Faith and Victory

Faith and Victory

“I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision”
Acts 26:19

Heavenly things require a steadfast walk here on earth in order to touch their realities. Heavenly visions by their very nature dictate an overcoming in the earth. The promises given to the various locations of the  Church in the seven letters of the Book of the Revelation each ended with this solemn and hopeful exhortation; “To him that overcometh”. The promises of God are given with the expectation that by the power of His faith* working and moving in our hearts we find grace to obey. Obedience is ever the key to victory.

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

*His Faith – “…the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith OF the Son of God” (Galatians 2:20) Everything we have received  – grace, mercy, faith are all gifts of Christ as the power of His growing salvation becomes alive within. We have nothing intrinsically – faith is the dynamic of Christ moving, pressing, and responding to the will and desire of the Father within us.

Brian Troxel.

Birth of a Song

Birth of a Song

Back in 1932, I was 32 years old and a fairly new husband. My wife, Nettie, and I were living in a little apartment on Chicago’s Southside. One hot August afternoon I had to go to St. Louis, where I was to be the featured soloist at a large revival meeting. I didn’t want to go.

Nettie was in the last month of pregnancy with our first child. But a lot of people were expecting me in St. Louis. I kissed Nettie goodbye, clattered downstairs to our Model A, and, in a fresh Lake Michigan breeze, chugged out of Chicago on Route 66.

However, outside the city, I discovered that in my anxiety at leaving, had forgotten my music case. I wheeled around and headed back. I found Nettie sleeping peacefully. I hesitated by her bed; something was strongly telling me to stay. But eager to get on my way, and not wanting to disturb Nettie, I shrugged off the feeling and quietly slipped out of the room with my music.

The next night, in the steaming St. Louis heat, the crowd called on me to sing again and again. When I finally sat down, a messenger boy ran up with a Western Union telegram. I ripped open the envelope. Posted on the yellow sheet were the words: YOUR WIFE JUST DIED. People were happily singing and clapping around me, but I could hardly keep from crying out. I rushed to a phone and called home. All I could hear on the other end was “Nettie is dead. Nettie is dead.”

When I got back, I learned that Nettie had given birth to a boy. I swung between grief and joy. Yet that night, the baby died. I buried Nettie and our little boy together, in the same casket. Then I fell apart.

For days I closeted myself. I felt that God had done me an injustice. I didn’t want to serve Him anymore or write gospel songs. I just wanted to go back to that jazz world I once knew so well.

But then, as I hunched alone in that dark apartment those first sad days, I thought back to the afternoon I went to St. Louis. Something kept telling me to stay with Nettie. Was that something God? Oh, if I had paid more attention to Him that day, I would have stayed and been with Nettie when she died. From that moment on I vowed to listen more closely to Him.

But still, I was lost in grief. Everyone was kind to me, especially a friend, Professor Frye, who seemed to know what I needed.

On the following Saturday evening, he took me up to Madam Malone’s Poro College, a neighborhood music school. It was quiet; the late evening sun crept through the curtained windows. I sat down at the piano, and my hands began to browse over the keys. Something happened to me then I felt at peace. I feel as though I could reach out and touch God. I found myself playing a melody, one I’d never heard or played before, and the words into my head-they just seemed to fall into place:

“Precious Lord, take my hand,
lead me on, let me stand!
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn,
Through the storm, through the night
lead me on to the light,
Take my hand, precious Lord,
Lead me home.”

The Lord gave me these words and melody. He also healed my spirit. I learned that when we are in our deepest grief when we feel farthest from God, this is when He is closest, and when we are most open to His restoring power.

And so I go on living for God willingly and joyfully until that day comes when He will take me and gently lead me home.

-Thomas A. Dorsey- Gospel Songwriter

The is a post from a good brother’s blog “Deep calls to deep

My Beloved

My Beloved

“My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms
from the vineyards of En Gedi.”
Song of songs 1:14

THE SECRET PLACE OF COMMUNION

Our time of communion with Him brings intimacy; a knowing, touching, and seeing fresh revelations of Him. Our understanding of Him grows more personal as He draws near.

“My beloved is to me…”

Throughout the Old and New Testaments, one pervading beat resonates within the hearts of His Own: “My Beloved, My Shepherd, My God”. While many may know Him on a basic level, there are always some who know Him in a deeper way. This knowing transcends teachings and concepts. It is knowledge born of personal relationship. Those who speak of this ONE no longer speak within the confines of information and intellect. They speak of wonder, burdens, waves of affection, and gentle repose. The clouds of reason cannot dissuade, arguments and debates of the religious cannot disturb; it is the knowledge of His presence. Those who have touched this wonder can no longer tarry in the realm of man’s surmising and wisdom, of carnal thoughts and esoteric reasonings. The wonder and beauty of Christ eclipses all other things and makes them dull and withering by comparison.

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light,
we have fellowship one with another…”
1 John 1:7

In the sharing of who He is we experience that deep and personal fellowship with one another. There is an exhilaration in life that increases the depths of love and devotion for Him. This brings change, conviction, and awe to all involved.

“…in his temple doth every one
speak of his glory”
Psalm 29:9

Those who live and abide in Him can speak of nothing else. There is a communication of love, a release of His grace, within the atmosphere of those who meet in His Name (His Nature, His Spirit). They cannot find rest in the mundane and trivial words of men.

“To see thy power and thy glory,
so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary”
Psalm 63:12

True ministry arises effortlessly from those who behold Him in the sanctuary of their own hearts.

“My beloved is to me…”

Brian Troxel

Trust – The Fruit of Relationship

Trust – The Fruit of Relationship

Trust is the fruit developed by our own experience in Christ. Obedience is the commodity that requires faith to step into the will of God. Faith is the divine impulse within the heart that desires to do His will, trust is the ground upon which our feet are able to move forward. The more one steps into the will of God the greater will be the depth of our trust in Him.

Let us venture our all upon Him. Let us leave the mists of words without deeds, promises which remain unfulfilled and life lived within the “safety” of mediocrity.

“Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught”
Luke 5:4

Can we not hear Him speaking the words of inspiration and faith; “launch out into the depths of Him” where the safety of the shore is abandoned into the wonder of doing His Will! Can we not feel the beckoning of Him calling us out to the depths within our own being to cast ourselves upon the promises of the God who cannot fail.

“Commit thy way unto the Lord;
trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass”
Psalm 37:5

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“Abide in Me says, Jesus. Cling to Me. Stick fast to Me. Live the life of close and intimate communion with Me. Get nearer to Me. Roll every burden on Me. Cast your whole weight on Me. Never let go your hold on Me for a moment. Be, as it were, rooted and planted in Me. Do this and I will never fail you. I will ever abide in you”
– J. C. Ryle

Brian Troxel

By One Spirit

By One Spirit

“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body”
1 Corinthians 12:13

By One Spirit

“And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee:
nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you”
1 Corinthians 12:21

Anyone with a vital, living relationship with the Head (Christ Himself) cannot say: “I have no need of thee”! Only those who live independently, disassociated from the Law of Life, can say “I have no need of thee”. If the eye is not intrinsically attached to the Head, it has no sense of its relationship to the rest of the Body of Christ. There is an inherent blindness that will isolate and insulate that one from the wonder of His Life.

A disconnected member has no divine enablement to “feel” the heartbeat of the body. “I have no need of thee” is a revelation of one’s true spiritual condition. The deeper our union with Him, the deeper will be a corresponding desire for a relationship with all others who share this common heartbeat. The power of His Life breaks asunder the carnal bonds of denominations, closed and isolated fellowships, and disconnected cliques.

Pride, unforgiveness, envy, jealousy, and the desire for preeminence, will sever the bonds with Him who is the life, the heart, and the author of peace.

“There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all”
Ephesians 4:4-6.

The only means through which we can be ONE Body is by living in the ONE Spirit. To be outside the Life of the ONE Spirit is to be alienated from the ONE Body. Doctrines, teachings, and religious dogmas have nothing to do with this ONENESS. Those who live in Christ do not compromise truth for oneness because the Spirit of Truth pulsates within. They know the truth, the truth (Christ Himself) lives within, and He alone produces unity in hearts that can never declare “I have no need of thee”.

We know that we have passed out of death into life,
because we love the brothers.
Whoever does not love abides in death”
1 John 3:14

The authenticity of our relationship with Him who is THE LIFE is revealed in our love and concern for our brothers and sisters. It is the carnal, the disconnected who are oblivious to this truth.

Brian Troxel

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“By the figure of the vine and the branches, Christ illustrated not only the relation that should exist between him and his followers but also the union between every believer and his fellow believer. The branches of the vine are related to each other, but they are not alike. Each has its own individuality, which cannot be merged into that of another, but all have a special connection with each other. The root that supplies nourishment to one branch supplies nourishment to every other branch. Each must depend alike on the vine for sustenance; all must be joined to the parent stalk. The life and growth and fruitfulness of each depend alike on the parent vine. In obedience to the laws of nature, their common hold of the true vine make them one; in their diversity there is unity.”
– EGW

Thankfulness and Envy

Thankfulness and Envy

“For all is of You,
and we have given to You out of Your hand”
1 Chronicles 29:14

Thankfulness is rooted in the realization that everything we have is from Him and is always to remain His. Within the mindset of “me” and “mine”, we lose the freedom of selflessness. The cords of “mine” cling to the soul and bind it to the darkness of earthly reasoning and carnal obsessions. From these dark places envy, jealousy, evil speaking, and divisions arise within the Body of Christ.

“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have…”
James 4:1-2

Lust is simply wanting something outside of the will of God. To desire something someone else has is to be unthankful for the portion God has given you. Often envy arises in those who have not been faithful to that portion God has given them. There is a lamenting of unattained gifts, undeveloped talents, and a blindness to the things God has given. The precious commodity given by God has been neglected by the very lust for something someone else has. In our faithfulness to God’s gracious gifts to us, we will inevitably discover His wisdom and beauty in them.

Envy is the opposite of thankfulness. It is an unsanctified passion that fuels the fires of anger, depression, and bitterness. Galatians calls these things the “works of the flesh” and those who dwell in them “shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:21). Men and women who allow the destructive contagion of envy to fester within their hearts will suffer eternal loss.

Thankfulness comes from knowing that we are not worthy of His attention let alone the unmerited gifts of His goodness.

“What is man, that Thou art mindful of him,
or a son of man, that Thou dost look after him?”
Hebrews 2:6

Thankfulness is a binding agent within the Body of Christ whereas envy tears at the very fabric of His heart within His own. The power of pride and envy was the desire of Satan that resulted in his fall into the pit of utter destruction and banishment from God.

“You said in your heart…
‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds!
I will make myself like the Most High!’
Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,
to the depths of the pit”
Isaiah 14:13-15

God’s instruction of wisdom to all of us is to flee from the very spirit of envy; to rid ourselves from that which will poison, steal, and destroy the work of God within. Only a pure and thankful heart can abide in the Life of Him who gave Himself on our behalf.

“Can two walk together
except they are agreed?”
Amos 3:3

See: Envy – Enemy of our Soul

Brian Troxel

Elisabeth Elliot

Elisabeth Elliot

“It is Christ who is to be exalted, not our feelings. We will know Him by obedience, not by emotions. Our love will be shown by obedience, not by how good we feel about God at a given moment. “And love means following the commands of God.” “Do you love Me?” Jesus asked Peter. “Feed My lambs.” He was not asking, “How do you feel about Me?” for love is not a feeling. He was asking for action”
– Elisabeth Elliot

 

Charles Spurgeon

Charles Spurgeon

A Word for Our Day

“The people that do know their God shall be strong,
and do exploits”
Daniel 11:32

“The Lord is a man of war, Jehovah is His Name”. Those who enlist under His banner shall have a commander who will train them for the conflict, and give them both vigour and valour. The times of which Daniel wrote were of the very worst kind, and then it was promised that the people of God would come out in their best colours: they would be strong and stout to confront the powerful adversary.

Oh, that we may know our God; His power, His faithfulness, His immutable love, and so may be ready to risk everything in His behalf. He is one whose character excites our enthusiasm and makes us willing to live and to die for Him. Oh, that we may know our God by familiar fellowship with Him; for then we shall become like Him, and shall be prepared to stand up for truth and righteousness. He who comes forth fresh from beholding the face of God will never fear the face of man. If we dwell with Him, we shall catch the heroic spirit, and to us, a world of enemies will be as the drop of a bucket. A countless array of men, or even of devils, will seem as little to us as the nations are to God, and He counts them only as grasshoppers. Oh, to be valiant for truth in this day of falsehood.”
– Charles Spurgeon

“Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance…”
Isaiah 40:15

See: They Who Know

Seek the Lord

Seek the Lord

“Seek the LORD and His strength”
1 Chronicles 15:11

Our strength is in Him and in Him alone. The New Covenant life is available to those who find in Him the strength and grace to live beyond the resources of our-self. Many will call on His Name and many will speak of Him while our true need is to find in Him the ability to walk in the power of His Spirit.

We appeal to God in our weakness. There is within the Spirit of Christ a Holy desire to be fused to our inherent weakness, thereby clothing us in the wonder of His grace. Those who have truly recognized their own weakness will inevitably reveal the works of God through their weakness. To declare our weakness as an excuse is to deny the Covenant of Grace itself. It is impossible for true faith to be inactive or without fruit. The Covenant of Grace emphatically declares:

“…for when I am weak, then am I strong”
2 Corinthians 12:10

The true seeking of God will always culminate in our being strong in Him. The Law of Life within will ever enable His Own to rise and meet the challenge of their day. Every day is filled with opportunities to walk in the grace and power of our God. It is His delight to empower our weakness, in our darkness to be our Light. Our faith in Him brings the confidence to walk in Him who is our Boaz*.

God’s Word to us is “let the weak say I am strong” (Joel 3:10). Those who truly seek His Face will inexorably find His strength. To all those who languish in weakness, despair, and stagnation, God’s gracious Word is…

“Seek the LORD and His strength”
1 Chronicles 15:11

*Boaz – Jones’ Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads “In Him (i.e. the Lord) Is Strength”

Brian Troxel

A Father’s Love

A Father’s Love

A Chinese father never stopped looking for his son, who was kidnapped at age 2. They reunited after 24 years.

Guo Gangtang and his wife were reunited with their son, Guo Xinzhen, who’s now in his mid-20s
An image from a BBC video shows Guo Gangtang, 51, hugging his son and crying as they see each other for the first time since the son was kidnapped 24 years ago. (BBC)

After his 2-year-old son was kidnapped, Guo Gangtang scoured nearly all of China, traveling more than 300,000 miles by motorcycle in a decades-long hunt for his boy.

Guo, now 51, has handed out countless fliers since 1997, the South China Morning Post reported. He flew a flag on the back of his motorcycle with his son’s picture on it. He begged for money and slept under bridges. He broke bones in traffic crashes, faced highway robbers, and wore out 10 motorcycles.

Despite his efforts, months turned to years, years stretched into a decade, and then that decade became two. At one point, Guo considered suicide.

But he never stopped looking.

“Only on the road, I felt I am a father,” he told a newspaper in 2015. “I have no reason to stop [searching]. And it’s impossible for me to stop.”

Now, he can. On Sunday, Guo and his wife were reunited with their son, Guo Xinzhen, who’s now in his mid-20s. As cameras rolled, the long-suffering parents buried their heads into the young man’s shoulder and wailed as they saw him for the first time in 24 years.

An excerpt from an article of the  Washington Post

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May we sense anew the Love of our heavenly Father and feel within our own hearts the power of His Heart…

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”
John 3:16

Ω

“And the Lord God called unto Adam,
and said unto him, Where art thou?”
Genesis 3:9

Brian Troxel