Weep Not!

Weep Not!

Weep Not
Jesus Has Won the Victory

“For your obedience
is come abroad unto all men”
Romans 16:19

In the early church, the Body of Christ was known for her obedience – not only on the earth but also in heavenly places. The overriding prerequisite for the moving of His Spirit, for His Faith inhabiting and expressing the Life of Christ, was obedience.

“Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 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 16:25-26

Let these words strike our hearts: “according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith…”. The purpose of true ministry is to bring “all nations” to the obedience of faith! God is not looking for adherents – He seeks disciples! He wants lives who have no other purpose on this earth but to exhibit His qualities and character through the power of faith, a pure manifestation of His wonder to the world.

Faith that does not exhibit obedience and a growing sense of His Lordship within is not faith! Faith has only one purpose and that is to make known its Author. The Author of our Faith lived His Life here in perfect obedience.

Jesus the Perfect Lamb

He became the Author of our Salvation (Hebrews 5:9) because of His perfect obedience. It was because He overcame all things as a MAN that He won the right to take the sealed Book of Life from the right hand of the Father and to loosen its seals. His perfection as a man, living in perfect obedience here, is how He became our Salvation. That same Faith imparted into our lives is to produce in us an obedience of faith whereby we live for His Glory.

May the grandeur of this heavenly transaction stir our hearts in gratitude for all God has accomplished for us and in us because of Christ’s obedience (Revelation 5:1-.5).

“And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?”
Revelation 5:1-2

The fate of all humanity was bound in the sealed book. John, though in heavenly places, was weeping over this sealed book! He was beholding the glory of God, the Cherubim, the heavenly hosts, and yet instinctively he knew that his own fate, and all of humanity’s, was dependent upon someone being found worthy to loosen the seals. The Book of Life was sealed because of Adam’s disobedience. Jesus as the Son of God could not open it; its closure was due to the disobedience of man and only an obedient and worthy MAN could open it.

“And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.”
Revelation 5:3

What was John’s response to no MAN being found in heaven who was worthy to “open the Book”?

“And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.”
Revelation 5:4

As this eternal event unfolded John was caught up in the drama and the spirit of all that was transpiring.

“And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed* to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.” (*won the right)
Revelation 5:5

As a result of His overcoming all temptations and the wiles of the enemy, through the perfection of His obedience, He alone was ABLE to open this book! Oh, may we praise Him as we begin to comprehend all that was required of Him to become our Savior! Faith has been given to bring us into the same victory He has secured for us!

A gospel that declares that we need only to believe, without the corresponding wonder of His Life within bringing us to the same obedience which so glorified His Father, is the height of deception.

May we hear the promises of God and the condition required for us to reign with Him in heavenly places.

“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
Revelation 3:21-22

To sit with Him in His throne will require us to overcome AS He overcame, walking in the same obedience. Our ability, our hope, and surety of these things is His Faith enabling us through obedience to live unto the Glory of the Father.

The Good News is “weep not” for the MAN Christ Jesus has won the right! He has prevailed and has fully satisfied the legal requirements to open the Book of Life within which are written the names of those who have been redeemed.

Take Heed!

This does not mean that we can live unholy and disobedient lives and presume to be in that book. Let us heed the pleading of Paul after his exposition found in Romans chapters 9-11 in which the sovereignty of God is revealed in such depth and clarity. He sums up the message of God’s sovereignty by imploring the people of God to respond correctly to the truth of God:

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
Romans 12:1

This is the response of those who know of the wonder of faith. Those who simply hold a doctrine of faith feel no compulsion to be a “living sacrifice”; they are content believing in Him. It is the LIFE of the Son which pleased the Father. It is the LIFE of the Son reigning in us which alone can please Him; not a belief which produces nothing accomplishes nothing and changes nothing. Those who walk by faith understand the cost involved. Faith, true faith, will bring us to the way of the Cross.

5  And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6  And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7  And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8  For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9  But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
10  Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye DO these things, ye shall never fall:
11  For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:5-11

Let us give diligence to “make our calling and election sure” and may the Lord save us from presumption, apathy, and mediocrity! Allow His faith to embrace our hearts and lives that we may show to all nations “the obedience of Faith”.

NOTE:

Note the very words of this proclamation: “the obedience of faith”. It is faith that originates the obedience. The flesh no matter how sincere, how strong, and how intent it is, will never please God. The obedience spoken of here is the miracle of His Life, His Heart, and His Obedience becoming our own through the power of His Faith at work in our heart.

This is why James declares “Faith without works is dead”. For faith is given to cause the life of Jesus to be made manifest in our MORTAL bodies.

“For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.”
2 Corinthians 4:11

Let us not stagger at the enormity of our call…

“because as He is, so are we in this world”
1 John 4:17

The faith of God begins as a little seed and in our response to its impulse it grows and develops. Wherever we are in our journey of faith God’s word to us is to “give all diligence” to heed His promptings within our hearts. As children, we grow as did Jesus. The scriptures tell us of His humanity whereby “He learned obedience”! (Heb. 5:8) So is it with us! The Church in our land is coming out of a very dark time, His Spirit is moving and making known afresh to all who have “ears to hear” that the faithful are obedient. The disobedient, the lukewarm, and the tares will talk about faith but it is a faith in word only, for it lacks the substance of obedience resulting in the works and the ministration of the Living Christ. May we all take heed today… and “Hear His Voice”.

See: Obedience and the Tree of Life

Brian Troxel

Effectual Prayers – Relationship

Effectual Prayers – Relationship

Effectual Prayers

Parameters in Being Heard

“…for do not let that man suppose
that he will receive anything from the LORD “
James 1:7

Prayer, rightly understood, is much more than presenting requests unto God. It is the privilege of a relationship. Relationship with God is the heartbeat of prayer; the deeper the relationship the more fervent are the prayers. Intensity and freedom of expression grow in proportion to the intimacy between God and His own child.

Formal and reserved language often characterize prayers where this intimacy is lacking. Spontaneity and fervency is the unmistakable mark of a life in communion with God.

“The effectual fervent prayer
of a righteous man availeth much”
James 5:16

Freedom is the atmosphere of the Spirit of God.

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom”
2 Corinthians 3:17

Since prayer is the result of our relationship with God, change will be evident in those who truly pray. The nearer we draw to Him the more we become broken and contrite of heart. One cannot touch His presence and remain unaffected. His presence is the touchstone of our change. The more we encounter Him the more we are changed from one glory unto another.

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit”
2 Corinthians 3:18

To those who truly know Him, prayer is the center of life. It is the place of inspiration, repentance, change, and growth. It is not something we sprinkle into our personal religious life – it becomes the essential thing.

“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God…”
Jude 1:20-21

The weakness of our own nature, the temptations in the world around us, and the ease with which our hearts become cold and indifferent become the impetus to abide in prayer.

The more one prays
the more essential prayer becomes.

SEE:

Effectual Prayers Part One – Incense
Effectual Prayers Part Two – Love
Effectual Prayers Part Three – Righteousness
Effectual Prayers Part Four – Humility and Repentance
Effectual Prayers Part Five – Wisdom
Effectual Prayers Part Six – Asking Largely
Effectual Prayers – Part Seven – Elisha and Jericho
Effectual Prayers – Part Eight – Ruth and Boaz
Effectual Prayers – Part Nine – Discipleship
Effectual Prayers – Part Ten – Knowing Jesus
Effectual Prayers – Part Eleven – The Fragrance of Prayer

Effectual Prayers – Forgiveness

Brian Troxel

The Book of Asa

The Book of Asa

A Study of Leadership

Part One

“And Asa cried unto the Lord his God…”
2 Chronicles 14:11

Within the life of true disciples, there are experiences and unveilings of our God which leave His indelible mark on them. There are mountain-top experiences, revelations undiscernible to the human eye, and visitations to His own. As precious as these experiences are, it is in the valleys, in the darkest times of the night, where the God of all gods becomes our God. It is in the valley of the shadows; in the lonely and desolate places we discover “thou art with me”. (Ps. 23:4) In the tapestry of our own personal life, it is the dark threads that accentuate the bright colors of His own weavings. His “curious work” (Ps. 139:15-16) wrought within the “secret” places of our being are full of wisdom and understanding far beyond our own ability to comprehend.

Asa was raised in a religious environment where idolatry and compromise infiltrated the land of Judah. But the word declares:

“And Asa did that which was good and right
in the eyes of the Lord his God”
2 Chronicles 14:2

He stood up against the heathen ways which mingled with the worship of God. He stood for truth and became an instrument of Light in his day. The contemptible ways of human reasoning, the groves, and the false and defiling things which were of his own house, made Asa rise up in passion and love for his God.

“And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, as did David his father. And he took away the sodomites out of the land and removed all the idols that his fathers had made. And also Maachah his mother, even her he removed from being queen, because she had made an idol in a grove; and Asa destroyed her idol, and burnt it by the brook Kidron.”
1 Kings 15:11-13

Truth, to be truth, must first find expression in our own personal lives, then in our families, before it can bear fruit in the world around us. Asa’s passion for God began in his own sphere of life. God’s ways change not and our love of truth must also bear testimony of its power within our own lives.

“Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?”
1 Timothy 3:2-5

See: Leadership

May we consider the testimony of those who have gone on before us; men and women who walked in the truth of their day, who stood for righteousness and by such OBTAINED a “good report” (Heb. 11:2) in the eyes of God! Let us arise out of the mediocrity of our day as we feel the coming storm. As Asa, let us walk in the Light of God, proclaiming His truth to all within the sphere of our lives – beginning with our own self. We must awake from the slumber and the obscurity of soothing words and a gospel void of the fire and intensity of spirit that leaves us barren and numb to His “voice”.

He is calling out to us TODAY, if we will HEAR what the Spirit is saying.

And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us, therefore, cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”
Romans 13:11-14

Brian Troxel

Being Filled

Being Filled

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst
after righteousness: for they shall be filled”
Matthew 5:6

Being filled is a spiritual state. It is the result of Grace and Love being the nature of God Himself. Grace is given on the basis of faith. Faith is the conduit through which God transacts His Being to us.

“By whom also we have access by faith
into this grace wherein we stand…”
Romans 5:5

Faith is the open door by which the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is poured without measure into the hearts of those who know deeply of their need for it. Hungering and thirsting after God is the result of the eyes of faith gazing into the riches of Christ and laying hold of its reality. Such lives cannot be contented with promissory notes, faith’s need is to acquire, to have, and to hold the real “substance” of God in our lives. Its very heartbeat is to “apprehend” to “lay hold” of the power of Him to live godly, purely, and freely unto Him in this darkened world.

Many in our day are content with words while the very language of faith as written in the New Covenant can be summed up in its exhortations to be held in the power and wonder of Christ. Where His grace is beckoning us to fullness, the richness of heart, and reality of His life gripping us and bringing us to full obedience to His Lordship.

A few examples… (please read the context of each that we might receive the full import of God’s heart)

“That I may apprehend…” Phil. 3:12

“So run, that ye may obtain…” 1 Cor. 9:24

“And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible.”
1 Cor. 9:25

“…that they may lay hold on eternal life” 1 Tim. 6:19

“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. “
Phil. 3:12

“If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead…”
Phil. 3:11

“We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain”
2 Corinthians 6:1

“But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”
1 Cor. 15:10

Grace received by faith produces a life filled with the dynamics of the Life of Christ to reach out, to press in, to labor abundantly for the glory of His Name.

May the Lord ever fill us with the fire to hunger and thirst after HIS righteousness. May we know the seeking of the true Kingdom where He is King over the unruly heart of man.

The promises of God are to the hungry.

The promises of God are to those who thirst.

The promises of God are to those who overcome.

“To Him that overcometh
will I give…”

See: Appropriating Life

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“To fall in love with God is the greatest romance;
to seek him the greatest adventure; to find him,
the greatest human achievement.”
– Augustine

BT

Burdens

Burdens

“For every man shall bear his own burden”
Galatians 6:5

There are many types of burdens in this life. Paul in this chapter of scripture illustrates two types, both of which are essential in the life of His own. The one quoted above concerns our own burden, it is a burden of life and of responsibility. This is a God-given one, which is ours to bear in faithfulness unto Him.

Paul knew of this burden personally and spoke of it in every epistle. It was a burden borne of the love of God.

“In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.”
2 Corinthians 11:28

The burdens of the Lord pulsate with power and love. It is love that produces the burdens of the Spirit. When one cares for the life and well-being of another there is a wonder in it and a blessing to receive in our faithfulness to the call of God.

The unconcerned, the distant ones from the heart of God carry burdens that are selfish in nature and there will be no Paraclete (Greek: παράκλητος) to carry or be yoked to such. The burdens of Christ within an individual’s life are His burdens being shared with them. They are born of love, carried in love, and are filled with His presence. They can bring us to depths of prayer and intercession and straightness of spirit but there is always a dominion of peace within their garments.

The greater the self-less love of God that dwells within us the burdens of Him will be of equal weight. To go through this life without knowing the cry of the Lord for others is to miss out on the joy of being in Him.

No one can hold the love of God in their hearts and not know of His burden for others. If Christ the great intercessor for His people is ever offering prayers on our behalf and if we are in Him and He is in us then it would be incongruous to not know of His heart.

“He that saith he abideth in him
ought himself also so to walk,
even as he walked.”
1 John 2:6

See: His Word, His Burden

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“Pray not for a lighter load,
but for stronger shoulders.”
Augustine

Brian Troxel

Religion and Light

Religion and Light

 

Religion and Light

“Then the disciples came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?”
Matthew 15:12

We can only imagine how the disciples felt at the growing realization that their Master was becoming unpopular with the leadership of the religious order of that day. Here we see them seeking to “inform” Him of the rising animosity. Healings and miracles had drawn the common people to Him, for He walked among them, ate with them, and related to their everyday life in His parables.

But His words pierced the religious with the light of truth. They revealed the hypocrisy and the vanity of men drunk with pomp and self-proclaimed importance. As centuries passed they slowly twisted His Word to support their own darkened ways, resulting in a blindness that bolstered their own pride and filled them with contempt for the common man.

Jesus responded to His disciples’ concerns with:

“Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”
Matthew 15:13-14

The religious teachers of that day were not teachable. Their hard hearts and pride prevented the beauty of Truth from invading their consciousness. Their knowledge and pre-conceived ideas prevented them from seeing the Glory of the Father standing before them; moving, healing, forgiving, and pouring out the mercies of God to all who would come. Jesus made no attempt to reach such, for spiritual blindness is the result of obstinacy and self-will.

Religion is simply men seeking to make God in their own image. Religion defines God for themselves rather than seeking to discover who He is. The true in heart do not allow others to define them or their God. As they grow in Truth they see themselves as they are and become free in the light of Him.

God is true. He is who He is. Those who fashion their religious ideals to suit their own forms of brokenness and blindness will never find Him. To those who come in childlike faith and humility, He will show Himself in the wonder of His own way in the human heart.

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

Truth alone restores the broken heart. Truth alone fills the unmet needs, cravings, and deep distress of the human race. Ideas, suppositions, and the banter of words will never alleviate the human condition.

Christ alone can set the captives free. In Him is Life and that Life is the healing balm for all who would come with their wounds, their lusts, and their sorrows. No one but Jesus can touch a life in the intimate places of the spirit.

“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”
John 10:10-11

He did not come to bring another teaching or to add to our knowledge. He came so that all who will receive Him have the right, the privilege, and the power to become the offspring of God!

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“But as many, as received Him, to them He gave the right to become God’s children, to those who believe in His name: who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
John 1:12-13

Brian Troxel

God Himself

God Himself

“It is more blessed to give
than to receive”
Acts 20:35

God, Himself is such. The great supplier of all things is most Blessed and Joyful. Our poverty is His joy. Our needs only bring Him greater Joy. If we knew His heart we would ask largely, we would stretch our faith to draw from Him the “riches of His Glory”.

Our imperfections are the means of His redemption. His grace desires to fill every empty vessel. His wisdom knocks on the door of the foolish heart. His Love sent His Son to this sin-ravaged world. To the broken, He offers healing, and to the lost, He sends the Great Shepherd. It is to those who open the doors of their hearts who find His unlimited giving.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

“Blessed are they that mourn:
for they shall be comforted.”

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst
after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”

God loves a cheerful giver
for such is He Himself.

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“There could be no riches but for need. God Himself is made rich by man’s necessity. By that He is rich to give; through that, we are rich by receiving”
George MacDonald

Brian Troxel

Sanctified Lives

Sanctified Lives
A.W. Tozer

Today more than ever we Christians need to learn how to sanctify the ordinary!

In this cynical generation, people have become overstimulated to the place where their nerves are jaded and their tastes corrupted. Everything is common and almost everything is boring. The sacred has been secularized, the holy vulgarized and worship converted into a form of entertainment
– A.W. Tozer

“And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. Yea, truth faileth, and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the Lord saw it…”
Isaiah 59:14-15

Please read: Being True

BT

2 Timothy 3:12

2 Timothy 3:12

“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus
shall suffer persecution.”
2 Timothy 3:12

“Saints and persecution will juncture inevitably. It may range from a subtle remark with cutting propensity or out and out torture, but it will be recognizable persecution.”
– C.R. Oliver (From his book: “Called to be Saints”)

It is interesting to note that the onus of the scripture above is on the word “live” (“all who live godly shall suffer persecution”). The worldly and the religious have very few issues with the words and confessions of people. But persecution and strife come to those who LIVE godly in Christ Jesus. Wherever the light of Christ is expressed in terms of how one lives, the spirit of this world, ruling in the lives of those who love darkness will rise in hatred to oppose its shining. The light of truth exposes that which is false and pretentious in the darkness.

The Light has come and more importantly IS come to be in those who walk with Him in spirit and in truth.

“This is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their works were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light, and doesn’t come to the light, lest his works would be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his works may be revealed, that they have been done in God.”
John 3:19-21

True disciples “do the truth”; more than a confession it is a life filled with walking it out. In the doing of the truth, they come to THE LIGHT, grow in the light, and by their works reveal that they are of Him. It is the actual doing of the works of God that will cause the world to hate us.

“Marvel not, my brethren,
If the world hate you.”
1 John 3:13

Brian Troxel

 

Love’s Journey

Love’s Journey

Love’s Journey

We press in with all our might
to shrouded heights above.
Faith being our only sight
Heart’s captured by His Love.

Mists of reasoning cannot dissuade,
Stronger the Word to persuade.
For those who hear the Master’s voice,
Life is filled with servant’s choice.
Faith’s leading to run the race
Love alone governs our pace.
At journey’s end may we hear His Voice
Well done my child, — in this rejoice.
Brian Troxel

See: The Full Reward