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

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

MAKE ME UNDERSTAND THE WAY…

“Make me understand the WAY of Your precepts”

PSALM 119:27

The Hebrew Word used here for precepts is best translated instruction. It is a word that is always in the plural and is only used in the Psalms. We see here that the instruction of the Lord is not a teaching as we in our day understand it; it is a communication of something far deeper. The Psalmist here is asking God to help him understand the WAY of His instruction. True Godly instruction will cause us to realize that it is only known by walking in the WAY of that instruction. The WAY communicates to us that there is a walk involved in HIS teachings. This is not a doctrine but a WAY that brings us to the one who is LIFE; the very LIFE that we long for.

It is crucial for us to know HIM AS THE WAY, so that we may come to know HIM AS THE TRUTH, and in knowing HIM as the TRUTH, we will then find HIM as THE LIFE!

“I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life…”

The progression of our growth and development in Him cannot be short circuited. The error of this hour is in thinking that by gathering to ourselves knowledge that we will somehow know what truth is. But TRUTH IS A PERSON not an accumulation of data. We see many steeped in teaching by which there is a “form of righteousness” revealed; but within the life of the individual there is no POWER to actually be changed and transformed. This is religion at its worst. It will not produce the radically transformed life. It will not produce original expressions of the Holy Spirit. It can only manufacture a cloned religious expression that is manageable by the religious system; sterile, safe and impotent in terms of turning this world upside down with the powerful expressions of the RISEN CHRIST!

Lord, Bring us back to the simplicity, originality and power of your WAY. Bring us back to the ministration of TRUTH where we are impacted with the LIVING WORD that cuts asunder our lives even unto the thoughts and intents of our hearts; that reveals our NEED to be cleansed and purified by the FIRE of your PRESENCE! SAVE us from meetings that are predictable and “safe”, SAVE us from the status quo, SAVE us from obligations to men and bring us into the FEAR OF THE LORD!

“UNTO THEM THAT LOOK FOR HIM
SHALL HE APPEAR…”

Brian Troxel

THE PRESENT TRUTH – Part Two

THE PRESENT TRUTH

PART TWO

“For this reason I will not be negligent
to remind you always of these things,
though you know and are established in the present truth”

II PETER 1:12

Present truth should produce in us a life that is the revelation of HIM who is TRUTH in the NOW of our lives. If any ministry finds contentment in simply giving forth a teaching, a sermon or a theologically correct seminar without expecting a corresponding revelation of that LIFE of Christ within the recipients of that word; then they know not the heart, life or purpose of all ministry.

True ministry should be to the end that the people of God are strengthened in the truth in the NOW or the PRESENT tense of their lives. It is truth alone that can strengthen us to live in the present moment. There are many with great knowledge and who have been exposed to all the latest teachings; yet when it comes to LIVING His Life in the present tense there is a tremendous lack of reality. This is because we tend to equate teaching with truth rather than seeing that teaching only becomes truth in us through the medium of obedience. It is in us becoming strengthened and established in the PRESENT TRUTH that we really know the truth. The Name of the Lord as revealed to Moses is the I AM. His purpose for us is to live our daily lives in the showing forth of HIM as the great I AM.

HE is our refuge and our present help in time of need in every situation. He is to be our strong tower, our Rock and the lifter of our head when our hearts are overwhelmed in the midst of trouble. Let us go on and find HIM in this day, tomorrow and the days that are soon to be upon us. HE is our strength and our God who is ever HERE to make us stand in the evil DAY.

“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
even though the earth be removed”

PSALM 46:1

Ω

“To me, it has been a source of great comfort and strength
in the day of battle, just to remember that the
secret of steadfastness, and indeed, of victory,
is the recognition that
“the Lord is at hand.”
– Duncan Campbell

Part One
Part Three
Part Four
Part five

Brian Troxel

HEART OF A PRIEST

HEART OF A PRIEST

Part One

“And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father,
and told his two brethren without. And Shem and Japheth took a garment,
and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward,
and covered the nakedness of their father;
and their faces were backward,
and they saw not their father’s nakedness”

Genesis 9:22 – 23

We are living in the DAY of revelation. The hidden things will be (and are being) brought to light. The issue here was not the sin of Noah, but the response of his son Ham. There is something deep and wretched within the core of the unsanctified heart. There is a secret delight found in the exposure of the condition and misery of another. We see the news media today profiting from the exposure and publicizing of the lives of others. We see the gossip mongers spewing forth their tantalizing tidbits to a world anxious to hear, read and watch the sordid “news”. Millions of dollars are spent in the pursuit of “knowing” the facts of peoples’ most intimate things.

“The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee,
that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers,
or even as this publican”

Luke 18:11

Nowhere is this more pronounced than within the confines of religious circles where it is cloaked in a garment of religious “concern” about another and passed on quickly like wild fire through a “grape vine” of eager ears. Not only is the retelling of it shameful but in doing so the facts are further distorted and magnified. I have heard far too much about others while simply sitting in a prayer meeting. It is interesting to note that the Pharisee mentioned above “prayed thus with himself”; a startling revelation of how his prayer was considered from the standpoint of our heavenly Father.

“I hear that there be divisions among you;
and I partly believe it”

1 Corinthians 11:18

People who walk and live in the fear of the Lord are not carried away with the rumours of the Christian community. How we need to walk circumspectly in this hour, to have sanctified hearts that become a shelter for the confidence of our brothers and sisters; a place of refuge where we can stop the “firebrands” of the tongue and walk in the wisdom and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is interesting to me that Shem and Japheth walked backwards in response to the situation at hand. This is not a natural walk, but one compelled by love and compassion for their father! Upon further reading of this incident we discover that the posterity of Ham was cursed and Shem and Japheth were blessed. May the Lord bring forth in us a walk that is the result of His heart of love and compassion.

“A talebearer revealeth secrets:
but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter”

Proverbs 11:13

Brian Troxel

FAITH AND THE CITY OF GOD

FAITH AND THE CITY OF GOD

“Blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
Whose heart is set on pilgrimage”

PSALM 84:5

Faith is the DYNAMIC within an individual that produces motion and quest. Its very inner workings within a heart must birth a journey. For in its sway, there is communicated to the people of God a clarity of the HEAVENLY to such an extent that this world and all of its offerings pale in comparison to the treasures of God in Christ. Faith can never be static. It has one desire, one purpose; to make real in us the Character, the Beauty and the Power of our Risen Christ. Men who become “comfortable” in a teaching, a form or a method have not seen the City of God. Even Abraham, while living in the Land of Promise, was a pilgrim for his heart was set on the City of God.

“By faith he sojourned in the land of promise,
as in a strange country… for he looked
FOR A CITY which hath foundations,
whose builder and maker is God”

HEBREWS 11:9 – 10

It is in beholding the Heavenly City that we see and understand the contradiction to what we see in the earth. Faith must take us from the quest of our own personal pursuits in Christ to the place of seeking the welfare of the City (the corporate) of God. Nehemiah, though very well situated in the “world” of his day, was exceedingly burdened for the condition and state of the City of God in that day. His heart was broken and burdened for the CITY, not himself. He risked everything (even his life) to see the City of God rebuilt. How much more should we seek out the welfare of His House in these last days? How can we remain quiet? How can we not cry out as we see His house divided, secularized, scandalized and operating as a house of merchandise? Jesus was moved to the cleansing of the temple because His Father’s house was to be a house of prayer not a place of marketing “spiritual things”. The Church of Jesus Christ IS NOT AN EARTHLY ENTITY; it is a spiritual house. It is a Body (singular). It is to function and act like it is singular. The true ministry within it owns nothing and builds nothing for themselves. Their heart is to see the people of God function within their own gifts and callings and to see and ensure the UNITY OF THE FAITH WITHIN HIS HOUSE (Ephesians 4:11 – 13). Men may doubt and mock the reality of such a thing. Faith responds and says THE SON OF GOD PRAYED FOR SUCH A THING IN THE EARTH HOW CAN IT NOT BE?

“…that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You;
that they also may be one in Us,
that the world may believe that You sent Me”

JOHN 17:21

Brian Troxel

ABIDE

ABIDE

“And now, little children, abide in Him…”
1JOHN 2:28

The ability of a branch to produce fruit is not resident within the branch itself, but by its attachment to the vine. The branch simply must draw life from the vine. Faith is the connection; it is the only medium through which His precious life and power flow. All the goodness and mercies of our God are bound up within the wonder of a living faith. Faith is the victory (1John 5:4), Faith is the means by which we live (Habakkuk 2:4), Faith is the means by which we are Justified (Romans 5:1), Faith is the means by which we walk in this world (2Corinthians 5:7), Faith is the means by which we please God (Hebrews 11:6), and Faith is the means by which we live an obedient and overcoming life (Hebrews 11:33).

That is why we are exhorted…

“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith”
JUDE 1:20

Holy Faith, Living Faith, is the cornerstone of a life that lives, and MOVES and has its very being within the Son. Let us today Abide in Him!

Brian Troxel

JUSTIFICATION

Justification

“For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest…”

Psalm 51:3-4

Religion has a way of clouding and obscuring the thought and purpose of God in Christ. Righteousness is not simply a standard of moral conduct. Righteousness is a description of a life that is compatible with God’s character and an expression that is consistent with His redemptive plan of salvation. It is here in David’s acknowledgment of his transgression, with godly sorrow and repentance, that he shows what the righteousness of God is. “For I acknowledge my transgression…that thou mightest be justified. It is in our acknowledgment of our sin that we justify God’s sending His own Son to atone for our wickedness. We are now in the place of agreeing with God that this way is absolutely necessary for us to have relationship with Him. We clear Him to speak to the accuser of the brethren on our behalf. By faith we release the efficacy of the blood of His Son to justify us to the righteousness of God. It is here that many of us stumble and labor under a sense of condemnation that is not of Him. Condemnation is a ministration of the enemy that ever seeks to undermine our faith in God. It causes our countenance to fall from that of hope in Him to a hopelessness in ourselves. Its intent is to motivate us to try and establish a “righteousness” based on our efforts and resources. It ever declares that we are not worthy of the mercy and grace of God. When we agree and allow ourselves to wallow in that ministration of condemnation we now are siding with the adversary of God and we become recipients of all that he stands for. The fruit of such a ministry will produce bitterness, discouragement, anger and hopelessness for us and others. Those who agree with and hide not their transgressions from the face of God will find themselves the recipients of His mercy, grace, faith and forgiveness and the fruit of such a life will be found in agreement with Gal. 5:22-23. Fruit by its very nature is the result of something else. It is the inherent result of a law that is either unto life or unto death. So we find David at one of the lowest points in His life agreeing with God and as the Psalm continues we see the hope of God’s forgiveness and his restoration to the joy of God’s salvation.

Let us not linger in our failures and sins. Let us not wallow in the mire of our wickedness but let us agree with the purpose of all that Calvary stands for! For it is in this place of agreement with Him that we will discover the resources to rise out of our own helplessness into the joy of His salvation. It is in this place of us honoring the grace and salvation of God that His righteousness will be revealed in us from “faith unto the faith”. It is in our acknowledgment of the righteous work of God in Christ that His righteousness is ministered into the reality of our own life. Who cannot glory in such a God? Who can remain silent in the revelation of such things! Who could ever seek any other righteousness than this! It is declared with great clarity in 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The salvation of God is two-fold. First is the forgiveness of sins and the second work is to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Unless we agree with the first there will be no ability to draw upon the resources of God to complete the second. So let us go on and not grow weary but agree with our gracious God and draw from Emanuel’s veins the life and the power of the everlasting covenant that He signed with His own blood. Let us declare unto Him that He is worthy of our praise. He was just in sending His own Son for our atonement, He paid the debt of our transgression, He died that we might live, He was bruised for our iniquity, wounded for our transgression, He took upon Himself the shame and sorrow of sin, in dying He tasted death for every man and in rising from the dead He now offers life to everyone that comes to Him by faith. “Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified”

“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.”

Let us arise in the power of this! Let us lay aside every weight of sin and run with endurance and hope because of what He has done. Let us seek to provoke and encourage one another to rise up in His life and by the blood of the Lamb overcome the accuser of the brethren so that we no longer partake of his lies but that we through the life of agreement partake of the truth and life of the Lamb of God.

“And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him”.

(Luke 7:29 – 30)

 

Brian Troxel

NEGLECT

NEGLECT

“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation…”
Hebrews 2:3

When Jesus cried out on the cross “It is finished…” He was referring to the great price that was now paid to effect the reality of man being reconciled to God. The scripture declares that “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.” Reconciliation is the beginning of a relationship, not the completion. How tragic and far reaching are the results of the “teachings” of this hour that declare “it is finished” in respect to our responsibility to the great salvation that has been so graciously and grievously given. Teachings that simply state if you believe right then you must BE right for truth is simply a matter of belief. Simply embrace this teaching, believe a certain doctrine and you are eternally fit for heaven. James declares that even the “demons believe and shudder”. This is a relationship that has been offered at the expense of great suffering and unimaginable pain and contradiction by the precious Lamb of God. Truly, “How shall we escape, if we neglect” such a great salvation?

The Greek Word translated here “neglect” is used six times in the New Testament. The truth of this statement declares emphatically that there is an effort and a responsibility entrusted to the people of God to be diligent and vigilant in their walk with the Almighty God. It is the same Greek word translated “made light” concerning the invitation to the marriage supper of the Lamb in Matthew 22:5.

“The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,
And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding:
and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying,
Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner:
my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.
But they
made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm,
another to his merchandise”

Matthew 22:2 – 5

To make light of the call to come in this hour is to be a people who “… went their ways”.  This is neglect. When the truth and light of the Call of God does not alter our walk and cause us to forsake our ways then we are surely in the place of neglecting our salvation. If we are not in the place of obedience where the faith of God is producing a living sacrifice, where HIS LIFE is calling us out of our little sphere of comfort to launch out into the great cost of identification with HIM, this is neglect.

“It is no profit to have learned well, if you neglect to do well”


Brian Troxel