Spiritual Discernment – Fear of Man

Spiritual Discernment – Fear of Man

“The fear of man bringeth a snare…”
Proverbs 29:25

Discernment by its very nature demands objectivity. The effect of the workings of the cross in one’s walk will determine the measure of our discernment. Objectivity is the fruit of our dying to self. Wherever agendas, self-promotion and personal advantage are present, clear vision becomes impaired. Discernment is a very costly commodity within the heart of a believer. To see aright a heart must be right in the “fear of the Lord”. To fear God is to be free from the fear of man.

When there is fear and undue concern regarding the opinion of another the ability to see clearly is compromised. Fear of a single individual or submission to group-think causes people to remain in a clique, sect or cult. These are critical days. It is of vital importance that men and women become free to live and walk in the fear of the Lord. The true ministry of God will always lead His Own to fear God and walk accordingly.

“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. 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 1:8-10

A desire to garner the acceptance of others, speaking the right things to maintain a relationship, or a semblance of conformity to the dictates of a group, are the shackles of religion. The power of truth brings freedom; a freedom to live, speak and walk in the liberty of His Spirit to please and honour Him alone. It is from this freedom that men and women are liberated to assess and evaluate the subtler issues of life. This is the only means by which the true unity of the Spirit can be known; each member discerning all things by their own witness through the Living Christ in whom they abide.

Religion ever exerts a pressure to conform to the directives of men; truth is the means by which we are transformed.

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God”
Romans 12:2

It is in the transforming work of God whereby His Own are freed from the blinding influences of sects and ingrown heresies. Discernment is a gift and developed by the power of the cross. Many in this hour will freely use the Name of Jesus to hold sway over the lives of others; some may even perform outward signs and wonders in His Name (Matthew 7:21-23). They may appear spiritual but, in the end, they serve themselves and their own ambitions. They create divisions in order to have the pre-eminence. They distinguish themselves and their followers from others through the subtly of influence and fear. God’s promise to those who allow the washing and the fire of the Word of God is the divine ability to discern between those who serve God and those who serve themselves.

“Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not”
Malachi 3:18 (read the context)

Those who serve God ever seek to minister unto others the pursuit of the “unity of the Spirit” through the development of each individual’s own walk in Christ (Ephesians 4:11-13).

Brian Troxel

Joseph Parker – God’s Ministers

Quote for Today

God’s Ministers

John the Baptist

“The ministry of Christ is not a profession: ministers are not professional gentlemen; ministers of the right kind are called from eternity, and cannot help uttering what is in them, and they are not always aware of the reach of their own meaning. They pass through periods of madness, wondering what, and what manner of time the Spirit of God within them doth signify when it tells them of coming blue skies and summers that shall encircle the globe, and songs that shall make the welkin ring with infinite joy. Do not bind the poor solitary man down as if he  had invented the message, and must grammatically interpret it and bind it within parsing bounds, nor judge him by his after conduct; he is an instrument; through him God sends sounds mysterious, messages beneficent, gospels that are saving. He is not a professional gentleman. If any young men are coming into the ministry as a profession, God hinder them, build up a great granite wall in the face of them and starve them until they begin to repent and pray. We are either in the Kingdom of God or we are not in it, we cannot climb into it by ways of our own making and processes of our own invention: and if we are in it men will know by a subtle, mysterious, magnetic music and power that we have something to say not to be found on the decaying and fading pages of earthly wisdom.”
– Joseph Parker (Sermons on the Gospel of John)

Quote for Today – Charles Spurgeon

Quote for Today

“Doubt discovers difficulties which it never solves; it creates hesitancy, despondency, despair. Its progress is the decay of comfort, the death of peace. “Believe!” is the word which speaks life into a man, but doubt nails down his coffin”
– Charles Spurgeon

Thought for Today – Change

Heard in Prayer Today

“Change is the revelation
of the power of God”
B. Troxel

The unfolding of Christ to His Own is revealed in the consistency of our seeing of Him. No one may see Him and remained unchanged. Grace is the agency from which we arise from the deadness of the Old Adam into the living wonder of Christ.

“As HE IS,
so are we in this world
1 John 4:17

The impact of this powerful statement leaves one with no other alternative than to feel the Spirit of Christ yearning for it to be true in every respect concerning our lives in Him. Too much power is given by many who preach the gospel today to give us excuses and teachings which deny the ability of the Holy Spirit to make it true in us. Too many proclaim that the “old Adam” is of greater influence than the Living Christ within. The Power of Christ IS greater than the grave clothes of the natural man with its associated malignancy. Let us lay aside the unbelief of the “gospel” of men and lets us seek to see and yield our lives unto the ONE who is ABLE to raise us up in the “newness” of His eternal life!

“If we receive the witness of men,
the witness of God is greater…”
1 John 5:9

Change is the revelation of the living Christ within our hearts, where there is no on-going change faith has ceased to touch the resurrected ONE.

“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…”
2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV

Brian Troxel

Word for Today

Word for Today

light in the dark

“Love is the highest expression of truth – It is in these days where the “foolishness of God” (in the eyes of men) is to flourish. Light in the midst of the darkness is the great cross of our day…”
Brian Troxel

Love – Not Fear

Love in the Time of Covid

“…it was needful for me to write unto you,
and exhort you that ye should earnestly
contend for the faith”
Jude 1:3

During these days of uncertainty and chaos it would be tempting to retreat into our own isolated worlds. The confines of “social distancing” and the fear of reaching out to those around us make it easy to excuse ourselves from life.   Now more than ever it is imperative that we remain alive in Christ; to walk in the eternal truth of the Word of God. That Word is fulfilled by His Spirit moving through us by the Love of God. Love casts out all fear and in Him we find the resources to walk as He walked.

There has never been a time when sharing the love and mercies of God was convenient in this world. Every generation has had its battles. Every generation has had to contend for the faith of God in their time. May we be faithful in our day to minister unto Him in the faces of those around us.

The Question

“Lord, when saw we Thee an hungred,
or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick,
or in prison, and did not minister unto Thee?”
Matthew 25:44.

 

“Forget yourself and live for others,
for It is more blessed to give than to receive”
– A.B. Simpson

Brian Troxel

Joseph Parker

Quote for Today

Joseph Parker
Commenting On
John the Baptist

“Look at John; see how the great men crowd around him; hear what temptation they suggest to him. It had never occurred to John himself, in all probability; that was Elias, that he was “that prophet”, that he was some great one. So the suggestion comes to him with all the force of a subtle temptation. What does he answer? He says, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord.” That was his answer: “What did he say of himself? “I am a voice.” What did he say of his ministry? “I am sent to prepare the way of the Lord in the attention and the affections of the world.” Thus, he who had offered to him by a very subtle temptation a brilliant crown and a high throne said, “No; I am but a voice; I am not the expected One, clearly understand my ministry and function in life; I am the herald, not the King: I blow the blast of the trumpet and he himself will be here presently.” That is just what every Christian has to do; to go before, to proclaim the Lord, to call men to preparedness, to awaken their attention, to tell them to be ready: for the Bridegroom cometh, and then to stand out of the way, as those who have indeed done a humble, yet a most useful work, in the world. But I repeat, he who knows his strength as John knew it will be strong, as no man can be who imagines himself to have a power with which God never invested him. A stern, solemn, grand man was John.”
– Joseph Parker

The Pressings of God

The Pressings of God

“Let us know,
let us press on to know Yahweh…”
Hosea 6:3 (LEB)

Within the recesses of the hearts of His own there is a passion to know the unknowable One. There is a mystery that our limited vocabularies and minds cannot explain. This pressing of heart and soul is simply the love of Him within desiring to express the Love of Him without. It is a cry which cannot be articulated; it reaches the heart, not the intellect. but the heart. It is the power of faith uniting the seeker with the ever Seeking One.

We seek Him because He first sought us. His love ever seeks to fill the human heart, His grace seeks to overcome weakness, and His Holy Spirit seeks to fill us with the breath of His Divine Nature. The pressings of which Hosea speaks is reiterated by Paul the Apostle in the Book of Philippians:

“I press toward the mark
for the prize of the high calling
of God in Christ Jesus”
Philippians 3:14

The pressing is the result of the grace of God moving upon the tender hearts of those whom He has called unto Himself. No man takes this honour upon himself. No fleshly work or religious exercise can produce the cry of the spirit of adoption “whereby we cry, Abba, Father”.

Pursuit is the means by which He is found, hunger is the means by which we are fed, and thirst is the precursor to the drinking of the Living Water. The promises of God are found by asking, seeking and knocking.

“For every one that asketh receiveth;
and he that seeketh findeth;
and to him that knocketh it shall be opened”
Matthew 7:8

Let us read and grasp the words of this promise. Everyone that asks – receives! He that seeks – – finds! Those who knock – shall enter in! While many choose confined and safe places, God beckons His Own into an active pursuit of Him. He is far too vast for us to ever become satisfied with a small portion. The greater our faith, the more fervent the pressing. The greater our love, the more obedience is required to see Him in a fuller and deeper way.

The cross of the disciple, if carried long enough, becomes a source of joy and of power. There is within its bitter workings a freedom to live in the fellowship of His sufferings. It is a fellowship which dims the offerings of former things and brings us into His courts of fire where He alone is magnified.

“As for me… I shall be satisfied,
when I awake, with thy likeness”
Psalm 17:15

Brian Troxel

The Renewing Work of Christ

The Renewing Work of Christ

“…renew a right spirit within me”
Psalm 51:10

The renewal and re-genesis of our minds and spirits is a constant need of God’s children. The stains from living in an unholy world, the accumulation of wrongs which remain unforgiven, the disillusionment of unfulfilled hopes and aspirations, can all cloud our seeing of the truth and perfection of Christ. The need for His renewal is essential to eviscerate the weights of bitterness, envy and unbelief which encumber our souls. Cynicism and hardness of heart are the result of seeing the world through the dark lenses of unbelief. God’s answer is always Himself. His work of preserving His own is through the agency of His Spirit revitalizing us through a fresh ministration of His Son.

Without this vital work of God, we would become casualties of our own wrongness. We would spend years in vanity and disillusionment walking in a wilderness of futility. The years would pass, the best of our days consumed in the emptiness of vain imaginations and deceptive reasonings. David knew well these dark valleys and left us glimpses of God’s mercy to keep the steps of His own.

2 But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped.
3 For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4 For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm.
5 They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men.
6 Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment.
7 Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish.
8 They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily.
9 They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth.
10 Therefore his people return hither: and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them.
11 And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High?
12 Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.
13 Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency…
Psalm 73:2-13

In the mire of his own thoughts David descended into unbelief and envy. We can see the digression as his thoughts become more cynical and despairing. He states that his “feet almost slipped” in the abyss of unbelief. His salvation was God’s Presence which lifted him from the dregs of this world into the marvelous realms of the light and glory of God.

17   Until I went into the sanctuary of God; now I understood their end
Psalm 73:17

Clarity and understanding come from Him. The eyes of our spirit are renewed in the seeing of Him. We are enabled to mount up with wings as eagles in the beholding of His Glory. Let us ever draw near to the only one who can keep our eyes lifted up, our hope alive and our spirits refreshed — the One who is making all things new!

Let Him lift us out of our own dark reasonings into the blessed hope of His appearing. Find fellowship and communion with those who speak truth, love truth and have the fire of the Living Christ within that we may be found faithful in the coming days. Paul spoke highly of those who refreshed the hearts of God’s people, including his own.

“For they refreshed my spirit and yours.
Therefore, acknowledge those who are like that.”
1 Corinthians 16:18

Brian Troxel