EFFECTUAL PRAYERS – WISDOM – Part 5

EFFECTUAL PRAYERS

PART 5

WISDOM

“But I have prayed for you, 
that your faith fail not”
LUKE 22:32

Not long ago I was waiting before The Lord on how to pray for a certain brother according to HIS WILL. As I did the above scripture was brought to my attention. So often we pray for God to remove the situation, bring healing, deliverance or whatever seemingly corrects the issue at hand. But here we see Jesus praying for Peter’s faith to stand in the midst of the situation that was about to unfold! He did not pray that Peter would not fail; it was necessary that Peter come to face his reliance on his own strength. He prayed that Peter’s faith would not fail. It takes faith, strong faith, to hold us in the crises that we must face. Faith to stand when we must confront our weaknesses and failures; for if our faith stands we will come forth in victory.

“And this is the victory 
that overcomes the world, 
our faith”
1 JOHN 5:4

We are to become, by the out-workings of the Holy Spirit in our lives, “Kings and Priests unto our God” (Revelation 1:6). As we grow we begin to see and understand the purposes of God in those around us. There will be times when, in order to pray effectually, instead of praying for the situation to change we will find ourselves praying for our brother’s/sister’s faith to hold strong. Faith is our victory; faith is also their victory. For faith is the power of God in us to enable us to live beyond our own resources. In so doing we discover the wonder of overcoming.

Effectual prayer is borne out of our hearts by sensing and knowing the will of God for others. Such things are not learned quickly but if we seek HIS Wisdom He will not withhold it from us.

“But if any of you lacks wisdom, 
let him ask of God, 
who gives to all liberally and with no reproach, 
and it shall be given to him.
But let him ask in faith, 
doubting nothing”
JAMES 1:5-6

Praying according to the will of God requires wisdom and wisdom is the fruit of the fear of the Lord. We seek His Will concerning the things for which we pray because we have learned, or are learning, that we can easily pray amiss by not seeing things clearly. In order for the true power of prayer to be restored to the people of God we must learn these things. Effectual praying is determined by the depth of Faith, Wisdom, Persistence, and the Love of God operating within our hearts.

Brian Troxel

EFFECTUAL PRAYERS Part Four

EFFECTUAL PRAYERS

PART FOUR

RIGHTEOUSNESS

“If my people,
which are called by my name,
shall humble themselves, and pray,
and seek my face,
and turn from their wicked ways;
then will I hear from heaven,
and will forgive their sin,
and will heal their land”
2 Chronicles 7:14

This is an often quoted scripture these days but usually only partially. What I hear most often quoted is more like “If my people pray… then I will heal their land”; this disregards the meat and the power of what God is saying to us. The unpopular message to a “seeker friendly” environment is this: “If MY PEOPLE WILL HUMBLE THEMSELVES SEEK MY FACE AND TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYSTHEN WILL GOD HEAR…” The power and substance of effectual prayer starts with humble hearts, seeking hearts and repentant hearts. The condition of the heart is of more importance than the prayer itself. For prayer is not simply asking God for things and help; it is first and foremost a time of communion with HIM. The beauty of HIS presence is of itself an answer to the needs of the human heart. Touching His presence lifts us out of this dim and sick world into the very wonder of heaven itself. To experience communion and interaction with the ALMIGHTY GOD requires a heart that is compatible with His heart. Relationship is the interaction of two. Jesus spoke of the Pharisee praying in His self-righteousness and remarked that the man “prayed thus with himself” (Luke 18:11)! In other words, his prayer never left the room and he had no audience with God. Issues of the heart are the issues of prayer. God’s word tells us…

“Can two walk together,
except they be agreed?”
(Amos 3:3)

In order to walk with God my heart must be in agreement with His Word and His heart. In regard to prayer there must be a change in the heart of man to discover the secret place of the Most High. Religion is not concerned with such things but truth and reality are. Effectual prayers arise from hearts that are soft and compliant with His Will in the earth and in their own lives.

“…but to this man will I look,
even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit,
and trembleth at my word”
(Isaiah 66:2)

Those who honor and tremble at His Word in any sense of authenticity cannot be proud and arrogant in heart.

“Right hearts
birth right prayers”

Ω

“There is a mighty lot of difference
between saying prayers and praying.”
– John G. Lake

Brian Troxel

EFFECTUAL PRAYERS Righteousness Part Three

EFFECTUAL PRAYERS

PART THREE

RIGHTEOUSNESS

“Likewise, ye husbands,
dwell with them according to knowledge,
giving honour unto the wife,
as unto the weaker vessel,
and as being heirs together of the grace of life;
that your prayers be not hindered*
1PETER 3:7

Religion has a way of isolating a man’s walk from his relationship with God. Truth, on the other hand, brings linkage and accountability. Truth connects the authenticity of my actions, thoughts, and interactions with others in relationship to my Heavenly Father. The above verse when properly translated states “…that your prayers be not *cut off” (see note below)! The severity of this ought to bring a re-evaluation of the importance of our daily life. The effectiveness and acceptability of our prayers unto God can actually depend upon how a man treats his wife. May God grant us the ability to consider our ways and give us a desire to acquaint ourselves with the truth of the New Testament. Religion infers that it does not matter how we conduct ourselves; God will ALWAYS hear us. Religion has a way of anesthetizing our conscience; truth makes our conscience tender to the things of God. A religious prayer has little or no power or faith for it does not proceed from a life of confidence. It is not anchored in a life that is compatible with God. The power of such a prayer is offered on the basis of a teaching or a religious concept. In contrast the prayer offered by a righteousness man avails much; it is founded upon the ministration of faith, the only medium by which a true and real righteousness can be experienced. Peter goes on to say…

“For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous,
and his ears are open unto their prayers:
but the face of the Lord
is against them that do evil”

1PETER 3:12

Righteousness in the New Testament is more than a legal term; it is a life empowered by a living FAITH. The righteousness which is the result of faith cannot be manufactured by human strength. It is a life that NEEDS the strength and power of God Himself in our hearts. Our need for Grace is proportional to our desire to walk in righteousness. It is by this very ministration of Faith that our prayers will be effectual and fervent.

“The effectual fervent prayer
of a righteous man availeth much”
JAMES 5:16

It is essential that we (as God’s people) begin to link righteousness and faith to our relationship with a Holy God. Failure to comprehend this is what produces weak and ineffectual prayers. Unbelief infiltrates the people of God because of unanswered prayers. The result is an increase of a powerless and impotent religion.

We must see that the order and power of God in the home is the womb of power and reality in the true Church of God. Peter sets before us the atmosphere and beauty of how a Christian home should be…

*(SEE Note Below)

“Do not let your adorning be external—
the braiding of hair, the wearing of gold,
or the putting on of clothing—
but let your adorning be
the hidden person of the heart
with the imperishable beauty
of a gentle and quiet spirit,

which in God’s sight is very precious.
For this is how the holy women
who hoped in God

used to adorn themselves,
by submitting to their husbands,

as Sarah obeyed Abraham,
calling him lord.

And you are her children,
if you do good and do not fear
anything that is frightening.
Likewise, husbands,
live with your wives
in an understanding way,

showing honor to the woman
as the weaker vessel,

since they are heirs with you
of the grace of life,

so that your prayers
may not be hindered (not cut off)”

1PETER 3:3-7

To ignore the Word of God is to nullify the means by which His Power is made evident in the lives of His people. Religion mocks the promises of God as did Ishmael the child of promise. It is in taking heed to His Word that we will see the power of God restored in this day. Righteousness must start in the home, in the workplace, and in the secret places of our hearts. It is a day for us to…

“…search and try our ways,
and turn again to the LORD.
Let us lift up our heart
with our hands unto God in the heavens”
LAMINTATIONS 3:40-41

The way to powerful and effectual prayers is by the ministration of truth being embraced by the people of God. The birthing of such effectual prayers lies with men and women who have known the need for repentance and change in their own lives. Prayers uttered from such lives well know the grace of God, the Love of God and the Power of God to change circumstances and hearts for they have experienced those very things. The righteousness by faith produces broken and contrite hearts and frees us from a religion that would seek to isolate how we live from the power and authenticity of our prayer life. The latter days are upon us and it is a time for us to reconsider how we live that we may draw upon the God of all Mercy His promises to us concerning this day.

When thou art in tribulation,
and all these things are come upon thee,
even in the latter days,
if thou turn to the LORD thy God,
and shalt be obedient unto his voice;
(For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;)
he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee,
nor forget the covenant of thy fathers
which he sware unto them”
DEUTERONOMY 4:30

*NOTE: Greek Word G1581. ἐκκόπτω ekkoptō; fut. ekkopsō, from ek (G1537), out, and koptō (G2875), to cut. To cut off or out, as a branch from a tree (Rom. 11:22, 24 making the verb parallel with ekklaō (G1575), to break off, in Rom. 11:17, 19, 20). To cut down a tree (Matt. 3:10; 7:19; Luke 3:9; 13:7, 9); the right hand (Matt. 5:30; 18:8; Sept.: Jer. 6:6; 22:7); one’s hand or foot (Matt. 18:8). Metaphorically, to cut out or off, meaning to remove (2 Cor. 11:12); in 1 Pet. 3:7 (TR), “that your prayers be not cut off” (a.t.) or rendered fruitless.

*NOTE: These scriptures along with many others are considered “legalistic” by a large segment of the church in our day, but what people fail to realize is that this description of how men and women should conduct themselves is the FRUIT of the indwelling Spirit of God not a carnal conformity to the teachings of men. Religion has a way of nullifying and robbing God’s Word of its power in terms of people’s experiential reality. People who outwardly conform to a “code” of religious conduct without the inward reality actually negate the beauty and power of all that God intended. Likewise those who mock and ignore these Words of God have already robbed themselves of the power of the LIFE of God revealed in them.

“Making the word of God of none effect
through your tradition,
which ye have delivered:
and many such like things do ye”
MARK 7:13

Peter is not describing a legal requirement for spiritual attainment; he is setting forth the revelation of what the Spirit of God produces in lives that are governed by Him. Effectual prayers arise from the hearts of those who are faithful to yield themselves to the Law of HIS LIFE (Romans 8:2) in Christ Jesus.

Brian Troxel

THE CONDESCENSION OF GOD

“The CONDESCENSION of GOD”

“…thy gentleness hath made me great”
IISAMUEL 22:36

Such words of thankfulness reveal a heart that understands the unmerited favor and mercy of God. Whatever may be the measure to which we know Him there will be a corresponding knowing of ourselves. No man can see God without seeing himself. It is in the seeing of Him that we understand our absolute need for His Grace and Mercy to cover and hold us. Isaiah in the Old Testament had the same response as John the Apostle in the Book of Revelation…

“In the year that king Uzziah died
I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up…
Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone…”
ISAIAH 6:1 – 5

“And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead…”
REVELATION 1:17

We see here that the GREATNESS and GLORY of God is the humbler of men; we also see that by the gentleness and condescension of God man is lifted up! How good and unsearchable are His ways and the beauty of His wisdom past understanding.

The phrase “…thy gentleness hath made me great” would be best translated “Thy condescension has made me abundantly fruitful”.

“I am come that they might have life,
and that they might have it more abundantly”
JOHN 10:10

Notice here the tense used in this verse “I am come”; not has, or will come, for His coming is always present tense. He is here now to meet with us in such intimacy and grace; the God of all Glory here to speak with us and to commune with us. If we only knew the full depth of His heart for us we would be left speechless. No wonder the author of Hebrews cries out…

“What is man that You are mindful of him,
Or the son of man that You take care of him?”
HEBREWS 2:6

May the Lord have mercy upon us that we might reconsider the gift of His salvation, the adornments of His righteousness and the abundance of gifts and ministrations that He has so richly bestowed upon us. Let us turn again unto Him in meekness and humility to worship and glorify His Name in the earth.

Ω

“When all thy mercies, O my God,
My rising soul surveys,
Transported with the view, I’m lost
In wonder, love, and praise”
Joseph Addison (1672–1719)

Brian Troxel

THE WILLINGNESS OF GOD

THE WILLINGNESS OF GOD

“…a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus;
and he fell on his face and implored Him, saying,
“Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean”
LUKE 5:12

We read here of a man with a good measure of FAITH. It was a faith that had moved beyond the fact that Jesus was not only ABLE to heal into the simplicity of knowing that if Jesus was WILLING he would be healed. Faith is ever progressive and in this man’s life he begins to explore God’s character and willingness. So must we also move from not only knowing His ability but also knowing the very core of God’s heart for us. Is HE willing to reach down into the leprosy of our own hearts to heal and cleanse us from that stain of what we are?

The wonder here of God’s response is one that communicates the heart and purpose of the New Testament…

“Then He put out His hand and touched him, saying,
“I AM WILLING; be cleansed.”
MARK 5:13

Let the words of this HEART ring loud and clear within the recesses of our own needs. Let it drive away the condemnation of the enemy and the inner fears of our own sense of unworthiness.

“I AM WILLING”

May we arise today with the surety of HOPE that HE has not changed. That willingness coupled with the Almighty Power of the Living God is our anchor. Not only is HE ABLE but HE is WILLING! We are not left to our own devices to limp through life weighted down with our untold needs. The wonder of His Love and His Heart enables us to draw from Him His answer for the issues of our heart. Real answers for real needs because a real faith is touching a real God.

Ω

“When the even was come,
they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils:
and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:
That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses…”
MATTHEW 8:16 – 17

Brian Troxel

WATCH

WATCH

“Blessed are those servants,
whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching”
LUKE 12:37

In Biblical times the night was divided into watches. In the Old Testament the night was divided into three distinct watches. These were the shifts that the night watchmen would take to be on the alert for an enemy. In the New Testament the night watches were four in number. In the illustrations of Jesus it was the fourth watch that He used to illustrate the necessity of vigilance and sobriety.

“For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey,
who left his house, and gave authority to his servants,
and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh,
at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
And what I say unto you I say unto all,
WATCH”
MARK 13:34 – 37

It is imperative that we find the strength through His wondrous grace to be actively engaged in the work that He has given us lest we grow weary and the slumber of the world come upon us. It is in these late watches that the weariness of the way sets upon us and our senses are no longer attuned to the things of the Spirit. We may mindlessly go through the actions of a religious life without the fervor or passion of His Life in us. Everyday life becomes a mechanical performance and the lateness of the hour and the subtlety of the thoughts of our hearts deceive us into thinking that everything is all right. Without the watchman calling out to the Church of the Living God there would be no sound of alarm. Soft and soothing words of men declaring peace and safety when the Day of the Lord is at hand are a deadly and beguiling thing. We are clearly admonished to watch for we know not the hour of the unimaginable shakings that are coming upon the earth.

“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down
with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life,
and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap.
For it will come upon ALL who dwell on the face of the whole earth.
But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength
to escape all these things that are going to take place,
and to stand before the Son of Man.”
LUKE 21:34 – 36

The coming of the Lord is no longer spoken of as imminent or of any real importance as to how we live our lives. In this Day of obscurity where evil is abounding all around us, the greatest evil of all is the revelation of our own insensitivity to it. The Darkness is gathering and the Church is being lulled by the seeming peace and tranquility around us. As it was spoken of Noah’s day… “…they knew not until the flood came and took them all away” (Matthew 24:39). In this day we are being tested by the watchfulness of our hearts and the readiness of our lamps. We need to have that extra measure of oil to burn into the late watches of the night.

“And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them…”
MATTHEW 14:25

Brian Troxel

APOSTASY AND THE SPIRIT OF GRACE

APOSTASY
And
THE SPIRIT OF GRACE

THE GREAT FALLING AWAY

“Let no man deceive you by any means:
for that day shall not come,
except there come a falling away (ἀποστασια) first,
and that man of sin be revealed”
II THESSALONIANS 2:2

Apostasy. What does it mean and what does it look like? The Greek word used here for “a falling away” is ἀποστασια, a female derivative of the Greek Word ἀποστασιον that is translated “DIVORCE” in the New Testament (see Strong’s Concordance #646 and #647). Divorce is the result of a relationship where, over a period of time, the love has died. So it is with the word APOSTASY: it is the result of a love for God that has grown cold over time. The decay is so subtle and deceptive that the heart can scarcely discern it. The reason love grows cold in this day of obscurity is that “iniquity abounds” (lawlessness) within the house hold of faith; the wages of SIN are no longer to be feared, morals are loose and boundaries become less and less sure. The preaching from the pulpit is intended to create a “seeker friendly” atmosphere. The LIVING WORD of God is no longer offensive to the proud, the arrogant, and the haughty. We are told that God is LOVE therefore HE could not possibly be angry with SIN and the suffering it causes. We are presented with a meek and gentle Jesus that we cannot seem to reconcile with the ONE who cleansed the Temple, or with the New Testament judgement that fell on Ananias and Sapphira. We tend to pass over literally hundreds of warnings given to us in the New and Old Testament from a God who HATES SIN and JUDGES INIQUITY. As a result Grace has become cheap and meaningless in the ministration of the Gospel. It is God’s estimation of SIN that gives GRACE value and import. Amazing Grace is really only known by those who have truly known within their hearts the touch and the taste of the FEAR of the LORD! (A grace that saved me from a hell- bent life style is the only reason I am here. There was and is nothing good within me yet while I was in that hellish state, so lost and so ignorant, HE CAME. That is GRACE!) We do God a tremendous disservice when we appeal to men with human reason and carnal salesmanship rather than ministering in the power and the unction of the Holy Ghost! Men like John the Baptist would be disallowed in our church services as we would consider him uncouth and reckless. Men like Jeremiah and Isaiah would be far too fanatical for our polished presentation of the Gospel. Elijah would be too far out there for the comfortable environment we have produced.

It is for this very reason that we have fallen under the spell of APOSTASY AND LOOSE LIVING! Men and women see nothing strange about sitting in a pew or a living room couch for years with little or no expression of WHO GOD IS IN THEIR LIFE! Unaware of an eternal calling to be living ministrations of power and light! Unaware that they are called FOR A PURPOSE; not to give 10% of their earnings into an offering plate but to give 100% of their lives unto the King of Kings! How can we not look at what we call “church” and wonder at the incredible contradiction between what we see today and what we see in the New Testament? Where are those who can no longer be anaesthetized by the doctrinal statements, church programs and deep sounding teachings that have rendered the people of God harmless and impotent in a world racing towards judgement? Where are the cries that are birthed out of an inconsolable grief over the lack of HIS PRESENCE AND HIS POWER IN OUR MIDST? Where are those who are grieved by the insensitivity of how we treat one another, how we act in business, in our work and in our homes in terms of walking in such a way that men would ask “what is the hope” that lies within us? Our preaching first and foremost is to be with our lives and how we conduct ourselves, by how we treat our wives or how we treat our husbands? Where are those who would sound the alarm over a divorce rate that is OVER SIXTY PERCENT? Where are the preachers in the pulpit that rise up to the challenge of divorce and remarriage within the CHURCH? Where are those who will preach the Gospel even if it means that a large percentage of the pews will be empty the next week? Where are those who preach the truth because they desire to be found faithful unto HIM rather than to be considered a successful pastor due to the size of the congregation rather than the quality of the lives to whom they minister?

We are in the DAY of APOSTASY and men know it not for the most insidious result of sin and iniquity is that it numbs the hearts of those it holds. That is why leprosy is the figure of sin in the Old Testament. People with this disease lose their body parts one at a time because they no longer have the ability to feel pain.

We are in the DAY of the falling away, when the hearts of men grow cold and indifferent, where religion replaces relationship, where traditions of men usurp obedience, and the Sunday meeting goes on whether God shows up or not. Do we not read the “love of MANY shall grow cold”, that “strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and FEW there be that find it” and again “MANY shall say in that day LORD, LORD… And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity”? Do we not read these things and tremble? Can we not give ear to the voice of God in this hour? Let us see and feel the weight of all that is transpiring around us and began to cry out to God to move afresh in HIS CHURCH.

The DAY of the Lord is at hand for the APOSTASY is growing like a cancer and men see it not just as in the days of Noah when the “flood came and took them all away”! Read carefully and you will see that it was not Noah who was taken away. It was those “who knew not”; those that lived in carelessness and were too caught up in the world to notice that the DAY of Judgement was upon them. Jesus said the Day of His return would be as it was in the days of Noah…

The Day of the Lord is at hand for we also read that Jesus said that the Day of the Lord would be as it was in the days of LOT when promiscuity and sexual perversion filled the land. Do we not see this same thing and how it has flooded the Church in our day? Where are those who will cry out unto God for HIM to pour out the “spirit of GRACE and SUPPLICATION” that will bring the people of God to mourning, confession and repentance?

“And I will pour upon the house of David,
and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
the spirit of grace and of supplications:
and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced…
In that day shall there be a great mourning…”
ZACHARIAH 12:10 – 14

This mourning is the RESULT of the spirit of GRACE and SUPPLICATIONS being poured out on the people of God! Grace to return us to a people of a broken heart, a contrite spirit and a life that once again trembles and honours God’s Word! In the pouring out of such grace upon us and the resulting response from our hearts we read of God’s response…

“In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David
and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness”
ZACHARIAH 13:1

Even so Lord pour out upon us the “spirit of GRACE and SUPPLICATIONS” that we may be turned from our carnality and carelessness. Turn us again unto the right way, the way of repentance and restoration. May we as the prodigal son return broken and contrite from the folly of our worldly ways, where we have secularized your people, we have called ourselves by other names, we have met in the name of an organization, a teacher and a movement rather than simply coming together unto THEE. We have separated ourselves from the “lesser” brethren. We have elevated ourselves against those who are blood washed in the same blood that has purchased us, and in so doing we have separated ourselves from you. Bring us again to the common faith; to the discerning of the Body of Christ. Cause us to hate the sin in our hearts more than the inconsistencies in our brothers and sisters. Work in us to will and to DO of your good pleasure. Unite those who are yours that we may once again meet in the power of your Name and the Glory of your Presence.

EVEN SO LORD COME!

Brian Troxel

PSALM 23 – PART 10 – FEAR

PSALM 23

PART TEN

FEAR

“I will fear no evil…”
PSALM 23:4

Fear is a common reality felt from the poorest of men to the richest. Fear, in itself, is not a sin. If fear were not a part of our everyday life words such as courage, bravery, overcoming and fearless, among others, would have no value. It is what we DO in the face of fear that determines whether a thing is commendable and worthy of honour or cowardly and worthy of shame. The Hebrew Word used here יָרֵא occurs hundreds of times in the Old Testament; here as a verb but also (though less) as a noun and is used interchangeably to describe the Fear of the Lord or fear of a particular circumstance or situation. We read throughout the Sacred Scriptures of the Fear of the Lord being the principle part of Wisdom. We also read of those who, because of the fear of the Lord, obeyed Him, served Him and loved Him through the actions it produced in their lives.

In this Psalm we read of an individual following and loving their Shepherd and, in that following, they find themselves walking through the valley of the Shadow of Death. It is in the midst of this experience that we hear the declaration that they will not be deterred in following Him. The fear of this place of evil and darkness will not prevail or have any effect upon their decision to walk through this valley! These valleys are not crossed over because of the absence of fear; they are crossed over in spite of the fear! The love of God displaces the terror and the grip of FEAR enabling us to pass over, to walk through, and to overcome the thing that would prevent us from obeying HIM!

God’s people should never feel ashamed when encountering fear; what matters is what we DO in the face of it. Countless martyrs throughout the ages have faced the fear of torture, persecution and even death yet they found the strength and the courage to be faithful to walk through the realities of these things. They are not moved by the fear because HE IS WITH THEM. There is a peace and a power that holds their souls in adversity; a presence that imparts GRACE to stand, to walk and to hold the course in spite of all that rises up to meet them in the path of following Jesus.

“through whom also we have access BY FAITH into this grace
in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations,
knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;
and perseverance, character; and character, hope”
ROMANS 5:2 – 4

It is HIS GRACE that enables us to stand and this grace is only accessed through the portal of FAITH. Without faith we have no access to this Grace; Grace not only to stand but to rejoice and glory in tribulation! Such things are too high for the ability of man within himself. These things are reserved for those who are growing in the seeking, pursuit and abiding in HIM!

God has an answer to the fears that would cause us to falter in our way.

HIS answer is HIMSELF.

“I will fear no evil;
For You are with me”

Ω

“Fear. His modus operandi is to manipulate you with the mysterious, to taunt you with the unknown. Fear of death, fear of failure, fear of God, fear of tomorrow—his arsenal is vast. His goal? To create cowardly, joyless souls. He doesn’t want you to make the journey to the mountain. He figures if he can rattle you enough, you will take your eyes off the peaks and settle for a dull existence in the flatlands.”
Max L. Lucado (1955– )

Brian Troxel

AGELESS FAITH

~ AGELESS FAITH ~

“Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart,
Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old?”
GENESIS 17:17

Our God is Able! Our God is willing! Faith does not consider circumstance. Faith is not determined by what it sees; it is founded upon what it hears. I see many who by reason of age (it is also my own battle) begin to settle and weaken in the vitality and relevance of the vision and the hope we have in Jesus. We see indications of this all around us in the lack of our pursuit of HIM; the absence of fervency in our seeking of HIM. The grip of the living expectation of all that HE has promised becomes an ideal and a doctrine rather than the IMPULSE that propels us on to greater things in HIM.

The thought struck me the other day that no where do we read of the Kingdom of God coming to us while we sit in total passivity. Rather what we read about is the Kingdom of God being ENTERED into by faith, obedience and much trial and tribulation. The failure of one generation must not rob the next of God’s purpose and intent. It is a day to challenge, a day to exhort, and a day to summon up every last bit of resources we have to see this great purpose of God come to pass. Men have grown weary. They have settled for a vision that no longer inspires, invigorates or PRODUCES an ardent pursuit of God. We have settled for knowing about the Kingdom instead of ENTERING INTO the Kingdom. We have allowed age, experience and comfort to rob us of the ONE THING…

“Seek ye FIRST the Kingdom of God…”

It is time to awaken out of our slumber for the Day is upon us, the hour has come, and the Bridegroom stands at the door looking for a Bride who has made herself ready. The Church that has rediscovered that it is in fact the BODY OF CHRIST, it is ONE and it is HIS,  and it will no longer tolerate the secularization and division that has rendered her powerless and ineffective. It is time for the true ministry of God to minister out of a heart that desires that HE WOULD HAVE THE PRE-EMINENCE in our midst that men might see the Body of Christ come to the “unity of the FAITH”. It is time for the true ministers of the Grace of God to be caught up with the burden of the Lord that we would LOVE ONE ANOTHER IN THE SAME MEASURE, THE SAME PURITY AND THE SAME INTENSITY THAT THE FATHER HAS LOVED THE SON. For if that is the prayer and heart of Jesus (John 17) should not that same burden and purpose burn within our hearts?

“Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.
Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD. Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of MINE HOUSE that is waste, and ye run every man unto his OWN HOUSE

Until we are more concerned with HIS house than we are with “our” little fellowship, “our” church and “our” ministry we will not see the blessing and the power of God! As long as we are content with what is, the new will not come forth. As long as we are content with a gospel that is not breaking forth with power and reality, as long as we are content with relationships that are in ruins, until we are broken with the things that break the heart of God, we will not know HIS GLORY in our midst.

“Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded. And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by. And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited. Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it. Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock. As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I am the LORD”
EZEKIEL 36:33 – 38

 
Brian Troxel

PSALM 23 Part 1 – The Lord is My Shepherd –

PSALM 23

PART ONE

THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD

“The Lord is my shepherd…”
PSALM 23:1

“The Lord is my shepherd” is more than just poetry, more than a nice theological concept and much more than simply a feel good religious verse. To those who know HIM it is the sum total of the fundamental and essential aspect of our relationship with HIM. The Hebrew Name for LORD here is YHWH. It is the Name of God as revealed to the man Moses as he was being sent back into Egypt as a deliverer of HIS people. It is a name that depicted Glory and Majesty to such an extent that traditionally it was not even spoken, out of great reverence and respect. Yet here we see that great name being divinely connected to that of a Shepherd! The same great name that carried with it the meaning of ONE of endless, eternal self existence, clothed in omnipotence and infinite majesty, by whose power all of Egypt was destroyed on such a scale and in such a manner that to this day it remains unsurpassed in the revelation of the Judgments of God. Let us ponder upon the significance of the connection of such a God to that of not only a Shepherd, but a personal Shepherd that cares for the life of His own.

To know in some religious way that the Lord is A shepherd will convey little in terms of the power or comfort of relationship in knowing that HE is the director of our steps. We see here in this statement that this Great and Holy God is not only A shepherd but that it is essential for us to know experientially that HE is MY SHEPHERD! This foundational truth can only be true if there is within the core of my being a new birth experience that has translated me from the rebellious nature of a goat to that of a lamb that is desirous to be submissive and taught in the WAY of our God. Only by us becoming sheep in nature will we fully appreciate the wisdom and care of our great shepherd.

The Lord is my Shepherd! Let the truth of this sink deep into our consciousness. Let the power of all that it is to mean convey a warmth and comfort to our troubled hearts in times of distress. Let it speak to us that we are not mere wandering souls left to our own resources, wisdom and strength. Let it communicate to us a sense of purpose, a special relationship with the Almighty God who has taken upon HIMSELF the responsibility to lead us through the dangers of this life.

THE LORD ALONE IS MY SHEPHERD

The Lord is my Shepherd! We hear many today say that some religious leader is their Pastor or Shepherd; how it must grieve the heart of God for such things to even be considered! HE is my Shepherd. There is no man who can chart the dark waters of my needs, no man who can be made unto me wisdom and strength, and no other who can keep me in the way of righteousness and truth. HE ALONE IS MY SHEPHERD. He alone is your shepherd. You will never read anywhere in the New Testament of a man being MY apostle, MY teacher or MY prophet. He has given the church ministries of the Apostolic, Prophetic, Evangelistic, Shepherding and Teaching expressions for the building up of the Body of Christ but they are never to be yours. They are simply precious expressions given to help us develop our own personal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. There is only ONE SHEPHERD. His name is Jesus and it is the solemn obligation for every true and valid ministry to bring you and me to the place of seeking, knowing, and living our lives in HIM.

“I am the good shepherd.
The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep”
JOHN 10:11

Brian Troxel