The Sanctified Heart

The Sanctified Heart

“And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness”
Genesis 9:22 – 23

The sanctified heart is disciplined in its seeing and its speaking. There is within its development a constraint to walk carefully and circumspectly in the ways of God. It is freed from the lust of seeking and spreading the salacious things of others. The issue presented here was not the sin of Noah, but the response of his son Ham. There is something deep and wretched within the core of the unsanctified heart. There is a secret delight found in the exposure of the condition and misery of another. We see the news media today profiting from the exposure and publicizing of the lives of others. We see the gossip mongers spewing forth their tantalizing tidbits to a world anxious to hear, read and watch the sordid “news”. Millions of dollars are spent in the pursuit of “knowing” the facts of peoples’ most intimate things.

“And he said, Cursed be Canaan (Ham); a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant”
Genesis 9:25-27

Nowhere is this more pronounced than within the confines of religious circles where it is cloaked in a garment of religious “concern” about another and passed on quickly like wild fire through a “grape vine” of eager ears. Not only is the retelling of it shameful but in doing so the facts are further distorted and magnified. I have heard far too much about others while simply sitting in a prayer meeting.

“I hear that there be divisions among you;
and I partly believe it”
1 Corinthians 11:18

People who walk and live in the fear of the Lord are not carried away with the rumors of the Christian community. How we need discipline to walk circumspectly in this hour, to have sanctified hearts that become a shelter for the confidence of our brothers and sisters; a place of refuge where we can stop the “firebrands” of the tongue and walk in the wisdom and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is interesting to me that Shem and Japheth walked backwards in response to the situation at hand. This is not a natural walk, but one compelled by love and compassion for their father! Upon further reading of this incident we discover that the posterity of Ham was cursed and Shem and Japheth were blessed. May the Lord bring forth in us a walk that is the result of His heart of love and compassion.

“A talebearer revealeth secrets:
but he that is of a faithful spirit
concealeth the matter”
Proverbs 11:13

Brian Troxel (updated from a previous post)

The Stewardship of Christ

The Stewardship of Christ

“For if I preach the Good News, I have nothing to boast about; for necessity is laid on me; but woe is to me, if I don’t preach the Good News. For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward. But if not of my own will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me. What then is my reward? That, when I preach the Good News, I may present the Good News of Christ without charge, so as not to abuse my authority in the Good News”
1 Corinthians 9:16-18

It is crucial in this hour for us to be a voice that is a clear and consistent expression of His heart, His purposes, and most importantly, His Person. How we as the clay of humanity express Him with the clarity that He deserves is a heart-wrenching experience; yet it is the privilege of all who bear His Name.

“Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak…”
Colossians 4:3-4

May we hold one another up in the burden of His Spirit that He would make “ministers a flame of fire” (Hebrews 1:7) to present Him to His Church first, and then to the world. The passion within to make Him known is the evidence of His call to be stewards of His grace to all who would hear.

Brian Troxel

The True Strength

Strength Out of Weakness!

“…for when I am weak, then am I strong”
2 Corinthians 12:10

“To trust in the strength of God in our weakness; to say, “I am weak; so let me be. God is strong”; to seek from Him who is our life, as the natural, simple cure of all that is amiss with us, power to do and be and live, even when we are weary–this is the victory that overcomes the world…

“I am weak,” says the true soul, “but not so weak that I would not be strong, not so sleepy that I would not see the sun rise, not so lame but that I would walk! Thanks be to Him who perfects strength in weakness and gives to His beloved of His very life even while they sleep!”
– George MacDonald

To God Alone Be the Glory!

Brian Troxel

Love One Another

Love One Another

I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace. For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ”
 Philippians 1:8

Love is the signature of God ruling within His own. The bonds between the people of God were evident within the language of the New covenant. There was a living mortar which bound the living stones to one another. One can sense the threads of each life woven together to impart to us the richness of the tapestry of the One Church. It is in stark contrast to our day in which we have increased in the knowledge of the things of God yet lack the essence of what that knowledge is to convey. The estimation of God concerning the progress and development of a heart is in the measure of Love it holds and expresses to others.

“And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing
1 Corinthians 13:2

Knowledge, gifts of the Spirit, prayer, religious works and even faith itself (necessary as they all are), if not mingled with the power and wonder of the pure love of God, leaves us empty and bereft of God Himself.

“He that loveth not
knoweth not God…”
1 John 4:8

Love is the highest expression of truth. It is the verity of truth within a life. Love is what fuels the faith of God unto the works of God.

“For in Christ Jesus,
neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any strength,
but faith working through love”
Galatians 5:6
(Greek: empowered through)

One cannot hold the love of God and be static, stagnant or isolated. Love, by its very nature, gives of itself and does not seek its own. It is the source and sum of His Joy. It does not regard the sectarian ways of men and is not preferential in its dispensation; it lives only to please the ONE from whom it flows.

“This is my commandment,
That ye love one another,
as I have loved you
John 15:12

Brian Troxel

PODCAST – Exhortation & Harmony

Exhortation & Harmony

A Study on the ministry of exhortation and the unity of God’s people.

The Full Reward

The Watchman

the full reward

“Look to yourselves, that ye lose not the things
which we have wrought, but that ye receive a full reward
2 John 1:8

As the soldier who stands at the night watch on the field of battle, we dare not slumber and grow careless. The subtleness of the night season is one fraught with many dangers. The enemy is subtle and cunning and walks about as a roaring lion seeking those whom he may devour. His eyes are attentive and his wrath is cruel; he looks for those who in the wee hours of the morning their eyes are growing dim and the deceptiveness of slumber is infecting. It is in the night watch where the danger lurks and the slumbering ones lose their crowns.

“The stouthearted are spoiled, they have slept their sleep:
and none of the men of might have found their hands”
Psalm 76:5

Look to yourselves! Shake the slumber and sleep from our eyes for the Day creeps upon us as a “thief in the night”. It is a day of great deception, a deception so deep and filled with such peril whereby we need the ministration of His Spirit unto one another to stand true with our eyes attentive, our hearts awake and that we be clothed in the full armour of God. The true in heart are in pursuit of the full reward. There is a fulness which is promised to all… yet, as revealed in the seven letters to the Church in the Book of Revelation; only the overcomers receive the prize.

“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all,
but one receiveth the prize?
So run, that ye may obtain
1 Corinthians 9:24

The Word of the Lord for this hour is one to which we need to give heed…

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God,
that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day,
and having done all, to stand
Ephesians 6:13

If there be no doing
there will be no standing!

It is the deceptive religious faith which holds the things of God in the slumber of a faithless inactivity where the enemy will come and the true state of an individual’s heart will be revealed.

“Look to yourselves, that ye lose not the things
which we have wrought, but that ye receive a full reward”
2 John 1:8

Ω

“Looking diligently
lest any man fail of the grace of God”

Hebrews 12:15

Brian Troxel

The Statement

The Statement

“We know that we have passed from death unto life,
because we love the brethren”
1 John 3:14

The evidence of Christ’s resurrection life in our hearts is love. Love is more than an emotion, more than a sentiment, it is the very essence of God. The vastness of the love of God is an ocean one can never pass over. It is a love that transcends knowledge. Paul in his prayer for The Church at Ephesus prayed that they would be strengthened by grace in order

“…to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge,
that you may be filled with all the fullness of God”
Ephesians 3:19

The way to be filled with God is to grow into the Love of Christ. Love is the power and the faculty by which He unveils Himself to the human heart. Love sees humanity clearly. When Christ hung on the cross amidst the jeers and the mocking of the crowd He saw beyond the animosity of the moment into the deep pain of their condition.

“Father, forgive them;
for they know not what they do”
Luke 23:24

That same love gives us the capacity to see past the injuries of relationships with His people; it empowers us to see past the rejections and disputes of our brothers and sisters and into the causes of them. In Love’s sway we first begin to all deal with the unholy and carnal roots within our own hearts. Love is never blind. Christ on the cross was the eternal proof of the depth and horror of our sin. God’s love sees all and responds. So it is in our lives: love is to become the springboard for our responses to the situations around us. The Love of God being formed in us is the power to live in Him; from this perspective we find the overwhelming need to abide in Him.

To actually love “in deed and in truth” is the revelation of the extent of Christ’s life in us.

“My little children, let us not love in word,
or in tongue, but in deed and in truth”
1 John 3:18

It is incumbent upon us to weigh our life in the light of His truth.

“Lord, make me to know mine end,
and the measure of my days, what it is;
that I may know how frail I am”
Psalm 39:4

Jesus took on our frailty that we might live in the power of God; our poverty becomes the portal for His strength.

Brian Troxel

True Life

True Life

The Life of Becoming

“Those things, which ye have both learned,
and received, and heard, and seen in me, DO:
and the God of peace shall be with you”
Philippians 4:9

Knowledge is good. Understanding the work of Christ on the cross is the foundational truth whereby we have the assurance of our standing in Him. Upon this cornerstone the Father was able to send unto us the power and wonder of the Holy Spirit that we might receive Christ within and live lives that actually reveal Him. It is through the glorification of Jesus, His death, and His resurrection, that the Holy Spirit has been sent into our hearts.

“He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”
John 7:38-39

The plan and the purpose of the Holy Spirit being given is to produce His likeness in us. To whatever degree truth is actual on an individual level will determine the depth of our journey into the Unity of the Spirit*. We have far too much apathy in the knowledge of what Christ did FOR US* when in reality the pressing issue (for each of us) is what has He accomplished IN and THROUGH US. They who have the true knowledge of what He did for us reveal its wonder by our abandonment to His Will (Romans 12:1). Jesus died for the sins of the whole world but how few are radically affected by His great sacrifice. Faith is the defining agency between a mere knowing of a thing and the incomprehensible changing power of His resurrection life.

“Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth”
1 Corinthians 8:1

The giving forth of the Spirit of Christ is to culminate in a life (true life) with an authentic expression of He who is The Life. It is a life of doing because it proceeds from a life of being. Paul in the spirit of true humility could declare this incredible statement:

“Those things, which ye have both learned,
and received, and heard, and seen in me, DO:
and the God of peace shall be with you”
Philippians 4:9

For those with ears to hear and eyes to see, the purpose of God in Christ is the very power to renovate our pride of knowing into the humility and brokenness over our true spiritual condition. The pride of man is shattered by the truth of Christ! It is not what we know that has value in the economy of God; it is what we become by the work of His Spirit within us. Faith is the conduit through which this transformation is conducted.

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly
above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that worketh in us…”
Ephesians 3:20

The measure of Christ’s work within us is proportional to our submission to Him. Light is simply the flow of power through a flimsy element. The element has no ability to produce light in itself. It matters little if the element can give a great discourse on the composition of power, how it is made and where it comes from; if there is no actual flow there will be no light. So it is with us. The knowledge of God must culminate in the flow of His power through us in order for His purposes to be accomplished. Paul was not content in what he knew. He did not glory in the revelations given; his heart was inflamed with the necessity of “apprehending” that full power of Christ within.

“Not that I have already obtained,
or am already made perfect; but I press on,
that I may take hold of that for which also
I was taken hold of by Christ Jesus”
Philippians 3:12

May God, by His Spirit, impact our lives afresh with the depth and the heights to which He has called us. The glory of this call cannot but produce within us a depth of humility which frees us from the pride of knowledge and bring us into a living hope that sustains us in the seeing of our great need for Him.

There is but one unmistakable proof of this living hope being active and alive within us:

“…but we know that, when He shall appear,
we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as he is.
And every man that hath this hope in Him
purifieth himself, even as He is pure
1 John 3:2-3

The Hope of Christ within will always produce a growing purity of heart. The great and (H)impossible call and purpose of God remains:

“As He is,
so are we in this world”
1 John 4:17

____________________

*Note: The Unity of the Spirit is the fruit of our being in Him. My submission to Him and His Spirit reigning in you results in us being unified in Him. Fellowship in Him will always be proportional to the depth in which we walk in His Light. Where there is no true fellowship with another, Light is the issue. The validity of our walk is revealed in the wonder and joy of our sharing in Him one with another.

“But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light,
we have fellowship one with another
1 John 1:7

*Note: Eternity will not be long enough to explore and comprehend the mystery of His sacrifice and the Love which motivated the grand and unfathomable gift of Himself. The measure of His grace is purposed to produce burning, living and radical lives which have been affected by the wonder of His unspeakable gift. 

“Who gave himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee”
Titus 2:14-15

Brian Troxel

 

Alone With God

Alone with God

“And Jacob was left alone”
Genesis 32:24

Alone with God. God’s greatest work within an individual is often done in secret, away from the sight of others. God takes aside those upon whom His call rests, to achieve His end within their hearts. Wrestlings, breakings and spiritual insights are common to those who are “the called according to His purpose”. It is the broken vessel which most easily pours forth the fragrance and living waters of Christ. A vessel broken in the hands of God can never be broken by the circumstances of life. Broken ones are strong in God; they know that their weakness is the place of God’s power. They have learned of the One broken for them, from Whom springs joy and delight. In the secret places of God, they have discovered their call, their purpose and their destiny. Many circumvent this sanctified place of the preparation and dealings of God. They choose instead to fill their time with activities, entertainment, shallow relationships and even religious exercises in order to avoid the mystery of this alone time with God. The narrative of Lot (Hebrew meaning: veiled one) is an accurate portrayal of many today. Though righteous (2 Peter 2:7-9), he clung to the vestiges of the world while simultaneously being vexed by it. It is the conundrum of His own: loving God but also hanging on to the ways and wisdom of this world. Loved of God but lacking the intimacy and deep knowledge of Him reserved for those who come to that secret place with God.

The Faith of Lot

“And when the dawn rose, then the angels urged Lot, saying, Rise up, take your wife and your two daughters who are found, lest you be cut off in the depravity of the city. And he lingered. And the men lay hold of his hand and his wife’s hand, and on the hand of his two daughters, Jehovah having mercy on him. And they caused him to go out, and they put him down outside the city. And it happened as they led them outside, he said, Escape for your life! Do not look behind you, and do not stay in all the plain. Escape to the mountain, lest you be swept away. And Lot said to them, Please, no, Lord! Behold, now, Your servant has found grace in Your sight, and You have magnified Your mercy which You have done to me in saving my life. And I am not able to escape to the mountain lest some evil overtake me and I die. Please, now, this city is near, to flee there, and it is a little one. Please let me escape there! Is it not a little thing, that my soul may live?”
Genesis 19:17-20

God’s call was to the mountain but, because of his undeveloped faith, Lot was fearful. He refused and asked God to change His call (on the basis of mercy) and deliver him to a small city! How sad is such a request; how dismal a faith that would forebear the call to be alone with God and choose a smaller inheritance in this world and the one to come. Interestingly, this is the first use of the world “mercy” in scripture. Calling upon God, on the basis of mercy, to deviate from God’s original purpose is a compromise that leaves one, though still righteous, stunted in faith and growth.

“And Jacob was left alone”
Genesis 32:24

It was when he was all alone that Jacob, the conniver, schemer and manipulator, met HIS GOD! It is here that the natural man is crippled, and the inward man begins to rise by God’s grace. It is here Jacob receives the New Name. It is here that the God of Abraham and Isaac now becomes the God of Jacob! Such glory awaits those who embrace the secret of being alone with God. In this place we discover who we truly are and are forced to face the flaws and horror of our true condition. In his wrestling with God, Jacob must respond to this penetrating question:

“What is thy name?”
Genesis 32:27

In other words, what is your nature and motivation?

“And he said, Jacob*
Genesis 32:27

God well knew his name. This rhetorical question was for Jacob to admit and confess the truth of himself. This is an essential requirement for those whom God uses. Jesus told the woman at the well to go get her husband. At that moment she had the choice to be authentic, honest and open with God or remain unchanged and miserable. Her choice determined whether she would receive the revelation of the One who spoke with her or remain a lost and wandering soul. So it is with us. Does our encounter with God bring us to the brink of the truth of ourselves, or do we hide behind a confession of faith, a doctrine or a religious cover? Do we avoid the call to come to Him in truth and instead find a “little one” in which to hide from the penetrating eyes of God?

Alone with God

Do we dare draw near to Him? Do we dare venture alone to tread this holy ground of piercing and revelation? Do we have the stamina of heart to cast aside the offerings of a religion more concerned with covering our sin than to find in Christ the power to be free from our sin. The one leaves us bereft of any sense of spiritual identity; the other brings us to the place of “becoming” like Him in truth!

Alone with God has ever been the experience of those used mightily of God regardless of covenant (New or Old Testament).

We read of John the Baptist:

“And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel
Luke 1:80

And Paul:

“…immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus”
Galatians 1:16-17

We read of John on the Isle of Patmos, Daniel, Moses, and many others who by faith drew near to the One who can take “worms” and make them “sharp threshing instruments having teeth” Isaiah 41:14-15

“Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the Lord, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff”
Isaiah 41:14-15

Do not be fearful or tempted to compromise your walk with God in order to fit in with the consensus of many; either the cloistered ones who walk in their own counsel, nor with the multitude who frequent the broad paths. Let the lonely times, when friends, brothers and sisters reject you, be a blessing. Only as we are alone with Him can He truly purge us from the uncleanness of our own ways. Never be afraid to be Alone with God.

Therefore, I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength. Yet heard I the voice of his words…”
Daniel 10:8-9

*Note: Jacob - “Adjective עקב ('aqeb) means overreacher; adjective עקב ('aqob), insidious or deceitful; adjective עקב ('aqob), tricky or treacherous (of terrain). Noun עקבה ('aqeba) means deceitfulness and noun עקב ('eqeb), consequence..” Abiram Publications

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