By One Spirit

By One Spirit

“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body”
1 Corinthians 12:13

By One Spirit

“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”
1 Corinthians 12:21

Anyone with a vital, living relationship with the Head (Christ Himself) cannot say: “I have no need of thee”! Only those who live independently, disassociated from the Law of Life, can say “I have no need of thee”. If the eye is not intrinsically attached to the Head, it has no sense of its relationship to the rest of the Body of Christ. There is an inherent blindness that will isolate and insulate that one from the wonder of His Life.

A disconnected member has no divine enablement to “feel” the heartbeat of the body. “I have no need of thee” is a revelation of one’s true spiritual condition. The deeper our union with Him, the deeper will be a corresponding desire for a relationship with all others who share this common heartbeat. The power of His Life breaks asunder the carnal bonds of denominations, closed and isolated fellowships, and disconnected cliques.

Pride, unforgiveness, envy, jealousy, and the desire for preeminence, will sever the bonds with Him who is the life, the heart, and the author of peace.

“There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all”
Ephesians 4:4-6.

The only means through which we can be ONE Body is by living in the ONE Spirit. To be outside the Life of the ONE Spirit is to be alienated from the ONE Body. Doctrines, teachings, and religious dogmas have nothing to do with this ONENESS. Those who live in Christ do not compromise truth for oneness because the Spirit of Truth pulsates within. They know the truth, the truth (Christ Himself) lives within, and He alone produces unity in hearts that can never declare “I have no need of thee”.

We know that we have passed out of death into life,
because we love the brothers.
Whoever does not love abides in death”
1 John 3:14

The authenticity of our relationship with Him who is THE LIFE is revealed in our love and concern for our brothers and sisters. It is the carnal, the disconnected who are oblivious to this truth.

Brian Troxel

<§>

“By the figure of the vine and the branches, Christ illustrated not only the relation that should exist between him and his followers but also the union between every believer and his fellow believer. The branches of the vine are related to each other, but they are not alike. Each has its own individuality, which cannot be merged into that of another, but all have a special connection with each other. The root that supplies nourishment to one branch supplies nourishment to every other branch. Each must depend alike on the vine for sustenance; all must be joined to the parent stalk. The life and growth and fruitfulness of each depend alike on the parent vine. In obedience to the laws of nature, their common hold of the true vine make them one; in their diversity there is unity.”
– EGW

Thankfulness and Envy

Thankfulness and Envy

“For all is of You,
and we have given to You out of Your hand”
1 Chronicles 29:14

Thankfulness is rooted in the realization that everything we have is from Him and is always to remain His. Within the mindset of “me” and “mine”, we lose the freedom of selflessness. The cords of “mine” cling to the soul and bind it to the darkness of earthly reasoning and carnal obsessions. From these dark places envy, jealousy, evil speaking, and divisions arise within the Body of Christ.

“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have…”
James 4:1-2

Lust is simply wanting something outside of the will of God. To desire something someone else has is to be unthankful for the portion God has given you. Often envy arises in those who have not been faithful to that portion God has given them. There is a lamenting of unattained gifts, undeveloped talents, and a blindness to the things God has given. The precious commodity given by God has been neglected by the very lust for something someone else has. In our faithfulness to God’s gracious gifts to us, we will inevitably discover His wisdom and beauty in them.

Envy is the opposite of thankfulness. It is an unsanctified passion that fuels the fires of anger, depression, and bitterness. Galatians calls these things the “works of the flesh” and those who dwell in them “shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:21). Men and women who allow the destructive contagion of envy to fester within their hearts will suffer eternal loss.

Thankfulness comes from knowing that we are not worthy of His attention let alone the unmerited gifts of His goodness.

“What is man, that Thou art mindful of him,
or a son of man, that Thou dost look after him?”
Hebrews 2:6

Thankfulness is a binding agent within the Body of Christ whereas envy tears at the very fabric of His heart within His own. The power of pride and envy was the desire of Satan that resulted in his fall into the pit of utter destruction and banishment from God.

“You said in your heart…
‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds!
I will make myself like the Most High!’
Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,
to the depths of the pit”
Isaiah 14:13-15

God’s instruction of wisdom to all of us is to flee from the very spirit of envy; to rid ourselves from that which will poison, steal, and destroy the work of God within. Only a pure and thankful heart can abide in the Life of Him who gave Himself on our behalf.

“Can two walk together
except they are agreed?”
Amos 3:3

See: Envy – Enemy of our Soul

Brian Troxel

The Word of Fire

The Word of Fire

“Is not my word like as a fire?
saith the Lord;
and like a hammer that breaketh
the rock in pieces?”
Jeremiah 23:29

God’s Word is not only an expression of Him – but it is also an extension of Himself. He is His Word and His Word is Himself (John 1:1). In both the Old and New Testament we read that our God is a consuming fire (Deuteronomy 4:24, Hebrews 12:29). Those who bear His Living Word within will know the truth of this in the corresponding measure of their walk. His Word is the very expression of His Nature, His Thoughts, and His Ways. Words without fire are words without unction. Men cannot touch His Presence and remain unaffected, apathetic, and unconcerned about His inheritance in the earth. His presence is fire and glory. His zeal for His House (Psalm 119:139, John 2:17) in the earth is a consuming fire within the hearts of those who have His Word.

This fire consumes and purifies those who bear it to speak with an intensity to all who would hear. This fire cannot be quenched, compromised, or contaminated by the tepidity of religious men who desire something less than God Himself. It is antagonistic to the stagnant, and to those who are complacent in their approach to God. To those who desire to walk and live within the presence of a Holy God, it is the necessity of life. It is the work of God to bring His people to such expressions.

“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fearFor our God is a consuming fire
Hebrews 12:28-29

<§>

“But his word was in mine heart
as a burning fire
shut up in my bones”
Jeremiah 20:9

Brian Troxel

Giving and Receiving

Giving and Receiving

Giving and Receiving the True Riches

“Give, and good measure will be given to you, pressed down and shaken together, and running over, they will give into your bosom. For the same measure which you measure, it will be measured back to you”
Luke 6:38

The secret of living is found in our giving. The economy of God is an expression of His Own heart. While we were yet sinners, estranged, lost, and wandering, He gave Himself on our behalf. His generosity is to invade our own. His Love is to create within us the same selfless giving. He has purposed this life to be one of receiving based on our degree of giving. While many use this truth regarding the “unrighteousness mammon”, first and foremost it is spiritual, which is the true riches. God’s giving is of Himself, not just things. As we give of ourselves to others we, in turn, experience the wonder of that overflowing measure.

It is interesting in this scripture that the receiving is into your “bosom” not necessarily your bank account. The true riches of God in Christ are His graces and His character. Those who live and walk in Him are able to give those same riches into the lives of others.

“What makes the Dead Sea dead? Because it is all the time receiving, never giving out anything. Why is it that many Christians are cold? Because they are all the time receiving, never giving out anything”.
– Dwight L. Moody

Brian Troxel

Becoming ONE

Becoming One

Becoming One is the result
of following the One Shepherd

“And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd”
John 10:16

Unity is inevitable where God reigns. Within the secularized landscape of Christendom, there are many who hold to the teachings of men, the agendas of men, and the ways of men. This allows the self to remain intact while claiming to follow the Crucified One. The true child of God who follows the Voice of the Shepherd cannot remain in the shallows of separation and division. Those who hear His voice grow INTO the ONE FOLD because they follow the ONE SHEPHERD. Unity of heart is the incomprehensible work of the Spirit of Christ. There is a fusion in the fire of His love of those who follow Him alone.

“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

Only through obedience can we know this unifying power. Those who cling to mere teachings of the Shepherd without the corresponding obedience to Him will never feel the fervency of the power of the love of God. It is His Voice that draws and gathers His Own. In the act of abiding in Him, the unifying wonder of His Life joins member to member.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,
he is a new creation…”
2 Corinthians 5:17

Unity is the result of a New Creation Life that transcends pride, variance, strife, and the divisive ways of men. Obedience to the truth is how the old leaven of the natural man is put to death (mortified Romans 8:13) by the Spirit of God in those who desire purity of heart. It is the “pure in heart” who see God; it is the pure in heart who are brought “unto the unfeigned love of the brethren”. This purity can only be known by each one “obeying the truth” in the sanctum of their own hearts. Unity is the offspring of obedience. Those who hold only to the tenets of Christ, though loved of Him, will never truly touch the power of this unifying love. Unity cannot be known apart from obedience, for unity, the true Unity of the Body of Christ is the result of His Lordship in our lives.

“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord,
and do not the things which I say?”
Luke 6:46

His Lordship is revealed by our obedience. It is the un-crucified self with all its passions, its desire for pre-eminence, it’s holding of unforgiveness, its refusal to humble itself, its inability to feel the press of His Spirit to seek reconciliation, its lack of understanding the need to preserve the Unity of the Spirit, that can never fathom the depths of the Love of Christ.

Sheep and Goats

The Judgment of God upon His own is pronounced upon the nature of the individual, not upon the beliefs of the individual.

“And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left”
Matthew 25:32-33

The sheep are those who have received the Lamb of God and have allowed His Life to permeate their own heart by virtue of being partakers of the Divine Nature. The goats are those who may have experienced the “new birth” but failed to allow the nature of Christ to bring them into submission and obedience to Him. They may cry out “Lord, Lord…” and perform miracles and great “Christian” works yet have never been “known” of Christ Himself. They may have sat under His teachings, known His word, taught others, prayed, and a host of other things; everything except obey His Word and humble themselves to the WAY of Christ. These are the goats who by their very nature believe the things of Christ, but will not submit themselves to the doing of His Will. It takes the Life of Christ to obey the Will of the Father. It is that same Life that unites them into ONE BODY.

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light,
we have fellowship one with another…”
1 John 1:7

Brian Troxel

The Refiner’s Fire

The Refiner’s Fire

The Refiner’s Fire

The Refiner’s Fire is the showing forth of His wisdom being brought to bear upon those whose hearts long to bear fruit unto Him.

“And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them…”
Zechariah 13:9

If our heart’s desire is to be re-created into His likeness, we must seek to walk as Christ walked (1 John 2:6). The purpose of God’s Spirit is to “quicken” us, to transform us “by the renewing of our minds” whereby we are “changed from one glory unto another”. No individual truly called of God has escaped the depths of loneliness, separation, misunderstanding, and rejection. It is the forging of the fire which draws out the impurities of our own selves – the very construct of our wrongness. In God’s wisdom, He uses our circumstances to complete His work in us. If He spared not His own sinless Son, who are we to escape His loving and determined means to “bring many sons to glory”?

For the Jacobs to become Israels, God must use the Labans to bring purity, purpose, and movement. Man left to himself will remain in desert places, and tarry in stagnant situations, even as the sands of time exhaust the brief moments of our life here. It is in the antagonism, the strife, and the pressings of God that men leave the former things only to discover later God was in the exodus from our Egypt.

“As an eagle stirreth up her nest…”
Deuteronomy 32:11

God’s stirrings will press His own to movement; journeys which bring separation from the former things so that the new is readily received. It is in the journey with God where the crucible is known and the renovations of our being are realized. We experience the wrestling with God at our Jabbok where our natural man is crippled and we begin to comprehend Him whose name is “wonderful”. We discover the two-fold meaning of Jabbok*: our “being emptied out” and Christ being “poured in”. The exchange and transactions of God are not without price nor are they without great reward. The sorrow becomes the matrix of a Joy of which only the broken may know.

For the pilgrim of faith, the call to heavenly places propels him on through valleys, deserts, and lonely paths where the pure air of His presence is worth it all. The promise of God stands:

“…to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…”
Isaiah 61:3

In the dark places, the days of mediocrity, the days where our heart’s fire burns low, we learn “The Lord is thy keeper” (Psalm 121:5) and the restorer of our souls!

“He healeth the broken in heart,
and bindeth up their wounds…
Psalm 147:3

<§>

“Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard, who has kept our soul among the living and has not let our feet slip. For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried. You brought us into the net; you laid a crushing burden on our backs; you let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water, yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance
Psalm 66:7-12

The abundant life is a tested and purified life.

* Jabbok. Hebrew pouring out or emptying. (Bullinger)

Brian Troxel

Poem – “All of Thee”

Poem – “All of Thee”

“O, the bitter shame and sorrow,
That a time could ever be
When I let the Savior’s pity
Plead in vain, and proudly answered,
“All of self, and none of Thee!”

Yet He found me; I beheld Him
Bleeding on th’ accursèd tree,
Heard Him pray, “Forgive them, Father!”
And my wistful heart said faintly—
“Some of self, and some of Thee!”

Day by day His tender mercy,
Healing, helping, full and free,
Sweet and strong, and, ah! so patient,
Brought me lower, while I whispered,
“Less of self, and more of Thee!”

Higher than the highest heavens,
Deeper than the deepest sea,
Lord, Thy love at last hath conquered:
Grant me now my supplication—
“None of self, and all of Thee!”
– Theodore Monod (1836-1921)

The Secret Place

The Secret Place

THE SECRET PLACE OF PRAYER

“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you,
ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you”
John 15:7

THE SECRET Place OF ABIDING

“And He that sent me is with me:
the Father hath not left me alone;
for I do always those things that please Him
John 8:29

The Son found the strength to obey through the power of prayer The religious tend to substitute prayer for obedience, but those who pray fervently will find in Christ the power to obey.

“And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt”
Matthew 26:39

“He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, Thy will be done”
Matthew 26:42

If Jesus needed the power of prayer to face the enormity of the Cross, how much more do we need prayer for His grace to walk obediently! Obedience and prayer must be in parallel; when one is lacking the other will also be lacking.

“Have you noticed how much praying for revival has been going on of late – and how little revival has resulted? I believe the problem is that we have been trying to substitute praying for obeying, and it simply will not work“.
A.W. Tozer

See: The Kingdom of God Series – Part Four

Brian Troxel

Expectation

Expectation

” My soul, wait thou only upon God;
for my expectation is from him.”
Psalm 62:5

Expectation

The expectant soul is one who recognizes their dependence upon God. He has no other expectations than Christ Himself. The greater our vision of Him, the greater will be our need for Him.

To live a life that expresses Him we must know the necessity of His living resources. Our own meager resources will never be sufficient for the demands of the day. Each day He is calling, drawing, and ever desirous that we live in the unconscious wonder of His canopy of love. There is a gracious support of our hearts and minds; He holds sway over our fickleness. The tensions and the demands of our days may distract us from this place of rest, but in returning, we will find our way back to the quiet harbour of His presence. It is in those moments we are instinctively aware of the steadfastness of our Rock.

“…when my heart is overwhelmed:
lead me to the rock that is higher than I”
Psalm 61:2

Paul and his faithful companions knew much of the pressings and trials in their day. We should “find it not strange” that our days are such. There are many who have endured incredible adversities to the very limit of their strength, but God held them steady.

“…we were pressed out of measure, above strength,
insomuch that we despaired even of life”
2 Corinthians 1:8

There are deep waters before us, testings greater than what we know now. It is today that He grooms us, prepares us, and works to free us from our self-reliance, that we may stand in the coming evil day. Paul’s resiliency was found in the power of the following verse:

“But we had the sentence of death in ourselves,
that we should not trust in ourselves,
but in God which raiseth the dead…”
2 Corinthians 1:9

Take heart as He works all things for our good. Let us keep our expectation only from Him and be ever faithful, “abounding in the Work of the Lord”.

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord”
1 Corinthians 15:58

Brian Troxel

Take Heed

Take Heed

“Take heed to yourselves of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. But there is nothing which has been completely concealed which will not be uncovered, nor hidden which will not be known. Therefore, whatever you said in the darkness will be heard in the light; and whatever you spoke in the ear in the secret rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.”
Luke 12:1-2

“Take heed”! The Author of our salvation speaks with clarity and is ever bringing us to a clearer presentation of truth in which “there is nothing…which will not be known”. The casual talk, the rumor-mongering, the whispers in secret places, the animosity, and the attitudes of unforgiveness in our hearts from which these things spring, will all be exposed in due time. Jesus speaks to us all “take heed”. Whatever has been said in the darkness will be heard in the Light. It is the unbelieving and religious, with no fear of the Lord, who have no concept of One who hears all things and will bring all things to light.

There is nothing hid!

The true disciple is different from a mere religious one. Those who abide in His Presence are conscious of their words and their attitudes because of their knowledge of Him who beholds all things. Those who are becoming His, live their lives to honour Him. There is a growing dynamic of His Lordship; a Holy presence that curbs the unruly tongue because the unruly heart is growing in its submission to God. Unholy words proceed from unholy hearts; words spoken in secret places. The religious will speak right things in public but are not so careful in secret and seemingly secure places.

Take heed!

These are the words of life our Master speaks to us. Take heed for nothing is hid from Him to whom we must all stand and give an account. If we are undisciplined, untutored, without the true fear of the Lord, speaking flagrantly, freely, and foolishly we will unwittingly lose out in our growth in God. We will not know those deeper places of abiding in Christ. If we govern our ways in the fear of the Lord, we will find ourselves growing in the Light of God.

“I tell you that every idle word that men speak, they will give an account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words, you will be condemned.”
Matthew 12:36-37

See: The Sanctified Heart

Brian Troxel