FOR THE BED IS SHORTER…

FOR THE BED IS SHORTER…

“For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it:
and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.”

Isaiah 28:20

It is the nature of man to seek rest in something less than God’s true provision. These other things may provide some semblance of rest. They might offer some sense of relief by covering our true need, but it is only religion. We seek rest in teachings, doctrine, submission to someone or something, even in the scriptures themselves, but God has designed these things to provide only a partial rest. True rest is found only in Him. Man lays hold of concepts to hide in; that everything is put off to some day in the future; some great work of God that is yet to be. This actually produces poverty of mind and soul. It obscures the relevance of today and leaves its adherents bereft of any sense of rest in the today of life. We seek rest in the fact that that we are in “submission” to an organization, perhaps some apostle, some teaching or religious order while Jesus cries out in the simplicity of truth,

“Come unto me… and I will give you rest…
take my yoke upon you and learn of me
and ye shall FIND rest unto your souls”.

Matthew 11:28 – 29

Our need is to begin to look objectively at the fruit of our ways. The journey into truth must start by us becoming truthful to ourselves. This is the day of which the scriptures declare that the “effect” of every vision is at hand. What is the effect of our personal vision? Is it producing a greater, more intimate walk with Jesus; a greater apprehension of His Life and Power in us? Has it created a deeper experiential truth of Him in our daily lives? What is the fruit of the things that we hold to? Do we pass each day in the “rest” of an adherence to a belief while we sit in faithless inactivity and squander the precious time that we have by saying “some day….”? Or do we, as Jesus beckons us in the scripture above, “Come unto Him…” every day? Do we rise up each morning with the earnest desire that today we actively “take up His yoke” and seek that life of walking and doing in the great adventure of life with Him. For that is the true place of learning. It is the only place where we will “FIND” rest unto our souls. The FIND here speaks of something that is the result of searching. The “COME unto Him” speaks of rising up from where we are and going to Him. These things speak of movement and change. They speak of relationship and submission to His will on a daily basis. There is no full or true rest in anything outside of JESUS. The wisdom of God has designed this life so that the bed of men’s concepts will always be “shorter” than the need of man. True rest comes when a man can stretch himself out in full and never worry about the “edge” of his resting place. This is a place of wonder and peace for we have found that our resting place is larger than our being. We are free from worry and anxious care for we have found our rest in Christ himself. This is a rest of great activity! It is a rest of being so one in Him that we naturally do and live as a pure expression of the Father’s Heart. Jesus is the Sabbath of God yet as He walked among men, the scriptures testify that He went about “doing good”. Oh the glory of such a life where, without taking thought, we naturally live and move and have our being in God’s SON!

Brian Troxel

DOING GOOD

DOING GOOD

“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth
with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good,
and healing all that were oppressed of the devil;
for God was with him”

Acts 10:38

The power and evidence of the operation of the Holy Ghost in the life of Jesus was that he went about doing good. There are many who contend that the evidence of the Holy Ghost in a person’s life is speaking in tongues. While this may be it has been lost that the purpose of the Holy Ghost coming to his people from God’s perspective is to make us witnesses (Acts 1:8) through out the world unto him. We get caught up with so many things and lose sight of the reason why we are here. We are called unto love and good works. It is vital that we have the love of God burning in our hearts in such intensity that the result is a life that goes about doing good to those around us. The Holy Ghost operating in our lives is not only the power to deliver those that are oppressed, but to be filled with such love as to make that faith reach out to the lost. It is to such things that we have been called. We know that we are not saved by works but it is equally true that by doing good works we reveal that salvation that has been freely given to us. The servant is not above the master. If his life was lived in the context of this world by doing good are not we called to the same? A good fountain will give forth good water and a liberal soul will be expressed in generosity. These are the principles of fruit in his creation. Let us go out into this world with the lamp of the Lord burning brightly through the good works of those who have been empowered by His Spirit to walk as he walked.

Brian Troxel

HEART OF A PRIEST PART III

HEART OF A PRIEST

Part Three

“And they shall teach my people
the difference between the holy and profane,
and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean”

Ezekiel 44:22

In this day of obscurity and confusion there is to be a priestly people who rise up and so present Christ that it produces an ability within the people of God to easily see the difference between the holy and profane and to discern between the unclean and the clean. This ability to discern between good and evil is contingent upon the heart of each believer becoming free from personal agendas and secret motives. It is in the ministration of the living word, sharp to the very piercing of our inner hearts, that we are made free to see and hear clearly the issues that stand before us.

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful,
and sharper than any twoedged sword,
piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit,
and of the joints and marrow,
and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”

Hebrew 4:12

There is a need for men and women who have not circumvented this crucial work of the Lord. These people desire and seek the face of God to be purified from things that would taint His gracious expression of Life through them. In the very refining of our own hearts we are enabled to encourage and exhort others to endure His refining work because of our own experience. When one teaches without the experience of the dealings of God it can only produce a cold and indifferent expression; one that has no ability to impart the wisdom or consolation of the mercies of God. Mercy is given to the merciful, grace is given to the gracious and faith is given to those that are faithful.

In the New Testament priests are made, not born (Revelation 1:6). Priests become priestly by the ministration of God’s goodness and grace. It is His goodness that leads us to repentance, His truth that causes us to see ourselves as we really are, and His mercy that holds us in the seeing of such things.

“And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver:
and he shall purify the sons of Levi,
and purge them as gold and silver, that they may
offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness”
Malachi 3:3

“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

Brian Troxel

SECURE SERVANTS

SECURE SERVANTS

“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 basin,
and began to wash the disciples’ feet”

JOHN 13:3 – 5

Servanthood is directly related to our security in terms of relationship with God. Men who are insecure cannot, will not, ever touch upon the power of the HIS humility. “Jesus knowing” was the basis of HIS ability to serve and minister to others. HIS relationship with God was not determined by what HE did; HIS knowing of who HE was was not defined by the position HE took with other men. HE knew and was secure in HIS relationship with the FATHER. True ministry knows that the secret of the people of God flowing, moving and being empowered in their own ministrations of the risen Christ is directly related to each member being “rooted and grounded in the love of God”. Men may function in the gifts of the Holy Spirit but that is not true ministry. Ministry is that which flows from member to member because of relationship not gifting…

“From whom the whole body
fitly joined together
and compacted by that
which every JOINT supplieth,
according to the effectual working
in the measure of every part,
maketh increase of the body
unto the edifying of itself in love”

EPHESIANS 4:16

The Body of Christ is “fitly joined and supplied” by means of the joints which speak of relationship and love flowing from member to member. The Corinthian Church excelled in the operation of the Gifts of the Spirit, yet they were carnal and filled with strife and emulation even to the point of pitting one ministry above another. They did not realize that the true power of edification and ministry took place in serving one another in Christ. They did not see that the gifts, when they are not coupled with the character of the Son, could not produce ministry but could only express ministrations that (without the character of Christ) would not produce the unity and the love of God in the local church.

It is in each of us knowing and walking in the power of a safe and secure walk with God that we can serve one another in true love and power. King Saul was an insecure man, because his obedience was partial and his heart obstinate, and when he beheld the life of David and heard the singing of the maidens of the greater works of David his insecurity drove him to persecute and drive David away.

SECURITY can only be known by a walk of love and obedience for that is the revelation of HIM that alone will give us boldness in the Day of Judgment.

“Herein is our love made perfect,
that we may have boldness
in the day of judgment: because as he is,
so are we in this world”

I JOHN 4:17

Brian Troxel

STRONG HOPE FOR NOW

STRONG HOPE FOR NOW

“What I am doing you do not understand now”
JOHN 13:7

Can we trust that this is so in the now of our life? Is there a situation, a perplexity, a painful circumstance that seems to linger without any “proof” that there is an end in sight? Can we with the faith and trust of a child look to the unseen hand of God and believe that even in this HE IS AT WORK? His ways are higher, deeper and motivated by a love and desire to bring us to a greater relationship with HIM. He will not waste or squander the short and precious time that we have here. It is our part to behold HIS work and believe in the hidden hand of HIS wisdom to work for us “the exceeding, and eternal weight of glory” while we by faith walk in the circumstances before us.

“What I am doing you do not understand NOW”

This is the statement of a wise and gracious Father who is working, at this moment, to bring to pass HIS PURPOSES in our life. Though we may not yet see we believe that HE who knows us best loves us most! The clay must be firmly and painfully pressed and molded, the gold heated and tried in the furnace. The lukewarm heart must be subjected to circumstances to revive its warmth and passion for Him, the prodigal son “must come to himself”, and the fruitful branch must be pruned. All these things ARE FOR OUR BENEFIT AND LEARNING.

“What I AM DOING you do not understand now”

Can we see above the storm clouds that this is HIS HAND? Could Joseph possibly grasp that his “brothers” selling him into the hands of rough and heathen men was God’s “DOING”? From God’s perspective HE was sending a man into Egypt, (Psalm 105:17) to one day be the means of deliverance to these same brothers. From the misery and drudgery of slavery and prison rose a wise and tested PRINCE; one whom the fires, darkness and testing did not destroy but were actually servants of the MOST HIGH GOD.

“For You, O God, hast proved us: you have tried us, as silver is tried.
You brought us into the net; You laid affliction upon our loins.
Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads;
we went through fire and through water:
but you have brought us out into a wealthy place”

PSALM 66:10 – 12

A wealthy Christian life is one that is going through the processes of HIS LIFE. These are not ones who cry and despair of their poverty; they have discovered and have tasted of the wealthy place. Their waters fail not in drought; their resources are hidden and true. They are like trees that “bear fruit” in every season for their roots are drinking of the River of Life (Revelation 22:2). Let us not succumb to the present circumstances but let us in FAITH and TRUST believe in the ONE that says

“WHAT I AM DOING YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND NOW,
BUT YOU WILL KNOW AFTER…”

JOHN 13:7

Brian Troxel

FAITHFULNESS

FAITHFULNESS

“The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream;
and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully.
What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD.
Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD;
and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?”

JEREMIAH 23:28 – 29

Faithfulness to God is a rare commodity in our day; to simply give what has been given. Faithfulness means remaining faithful to HIM regardless of the response of those around us. To remain true to what we see and hear in our God, whether or not it is popular or convenient, is the essence of LIFE IN HIM. The truth of God is at its very core simple. It is not for the wise, the respected or the strong of this world… it is for the child like in heart. It is for those who are free from desiring respectability or the approval of men, for we have seen the vanity of our own heart and of those around us. To seek to honour HIM and be true to HIS heart and desire in the earth is FAITHFULNESS. To be free of ulterior motives, agendas and selfish pursuits and remain true to HIS purpose is FAITHFULNESS. Our portion is to give what we have received; to tell the dream, speak HIS WORD and DO HIS WILL. What a precious portion that is! This is the fellowship of and in the SON. To partake of HIS WILL in the speaking and the doing is the FELLOWSHIP OF LIFE; the exercise of my LIFE in HIS. Blessed are those who are faithful for they SHALL reap even though now the fields seem barren, the companions of the way few and the skies grey. The HARVEST IS COMING! Let us not grow weary but be encouraged in the doing, speaking and walking for our God is faithful! We cannot reap tomorrow unless we sow, speak and toil in the fields today. Men who are faithful are thus because they know that GOD is faithful.

“Who then is a faithful and wise servant,
whom his lord hath made ruler over his household,
to give them meat in due season?
Blessed is that servant,
whom his lord when he cometh shall find so DOING

MATTHEW 24:45 – 46

Brian Troxel

BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART

PURE IN HEART

PART ONE

“Blessed are the pure in heart
for they shall see God”

MATTHEW 5:8

The heart of a man is the lens through which he is able to see God. Purity of heart is THE ESSENTIAL quality that enables us to behold HIM. The Blood of Jesus reconciles us to a place of relationship. Faith brings us to the place of INTERACTING with HIM by producing within us an obedience that is the means to the reality of a PURE HEART.

“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through
the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren”

Romans 1:1

We desire growth and change. We desire truth and reality. We want to SEE JESUS. We fill ourselves with teachings, books, seminars and conferences which can all be good things, but without PURITY OF HEART we still will not be ABLE to see HIM. This is not some impossible standard for which we strive to please God in the hope that HE will grant us a glimpse of HIS wonder and glory. It is simply that we are UNABLE to see HIM without a PURE HEART. HE stood in the streets of Jerusalem, HE walked the common roads of Israel, HE healed the sick, HE spoke as no man ever spoke, HE walked as no man ever walked and YET they saw HIM not.

“He was in the world, and the world was made by him,
and the world knew him not. He came unto his own,
and his own received him not”

I JOHN 1:10 – 11

Nothing is so blinding as a religious agenda mingled with the deception of self seeking, self serving and self loving. A man full of himself not only has no room for God, he is blind to everything that is around him. Everything is weighed and measured by how things will affect his well being and his purposes. There is no ability to be objective for everything is interpreted from the standpoint of SELF. This condition produces a life that is easily offended, that needs to control its environment, and one that ceases to grow and develop in its relationship with God.

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord,
are changed into the same image from glory to glory,
even as by the Spirit of the Lord”

II CORINTHIANS 3:18

The key to BEHOLDING HIS Glory is that we come with “open face”. This denotes repentance and obedience with nothing to hide. It is in that BEHOLDING that we are then changed. There can be no change within a man except by the SEEING of HIM. Not only is purity of heart the window through which we see HIM, it also bears the pronouncement of blessing!

“BLESSED are the pure in heart,
for they shall see God.”

MATTHEW 5:8

Brian Troxel

THE HEART OF A PRIEST PART TWO

HEART OF A PRIEST

Part Two

“But when he (King Uzziah) was strong, his heart was lifted up to his
destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went
into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense.
And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of
the LORD, that were VALIANT MEN: And they withstood Uzziah the king,
and said unto him, It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense
unto the LORD, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated
to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed;
neither shall it be for thine honour from the LORD God”

2 Chronicles 26:16 – 18

True priests have only one responsibility and that is to represent the Lord and His purposes and to serve Him with their whole heart. Here we have the story of the King of Israel, a good King until his heart became lifted up, who sought to do things that did not pertain to his calling. Azariah and his fellow priests were men of valour who were not impressed by the fact that this man was a King for they served the King of Kings. True priests do not serve organizations, fellowships, ministries or causes; they serve only their God and King.

“Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ”
Romans 1:1

People with divided interests cannot be true priests. Where there are other agendas there is no longer a single eye. We are to be His. We are not here to support causes nor a teaching or some other “worthy” ideal but to serve Him and His purposes only. Everything must be subservient to the WILL of God. HIS WILL must transcend relationships, “callings” and ministries for in the end we are to minister to HIM ALONE. Out of this singleness of purpose we will discover that in serving HIM we begin to see and understand HIS call and purpose in the lives of others. We are then to serve and facilitate that call in their lives, to nurture and mentor in such a way as to see that “call” of God realized in their life. We must ever stand for truth and the investment of God and never allow personal sentiment to cloud our ability to remain objective in the things of God. These are HIS people, HIS disciples and it is HIS life that has been and is being invested. We are to be merely stewards (not lords) of the Grace of God concerning His people, the sheep of His pasture. All of Paul’s dealings with the Church in various localities were to see them grow up into HIM who is the Head of all things.

“If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also
my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour”

John 12:26

Brian Troxel

THAT WE MAY GROW Part Two

THAT WE MAY GROW

PART TWO

“But speaking the truth in love, may GROW up into him in all things,
which is the head, even Christ”

EPHESIANS 4:15

Men who have no desire to know the truth about themselves really do not desire the truth at all. Truth can only reveal the LIVING ONE and in the revelation of HIM we are immediately aware of our own condition. His Word is living and sharp and those who minister it faithfully must not rob it of its force and power. If we are to develop and grow up INTO HIM who is the HEAD of this glorious Body it is imperative that we speak the TRUTH. Without TRUTH, what do we have? Without TRUTH I am left to my own opinions and concepts. Without Truth I have no hope of ever GROWING into HIS LIKENESS. If we negate “speaking the truth” to one another we are left with a religion that has no fire, no strength or conviction and one that produces nothing valid or noteworthy. How can we expect to GROW if we do not have faithful brothers and sisters sharing truth in love to one another?

We live in a time when truth is watered down. In so doing it is robbed of its power and ability to make men and women instruments of righteousness and power. People withdraw from any expression that brings them to places of decision and choice. It is far easier to live with a religion that makes no demands on our personal lives. The ministration of TRUTH brings us to the awful realization of the call to “pick up our own cross” and follow HIM. It makes no allowances for self. It will not compromise with the desire to “save our lives”. It is come to make us in thought, word and deed a living expression of HIM who alone is true.

“For everyone who does evil hates the light and does not come to the light,
lest his deeds should be exposed”

JOHN 3:20

King David, however, was a man after God’s Heart; this is a cry from one WHO LOVED THE TRUTH!

“Let the righteous strike me; It shall be a kindness.
And let him rebuke me; it shall be as excellent oil;
Let my head not refuse it”

PSALM 141:5

It is a cry from one who knew he NEEDED the truth. He was interested in becoming true. It is a DAY for speaking truth, doing truth and loving truth. The people of God need to so interact in truth that we MAY GROW UP INTO HIM becoming one BODY IN CHRIST for there is only ONE HEAD!

Brian Troxel

THAT WE MAY GROW PART ONE

THAT WE MAY GROW

PART ONE

“Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy,
and all evil speaking, as newborn babes,
desire the pure milk of the word,
that you may GROW thereby”

I PETER 2:1 – 2

What we do, how we interact with others has a great determination on how we grow and what we become in HIM. We cannot hold malice toward a brother in Christ and expect to grow in our relationship with HIM. We cannot be deceitful and expect to grow in truth. We cannot say one thing yet live our lives in another and expect to become an authentic expression of HIM. To be envious of another is to be unthankful for the calling that God has placed upon our own life. There is a great amount of good and Godly teaching in the Body of Christ today, but despite this, unless we lay aside these evil things there will be no actual growth or development personally. There can be no going on without a leaving behind the works and attitudes of the unregenerate man.

We think that we can hold on to unforgiveness and offences and yet grow in the “grace and the knowledge” of our Lord Jesus Christ! If HE is gracious, forgiving, merciful and kind and I act contrary to that Nature how can I say that I know HIM? To think I can say to another brother “I have no need of you” and yet somehow believe that I will continue to GROW in HIM is an absurdity. True growth is only known BY the ministration of HIS nature and character in our lives according to that which we have received. If I do not give of what HE has given me I can be sure I will stop growing in the true knowing of HIM.

“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy”
MATTHEW 5:7

In order for me to grow in mercy I must be merciful. In order for me to develop in any of the qualities of HIS character I must express them in my daily life. We receive by giving, and we develop by being exercised in HIS LIFE. How I regard my brother, how I interact with my wife, my children and all others, whether it be in thought or deed will EFFECT and DETERMINE my own personal growth in HIM.

To hold on to the things of the Old Man
will prevent us from growing into the NEW!

Brian Troxel