FEED THEM

FEED THEM

“You give them to eat”
MATTHEW 14:17

Somewhere within the development of a healthy believer’s life there comes a startling moment when there must be the transition from a child always needing someone to feed them to becoming a source and supply for others. True ministry will facilitate and press those within its sphere to bring about this life of progression from relying on the bread of others to becoming bread for others.

Here we see Jesus looking over the multitudes with great compassion and His first response is to turn to the disciples and desire of them to feed the multitudes. He is ever beckoning us to come and participate (fellowship) with HIM in the bringing forth of HIS KINGDOM in the earth. The validity of any ministry is revealed in the development of those around it to become a unique, powerful ministration of the SON in their lives unto others. This is the nature of the Kingdom of God.

We live in a day where thousands upon thousands of believers sit year after year listening to others teach, preach and minister to them without a cry rising up within their own hearts to become life and bread to others. HOW CAN THESE THINGS BE? How long will this unnatural and stagnant condition continue? When will there be a recognition of the futility and impotency of our ways? Can we not hear the call to us from the Book of Hebrews…?

“For though by this time you ought to be teachers,
you need someone to teach you AGAIN the first principles of the
oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food”

HEBREWS 5:12

When there is a lack of development within the people of God, those with father’s hearts are ever there to be faithful to exhort and admonish the people of God onward… “let us go on to perfection…” (HEBREWS 6:1).

How sad it is to see the teacher/pupil relationship continue for years and years without change. To see the same people sitting and listening to sermons, tapes, teachings, seminars and countless other forms of the “multimedia” world we live in WITHOUT THE CORRESPONDING GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE MINISTRATIONS OF THE LIVING CHRIST WITHIN THE HEARERS is incomprehensible! This is not only an indictment of the condition within the Body of Christ in this hour it is a clear revelation that we are living in the last days.

“Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes,
will He really find faith on the earth?”

LUKE 18:8

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets,
some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
FOR the equipping of the saints FOR the work of ministry,
for the edifying of the body of Christ,
till we ALL come…”

EPHESIANS 4:11 – 13

Brian Troxel

HIS VOICE

HIS VOICE

“And ye said, Behold,
the LORD our God hath showed us his glory and his greatness,
and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire:
we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth.
Now therefore why should we die? for this great fire will consume us:
if we hear the voice of the Lord our God any more, then we shall die.
For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living
God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?
Go thou near, and hear all that the Lord our God shall say:
and speak thou unto us all that the Lord our God shall speak unto thee;
and we will hear it, and do it.”
Deuteronomy 5:24 – 27

Though Israel saw the works of God in Egypt and at the Red Sea it is here that they first caught a glimpse of the fact that He speaks to men. This reveals the possibility of relationship. It is one thing to see the moving of His hand; it is quite another to hear Him speak and enter into the place of comprehending His WILL and PURPOSE. Relationship denotes responsibility and accountability. Religion does not mind acknowledging God, nor does it have a problem with even His miracles and His words if they are related to us from a book or someone else. But the thought of hearing His voice for ourselves brings us to the edge of reality. It brings us to the awful place of His fire, His presence, and into the place of knowing. Religion is like an anesthetic; it gives us enough understanding to make us feel comfortable, but leaves us in enough darkness that we do not have to face that penetrating light and feel the heat from the fire of His presence. For it is in knowing that we see to some degree our state and His glory. It is in hearing His voice that He communicates His Will and His purpose for our lives. This is a fearful place. It is a place that strips us from the comfort of the shadows of obscurity into the knowledge of the Holy One by the revelation of Himself in and by His living Word.

“Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.
and ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent,
him ye believe not. Search the scriptures;
for in them ye think ye have eternal life:
and they are they which testify of me.”

John 5:37

The Jews had a confidence in their knowledge of the scriptures, yet that knowledge instead of revealing the Christ, blinded them to the seeing of Him, “…for in them ye think ye have life…” Their confidence was in the knowledge of words rather than in the hearing of His voice. If they had heard His voice they would have seen Him and known Him. The voice of the Lord is ever speaking into the earth looking and longing for His creation to hear and come that it might know Him and be changed.

It is the voice of God that calls us to the true knowledge of Him and to the awful revelation of ourselves. It is the voice of God that calls us to separation and obedience. No wonder the desire to remain in the comfort of obscurity. But, it is also the voice that reveals the Lamb of God in all of His Grace and Glory. It is the voice that draws us away from our sin and our sickness unto Holiness, without which no man can see God. It calls us to the place of worship, to the place of fellowship with Him, to the place of the mount of God baptized with fire and glory and ultimately it brings us to the place of His divine purpose, Christ in you the full hope of Glory. His voice is for one purpose; to make us so one with Him that our life becomes His voice to others, our life becomes his provision to those He brings our way. When the people asked John the Baptist who he was he simply replied…“I am a voice of one crying out in the wilderness… ” They could not recognize him because they knew not the voice that spoke through him, and that voice was to prepare the way for the true Shepherd who was to follow. It’s in hearing His voice that we become an echo of the One who is, who was and who is to come; “for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy”. Let us not draw back in the hearing of His voice but as Elijah who upon hearing the “still small voice” wrapped himself in his mantle and presented himself to the Will and the Purposes of God.

How men and women in this day quickly trade away their true standing in God and seek out men who will speak to them in the stead of God! How sad it is that there is a professional “ministry” who would stand in the place of God so that the people can shirk their responsibility and sit in pews when they should be up and about doing the will of their Father. Where is that ministry which will confront this lethargy and speak with power and unction to cause people to recognize their birthright as “sons” and draw near to God with hearts that long to hear and obey the voice of the Almighty? Where is that true ministry such as John the Baptist that rejoices when his disciples forsake him to follow in the footsteps of the Son? May God arise and pour out His fire in this day to ignite the hearts of His people to give our lives unto Him as living sacrifices’!

“An empty altar will receive no fire…”
Frank Bartleman

Brian Troxel

BUILDING UP YOURSELVES…

BUILDING UP YOURSELVES…

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

Jude 1:21

The Book of Jude is a book that is concerned with contending and standing firm in the Faith. It is a book of warning and instruction. It is a book for these days.

Here we are exhorted to be building up ourselves on our most holy faith, praying IN the Holy Ghost. In so doing we are able to KEEP ourselves in the love of God. This is not the Love for God, but the Love of God. Men can have a love for God without realizing that it is a much higher calling to hold the Love OF God in our hearts. If we have the Love of God burning in our hearts then we are able to love the things HE loves with a love that is sacrificial and costly. To have the Love of God in our hearts is to know John 3:16 in a truth and a power that alters the way we live. It is to LOVE His people with a love that is not in word, but a love that is in truth and deed. If it does not produce an extending of our lives unto others it is not a living truth within our lives. Men may say right things, listen to sermons and read books but if HIS love is not producing genuine expressions in terms of obedience, works and deeds it is simply religion; a love that is in word but not in deed nor in power.

“For God so loved the world that He GAVE…”
John 3:16

Love is costly to those who are held in its power. Love produces extravagant expressions because that is the nature and beauty of Love. Consider the men of David how they revealed their love and desire towards David by risking their lives to bring water from the well of Bethlehem. We reveal by what we do what beats within our hearts. To know this power, to be held in its sway, requires a life of prayer. Not just any prayer but a life of prayer that is founded and sustained IN the Holy Spirit. Jude here is exhorting us to keep (guard) ourselves by keeping the Love OF God alive and burning in our hearts.

One of the characteristics that we are warned of in the scriptures concerning this day is that the love of many shall grow cold. The drifting away of a heart is a deceptive thing; it can be gradual in its decline and unnoticeable in its influence. It is why we are warned to provoke one another unto Love and Good Works; where the good works are the product of the Love of God burning in our hearts. If there are no works, there is no love. It is time to guard our hearts from deception. How we need to be objective in our assessment of our lives. Paul exhorts us to…

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be IN the faith;
prove your own selves…”

II Corinthians 13:5

“What does love look like? It has hands to help others.
It has feet to hasten to the poor and needy.
It has eyes to see misery and want. It has ears to
hear the sighs and sorrows of men.
That is what love looks like.”

SAINT AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO (354–430)

Brian Troxel

HEART OF A PRIEST PART FOUR

HEART OF A PRIEST

PART FOUR

THE ROYAL PRIESTHOOD

“To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men,
but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones,
are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood
,
to offer up spiritual sacrifices,
acceptable to God by Jesus Christ”

I Peter 2:4 – 5

The language of the New Covenant is one that conveys the thought, power and purpose of God in His people. We are living stones by VIRTUE of coming to THE LIVING STONE. In coming to HIM we learn, discover and partake of HIS qualities and heart. There can be no building up into a corporate expression that glorifies HIM if we are not walking in HIS TRUTH, LIKENESS and CHARACTER. We ARE living stones (plural) that are being (present tense) built into a Spiritual HOUSE (singular) for HIS GLORY. It is not a church building; it is not a ministry (Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor or Teacher). Rather it is a CORPORATE HOLY PRIESTHOOD that will in truth offer SPIRITUAL SACRIFICES UNTO GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST. The only purpose of the individual ministrations in HIS HOUSE is to PRODUCE this priesthood within the lives of the individual living stones.

Throughout the New Covenant we read over and over of the value and preciousness of the individual expression but here we see the cry for the summation of all ministries into the SINGULAR expression. We do not read of the Bodies of Christ, families of God, faiths of Christ, houses of God, and other plural concepts.

“So we, being many, are ONE body in Christ,
and every one members one of another”

ROMANS 12:5

“For we being many are ONE bread, and ONE body:
for we are all partakers of that ONE bread”

I CORINTHIANS 10:17

“For as the body is ONE, and hath many members,
and all the members of that ONE body,
being many, are ONE body: so also is Christ”

I CORINTHIANS 12:12

“But now are they many members, yet but ONE body.
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”

I CORINTHIANS 12:20

There are far too many scriptures to list here for the sake of brevity, but even in these few examples we MUST recognize the discrepancy between what we see here and the abomination of what we see in the “Christian Expression” around us. Our FAITH must reveal HIS HEART and purposes. FAITH IS THE SUBSTANCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN. If I believe in this ONE HOUSE and this ONE ROYAL PRIESTHOOD then with every fibre of my being I should interact with the people of God around me to this ONE END. If our lives resemble the ONE LIVING STONE (which was rejected by the RELIGIOUS builders of HIS DAY) then it must be that our lives not only be rejected by the religious builders of our day, but that we find ourselves in truth being built into a SPIRITUAL HOUSE by becoming that ROYAL PRIESTHOOD to see it to completion.

Men who are content to live outside of the “institutions of men” without love and concern for the spiritual wellbeing of HIS people know not the HEART OF GOD. ALL THINGS ARE TO BE SUMMED UP IN CHRIST! ALL THINGS ARE TO SEE HIS PURPOSES FULFILLED IN HIS PEOPLE! That is the heartbeat of those who have seen, heard and felt HIS HEART in this hour. THERE IS ONE BODY, ONE SPIRIT, ONE HOPE OF OUR CALLING, ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, ONE BAPTISM, ONE GOD AND FATHER! It is unto this END that we live and because of THIS TRUTH we NOW labour that we may present EVERY MAN complete in Christ! That is the only purpose of ALL ministry; though the individual expressions are all unique and different this is the ONE END to which we labour. Our lives must be true to this ONE THING and how we actually interact with the people of God on a daily basis IS THE REVELATION OF OUR FAITH IN THIS MATTER!

“There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called
in one hope of your calling;
One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all,
who is above all, and through all, and in you all”

EPHESIANS 4:4 – 6

Brian Troxel

APATHY & the BODY OF CHRIST

APATHY & THE BODY OF CHRIST

“If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD,
and lie unto his neighbour…”

LEVITITICUS 6:2

To deal deceitfully with a brother, neighbour or acquaintance is a trespass against the Lord. How we need to bring the fear of the Lord into all of our dealings and interactions with one another. He is ever present, to watch over the idle words, hasty words, and angry words of our conversations. How we treat one another is in TRUTH how we treat our God. In our relationships with one another we have tremendous power to bless or to curse, to encourage or condemn, to exhort or to remain aloof and not get involved. Our relationships may involve sins of OMISSION and sins of COMISSION.

Sins of OMISSION are the sins of neglect and apathy. The man travelling on the road was beaten by thieves and left lying in helplessness and pain. The sins of omissions were of those who passed by with no concern, “not wanting to get involved”. Apathy and neglect is the mother of the sins of omission. Where men no longer contend for truth, they see their brothers and sisters walk in error and carnality and say nothing. They are prayerless, disconnected and live independently from those around them. This is the great sin of OMISSION!

“If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death,
he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death.”

I JOHN 5:16

People that love one another, care for one another. It sounds very basic yet as we look around and see the condition of the Body of Christ today we are overwhelmed with the carnality, envy, strife, anger, suspicion, jealously and apathy around us. People who break fellowship with others over their estimation of a man, a ministry, a teaching or a particular “brand” of fellowship HAVE NOT SEEN NOR KNOWN THE HEART OF GOD. Jesus in HIS teachings brought forth a very clear and precise illustration of the sins of OMISSION and how these things relate to HIM directly.

“Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty
or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison,
and did not minister to You?’
Then He will answer them, saying,
‘Assuredly, I say to you,
inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these,
you did not do it to Me”

MATTHEW 25:44 – 45

We live in the DAY of which it was spoken that because iniquity shall abound the love of MANY shall grow cold. The sin of omission is the clearest expression of a heart that has grown cold and has slowly drifted away from RELATIONSIP with our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. The teachings and doctrines remain but the faith and love has long since died and the subtlety of this “death” is most terrifying. It is a state that will most assuredly reap great judgment in this day of recompense and visitation.

This is the DAY of involvement and love. It is a day to contend for THE FAITH, (not a faith, or a “brand” of teaching) but to contend for THE TRUTH that alone can make us true. May God deliver us from our apathy, neglect and cold hearts that lead to independent living, disconnected relationships and false securities. The most frightening thing about apathy is the corresponding blindness that it brings. We see the Levite passing by the man beaten on the road on his way to his “fellowship” or “service” with no understanding of the implications of a life so lived. Stir us afresh Lord; let us rise up in the power of your love to be unto your people your heart and your light in this perilous DAY!

Brian Troxel

CHANGE – THE EVIDENCE OF LIFE

CHANGE

THE EVIDENCE OF LIFE

“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.
Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy,
we faint not; but have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty,
not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully;
but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves
to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.”

IICorinthians 3:18 – 4:2

Changed. Better yet, transformed is the actual Greek Word here. It is the same word used to describe the Lord’s transfiguration on the mount. The thing that sets apart the truth of the Christian Faith is not its teaching, not its appeal to rid a man of guilt or shame; it is the radical change that is seen in the lives of those who have touched Him. This is not to be a lone isolated event, but a life of change, a life of continual change; a Call to continually come up higher, to go deeper, to broaden the scope of our being in every direction in the “seeing” of HIM. Change is the evidence of a life that is seeing HIM. Where there is no actual change occurring it is because there is no actual “beholding” of HIM. The journey of transformation is not a conforming to things external rather it is a change within the center of a man’s being; a radical, consistent, and progressive walk of change being expressed in the growth of a man’s vision. It is the putting away of the self life, the power of the impulse of the Spirit of God within a man to express the life and the truth he has seen regardless of the consequences. The places of weakness and impotency are transformed into the strength and fruitfulness of the Risen Christ where the “worm” is transformed into a threshing instrument having sharp teeth (Isaiah 41:14-15). This is true Vision. This is a Vision that cannot be written on paper in some sort of methodology. This is a POWER; no, this is THE POWER. This is the secret of the strength working in people who “behold” Him. When men speak of vision it is usually described in terms of some future unfolding event or concept. There is some validity to these things, but without “seeing” HIM now and the change that is wrought everything else is merely an ideal with no relevance to the real expression of HIS LIFE in us.

“Therefore seeing we have this ministry,
as we have received mercy, we faint not…”

II Corinthians 4:1

This is the very next verse that follows and there are no chapter divisions in the original. Paul states here emphatically that the “beholding of the Glory of the Lord” WAS his ministry! Why do we see so few real, powerful, and unique ministrations of life within the Body of Christ? It is indicative of the tremendous lack of “beholding” Him. We substitute teachings, the esteem of men and organizations, and religious activity for the simplicity and power of beholding Him. In the last few years I have been saddened by “fellowship” that is centered in the recognition of some teacher, prophet, or apostle or even some church or organization. This is not fellowship but a revelation of an absence of personal relationship to the head, even Christ Jesus our Lord. The flow of ministry from an individual is proportional to the seeing of Him. The only purpose of true ministry is to so minister the things of the living Christ to one another that we see the people of God come into their own faith and become a unique and powerful expression of HIM in this world.

“The glory of God is a living man;
and the life of man consists in beholding God”

OSMUND 1099

Brian Troxel

AN EMPTY VINE

AN EMPTY VINE

“Israel is an empty vine,
he brings forth fruit unto himself”

Numbers 13:30

An empty life is simply a life lived unto itself. A man filled with his own agendas is not really capable of relationship for everything is viewed from the standpoint of personal advantage and gain; everything becomes subservient to the betterment of self. The life is no longer lived from the standpoint of God’s heart, God’s interests and bearing fruit unto God. It is a subtle death; it is the slow process of decay as priorities slowly change from God to one’s self. His giftings slowly become “ours”, His ministrations of life become “our” ministry, and all of our interactions with others are to one end… the magnifying and enlarging of self. The emptiness of such a life lived is a desolation beyond comprehension. It is filled with blindness, revealed by a heart that is no longer touched with the trials of others, for it is disconnected from those around it. It is expressed in independent living, narrowness of vision and incapacity to pray, strengthen or serve others.

“For thou hast said in thine heart,
I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God:
I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation,
in the sides of the north:
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will be like the most High”

ISAIAH 14:13 – 14

Self seeking and self serving is the very gateway to hell and death for it is the very antithesis of the heart of Jesus…

“But made himself of no reputation,
and took upon him the form of a servant,
and was made in the likeness of men:
And being found in fashion as a man,
he humbled himself,
and became obedient unto death,
even the death of the cross.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him,
and given him a name which is above every name”

PHILLIPIANS 2:7 – 9

It is in being free from the tyranny of self that we find life. It is in our “choosing” to pick up our cross and follow the ONE who is the Prince of Peace, the Author of our Faith, the Source of all Life and the Giver of all good things that we discover in HIM we live, move and have our being. The Life of bearing fruit is a life lived in the wonder and glory of HIM, who GAVE HIS LIFE for us, that we may give our life for others.

“Herein is my Father glorified,
that ye bear much fruit”

JOHN 15:8

Brian Troxel

FOR HE CARETH…

FOR HE CARETH…

“Casting all your cares on him,
For he careth for you”

I PETER 5:7

The KEY to the power of this verse is that we are able to cast all our cares upon HIM for by faith we KNOW that HE cares for us. It is one thing to have the knowledge of the scriptures. It is an entirely different thing to draw from them the power of God to bring them into our daily lives.

The “cares” spoken of here refer to anything that produces anxiety or concern in our lives. The scope of the “cares” that we are to cast upon HIM is ALL of them. In this world we become so accustomed to living with and carrying the multitude of cares and concerns that we become unaware of the implications and the tremendous drain they exert upon us. To “Cast our cares upon HIM” is a discipline that we are to learn. “Cast” is a verb that implies an effort on our part; a life that is developed by conscious effort within the life of the individual believer. This is a life that can only be cultivated in the secret chambers of prayer and communion with the ONE who cares for us. It is in touching HIS heart on a daily basis that the power of HIS love is communicated to us and we find ourselves being carried and borne upon the wings of HIS love.

How we need to see that carrying and holding on to the “cares” of this life actually choke out the life of the Son within us, making us unfruitful and barren in the things of our God. This is warfare and a battle in which we must be schooled so that HIS overcoming life may be developed within us. In the Parable of the Sower we read of the precious seed that fell in different hearts and the interpretation of it in those that were filled with the “cares, riches and pleasures of this life”….

“Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard,
go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of this life,
and bring no fruit to maturity”

LUKE 8:14

Jesus said “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit…” For us to ALLOW the cares of this world to choke the life of the Son within is the very thing that will keep us from living that life that glorifies our Heavenly Father. We permit these things to be so in our lives if we do not discover the secret of “CASTING ALL OUR CARES UPON HIM”. It is our own unbelief that HE ACTUALLY cares for us that keeps us from knowing, living and celebrating the glory of such a truth. It is the reliance upon our own resources that keeps us from living in such a temper of heart and peace of mind.

HE CARES FOR US, HE IS OUR BURDEN BEARER, AND HE IS OUR SUFFICIENCY IN THIS LIFE. May we even today, at this very moment, draw near to HIM with all of our concerns, cares and worries and find in HIM the truth that HE CARES FOR YOU. Then let us consciously and determinedly cast those cares upon HIM. May HE show us in the course of our daily lives this grace of God that carries us through into the place of bearing fruit and glorifying our Father!

“Casting all your cares on him,
For he careth for you”

Brian Troxel

FOR HE WORKETH

“FOR HE WORKETH”

“For it is God that worketh…”

Philippians 2:13

This is the Good News. Our “…working out” is always preceded by His “working in”. To live under the “Law” of the New Testament without the inspiration of His Life is far more discouraging and impossible than to try and live up to the “Law” given in the Old Testament! It is a covenant of Grace and Faith so that the end of it might be sure unto all that believe (obey). The inspiration of His Life within in us should be a place of wonder and adventure…for it will always take us from strength to strength, faith to faith, and glory to glory. It is a journey not a destination. For if God is infinite so must our relationship be one that is eternal and ever unfolding in greater depths and heights. Our lives here are simply a revelation of that in terms of growth and development. Have we reached a plateau where we feel “comfortable” in our walk? Have we become stagnated by a vision that has not produced change and growth? Have our circles of fellowship grown small and our concept of the “Body” become diminutive and inert? The Good News is “For it is God that worketh…” If He is at work, there is a gnawing within our hearts for something greater and deeper. It is the cry for us to “Come Higher” to see things as they actually are not as we “perceive” them. It is a call to “work out” because He is working in our hearts. The testimony of the faith of David versus the “life” of Saul is a revelation of what we are walking in today….

“So David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place”
I Samuel 26:25

Are we on our way (journey) or do we simply find ourselves returning to our “place”? Have we moved on in His in workings in our life? The life of faith is characterized by stepping into new places; it is a dying to the former things and stretching forth unto new places of unknown and unexplored areas of His Life. The waters that stand between Egypt and the Wilderness and the Wilderness and the Promised Land must be crossed. They are not to be discussed and debated; but crossed. Desire must give way to “doing”. Knowledge must give way to “becoming”. It is one thing to hear sermons on sacrifice and another to “become” a living sacrifice. Knowledge in itself is not substance. Rather it is to cause us to rise up and walk in that which we see; to become that which we have heard.

Brian Troxel

AS A MAN IS…

AS A MAN IS…

“…for as the man is, so is his strength”
Judges 8:21

The true strength of a man is the character of his heart and the verity of his faith. What a man is in relation to his God is what determines his strength. Teachings, doctrines and associations with great men of God cannot in themselves create a man of God. Obedience, discipline and interactions with God can alone transform us from what we are by nature to what we are to be by grace. We read in Hebrews 11 of what faith is and how it looks in the lives of ordinary people.

“By faith Abel offered, by faith Noah prepared an ark,
by faith Abraham obeyed,
by faith Sarah received strength,
by faith Moses forsook Egypt…”

Hebrews 11

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen”

Hebrews 11:1

Faith is substance; THE substance of things hoped for. It is not a philosophical thing or a mental idea; it is in itself THE SUBSTANCE of the thing hoped for. It is vital and true. It will take lost individuals and transform them within a moment into a new creation, filled and empowered to leave their old life behind. It will cause them to discover that all things are new in Christ Jesus. How is it that we tarry in its growth and development? How is it we succumb to normal living, normal thinking and a normal life of mediocrity?

Faith is the evidence of things not seen. Faith that is real and alive must produce a LIFE within the individual that is the EVIDENCE of the unseen Christ. It can be no other way. In our day faith has become a thing rather than a power! May the Lord stir us afresh in this hour to seek HIS FACE to rediscover His nearness, His Love and His strength?

“Faith means being grasped by a power that is greater than we are,
a power that shakes us and turns us, and transforms and heals us.
Surrender to this power is faith”

Paul Johannes Oskar Tillich (1886–1965)

Brian Troxel