and to cling to that which is good and right. It is by “grace” where we are saved through the wonder of faith. It is a grace which saves us from our sins and gives us the power to live godly in Christ Jesus.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith…”
Ephesians 2:8

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

PSALM 23 PART 2-A

PSALM 23

PART TWO-A*

“The Lord is my shepherd…”
PSALM 23:1

 

“The Lord is my shepherd.” We have no indication from the scriptures when, in David’s life, he wrote this beautiful Psalm. Whether it was at a time as a young shepherd boy out alone tending the sheep of his father, whether in a cave running from King Saul or as the King of Israel, we only know that the power of this statement was true in all of the circumstances in which David found himself. One of the most powerful words in this simple statement is the word “is.” This word conveys the truth to us of YHWH, the Eternal One, in the most wondrous terms…PRESENT TENSE. Though truth is eternal, it does not afford us much in terms of value and meaning unless it is present tense, in the here and now. “The Lord IS my shepherd.” This is the glory of faith, for faith ever seeks to impart to us the present truth of God’s being and the comfort and power of all that He is in our present circumstances.

Religion has a way of acknowledging God in the past. Martha met Jesus after Lazarus had died; “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.” In other words, the present circumstances would have been different if God had responded sooner; the present situation could have been prevented. Many of God’s people have become bitter and despondent with this outlook. They are not able to reconcile the place in which they find themselves with the tender loving care of  the Lord our Shepherd. Faith is to bring the truth that His tender loving care IS with us in the moments of great distress and sorrow. “The Lord IS my Shepherd!” Martha’s expression of disappointment was the outcome of a faith that had not yet developed into the “now” of life.

Religion also has a way of meeting the present situation with a futuristic outlook. Unable to grasp the reality of the now, Martha then responds to Jesus’s statement of “Thy brother shall rise again” with a quick reference to a future event; “I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Both of these responses contain traces of faith but fall short of THE FAITH.

Faith is the element of our relationship with our great Shepherd that is a living thing. Jesus’ parable of the mustard seed reveals a living thing that grows and develops over time. The past and the present responses of Martha take into account the power and the truth of who Christ is, yet His desire for us is to see Him as the great I AM. The now faith is what makes men and women of God strong and unshakeable in the world in which we live.

“God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble”
PSALM 46:1-2

It is in our journey with Him that the power of this truth begins to enter into the core of our hearts; our Shepherd is a present help. The situation we NOW face we face with the knowledge that HE IS, right at this moment, our Shepherd, our refuge, our strength and a PRESENT HELP in trouble.

We read in Psalm 3 of a time when David was on the run from his own son and the people of Israel did not come to David’s aid…

“Lord, how they have increased who trouble me,
Many are they who rise up against me.
Many are they who say of me,

There is no help for him in God.” Selah”
PSALM 3:1-2

He was on the run with a small band of faithful ones and the voices of the multitudes around him in his day were saying, “There is no help for him in God.” Have we not heard such voices within our own hearts as we look at the circumstances before us? Have our hearts not sunk at the enormity and the hopelessness of the thing that we were facing? Let us be encouraged in our God, for David responded to that dark hour with…

“But You, O Lord, are a shield for me,
My glory and the One who lifts up my head.
I cried to the Lord with my voice,
And He heard me from His holy hill. Selah
I lay down and slept;
I awoke, for the Lord sustained me.
I will not be afraid of ten thousands of
people Who have set themselves
against me all around”
PSALM 3:3-6

These declarations of faith in the midst of dark and trying times can only come from those who, in following their great Shepherd, have grown into the place of knowing that…

“The Lord IS my Shepherd”

Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

*Note: This is an addition to the original Psalm 23 writings
which are being made into a small booklet.

Brian Troxel

 

PSALM 23 – CONCLUSION – CONFIDENCE & REST – PART 23

PSALM 23

PART TWENTY-THREE

CONCLUSION

CONFIDENCE AND REST

“…and I will dwell* in the house of the LORD for ever.”
PSALM 23:5

The Hebrew word translated here for “dwell” comes from the primary Hebrew root word to “sit” (*see below). It speaks of a rest and a posture of confidence and comfort. David in his pursuit of God came to a point where he was confident in His God, not himself. His posture of rest was not based on some teaching or the fact that he was a King rather his rest was based on the character of HIS GOD. This statement of confidence “I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever” had little to do with David’s own ability to serve God; it was founded upon the personal KNOWING that the LORD was HIS SHEPHERD! Many of God’s people struggle with this confidence, this sense of knowing and belonging. We seek for assurance by doing good things, by clinging to doctrines, assurances from others, belonging to some Christian organization, subscribing to a well-known teacher or some other outward thing to satisfy this need for security. God has only one thing to offer us: the PLEDGE of HIMSELF; the verity of HIS own character. Every action and motive that is not birthed from this place of abiding will eventually fail to satisfy the deep longing within the heart of His own. This place of rest cannot instill a sense of complacency or apathy. It must and will produce a pursuit and seeking of HIM who has become the ONE THING the true heart desires (Psalm 27:4, Philippians 3:13). The pursuit of Him is no longer based on gaining HIS approval but is birthed of an intense desire “to know HIM”.

“That I may KNOW HIM, and the power of his resurrection,
and the fellowship of his sufferings,
being made conformable unto his death…
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:
but this ONE THING I do…
I press toward the mark for the prize
of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”
Philippians 3:10 – 14

The one who wrote the scripture above also wrote…

“But God, who is rich in mercy,
for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Even when we were dead in sins,
hath quickened us together with Christ,
(by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together,
and made us SIT together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus”
Ephesians 2:4 – 5

The posture of sitting together with Christ in heavenly places is born of an insatiable desire to know HIM more fully and deeply. It is the starting point of our journey. In this knowledge we will arise from our failures, disappointments and trials that are all part of the discovery of both the depths and the riches of His Grace.

Trust and confidence can only be known via relationship. Such is the heart of our Great Shepherd who leads us to the “still waters” of resting in HIM, the “green pastures” of feeding upon Him in the tranquility of His tender love and care, the feasting with Him in the “presence of our enemies” and to the discovery of His Presence with us in “the valley of the shadow of death”! Let us with great humility of heart follow HIM, seek Him and grow in the graces of HIM who is the LORD OUR SHEPHERD!

Ω

The Lord my pasture shall prepare,
And feed me with a shepherd’s care;
His presence shall my wants supply,
And guard me with a watchful eye.
Joseph Addison (1672–1719)

* H3427. יָשַׁב yāšaḇ: A verb meaning to sit, to dwell, to inhabit, to endure, to stay. Apparently, to sit is the root idea, and other meanings are derived from this. (THE COMPLETE WORD STUDY DICTIONARY: OLD TESTAMENT Warren Baker, D.R.E. Eugene Carpenter, Ph.D.)

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

PSALM 23 – THE KINGS TABLE – PART 16 –

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

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

PSALM 23 – PART 13 – THE NEED FOR CORRECTION –

PSALM 23

PART THIRTEEN

THE NEED FOR CORRECTION

“Thy Rod…comforts* me”
PSALM 23:4

Freedom, Peace and Confidence are not possible without authenticity. Authenticity is the result of truth. Truth by its very nature must reveal and make manifest that which is false and superficial. Men may have knowledge and information concerning God without ever touching the TRUTH of God; for it is the Truth that reveals all untruths within me and the world around me. I can have great understanding of the scriptures and yet be totally blind to the true condition of my heart. This is deception of the highest order. It is called “religion” and never are we more susceptible to deception than within the realms of “religious truth”. Instead of the scriptures penetrating our hearts with the Holy gaze of His Presence we use them to “support” our own agendas, weaknesses and carnality; as a cloak to hide ourselves from the very truth that was meant to deliver us. It is to the honest of heart that the Word of God works to uncover and free from all that would hinder us in our growth and desire to SEE HIM. Purity of heart is the pre-requisite of seeing Him!

“For the word of God is living and powerful,
and sharper than any two-edged sword,
piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow,
and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”
HEBREWS 4:12

Authenticity (TRUE BEING) is not the result of a man being true to himself rather it is the fruit of a life that (by God’s Grace) has become TRUE IN GOD. It is in the seeing of HIM that I know myself (see Isaiah 6, Revelation 1:12 – 17). HE is the TRUTH and it is in the seeing of HIM alone are we changed from the corrupted Adam into HIS LIKENESS!

“But we all, with unveiled face,
beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord,
are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory,
just as by the Spirit of the Lord”.
II CORINTHIANS 3:18

The ability to understand and see truth is an issue of the heart not of the intellect. Therefore not only are we unable to see truth by our own efforts, we by nature hate truth because truth is that which exposes the ” untrueness” of all that we are (see John 16:18). When Jesus said “I AM The Way, The Truth…” He revolutionized the definition of truth. The religious Pharisees considered truth in terms of having knowledge of the scriptures and because of that they COULD NOT see HIM who is the truth standing before them, of which Jesus said…

“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life;
and these are they which testify of Me”
John 5:39

My knowing of HIM (who is TRUTH) is directly related to the degree that I truly know and see myself in the light of HIM.

“…but then shall I know even as also I am known”
ICORINTHIANS 13:12

It is because of these things that the Rod of our Great Shepherd is so important in the development of our life with HIM. There are times where I have missed God. I have misinterpreted HIS will and purpose for me and it was HIS mercy that prevented me from walking in the error of my own wrongness. David declares in Psalm 119 “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word” and again “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes” and yet again “I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me”! Our God is Faithful, Merciful and True and how vital it is that we acknowledge our need for His correction, rebuke, reproof and discipline in our lives. For all HIS dealings with us is to the end that “we may be partakers of HIS Holiness”!

Men who are only interested in being right will never be able to receive correction or instruction. In reality they do not have a LOVE FOR TRUTH but in fact (as of old) they have a desire for knowledge and understanding that can be used to support their agendas and their way of living. Well has the scriptures declared that there is a people who are “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth”.

It is in our journey into the discovery of HIM that we learn in truth who we really are. This is a journey filled with much of His correction and discipline and it is as we receive these expressions of His love that we are made soft and pliable in His hands. It is here that we grow in mercy and brokenness before Him and tremble at His word. These are the fruits produced by His Rod in our lives and the essential quality of heart that is greatly desired by our Heavenly Father!

“…but to this man will I look,
even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit,
and trembleth at my word”
Isaiah 66:2

Ω

“When a man’s heart is right with God
the mysterious utterances of the Bible are spirit and life to him.
Spiritual truth is discernible only to a pure heart, not to a keen intellect.
It is not a question of profundity of intellect, but of purity of heart”
Oswald Chambers

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

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 11 – THOU ART WITH ME –

PSALM 23

PART ELEVEN

HIS PRESENCE

“For Thou are with me”
PSALM 23:4

His Presence is the chief end and summation of all things. While some may seek recognition and the approval of men a new generation is arising; one that will know the full purpose of God in Christ is to bring forth a people who live and walk in HIS PRESENCE. The storm that is about to break upon our land in such fury and devastation will necessitate that we have found that deep place of abiding in HIM. This is not a doctrinal statement; it must be the reality and truth of our everyday life. HE IS OUR SALVATION, not a teaching or doctrine. To be a people of HIS PRESENCE requires brokenness, humility and a heart that is compatible with HIS.

“…but to this man will I look,
even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit”
ISAIAH 66:2

If our inner life is right there must always be a revelation of that in our daily life. What we are we do. To be a people of HIS PRESENCE we must grow in the apprehension of truth inwardly and outwardly; the one must precede the other. Religion is only concerned with the outward; truth to be truth must become that in the secret places of our lives… “thou desirest truth in the inward parts…” This is why righteousness is such a critical issue in this hour as it can only be the offspring of a life that is growing in its submission to the leading and the purging of the Holy Spirit. Right thinking must produce right living.

“LORD, who shall ABIDE in thy tabernacle?
who shall DWELL in thy holy hill?
He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness,
and speaketh the truth in his heart.
He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour,
nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.
In whose eyes a vile person is contemned;
but he honoureth them that fear the LORD.
He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.
He that putteth not out his money to usury,
nor taketh reward against the innocent.
He that DOETH these things shall never be moved”
Psalm 15:1 – 5

To Abide in Him is the longing of every true heart. This abiding in HIM, growing in HIM and living in HIM requires a work of grace to bring forth the transformation necessary to live with HIM in truth. How we need to grow in that sensitivity to the promptings and moving of His Spirit in our daily lives!  Without obedience this sensitivity can never be developed. May we become HIS in the daily outflow of life that we allow Him to interrupt our schedule to do His will, listen to His voice and be instructed in the way of His Life within us.

“Thou art with me” is more than a nice religious cliché; it must become the substance, the verity and the truth of whom and what we are. To know of this presence that enables us to WALK through the valleys of difficulty, to become impervious to the fear of the evil we must face, it is essential that we know of a surety that HE is with us! Our depth of abiding is revealed in the life that we live, how we treat others (especially those of the household of faith) and the thoughts and motivations of our hearts. It is a day to seek Him, a day to ask Him to search us and know us and to free us from the hidden things that offend in our lives.

“Blessed are the pure in heart
For they SHALL see God”

Ω

“When we live in God’s presence, when we are in the all for the All relationship,
and surrender our own will and ways to God’s will and ways, only then,
no matter our physical and material circumstances, are we truly and fully alive.
Only in God’s presence are we able to enjoy the unique experience of holy freedom”
Brother Lawrence

“I will fear no evil
For Thou art with me”

Brian Troxel