Consider Our Heritage

Consider Our Heritage

“They were stoned, they were sawn asunder,
were tempted, were slain with the sword:
they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins;
being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
(Of whom the world was not worthy:)
Hebrews 11:37-38

How we need to contemplate our heritage and the bravery and purity of those who have gone on before us. By faith they forsook the ways of this present world because they were in pursuit of a City whose “builder and maker is God”. It is the nature of faith to produce within the lives of His Own a pilgrim walk; a life of separation and detachment from the toxic offerings of a world opposed to all that is godly and righteous.

We need only study the lives of those who through faith obtained a “good report” from God to consider our ways and find grace to walk in the “paths of righteousness”. These precious saints paid a price for their faith. Their lives were such a light and revelation of their faithfulness to God that it caused those around them to take note of the dynamic faith, which was living, vital and real in their lives.

“…who through faith overcame kingdoms, worked out righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the mouths of the sword, acquired power from weakness, became strong in war; made armies of foreigners to yield. Women received their dead by resurrection; but others were beaten to death, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.”
Hebrews 11:33-35

They had their eyes upon a “better resurrection”. By faith they were convinced that the life lived here on earth was a determining factor in the eternal realities of God. It is a false gospel which declares that regardless of how we live our lives here, our resurrection is unaffected. It is a degrading concept of a Holy and Righteous God!

Surely it is a day for us to consider our ways; to contemplate the beauty and quality of the lives of those who have gone before us. May we see and feel their testimony passed on to us that by the same power of a living faith we would walk worthy of Him who has “called us to glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1:3).

“Therefore let us also, seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus…”
Hebrews 12:1-2

Ω

“But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God,
in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses…”
2 Corinthians 6:4

Brian Troxel

A Word in Season – Look to Yourselves

Look to Yourselves

“Look to yourselves, that ye lose not the things
which we have wrought, but that ye receive a full reward”
2 John 1:8

As the soldier who stands at the night watch on the field of battle, we dare not slumber and grow careless. The subtleness of the night season is one fraught with many dangers. The enemy is subtle and cunning and walks about as a roaring lion seeking those whom he may devour. His eyes are attentive and his wrath is cruel; he looks for those who in the wee hours of the morning their eyes are growing dim and the deceptiveness of slumber is infecting. It is in the night watch where the danger lurks and the slumbering ones lose their crowns.

“The stouthearted are spoiled, they have slept their sleep:
and none of the men of might have found their hands”
Psalm 76:5

Look to yourselves! Shake the slumber and sleep from our eyes for the Day creeps upon us as a “thief in the night”. It is a day of great deception, a deception so deep and filled with such peril whereby we need the ministration of His Spirit unto one another to stand true with our eyes attentive, our hearts awake and that we be clothed in the full armour of God.

The Word of the Lord for this hour is one to which we need to give heed…

“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

If there be no doing
there will be no standing!

It is the deceptive religious faith which holds the things of God in the slumber of a faithless inactivity where the enemy will come and the true state of an individual’s heart will be revealed.

“Look to yourselves, that ye lose not the things
which we have wrought, but that ye receive a full reward”
2 John 1:8

Ω

“Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God”
Hebrews 12:15

Brian Troxel

Transition – Part Two – The Way of Provision

TRANSITION 

Part Two
(See Transition – Part One
The Way of Truth
)

The Way of Provision

“Pass through the camp and command the people, saying, Prepare provisions for you. For within three days you are crossing this Jordan to go in to possess the land which Jehovah your God is giving to you, to possess it
JOSHUA 1:11

Though the manna still fell every day, Israel was now preparing for war. The trials of the wilderness were giving way to the reality of battle. The manna had been God’s provision, but the time had come for God’s people to be weaned from the manna and to begin to prepare their own provisions. They would soon have to live off the land they were about to enter. The manna was for a season only; it ceased when they had eaten of fruit of the land!

“The manna ceased on the next day, after they had eaten of the produce of the land. The children of Israel didn’t have manna any more; but they ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year
JOSHUA 5:12

It is sad to see some of God’s people still waiting to be fed when they should be preparing their own provisions to be ready for warfare and to be able to feed others. They are content to sit passively while someone else feeds and waters them rather than reading God’s word for themselves; provisions that would make them strong and vital in the army of the Lord.

Transition is normal and necessary for a heathy life in God. Too many of us settle into a life that has become stagnant and stunted in growth. To enter in into new places in God will require a change in our provisions. New resources will be required to enter into the new things that we are called to.

The Hidden Manna

We read in John that Jesus came to Jacob’s well, “wearied with the journey”, and sent the disciples into the city to buy food. While Jesus sat at the well a woman came for water and Jesus began to minister unto her. When the disciples returned with food, He said he was no longer hungry. In the doing of His Father’s Will He Himself was fed!

“In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. 
But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. 
Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? 
Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work”
JOHN 4:30-33

The disciples had not yet learned of this provision, but they would in the days ahead.

In the Tabernacle there were three distinct offerings or provisions of bread. In the Outer Court (which was their present experience) was the gathering of the Manna that was wonderfully provided by God. In the Holy Place the priests had access to the Table of Showbread (Heb. Bread of the Presence or more literally Bread of the Face). In the Holy of Holies there was the “hidden Manna” that was found within the Ark of the Covenant, overshadowed by the very Shekinah Glory of God. In Revelation the “hidden Manna” is given to those who have overcome. This “hidden manna” is the bread of those who have engaged in the life of battle and victory. It is a provision for those who have “overcome” the enemies of their own hearts and the compromise and issues of the church of their day.

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes, to him I will give of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written, which no one knows but he who receives it.
REVELATION 2:17

Each of these distinct phases of provision are to be an experiential reality in our lives. To remain content with being fed and watered by others is to miss out on the vitality and wonder of our own relationship with God. It is essential that we go on in the deeper things of God for there are always new provisions. May God stir us afresh to grow into eating the “strong meat” that He desires to give us (Hebrews 5:14). Let us leave the “milk of the Word” as it can no longer sustain us in the normal progression of a healthy life in God. A child must be weaned from breast milk in order to grow and so must we! Growth is the EVIDENCE of LIFE.

“Whom will he teach knowledge? To whom will he explain the message? Those who are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts
Isaiah 28:9

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Faith and Power

Thought for Today

Faith and Power

“Now to him who is able to do
exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that works in us…”
Ephesians 3:20 (WEB)

Faith is not belief. Faith is not a commodity or the product of a self-generated religious philosophy. Faith is the “substance” of things hoped for. It is the actual “evidence” of spiritual realities. It is not empty, make believe or unsubstantial. Faith is rooted in God Himself. It is the divine enablement to reach into the very heavens where God dwells and appropriate divine realities. The ability to expect the greater things of God is proportional to the “power that is at work in us”. Within the life of every believer there is to be a power at work; a power received and held within the heart of His own. Obedience is the revelation of that power at work within our lives. It is God moving within us to fulfill His purposes for us.

By faith Noah, being warned of God
of things not seen as yet, moved with fear”
Hebrews 11:7

Noah was moved by faith; the impetus to do was the offspring of that faith. Faith is the mover. There is a relentless press of faith to do God’s work in those in whom that power is at work. The degree of its expression in our lives is revealed by obedience and the works which faith alone can produce. Where there is no living faith, the works of faith will be missing. Faith is the power of God at work within the life of the believer. The life which one lives is their true statement of faith. It is not merely something we believe; it is revealed in the life we live and the things we do.

In our day the faith of many rests in the words and wisdom of men and not in the power of God.

“That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men,
but in the power of God”
1 Corinthians 2:5

Faith in the wisdom of men is powerless and lifeless; it leaves its adherents looking to someone or something outside of themselves. It is a faith which lacks the reality of present day living. The faith that stands in the power of God knows that the secret of its fulfillment lies in our obedience to His Will.

“By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out
into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance,
obeyed…”
Hebrews 11:8

Brian Troxel

Warfare the Sign of Life

Warfare: The Sign of Life

“I have fought the good fight…”
2 Timothy 4:7

The surest sign of the life of God within His own is the unconquerable will to fight the fight of faith. Life is always the antagonist of death. Faith is the adversary of sin. Victory over sin and iniquity is the result of warfare; warfare of the life of Christ Himself. When a heart ceases to fight it ceases to live.

“Fight the good fight of the faith…”
1 Timothy 6:12

We live in a day where “faith” is presented as a legal declaration of victory (regardless of the life lived) rather than the means by which we attain the victory. Paul was ever encouraging the people of God to remain active in the battle, to be diligent in their walk and to grow in the victory of the faith. The writer of the beauty and the power of all the truths in the Book of Romans also wrote this to Timothy… “fight the good fight of faith”! Compromise and concession are the harbingers of spiritual defeat and death. Life by its very nature opposes death and the scriptures declare that the “wages of sin is death”. The life of Christ within withstands evil in all of its deceptive and destructive forms.

The fight of faith is not won in a moment, nor is the crown easily earned, but we have been given the great gift of faith, the blood of Christ and the grace of God to stand in this evil day! It requires a walk of learning, growth and development in the school of His Spirit.

“Blessed be the Lord my strength,
which teacheth my hands to war,
and my fingers to fight…”
Psalm 144:1

Faint not at the battles which assail you; do not lose heart in the intensity of the conflict for we have this promise from God:

“But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you,
and keep you from evil”
2 Thessalonians 3:3

Ω

“The Christian life, then, is a battle,
so sharp and full of danger
that effort can nowhere be relaxed without loss”
Huldrych Zwingli

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Light in the Darkness

Thought for Today

Light in the Darkness

“Unto the upright
there ariseth light in the darkness”
Psalm 112:4

God does not keep His own from the dark places, but He does keep His own in the dark places. There are treasures to be discovered in the fearful and gloomy paths we must sometimes walk. As we hold on and walk uprightly even in the darkness, we can trust that the God of all grace will cause His Light to arise in those circumstances.

The Christ of our hope and our strength, the Christ who cannot fail will come to us in unexpected ways. There will be an unveiling of Himself which could not have been appropriated in the light. There are graces to be formed within our hearts which require dark and foreboding places. Courage and tenacity find their roots in the testings of life. In these perilous experiences we learn our weakness and discover His strength.

This is how character is built within the hearts of the upright. It is in these places that the disciple sees and hears of the greatness and mercy of our God. As the metal of a heart is forged and the reliance on other things purged, God’s work of preparation is accomplished.

“He sent a man before them,
even Joseph, who was sold for a servant:
Whose feet they hurt with fetters:
he was laid in iron:
Until the time that his word came:
the word of the Lord tried him…”
Psalm 105:17-19

Has God spoken a word to you? Has that word been a trial and a source of consternation? Have you felt the fetters of confinement, the rejection of friends and family? Have you sat in darkness alone and seemingly barren? Rejoice in the ways of God! Let His light arise in the darkness. Trust in Christ alone and walk uprightly before Him. Do not let despair rule; stay strong and purposed in God. The Word whereby He has caused you to hope will surely come. As the night must give way to the dawn, so will He surely arise in thee.

“O love the Lord, all ye his saints:
for the Lord preserveth the faithful”
Psalm 31:23

Brian Troxel

Effectual Prayers – Part Twelve – Praying for Others

Effectual Prayers

Part Twelve

Praying for Others

“And the Lord turned the captivity of Job,
when he prayed for his friends”
Job 42:10

The true efficacy of prayer is only realized when our hearts become Christ-like. The power of the cross brings the heart to see others through His eyes. To be able to pray for those (as did Job) who marginalize, speak evil of you and persecute you is the gift of Christ to us. It is in overcoming the bitterness within we find freedom and healing without.

“All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth”
Matthew 28:18

He who is all powerful expressed that power in forgiveness. It requires more power to forgive than to avenge. It requires the very life of Christ to bring such power into the hidden recesses of our prayer life. It is the life of His resurrection pulsating through us that enables us to be free from the contagion of bitterness and selfish living. It brings new levels to prayer and fresh glimpses of His heart.

Job’s own predicament was changed
as he prayed for his detractors.

It is in our giving that we receive. In our concern for others we place ourselves in His hands. As we forgive others, we draw near to Him in the beauty of truth, peace and joy.

“Whenever you stand praying,
forgive, if you have anything against anyone,
so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you…”
Mark 11:25

Effectual Prayers Part One – Incense
Effectual Prayers Part Two – Love
Effectual Prayers Part Three – Righteousness
Effectual Prayers Part Four – Humility and Repentance
Effectual Prayers Part Five – Wisdom
Effectual Prayers Part Six – Asking Largely
Effectual Prayers – Part Seven – Elisha and Jericho
Effectual Prayers – Part Eight – Ruth and Boaz
Effectual Prayers – Part Nine – Discipleship
Effectual Prayers – Part Ten – Knowing Jesus
Effectual Prayers – Part Eleven – The Fragrance of Prayer

Brian Troxel

A Discipline of Trial

A Discipline of Trial

“All my best friends despise me,
and those I love have turned against me”
Job 19:19

There are treasures hidden within our trials. There are pressings through which the lives of His Own must pass in order for the grapes to produce the wine of the Spirit. Job found himself in circumstances in which every associate, whether friend or family, had turned against him. He walked alone. Loneliness and desolation are difficult places to tread and yet ordained of God. Human comfort cannot be found. It is here as with Job we need the discipline of focus within our hearts. In his isolation he was brought down into the valley of despair and his faith in God is tested to its very foundation. Left without support he had to cast himself on the very power of faith itself. Like gold tried in the fire, like silver purified seven times, the master smith knows the depth and strength of each one of His children. He watches carefully as with Job to ensure our standing in Him.

These places are in reality the foundation of our wealth and standing in God. Those who have reached past the limit of their own resources have discovered His infinite supply. It is a supply which can only be discovered when we are at the end of our own. When we hold on in sheer trust in His character, without any visible sense of hope or power, we discover the wonder of true faith. God’s end in us is fruit; abundant fruit of such a nature that it fully reveals the truth and character of Christ Himself.

In our testings let us hold fast to Him who cannot lie, cannot disappoint and cannot fail! Even the grave itself must give way to the resurrection Life of Jesus.

“For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.”
Psalm 66:10-12

The true wealth of a Christian is not in what they know but in the gold purchased in the fires through which they have walked (Revelation 3:18)

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – Victorious Living – HGC Moule

Victorious Living is Possible

“Nothing shall be impossible unto you”
– Matt 17:20

It is possible, for those who really are willing to reckon on the power of the Lord for keeping and victory, to lead a life in which His promises are taken as they stand and are found to be true.

It is possible to cast all our care upon Him daily and to enjoy deep peace in doing it.

It is possible to have the thoughts and imaginations of our hearts purified, in the deepest meaning of the word.

It is possible to see the will of God in everything, and to receive it, not with sighing, but with singing.

It is possible by taking complete refuge in Divine power to become strong through and through; and, where previously our greatest weakness lay, to find that things which formerly upset all our resolves to be patient, or pure, or humble, furnish today an opportunity—through Him who loved us, and works in us an agreement with His will and a blessed sense of His presence and His power—to make sin powerless over us.

These things are DIVINE POSSIBILITIES, and because they are His work, the true experience of them will always cause us to bow lower at His feet and to learn to thirst and long for more.

We cannot possibly be satisfied with anything less—each day, each hour, each moment, in Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit—than to WALK WITH GOD.
— H. C. G. Moule

Timnath and the Riddle

Timnath and The Riddle

“And he said unto them,
Out of the eater came forth meat,
and out of the strong came forth sweetness.
And they could not in three days expound the riddle.”
Judges 14:14

The riddle of every believer can only be solved within the equation of their own experience. Samson’s riddle was one of personal experience and victory. There is no other living person who can solve the riddle of “Christ in you the hope of Glory”. Paul spoke at length of this mystery in Ephesians and Colossians.

“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory”
Colossians 1:27

The matchless wonder of the mystery can only be solved individually through the medium of obedience and victory. Samson’s riddle was his own; he did not share with anyone (initially) the victory over the young lion he met in the way. It was his victory and God’s strength that prevailed in the vineyards of Timnath. “Timnath” in the Hebrew means inheritance or allotted portion. What was true of Samson is true of everyone who truly knows the Lord. In our pursuit of Christ Himself (our Timnath) we will encounter the enemies of our soul that confront us, condemn us, and seek to destroy us. It is here we find provision in God to contend with our enemy until the victory is ours and our place in God is discovered.

Many Christians have no sense of spiritual identity, no comprehension of the call to walk and discover the unfolding mystery of Christ within them; a Christ who is known to them in the fierceness of the battle, a Christ who is known in the personal victories over sin, temptation and failure. To be an overcomer in Christ one must experience the victory of Christ within the riddle of their own life. The mists of confusion lift and doubts fade in the light and victory of Christ through our obedience to Him.

He is ever calling us to explore, walk and live within the sureties of His wonder in our lives. Like a flower ever unfolding, like the rising sun of each new day, He is beckoning us to explore and discover His riches within the sanctum of our own hearts. No one can solve this mystery but the individual to whom He is given. It requires walking, trusting, and a living faith to step into the Timnath of His Call in each of us.

May we, as Samson, know that out of that which sought to destroy us God prepares strong meat. Out of the strength of our enemies comes the sweetness of victory and the secret of the Lord. It is our glorious riddle to solve within the fabric of our own being.

“Blessed be the Lord my strength,
which teacheth my hands to war,
and my fingers to fight”
Psalm 144:1

Brian Troxel