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

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

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

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“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

PODCAST – The Four-Fold Revelation

The Four-Fold Revelation
of
Christ in You

“And I looked, and behold, a windstorm came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire flashing itself, and a brightness to it all around. And out of its midst, like the color of polished bronze, it came, out of the midst of the fire. Also from its midst came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was how they looked: they had the likeness of a man, and four faces were to each, and four wings to each of them, and their feet were straight feet and the sole of their feet like the sole of a calf’s foot. And they sparkled like the color of burnished bronze.  And the hands of a man extended from under their wings on their four sides. And their faces and their wings were to the four of them,  joining each one to the other by their wings. They did not turn in their going, each one went toward the front of their face.  And the likeness of their faces: the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side to the four of them; and the face of an ox on the left to the four of them, and the face of an eagle to the four of them. So their faces were. And their wings were spread upward, to each, the two wings were joined, and two wings of each covering their bodies.  And each went toward the front of their faces. To where the spirit was to go, there they went; they did not turn in their going.  And the likeness of the living creatures: they appeared like coals of burning fire, like the appearance of torches; it was continually circling among the living creatures. And the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.  And the living creatures kept running and returning, like the appearance of a flash of lightning
Ezekiel 1:4-14

Brian Troxel

Hope and Love

Hope and Love

“and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us”
Romans 5:5

Hope’s fulfillment rests in the love that fuels it. The power of hope is in the purity of His love inspiring our lives. A hope with selfish agendas will fail and disappoint us, for love “seeks not its own”.

The simplicity of the Love of God being shed abroad in our hearts BY the Holy Spirit requires a life that is lived IN the Holy Spirit.

See: Abiding in His Love

Brian Troxel

Spiritual Union

Spiritual Union

If we love one another, God dwelleth in us,
and his love is perfected in us.”
1 John 4:12

God measures our life in Him by the Love we have for one another. Love is the bond, the ligaments as it were, of the Body of Christ. Love is never content with shallow religious affiliations. It seeks out, pursues, and ever desires full knowledge of another. Within its own heart is the flame of relationship and union in Christ. Its reach into another heart is for the purpose of apprehending oneness; the same oneness for which Christ prayed unto the Father. This union of hearts is the very essence and heartbeat of His Spirit within His own. It is a cry which can only be fulfilled in the purity and wonder of His Holiness becoming in truth our holiness. Many fear such depths of fellowship for in the intimacy of holy bonds there is no room for the hypocrisy and pretense of an insincere heart. Holiness in Christ is the fearful abode in which only the authentic can live and be at home. The depth of our abiding in Him corresponds with the depth of our relationship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. The measure of our own partaking of His resurrection life is revealed in the love we have for His people. Only the deceived can find rest in a life lived outside of the love of God.

“We know that we have passed from death unto life,
because we love the brethren.”
1 John 3:14

Authenticity is the fruit of a life lived in God. The Life of Christ is the sole bonding agent which fuses one member to another. Obedience is the means to this purity by which our relationship with our brothers and sisters becomes filled with the wonder of God Himself. An impure heart is filled with mixed motives, carnal and self-seeking desires which by their very nature prevent the true union of His Spirit and Life with Him and one another.

Having purified your souls in the obedience of the truth through the Spirit to unpretended brotherly love, love one another fervently out of a pure heart…”
1 Peter 1:22

See: UNITY

Brian Troxel

PODCAST – Believing Unto Becoming

Believing Unto Becoming

appropriating the power to become

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
(John 1:12-13)

 

Touching Jesus

Touching Jesus

“And Jesus said, ‘Who touched me?’ When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, ‘Who touched me?”
Luke 8:45

Faith is the conduit through which His virtue and power flow. The panacea for the human race is found in the virtue of Him flowing unto all who come to Him by faith.

“And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me”
Luke 8:46

It is His virtue that brings healing and salvation to humanity. We read in this passage that many were thronging about Jesus, touching Him but with no consequences. One woman, in her desperation, touched Him in Faith; a living faith sufficient to release the transmission of His Life into her hopeless condition. The flow of that vibrant Life filled her with amazement and fear. There was no reference or ability to prepare her for its wonder! The purpose of God in Christ is to bring us to that place of unconscious dependency upon that virtue continually sustaining and invigorating us. The parable of the vine is the hope of all who aspire to live within His dominion; a perpetual fountain where we are made partakers of the Divine Nature! (2 Peter 1:4)

Through His death on the cross, we were reconciled to God. We were invited into the commonwealth of God in Christ. As glorious as this is, we are now invited to the banqueting table of His provisions to the end we would feast upon Him who is our living bread. It is by our eating and drinking of Him that will grow into Him! We were reconciled by His death, but we are ever being saved by the power of His Life flowing and producing His likeness within. Him.

“For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life
Romans 5:10

Reconciliation is the beginning of His work in us. The Holy Spirit has come to lead and guide us into Him who is the truth and the power of the New Covenant.

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me”
John 15:3

The bearing of fruit and the divine enablement to live beyond the resources of self requires an enlargement of our capacity to draw from Him the virtue needed to reveal Him in this world. The works of God through us are dependent upon the Life of Christ within us. Faith is the vital link between His resources and our needs and, even more importantly, the needs of others.

Self-less living, Love, and compassion for others, is bound up in His heart being poured into ours. It is here we most reveal the truth and verity of our abiding in Him.

To be reconciled to Him by His death is one thing. It is quite another thing to be saved, empowered and sent of Him into this dark and destitute world. They who know of His sanctifying Life become vessels prepared and fit for His purposes!

“Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work
2 Timothy 2:21

As we partake of Him, we become ready, willing and divinely enabled to do His Work.

“…as my Father hath sent me,
even so send I you”
John 20:21

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – The Freedom of the Son

Thought for Today

Freedom of the Son

At Home in Our Father’s House

“Think for a moment how Jesus was at home among the things of His Father.

What was His place of prayer? Not the Temple, but the mountaintop.

Where does He find symbols whereby to speak of what goes on in the mind and before the face of His Father in heaven? Not in the Temple. Not in its rites, not on its altars, not in its Holy of Holies. Rather He finds them in the world and its lovely, lowly facts–on the roadside, in the field, in the vineyard, in the garden, in the house, in the family, and in the commonest of affairs: the lighting of the lamp, the leavening of the meal, the neighbors borrowing, the losing of a coin, the straying of a sheep.

See how He drives the devils from the souls and bodies of men, as we the wolves from our sheepfolds!

The World has for Him no chamber of terror. He walks to the door of the sepulcher, the sealed cellar of His Father’s house, and calls forth its four days dead. The roughest of the world’s servants do not make Him wince; none of them is so arrogant as to disobey Him. He falls asleep in the midst of the storm that threatens to swallow His boat. Hear how, on that same occasion, He rebukes His disciples! What, the children to tremble at a gust of wind in the house! God’s little ones afraid of a storm! Hear Him tell the watery floor to be still! See how the wandering creatures under it come at His call! See how the world’s water turns to wine! How its bread grows more bread at His word! See how He goes from the house for a while, and returning with fresh power, takes what shape He pleases, walks through its closed doors, and goes up and down its invisible stairs!

All His life He was among His Father’s things, either in heaven or in the world–not only when His parents found Him in the Temple at Jerusalem.

He is still among His Father’s things, everywhere about in the world, everywhere throughout the wide universe. Whatever He laid aside to come to us, to whatever limitations He stooped, He dealt with the things about Him in such a lordly, childlike manner as made it clear they were not strange to Him, but the things of His Father.

He claimed none of them as His own, would not have had one of them His except through His Father. Only as His Father’s could He enjoy them–only as coming forth from the Father, and full of the Father’s thought and nature. That the things were His Father’s made them precious things to Him. He had no care for having, as men count having.

All His having was in the Father.

To be lord of space, a man must be free from bonds to place. To be heir of all things, His heart must have no things in it. He must be like Him who makes things, not like one who would put everything in his pocket. He must stand on the upper, not the lower side of them. He must be as the man who makes poems, not the man who gathers books of verse…

Oh, for His liberty among the things of the Father! Only by knowing them as the things of our Father can we escape enslaving ourselves to them. Through the false, the infernal idea of having, of possessing them, make we them our tyrants, make the relation between them and us an evil thing.”
– George MacDonald  from an article titled: “Jesus, Son in His Father’s House”

“As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing;
as poor,
yet making many rich;
as having nothing, and yet possessing all things
2 Corinthians 6:10

In losing we gain, in giving we receive and in dying we live. In having Him we are free to let go of all other things. We are to be faithful to things He gives us as stewards and yet entirely free from their hold on us.

Brian Troxel

 

PODCAST – The Mystery of Faith

The Mystery of Faith