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

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

Grace for Others

Grace for Others

For I know with an absolute knowledge and stand persuaded in the Lord Jesus that not even one thing is unhallowed in itself except it be to the one who reasons it out to be unhallowed. To that one it is unhallowed. For, if because of food your brother is made to grieve, no longer are you conducting yourself according to love. Stop ruining by your food that one on behalf of whom Christ died. Therefore, stop allowing your good to be spoken of in a reproachful and evil manner; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the sphere of the Holy Spirit; for the one who in this serves the Christ is well pleasing to God, and because having met the specifications is approved by men”
Romans 14:10-13 (Wuest Translation)

Paul prefaced this plea to the Body of Christ with:

Who are you who judge another’s servant? To his own lord he stands or falls. Yes, he will be made to stand, for God has power to make him stand. One man esteems one day as more important. Another esteems every day alike. Let each man be fully assured in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks. He who doesn’t eat, to the Lord he doesn’t eat, and gives God thanks. For none of us lives to himself, and none dies to himself
Romans 14:5-6

(May the very Spirit of Christ be the arbitrator of our hearts).

My previous post (Thought for Today -Christmas) was in response to attending a school Christmas concert of one of my grandchildren. I sat there as each individual class got up to sing some silly song about Santa, reindeer or snow. I found it heart-breaking that there is a generation arising who knows and hears little of the precious Name of Jesus. After 6 or 7 classes, one got up and sang a beautiful song about my Saviour, His birth and resurrection; I found myself thanking God that there was one teacher who was making an effort to make known His Name. I discovered afterwards that she had written the song herself. To me she was a great light shining in the darkness and it made me want to be the same. It encouraged me that there was one who had a heart to make known His Name and do it in such a way that her whole class was being taught the message of His birth, death and resurrection. The ministration of the Gospel went forth in a very simple and yet profound way. She was not afraid of this contentious day; she used it for the Glory of God.

My own experience growing up was in a godless family with a violent father; at one point I was living on the streets at the age of 13. However, I remember back in one of my grade school days, while participating in a Christmas concert, I was singing a certain carol and there was such a joy that welled up in my heart! To this day I know it was God’s grace touching a very lost and lonely life.

My God is above all things; what Satan means for evil, God uses for good. While to some this day is “unhallowed”, to others it is “hallowed”; to me it is neither. I hope, just as this teacher did, only to make HIS NAME known in a world that is perishing for the lack of His Light.

Paul rejoiced whenever and wherever the name of Jesus Christ was made known.

“Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice”
Philippians 1:15-18

Whether one esteems a day or not, let the LOVE of Christ show through as we are entreated in the Word of God. To me every day is the same; but regarding those who honour the day as unto the Lord and those who do not honour the day, I will not speak evil of them. This is not the spirit of compromise; it is the grace of God lending respect and honour to the faith of God in His people.

Everyone one of us will surely stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ for our words, our thoughts and our actions.

I was totally taken by surprise over the reactions and the flood of comments concerning such a trivial subject. Would to God we would be as zealous over our real issues of life! Issues such as the nature of our thought lives, our lack of charity, and our real need to overcome every vestige of sin and rebellion in our hearts; to the END that we would be immersed in the Love of God.

Be that as it may, to those who have been offended, I heartily apologize as it is not my purpose to stir up controversy or strife.

“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all”
Ephesians 4:1-6

“Glory in the highest places to God,
and upon earth peace among men of good will
Luke 2:14
(Wuest and the literal Greek rendering)

Σ

“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ”
(2 Corinthians 4:6)

May HE Shine through each of you in the coming year!

Blessings
Brian Troxel

The Two Aspects of Hearing God

The Two Aspects of Hearing

How Do We Hear?

In our day the Christian landscape is rife with erroneous teachings and heresies. Most of these are obvious to any child of God with even a limited concept of the foundational truths of Christ. However, Jesus addressed two aspects of hearing with His disciples; each were critical in the measuring of His truth to them. These are clearly set forth for us: take heed WHAT we hear and take heed HOW we hear. The first warning concerns the “hearing” of those who follow Him.

“Take heed WHAT you hear. With whatever measure you measure, it will be measured to you, and more will be given to you who hear
Mark 4:24

Here Jesus is addressing the content of WHAT people hear. There is a divine measuring of truth proportional to what we are willing to hear. If we allocate God’s truth to be for another time and not for us today, we will be unable to hear anything further. The “measure” that we allow will determine what is measured to us. We must “take heed” to these critical warnings. Only then will the Body of Christ be a light and a wonder to the world around us!

God has always been concerned with HOW His people hear His Word. Many may read its content. Many may discuss its implications and even teach its meaning, but few hear with the ears of faith.

It is HOW one hears that determines how one walks.

Hearing is the foundation of an individual’s life in God. This intrinsic and essential faculty determines the whole concourse of our life. Where there is no hearing by the ear of faith there can be no growth in our relationship with Him. The crisis of every heart is reduced in God to this ONE THING. It is here that the eternal destinies of all people are concluded.

“Take heed therefore HOW ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have”
Luke 8:18

There is a deception which is of a far higher order than merely taking heed to WHAT we hear; it is in the realm of “HOW” we hear. Throughout the New Testament we are struck with the clear distinction God makes between those who hear and those who do not.

The Parable of the Builders

“Therefore, whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock…”
Matthew 7:24

Jesus continued in this Parable to contrast the one who heard correctly from the foolish one who also heard correctly WHAT Jesus was saying but failed in HOW he heard.

“And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand”
Matthew 7:26

The strength of the House which each man built was not determined by WHAT they heard but in what they DID with what they heard. In other words: in HOW they heard! One man heard the Words of Jesus as the Word of the Lord who is to be obeyed; the other heard the Words of Jesus as a Teacher and viewed God’s Word as something to know rather than something to be obeyed! The “fruit” of these two contrasting lives is clearly set forth in the power of Christ’s Word to His disciples.

Jesus, in a few verses preceding this Parable, set forth what He was clearly meaning.

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven”
Matthew 7:21

The eternal question to each of us is, “HOW are we hearing?” Do we hear Jesus as LORD, or do we hear Him as our Teacher? One to be obeyed, or one who came to merely enlighten us with divine teachings? The manner of our walk reveals the evidence of HOW we hear!

“Take heed therefore HOW ye hear: for whosoever hath,
to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not,
from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have”
Luke 8:18

Σ

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only,
deceiving your own selves”
James 1:22

Brian Troxel

The Effects of The Sevenfold Spirit of God

PodcastThe Effects of The Sevenfold Spirit of God

…IN AND THROUGH THE LIFE AND MINISTRY OF THE DISCIPLE OF CHRIST

A humble sharing of just some of the ways having the sevenfold Spirit of God, dwelling within, has an effect on us and upon others.


Please listen to each of the sevenfold ministrations of the One Holy Spirit as revealed in Isaiah 11:2-3 in our PODCASTS (Audio Messages) Section.

Words from THE Church in Iran

Words from THE Church in Iran

“Disciples forsake the world and cling to Jesus ’till he comes. Converts don’t,” the leader said. “Disciples aren’t engaged in a culture war. Converts are. Disciples cherish, obey, and share the word of God. Converts don’t. Disciples choose Jesus over anything and everything else. Converts don’t. Converts run when the fire comes. Disciples don’t.”

This is the cry of His people coming out of Iran. God is moving, empowering and raising up a living testimony in Iran and to the whole world! Please go to this link: The Church in Iran

Pray for our brothers and sisters!

The Sevenfold Spirit of God – Knowledge

PodcastThe Sevenfold Spirit of God – Knowledge

…the spirit of knowledge available to all in christ

A Simple Study of God’s Transcendent Spirit of Knowledge


Please listen to each of the sevenfold ministrations of the One Holy Spirit as revealed in Isaiah 11:2-3 in our PODCASTS (Audio Messages) Section.

Effectual Prayers – Part Six – Asking Largely

Effectual Prayers

Part Six

Jeroboam and Elisha

“…ye have not, because ye ask not”
James 4:2

Our faith determines the nature of our requests. Those who believe little ask for little. Faith is the formative factor in our asking and our receiving. The doors of His great storehouse are opened unto us upon the hinges of Faith.

Jeroboam went to Elisha the Prophet who was on his deathbed whereupon Elisha gave the King an arrow and told him it was the arrow of the Lord’s deliverance for Israel from the Syrians. He then instructed the King to shoot the arrow into the air and then strike the ground with the remaining arrows. The King did so and struck the ground three times; the Prophet responded:

“And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice.”
2 Kings 13:19

The King’s response revealed a faith which was lacking. Jeroboam’s desire for victory was small and correspondingly so was Israel’s victory over the Syrians. Our asking will always be proportional to the faith we hold in our hearts. We may pretend to ask largely but within the recesses of our heart we know when we are in the faith or when we are asking in the presumption of self.

“For all the promises of God in him are yea,
and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us”
2 Corinthians 1:20

It requires the faith of Christ to access the Amen of Christ to all the promises of God. (Galatians 2:20)

“The real tragedy of the poor
is the poverty of their aspirations”
Adam Smith

Effectual Prayers Part One – Incense
Effectual Prayers Part Two – Love
Effectual Prayers Part Three – Righteousness
Effectual Prayers Part Four – Humility and Repentance
Effectual Prayers Part Five – Wisdom
Effectual Prayers Part Six – Asking Largely
Effectual Prayers – Part Seven – Elisha and Jericho
Effectual Prayers – Part Eight – Ruth and Boaz
Effectual Prayers – Part Nine – Discipleship
Effectual Prayers – Part Ten – Knowing Jesus
Effectual Prayers – Part Eleven – The Fragrance of Prayer

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – God’s Time Piece

Thought for Today

Time Piece

God’s Time Piece

“And the evening and the morning were the third day.”
Genesis 1:13

Time in God is marked by things accomplished. The third day was completed upon God finishing the work He had purposed for that given day. His life and works are recorded as things accomplished not as things promised. This living truth is the heartbeat and focus of those who are in Him.

“Not that I have already obtained all this,
or have already been perfected,
but I press on to take hold of that
for which Christ Jesus took hold of me”
Philippians 3:12

In reading the third chapter of Philippians it takes very little effort to see the centrality of Paul’s life and heart. It was one of pursuit and purpose. His life was about the apprehension of the purpose of God. His passion was wrapped up in accomplishing the thing that God had purposed for him and not just the contentment of a promise.

“But I have a baptism to be baptized with;
and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!”
Luke 12:50

This is the most poignant description of the passion and heart of Jesus. His whole being was bent to the accomplishment of the Will of His Father. He did not rest in the promises concerning Him but was motivated to the fulfillment of them; so it should be with us.

“Let us therefore fear, lest,
a promise being left us of entering into his rest,

any of you should seem to come short of it”
Hebrews 4:1

We are not to rest in doctrines, teachings and promises but we are to press toward the accomplishing of His will in the earth.

“I press toward the mark for the prize
of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”
Philippians 3:14

Ω

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course…”
2 Timothy 4:7

 

Brian Troxel

The Mystery of The Faith – Part One

The Mystery of the Faith

Part One

“Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience”
1 Timothy 3:9

Paul is writing to “his own son in the faith” in the Spirit of God’s love and wisdom. He is instructing Timothy about THE faith. Many in our land speak of “a” faith which is nebulous, indistinct and relatively impotent. “The” faith is powerful and filled with the living vitality of God to bring men and women into a definite expressions. THE faith defines those who hold it and clarifies and individualizes their expression. An indistinct expression of Christ within a life will always be the result of “a” faith which produces nothing powerful or particular to the individual. The typical faith of our day renders an impotent expression; living and serving God from the resources of self rather than from the matchless resources which are ours through THE Faith of Christ.

Contentment with a nominal expression of the living Christ is the bane of religion. It is the product of a faith held within the intellect but never touching the heart strings of the individual. It has no fire, no purpose and no sense of the heartbeat of the living God. It is a faith in word only, void of the works of faith through which men and women are accosted by the certainty and substance of God. It ventures nothing, costs nothing and in God’s eyes is worth nothing. It is THE faith that pressed Peter out of the boat; it is THE faith that produced expressions of power within the lives of holy men and women of God in Hebrews 11. Without THE faith it is impossible to please God; with it, impossible to remain inactive and unaffected by its wonder. Within the scope of THE faith it is impossible to live an uneventful and ineffectual life. The Faith OF Christ must produce the workings of Christ within the hearts of His own. Contentment apart from godliness is the malady of Christian religion. The purpose of THE faith is to reveal the life and heart of its author.

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith”
Hebrews 12:2

Paul pleaded with the people of God at Corinth to examine whether they were IN THE FAITH!

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be IN THE faith;
prove your own selves…”
2 Corinthians 13:5

Ω

 “You hear the word, and believe it in theory,
while you deny it in practice.
I say to you, that “you deceive yourselves”
– Charles Finney

Brian Troxel