Spiritual Discernment – Fear of Man

Spiritual Discernment – Fear of Man

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

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

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

“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ
Galatians 1:8-10

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brian Troxel

The Pressings of God

The Pressings of God

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brian Troxel

The True Temple

The True Temple

“He who overcomes,
I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God…”
Revelation 3:12

In our day many consider church as somewhere one goes rather than something we are. God’s Church is made up of living stones; purified, united and joined in the harmony of His Spirit. Unity in Spirit is the reality of all who walk in His Spirit. Division and sectarianism are the revelation of the stain of flesh and the ambitions of men.

Those who overcome the spirit of this world become pillars in that heavenly temple. How we walk here, overcoming worldly affinities, determines heavenly realities.

Our Oneness in His Body here reveals the truth of our Oneness in Him. “As He is, so are we in this world”. Whatever is true in spirit must be evident in our walk here. Division and heresy, rivalry, envy and strife, are the works of the flesh. Those who walk in such forfeit heavenly rewards.

He who overcomes,
I will make him a pillar
in the temple of my God…”
Revelation 3:12

Overcoming here is a prerequisite to the reward there. Let no one deceive you in thinking otherwise. Paul in his stinging reproof to the Church at Corinth cried out in the power of the Spirit of God:

“Is Christ divided?”
1 Corinthians 1:13

Those who dwell in the Love of God, love what He loves. Those who walk in the love of the world, love those who love them. We are called by the very love of Christ to “preserve the unity of the Spirit”. Only those who walk in the Spirit know of this “unity”. It is a unity not of this world, nor is it confined to a sect or a select few; it is the world-wide truth of all who walk, live and abide in Him. Paul wrote to Timothy to instruct us in how we are to walk and behave in the household of God, not in some sect or denomination.

“I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth”
1 Timothy 3:14-15 (ESV)

To be free from the contamination of pride is to know the depth and power of the fellowship of the Light and Glory of Christ with one another. They who separate themselves cannot know God nor the substance of His Love.

He that loveth not knoweth not God;
for God is love”
1 John 4:8

____________________________

“Beloved, if God so loved us,
we ought also to love one another”
1 John 4:11

Brian Troxel

Be Still and Know

Be Still and Know

“Be Still and Know…”
Psalm 46:10

There is a stillness required for the true knowledge of God to descend as the dew upon the soul. This knowledge of Him transcends words and religious definitions. It is simply the supremacy of His presence communicating to us the truth of His Holiness and His Power; a touching of the Divine. It is an active stillness as the voices and the clamoring of the demands of the world and the burdens of our own afflictions are silenced and we are overwhelmed by His greatness. The wonder of His Presence quiets the soul and we feel the mastery of His peace.

The call to the Stillness of God is a call to surrender, to new places of the offering of ourselves unto Him. It is from this Stillness that we get the impetus to be active in the work and purposes of the Lord. The faith imparted through our communion with Him, creates a new fervency to declare His glory to the world around us. Faith is the womb of His Works; living faith inspired by the hearing of Him within the confines of our own hearts.

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

There can be no valid doing without true hearing. Where there is no doing it is because there is no hearing. It is in our coming to Him where we hear the Glory of God calling us and sending us to do the works of Him in the earth.

Come now therefore, and I will send thee…”
Exodus 3:10

The sending forth of an individual into the purposes of God will always be to the one who has first answered the call to come to Him. Many may busy themselves with outward things, many may claim to hear Him, but the verity of a life sent forth is revealed in those who are ever engaged in the heart and the spirit of He who fully pleased and satisfied His (our) heavenly Father.

“I must work the works of Him that sent me…”
John 9:4

Faith instilled in the quiet of relationship will never be idle in its impact upon the lives of others.

“Draw ME and WE will run after Thee”
Song of songs 1:4

Why?

“the king hath brought me into his chambers”
Song of songs 1:4

Σ

“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come.
And let him that heareth say, Come.
And let him that is athirst come.
And whosoever will,
let him take the water of life freely.
Revelation 22:17

Brian Troxel

Whom Shall He Teach Knowledge?

PodcastWhom Shall He Teach Knowledge?

“Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts” (Isa 28:9)

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Rom 12:1-2)

Fellowship of the Saints

Fellowship of the Saints

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

The fellowship of the Spirit between those who live and walk in the Light of Christ is a foretaste of true heavenly things. There is a repose and a refreshment in the presence of those who share in the grace of these spontaneous experiences. Eternal streams flow through the lives of those who live in the light as He who is the Light.

To many, fellowship is a noun; a thing rather than the movement and power of His Spirit binding us in the wonder of the Unity of Christ. It is by Him and in Him that all things are summed up. Division and dis-unity are the result of divided hearts; carnal things are mingled with pure to bring lives together in something other than Christ alone. Purity is the fruit of obedience. It is by this same purity that we partake of the beauty and the glory of His communion in the common bond of His Love.

“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently”
1 Peter 1:22

There is a communion far beyond the words of men. There are streams of refreshment and spiritual graces which cannot be shared outside of Christ Himself. Such things are effortless and eternal in nature.

“God is faithful,
by whom you were called
into the fellowship of His Son…”
1 Corinthians 1:9

Brian Troxel

Light of the World

Light of the World

“And the light shineth in darkness”
John 1:5

This Light was nothing less than the indomitable Life of Jesus illuminating the dark world in which He walked; a Light of such magnitude that the whole earth was lit with His glory. It was a Life clothed in humility in stark contrast to Roman arrogance and power. It was a Life of purity in the face of the darkness and corruption of the religion of the Jews. It was the breath of heaven bringing hope and power to those who were bound. He was in fact the fulness of the Godhead and the pure manifestation of the Father.

“For in him dwelleth all the fulness
of the Godhead bodily”
Colossians 2:9

He would declare without compromise “he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father”. The enormity of this truth ought to stagger the human race. The disclosure in this declaration is so grand, so high and so vast that without the power of a living faith no man could grasp its significance. The One who uttered this incomprehensible truth came to inject the very Life of God into the human race in order to raise up those who would walk, speak and, with the same purity of heart, minister that Love to all. In other words, to fully manifest the Glory of the Father in the Face of Jesus Christ. He came with one purpose: to be that living seed which would fall into the ground and die in order to be sown into the hearts of men, and that that same resurrection Life would raise up those who would bear His likeness in this darkened world of men.

“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

To the natural mind His purposes in Christ are a fable and considered too high to be attainable. Without the power of a living faith, “reasonable” expectations, ministered by faithless teachers, produce nothing but vain religion. The Living Faith of Christ empowers His Own to “unattainable” heights of His Life. They are not staggered by their own limited resources of self. They refuse to comply with faithless expectations and unholy living; they recognize compromise and apathy as enemies.

“They profess that they know God;
but in works they deny him…”
Titus 1:16

Those who have His Life (present tense) shine His Light into this present world. They cannot profess one thing while in fact living another. His Life is the Light of Men. It is in the shining forth of His Light into the world whereby we reveal the truth of who we are. The measure of the Light that shines from each of us is the revelation of the depth of our living and walking in Him. May we again be struck anew with the force of the call of God to each of us:

“…as He is, so are we in this world”
1 John 4:17

This Holy truth cannot be taught. It can only be manifested through the power of relationship. To be “as He is” requires a moment by moment dwelling in Him just as the branch simply bears fruit by being One with the Vine from whom the power and life-force flows.

Relationship with Christ is the solitary hope of man. It is one thing to talk about abiding in Him but the undeniable evidence is a growing dependency upon Him.

“He that saith he abideth in him
ought himself also so to walk,
even as he walked”
1 John 2:6

Talking the talk without walking the walk is folly and deception. Faith without the evidence is the lie of religion. It is the result of feeding from the Tree of Knowledge rather than the Tree of Life. “As He is” is the call to each of us and knowing this leaves us no choice but to grow into an ever-deepening relationship with Him who is The Life.

“He that loveth his brother
abideth in the light…”
1 John 2:10

This pulse of Christ Jesus within makes it impossible not to love our brothers and sisters in Christ. To love is to care. The true Love of God is a fire and the spring from which flows admonition and exhortation. We cannot remain silent in the face of compromise; we care too much to see them settle for anything less than God’s purpose. One cannot read the epistles and not feel the burning which stirred within. Their lives were engulfed in the fire of God. If there was ever a time to admonish and exhort one another unto the Life and the Works of God, it is today! Love will never be silent in the face of apathy!

“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching”
Hebrews 10:25

What is to be the temper and the purpose of gathering together? To exhort one another and so much more as we see the Day approaching. What are we to exhort one another unto?

“And let us consider one another
to provoke unto love and to good works”
Hebrews 10:24

There is a deceptive gospel which separates Faith from Works. It is the lie and horror of religion to make people feel comfortable in a state in which their faith lays no claim upon their life. It comforts the soul without emancipating it.

Jesus declared:

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven”
Matthew 5:16

“And the light shineth in darkness”
John 1:5

Are you?

Σ

“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. *For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins”
Hebrews 10:24-26

* Consider the context of this verse… “for if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth”. What truth? The exhorting and provoking one another unto love and good works. May we take heed to the Word of God as we see the Day approaching!

Brian Troxel

The Present Truth – Part Six

The Present Truth – Part Six

“lift up your eyes”

“Say NOT ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest”
John 4:35

The context of this scripture illustrates God’s call to the “present” truth of His life within us. Jesus, being weary and hungry, had sent the disciples into the city of Sychar for food and sat at the well waiting them to return. As He was waiting a woman came to the well to draw water. Within a few short sentences He had exposed the secrets of her heart, revealed Himself and shared the desire of His heavenly Father for true worshipers. The disciples returned with food and He responds, “I have meat you know not of”! The profound truth is, in the present doing of His will, we are fed, strengthened and empowered in the “today” of His Life. The hidden manna is reserved for those who see and participate with Him in the opportunities afforded us Today.

Let us take his admonishment, “say not” to heart. “Say not” sometime later God is going to bring in a harvest; “say not” sometime in the future God is going to use me; “say not” God will someday move through my life. It is the deception of our own procrastination which is unable to respond to present day opportunities! God’s answer to the impotency of such faith? “Lift up your eyes” for the fields are already white unto the harvest! Those who see in the Spirit know of the works, the opportunities and movings of God as present truth. Too many of God’s people walk in the impotency of an apathetic faith, not seeing the opportunities of NOW. Delegating everything to sometime in the future results in fruitless and barren living. It is in the NOW that we develop a greater faith for tomorrow’s works of faith.

Jesus confronted the faith of Martha regarding Lazarus her brother; a faith stuck in the past:

“Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord,
if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died”
John 11:21

Her response to Jesus’ declaration “Thy brother shall rise again” also revealed a procrastination of faith to some future day: “I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day”. A true statement but one that missed the message that Christ wanted her to hear.

“I AM the resurrection, and the life…”
John 11:25

Too many of us live as if our faith is in a God whose name is “I will be” rather than His glorious name of “I AM”; the present God, the present truth and the present answer to the needs of fallen humanity around us. Of course, there are always more glorious things to come in God; such is the truth of His eternal plans. Yet, if I walk in His Spirit, I will see the glorious truth that there are fields, present tense, “white unto harvest”. The blindness of a “someday faith” deprives us of present truth thus robbing God of His present glory. It results in stagnation and spiritual death; ever waiting for some future thing while ignoring the bread and wonder of the present. The “hidden manna” falls every day to those whose eyes are open to see His fields of opportunity.

It is as we walk in faith today that we are prepared for the opportunities of tomorrow’s faith.

“Sanctify yourselves (today):
for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you”
Joshua 3:5

The sanctifying work of today is the precursor to the beholding of His works tomorrow. Sanctifying ourselves today means we are set apart for His works, His will and the doing of the “present truth”. David, before he met Goliath, had a spiritual history with his God. The faith which emboldened him to confront Goliath had been developed in the past victories of faith; overcoming the lion and the bear.

“Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear:
and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them…”
1 Samuel 17:36

Those who walk in the “I AM” of today will be prepared of Him for the greater conflicts which await us. Present Truth is God’s provision for tomorrow.

“Today if ye will hear His Voice,
harden not your hearts”
Hebrews 4:7

To those who whose walk in the present truth of our God the fields are “already” white unto harvest; there are (now) lives to be rescued, hearts to be encouraged, and lives to be transformed by the present wonder of our God.

“SAY NOT YE, there are yet four months, and THEN cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, LIFT UP YOUR EYES, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest”
John 4:35

Brian Troxel

Spiritual Stagnation

Spiritual Stagnation

Stagnation is impossible where the foundation of relationship is a mutual passion to see Christ formed within. Spiritual stagnation is a result of existing outside of the life of His Spirit within. There is a satisfaction in something less than His fulness; a complacency and a spiritual slumber. Paul was consumed with pursuing the full apprehension of that for which Christ had apprehended Him. His current standing in Christ was eclipsed by the Call of God to greater things. His past accomplishments, His nationality or anything else which would seem to be an advantage, was considered dross in His pursuit of Christ. How can we be complacent in our day?

“Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect; but I press on, that I may take hold of that for which also I was taken hold of by Christ Jesus”
Philippians 3:12

Paul prefaced this by exhorting the Church of God in Philippi:

“Have this in your mind,
which was is* also in Christ Jesus”
Philippians 2:5

*Wuest correctly changes the tense from
was (past tense) to the current tense IS

Compare this significant truth to this verse:

“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

It is our present-tense relationship in Christ that keeps the heart alive unto the full pursuit of His Person. The God of all Glory revealed Himself as the great I AM. It is to that end that the Holy Spirit is ever at work to keep us ALIVE and abiding in Him so that “Today we will hear His voice”!

Spiritual slumber is the result of a life which is no longer current in God. It believes all the tenets, the promises and teachings of God, but the fire of God has grown cold within. Intensity of spirit, humility, hatred of sin and the passion to see Him fill the whole earth with His Glory, is evidence of His Mind being formed within us. Until the Church of God sees that the Light spoken of in the New Covenant is His Life abiding within, we will continue to feed upon the Tree of Knowledge rather than the Tree of Life. It matters little what I know; to know what to do without His life within empowering me to DO is the hopelessness of religion. May we find in Him the power, the grace and the love to count it all joy to DO His Will.

“In him was life;
and the life was the light of men”
John 1:4

His Life within is our Light and our only Hope of Glory.

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us”
Ephesians 3:20

This great promise given to us is proportional to “the power that worketh (present tense) in us”.

“…as He IS,
so are we in this world”

Selah

Brian Troxel

The Mystery of Life

The Mystery of Life

“As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.”
Ecclesiastes 11:5

The secret of the true disciple is one of simplicity and rest. Even as the flow of His Spirit is ever active within, the heart of the true disciple is to be at rest; a relationship of communion (co-union). The child in the womb is a portrayal of our life in Him. The formation and development of His likeness within our own being is fully dependent upon the cord of life from whence come the essential nutrients of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). This dependency is the hope and substance of our life in Him. The true ministers of Christ are ever focused on the formation of Him within the life of every believer, not the fulfillment of their own ambitions and agendas. They are to nurture the development of Christ within each life. The only bonds that should exist between members of His Body are the bonds of pure love and our interactions are to be to this one end: “until Christ be formed” in each of us.

“My little children, of whom I travail in birth again
until Christ be formed in you…”
Galatians 4:19

Any ministry with a different end in view does not walk in the mind and Spirit of Christ.

“Charity… seeketh not her own”
1 Corinthians 13:5

Brian Troxel