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The Brook Kidron

“And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over: the king also himself passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over, toward the way of the wilderness”
2 Samuel 15:23

There are places referred to in the scriptures that represent to us experiences with which we can identify in our own walk. Ziklag, Peniel, Mount Moriah and many other locations speak to us of deep and heart felt experiences through which we must pass. Those places our fore fathers walked through by faith will be ours if we too walk in same path of faith. What was true then must also be true now.

David and the Brook Kidron

It was a very dark night and one filled with great distress for King David and his loyal friends. Absalom, through treachery and political intrigue, had risen to power and was now seeking David’s life. David had been warned of the betrayal and had to run for his life into the wilderness. Friends, associates and family had betrayed him and were now conspiring to take his life. At this juncture David weeping crosses over the brook Kidron. Kidron* in the Hebrew means darkness, turbulence, great agitation and great evil. It was a brook that flowed into the Dead Sea. It is a brook which must be crossed over, where the deep lessons of God’s faithfulness, His steadfastness and His mercy become the very core of our hope. It is here we are weaned from dependence upon others and God Himself becomes our friend and salvation.

Kidron represents the shattering of our self-reliance and strength, our allegiance to other things. It is the doorway into a new wilderness experience which is quite different from the others in which we have walked. New testings and new sorrows must bring us into new places of faith and reliance upon God. The processing of our God is thorough and effectual. What others mean for evil God makes for our good. The trial known here is more painful and heart-rending as it is not one which comes to us from foes without but from friends within the family of God. Later on in the Psalms David speaks of these deep and agonizing experiences:

“For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company”
Psalm 55:12-14

Jesus and the Brook Kidron

Over a thousand years later we see Jesus crossing this same dark brook as He also was being betrayed: by Judas.

“When Jesus had spoken these words,
he went forth with his disciples
over the brook Cedron (Kidron)…”
John 18:1

The final drama of Jesus life was unfolding. Judas had gone to the religious leaders of that day and obtained a “band of men” to come and take Jesus by force unto the Chief priests.

“When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples. And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples. Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons”
John 18:1-3

It is important to note that not only did Jesus cross over this dark and turbulent brook but so did His disciples. Think it not strange that the servant is to follow in the same path as the Master. It is in following Him that we become molded and shaped by the experiences of life to overcome as He overcame; to find the healing and sweetness of His life rising in our own. It is the bitter experiences that free us from our own bitterness.

The Brook Kidron is one of the most important crucibles we will face in our lives. The enemy of our soul has orchestrated it for our destruction; God allows it for our good.

The great danger with any bitter experience is that we allow it to linger and to fester. This incapacitates us from living and blossoming in the goodness of God. The three Hebrew men thrown into the fire emerged from it with no trace of smoke upon their garments. God’s design is for us to walk through this excruciating experience with no hint of the bitterness remaining.

God’s determination for the painful lessons of the Brook Kidron is for us to become sweet. Do not fear when these waters arise and would drive you into the wilderness, for God, even thy God shall prove thee and work in thee the wonder and the sweetness of Jesus Himself…

“Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke,
perfumed with myrrh and frankincense,
with all powders of the merchant?”
Song of Songs 3:6

Ω

The good news is we will never cross this brook alone.

“…he (Jesus) went forth with his disciples
over the brook Cedron”

* Note: Jones’ Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names translates Kidron: Very Black, Full of Darkness.

The brook Kidron is mentioned as the extent of Shimei’s confinement, the one who cursed David in this dark place of betrayal. How fitting was his judgement that when he crosses the Kidron, Solomon has him executed (1 Kings 2:36-46).

Brian Troxel

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Change is Coming

“Now there arose up a new king over Egypt,
which knew not Joseph”
Exodus 1:8

This was a simple statement but one of immense implications for the people of God. It was the beginning of a period of time in which His people endured great hardship and suffering. The Word does not go into detail concerning the political events of the time nor what ensued. It was the results that mattered. This change was one of great import and no doubt ordered of the Lord. Throughout the history of His people (natural or spiritual) their tendency is to become mingled with the ways and wisdom of this world. The call of God for them to be separate and holy is ignored and this mixture becomes unbearable to the One who rules and reigns over all. The suffering of His people at the hands of the evil of this world sets the stage for the judgments of God which inevitably follow. It is in this time that we are instructed to walk in the ways of Christ whereby we overcome as He overcame.

“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore, if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good”
Romans 12:19-21

It is in these times that God sets things in place to once again “divide the light from the darkness”. God Himself watches over His own for in the mingling of the light with darkness His salvation ceases to shine forth and His face is hid from those who dwell upon the earth. When His people become political and invest themselves in the ways and wisdom of this world they cease to be the light of God to their generation. Upon entering into the political arena their warfare becomes carnal, worldly and powerless and the culmination of these things is spiritual decay and bitterness of soul. The true church of Jesus Christ is not of this world; she seeks a Kingdom which is above and she is an ambassador of that Kingdom. Paul exhorted the saints of his day to pray for the rulers and princes of that day; a government which was soon to fall because of its own wickedness. The Roman army had surrounded Jerusalem and placed it under siege for its rebellion. The fall of Jerusalem to the Roman army is still regarded as the single most horrific genocide in human history. This incident is never mentioned by the writers of the New Covenant; the Jerusalem they were seeking was not of this world.

We are to be a heavenly people free from the politics and policies of this world. A change is coming in our day as the principalities of this world are aligning themselves for a final assault upon the people of God. It is a day for us to seek with all of our hearts to be hid in Christ in the reality of a living, holy and intimate nature. He is our salvation. It is by being held in the graces and wonder of Christ that we can face this day with the enduring love of God. We must remain vigilant to keep our trust and hope in Him. Let us not render evil for evil but by the very life of Christ overcome evil with good, overcome hatred with love and, having our eyes fixed upon His return, in order to keep ourselves free from the bitterness of the day.

“Keep yourselves in the love of God,
looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ
unto eternal life”
Jude 1:21

Brian Troxel

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 Thought for Today

Circumstances

“And being not weak in faith,
he considered not his own body now dead*,
when he was about an hundred years old,
neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb:
He staggered not at the promise of God…
but was strong in faith, giving glory to God”
Romans 4:19-20

In the circumstances of life there are always obstacles and hindrances to the promises of God. Sickness, old age, finances, relationships, persecutions and a multitude of other things offer us reasons to excuse ourselves from our occupation of declaring Him to this generation.

The Greek translation of the above scripture literally states that Abraham fully considered his own body as being dead; yet in the face of this “he staggered not at the promise of God”. It is here that faith stands and takes us beyond our circumstances and abilities and keeps us active regardless of the situations in which we find ourselves. Many of our brothers and sisters at this moment are facing death, imprisonment, loneliness, health issues and untold hardships yet they are holding on to the promises of our faithful God. Shall we not do the same?

Whatever may be His promise to us, consider not the circumstance; consider God.

*Note: The KJV is saying the same thing but in a more difficult way to understand… “he considered not” means he did not let his “body being good as dead”, enter into his “accounting God” well able to fulfill the promise. Nor should we.

Brian Troxel

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He is Able

PART SIX

Another Spirit

“But my servant Caleb,
because he had another spirit with him,
and hath followed me fully,
him will I bring into the land whereinto he went;
and his seed shall possess it.”
Numbers 14:24

What a testimony of God! Is not this the very purpose and wonder of Life; to please God by “fully” following Him, believing His promises and persistently standing true to His word and His ways. Caleb saw the same enemies (as the 10 other spies) and their great strength but he never took his eyes off his God! There are different faiths within the household of God; those who believe and rise up to follow and those who see the enemies within and without and are unable to believe God. It is in “following Him fully” that He will bring us in and cause us to possess the land of promise.

The question is what do we behold, or rather, whom do we behold? The majority of God’s people beheld the stature and the strength of the giants of the land, while Joshua and Caleb beheld their God. What do we see when we look into the depths of our hearts? Do we see envy, unforgiveness, jealously, anger, lust and a multitude of other things as unconquerable or do we see God? Do we allow these things to remain or do we know of His victory? His word declares that He has come to save us to the uttermost, that He is able to subdue all things unto Himself.

“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you Romans 6:12-14

This is the Salvation of God and it is ours in Christ. Faith is the victory; not our own resolve or strength, but Faith. Actual, real, powerful and dynamic faith is able to take the fallen sons of Adam and make them stand in the strength and wonder of His Grace working within.

How is it that the church so readily concedes to the notion that the disobedience of Adam is of a greater consequence than the obedience of Christ! Is this called victory?

“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world:
and this is the victory that overcometh the world,
even our faith
1 John 5:4

In which spirit do we walk?

In the faith of the ten unbelieving spies? Or in the faith of the two who beheld their God and declared:

“Only rebel not ye against the Lord,
neither fear ye the people of the land;
for they are bread for us… and the Lord is with us:
fear them not”
Numbers 14:9

What is the reaction of the unbelieving ones of God’s people toward those who walk in the true spirit of faith?

“But all the congregation bade stone them with stones”
Numbers 14:10

They do not want to hear of victory and conquest. They would rather remain in their unbelief and defeat. It is time to face our enemies and declare to all… HE IS ABLE!

God will always bear testimony to those who “fully follow Him” and ardently trust in His ability to complete that which He has begun in Christ Jesus our Lord (Philippians 1:6). To the unbelieving ones God declares:

“And the Lord said unto Moses,
How long will this people provoke me?
and how long will it be ere they believe me…”
Numbers 14:11

What is the faith we hold within our hearts? It is to see the living Christ fully reigning in our lives. Do we walk in another spirit or do we resign ourselves to the futility of an impotent life devoid of His power and victory?

“…for I know whom I have believed,
and am persuaded that he is able to keep
that which I have committed unto him
against that day”
2 Timothy 1:12

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Thought for Today

Obstacles

“As for the Jebusites the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
the children of Judah could not drive them out:
but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah
at Jerusalem unto this day”
Joshua 15:13

Though the Land of Promise had been given, it was the responsibility of His people to take the land and possess it. Within every promise given to us by God there remains a warfare and a battle of faith to make it our own.

“This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child,
in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you,
that by them you may wage the good warfare
1 Timothy 1:18

It is in the receiving of God’s promises and embracing His call upon our lives that we contend in faith to see them come to pass. There is no victory without the battle, no crown without the fight and no overcoming without the exercising of our faith.

It has taken me years to appreciate that every obstacle in my life is for my own good and learning. It is in these things we discover the true value of Grace and Mercy. If the victory in these things were easy and within the realm of our own strength, then we would be a poor example of what HE has intended for us. If we do not engage in the warfare, our walk will never be able to show forth His victory in our lives and we will live a life of compromise with our enemies…

“By little and little I will drive them out from before thee,
until thou be increased, and inherit the land”
Exodus 23:30

God has a purpose in the obstacles which stand between us and His promises… it is to the “increase’ of our faith and our strength. He has purposed us to become strong, He has intended us to be persistent and determined in the apprehending of the promises given to us. It is in these things we grow strong in our God for we have learned that our God is strong!

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

 

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Taking the Land

“And you shall take possession of the land* (see note)
and settle in it, for I have given the land
to you to possess it”
Numbers 33:53

Our apprehension of God’s Word is by degrees; its sphere of influence grows as we yield to its dominion. Our ability to impact the lives of others will be to the degree to which our own heart has been impacted. The work of truth starts within our own hearts. Its power must be felt within our own lives before we can effectively move in ministration into the lives around us. God’s purpose is that by His Spirit, His Truth and the Life of the Son we begin to take possession of our own hearts.

“In your patience possess ye your souls”
Luke 21:19

There is a warfare, a battle of extreme proportions within our own being. The enemies are real and they are more powerful than we. It is in the crucible of our own victories whereby we minister grace and power into the lives of others. The land within must be taken; the enemies of self-will, self-determination and self-seeking must be conquered by the operation of His Spirit within. The lessons learned from these battles equip us to understand the struggles of those around us. We discover patience, mercy and wisdom from our own frailties.

King David fought his own battles hidden far and away from the sight of others. These were his preparation for Israel’s Goliath. Had David not had victory over the lion and the bear he would not have had the faith and fortitude to face Goliath. His personal battles prepared him for Israel’s foes. It is no different today. The land of our hearts must be conquered if we would be vessels of honor unto Him. The battle must be fought with spiritual weapons not carnal ones. It is something we learn.

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

The first step is knowing that the “Lord is our strength”. Just like Peter, it will not take long to discover the unreliability of our own resolve. Let us take courage even in our defeats for, as Peter, we have a “High Priest” who is ever interceding on our behalf.

“For if ye live after the flesh,
ye shall die:
but if ye through the Spirit do mortify
the deeds of the body,
ye shall live
Romans 8:13

The Life of Christ is found and experienced on the battlegrounds of our own heart! His Life must be individually apprehended by the personal pursuit of every believer. The Apostle beckons us to

“work out your OWN salvation with fear and trembling”
Philippians 2:12

No one else can work this out for you. Just as Jesus must be our personal Saviour so also is our ongoing relationship with Him. The Prize is attained individually as is the reward.

“To the one who is victorious, I will give the hidden manna.
I will also give him (individually)
a white stone inscribed with a new name,

known only to the one who receives it”
Revelation 2:17

It is in these things that we become partakers of His Victory. We are to overcome even as He overcame.

“To him that overcomes
will I grant to sit with me in my throne,
even as I also overcame,
and am set down with my Father in his throne”
Revelation 3:21

The validity of His Life working in us is expressed in victory over the enemies of our hearts.

“Who is he that overcomes the world,
but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”
1 John 5:5

There can be no victory without the struggle; there can be no Crown without the Victory.

It takes fortitude, grace, hope, holy determination and the Lord as our strength. Let us not grow weary or faint-hearted for greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world!

*Note: Within the New Testament understanding the Promised Land represented a life that can be entered into here in this life. It is not a representation of Heaven but a life which is to be “entered into” in the here and now.

“Today if you will hear his voice, do not harden your hearts. Do not be stubborn like those who rebelled. Who were they who heard God and rebelled? All who came out of Egypt with Moses rebelled. With whom was he disgusted for forty years? He was disgusted and angry with those who sinned and died in the desert. Who did God swear would never enter his rest? He was talking about those who did not obey him. We see that they could not enter in on account of a lack of faith (unbelief) (disobedience). While the promise of entering his rest remains, let us fear that one of you might come up short and not enter. Indeed, we have had good news presented to us. They also had it. But the word that was heard did not benefit them because they were not united in faith by what was heard (Hebrews 3:15 – 4:2)

The above declaration by the Holy Spirit defines a people who by faith came out of Egypt (salvation from the world) but failed to enter into the land of promise because of unbelief (disobedience); the good news of their day was not apprehended. So too, in the New Testament understanding, we are to enter in on the basis of a living faith (obedience). The exhortation to those who know of His salvation is to GO ON into the fullness of His life within. It is by faith we drive out the enemies of deceit, lying, lust, envy, jealously and all the other works of the flesh; for they who do these things shall not enter the kingdom of God.

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21)

The exhortation to God’s people (who have already tasted of God’s gracious deliverance from the world) is one of going on into His fullness. Anything else is falling short of His purposes in Christ.

“Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest,
lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief”
Hebrews 4:11

God has given us this land, past tense, even as the land had been given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. However, there came a time when His people had to possess it by entering in and driving out the enemies who inhabited it.

“for I have given the land to you to possess it”
Numbers 33:53

The promises of God in Christ have been given to those who by faith have overcome the enemies within and the world without. To them alone are his promises fulfilled.

“He that hath an ear,
let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;
To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life,
which is in the midst of the paradise of God”
Revelation 2:7

“He that hath an ear,
let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;
He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death”
Revelation 2:11

The “gospel” of today preaches the promises without the overcoming. It tells His people they have already entered into the Kingdom of God while living and abiding in the “works of the flesh”. It is a solemn day and we must avail ourselves of His power to live above and beyond our own resources. The faith of God has caused us to find in HIM all the enablement to overcome and possess our possessions in Christ Jesus our Lord!

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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The Wayfaring Ones

“And an highway shall be there, and a way*,
and it shall be called The way* of holiness;
the unclean shall not pass over it;
but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men…”
Isaiah 35:8

In every generation there have always been “the wayfaring ones” who walk in the way of Holiness. The Hebrew word translated “highway” comes from the root word meaning to “lift up or exalt”; it might better be translated “high way”. It is also the narrow way of which Jesus spoke. Its proximity to the broad way of the masses may seem close at first but the ends of these two paths are radically different.

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate,
and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction,
and many there be which go in thereat:
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way,
which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it”
Matthew 7:14

The broad gate (easy gate) leads to destruction while the narrow way leads to life; His Life within the hearts of those who choose to travel such a road. The narrow way is the “Way of Holiness”. It is for the wayfaring ones who can no longer abide in the tents of Hagar. They can no longer be bound within the confines of a system and a contentment of the “partial faith” as was Ishmael. Part Faith (Abraham) part flesh (Hagar: the Egyptian), a mingling of the two where the ways of men exalt the flesh while attempting to declare the ways of God. The nature of Ishmael will always mock the child of promise. Nevertheless, the day will come that God brings separation and speaks His decree.

“Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless, what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free-womanGalatians 4:28-30

The Way of Holiness is the way of the wayfaring ones. It is a lonely way with the painful discovery of all that we are by nature: broken, sinful, selfish, vile and unloving. The Way of Holiness is the pathway to the seeing of Him and in the seeing of Him we see ourselves. The Way of Holiness is also the way to discovering His unmerited grace and wonder! In knowing our condition Grace is seen in its reality. Mercy is no longer just a religious word. It is the very power of God at work within to enable us to rise up and follow Him who “first loved us”.

Inherent within His own, the wayfaring ones, there is a cry and a desire to see Him, to know Him and to please Him. The cry rises from deep within, for it is nothing less than the cry of the spirit of adoption whereby we cry “Abba Father”. It is the result of the Life of another beating within our hearts, a cry which cannot be ignored nor pacified by the programs and ways of a dead and impotent religion. These wayfaring ones are filled with a hunger and a thirst for His righteousness to be worked out in their own lives. They do not leave the religious things because they think they are better; they leave because they can no longer ignore the need to know Him in a deeper and fuller way.

Pursue peace with all, and holiness,
without which no one will see the Lord
Hebrews 12:14

What is the promise of a faithful God to the wayfaring ones?

“And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion (Heb. 12:22) with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” Isaiah 35:10

The hardness, loneliness and sorrow of the way is the journey into the Joy and Gladness of the Lord. Blessed are those who remain true to the leading of His Spirit.

“Blessed are they which do hunger
and thirst after righteousness:
for they shall be filled”!
Matthew 5:6

*Note: Strong’s Definitions: דֶּרֶךְ derek, deh’-rek; from H1869; a road (as trodden); figuratively, a course of life or mode of action, often adverb:—along, away, because of, by, conversation, custom, (east-) ward, journey, manner, passenger, through, toward, (high-) (path-) way(-side), whither(-soever).

“Because it is written, be ye holy; for I am Holy”
1 Peter 1:16

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

 

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