Morning by Morning

Morning by Morning

“And the fuel on the altar shall be kept burning on it; it shall not be put out. And the priest shall burn wood on it morning by morning.”
Leviticus 6:12

The altar of the Old Covenant is a representation of our hearts in the New (Romans 12:1). It was the duty of the priests to keep the fire ever burning by adding wood “morning by morning”. In the morning as we set aside time to commune with our God who is “a consuming fire”. There is a necessity to touch the flame of the Eternal One that our own hearts may burn with a love for Him. It is this burning which keeps us from the temptations of the world and the impurities of our own selves.

As one man, greatly used of the Lord, stated: “an empty altar receives no fire” (1). Each morning we arise and lay ourselves before Him as a fresh offering that we might walk circumspectly and alert throughout the day. His fire ever falls upon the altar of sacrifice; as it was in the days of Elijah it shall be in this day.

May we discover the secret of His Flame. May we feel the embers of our hearts stirred by His Holy Breath until we are filled with the fire and intensity of His Spirit. He has an answer for cold hearts, for the lethargy in His house. It is nothing less than His presence burning within.

“Who maketh his angels spirits,
and His ministers a flame of fire
Hebrews 1:7

His true ministers carry the flame of God burning within their hearts. They cannot be satisfied with tepid prayers, powerless sermons and the lifeless conjectures of those whose lives do not align with their words. The fire of God purifies. It warms the very soul of man and brings Him into the zeal of the Lord for His House (John 2:16-17). There is a lamentation within over the condition and the temperature of the hearts of His people. There is a seeking of the purity, power and intensity of His Spirit to see His Unity arise in His House.

It is the “fervent prayer” of a “righteous man” that avails much, that brings forth the moving of His hand in the earth. Let us keep the flame burning within; let us seek out fellowship with others who will stir the embers of our hearts that we may know, to quote a good friend, “the fellowship of the flame” (2).

His beauty will arise
out of the ashes of ourselves.

“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified
Isaiah 61:3

What is the purpose of these people?

“And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations”
Isaiah 61:4

This is the Day of the Lord and He Himself is appointing unto them who mourn over the state of the Zion of God in our day; beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness! Let His fire fall afresh upon our hearts that He may be glorified by the lives we live and the words we speak!

“But you have come to Mount Zion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable multitudes of angels, to the festal gathering and assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better than that of Abel. See that you don’t refuse him who speaks.”!
Hebrews 12:22-25

“Keep yourselves in the Love of God”
Jude 1:21

(1) Frank Bartleman
(2) CR Oliver

Brian Troxel

Effectual Prayers – Forgiveness

Effectual Prayers – Forgiveness

” And when ye stand praying,
forgive…”
Mark 11:25

Christ is the sum of all knowledge and perfection and in His piercing Light all things are made bare. It is this Light by which all men will be judged. There is nothing hid from the Magnificent One whose “eyes are as a flame of fire”. It was by these eyes that the deception of Ananias and Sapphira’s seemingly innocent lie was seen and dealt with in the severity of God’s righteousness (1). It is a deception repeated to varying degrees in His house today. How little we as the church of today consider our ways. The God who never changes, has not changed. His estimations of our actions, our professions and our dealings with one another are not lost in His sight. The unforgiving remain weighed down in their own sins (2). The unmerciful receive not the depths and power of His mercy (3). The unholy are blinded by the shades of their own spiritual condition (4). These are the weights and measures by which God deals with His Own. The Light of Christ is only made effective by the corresponding deeds of truth within the individual.

“But he that doeth truth
cometh to the light…”
John 3:21

The significance of this statement bears eternal repercussions. Its decree brings to every man the responsibility for his own growth and development in the call and the purposes of God. Within the confines of our hearts (if sensitive to the Spirit) we intuitively know that to hold unforgiveness will cloud and darken the wonder of prayer.

“And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses
Mark 11:25

Forgiveness is the fruit of a heart involved in the “doing of truth”. It flows from a heart which seeks to grow and live in Christ. Dead and powerless prayers arise from those who fear not nor understand His ways. To hold animosity, offense and the wrongs of others within is to negate the forgiveness of Christ unto our own hearts. Man uses religion to cover his refusal to walk in the truth of Christ by making forgiveness a word rather than a deed (5). This limits their Christian experience to lifeless confessions, powerless prayers and a growing detachment from the life and light of Christ.

“Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth His will, him He heareth
John 9:31

Truth is measured to us correspondingly to our walk in truth. The more we yield to its way, the more we are afforded of its great reward especially within the depth of our communion with Him (6).

“He that doeth truth”

Let us not settle for the “broad gate” which leads to a desensitized heart. Let us not linger in the shallows of confessions and creeds. Let us come with “open face” and behold the Light and Glory of the One who deals with us in truth.

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord”
2 Corinthians 3:18

An “open face” means we are open and sensitive to the leadings of the Spirit of God. In every response to Him we grow in His Light and His Person. Those who desire the truth of Him know within the need to DO the truth of Him in order to be changed.

May we comprehend that the change we need will only come as we walk in the current truth we have. The seeing of Him and the corresponding transformation of our own personal lives comes by our involvement in the doing of His Truth.

Psalm 15
1 Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?
2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.
3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.
4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.
5 He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.
______________

References
1. Acts 5:1-10
2. Matthew 6:14-15; (among many others)
3. Matthew 5:7
4. Hebrews 12:14
5. Matthew 18:35
6. Matthew 25:21,23

Brian Troxel

Prayer and Faith

Prayer and Faith

“The dividing line hereafter will not be a Credal one—not “How much do you believe?” Nor even a Devotional one—”How much did you pray?” But a Practical one — “What did you do?” The Apostle James shows that our faith is evidenced by our works (Jas 2:14-20). It is not enough to say “Lord, Lord!” We must show the same spirit as our Master in love for our fellows, or we shall be rejected at the last.”
– F.B. Meyer

Prayer and Faith

“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” is the true prayer of all who believe. It is this prayer of faith which unites the heart of the one praying with heavenly realities. Prayers of the religious do not touch the heartbeat of heaven; their lives remain unaffected and unempowered unto the doing of His Will. Those who pray in faith, walk in faith. In the garden Jesus prayed to accomplish the full offering of Himself unto the will of the Father and He “was heard in that He feared” (Hebrews 5:7). It is through prayer that faith comes to us by the hearing of the Word. One cannot hear the Living Word without the corresponding works of faith.

“By faith Abraham… obeyed”
Hebrews 11:8

Brian Troxel

The Pure Prayer

The Pure Prayer

“And he said, I beseech thee,
shew me thy glory.”
Exodus 33:18

No depth of human depravity, no sickness, no hopeless condition to which the human race can descend, is beyond rectification by His Glory. The Glory of God is the hope of the human race. Seeing Him is the cry of His Own. Moses had already witnessed some of the most powerful demonstrations of the power of God. He had been involved in the judgments upon Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, and the constant care of God in sustaining over a million people in a barren wilderness for forty years. Yet his prayer was:

“…I beseech thee,
shew me thy glory”

It is possible to see His power and the manifestation of His movings in the earth and yet be ignorant of His Glory. The true glory of God is His character, His heart, His love, and the unspeakable Holiness of His Presence. The true in heart seek Him for Himself. They do not seek things or giftings for the sake of their own cause, benefit or advancement. They seek Him alone.

In my own limited experience, I have seen someone healed who had but months to live, but still fall into wickedness. Of the ten lepers who were healed, only one returned to give thanks unto Him who alone is worthy. I have seen those who were mightily used of God in miraculous ways fall into the horror of greed and the pride of the riches of this world. We also see many content with unremarkable living; Christians who are satisfied with having little or no impact upon the world around them. They placate themselves with a declaration of being His but remain unchanged by the piercing gaze of His Holiness and the power of His Glory. It is impossible to gaze upon Him without being drawn into the relentless pursuit of His person.

“shew me thy glory”

This is the eternal cry of every heart afforded glimpses of Him! His Glory is infinite; it stretches beyond the horizons of thought, imagination or doctrines. Its call to redeemed heart spans time and eternity itself. The pressings of Paul the Apostle, the response of John upon seeing Jesus as He is, the spontaneous worship and bowing down of all heavenly hosts at the Name of Jesus, should birth the same cry from the core of our being. Oh Father, show me YOUR Glory; may this be our pure prayer!

“Oh that I might have my request;
and that God would grant me the thing that I long for!”
Job 6:10

Brian Troxel

Faith and Prayer

Shelter from the Coming Storm

FOUNDATIONS
of
PRAYER

BY FAITH

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him:
for he that comes to God must believe that he is”
HEBREWS 11:6

People who believe little pray little. The basic reality of the Christian’s prayer life is predicated by our faith. The proof of our faith is revealed in our drawing nigh unto HIM. We must believe that HE IS in order to enter into that Holy Place of prayer and communion with Him. The true prayer life is one of relationship and intimacy with our God and Father. It is “by faith” that we draw near unto HIM; it is “by faith” that the substance of the unseen relationship is realized. The recurring thought throughout the faith chapter in the Book of Hebrews is: “by faith”. So it is in the life of PRAYER by which we are to be “building up ourselves on our most holy faith, PRAYING IN THE HOLY GHOST” (Jude 1:20).

BY FAITH is the means by which all deeds are birthed and brought unto perfection. Without FAITH we have no means to draw from the “wells of salvation”. Without FAITH we have no “handle” upon which to lay claim to the precious promises of God. Without FAITH we have no ability to truly understand the depths HIS WORD. Without FAITH we are left to the miserable resources of self that will always wither in the hour of greatest need. “By faith” men DO, GROW and BECOME like their great High Priest. The deeper and more intimate our life of prayer becomes, the more there is a growing realization that we are no longer praying just for our selves. Rather we are becoming participants of HIS HEART for His purposes in the lives of others. For that is the Heart of our Great HIGH PRIEST…

“I pray for them”
JOHN 17:9

Let us get a glimpse of THIS HEART that ever beats and is ever working and praying on our behalf that we might become pure and holy expressions of the Son. “Faith without works is dead” and nowhere is this truth more evident than in the life of holy, powerful and fervent prayer.

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

Religious men may pray, they may mouth and speak great words that sound right and good but, as Jesus commented, the Pharisee “prayed thus with himself”. His prayer had no HOLY WITNESS but was borne of self and concerned with self. This prayer never left the man. Prayers without works are the bane of religion. The Pharisee’s words were never joined with the works of true Christian charity. In the Parable of the Good Samaritan the Levite and the Priest would pass by the beaten man in the streets on their way to the Temple with no concern. The power of true prayer and interaction with the Heart of Jesus will always bring us into the Love for that thing we pray for. Prayer without faith will be revealed in a life without works. No one can truly touch the heart of God in prayer and be bereft of works. It is an impossibility. Love and faith are the womb from which the works of God flow; in touching Him we touch others.

But we, By FAITH, have access to the Holy Altar of incense that burns with the Holy Fire (singular) of His love and desire. On this Altar the Incense of God is added to the prayers of His saints that they may ascend as sweet fragrant offerings unto HIM who alone is worthy!

“I will therefore that men pray every where,
lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting”
I TIMOTHY 2:8

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 – Secret of Life

Prayer – The Secret of Life

“They shall come with weeping, and I will lead them with prayers. I will cause them to walk by rivers of waters, in a right way; they will not stumble in it…”
Jeremiah 31:9

Prayer is the secret of the life of a Christian. It is in this secret place that our hearts meet with our heavenly Father in the bonds and the merits of Christ. Prayer is much more than asking God for things and help in our situations; it is the sacred place of listening to Him and hearing His Will and purpose for our life. Prayer is the participation of our hearts in the wonder of God.

Communion with God is to be the center and focus of our lives. It is as we draw near to His presence that our hearts are softened and touched by His heart. There is a posture that seeps into our hearts by the touching of the Holy; we become still and bowed before our God. In that moment we know our place before Him, and we are enabled to hear the “still small voice” of our God. Oftentimes His directions come to us in whispers infused with faith to walk in His way. The secrets of the Lord often come in quiet times of prayer and communion with God.

“Surely I have behaved and quieted myself,
as a child that is weaned of his mother:
my soul is even as a weaned child”
Psalm 131:2

The magnitude of His presence quiets our being and in that wonder we are “weaned” of our wants and needs; like a contented child resting in the arms of its loving mother.

“I will lead them with prayers”

Those who pray much, hear much and see glimpses of Him that overwhelm the heart with the immensity of His presence. Prayer is the secret of faith, the wellspring of peace, and a hiding place for His children.

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty”
Psalm 91:1

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – E.M. Bounds

Quote for Today

“Those who know your name will trust in You,
for You, have never forsaken those who seek you”
Psalm 9:10

“Persistent prayer in the earnest, inward movement of the heart toward God. Isaiah lamented that no one stirred himself to take hold of God. There was much praying in Isaiah’s time, but it was indifferent and self-righteous.

There were no mighty moves of souls toward God. There was no array of sanctified energies bent on reaching God. There was no energy to draw the treasures of His grace from Him.

Forceless prayers have no power to overcome difficulties, get results, or gain complete victories. We must win God before we can win our plea.”
E.M. Bounds

“And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities”
Isaiah 64:7

“Turn us oh Lord…”

Brian Troxel

Passion and Prayer – E.M. Bounds

Passion and Prayer

“Love is kindled in a flame, and zeal is its fuel. Flame is the air that true Christian experience breathes. It feeds on fire. It can withstand anything except a weak flame.

A lack of passion in prayer is a sure sign of the lack of depth and intensity of desire. To reduce fervor is to retire from God. He can and will pardon sin when the repentant one prays. Fire is the motivating power in prayer.

Religious principles that do not come out of the fire have neither force nor effect. Passion is the soul of prayer.”
– E.M. Bounds

Quote for Today – E.M. Bounds

Quote for Today

“If we want to pray well and get the most of our praying, we must look at our obedience. This brings us closer to God. Disobedient living produces extremely poor praying. No man can pray – really pray – who does not obey.
Our will must be surrendered to God as a primary condition to all successful praying. Everything about us receives its coloring from our innermost character. Our will determines our character and controls our conduct.”
E.M. Bounds