A True Heart

The True Heart

“Examine me, O Lord, and prove me;
try my reins and my heart”
Psalm 26:2

A true heart does not seek to cover sin; it seeks the Lord to expose every wrong and crooked way. Exposure is the path to purity and the hope of salvation and freedom. The Light of Christ penetrates the heart and His eyes burn through the very soul of man. The burning consumes pride, self-seeking and the desire for pre-eminence. It removes the religious fig leaves of those who cloak themselves in garments of piety and false humility.

May our God, as a consuming fire, burn within our hearts until there be no shadows or pretense. Let there be no hidden chambers for sin to hide. He alone can heal the broken and restore righteousness and holiness. He beckons us to the fellowship of the fire; the fellowship of His Light.

The prison of pretense is deep, dark and rooted in sin and hypocrisy. The foundation of this prison is built one lie at a time. Mercy was never meant by God to excuse sin; its purpose is to cause men to come to the Light, to free them from the misery of sin. Mercy’s true triumph is in men and women finding the courage to face the light and allowing it to shine into the hidden areas of their hearts, set free by the “spirit of burning”.

“By mercy and truth iniquity is purged:
and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil”
Proverbs 16:6

Purity of hearts brings us freedom and the liberty to express Him through the vessel of our redeemed self. As the gem, polished and cut, shines with the luster of its own being, so Christ has called each of us to be a distinct expression of His handiwork. Come to Him, present yourself to the light and fire of all that He is that you may know true liberty.

“…where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty”
2 Corinthians 3:17

An individual’s liberty will be in proportion to their surrender to the indwelling Spirit of Christ.

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – A.B. Simpson

Quote for Today

the greater things

“The Christian that is bound by his own horizon, the church that lives simply for itself, is bound to die a spiritual death and sink into stagnancy and corruption. We never can thank God enough for giving us not only a whole Gospel to believe, but a whole world to give it to”
– A.B. Simpson

PODCAST – The Eyes of God

PodcastThe Eyes of God

 

…and in the center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind.” (Rev 4:6)

Spiritual Warfare – Obtaining God’s Promises

SPIRITUAL WARFARE

Obtaining God’s Promises

“This charge* I commit unto thee, son Timothy,
according to the prophecies which went before on thee,
that thou by them mightest war a good warfare…”
1 Timothy 1:18

The word translated “charge” in the above scripture is actually a command in the Greek (see note below). The promises of God are given to His own that, by receiving them, they may war rightly to see them come to pass. The promises of God require warfare to be real and vital in the lives of His own.

“And if a man also strive for masteries,
yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully
2 Timothy 2:5

In his second letter to Timothy, Paul uses the Olympic athlete as an example to observe and be instructed thereby. Paul follows this statement declaring:

“Consider what I say;
and the Lord give thee understanding in all things”
2 Timothy 2:7

There is a striving and a contending for the crown of the call of God upon us. Few of God’s people comprehend the strenuous effort required in “laying hold” of the prize of our call in Christ. The apathy and the complacency of many is a source of suffering for those who know God. The sum of all the energies of Paul were expended in his pursuit of laying hold of God.

“Every man who strives in the games exercises self-control in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible. I therefore run like that, not aimlessly. I fight like that, not beating the air, but I beat my body and bring it into submission, lest by any means, after I have preached to others, I myself should be rejected”. (“Unapproved, unworthy, spurious, worthless. In a passive sense meaning disapproved”)
1 Corinthians 9:25-27

Paul says he fights like that! He is fully involved (spirit, soul and body) in the fight of faith. He has one resolve in the entirety of his being. He is fully persuaded in his press to obtain the Crown OF Life to which he has been called. His life bears evidence of the faith and fire of God burning within! There is no value in glibly quoting the scriptures if we lack the evidence of faith in our daily life. How it must weary God that there be contentment in the quoting of scriptures without the corresponding evidence; but rather families out of order, poorly handled finances, lives lived in pursuit of other things, and an inability to impart the power of faith into the lives of those around them. Paul, in the passion of the Spirit of God, cries out:

“So run, that ye may obtain”!
1 Corinthians 9:24

The Christian life is not about just believing, it is about obtaining!

“Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible”
1 Cor. 9:25

“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ”. 1 Thess. 5:9

“Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ”
2 Thess. 2:14 (what a staggering call)

“Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus…”
2 Timothy 2:10

“For by it the elders obtained a good report”
Hebrews 11:2

“Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions…”
Hebrews 11:33

The list is too long and too precious to be listed without prayerful consideration of each one as a powerful truth. I am stirred this morning as I consider the grace and mercy of God, and the ethos of a generation who know little of the cost nor the power associated with the call of God. There is a generation who find contentment in words rather than a life of godliness.

“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ
Philippians 3:8

How few understand the cry of Paul’s heart, “that I may win Christ”. To those who do not pursue the person of Christ, this statement will be an enigma and a mystery. There will be an inability to see the pure truth contained within its wonder. The secret of the Lord is with them who fear Him, and it is to such that He reveals His Covenant (Psalm 25:14). The power of this Word ignites a hunger within and a thirst which cannot be quenched. Oh, the folly of words without fire, purpose without passion, and a powerless Christian gospel which does not birth a singular pursuit of Him! Life lived outside the grip of the fire of His love is meaningless and vain. He is the One Object of our faith; He is the Pearl of Great Price; He is the Fire which burns within.

“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?”
Psalm 42:1-3

Those who bear His Fire
Shine forth His Light;
For the Light without
Is evidence of the Fire within.

Σ

“But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay”
Jeremiah 20:9

*NOTE:
parangelia (G3852), “a proclamation, a command or commandment,” is strictly used of commands received from a superior and transmitted to others. It is rendered “charge” in Act 16:24; 1Th 4:2, RV (where the word is in the plural); 1Ti 1:5 (RV) and 1Ti 1:18. In Act 5:28 the lit. meaning is “Did we not charge you with a charge? Vines New Testament Dictionary

Brian Troxel

Introduction to the Cherubim and Our Warfare

PodcastCherubim and Our Warfare, an Introduction

“Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee…”
Ezekiel 28:14-15

“So He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life”. (Gen 3:24)

The One Thing

The ONE Thing

“And Abram journeyed, going on still…”
Genesis 12:9

It is the nature of Faith to produce within true hearts a diligence to ever be “going on still” in their walk with God. Faith is relentless in its quest to seek and know its author. Faith generates in the life of every true disciple a “journey” and a quest for God Himself. This journey is the result of a heavenly vision which causes all earthly things to become dim and obsolete in comparison with the growing radiancy of God. There can be no division of heart when God is becoming the “one thing”. As Paul declared:

“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”
Philippians 3:13-14

We read of this same “One Thing” in Psalm 27 as David cries out with fullness of heart:

One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple”
Psalm 27:4

It is this “One Thing” which characterizes the pilgrims of faith; that separates the Christian Adherent from the True Disciple. Disciples grow in their love and pursuit of the “One Thing” for an individual cannot follow Him for long without being captured by His incomparable beauty. We cannot follow the ONE in whom resides Wisdom, Grace and LIFE and remain attached to the things of this world.

Who can save us from the misery of self? None but Jesus.

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved”
Acts 4:12

While to the believer Christ brings salvation, to the disciple Christ IS their salvation. To one it is an act, a decree and a doctrine (precious as that is). To the Disciple, salvation is the LIFE of Christ resident and abiding within. To one it is a very important thing, to the other it is the ONLY thing.

“For I determined not to know any thing among you,
save Jesus Christ, and him crucified”
1 Corinthians 2:2

May this burning desire become a growing reality in our lives by the wonder of the grace of God empowering, unifying and purifying our hearts; unto the perfect day where we can truly say the desire for the “one thing” has indeed become the ONE THING.

“And when they had lifted up their eyes,
they saw no man, save Jesus only”
Matthew 17:8

Brian Troxel

Purity in the Church

Purity in the Church

“To Do Justly and to Love Mercy”

“But as it is, I wrote to you not to associate with anyone who is called a brother who is a sexual sinner, or covetous, or an idolater, or a slanderer, or a drunkard, or an extortionist. Don’t even eat with such a person
1 Corinthians 5:11

The Life of Christ will naturally conform to and fulfill the Word of God. Christ Himself is the Living Word and His Spirit in us must, by its very nature, empower us to live in its Holy Way. We are here to “do justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God”. It is not Mercy to compromise with sin; it is mercy to hate any sin in our lives as it is to confront sin within the Body of Christ. The purpose of Mercy is to enable men and women to give themselves as a “living sacrifice” unto God. It is never intended to give people license to remain in their sin. How short-sighted are those who would preach a gospel contrary to the purpose of God in His Mercy. The ministrations of God’s Justice and His Mercy are never in conflict. (see note below**)

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service”
Romans 12:1

Mercy truly received will always produce a life which grows into the very righteousness of God Himself. Those who would pervert mercy as a license to sin have no understanding of what Salvation in Christ means. It is a “different” gospel which speaks of compromise and godlessness; a gospel which leaves men and women powerless with regards to the victory of Christ over sin. Such a gospel leaves the individual bound to their sin and brings them to the very gates of hell itself. Christ came to inject the very dunamis of His Life to save us, empower us and resurrect us unto righteousness and godly living. May we ever be exhorted to “fight the good fight of faith” and to contend in Christ for the ascendancy over sin.

“Thou shalt call his name JESUS:
for he shall save his people from* their sins”
Matthew 1:21

*Greek Word: ἀπό (apo) “any kind of separation of one thing from another by which the union or fellowship of the two is destroyed” Thayer Greek Lexicon

Σ

“What then? shall we sin,
because we are not under the law, but under grace?
God forbid
Romans 6:15

**NOTE: This exhortation of Paul was written to cut off those who live in sin and flaunt it without remorse or desire to change. There are those who struggle against sin, who seek help and ministry, to whom we are to pour out our very souls unto God on their behalf that they may also know of the power and the victory which is ours in Christ Jesus our Lord. This word of exhortation is that there would be a standard in HIS CHURCH so that sin and the stain of its consequences would not be tolerated in the Body of Christ. Compromise is the downfall and the sin of a worldly and powerless church. It is a day for the Church to begin to arise with His Light and Glory (Revelation 19:7).

“But know this, that in the last days, grievous times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, not lovers of good, traitors, headstrong, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding a form of godliness, but having denied its power. Turn away from these…”
2 Timothy 3:1-5

Brian Troxel

Salvation and Sin – Part One

Salvation and Sin

Part One

“All unrighteousness is sin”
1 John 5:17

It is impossible to fully measure the depth and the power of Christ’s Salvation without an accurate appraisal of sin. The power of the Life of Christ in an individual’s heart is readily seen in the change and ongoing growth in His righteousness. While many content themselves with a judicial decree, Christ came to “make us free” in deed and in truth. It is the drowning person who knows the value of a life preserver. It is the condemned prisoner who understands the wonder of pardon! So too, those who have tasted of the heavenly gift of Christ, fear sin. They dread its contamination in their soul and the grieving it brings to the Spirit of God!

“A man who fears not God, will break all his laws with an easy conscience, but one who is the favorite of heaven, who has been indulged to sit at royal banquets, who knows the eternal love of God to him, cannot bear that there should be any evil way in him that might grieve the Spirit and bring to the name of Christ. A very little sin, as the world calls it, is a very great sin to a truly awakened Christian.”
Charles Spurgeon

“All unrighteousness is sin”

Let the Holy Spirit impart to us the weight of His Word and the estimation of the Holy Spirit concerning our lives. Righteousness is doing what is right in God. Treating others as Christ would; whether in speech, actions and even in the hidden intentions of the heart. Righteousness is walking and living through the power and wonder of the Holy Spirit. It is a walk free from unrighteousness, compromise or partiality.

“In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother”
1 John 3:10

Ω

Righteousness is doing what is right in God

Brian Troxel

Love and the Man of sorrows

Love and The Man of Sorrows

“He is despised and rejected of men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief…”
Isaiah 53:3

Those who would know the Love of God, must know grief and sorrow. Love makes a life vulnerable and keeps it vulnerable. Love, even in its wounding, grows stronger. Adversity, betrayal, rejection and even hatred cannot dissuade the pure Love of God from giving of itself. It is undefeatable. The more men hate, the purer Love’s motives become. It shines in the darkness because God is the source of its power and its glory. It speaks the language of tears and washes itself from the mire of bitterness in the incomprehensible streams of His grace. It can never be sullied for long.

“Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned”
Song of songs 8:11

Love is helpless, yet needs no defence.
Love suffers rejection, yet ever reaches out.
Love walks in sorrow, yet lives in joy.
Love speaks truth, though seldom recognized.
Love is a fire ever burning, yet is always at rest.
Love is unconquerable, yet conquers all.

Σ

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

Brian Troxel

The Two Aspects of Hearing God

The Two Aspects of Hearing

How Do We Hear?

In our day the Christian landscape is rife with erroneous teachings and heresies. Most of these are obvious to any child of God with even a limited concept of the foundational truths of Christ. However, Jesus addressed two aspects of hearing with His disciples; each were critical in the measuring of His truth to them. These are clearly set forth for us: take heed WHAT we hear and take heed HOW we hear. The first warning concerns the “hearing” of those who follow Him.

“Take heed WHAT you hear. With whatever measure you measure, it will be measured to you, and more will be given to you who hear
Mark 4:24

Here Jesus is addressing the content of WHAT people hear. There is a divine measuring of truth proportional to what we are willing to hear. If we allocate God’s truth to be for another time and not for us today, we will be unable to hear anything further. The “measure” that we allow will determine what is measured to us. We must “take heed” to these critical warnings. Only then will the Body of Christ be a light and a wonder to the world around us!

God has always been concerned with HOW His people hear His Word. Many may read its content. Many may discuss its implications and even teach its meaning, but few hear with the ears of faith.

It is HOW one hears that determines how one walks.

Hearing is the foundation of an individual’s life in God. This intrinsic and essential faculty determines the whole concourse of our life. Where there is no hearing by the ear of faith there can be no growth in our relationship with Him. The crisis of every heart is reduced in God to this ONE THING. It is here that the eternal destinies of all people are concluded.

“Take heed therefore HOW ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have”
Luke 8:18

There is a deception which is of a far higher order than merely taking heed to WHAT we hear; it is in the realm of “HOW” we hear. Throughout the New Testament we are struck with the clear distinction God makes between those who hear and those who do not.

The Parable of the Builders

“Therefore, whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock…”
Matthew 7:24

Jesus continued in this Parable to contrast the one who heard correctly from the foolish one who also heard correctly WHAT Jesus was saying but failed in HOW he heard.

“And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand”
Matthew 7:26

The strength of the House which each man built was not determined by WHAT they heard but in what they DID with what they heard. In other words: in HOW they heard! One man heard the Words of Jesus as the Word of the Lord who is to be obeyed; the other heard the Words of Jesus as a Teacher and viewed God’s Word as something to know rather than something to be obeyed! The “fruit” of these two contrasting lives is clearly set forth in the power of Christ’s Word to His disciples.

Jesus, in a few verses preceding this Parable, set forth what He was clearly meaning.

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven”
Matthew 7:21

The eternal question to each of us is, “HOW are we hearing?” Do we hear Jesus as LORD, or do we hear Him as our Teacher? One to be obeyed, or one who came to merely enlighten us with divine teachings? The manner of our walk reveals the evidence of HOW we hear!

“Take heed therefore HOW ye hear: for whosoever hath,
to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not,
from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have”
Luke 8:18

Σ

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only,
deceiving your own selves”
James 1:22

Brian Troxel