Unto Him

Unto Him

“As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.”
Acts 13:2

The maturity of a child of God is marked by the realization that we are here for His pleasure, not the other way around.

“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure, they are and were created.”
Revelation 4:11

The chief aim for a heart rightly related to Him is a singleness of purpose to please, honor, and glorify Him. Too many today are like the ten lepers who benefit from His healing and salvation with little or no thought of offering their lives back unto Him in gratitude. They receive the earnest of His Salvation, they hold fast to His promises FOR themselves, but offer little of themselves in return.

We read in Acts 13 that the people of God at Antioch “ministered unto the Lord”. They gathered unto Him. Their purpose in meeting was not to have a nice worship service or to hear a good sermon; they were fixed upon bringing joy and honor to Him. From this powerful interaction the Lord Himself speaks:

“Separate me, Barnabas and Saul…”

It requires the power of the Holy Spirit to draw and to separate men and women unto the great work of His purposes. As long as our meetings, our times of fellowship, and our interactions are about us we will not see the intervention of the Lord in our midst. In the early Church, God would manifest Himself for their hearts were fixed on Him with no other agenda.

May God bring us to the truth and purpose of His Salvation. It is not about us. it is about us being redeemed from our self-life and our neglect of His salvation. His gifts and His callings are not ours to do with as we please, but to make Him known and worshipped. We often hear the words “My church”, “My ministry”, and “My right” spoken as though we can do with His undeserved gifts as we see fit. But we must remember that we are going to give an account to Him at the Judgment Seat of Christ! There is no greater abomination than to take the Holy things of God unto ourselves.

“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.”
Exodus 20:7

The world cannot misuse this glorious name for it cannot take what has not been given to them. This commandment is FOR HIS PEOPLE. For anyone to take His name and use it for their own selfish purposes is a flagrant violation of the first commandment.

The Hebrew word used for vain means the following:

שָׁוְא – šāw’: “A masculine noun meaning emptiness, vanity, evil, ruin, uselessness, deception, worthless, without result, fraud, deceit. The primary meaning of the word is deceit, lie, or falsehood. God used the word to indicate that He punished Judah in vain. The word is used by the psalmist to state that all activities such as laboring, guarding, rising early, staying up late, and toiling for food were useless without God’s assistance.”

Only God’s people can use this name deceitfully and fraudulently and there will be great recompense on the Day of Judgment.

“they ministered unto the Lord!”
Acts 13:2

How desperately we need Him to interject His presence into our gatherings unto Him. How we need the anointed ministry of God to be sent from the Church; not from some bible school, but from our local assembly! The men sent forth in Acts 13 would not meet the “qualifications” of most churches today. They would not measure up to their doctrinal “statements of faith” for they walked in the power and the wonder of God’s anointing and Life.

Stephen was a deacon of the early church. God’s estimation of a deacon was vastly different from what we consider to be a deacon in our day!

The Church is to exist for Him. She, the Bride, lives for Him. She prepares herself for His return (“prepared as a bride adorned FOR her husband”, Rev. 21:2). Note the words “adorned for her husband”. Her heart is set on Him, not on herself. The love which burns in her heart is for Him alone; she has no other loves or desires. She is not interested in bigger buildings, more celebrity status, or more approval from others. She lives to honor Him.

“As they ministered to the Lord,
and fasted, the Holy Ghost said…”

The Holy Spirit is present where His people are one and harmonized in the pure desire to minister unto Him. When men seek preeminence or meet with ulterior motives God hides Himself from this glorious manifestation.

“…unto HIM shall the gathering
of the people be”
Genesis 49:10

SEE: Devotion and Worship

Brian Troxel

Established in the Love of God

Established in the Love of God

“…may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all… so that He may establish your hearts
1 Thessalonians 3:12-13

In 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13, we discover important truths. As we open ourselves up to the word of God, He will highlight things to us, and we see something we can build our life upon. Here Paul is writing to the Thessalonians. (Recognize that whereas James, John, Jude, and Peter are writing to the whole church, Paul’s is a more specific apostolic ministry). He writes to the church in different locations and even personal letters to address and strengthen and encourage them in those areas where they have a particular need. He is laying foundations whereas the others are calling God’s people to build on those foundations. Allow these words in Thessalonians to enter your heart:

“Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.”
1 Thessalonians 3:11-13

Love is the most stabilizing grace in God. As we grow in the love of God we grow in His stability because love is the character and foundation of His relationship with you and me. All His working and doing in us is because He loves us. Whom the Lord loves He chastens. Whom the Lord loves He blesses. Whom the Lord loves He fashions and strengthens and encourages that we might strengthen and establish others. The Greek word used here, “that He may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness” is the same one that Jesus used when He spoke to Peter, “When you are converted, strengthen your brothers.” As we grow in our establishment and as we allow Him to convert us from our selfish ways, God allows you to strengthen others through the same love that has established you. Even in the biggest mistakes you make, you keep discovering this unfathomable love of God and you wonder… why does He stay with me? Because He is your foundation. As you grow in God, He develops patience in you for others, because the love wherewith He has loved you is now being formed in you to love others to the end that they may be established. He is telling Peter, when you are converted, strengthen others, the depth of your conversion is revealed in the divine enablement for you to strengthen others. Knowing Him who is love enables us to love others with the same love wherewith He has loved us.

“And so were the churches established in the faith,
and increased in number daily.”
Acts 16:5

When love is the crowning jewel of His Church – The world will see His wisdom and His salvation.

“By this shall all men know
that ye are my disciples
if ye have love one to another.”
John 13:35

Brian Troxel

The Spirit of Faith and Pleasing God

The Spirit of Faith and Pleasing God

“We having the same spirit of faith…”
2 Corinthians 4:13

How precious is the Word of God! Even the smallest phrases reveal powerful glimpses of Him! “The Spirit of Faith”, the true living faith, is a spiritual ministration. It is not an attempt to try and believe a certain thing. It is a faculty of His Life imparted into ours. It knows and desires to please the One from whom this unspeakable gift originates. Those who have received this ministration are continuously being changed by its power. Faith is the breath of Almighty God and the basis of our growth into Him.

“But without faith
it is impossible to please him…”
Hebrews 11:6

Those held by the power of faith seek to please Him. There are many whose view of salvation is self-serving. There is a lack of outreach into the world around them and an inability to involve themselves in the arena of faith. Those who love their own lives cannot please God. Faith on the other hand births a desire to experience His life, one that is so radically different from the logical mind of man.

“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”
Matthew 16:25

While the religious trust in confessions, those with a living faith seek to identify with the Author who laid down His life that we might find it.

To be without faith is to not feel His heartbeat; to be without the breath of the Almighty inspiring us to spend and be spent that others might see the surpassing Glory of Him.

Without faith, it is impossible to please Him. Without it, there is no substance or relationship to God. Jesus did not come to give us words and teachings; He came to impart to us His very Life. The Words that HE speaks are “spirit” and they are “life”. The faculty of faith hears and responds to HIS word. The natural man may read the scriptures but there is no inspiration or stimulus to respond. Obedience by such is considered legalistic and contrary to the “new” gospel of many in our day. The truth is obedience is impossible without the inspiration of faith.

“but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience OF faith—”
Romans 16:27

Regarding the purpose of all ministry Paul concludes his epistle to the Romans:

“to bring about the
obedience of faith”

Throughout this epistle, Paul stresses the impotence of man and the power of God. The characteristic of faith is that it alone enables those held in its power “to bring about” in fallen man the ability to live in obedience to the “command of the eternal God”. That is why we can declare the Gospel of God and the wonder of faith as the “Good News”. God’s answer to the disobedience of the natural state of man is the impartation of faith which returns us to the original purpose of God for man.

Faith is the only source of obedience. It is rightly termed “the obedience OF faith”! Where there is no obedience there can be little or no existence of faith, regardless of one’s confession. The delusion of having faith in God apart from obedience is the great lie propagated by faithless ministers and hypocritical adherents. Obedience is a learned experiential journey. Since obedience is totally dependent upon faith it naturally grows from “faith unto faith” (Romans 1:17) and the corresponding expression of obedience is fully dependent upon that development of faith. This is a critical aspect of the journey into our life in God. His love draws us, His word encourages and convicts us, and His grace empowers us to grow.

The true sheep of God hear His voice and respond in obedience because the faith of God causes obedience to be a delight, not a duty or a carnal commandment but a joy and a privilege!

Well does the Psalmist prophesy of the life of Christ…

“Then said I, Lo, I come:
in the volume of the book, it is written of me,
I delight to do thy will, O my God”
Psalm 40:7-8

The evidence of Christ within is the privilege and the delight to DO His Will!

SEE: Simplicity

(continued)

Brian Troxel

Belief and Faith

Belief and Faith

“We having the same spirit of faith…”
2 Corinthians 4:13

In the original Greek, there is very little difference between these two words; belief means “to have faith”, a living faith that draws from God. But very often today the Gospel has been reduced to what a person believes. Salvation is presented as words rather than power. Belief has become a doctrinal concept where the power of God is no longer taken into consideration. We hear “just believe,” as in assenting to a phrase and a concept; it matters little whether or not the “belief” is accompanied by change. Somehow words will ensure our relationship with God is good regardless of any transformation or not. It becomes no different than the offerings of any other religion where you pray multiple times a day the same repetitive prayer, or follow certain rules and procedures, or travel to some special location at least once in your life, or any number of empty mantras.

Belief (in our day) is what a person understands and mentally ascents to; faith is the power to walk in those beliefs. Faith is the dynamic of God in us demonstrating His Life. Belief is simply the framework of an individual’s concept of God.

“You believe that God is One. You do well;
even the demons believe and shudder.”
James 2:19

James follows this statement with:

But are you willing to know, O vain man,
that faith apart from works is dead?”
James 2:20

The penetrating question of the Spirit of God is: “Are you willing to know, oh vain man…”? Many in this hour are not willing to know the truth. They hide behind what they believe to justify a dead and impotent faith. The demons believe and tremble, but it is not possible for them, nor for those whose faith is dead, to do the works of God. It takes the inspiration of Faith to know the victory of Christ and the power to walk righteously. Belief allows one to be deceived as to the verity of the condition of their faith. The powers of darkness rejoice in those with no ability to touch the power of a living faith.

The Apostolic ministrations often exhorted the people of God to examine themselves whether they be “IN THE FAITH”.

“Examine yourselves,
whether you are in the faith; test yourselves…”
2 Corinthians 13:5

Paul is not asking what we believe; he is pointedly asking, “are you IN the faith”. Is the faith of God moving you, pressing you, and causing you to walk in obedience? The writer of Hebrews wanted to present to the people of God what faith IS. A simple reading of Hebrews chapter 11 defined faith by what people did, not by what they believed.

It is the error of false teaching that a large part of the church today reduces faith to a statement. People and organizations often seek to define and validate themselves by these statements of faith rather than understanding that what they DO is their statement of faith. A faith that produces nothing is worth nothing. A faith that is not costly to walk in, which does not bring repentance and growth in our personal lives, is the bane of religion.

It is not what we believe, it is how we conduct ourselves. Faith produces a life that will cause others to glorify our Heavenly Father. Jesus says to the multitude:

“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

Notice the connection Jesus makes between light and works. His Light shines forth from His Works in and through us. Those who carry Him in their lives cannot be bereft of works.

The great deception of our day is that if I believe right, I am therefore right with God. The true ministration of the Sword of the Spirit will bring to us the burning question, “are you willing to know”?

“But are you willing to know, O vain man,
that faith apart from works is dead?”
James 2:20

It is imperative that we desire the truth of God for ourselves. Our works, our daily walk, and our internal thought life are the revelation of our faith. John pleads with the people of God to not be deceived.

“Little children, let no one lead you astray;
he who is doing righteousness is righteous,
even as He is righteous…”
1 John 3:7

God is very clear concerning righteousness; he who is DOING righteousness is righteous. Doing righteousness is revealed in our walking in forgiveness, casting down vain imaginations, freeing ourselves from jealously, envy and lust. Giving of our time, our resources and the secret prayer life where we find grace to bless those who despise us, exclude us from their company, and walk free from the temptations of all this world has to offer.

“But are you willing to know, O vain man,
that faith apart from works is dead?”

May we allow the penetrating work of the Holy Spirit to keep us in the living relationship by the power of a faith where the love of God produces the works of God in our lives.

Note: There are many scriptures that use the word “belief” in reference to salvation; for example:

“For with the heart man believeth
unto righteousness…”
Romans 10;10

The phrase “unto righteousness” is key. It is not by a powerless belief that salvation is secured; it is a belief that brings the heart unto righteousness. How we have misinterpreted these verses as if a mental assent is all that is required. Religion rests in words, God’s power is revealed in transformed lives.

My life as a hopeless addict. associated with gangs and living on the streets, needed far more than words, something beyond confessions and teachings. His coming to me personally, imparting to my miserable existence the breath and wonder of His own LIFE transformed me in that instant, and by his grace continues to change me. I will forever be indebted to the One who found me and saved me. That is the Gospel!

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth INTO (the true Greek meaning) Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”
John 3:16

The end result of believing INTO Him is “everlasting LIFE”!

amazing grace!

Brian Troxel

The Threefold Cord of Life

The Threefold Cord of Life

The Threefold Cord

Paul presents to us the threefold cord of the evident expression of lives who are living in Christ.

“Remembering without ceasing your work of faith,
and labour of love, and patience of hope
in our Lord Jesus Christ”
1 Thessalonians 1:3

Authenticity in a believer is substantiated by the life it produces. Paul is remembering the evident character of the believers in Thessalonica. He is gripped by the substance of their walk and life in Christ! The Apostle is bound by the Spirit of God in him to the authentic expression of Christ in them. Life ever calls out to life, deep calls out to deep as we are inextricably joined to the verity of His life in another. This is the power of the true Body of Christ. The call to relationship, fellowship, and active love is the binding agent of all who live and walk in Him. If the Spirit of Christ is ruling within, our hearts will be drawn to true relationships with others in Christ. When carnality rules, people are content with exclusive*, powerless and shallow relationships in their lives. In contrast, the threefold cords of love to be found in the true Body of Christ are set forth here with clarity and precision.

ONE:
Work of Faith

Faith, in order to be living, active and pertinent in the lives of His own, will always be expressive of the person, the glory, and the substance of the Living Christ. If there are no works of faith it is because the faith of the individual is dead; it is a faith in word only. It is a faith in a doctrine or a teaching which has no life or power. It is stagnant and sterile. One cannot be vitally connected to the Living Christ and live a non-effectual life in this dark world. The Greek word used here for “work” is where we get the English word “energy”. There is vitality and power associated with a true and living faith within the lives of His own. The Work of Faith is simply the doing that springs forth or originates from the power of His Faith in our lives (Galatians 2:20). The nature of faith is expressed in the works it produces. (James 2:26)

TWO:
Labour of Love

The Greek word used here for “labour” is literally translated “to strike. Beating, wailing, grief with beating the breast, equal to kopetós (G2870), lamentation, wailing”. It is a burden that can only be known by the love of God beating within our hearts over the condition of others. It is the very Love of God producing prayers, intercessions, and words of encouragement and admonition. It is a labour to see the Kingdom of God arise in the earth and especially in the household of faith. Those who do not have the love of God beating within their hearts will not know this travail of Spirit over the condition of God’s people in this Day. The true ministry of God carries the burdens and the labors of the Spirit to see God’s people walk in truth.

“My little children,
of whom I travail in birth again
until Christ be formed in you”
Galatians 4:19

THREE:
Patience of Hope

The word “patience” is much better translated as “endurance”. Endurance speaks of faithfulness, consistency, and self-sacrifice. It communicates a life that is committed to the goal or purpose of God regardless of the obstacles and the apathy of others; it holds true to the mark set before it. The beauty of this grace is born out of a complete abandonment to the promises of God. It is a life that does not falter for it holds the character of God as its surety of recompense. It disciplines the heart to the works of faith and the labour of Love. It is the anchor from which the other graces of faith and love remain constant. The word declares that hope is the “anchor of the soul” to which the wandering tendencies of the human heart are holding firm to the end.

This threefold cord is the true revelation of the living Christ ruling and reigning within the lives of His own. Those who dwell in the Spirit of Christ know experientially the vitality of this wonder.

“…a threefold cord is not easily broken”
Ecclesiastes 4:3

*Note: Exclusive relationships are closed, secular, and carnal. The Threefold Cord of the Life of Christ will not be bound by isolated living, uninvolved lives with others (outside their own circle), and content with esoteric teachings which produces no works of Faith nor labor of the love of God for others.

Brian Troxel

The Things to Come 2016

THE THINGS TO COME 2016

This is a Word from the Lord given to me on February 26, 2016, which I have reposted (SEE this link for the original: Things to Come). We are touching but the beginning of darker things to come. It is a time to prepare ourselves for the storm which is coming.

“I spake unto thee in thy prosperity;
but thou hast said I will not hear.
This hath been thy manner from thy youth,
that thou obeyed not my voice”
JEREMIAH 22:21 (*1 NOTE)

God is speaking to His Own in the day of prosperity. HE calls out to them, HE seeks to warn them of the storm that is about to break, yet they will not hear. The teachings of this hour dismiss obedience as a “legalistic” approach to our new understanding of “love” (see Revelation 3:19). We are told over and over again that we are OK and that somehow the God of the New Testament is not interested in obedience. We have a “gospel” that removes the fear of God from our land. To this person that will not hear and will not obey God goes on to say…

“The wind shall eat up all thy pastors (*NOTE 2),
and thy lovers shall go into captivity:
surely THEN shalt thou be
ashamed and confounded
for all thy wickedness”
JEREMIAH 22:22

  • He will remove the pastors who comfort those who should not be comforted. HE will take away their trust in men and the forms of gathering that prevent people from realizing their own responsibility to seek, hear and obey God for themselves. The storm is about to hit and we are unaware.

God speaks in the day of prosperity because in times of prosperity men tend to forget God; they become comfortable in a religion that does not convict. They glory in a form of truth, an appearance of something that is alive but in reality is dead. God speaks to His Church in Sardis…

“These things saith HE
that hath the seven Spirits of God,
and the seven stars; I know thy works,
that thou hast a name
that thou art alive, and art dead”
REVELATION 3:1

These are people who have not grown in their walk with God. The Bread of Life has not been developed within them; they hear much and see little. They have not developed a living relationship with the Fountain of Life and have a constant need to be fed rather than becoming bread for others. God will remove those pastors who have loved the place of pre-eminence in the assemblies but have not been burdened over the condition of the people of God. God will remove those who have spoken smooth things in this day, who have ministered a spirit of slumber, who have spoken “peace, peace” when there is no peace. Rather than sounding out the alarm on the day of the Lord (Joel 2:1), rather than calling people to repentance and righteousness, they have sought to comfort them with a gospel that makes men comfortable with sin and disobedience.

It is in the removal of these things that the people of God are suddenly struck with the true nature of their condition before a Holy God. God must remove these influences that in seeing their true condition they will turn unto Him in heartfelt brokenness to find mercy and grace. God’s end is always to bring men and women to Himself. He does not chasten His Own without the motive to draw them near, heal them, and restore them into a right relationship with Himself.

“So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear (*NOTE 1); and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent”
REVELATION 3:16-19

*1 NOTE: This prophetic word to His Church concerning their nakedness is in stark contrast to the teachings of this hour. We have a teaching that we are already clothed in righteousness and that we need not concern ourselves with such things! This Word was given in around 90AD over 20 years after the martyrdom of Paul! How false and erroneous are the teachings of our day. God says “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten”, this is the true LOVE OF GOD, blessed are those who have ears to hear and hearts to respond to Him in this hour.

1. “Thou hast a FEW names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments, and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.” (Revelation 3:4)
2. “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” (Revelation 16:15)

People who are content with such things (declared righteousness) are those who fail to realize their own responsibility to keep their garments clean; they cannot hear, are not able to see, and will not obey the voice of God in this hour.

*2 NOTE: This removal of Pastors is nothing new in the history of the church. The most recent occurrence of this on a large scale was in China (1950’s) when the Communist Government removed the pastors and installed their own and the visible organized church became a sounding board for the government. Those who had been a part of what was called “the Little Flock Movement”, where the people of God developed their own walk (prior to the purge), simply went underground and the church of God flourishes to this day.

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten:
be zealous therefore, and repent”
REVELATION 3:19

Brian Troxel

Freedom From Sin

Freedom From Sin

“…and the yoke shall be destroyed
because of the anointing.”
Isaiah 10:27

A few years back while spending time in His presence this impression came to me:

“An individual’s estimation of sin
is the revelation of their estimation of God”.

Those who regard sin lightly also pay little regard to the integrity of God; His Heart, His Being, and His Purpose in sending His Son to die on our behalf.

“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”
Matthew 1:21

The Greek word translated “from” is defined as: ἀπό; (Apó) indicates the separation of a person or an object from another person or an object with which it was formerly united but is now separated. (The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament by Spiros Zodhiates) Underline my addition.

The depth of my participation in His Life is revealed in the freedom and separation of my personal life from sin and iniquity. He came to make me free. His ministrations of truth are to that one end.

“And ye shall know the truth,
and the truth shall make you free.”
John 8:32

In my early years of studying the word, and hearing great teaching, I came to the realization that despite my accumulation of knowledge I was still bound in recurring sins. There was a moment when the power of the TRUTH of the above scripture struck me with great force. Truth is not something we know intellectually; it is the power and life which comes from knowing HIM who is the truth. In that moment of revelation, I realized the amount of truth I actually hold is revealed in actual freedom from MY sin. I need Christ to be MY Savior to be free from MY sin. My depth of knowing Him, abiding in Him, and Him in me, determines the power and the measure of my personal salvation. I cannot be a slave to sin and hope to make known to others the power of His Salvation. Hypocrisy is the fruit of such a life. Many of God’s people today secretly battle with the sorrow and misery of sin-bound lives. Some teach and expound the word of God to others yet in the hidden places of their hearts their experience is contrary to what they speak.

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin,
that grace may abound? God forbid.”
Romans 6:1-2

The true grace of God is the power to separate me from my sin. There is a dynamic released which breaks the power of the bonds of sin. Just as Paul (Romans 6 &7 ) speaks of sin as a power that is the root of our sins/sinful acts, so grace is the power of God to defeat that power of sin inherent within. It takes the power of God’s grace to defeat the power of sin. A gospel of grace that makes light of sin, which comforts us to remain in sin, is a perversion of God’s magnificent purpose in Christ.

“…knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be nullified, so that we no longer serve sin”
Romans 6:6

It is in “knowing this” (this truth) in our hearts that we are becoming free to no longer serve sin.

The truth of Christ frees us to Live in Christ. Faith is the reason we not only have hope, but it is our assurance that the grace of God will and must produce the victory!

“…this is the victory that overcometh the world,
even our faith”
1 John 5:4

A faithless gospel produces powerless living. It allows us to speak of victory yet live in defeat. The great deception of our time is accepting this defeat as part of the normal Christian experience! This happens when grace is presented as a sentiment rather than the power of God; when sin is presented as a mistake rather than an affront to His Lordship in our lives. The Gospel of God by His Spirit produces ministrations of truth that present to us the holiness and purity of God, whereby we know the beauty of godly sorrow and the corresponding freedom it brings.

“I now rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that you were made sorry to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly way, that you might suffer loss by us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance to salvation, which brings no regret. But the sorrow of the world produces death.”
2 Corinthians 7:9-10

The true in heart desire ministrations that bring repentance as well as encouragement. Victory is the aspiration of those who live by faith. Victory over sin, over iniquity, and over the deceptive nature of self, is our inheritance in God. Those content with defeat never know the vibrancy of true faith. It is one thing to confess a faith; it is another thing altogether to live within the power of faith.

“The Lord knoweth
how to deliver the godly out of temptations”
2 Peter 2:9

Those who know their God find grace in Him to know His Victory.

“He who overcomes, I will give to him to sit down with me on my throne, as I also overcame, and sat down with my Father on his throne.”
Revelation 3:21

See: The Gospel of Freedom

Brian Troxel

Ordained of God

Ordained of God

“And the staff of the man
whom I choose shall sprout”
Numbers 17:5

Life begets life. It is the principle of the Life and purpose of God in Christ. There is nothing inherent within the natural order of man to have this life of resurrection. It is this one thing for which all creation was created and that is to be filled with the Life of God. The natural man is understood by the spirit of man, but only the Spirit of God knows the mind and purpose of God.

“For who among men knows the things of a man, except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so, no one knows the things of God, except God’s Spirit”
1 Corinthians 2:11

The necessity to walk with God and be led by His Spirit is to the end that others may taste and see the goodness of God. It is His goodness that leads us to repentance. It is His goodness to lift us up when we are discouraged. It is His goodness to cause us to discover the issues of our own hearts in order for us to be free in Him. It is to this end that we desire to know of the budding, blossoming, and fruitfulness of His life in ours.

Seek His life, abide in His life that He may be seen and heard in the lives we live. The signs of life should be the only credentials any individual should desire.

“Ye shall know them by their fruits”

__________

“And the staff of the man
whom I choose shall sprout”
Numbers 17:5

“Aaron’s priesthood had been contested. People were questioning whether he was indeed God’s chosen. “Is this man ordained of God or not?” they asked. “We do not really know!” God set out therefore to prove who was His servant and who was not. How did He do so? Twelve staffs were placed before Him in the sanctuary and were left there for a night. In the morning His choice was seen in the staff which budded, blossomed, and bore fruit.

New buds, flowers, ripe almonds: all these proclaim the miracle of resurrection. It is life out of death that marks divinely attested ministry–that, and that alone. Without it you have nothing. God can only use as His ministers those who, through union with Him, have come to taste the power of an endless life.”
– Watchman Nee

Brian Troxel

His Lamp Am I

His Lamp Am I

His Lamp Am I,
                 To shine where He shall say;
And lamps are not for sunny rooms,
                 Nor for the light of day;
But for the dark places of the earth
                 Where shame and wrong and
                                crime have birth,
Or for the murky twilight gray
                 Where wandering sheep have
                                gone astray,
Or where the lamp of faith grows dim
                 And souls are groping after Him.

And as sometimes a flame we find,
                 Clear-shining, through the night
So dark we cannot see the lamp–
                 But Only see the light–
So may I shine, His love the flame,
                 That men may glorify His name.
– Annie Johnson Flint

See: The Wick

Reputation and Discipleship

Reputation and Discipleship

“But made himself of no reputation…”
Philippians 2:7

The God and creator of the universe made Himself of no reputation. He was not motivated by the approval of men, He required no support system to propagate His message. He did not need marketing efforts and promotional strategies for the proliferation of His purposes. He was born in a lowly stable, raised by simple folks in a village of no regard as evidenced by the question “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46)

This passage has deep things that can be learned in our own interaction with Him in this world. There is a freedom from strife, from craving recognition and acceptance. Sooner or later there comes an acknowledgment that truth requires nothing but His Spirit to stand. We stand in His righteousness, His merit, and we are fully dependent upon His Fire burning within our own hearts. We are to be witnesses of Him, not of ourselves, and for that reason we feel the great responsibility to be faithful to represent Him.

Humility is a fruit of the Spirit rooted in the power of relationship.

“Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that, he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.”
John 13:3

Jesus’ ability to gird Himself as a servant and to wash their feet was based on the security of being in a right and pure relationship with His heavenly Father. His freedom was a revelation of true power; to Peter, it was an offense. Service to God will often offend the carnal aspirations of men. The same freedom that allowed the Son to speak the truths of the Kingdom of God without restraint is to become ours. Freedom from self allows us to be free in His Spirit. There can be no true freedom in Christ while we cling to the corruption of self.

As we walk with Him in the experiential realities of life we discover the taint and malaise of self. We see it in our interactions with others, in our own internal conflicts, and in the hidden motives of our hearts. Thankfully He is faithful to correct us, and we must be willing to heed those corrections. Failure to do so will result in selfish living and disappointment.

“Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.”
Matthew 6:1

There is a precious internal work of the Holy Spirit whereby our intentions are freed from the lust of the acceptance of men to live for His approval only.

“Because of this, we also are striving to be pleasing to Him,
whether being at home, or being away from home.”
2 Corinthians 5:9

Why was Paul so passionate about this?

“For we all must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive the things done through the body, according to what he did, whether good or bad.”
2 Corinthians 5:10

Only by the fear of the Lord are we freed from the fear of men. Accountability to God frees us to live right and to walk right. He who made Himself of no reputation will free us to do the same

True humility is always predicated on the power of truth.

“If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
John 8:31-32

The fear of man, and the need for acceptance, bring men and women to the snare of conformity to a group, a congregation, or to something other than Jesus Himself. The scriptures declare emphatically:

The fear of man bringeth a snare:
but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe”
Proverbs 29:25

There are many precious people in God who because of their own insecurities develop unhealthy alliances to leaders, denominations, groups, or teachings. Too often this results in tragic and heartbreaking situations, broken and impoverished lives. The disillusionment and realization that they have been bound to something other than Christ leave them isolated and wounded. Freedom in the fear of the Lord must be the atmosphere of serving God.

“Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.”
John 12:42-43

See: Faithful and Wise Servant

___________________

“Jesus Christ is always unyielding to my claim to my right to myself. The one essential element in all our Lord’s teaching about discipleship is abandon, no calculation, no trace of self-interest”
– Oswald Chambers (Disciples Indeed)

Brian Troxel