Prayer – Secret of Life

Prayer – The Secret of Life

“They shall come with weeping, and I will lead them with prayers. I will cause them to walk by rivers of waters, in a right way; they will not stumble in it…”
Jeremiah 31:9

Prayer is the secret of the life of a Christian. It is in this secret place that our hearts meet with our heavenly Father in the bonds and the merits of Christ. Prayer is much more than asking God for things and help in our situations; it is the sacred place of listening to Him and hearing His Will and purpose for our life. Prayer is the participation of our hearts in the wonder of God.

Communion with God is to be the center and focus of our lives. It is as we draw near to His presence that our hearts are softened and touched by His heart. There is a posture that seeps into our hearts by the touching of the Holy; we become still and bowed before our God. In that moment we know our place before Him, and we are enabled to hear the “still small voice” of our God. Oftentimes His directions come to us in whispers infused with faith to walk in His way. The secrets of the Lord often come in quiet times of prayer and communion with God.

“Surely I have behaved and quieted myself,
as a child that is weaned of his mother:
my soul is even as a weaned child”
Psalm 131:2

The magnitude of His presence quiets our being and in that wonder we are “weaned” of our wants and needs; like a contented child resting in the arms of its loving mother.

“I will lead them with prayers”

Those who pray much, hear much and see glimpses of Him that overwhelm the heart with the immensity of His presence. Prayer is the secret of faith, the wellspring of peace, and a hiding place for His children.

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty”
Psalm 91:1

Brian Troxel

Unbelief and The Holy Spirit

Unbelief and The Holy Spirit

“He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, from within him will flow rivers of living water.” But he said this about the Spirit, which those believing in him were to receive. For the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus wasn’t yet glorified.”
John 7:37-38

The giving forth of the Holy Spirit is clearly connected with Jesus being glorified. It is not limited to “dispensations”, times or seasons. Jesus has been glorified, is being glorified and will forever be glorified. As a result, the Holy Spirit will continue to be given. The unbelief of not asking, not seeking and not receiving the empowerment of the Holy Spirit is the bane of the gospel of our day.

The Word is clear. The promises are certain, and the price paid for the sending forth of the comforter, the One who is to lead us into all the truth of Christ. He is ever offered to those who by faith receive.

A gospel which proclaims something less cannot fully glorify Jesus. Unbelief caused the children of Israel to perish in the wilderness. Unbelief is the great cause of unanswered prayer. Unbelief is the reason for powerless living. Unbelief produces a dearth of the works of God in our midst.

“And he did not many mighty works there
because of their unbelief
Matthew 13:58

God has not abandoned us; He remains the same forever. Unbelief is the crisis of our day. Men would rather deny God’s gift than admit their own unbelief. It is easier to explain away the wonder and the power of the Holy Spirit than it is to ask, seek and pursue Him who died to make this gift ours.

“If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
Luke 11:11-13

Brian Troxel

Authenticity – God’s Work

Authenticity – God’s Work

“Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night,
before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice”
Mark 14:30

Peter’s love and commitment was based on emotion and the utter ignorance of his need for brokenness and grace. In his mind his resolve to follow Jesus to whatever end was unquestionable. How utterly confused he must have been by the certainty of Jesus’ statement regarding Peter’s failure to come in the hours ahead.

To be told by his beloved Master of his failure, even down to the time a certain rooster would crow at a particular place, must have been utterly unnerving. How could He know of this sequence of events? How could He be so precise in His Word?

I can only imagine that Peter must have gone to sleep that night mulling over this warning. How he must have resolved in his heart to not fail his Lord! Tears and self-doubt would have dominated his thoughts as he contemplated what the next day might hold. His Master’s words had been uttered with no sense of anger or resentment in His voice, but just a knowing of who Peter really was. In spite of all his soul-searching the night before, the next day, in the heat of the moment, he denied his Lord and wept bitterly.

“And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept”
Mark 14:72

God, in dealing with His own, prepares everything for the Master’s use; the mundane as well as the great. All tools in His hands are to bring His Own to the end of themselves and the beginning of God. As the master builder must build the foundation upon the rock beneath, so God brings us to the Rock of Christ. Only here can the real building start and our true life in God proceed. Authenticity is the only rock upon which He will build. Pretense and hypocrisy, though they may cause others to think well of us for a time, will leave the soul in poverty and lead to spiritual death. Christ knows all, sees all and will judge all. The light we refuse on this side of heaven will surely be faced in the Courts of His Justice in that Day. It is here and now that we must free ourselves from the need to please men and bring ourselves to the piercing light of Christ. Then we may stand in that Day as those who have passed from judgement unto the right-being (righteousness) that can be found in Christ alone. He alone can make us right; He gave His Life to make it so.

“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
1 John 4:17

As our love is made perfect in Him, we will have the grace and boldness to be “as He is” in this world and  in the Day of Judgment.

Brian Troxel

I Beseech You

I Beseech You

“I beseech you, brethren,
suffer the word of exhortation.”
Hebrews 13:22

 

True exhortation flows from the lives of those who see the dimness and feel the apathy of the hour in which we live. A slumber has settled upon His Church, but even in that there are those who are beginning to sense the coming incursion of darkness; a virulent uprising against all who are of the light. They who slumber in this deceptive indifference, if not addressed, will culminate in an inability to “stand in the evil day” which is upon us.

Exhortation is shunned and detested by those whom drowsiness is overtaking, even as those who are on the verge of sleep hate the sound of anything that keeps them awake. It is an irritation and a thing to be avoided.

The prayer of the Night Watchman is priestly and borne by those who know their own weakness. There is a comprehension of the necessity to be clothed in the life and power of Christ to stand in this evil Day.

“Consider and hear me, O Lord my God:
lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death”
Psalm 13:3

There is a slumber which is unto death. A pervasive and powerful contagion of this deadly slumber has fallen upon His Church. The lamps of the unwise are failing and the residue of the oil of the Spirit is lacking within the hearts of many. It is a poverty of spirit resulting from a heart that does not know its own state.

The Church OF the Laodiceans knew not they were blind; the Church of Sardis said they were alive, yet in God’s estimation they were dead. It is the presumptuous who become careless in thinking that because we are of His Church, we need not be diligent. It is upon people who have known Him that this deception falls:

“For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered”
Isaiah 29:10

WHY?

“Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men…”
Isaiah 29:13

Whenever and wherever there are people who know little of repentance and humility it is because they know Him not. Repentance is the atmosphere of those who have touched the glory of the Almighty. No flesh can remain unbowed in the majestic presence of God. Those who speak lightly of this hour are indeed blind to the intensity and the ramifications of all which is about to transpire.

“And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake:
but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved”
Mark 13:13

Those who “endure unto the end” will be those who have been willing to be despised of all men (including God’s own people) for the sake of His name.  Those who in the time of a false comfort have “sounded the alarm” to call God’s people to walk in righteousness and to warn them of the coming storm.

Because you kept my command to endure, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, which is to come on the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. I am coming quickly! Hold firmly that which you have, so that no one takes your crown”
Revelation 3:10-11

Let us hold fast in this hour, our lamps burning by the oil of His Spirit, standing in the midnight watch for His coming.

This is God’s Word to His Watchmen of this hour:

“Blow ye the trumpet in Zion,
and sound an alarm in my holy mountain:
let all the inhabitants of the land tremble:
for the day of the Lord cometh,
for it is nigh at hand”!
Joel 2:1

Those who despise the ministry of exhortation do so at their own peril for the Day of the Lord is upon us. The Alarm is to be sounded! Let the true ministers of the Lord weep between the porch and the altar for the people of God.

“Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord,
weep between the porch and the altar,
and let them say, Spare thy people, O Lord”
Joel 2:17

It is the hireling and false shepherds who speak of peace and safety in this hour of great danger. It is the voice of the enemy who speaks pleasant things in the day of preparation. Those who slumber and are not prepared will fall with devastation and judgment. Many who should be warning God’s people of this hour have instead become blind and dumb.

“His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber”
Isaiah 56:10

Like dogs unable to bark, they cannot sound the alarm for they are blind and spiritually ignorant of the Day which is upon us; they love the comfort of slumber. They speak of “smooth things” because that is what the people want to hear. Their comforting and soothing words falsely assure them of their standing in God while lulling them to sleep.

“But take heed to yourselves, for fear that your hearts become over-full of the pleasures of food and wine, and the cares of this life, and that day may come on you suddenly, and take you as in a net: for so it will come on all those who are living on the face of all the earth”
Luke 21:34

Ω

“I beseech you, brethren,
suffer the word of exhortation.”
Hebrews 13:22

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Our Calling

Thought for Today

Our Calling

“For even hereunto were ye called:
because Christ also suffered for us,
leaving us an example,
that ye should follow his steps…”
1 Peter 2:21-22

Let the majesty of His call penetrate our hearts, and the grandeur of His purposes ascend above our experience. Let His call jolt us into the realization of our need for Him to be our life. We are to “follow His steps”, to climb heights unimaginable and unattainable by our own strength! The righteousness we have been called to must be apprehended upon the potency of faith. This living faith is undaunted by the magnitude of the call and our own utter weakness. How tragic it is for His people to settle for a justification by faith, rather than the full glory of a sanctified life lived unto Him. Those who knew Him, loved Him and pursued Him throughout the ages had a mark set before them. There was a divine aspiration, filling their hearts with a passion that eclipsed the religious of the day.

“Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren,
and exhort you by the Lord Jesus,
that as ye have received of us
how ye ought to walk and to please God,
so ye would abound more and more”
1 Thessalonians 4:1

May we hear the voice of Him who calls us to larger living and deeper places of abiding and drawing from Him; the power to live above and beyond the status quo of our day. May He open our eyes to see the heights and depths to which we have been called, that we may turn from any dependence upon ourselves, and launch our hearts into the great ocean of a grace which is able to lift us up and to make us to stand in this day.

Abounding More and More

Let us pursue an “abounding more and more” unto the perfect day. Let us hear the call with the hearing of the spiritual ear, without which there can be no arising. One who rests in the doctrine of justification, without a passion to know the power and wonder of the true righteousness of God produced and sustained by faith, has ceased to hear the Call of God in Christ!

“So then faith cometh by hearing,
and hearing by the word of God”
Romans 10:17

It is not a day to grow weary or to settle for meager living with faithless horizons. May God give us “ears that hear” that our faith would be energized with the certainty that He who has called us is able to fulfill His Call.

The fervency of an individual’s faith is revealed in its pursuit of Him. Those who see the summits of the call of God in Christ will not allow their experience to determine His Call; they have come to the place where the Call begins to determine their experience.

“But the path of the just is as the shining light,
that shineth more and more unto the perfect day”
Proverbs 4:18

To those who are truly justified in Christ, the path is as a shining light that shines more and more unto the perfect Day. A path is not a resting place; a path is the way to get to a destination. It is our great Shepherd who leads those who follow Him, in the paths of righteousness (Psalm 23:3).

“For even hereunto were ye called:
because Christ also suffered for us,
leaving us an example,
that ye should follow his steps…”

Please read Ephesians 1:17-23.
Meditate and feast upon
the Riches available to us in Christ!

Brian Troxel

Living Waters – Part Two

Living Waters

Thirsting, Drinking and Flowing

Part Two

“If the clouds be full of rain,
they empty themselves upon the earth”
Ecclesiastes 11:3

How simple is the wise man’s observation? Those who are full of Christ must empty themselves upon the earth. Such is God’s heavenly purpose! Jude and Peter speak to those who have deviated from the well of Life: those who are “carried about by winds” (lifeless teachings and the “methods of men”; Ephesians 4:14); “carried about with every wind of doctrine and the methods of men” whereby they become “wells without water…” (2 Peter 2:17) and “clouds without water…” (Jude 1:12).

“These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots…”
Jude 1:12

These ones are comfortable in our midst and to a large degree the present day ministry is satisfied with “wells without water”. There is a  contentment with the complacency of a dry and barren people in whom there is no water. A people who are unaware of their accountability to BE springs of living water to the world around us is the indictment and fruit of a ministry that knows not God. The reason Jude and Peter addressed these things is because we will all give an account…

“…each man’s work will be revealed.
For the Day will declare it, because it is revealed in fire;
and the fire itself will test
what sort of work each man’s work is”

1 Corinthians 3:13

Paul pleads with the believers in Corinth.

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be IN the faith;
prove your own selves…”
2 Corinthians 13:5

Wherever true faith is living and beating within the life of an individual, the ministration of the life and works of its Author will be evident. The flowing of the living waters is the fruit of those who thirst and drink from the well of Christ.

“If ANY man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said,
out of his (own) belly shall flow rivers of living water
John 7:37-38

There is "no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus". The Word of God is given to bring change and transformation. The Call of God is to come higher and to go deeper into this ONE of whom the scripture declares..."unto us a son is given". He has been graciously given unto us... without reserve, without merit and without measure. The Call of God is for us to come and drink deeply of His provisions... from which the flow of His wonder becomes our own experience. The call goes out even now "If ANY man truly thirst for this life", may we respond and come afresh to Him!

Brian Troxel

The Way into Life

The Way into Life

“Holding the mystery of the faith
in a pure conscience”
1 Timothy 3:9

The conscience is a great gift of God to us. It is the vital link between the human soul and God’s Spirit. The deeper an individual goes in their relationship with God the greater will be the diligence required to keep one’s conscience pure and clean before God. Foolish is the one who thinks they can ignore the voice of God within and still grow in their understanding of the mystery and wonder of God in their own life. If we have wronged a brother or sister and do not seek to rectify the situation, let us not be deceived into thinking our life in God will prosper! The conscience is the sounding board in our walk with God. Those who truly seek to know Him must ever be sensitive to this inward light of God. An obedient heart keeps the conscience clean. When there is a disturbance in the conscience, true men and women of faith will do all in their power to keep this mirror of God clean.

“Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart,
and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned
1 Timothy 1:5

They who defile their conscience and yet seek to portray faith and godliness walk in the hypocrisy of religion. Their faith is not genuine, and the defilement of the conscience contaminates their relationship with God. A pure heart is one which is ever cognizant of the status of the conscience.

“If therefore you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift”
Matthew 5:23-24

Supposing we can worship God in truth while allowing offences to remain unattended is the horror of religion. Such worship is carnal, hypocritical and unacceptable before God. The true heart will respond to the inner voice of the conscience. It requires an intensity of heart to walk in the truth of these things. It requires humility to seek out our brother and sister in order to obey God within the sanctum of our own hearts.

“First be reconciled to your brother” *

How little we comprehend the fact that our relationship with our brother is paramount to our relationship with God. We are the Body of Christ and if I set my brother at aught, in God’s eyes I am doing it unto Him. The growth of any individual in God will be measured by the sensitivity of our responses to this Holy gift of God in us. People may sear and desensitize their conscience by misusing the doctrines of grace. Make no mistake; those who do not obey the conscience will end up in an unfruitful and shipwrecked life, and a darkness from which there is no escape.

A few years ago, I came to understand a simple truth:

“Those who refuse to deal with their past,
will have no future growth in God”

Spiritual Stagnancy is the fruit of disobedience. 

We cannot ignore the voice of God in our conscience and expect His mercies to lead us on into a greater knowing of Him. The life of a true disciple in Christ is one of continual transactions with Him who is true. My sensitivity today is the door through which I enter into the New Things He has for me.

“forgive us our debts AS we also forgive our debtors”
Matthew 6:9

May God make known to us the simplicity of this truth. We may hold on to the doctrines of our forgiveness in God; in reality we are forgiven to the same extent that we forgive others! Forgiveness, like all the precious gifts of God, requires our participation. As with forgiveness, so is mercy… “Blessed are the merciful for they shall OBTAIN mercy”. The religion of men requires no real cost; we can defile our conscience with the very truths of God and somehow think we are in right standing with Him! (Please read the full context of Matthew 5:23-24).

There is a cost but also a great blessing associated with the keeping of a clear conscience. True disciples know the benefits of walking in the Way of Truth. Such things are not optional for those who desire to know Him in Spirit and in Truth.

“And herein do I exercise myself,
to have always a conscience void of offence
toward God,
 and toward men”
Acts 24:16
* Note: There will be instances where there will be unresolved issues, but the true disciple will do all they can to facilitate reconciliation. The conscience will be clear when God is at rest in the heart. Christ died for the reconciliation of the world, but men and women must respond to His gracious offer. Others must respond to that same offer from us. A clear conscience gives us the ability of “having done all to stand” (Eph. 6:13) in matters relating to spiritual warfare. A clean Conscience is vital for victory. Christ did all and gave all; it is incumbent upon His disciples to do the same.

Brian Troxel

The Day of Decisions

A Day of Decisions

“And it was given unto him to make war with the saints,
and to overcome them…”
Revelation 13:7

In these last days The Cross of Christ will be much more than a teaching; to the saints it will be experiential. There is far too much frivolity in the popular “gospel” of today. Men and women pin their hopes on politics and wealth; scriptures are misconstrued to conclude that we have been called to worldly prosperity and influence. Read this scripture again and let its truth sink deep into your spirit. Let it bring clarity to the things that lie before us.

“And it was given unto him to make war with the saints,
and to overcome them…”
Revelation 13:7

It was given unto whom?

“And I stood upon the sand of the sea,
and saw a beast rise up out of the sea…”
Revelation 13:1

The Beast is rising in our day. They who have ears to hear and discerning eyes to see know that the day is upon us. John hears and sees this phenomenon unfold before him. We are clearly told what is soon to be:

“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him,
whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb…”
Revelation 13:8

John then hears a stern and powerful exhortation:

“If ANY man have an ear, let him hear”
Revelation 13:9

Can we truly hear? The foolishness of empty words will cease. Let His people be under no illusions; a time of great testing is coming upon us. It is a day to “arm ourselves”; not with carnal weapons but with the spiritual armour and graces of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh,
arm yourselves likewise with the same mind:
for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin…”
1 Peter 4:1

Jesus is the Way! He overcame this world and the principalities of spiritual wickedness through sacrifice, not carnal warfare! It is a Day to arm ourselves with “the same mind” which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. It is time to cease from the carnality of politics and turn unto Him alone who can prepare us for our day of sacrifice. Our victory in the days ahead will lie in our being “hid” in Christ, where His mind, heart and Spirit becomes ours. We dare not face this day unprepared. The “cross” IS the power of God. It is as we take on his armour today that we will be given the ability to stand in the evil day, having DONE all.

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God,
that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day,
and having DONE all, to stand”
Ephesians 6:13

There is a large segment of the church who are becoming zealous for political power rather than the true power of God. To them the cross is foolishness and represents a weakness rather than the power that it is. The carnal mind despises the Cross of Christ and all they who think such things are in the throes of “perishing”. It is to those who are being saved that the cross holds the true hope and power of God.

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness;
but unto us which are being (the Greek Tense) saved it is the power of God”
1 Corinthians 1:18

The lines of demarcation are being drawn; this Day will separate the wheat from the tares, the true from the false, and those who serve God from those who serve themselves.

The Cross has always been the threshing instrument in the hands of our God.

“Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision:
for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision”
Joel 3:14

The Day of the Lord is upon us. There is a deep valley through which His people must pass and where decisions will be made. The flood is coming and the foundation of every man’s house will be tested for the day will declare the verity of everyman’s work.

“Every man’s work shall be made manifest:
for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire;
and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is”
1 Corinthians 3:13

(continued)

Brian Troxel

Prophetic Light – Andrew Jukes

Quote for Today

“What the Church now wants is prophetic light—light, that is, to know God’s present will, His will as to existing things—whether this is ‘a time to build’ or ‘a time to throw down.’ No study of the letter of the dispensation will give this. No study of the old law would have shown that in Hezekiah’s day the right thing was to ‘defend Jerusalem;’ in Zedekiah’s, to forsake it and ‘fall to the Chaldeans;’ and in a still later day to ‘flee to the mountains.’ No mere letter of the Gospel will show the Church’s real need to-day. Direct prophetic light is needed—men to whom the Word of the Lord yet comes expressly. And yet these are the men whom the Church always rejects”
– Andrew Jukes (1880)