Psalm 19:13

Psalm 19:13

“Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins. Let them not have dominion over me. Then I will be upright. I will be blameless and innocent of great transgression”
Psalm 19:13

Within many of the sacred stanzas of the Psalms, are prayers breathed. These prayers arise from difficult situations, treachery, the threat of enemies within and without, deep repentance, and thankfulness unto God for salvation and deliverance.

It is very apparent that Psalm 19 was composed by David in his later years. It is a Psalm that reflects the heart of a man who, in his pursuit of God, has recognized his need for the God of light to continually search and keep him pure and right.

Presumptuous Sins

Presumptuous sins are ever the blight of the human condition. They can arise from our position in the world, our accomplishments, our associations with others, our knowledge, and a multitude of other things. David knew well his propensity for such things. As the King of Israel, he had taken advantage of his position to cause the death of Uriah and enable adultery with Bathsheba. He had numbered the people of Israel to inflate his pride as to the extent of his kingdom.

Pride is an insidious stain upon the human race and nowhere is it more hidden and deceitful than in the realms of religion. In this Psalm David reveals the sinister nature of presumption and asks his God to prevent him from being overtaken by its dark and deceptive power. There is knowledge borne of very painful experiences, the outcome of unspeakable sins. It is to that end David cries out to God to preserve him from this evil.

Presumption is the result of spiritual blindness;
a knowledge of God without the benefits of seeing God.

We have all witnessed this blinding pride at work in the Church around us; in prayer meetings, in outreach ministries, in building programs, and in associations with great teachers, prophets and leaders. There is pride in the accumulation of knowledge and understanding, and even pride in confessions of spiritual poverty! I know from my own experiences its horror and deception. It can begin with a thought, a good deed, a gracious ministration of His Spirit into the life of another. Instead of being humbled that the God of all glory has chosen to use us as a means of reaching another life, we begin to think of ourselves as special; the concept of “more special” than others is a sure path to Pharisee-ism and spiritual death. How good and faithful is our God to provide us with multiple opportunities to see, turn and repent from this web of deceit.

The hope and cure for this pervading malaise is to spend time in His Holy presence, as David did, in continual prayer that God watch over the affairs of our hearts. In touching Him we are instantly aware of His unspeakable glory. In this wonder pride is eviscerated by the fire of His presence. Grace and mercy are only fully appreciated in the atmosphere of His greatness. The ability to remain free of this presumption is found in our total reliance upon His mercy to keep us and our acknowledgement of our vulnerability. In the measure to which we know ourselves is a corresponding openness to receive admonition from Him and others. Presumption left unchecked becomes pride which leads to a life of callousness and spiritual blindness.

“But the person who does wrong in the pride of his heart, if he is one of you or of another nation by birth, is acting without respect for the Lord, and will be cut off from his people. Because he had no respect for the word of the Lord…”
Numbers 15:30-31 (BBE)

Σ

“Search me, O God, and know my heart:
try me, and know my thoughts…”
Psalm 139:23

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today

Thought for Today

“He is in the way of life
that keepeth instruction
Proverbs 10:17

A tender heart is open to the instruction of the Lord. It is attentive to His whispers. It is as we come to know His voice and His way that we are able to grow and develop in our life in God. Our teach-ability is evidence that we are in “the way of life”.

Paul was ever attentive to the instruction of the Lord. His life was one of continual learning. His was a life-long quest to know His God.

“I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need”
Philippians 4:12

This learning was experiential to the point where he could glorify God in every situation in which he found himself. While it is easy to gain knowledge, only the experiential knowing of Him will bring changes, eternal changes, into our lives.

It is in keeping His instruction whereby we can be confident that we are in the Way of Life. It is the verity of our life in Him.

Brian Troxel

The Marks of True Servants – Part Three

The Marks of a True Servant

Paul’s Departure
(from Ephesus)

Part Three

“Therefore watch,
remembering that for a period of three years
I didn’t cease to admonish everyone
night and day with tears
Acts 20:31

The true servant of God knows the great battle between flesh and spirit. He is well aware of the weakness of the flesh to grow weary and to compromise. Paul is reminding the Elders of the Church at Ephesus of his own diligence to warn and admonish the believers when he lived among them. His life was an example to them that they must ever be alert and awake to the state of God’s people. We see no letup with Paul; his admonitions were accompanied night and day with tears; for he was filled with the love of God.

This gracious and all-pervading ministration which flowed from Paul was the true expression of one filled with the unction of the Holy Spirit! There was no room for the false comfort of the gospel of today. The fire burned, the admonition flowed.

In the Epistle to the Church at Rome Paul beseeches them to offer themselves unto God as a “living sacrifice”; he left no room for a nominal Christian experience. Beating within him was the insatiable desire to fully apprehend that for which God had so graciously apprehended him. His life burned with purpose and intent. The Christian life was a journey, not a one-time experience. It was a journey filled with temptation and great battles and storms. Yet in a corresponding measure it was also one of growth and glory. Admonition flows from a life which has seen and touched heavenly things.

The individual who has tasted of heavenly things will be in a relentless pursuit of the glory and honour of the One in whom they “live, move and have their being”.

Let us take note of this heart which beat within Paul. May there be a divine SELAH to allow the heart of Jesus to fill our own. Let the apathy of all that is around us be consumed by the passion and the ministration of the Holy Spirit.

“I didn’t cease to admonish everyone
night and day with tears”

SELAH

May we consider the “marks” of the true servant of God and feel anew that fire burning within our own being. Let “this mind be in you” as Paul admonished the Church of God at Philippi. May we know the same intensity and the same care and concern for God’s people that filled the early Church. Let us repent of the status quo and turn again unto the One who can ignite the human heart.

The heart of a true servant of God seeks to bring every life into the Kingdom and dominion of God. It will risk the disapproval of others in order to be pleasing unto God.

Admonition will be a mark of one who serves God in truth.

Brian Troxel

Andrew Murray

Quote for Today

Andrew Murray

“Unless we are willing to pay the price, and sacrifice time and attention and what appear legitimate or necessary duties, for the sake of the heavenly gifts we need not look for a large experience of the power of the heavenly world in our work”
– Andrew Murray

Consolation in Distress

Trust in the Storm

“If I walk in the midst of distress
Thou revives me…”
Psalm 138:7

Trouble and distress are often the precursor to glory. Our heavenly Father’s purpose is to bring “many sons to glory”. He who “spared not His Son” on our behalf will not spare His rod and His staff from the lives of those who have purposed to know Him. In our distresses we become focused and aware of the eternal issue; to know and honor God. It is in the press where the grapes are squeezed, the spices are crushed and the pride of man is broken. These are the times that the vision of a true soul sees with the most clarity and the vanity of life is exposed. The fine wine is brought to maturity, the bouquet is sweetened and the flavor is deepened and refined as the dregs of self are removed. That which was once bitter is made sweet by the gracious work of God. In His economy the best wine is always brought out at the last to glorify the wonder of the work of the Son. The waters in the earthen pot have been transformed into the wine of the Spirit for others to drink and be refreshed.

“For I will restore health unto thee,
and I will heal thee of thy wounds…”
Jeremiah 30:17

The quickening and reviving work of God is ever in the midst of the trial. In our holding fast to Him the storm inevitably gives way to the calm. That which has been torn will be restored; that which has been driven by the wind will find the harbor of His peace and security. Grey and angry skies will clear and the deep blue face of heaven will be more serene than ever before.

Do not fear the storms for He who knows our frame and our limitations also knows how to keep His own within the everlasting arms.

Praise our God, you peoples! Make the sound of his praise heard, who preserves our life among the living, and doesn’t allow our feet to be moved. For you, God, have tested us. You have refined us, as silver is refined. You brought us into prison. You laid a burden on our backs. You allowed men to ride over our heads. We went through fire and through water, but you brought us to the place of abundance
Psalm 66:8-12

God’s end is to bring His own to the place of abundance!

Brian Troxel
(2018)

The Marks of True Servants – Part Two

The Marks of a True Servant

Paul’s Final Departure
(from Ephesus)

Part Two

“For I have not shunned
to declare unto you all the counsel of God”
Acts 20:27

True servants withhold nothing of God’s counsel for fear of losing the approval of men. They speak the truth because they love the truth. Within their hearts beats the singular desire to live unto the Lord alone. They seek His approval alone.

“But in all things
approving ourselves as the ministers of God…”
2 Corinthians 6:4

To live unto Christ is to be free from the fear of man. Truth is the person and majesty of Christ Himself. This dynamic of His Life can only be known as we abide in Him. This ONE who purged the filth of man’s pollution from the Temple, also revealed the tenderness of mercy to the woman at the well; His Life cannot be held by the mere doctrines of men. The necessity of abiding in Him is what frees us to express Him in the moment, in the situation we are facing. It is the only means by which His Truth can be expressed! To speak of kindness when the Spirit of God seeks to confront a situation, is error. To speak judgment when God’s Spirit is soft and gentle is to miss Him grievously. A carnal concept of God has always been the bane of religion! To try and live by the precepts of Christ will inevitably end in failure and sin for we are to be in this world as HE IS in the moment.

Only His life can rightly express His heart. We are called unto a Life of abiding in Him to the intent that

“…as HE IS,
so are we in this world”
1 John 4:17

The truth of our walk in Him must culminate in a life of abiding in Him. Present truth can only be known by those who live in the presence of God. As His Life becomes ours, we know the truth; His truth for the moment. Peter in dealing with Ananias and Sapphira did not violate the Love of God; He revealed it. Those who walk in a concept of the love of God will be offended by this expression of truth. Naaman the Syrian had a concept of how the Lord would heal him. Had it not been for the wisdom of one of his servants he would have missed God and remained a leper the rest of his life.

His prophets spoke the Word of the Lord to the situation they found themselves in. The Word spoken was present truth, The Word for His people in the Day in which they lived. It was not a random Word, pulled from history’s pages, but truth for moment.

“…they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruninghooks…”
Isaiah2:4

Yet in another day the word given was:

Beat your plowshares into swords,
and your pruninghooks into spears”
Joel 3:10

His Spirit will never violate the Word but it will breathe the life and wonder of God INTO His Word. Such enablement, grace and wisdom can only be known to those who abide in the ONE who is the sum of all Grace and Truth. Jesus did not come to expose the world to a new teaching or a new religious concept; He came to fill us with Himself. He did not come to give us A new life but to give us HIS Life that we might know the power of His indwelling word.

The “marks” (brands) of the true servant of God are those who withhold not His truth and counsel regardless of the “consensus” of men. Only as we are freed from self are we truly able to be His servant.

“For do I now persuade men, or God?
or do I seek to please men?
for if I yet pleased men,
I should not be the servant of Christ”
Galatians 1:10

The true servant of God is one who is poured out in service to Christ. He seeks no following and does not desire the finances of this world. His only desire is to be true to the ONE who enlisted him into His service. Only then is he free enough to declare the whole counsel of God to his generation.

“Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ” ……………………………………. Romans 1:1
“James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ” .. James 1:1
“Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ…. 2 Peter 1:1
“Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ” ………………………………….. Jude 1:1

“For he whom God hath sent
speaketh the words of God…”
John 3:34

Σ

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me”
John 15:4

The Marks of a True Servant is a series of writings revealing the tried and true character of Paul as he met with the Church at Ephesus for the last time. His life was the testimony of a man who had spent his life as a true bond-servant of Christ. May God complete His work in each one of us. Blessings to All who have made it their life purpose to serve and honour Him.
BT

Brian Troxel

H.A. Ironside

Quote for Today

“God is not looking for brilliant men, is not depending upon eloquent men, is not shut up to the use of talented men in sending His Gospel out in the world. God is looking for broken men, for men who have judged themselves in the light of the Cross of Christ. When He wants anything done, He takes up men who have come to an end of themselves, and whose trust and confidence is not in themselves but in God.”
– H.A. Ironside