The Book of Asa

The Book of Asa

A Study of Leadership

Part One

“And Asa cried unto the Lord his God…”
2 Chronicles 14:11

Within the life of true disciples, there are experiences and unveilings of our God which leave His indelible mark on them. There are mountain-top experiences, revelations undiscernible to the human eye, and visitations to His own. As precious as these experiences are, it is in the valleys, in the darkest times of the night, where the God of all gods becomes our God. It is in the valley of the shadows; in the lonely and desolate places we discover “thou art with me”. (Ps. 23:4) In the tapestry of our own personal life, it is the dark threads that accentuate the bright colors of His own weavings. His “curious work” (Ps. 139:15-16) wrought within the “secret” places of our being are full of wisdom and understanding far beyond our own ability to comprehend.

Asa was raised in a religious environment where idolatry and compromise infiltrated the land of Judah. But the word declares:

“And Asa did that which was good and right
in the eyes of the Lord his God”
2 Chronicles 14:2

He stood up against the heathen ways which mingled with the worship of God. He stood for truth and became an instrument of Light in his day. The contemptible ways of human reasoning, the groves, and the false and defiling things which were of his own house, made Asa rise up in passion and love for his God.

“And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, as did David his father. And he took away the sodomites out of the land and removed all the idols that his fathers had made. And also Maachah his mother, even her he removed from being queen, because she had made an idol in a grove; and Asa destroyed her idol, and burnt it by the brook Kidron.”
1 Kings 15:11-13

Truth, to be truth, must first find expression in our own personal lives, then in our families, before it can bear fruit in the world around us. Asa’s passion for God began in his own sphere of life. God’s ways change not and our love of truth must also bear testimony of its power within our own lives.

“Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?”
1 Timothy 3:2-5

See: Leadership

May we consider the testimony of those who have gone on before us; men and women who walked in the truth of their day, who stood for righteousness and by such OBTAINED a “good report” (Heb. 11:2) in the eyes of God! Let us arise out of the mediocrity of our day as we feel the coming storm. As Asa, let us walk in the Light of God, proclaiming His truth to all within the sphere of our lives – beginning with our own self. We must awake from the slumber and the obscurity of soothing words and a gospel void of the fire and intensity of spirit that leaves us barren and numb to His “voice”.

He is calling out to us TODAY, if we will HEAR what the Spirit is saying.

And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us, therefore, cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”
Romans 13:11-14

Brian Troxel

Being Filled

Being Filled

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

Being filled is a spiritual state. It is the result of Grace and Love being the nature of God Himself. Grace is given on the basis of faith. Faith is the conduit through which God transacts His Being to us.

“By whom also we have access by faith
into this grace wherein we stand…”
Romans 5:5

Faith is the open door by which the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is poured without measure into the hearts of those who know deeply of their need for it. Hungering and thirsting after God is the result of the eyes of faith gazing into the riches of Christ and laying hold of its reality. Such lives cannot be contented with promissory notes, faith’s need is to acquire, to have, and to hold the real “substance” of God in our lives. Its very heartbeat is to “apprehend” to “lay hold” of the power of Him to live godly, purely, and freely unto Him in this darkened world.

Many in our day are content with words while the very language of faith as written in the New Covenant can be summed up in its exhortations to be held in the power and wonder of Christ. Where His grace is beckoning us to fullness, the richness of heart, and reality of His life gripping us and bringing us to full obedience to His Lordship.

A few examples… (please read the context of each that we might receive the full import of God’s heart)

“That I may apprehend…” Phil. 3:12

“So run, that ye may obtain…” 1 Cor. 9:24

“And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible.”
1 Cor. 9:25

“…that they may lay hold on eternal life” 1 Tim. 6:19

“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. “
Phil. 3:12

“If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead…”
Phil. 3:11

“We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain”
2 Corinthians 6:1

“But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”
1 Cor. 15:10

Grace received by faith produces a life filled with the dynamics of the Life of Christ to reach out, to press in, to labor abundantly for the glory of His Name.

May the Lord ever fill us with the fire to hunger and thirst after HIS righteousness. May we know the seeking of the true Kingdom where He is King over the unruly heart of man.

The promises of God are to the hungry.

The promises of God are to those who thirst.

The promises of God are to those who overcome.

“To Him that overcometh
will I give…”

See: Appropriating Life

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“To fall in love with God is the greatest romance;
to seek him the greatest adventure; to find him,
the greatest human achievement.”
– Augustine

BT

Religion and Light

Religion and Light

 

Religion and Light

“Then the disciples came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?”
Matthew 15:12

We can only imagine how the disciples felt at the growing realization that their Master was becoming unpopular with the leadership of the religious order of that day. Here we see them seeking to “inform” Him of the rising animosity. Healings and miracles had drawn the common people to Him, for He walked among them, ate with them, and related to their everyday life in His parables.

But His words pierced the religious with the light of truth. They revealed the hypocrisy and the vanity of men drunk with pomp and self-proclaimed importance. As centuries passed they slowly twisted His Word to support their own darkened ways, resulting in a blindness that bolstered their own pride and filled them with contempt for the common man.

Jesus responded to His disciples’ concerns with:

“Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”
Matthew 15:13-14

The religious teachers of that day were not teachable. Their hard hearts and pride prevented the beauty of Truth from invading their consciousness. Their knowledge and pre-conceived ideas prevented them from seeing the Glory of the Father standing before them; moving, healing, forgiving, and pouring out the mercies of God to all who would come. Jesus made no attempt to reach such, for spiritual blindness is the result of obstinacy and self-will.

Religion is simply men seeking to make God in their own image. Religion defines God for themselves rather than seeking to discover who He is. The true in heart do not allow others to define them or their God. As they grow in Truth they see themselves as they are and become free in the light of Him.

God is true. He is who He is. Those who fashion their religious ideals to suit their own forms of brokenness and blindness will never find Him. To those who come in childlike faith and humility, He will show Himself in the wonder of His own way in the human heart.

“And ye shall know the truth,
and the truth shall make you free.”
John 8:32

Truth alone restores the broken heart. Truth alone fills the unmet needs, cravings, and deep distress of the human race. Ideas, suppositions, and the banter of words will never alleviate the human condition.

Christ alone can set the captives free. In Him is Life and that Life is the healing balm for all who would come with their wounds, their lusts, and their sorrows. No one but Jesus can touch a life in the intimate places of the spirit.

“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”
John 10:10-11

He did not come to bring another teaching or to add to our knowledge. He came so that all who will receive Him have the right, the privilege, and the power to become the offspring of God!

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“But as many, as received Him, to them He gave the right to become God’s children, to those who believe in His name: who 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

Brian Troxel

Unity and Hope

Unity and Hope

Unity and Hope

Excerpt from New Book (unedited)

“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ”
Ephesians 4:13

Let no one deceive us in this. There is a standard, there is a measure and there remains a call unto the ministers of Christ to labour unto this one end. Unity is the result of the stature of Christ being formed within us. We are not here to propagate ourselves for that is the enemy of unity; we are not to seek the pre-eminence; we are here to so interact with His people that they are trained in righteousness from which this unity is the natural and only outcome. We have many who are satisfied with something far less than what God has called us to. Where there is no vision or expectation in ministry there will be no impartation of His glory. True vision produces purified hearts.

“Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him because we shall see Him as he is…”
1 John 3:2

What is the repercussion in those who bear this living hope within their hearts?

“And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure”
1 John 3:3

The true ministers of God present this living hope to all they encounter. It is a hope which burns like a fire, a hope from which fervent prayers filled with the incense of God rise unto Him as a sweet perfume. These are the intercession of the redeemed, these are the offerings of those whose hope ignites a passion to walk before Him in all purity and love.

Only Purified Hearts
can touch the Unity of God in Christ.

“…that they also may be one in us”
John 17:21

Brian Troxel

Loving the Truth

Loving the Truth

“And I beseech you, brethren,
suffer the word of exhortation”
Hebrews 13:22

Truth is simply the manifestation of the Life of Christ. His unrelenting quest within each of us is for purity and perfection. He does not spare His Own from His piercing gaze as He searches our hearts with the divine flame of His Love. His Word is living and sharp. Its cutting seeks to free us from that self that cannot and will not submit to God.

“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be”
Romans 8:7

Our hearts are revealed in our openness to receive exhortation. The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews pleads with us to “suffer the word of exhortation” to the end we may walk a life that is pleasing to God. Truth must expose within us all that is not of Him. Being the perfect manifestation of all that is true, He has great love and determination to change us from “glory to glory”. While many readily receive His forgiveness, the real test is in our receiving that Living Truth which pierces even to the dividing of our “soul and spirit”.

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart”
Hebrews 4:12 (ESV)

Those who bear His Word must know that work within themselves. Only In becoming free from self, with all its devious and corrupting ways, will we be able to communicate to others that same word of exhortation. A word of exhortation can only be received by those who because of their love of truth suffer its liberating ministration of life.

May we all hear the “beseeching” of the Spirit of God to embrace His Word. To love truth is to receive His corrections and the pruning of His two-edged sword.

“My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the LORD reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights”
Proverbs 3:11-12

“For whom the LORD loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives”
Hebrews 12:6

The true in heart desire correction. They know within their own being the necessity to receive His reproofs and exhortations. The passion to become true outweighs the tendency to hide from His probing gaze. Many love the promises of God but few are willing to endure the correction necessary for His promises to come to fulfillment in them.

“If you endure discipline,
God bears Himself to you as to sons”
Hebrews 12:7

It is in the crucible of correction that the true in heart reveal their sonship and love for their heavenly Father.

“Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness; let him rebuke me—it is oil for my head; let my head not refuse it”
Psalm 141:5

See: Psalm 23 Chapter 14

Brian Troxel

PODCAST – Learning the Way of the Lord

Learning the Way of the Lord

Spiritual Warfare

And David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?” And the LORD said to David, “Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand.”
(
2 Sam 5:19)

2 Samuel 5:17-25 is the Story of David and his second set of victories, illustrating how we are to stay current with God, gaining conquests in our own hearts. Our inheritance in God, our place of growing under His authority, is going to be to the measure in which we gain our own spiritual victories, both internally and also externally.

God has graciously provided us opportunities to grow into that authority that He is going to unveil in and through each of us, individually and corporately on this Day. The key to victory is to never go up to do battle in your own strength, but to remain in the Stronghold – Him Who IS your victory!

Brian Troxel

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 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

Consolation

Consolation

God’s consolation is His assurance to the afflictions of His own. He who called us is also the one who keeps us. His end more than compensates the afflictions and storms of life.

You afflicted, tossed with storms, and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in beautiful colors, and lay your foundations with sapphires. I will make your pinnacles of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones”
ISAIAH 54:11-12

In affliction, tempest, and sorrow the God of all comfort comes softly like the dew settling upon the grass after the long dark season of night. His silent ways bring whispers of hope within the human heart and His strong arms hold and carry us in the distress of our circumstances. He walks with us through the valleys. He gently embraces the wounded heart and in the secret of His ways, we see the fair colours of His handiwork. We see the precious stones of His making become the foundation of our lives; not only strong and stable but filled with the beauty of His own being. There is no such thing as wasted tears for those that know their God. All sorrows and trials become part of the building of His story in our lives. His comfort becomes the very currency that we can share with others for it has become ours through the experiences of a life with Him.

“…who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God”
2 Corinthians 1:4

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“God is faithful”
1 Corinthians 1:9

Brian Troxel