I Would Have

I Would Have

I Would Have

“I would have pulled Joseph out. Out of that pit. Out of that prison. Out of that pain. I would have cheated nations out of the one God would use to deliver them from famine.

I would have pulled David out. Out of Saul’s spear-throwing presence. Out of the caves he hid away in. Out of the pain of rejection. I would have cheated Israel out of a God-hearted king.

I would have pulled Esther out. Out of being snatched from her only family. Out of being placed in a position she never asked for. Out of the path of a vicious, power-hungry foe. I would have cheated a people out of the woman God would use to save their very lives.

I would have pulled Jesus off. Off of the cross. Off of the road that led to suffering and pain. Off of the path that would mean nakedness and beatings, nails and thorns. I would have cheated the entire world out of a Savior. Out of salvation. Out of an eternity filled with no more suffering and no more pain.

And oh friend. I want to pull you out. I want to change your path. I want to stop your pain. But right now I know I would be wrong. I would be out of line. I would be cheating you and cheating the world out of so much good.

Because God knows. He knows the good this pain will produce. He knows the beauty this hardship will grow. He’s watching over you and keeping you even in the midst of this. He’s promising you that you can trust Him. Even when it all feels like more than you can bear.

So instead of trying to pull you out, I’m lifting you up. I’m kneeling before the Father and I’m asking Him to give you strength. To give you hope. I’m asking Him to protect you and to move you when the time is right. I’m asking Him to help you stay prayerful and discerning. I’m asking Him how I can best love you, and be a help to you. I’m believing He’s going to use your life in powerful and beautiful ways. Ways that will leave your heart grateful and humbly thankful for this road you’ve been on.”
– Kimberley Henderson (Published on Being Created in His Image)

“For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place”
Psalm 66:10-12

For the true child of God there is no darkness where He does not intend to bring us to the greater light. There is no trial too great that the Great Shepherd will not watch over the soul of His Own. There is no sorrow His comfort cannot fill and no separation too great that He will not compensate with Himself. Let us face this coming year with the true knowledge of His sovereign Wisdom at work on our eternal benefit.

Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion”
Psalm 84:5-7

Brian Troxel

The Wonder of Wisdom

The Wonder of Wisdom

“Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord,
and find the knowledge of God.”
Proverbs 2:5

It is in our understanding the “fear of the Lord” where we discover the true “knowledge of God”. Wisdom is not the summation of learning nor is it a commodity gained by the efforts of men. Wisdom is the matrix by which truth is revealed. It is the wise in heart who grow in understanding.

When wisdom entereth into thine heart,
and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul
Discretion shall preserve thee,
understanding shall keep thee:”
Proverbs 2:10

The true knowledge of God comes to us as His wisdom enters our hearts. By it the knowledge of God is revered and held in awe.

“The first thing is wisdom—get wisdom,
And with all thy getting get understanding”
Proverbs 4:7

There are many in this day who hold a knowledge of His word apart from the fear of Him; without wisdom all knowledge is perverted. Only the wise in heart walk and keep themselves in the fear of the Lord. They hold themselves accountable to Him who weighs all the words, actions and the motives of our hearts.

“Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom;
and to depart from evil is understanding”
Job 28:28

The scribes and the Pharisees held a knowledge of God apart from the fear of God. The result was a religion based on the words of God without the wonder of God. There is no greater darkness, no greater delusion, than that of men who hold knowledge apart from wisdom.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven
against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men,
who hold the truth in unrighteousness…”
Romans 1:18

It is a fearful thing to hold the truth of God in an unrighteous manner! Let us not assume that by claiming a promise of God yet living in unrighteousness that He will acquit you in the Day of Judgment! Let us not presume that we can hold unforgiveness and yet be forgiven. Do not think that we can walk contrary to His Word and still grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“…to one who orders his way rightly
I will show the salvation of God!”
Psalm 50:23

To grow in the depths and power of our salvation requires us to walk in the wisdom of God. He shows His salvation to those who order their steps aright. He unveils Himself to those who align their hearts to His Word.

“Then laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil words, as newborn babes desire the pure soul-nourishing milk, that you may grow by it…”
2 Peter 2:1-2

The wise in heart put away from themselves all malice, hypocrisies, envies and evil words because they know, at least in some measure, the fear of the Lord. The recompense of walking in His righteous ways is the divine enablement to grow into Him in all things.

Christians may hold on to evil things while comforting themselves with the promises of God; this they do to their own sorrow. They may cover themselves with the fig leaves of religion even as they “hold the truth in unrighteousness” sealing to themselves a life void of the power of God. They may speak of grace, and can expound upon the mercies of God, yet never touch the true depths of either; only the fear of the Lord can reveal the power of these realities. It is by the enlightenment of His wisdom entering our hearts that we know the awe and the joy of obedience to Him who first loved us.

Without the fear of the Lord there can be no true wisdom or knowledge of Him. Only by the understanding that these bring are we able to depart from our evil ways.

“Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom;
and to depart from evil is understanding
Job 28:28

__________________

“But wisdom is justified of all her children”
Luke 7:35

The wisdom of God is vindicated by the conduct of those who are held by its wonder.

Brian Troxel

The spirit of Diotrephes

Have This Mind in You

Excerpt from Coming Book
“Have This Mind in You”

The spirit of Diotrephes

“I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the pre-eminence among them, receiveth us not…”
3 John 1:9

Self-promotion is the curse and the damnation of the Church of Jesus Christ. The wickedness of a self-seeking, self-promoting serpent nature is alive and very prominent in the Body of Christ today. Men pretend to be walking in the Spirit of God yet by their works reveal the factious ways of the world (the Greek word relates such works to the political factions of the world). The result is division and strife. We see these secular and isolated groups throughout the history of the Church inflicting great pain and sorrow on the people of God while bringing damnation and eternal judgments upon themselves.

“Because of this, if I come, I will recall his works which he does, ranting against us with evil words. And not being satisfied with these, neither does he receive the brothers; and those intending it he prevents, and thrusts them out from the assembly”
3 John 1:10

John goes on to say:

“Beloved, do not imitate the bad, but the good. The one doing good is of God; but the one doing bad has not seen God”
3 John 1:11

It is what people DO that reveals the spirit in which they walk, not their profession!

“They profess that they know God, but by their deeds they deny him, being abominable, disobedient, and unfit for any good work”
Titus 1:16

In order for this infection to stop God’s people need to grow in discernment. It is not what men say but what they do that reveals the spirit in which they walk. We see much of the spirit of Diotrephes across our land. The cry for people to join an organization or sect, follow a teacher or a movement, is heard far more prominently than the true Call of God to “Come unto Christ”. The waning influence of the Church is partially a result of the horror of calling people to something other than Jesus.

“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth,
will draw all men unto me”
John 12:32

The Gospel today is one of setting forth the ambitions of men to “grow” our churches, our fellowships, our teachers (or teachings) in competition with the other “churches” who also promote themselves in the same spirit of rivalry. Somehow, we convince ourselves (in spite of our carnality) that we are representing the Spirit of Christ and the work of His Salvation in the earth.

“Now I exhort you, brothers, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that you all say the same thing, and there be no divisions among you, but you be united in the same mind and in the same judgment”
1 Corinthians 1:10

This Word from Paul is aimed forcefully at those in the Church at Corinth because of their carnality:

“For concerning you, my brothers, it was shown to me by those of Chloe that there are strifes among you. But I say this, that each of you says, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ”. (Or in our day – Pentecostal, Baptist, Alliance plus thousands of other names or no names – the little sects that meet in closed cliques which mingle not with others nor reach out with the love of God to the world around them are all an affront to heart and mind of Christ.)
1 Corinthians 1:11-12

“Have this mind among yourselves,
which is yours in Christ Jesus”
Philippians 2:5 (ESV)

The very nature of this mind being formed in us through the ministration of His Word and our abiding in Him is the very essence of our unity. Any heart which “feels” not the call of God in Christ to this is one which is out of touch with Him. The holy bonds of His Spirit are the actual bonds of those who are His. There is a spiritual joining, a joint-communication of the life and power of the Christ which flows between those who live in Him. The Day of the  wheat and tares are being revealed in our day, they who cling to a joining which is carnal and based on something other than Christ Himself will become more evident as we see the bones of Ezekiel’s Vision comes to pass (Ezekiel 37)… The phrase “bone to His bone” is the verity of the New Wine Skin. Only those whose lives are becoming His can partake of this glorious thing. It is the power of His Life which joins us to one another and it is here where the depth of God’s wisdom will reveal the unfathomable truth of His Word… “members one of another”. This is a truth which the natural mind cannot comprehend, its power, its wonder is so Divine in its origin that only those who feel the draw and the call of God to this Holy place can be affected within the core of their being. Few there be in our Day who feel the pulse and the power of all God is preparing in this Day.

“That they all may be one; AS thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me”
John 17:21

May God re-establish the truth within us, that we are here for His Glory, we are here to fulfill HIS purposes for us and they who are growing in their relationship with Him know that we are here to please and honor Him who is worthy of all that we are. Having the “mind of Christ” formed within us necessitates a fervency to live out His nature with our brothers and sisters. A nature which speaks truth, lives truth and walks in the desire to please Him.

“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created
Revelation 4:11

As Christ came to Glorify the Father may we so allow our hearts to be transformed to “order our steps aright” to glorify His Glorious Name by how we live.

“…to one who orders his way rightly
I will show the salvation of God!”
Psalm 50:23

To the heart of those who direct their steps in the Way of Christ there is a unveiling of Himself concerning the wonders and glories of His Salvation.

These truths are hid from the wise, the proud, the seekers of pre-eminence and those who are satisfied with something less than the fulness of Christ Himself.

“In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight”
Matthew 10:21

It requires the “mind of Christ” to see Him unveiled in His Word and it takes the heart of Christ feel the bonds of His Spirit.

The spirit of Diotrephes is alive and present in the community where I live, and the place where you live. Its dark and sinister work is deeply felt within the Body of Christ world-wide by the schisms and discord sown by its proud and haughty ways. It covers itself with garments of falsehood and hypocrisy. It pretends to follow Christ and usually appeals to its adherents on the basis of being deeper, more spiritual and may even express itself concerned for others while yet by its works reveals the true nature of its spirit by its isolation and spiritual stagnation. The spirit of such refuse others from the Body of Christ liberty to minister to "its own", it receives only from those who hold to its ideology and secretly must acknowledge its leaders to gain access.  It is an malignant evil which will be judged severely in the Day of the Lord.  It is by their works the spirit of such are revealed. It is important that God's people read and meditate carefully upon this writing of Third John for in it is the dark spirit of such revealed. Honesty of heart and pureness of motive will be the safeguard of all those who desire to see the One Body of Christ.

Brian Troxel

PODCAST – The Mind of Christ

The Mind of Christ

Eldership and The Home

“If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” (Phil 2:1-5)

 

 

Have This Mind – Part One

Have This Mind

Part One

“Have this in your mind,
which was also in Christ Jesus,”
Philippians 2:5

“We would see Jesus”

Truth became incarnate in Jesus Christ. We are told many times in the scriptures that Truth is a person; He is the embodiment of the heart and character of God Himself. Jesus boldly declared to His disciples “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father”. Things buried within the Gospel of John are significant and to the human intellect often cryptic and obscure. Only by the gracious illumination of the Holy Spirit do we begin to see the veiled wonders of God. At this particular juncture Jesus chose the words “he that hath seen me” while in other places Jesus would declare “they who are of the truth, hear my voice”. On this occasion the aspect of “seeing” was the vital truth Jesus sought to convey to His disciples.

The life of Christ was lived before His disciples to an extent that others were not privy to. They beheld Him in His private moments, and they knew that He spent time alone with His Father. They witnessed the power of God flow into the lives of countless multitudes in healings, in deliverances and in the demonstration of God’s character such as in the case of the woman taken in adultery. Their exposure to Him in all facets of His life was a comprehensive revelation of the Father.

The response of Jesus to Philip’s seemingly innocent request (John 14:8) was/is heart rending and filled with a piercing truth for us as well; Truth is more than a teaching; more than something learned by the accumulation of knowledge. It is beyond the reach of human thought!

“He that hath seen me
hath seen the Father”
John 14:9

This powerful truth ought to revolutionize our seeking of Him. Truth cannot be contained or held within the precepts of men, for truth must be seen by the same Spirit which initiated His very conception in Mary. Truth is a person. To see Him correctly we must walk, live and abide in that same Spirit who alone can make Him known to us.

He that hath seen me
hath seen the Father.

In other words, Philip, when you beheld me feeding the five thousand by the power of compassion, when you heard me confronting the blindness of the Scribes and the Pharisees, when you saw the lepers healed, the gift of sight given to the blind, me washing the disciple’s feet, and the demonstration of power when I rebuked the storm, all of these things were the revelation of my Father. Truth is more than words; it is expressed in character and works. It is shown in our ability to minister Him to our children, it is revealed in the concourse of everyday life. It is not only the Sunday sermon; it is the Life Christ Himself shining through the medium of our humanity in our every day life. In His life as a man, within the frailty and the humanness of Christ, the glory of God was evident to such an extent that Jesus declared unequivocally: “he that hath seen me, hath seen the Father”.

“It is enough for the disciple that he be like his teacher,
and the servant like his lord”
Mathew 10:25

The Call of God is much more than becoming familiar with His Word, more than the formation of correct doctrines and promises believed. His call to His disciples is to bear His likeness, His character, and His heart in this world!

“But we all, with unveiled face seeing the glory of the Lord as in a mirror, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord, the Spirit”
2 Corinthians 3:18

It is in our “seeing” of Him that transformation occurs. While it is good to read the promises of God, the purpose of the Holy Spirit is to cause us to WALK in the promises of God. The contrast between these two is as vast as the gulf between life and death. May we allow the power of the Testimony of Jesus to impact us to the core of our beings with the enormity of His Call.

He that hath seen me
hath seen the Father

Where there is no beholding of Him there can be no change.

Let us consider the words of faithful Job:

“I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear:
but NOW mine eye seeth Thee.
Wherefore I abhor myself,
and repent in dust and ashes”
Job 42:5-6

Repentance is the fruit of seeing Him. Only in the seeing of Him are we freed from the limitations and confines of our fallen natures to experience the power of His Resurrection Life within.

May our hearts echo the desire of those who came to Philip:

“Sir, we would see Jesus”
John 12:21

Ω

Hearing Him brings us to obedience
Seeing Him brings us to His Likeness

Brian Troxel

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.