The School of Christ

The School of Christ

“Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ”
Philemon 1:1

The school of Christ is the privilege of discipleship. It is a life of instruction filled with the ministration of powerful truths whereby our life in this natural world becomes subject to the realities of the Kingdom of God. Paul, writing from a Roman prison, lived and dwelt in dark and damp quarters, yet referred to himself as “a prisoner of Jesus Christ”. His view was heavenly. The intense lessons of the school of Christ had brought him to the place of sowing and reaping in all circumstances of life. He was not a prisoner of Rome; he was in fact the emissary of Christ!

The known world at that time was largely under a one world government and for the most part ruled by the iron fist of Roman decrees. Many of our brothers and sisters today live under the oppression of tyrannical regimes and savage Christian persecution. I have had the privilege of meeting with the underground church in a couple of countries and it was both humbling and inspirational. There is a feeling of oppression in our land of “freedom” which does not seem to exist for them. There is a liberty of the Spirit of God of which we have much to learn. These precious ones go forth each day with a boldness to declare the love of God in Christ which is both refreshing and convicting. Many of the things we call freedom here are based on our “legal rights” and reveal themselves in a spirit of entitlement and arrogancy rather than the humility of Christ. This so called religious freedom is founded in worldly declarations instead of the true liberty arising from a grace wrought by the power of the Holy Spirit. In those persecuted countries the true freedom of spirit is garmented in meekness in contrast to our demands to maintain our legal rights. The freedom in which they walk is that of the Spirit and not of man. It is one which has at its foundation the truth of our heavenly rights*. This freedom is only known to the extent to which we are freed from the life and the dominion of self. The truth of the Sovereignty of God can only become real in those who are in truth dead to self and alive in Christ.

True freedom is only known in our submission to Him. Wherever self reigns, there can be no freedom of the Spirit. The natural life will always reflect its natural surroundings, so also in the spirit. Those who live in the Spirit cannot but reflect the graces of the Spirit regardless of their natural surroundings. Bitterness, envy and anger are expressions of the carnal natural life. The school of God brings us to dark and trying circumstances that we might learn how to live in heavenly places. In our oppressive situations there are opportunities for us to discover hidden treasures of great value.

“And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord…”
Isaiah 45:3

The school of Christ is a difficult and arduous journey. It is the “way of the cross” and blessed are those who follow the Lamb through obedience. There is a grace which quietly works within those who choose His way above their own, and a freedom which comes from His bonds at work in our lives. We will know the power of true fellowship as we walk in His growing light and develop in obedience and submission to Christ.

The life of Paul abounded in this rigorous school of Christ. His heart was set upon learning and growing in God. These lessons are reserved for the true disciples of Christ. The graces learned result in a life of victory in all circumstances.

“Not that I speak as to need, for I have learned to be content in whatever state I am. And I know to be humbled, and I know to abound; in everything, and in all things, I am taught both to be filled and to hunger, both to abound, and to lack. I have strength for all things in Christ the One strengthening me”
Philippians 4:11-14 (LITV)

Prayer for Today

Heavenly Father let the confines and the circumstances of the moment become the Secret Place of your indwelling. Let the fragrance of your Spirit bring its healing balm to our hearts. May our limited surroundings give way to vistas of your Glory. Bring to us the clarity of your wisdom by which you are weaving your graces into the very fabric of our lives. Let us learn that in all things you are working out the mystery of your Sovereign Will for our good.

“For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory, for ever”
Matthew 6:13
Amen

Freedom from self
brings us into the
liberty of His Spirit.

* Note: “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake”
Philippians 1:29

Brian Troxel

Shelter from the Coming Storm

Shelter from the Coming Storm

The Sacred Place of Prayer

“Guard your steps when you go to God’s house; for to draw near to listen is better than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they don’t know that they do evil.”
Ecclesiastes 3:16

The sacred place of prayer is the secret to our relationship with God. It is here where we draw near unto Him. We enter the closet of our hearts and shut out all the distractions and noise of the world around us; even the commotion within. In drawing near unto Him we enter His Presence and touch the atmosphere of Holy peace. This peace calms our troubled hearts and causes us to listen to Him alone who is our salvation. Often, in my own experience, this Peace floods in with a quiet hush to assuage my perplexities to such an extent that my requests are answered in the power of His presence alone. The wonder of His presence imparts the assurance that I truly am in His hand and need not worry about the storms without.

In God’s presence it is often far better to listen than to rush in with a multitude of requests from our anxious hearts. The calamities without are silenced by the Peace of Him within. How often in my haste I respond to things which should have been considered first in His presence. The desire of the Lord is for us to abide in prayer and in His presence throughout the day. This is not some grievous religious exercise; in reality it is His provision for us. In the storms which are coming to our land God is ever drawing us into the shelter of Himself.

“For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength…”
Isaiah 30:15

There is a a quietness founded upon confidence that is a result of our dwelling in Him. This dominion of peace is not achieved by a teaching, a reciting of scriptures or some other strategy; it is the Peace known by those who dwell within the courts of His presence.

The full scripture quoted above from Isaiah is as follows:

“For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not
Isaiah 30:15

Many thrust themselves into prayer with list of wants and petitions while missing out on the Presence of God Himself. In truth His presence is the answer to our prayers. His presence is the privilege of those who love and seek His favor, “for in His presence is fulness of joy”!

Praying for Others

I have found that praying for others becomes more fervent if I allow His presence and love to permeate my heart first. His presence can ignite a deeper love than my own and I find the fire of Him brings a far more intense prayer than anything I could manufacture. How good is it for us to come to His House of Prayer to first of all listen and allow our hearts to be filled with Him rather than rush blindly into the “sacrifice of fools”.

Shelter from the Coming Storm

God has afforded us a time now to prepare for the days ahead. It is a time of great learning to draw near to Him to listen and to discover the “voice of stillness” (still small voice KJV) that we may meet this Day “Hid with Christ in God”.

“Be silent before the face of the Lord Jehovah, for the day of Jehovah is near. For Jehovah has appointed a sacrifice; He has consecrated ones He called
Zephaniah 1:7

Literally in the Hebrew: “He has sanctified His Called Ones”; those in whom His presence dwells and who receive His correction, and who “follow the Lamb” obediently wherever He leads.

Brian Troxel

Prayer for Today

Prayer for Today

Heavenly Father,
Work in us,
That we may work out,
The grace you pour in.

Grant us faith for the impossible,
That we may believe for the impossible.
Give us eyes to see the Invisible,
That we may become like Him.

Grant us power to become nothing,
That Christ may become all.
Grant to us the fear of the Lord,
That we may not stray.

Cause us to know your Love,
That we may Love others.
Cause us to know Righteousness,
That we may preach Righteousness.

Cause us to see You
That we may be freed from ourselves.

“As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness:
I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness”
Psalm 17:15

Brian Troxel