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Posts Tagged ‘Victory in Jesus’

TEMPTATION

“Blessed is the man who endures temptation;
for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life
which the Lord has promised to those who love Him”
James 1:12

Temptation is neither a sin nor a sign of carnality. It is the everyday reality for all men. The issue is not temptation but the response to it within our heart that matters. It is through enduring and resisting temptation that the victory of the Crown of Life is received. Where there is no battle there can be no crown. The crown of life spoken of here is given to those who by the mercy of our Lord and Saviour have fought the fierce battles that wage in the secret places of our hearts and minds, often while no one is watching. They have known the utter weakness of the flesh, the deceitfulness of their own heart and the pressure that comes to bear upon them in their walk of faith. Left to ourselves the outcome would be certain and the end of the matter sure.

“But thanks be to God,
who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”
I CORINTHIANS 15:57

The Glory of this life of Faith in Christ Jesus is that we are not left to ourselves in the matter of overcoming sin. We are not orphans that are left to our own resources in this matter, nor are we to labour under the rigorous requirements of the Law by our own strength! We have available to us the wonder and the glory of “…the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death!” It is through HIM that we are made “more than conquerors”. In Him we are not only freed from the power of Sin but are indeed made alive that we can walk in the very Spirit of His Life and provision. Such things are not known by simply taking thought. These virtues of His Life are won in the arena of this life. It is the Crown of His life that we receive as we overcome and endure the hardships of temptation and trial. It is in these places that we learn the secrets of dependence and victory; the sufficiency of His Grace in contrast to our weakness; the discovery that “love endures ALL things”; that He is “…able to keep us from stumbling”.

These victories are to be known in the life of every believer. We not only have His rich provision for the victory but even in the midst of defeats and discouragements we have the assurance of forgiveness and mercy to rise up from every one of them and press the battle until the victory has been received.

“For a righteous man may fall seven times
and rises again”
PROVERBS 24:16

The life of the Christian is more than forgiveness, more than mere religious sayings and nice sermons; it is a life of pursuit, of victory and of overcoming as He overcame. It is in growing in Him, learning of Him and discovering the absolute necessity of abiding in Him that we find the wonder of His provision and mercy.

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world.
And this is the victory that has overcome the world even your faith.”
I JOHN 5:4

Brian Troxel

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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

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PSALM 23

PART TEN

FEAR

“I will fear no evil…”
PSALM 23:4

Fear is a common reality felt from the poorest of men to the richest. Fear, in itself, is not a sin. If fear were not a part of our everyday life words such as courage, bravery, overcoming and fearless, among others, would have no value. It is what we DO in the face of fear that determines whether a thing is commendable and worthy of honour or cowardly and worthy of shame. The Hebrew Word used here יָרֵא occurs hundreds of times in the Old Testament; here as a verb but also (though less) as a noun and is used interchangeably to describe the Fear of the Lord or fear of a particular circumstance or situation. We read throughout the Sacred Scriptures of the Fear of the Lord being the principle part of Wisdom. We also read of those who, because of the fear of the Lord, obeyed Him, served Him and loved Him through the actions it produced in their lives.

In this Psalm we read of an individual following and loving their Shepherd and, in that following, they find themselves walking through the valley of the Shadow of Death. It is in the midst of this experience that we hear the declaration that they will not be deterred in following Him. The fear of this place of evil and darkness will not prevail or have any effect upon their decision to walk through this valley! These valleys are not crossed over because of the absence of fear; they are crossed over in spite of the fear! The love of God displaces the terror and the grip of FEAR enabling us to pass over, to walk through, and to overcome the thing that would prevent us from obeying HIM!

God’s people should never feel ashamed when encountering fear; what matters is what we DO in the face of it. Countless martyrs throughout the ages have faced the fear of torture, persecution and even death yet they found the strength and the courage to be faithful to walk through the realities of these things. They are not moved by the fear because HE IS WITH THEM. There is a peace and a power that holds their souls in adversity; a presence that imparts GRACE to stand, to walk and to hold the course in spite of all that rises up to meet them in the path of following Jesus.

“through whom also we have access BY FAITH into this grace
in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations,
knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;
and perseverance, character; and character, hope”
ROMANS 5:2 – 4

It is HIS GRACE that enables us to stand and this grace is only accessed through the portal of FAITH. Without faith we have no access to this Grace; Grace not only to stand but to rejoice and glory in tribulation! Such things are too high for the ability of man within himself. These things are reserved for those who are growing in the seeking, pursuit and abiding in HIM!

God has an answer to the fears that would cause us to falter in our way.

HIS answer is HIMSELF.

“I will fear no evil;
For You are with me”

Ω

“Fear. His modus operandi is to manipulate you with the mysterious, to taunt you with the unknown. Fear of death, fear of failure, fear of God, fear of tomorrow—his arsenal is vast. His goal? To create cowardly, joyless souls. He doesn’t want you to make the journey to the mountain. He figures if he can rattle you enough, you will take your eyes off the peaks and settle for a dull existence in the flatlands.”
Max L. Lucado (1955– )

Brian Troxel

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PSALM 23

PART EIGHT

THE VALLEY
OF THE SHADOW
OF DEATH

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

Throughout this Psalm we read of Him leading us to places of quiet waters and green pastures, in paths of righteousness and yet in the midst of all this we read here of walking “through the valley of the shadow of death…”! How can these things be? Is He not our Shepherd? Is He not in charge and in control of all the things going on around us? We are so struck with the contrast and the suddenness of this verse that we rarely embrace its context within this Psalm. We often hear it quoted because we see all around us God’s precious people walking in, enduring and experiencing this valley that is to them the very dark and real “shadow of death”. How difficult it is to relate this to the purposes of God, to relate this to “Our Shepherd” in whom we are to place our absolute trust. We question, we struggle and we wrestle with the “whys” and the “purposes” of such suffering and often in these experiences we know silence and a seeming sense of aloneness. It is here that we must draw upon HIS character and discover that the “Valley of the shadow of death” is really an extension of the “paths of righteousness” and that HE who loves us most is not deterred in His purpose to MAKE us sons of God by causing us to walk in the same paths that HIS only begotten Son walked. HE walked in them to “become” the Captain of our salvation (Hebrews 2:10); we walk in them to “attain” the reality of HIS life and salvation!

“…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection,
and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,
if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead”
PHILIPPIANS 3:10

The “power of HIS resurrection” is the life that springs forth from identification with HIM in HIS death. May God work in us the growing realization that the “valley of the shadow of death” is the door way into the knowing of HIM and the power of HIS resurrection! It is the means by which we experience the greatest depth of fellowship with and in HIM! The life of the true Christian is one filled with contrast and contradiction; strength OUT of weakness, beauty FOR ashes, the oil of Joy FOR mourning, light shining OUT of darkness, victory OUT of seeming defeat, love IN the midst of hatred, forgiveness IN the face atrocity and hate, and resurrection life OUT of death! Who is sufficient for all these things? ONLY JESUS the RISEN CHRIST! It is HIS life in us that gives us hope for the dawn. It is HIS life that is the resurrection life and as we walk in the “paths of righteousness” we are found walking in the way of the discovery that HE is in fact “our hope of Glory”.

The “valley of the shadow of death” is the way by which we come to know and trust in HIM in all things. Such knowledge is not learned quickly, it is not learned by sermons and teachings, it can only be known in personal identification with HIM as we WALK with HIM who is “the WAY, the Truth and THE LIFE”.

We (if we have “tasted of the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come”) are all pilgrims and fellow heirs of this life and this walk and as such we must discover the need for greater depths of fellowship and relationship than what we see around us today. For if we are truly in fellowship with HIM it must be revealed in fellowship with those who are walking in this way! “If we walk in the light in the light AS HE is in the light we HAVE fellowship one with another”. The verity of one is revealed in the reality of the other.

Brian Troxel

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PASSING THROUGH

“Who passing through the valley of Baca (weeping)
make it a well (fountain)”
PSALM 84:6

The difficult places in life are not to be our home. They are places THROUGH which we are to walk. The secret of the Christian life is one of passing through, passing over and overcoming. It by our passing through these various places that we find in God HIS GRACE to develop the WELL SPRING of living waters within the core of our own life.

“He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said,
out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water”
JOHN 7:38

The fountain is produced by the walk. It is by our walking through desert places, valleys of weeping and sorrow and through many trials and tribulations that the well is formed and made. The signature of the Christian life is not one that is free from difficulties. It is in the  “passing through” that we know the waters that flow in secret places. These places are “designed” by our Great Shepherd who ever seeks to bring forth the Fruit of His Spirit in our lives. Endurance (a more accurate translation for the word patience) and longsuffering are not fruits that will be produced by a good teaching or sermon; they are the qualities of our living Christ that cannot be known or had apart from HIM! It is in the difficult places that we discover our need for HIM and in finding HIM we touch the source of this well that flows with living waters.

‘Hebrew’ in the Hebrew language means ‘one who passes over’. Such is the reality of all who know their God. There is no room for stagnation, no room to camp in former things, no place to simply drop out of the battle of Faith. It is in the faith of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the faith of the Children of Israel passing over the Jordan; the Faith of David arising to defeat the Goliath of His Day that this truth is revealed. Those who continue to rise up, who continue to seek, knock and pass through the obstacles before them will know of these hidden waters that flow with life, healing and joy. Let us not hang our heads in this DAY but persevere and press into the things that lay before us.

Let us even now believe afresh that our God is able to bring forth HIS life from fragile earthen vessels. We must know and be convinced that the sorrows of circumstances, relationships, and disappointments are all part of the journey that we must PASS THROUGH.

Ω

“Press forward. Do not stop, do not linger in your journey,
but strive for the mark set before you.”
GEORGE WHITEFIELD

Brian Troxel

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