The Mystery of Life

The Mystery of Life

“As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.”
Ecclesiastes 11:5

The secret of the true disciple is one of simplicity and rest. Even as the flow of His Spirit is ever active within, the heart of the true disciple is to be at rest; a relationship of communion (co-union). The child in the womb is a portrayal of our life in Him. The formation and development of His likeness within our own being is fully dependent upon the cord of life from whence come the essential nutrients of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). This dependency is the hope and substance of our life in Him. The true ministers of Christ are ever focused on the formation of Him within the life of every believer, not the fulfillment of their own ambitions and agendas. They are to nurture the development of Christ within each life. The only bonds that should exist between members of His Body are the bonds of pure love and our interactions are to be to this one end: “until Christ be formed” in each of us.

“My little children, of whom I travail in birth again
until Christ be formed in you…”
Galatians 4:19

Any ministry with a different end in view does not walk in the mind and Spirit of Christ.

“Charity… seeketh not her own”
1 Corinthians 13:5

Brian Troxel

The Marks of True Servants – Part Three

The Marks of a True Servant

Paul’s Departure
(from Ephesus)

Part Three

“Therefore watch,
remembering that for a period of three years
I didn’t cease to admonish everyone
night and day with tears
Acts 20:31

The true servant of God knows the great battle between flesh and spirit. He is well aware of the weakness of the flesh to grow weary and to compromise. Paul is reminding the Elders of the Church at Ephesus of his own diligence to warn and admonish the believers when he lived among them. His life was an example to them that they must ever be alert and awake to the state of God’s people. We see no letup with Paul; his admonitions were accompanied night and day with tears; for he was filled with the love of God.

This gracious and all-pervading ministration which flowed from Paul was the true expression of one filled with the unction of the Holy Spirit! There was no room for the false comfort of the gospel of today. The fire burned, the admonition flowed.

In the Epistle to the Church at Rome Paul beseeches them to offer themselves unto God as a “living sacrifice”; he left no room for a nominal Christian experience. Beating within him was the insatiable desire to fully apprehend that for which God had so graciously apprehended him. His life burned with purpose and intent. The Christian life was a journey, not a one-time experience. It was a journey filled with temptation and great battles and storms. Yet in a corresponding measure it was also one of growth and glory. Admonition flows from a life which has seen and touched heavenly things.

The individual who has tasted of heavenly things will be in a relentless pursuit of the glory and honour of the One in whom they “live, move and have their being”.

Let us take note of this heart which beat within Paul. May there be a divine SELAH to allow the heart of Jesus to fill our own. Let the apathy of all that is around us be consumed by the passion and the ministration of the Holy Spirit.

“I didn’t cease to admonish everyone
night and day with tears”

SELAH

May we consider the “marks” of the true servant of God and feel anew that fire burning within our own being. Let “this mind be in you” as Paul admonished the Church of God at Philippi. May we know the same intensity and the same care and concern for God’s people that filled the early Church. Let us repent of the status quo and turn again unto the One who can ignite the human heart.

The heart of a true servant of God seeks to bring every life into the Kingdom and dominion of God. It will risk the disapproval of others in order to be pleasing unto God.

Admonition will be a mark of one who serves God in truth.

Brian Troxel

Honouring God

Honoring God

“So speak ye and so do”
James 2:12

We live in a very strange time when individuals can study the scriptures, memorize them, and readily discuss them with others; yet live their lives contrary to the very words they speak. The only way to honor His Word is by obeying it. Obedience is the evidence of a life who truly honors and treats His Word for what it is: Holy. If we do not reverence His Word through obedience we will reap the consequences. How foolish it is to speak His Word and yet not honor it not with our lives.

“For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense; how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation
Hebrews 2:2

They who esteem His Word lightly, lightly esteem the One who speaks it.

“And if any man obey not our word by this epistle,
note that man, and have no company with him,
that he may be ashamed”
2 Thessalonians 3:14

Brian Troxel

The Economy of God

The Economy of God

“Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one:
and every man shall receive his own reward
according to his own labour
1 Corinthians 3:8

The reward is according to the labour.

“He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly;
and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully”
2 Corinthians 9:6

The reaping is in proportion to the sowing.

“Then touched he their eyes, saying,
According to your faith be it unto you
Matthew 9:29

The receiving of God is in proportion to our faith.

Give, and it shall be given unto you;
good measure, pressed down,
and shaken together, and running over”
Luke 6:38

The receiving of God is in proportion to our giving.

Love is the economy of God and is revealed in our involvement in the lives of others. An isolated life, secluded from others, is a life without purpose. Christ walked the streets. He was touched, reproached and loved by people, the common people. His fields, white unto harvest, is who He walked among, where He ate, and where He spoke words of Life. His life was accessible, His grace undeniable; His influence on the sea of humanity was wide. So will ours be, “according” to our faith.

All of God’s transactions with us are “proportional” to the life lived; graces of Christ given, truth sowed, purity pursued, prayers prayed, and tears wept on behalf of others. There is a reward which awaits the faithful; treasures stored up for those who have labored over the lost, the wayward and the deceived.

Deception is any life which does not spend itself for His Glory.

“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him
Psalm 126:5-6

Open our eyes and our hearts…

Brian Troxel

Our Feet

Our Feet

Part One

“He will keep the feet of his saints”
1 Samuel 2:9

This scripture gives an assurance of His keeping grace. The feet of his saints speak of various things; one is sensitivity unto the Lord. Moses met God at the burning bush still shod in the shoes of Egypt. His sensitivity was lacking; though he stood in God’s presence he was unaware of the Holy ground upon which he stood.

“Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground”
Exodus 3:5

There was a numbness in God’s presence and an unfamiliarity with the things of God. Yet we see God drawing near to teach him the way of holiness. We see God at work in Moses to cause him to walk carefully and reverently before Him. In removing the shoes of Egypt, Moses was abandoning the ways and culture of Egypt and being introduced to the wonder of God. One cannot hold onto the ways of the world and expect to grow in the wisdom of God. The two are contrary.

“And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me,
but walk contrary unto me;
Then I will walk contrary unto you…”
Leviticus 26:27-28

A sensitive walk is one of feeling our way in God. We must remain sensitive to the intonations and gentle leadings of our Shepherd. These things are beyond the hearing of the ear and seeing of the eye; they can only be known through the deepening of relationship. God desires for us to become so ONE with Him that we know within our heart the way we ought to go. These things are not learned quickly; but as we set our heart to the daily doing of His will there is a recognition of His leading which can only grow through the medium of obedience. It is here we sense that “keeping” of our feet and His Shepherding grace is most evident. We discover by our response to His direction that even small incidents take on importance and adventure. There is a gentle assurance of “this is the way, walk ye in it”. Sensitivity in our walk is vital if we are to learn of Him.

“Take my yoke upon you,
and learn of me”
Matthew 11:29

This yoke binds the heart of the disciple to the will and the way of the Master. It is always voluntary. He encourages, validates and directs us with His Staff; He also corrects and chastises us with His Rod. Both of these expressions come from the same heart of Love. The four Gospels are full of these great aspects of His Love. It is a poor parent who does not both affirm and discipline their child.

God’s purpose is for us to be led in a sensitive walk that transcends hearing, seeing and circumstance; where we instinctively do His will by virtue of an abiding relationship. It requires an intentional and vigilant walk by His disciples.

“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye”
Psalm 32:8

The Psalmist goes on to declare:

“Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle”
Psalm 32:9

God’s way with His own is filled with such depths of promise. He stands as our great Shepherd to lead us into those places of relationship and grace. It is our obedience and willingness to learn that determine the extent of our walk with Him.

“Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy Spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness (righteousness and stability)”
Psalm 143:10

Brian Troxel

PODCAST – Worship – P1

True Worship – Part One

 

He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.”
(Gen 22:2)

Preach the Word – Longsuffering

Preach the Word – Longsuffering

Part Two

Preach the word;
be instant in season, out of season;
reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering…”
2 Timothy 4:2

For the preaching of The Word to be effective, it must spring from the source which is the love of God Himself. Care and concern for the status of God’s people is the motive. It does not rise from self-righteousness but from a deep knowing that God is righteous. There is a suffering borne by those who behold apathy and complacency; a pain carried within the hearts of those who feel the call of God to deeper and higher things, who sense a responsibility to cry out in the darkness. The call to speak is greater than the vessel. The need to present God far outweighs the desire for acceptance and friendship. Longsuffering is the fruit of God’s Holy Spirit. It is not an attribute of the flesh, but its hold upon a heart produces a suffering long with the condition of God’s House.

Sin is the reason for the suffering of humanity in its lost condition. Love is the reason for suffering in the godly. Christ suffered most, leaving us an example of what righteousness will bring to one who is growing in the wonder of His light and love.

“For consider Him that endured
such contradiction of sinners against himself…”
Hebrews 12:3

Let us consider Him who endured the contradiction of sinners, who suffered long in the midst of a perverse and lost generation. The greatest contradiction was from His own people who, in their blindness, and religious ambition, condemned Him to death, even the death of the Cross. Those who follow on to know Him must experience in some small way the same rejection.

“Love suffers long, Love endures all things”, and, to whatever measure we are held in its sway, there will be a corresponding expression of its virtues. By contrast, apathy cares little, speaks smooth words, is pragmatic and remains uninvolved with the conflicts between light and darkness. It hides itself in religious garments of false separation and indifference just as the priest and the Levite who passed by the man who lay beaten in the streets. It was the despised Samaritan, who involved himself in the plight of this one, of whom the blessed Saviour tells us to “go and DO likewise”.

The true love of God necessitates involvement and personal risk. The religion of men produces insulated living and empty words which lack the one essential thing: Love. The preaching of The Word must be fueled by the fire of the Love of God to make Him known in this world.

“Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ”
Ephesians 3:8

The Grace of God received is revealed in the “necessity” to preach among those to whom the vessel is sent “the unsearchable riches of Christ”. There is no desire to draw men and women unto themselves. They have no church, organization or earthly agendas; they live to make Him known! Grace received can have no other heart!

“For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!”
1 Corinthians 9:17

There is no room for self-promotion or boasting; it is a burden of “necessity” to preach the Gospel. There is an unction and a fire which burns within those who hold a glimmer of His beauty and wonder. This is not a weak gospel that robs His people of the purity and the power of this love. This is not a casual gospel with a gentle presentation designed to make the wayward comfortable and anesthetized to their own sin. For what is often presented as the “love of God” is in fact a “gospel’ of a god who has been made in their own image and to their own liking.

Where are those who feel the pangs of “necessity” to make Him known in this day? May God pour out upon us a grace that produces lives compelled by the Love of God to make Him known. May He save us from slumber, indifference and ungodly apathy, speaking of “deep” things yet revealing our shallowness through unremarkable living; lives with little or no effect upon the world around us. Let us not claim to have a faith in word but which denies the power of God even within the confines of our own homes. It is time for a new generation to arise who will “Preach the Word” and bring strong exhortations of God to contend with the bondages of a lost generation.

May those who bear His fire in their hearts declare His Word unto the earth and unto the heavens!

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season;
reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine”
2 Timothy 4:2

Brian Troxel

Preach the Word

Preach the Word

Preach* the word;
be instant in season, out of season;
reprove, rebuke, exhort…”
2 Timothy 4:2

There are many who preach today, but not The Word. There are many who quote scriptures but fail to preach The Word. They preach their own words and their own gospel; they preach to gain the approval, affection and finances of those listening. Paul’s instruction to Timothy is to preach the Word that brings reproof, rebuke and exhortation! How few are willing to risk their popularity, their income, their positions or “career” in the organizations of today for the sake of truth. Many ascribe to the “relevant” things of today, but they will not touch The Word; a “sharp two-edged sword” which divides the soul and spirit of the religious man (Hebrews 4:12). Many are reticent to utter the Word of Life which will cut and reveal the thoughts and intentions of the religious man. They seek the favour of men while turning their back on the God who IS a “consuming fire”. Those who bear His Word must know, in some measure, the temperament and fervor of a God who hates mixture and compromise.

Preach the word!

This was the cry of the Apostolic heart in a Day when the Fire of God was burning, and the faith of God’s people was penetrating the darkness of the world in their time. “Preach the Word” is the call of God to His people in this hour who desire His Sword within their own hearts; who know that in order to walk with Him in holy places they must themselves be holy. Preach the Word has ever been the purpose and the directive of the Holy Spirit for He has come to lead and guide us into the truth and power of holy living. Without holiness we shall not see God! Let the truth of this Word revolutionize our hearts. Our pursuit of holiness is the revelation of our desire to see God!

The depth of an individual’s pursuit for holiness
is the revelation of their desire to see God!

“Strive for peace with everyone,
and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord”
Hebrews 12:14 (ESV)

Preach the Word whereby men and women are filled with a fire to pursue holy living. Preach the Word which transforms the tepid, the comfortable and the passive into flaming hearts of purpose, captured by the Eternal Call of God.

“Is not my word like as a fire?”
Jeremiah 23:29

Fireless preaching comes from cold hearts, compromised living and empty altars. If His Word is like fire, should not those who Preach His Word be of the same disposition and temperature?

God is speaking today,
let those who have ears to hear, hear.

*Preach the Word - In a large segment of the Christian Church preaching the Word is relegated as ministry to the unsaved. This was a foreign concept to the early Church (who turned the world upside down). Timothy was sent out to travel through out the Church of God to observe their order, their love for one another and to contend with false teachings and error in their midst. We need those who will "Preach the Word" to the Church in power, unity and truth that HE may be glorified in our midst.

Brian Troxel

Compromise

Compromise

“Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him;
but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him,
lest they should be put out of the synagogue”
John 12:42

What was the Holy Spirit’s judgment on this?

“For they loved the praise of men
more than the praise of God”
John 12:43

When men and women lack the fortitude and courage to walk and seek God’s favour on their own, they will invariably seek their identity in “fitting in” with others. Many see the inconsistencies and compromise, yet remain complicit, ignoring the cry of their inner hearts. They succumb to conformity, to the protocols and doctrines of men at the expense of God’s glory. They become traitors to Christ; professing faith while choosing the acceptance of man over the call of God.

The penalty for such betrayal is beyond estimation, not only in this life but for eternity. Families are often destroyed by remaining in the throes of compromise for the sake of a horribly misplaced loyalty; parents (because of a loyalty to man) expose their children to lifeless concepts of God which often results in a life of wandering and futility.

The worth of a thing is determined by the price someone will pay for it. Those who esteem the praises of men more worthy than God’s pay a bitter price in the end. What people esteem becomes the compass by which they direct their life and they who value the approval of men must by necessity wander out of the Way of God.

“The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding
shall remain in the congregation of the dead”
Proverbs 21:16

May the grace of God work in us an uncompromising walk of faith. It is better to walk alone with God than to abide in the congregation of the dead.

“The fear of man bringeth a snare”
Proverbs 29:25

Brian Troxel

The Lesson of the Fig Tree – Part Two

The Lesson of the Fig Tree

Part Two

“Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away”
Matthew 21:18-19

The lesson of the fig tree is one of great value to those who seek truth. Its message is for our growth and development.

Jesus came to the fig tree looking for figs. He came looking for fruit consistent with its capability. So it is with us. The righteousness of God prevents Him from an expectation that is beyond the ability of the tree to produce. The God who measures the talents to every child of His according to their ability, is the same God who holds each of us accountable to Him for that gift. This truth brings our accountability into perspective. It is also meant to be instructive to us as parents and ministers of God that we walk in His wisdom regarding the lives of our own children and of every believer. We are not to expect Paul to minister as Peter, nor Jude to speak as Apollos. Such expectations are the result of religious doctrines and confines. The Life of Christ within regards the individual gifts and capacities of others and looks for the corresponding fruit. When the fruit of an individual is consistent with the call and the gifts of God given, there should be a collective rejoicing unto the Giver of all good things. When the fruit of a life is missing or lacking the vitality of its call and capability, there is great need for the ministration of exhortation and admonition. Ministers who fail in this vital aspect of ministry will find themselves accountable to the Chief Shepherd of our souls.

Stewards and Shepherds

We are stewards of the grace of God and as such we are to shepherd His flock with a desire to see Him glorified in each and every child of His. It requires a pure heart to walk in such things knowing full well our own accountability unto Him. The fear of the Lord is the ground upon which His true ministers walk and function. John the Apostle declared that he had no greater joy than to “see his children walking in truth”; the truth of what has been given to them. The one who has been given prophetic insight, that is the thing to which God will hold them accountable (1-see below). The one who teaches must teach the truth of God to the end that every life will grow in the holiness and wisdom of God. (2-see below). Those who exhort must do so with purity and simplicity (3-see below) As to the Apostolic, there is to be a faithfulness to call God’s people to the obedience of faith (4-see below). The list is as endless as the diversity of God’s creation.

(1) “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith” (Romans 12:6)
(2) “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Colossians 1:28)
(3) “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3)
(4) “By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name” (Romans 1:5)

In the book of Romans, Paul exhorts God’s people to receive all of these diversities as the gifts and the wisdom of God. Those who refuse these expressions deny God’s wisdom and subject themselves to His judgment. Division is the result of man’s wisdom and pride.

“Only by pride cometh contention…”
Proverbs 13:10

The Lesson of the fig tree is that He comes to each of us looking for corresponding fruit. His expectation is consistent with His grace given. In the Parable of the Talents, the man with one talent was judged severely for his faithlessness to the gift given (Matthew 15:30). In the Parable of the Vine, the branch which bore no fruit was “cut off” (John 15:2,6). The lesson of the Fig Tree was meant for our admonition and learning to that same end.

The response of Jesus to the two individuals who were faithful to their respective talents was the same! Different talents yet the same reward for their faithfulness to God’s measure.

“His lord said unto him, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord”
Matthew 25:21,23

The purpose of these diverse ministrations is:

“That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing,
being fruitful in every good work…”
Colossians 1:10

Brian Troxel