Path to Ministry – Servanthood

The Path to Ministry

Servanthood

“I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing:
therefore, choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live”
Deuteronomy 30:19

The way of God is ever before us. His call, His purposes and His desire are presented unto us throughout the scriptures. Our life in Him is bound up in the choices we make. By our choices, this life in Him is either discovered or lost.

“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”
Romans 6:16

Mankind was created for obedience; it is the pathway to freedom. The above scripture reveals that one’s choice (yielding) determines whose servant they will be.

Whom or what we serve is the revelation of whose servant
we truly are regardless of what we profess!

The wisdom of God is clear and simple. All our professions, declarations and outward shows of religious activity are weighed in the balances of true obedience. Obedience is the fulcrum by which our true relationship with God is revealed. If I yield myself to sin, I am the servant of sin, regardless of my profession. Truth is truth and it is in “becoming” alive unto Him whereby we are made free from the power of sin over our lives. The true wonder of our “becoming” servants of God is the result of His victory being wrought out in the reality of our daily lives.

Servanthood to God is the highest call. A true servant of God serves Him, chooses Him and obeys Him from their heart. The individual who truly serves and obeys God, lives and walks in the Victory of Christ Himself. Without this victory we do not come to know the power and the glory of being a “servant of God”.

“Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ,
called to be an apostle…”
Romans 1:1

The depth and power of Paul’s apostolic expression was in corresponding measure to His servanthood to Christ. Whenever Paul defined his relationship to Christ, he always expressed it as servanthood not as apostleship. His apostolic expression was the result of his servanthood – not the other way around.

“I thank Him who enabled me, Christ Jesus our Lord,
because He counted me faithful, appointing me to service”
1 Timothy 1:12

Paul’s appointment to service was a result of his faithfulness to God. We must discover that the way into the true ministry to which God has called us will only be known by our faithfulness in serving and obeying Him.

We live in a day in which many of God’s people do not know their call or purpose in God. This dilemma can only be solved through the medium of obedience. Without obedience to God alone the riddle of the call of God to each of His own will remain unsolved and unfulfilled. It is in the yielding of ourselves unto obedience that we become servants of righteousness. If we yield ourselves unto sin, we become servants of sin. Jesus declared emphatically:

“No man can serve two masters…”
Matthew 6:24

Ministry today is often presented as serving people, a church, or an organization. In reality the true ministry of God serves Him, speaks His words and works His works.

“For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God?
Or am I striving to please men?
For if I were still pleasing men,
I wouldn’t be a servant of Christ
Galatians 1:10

An individual who seeks the esteem or favor of others cannot be at the same time a servant of God! Compromise is the womb of spiritual death. True humility frees an individual from the opinions of others and is the fragrance of a life in submission to God alone. There is much compromise within “Christendom” today. There is an impotency within the lives of those who seek the approval of men rather than God. Truth has been rendered powerless for it is often presented through the lives of those who do not know the workings of the Cross of Christ. It is the Cross which frees us from ourselves and bring us into singular devotion unto Christ.

“Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man,
but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father…)”
Galatians 1:1

Any ministry which validates itself by something other than doing and being a servant of Christ, will never know the power of a true servant of God.

Jesus prefaced His word, “No man can serve two masters”, with the need for a singular heart.

“The light of the body is the eye:
if therefore thine eye be single,
thy whole body shall be full of light”
Matthew 6:22

The Light and Life of Christ fills the heart which is single in its purpose to serve God alone.

Paul summed up his life in very simple terms:

“separated unto the Gospel of God”
Romans 1:1

Σ

“Set your affection on things above,
not on things on the earth”
Colossians 3:2

Brian Troxel

The Path to Ministry – Purity of Service

The Path to True Ministry

Part Five

Purity of Service

“I thank Him who enabled me, Christ Jesus our Lord,
because He counted me faithful, appointing me to service”
1 Timothy 1:12

In the life of a true disciple everything is to be unto Him. It is our faithfulness to this One alone, that frees us from selfish pursuits in the name of God. Religion is simply taking the Name of the Lord our God in vain; we seek to promote ourselves under the pretense of serving God.

“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain*
Exodus 20:7

*NOTE: shaw' (H7723), "deceit; deception; malice; falsity; vanity; emptiness." The 53 occurrences of shaw' are primarily in poetry. The basic meaning of this word is "deceit" or "deception," "malice," and "falsehood." This meaning emerges when shaw' is used in a legal context: "Put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness" (Exo 23:1). Used in cultic contexts, the word bears these same overtones but may be rendered variously. For example, in Psa 31:6 the word may be rendered "vain" (KJV, "lying"), in the sense of "deceitful" (cf. Eze 12:24). Eliphaz described the ungodly as those who trust in "emptiness" or "deception," though they gain nothing but emptiness as a reward for that trust (Job 15:31). Vines Dictionary of Old Testament Words.

“A masculine noun meaning emptiness, vanity, evil, ruin, uselessness, deception, worthless, without result, fraud, deceit. The primary meaning of the word is deceit, lie, or falsehood. God used the word to indicate that He punished Judah in vain. The word is used by the psalmist to state that all activities such as laboring, guarding, rising early, staying up late, and toiling for food were useless without God's assistance (Psa 127:1-2) …”
The Complete Word Study Old Testament (Word Study Series) Hardcover – June 1, 1994 by Baker D.R.E., Dr. Warren Patrick (Author), Dr. Spiros Zodhiates (Editor)

The unsaved cannot take His Name in falsehood or deception; they cannot take a name which has not been given to them! This commandment was written to His people. Sadly, throughout history, we read of many who have taken His glorious name unto themselves for their own gain and purpose. False teachings, prophesies, wrong and immoral deeds, and the perversion of His Word to draw people unto themselves, were and are committed in the name of God. Those guilty of such things will not escape His judgements or wrath.

“Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them”
Acts 20:30

The only hope of freedom from the contagion of this horror is by the workings of the Cross in our lives. It is only by the “spirit of burning” and the crucifying of that “carnal man” that we will know purity of heart in our service unto Him. There is no valid expression of the risen Christ who has not known of His judgments, His fire and His Mercy. Authenticity is the fruit of a life who has walked with Him in truth.

“Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel”
1 Corinthians 9:9

(Continued)

Brian Troxel

The Path to True Ministry – Relationship and Prayer

The Path to True Ministry

Part Four

Relationship and prayer

I thank Him who enabled me, Christ Jesus our Lord,
because He counted me faithful, appointing me to service”
1 Timothy 1:12

In the midst of much speaking, praying and Christian activity we see little in terms of the release and the power of Christ. While much of these endeavours are born out of a desire to make Christ known, the issue is not desire but the source of the power. Let these words penetrate our hearts afresh…

“As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself…neither can you, unless you remain in me”.
John 15:7

Relationship and Prayer

The heart and power of the New Covenant is founded on one fundamental truth: relationship. It is not in our abilities, money, strength of personality or associations with others whereby this power is known.

Endless prayer meetings and strategies in themselves will not make this power to be released. It is in our being in Him alone wherein we will find the enablement to make Him known. Too often the religious have exalted prayer over obedience and relationship. It can become the panacea for all of our ills when in reality it is only effective in proportion to our relationship with Him.

“If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it will be done for you”
John 15:7

Religion always excludes the relationship aspect of our place in Christ. In Israel’s darkest days the priests were still praying, offering sacrifices and observing all of the rituals, while they neglected to walk in obedience from their hearts. We want answered prayers; God looks for obedience and relationship. We want His benefits apart from His person, His life apart from the Cross, His blessings apart from obedience; it will never be.

We hear much today concerning prayer and rightfully so; yet how little attention we pay to God’s Word concerning this. We often hear a partial quotation of the scripture from 2 Chronicles 7:14; “If my people will pray then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land”. When in reality the full quote is as follows…

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; THEN will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land”
2 Chronicles 7:14

Religion can have the appearance of sincerity and earnest appeal unto God, but it often ignores the need to take heed to our ways so that we may be properly related to Him from our hearts.

The remedy to the crisis of this hour is simple and available to all who desire Him out of a pure heart.

“If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it will be done for you
John 15:7

Σ

“I thank Him who enabled me, Christ Jesus our Lord,
because He counted me faithful, appointing me to service”
1 Timothy 1:12

(Continued)

Brian Troxel

The Path to True Ministry – Part Three

The Path to True Ministry

Part Three

ENABLEMENT

I thank Him who enabled me, Christ Jesus our Lord,
because He counted me faithful, appointing me to service”
1 Timothy 1:12

The Cross is the Path to the Empowerment of Christ

The days of apostasy in God’s house are always preceded by a people walking and ministering His truth through the power of self. Whenever man is exalted the fire of God recedes and the resulting horror is a people left to themselves. God’s enablement falls upon those upon those who remain faithful to Him. His Life, His Power and His sharp two-edged sword proceeds from those who have known (in some measure) the devastating work of the Cross to the natural abilities and resources of their own selves. The cross is reserved for those who follow Him within the context of everyday life.

“For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are dying,
but to us who are being saved it is the power of God”
1 Corinthians 1:18

Where there is no obedience there can be no Cross.
Where there is no working of the cross
there will be no true power of the Christ of the Cross

The Cross of Christ is NOT the testings and the trials of everyday life for the world knows of these same things. The Cross of Christ is that which comes to those who DO His Will. It is in the doing of His Will where His Own know and identify with Him and the resulting opposition and hatred which comes their way. It is in speaking, standing and walking out of His Will where the graces of Him are formed and the natural tendencies of self are crucified. How foolish is the notion that we can experience the workings of the Cross of Christ apart from obedience unto Christ? Paul was enabled because his life was one of faithful obedience and submission unto the will of God.

The “enablement” of the favour and ministration of Christ Himself is the only source of power in His Church. The energies of self will always leave an individual powerless, fruitless and impotent in the ministrations of Christ. Fruit is the revelation of the power of our relationship with Him…

“Every branch in me that doesn’t bear fruit, He takes away.
Every branch that bears fruit, He prunes, that it may bear more fruit

John 15:2

Fruit is the undeniable result of a branch which abides and lives out of the resources of the living vine;

Remain in me, and I in you. As the branch can’t bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you, unless you remain in me
John 15:4

(Continued)

Brian Troxel

The Path to Ministry – Part Two

The Path to True Ministry

Part Two

ENABLEMENT

I thank Him who enabled me, Christ Jesus our Lord,
because He counted me faithful, appointing me to service”
1 Timothy 1:12

Thankfulness is the touchstone of a true disciple. There is an overwhelming sense of indebtedness to the mercy of God in Christ (Romans 8:11-12). Thankfulness frees the soul from jealously and envy of others. In the recognition of our own unworthiness of any favour from God, we begin our journey into discipleship with a right motive. Many make the mistake of thinking they deserve or are qualified for such a high and glorious call. It is from such that schisms and strife arise in the Body of Christ. Motive is critical to the receiving of His enablement.

In receiving His enablement, we are empowered to make HIM known in the earth. True discipleship can only be as deep as the purity of our motives in following Him. Whenever and wherever people seek the approval of others they will know little of this empowering grace. Freedom from self and the opinions of others is the stamp of a true disciple. Disciples follow Him; they do not seek positions or places of recognition. They do not seek advantage for themselves, but only seek to please Him who has called them unto a life of separation.

In our day the word “ministry” has come to mean something that has very little to do with God’s original thought or meaning. It is a word fraught with the horror of misrepresentation of all God intended. The reasoning is that by sending individuals to an institution we can prepare men and women for the highest purpose in life. One who has the ability to compile scriptures, and present them with cleverness and personal charisma, is considered to have the “goods” for ministry. We suppose by mere instruction and following the methods of men we can produce divine and unique expressions of the living Christ! How far we have fallen from our reliance upon the creative power of Christ Himself. May the Lord free us from our dependency upon our own resources and bring us back to the “Divine Enablement” of Christ alone.

“What is a man, a minister, a sacrament, a city, a nation, without the Spirit of God? What makes matters so far wrong in a land, but that there is so little of the Spirit with ministers and people? There is no life where the quickening Spirit comes not: O sirs, we will have dead preaching. dead hearing, dead communicating, lifeless work this day if the purchased Spirit does not come! When He comes life comes with Him”
– Ralph Erskine

(Continued)

Brian Troxel

Kingdom of God Series – Part Five

Kingdom of God Series

Chapter Five

“And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted,
and become as little children,
ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven”
Matthew 18:3

The simplicity of this walk is what makes it so profound. In our submission to Him the scriptures concerning Him become true in us. There is a natural fulfilling of them as His life unfolds within. To pray, exhort, admonish and encourage another life is an outflow of His love. Concern for His Father’s house is a result of the Law of His Life. If there is no concern for the lives of others, for our brothers’ and sisters’ walks, we are outside the grip of His Life within. Paul wrote of Timothy:

“For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s”
Philippians 2:20-21

Wherever and whenever Christ is reigning within, we will be freed from the seeking of our own things and will be servants to the things which are His! Living for self is eclipsed by a concern for the things which are Christ’s. We become stewards of God; we are no longer living for self by the power of self. Our life is now centered upon the care and the concern of His Church.

“Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”
1 Corinthians 4:1-2

The call to stewardship requires faithfulness to Him whereby our growth and development brings us to the place of ministry.

“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me,
for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry”
1 Timothy 1:12

This ministration has nothing to do with Bible schools, denominational accreditation or seeking the approval of men. It is a ministry that arises from the call of God unto a life of obedience and faithfulness to Him.

“Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man,
but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father,
who raised him from the dead;)
Galatians 1:1

To be continued

Brian Troxel

The Sanctified Walk – Excerpt from coming book

THE CONSECRATED LIFE

EXCERPT FROM COMING BOOK
The Blood Sanctifies our Walk

“…and Moses took of the blood of it,
and put it upon …
the great toe of his right foot”
Leviticus 8:23

Those who pursue the consecrated life know deep within their hearts this one truth: to be chosen by God requires a walking in His ways and a forsaking of their own. The consecrated life is a life chosen by God*(see Note). It is a life which has been “set” as a jewel in the Ephod of the High Priest. No one takes this honor upon one’s self; it is the result of God’s call and our obedience. It is a life chosen by God as a consequence of being faithful to Him and loving Him to such an extent as to walk in His Ways and to do of His good pleasure.

“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord,
who hath enabled me,
for that he counted me faithful,
putting me into the ministry
1 Timothy 1:12

It was God who “set” Paul into the ministration of the risen Christ; not because he had Bible school credentials but because God found him faithful. It is here that we must avail ourselves of His grace, for faithfulness is measured in the walking and choosing of His ways over our own. The Blood applied to the right toe signifies a sanctified walk in which we are “set apart” for His service and His ways. The Blood speaks of far more than a doctrinal setting apart; it is in itself the power and the divine enablement to do so. The Life of Christ in the Blood is ever to this one end; to cause a child of God to become in all ways like the One whose nature we have received.

“But as many as received him,
to them gave he power to become the sons of God”
John 1:12

The glory of the New Covenant is not one of adherence to a teaching. It is in the power of the Living Christ so dwelling in us that we become sons of God! It is in our daily drinking of Him and eating of Him that He is assimilated into our very being and His Life becomes our life. The result is something far deeper than an outward imitation or observance which will always leave men and women falling short of the true, authentic life of Jesus. Hypocrisy is always the result of desiring to live rightly without the inward reality of His Life. Teaching, as necessary and good as it is, must culminate in the acquisition of the Life of the Son. Ministry, which does not press the hearers into their own encounter with Him who is the Life, will leave them bereft of the power and validity of it.

“Even the Spirit of truth;
whom the world cannot receive,
because it seeth him not,
neither knoweth him: but ye know him;
for he dwelleth with you, and shall be IN you”
John 14:17

God, revealed in the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ as the Spirit of Truth, was not meant to dwell with His people but rather to dwell within them. While Jesus walked this earth God’s revelation was Emanuel (God with us) but by His death and resurrection He is now in us and we are made partakers of His Nature. The glory of the New Covenant is that we (by grace) are given power to live and walk by a new and living way, “Christ in us, the Hope of Glory”. He is our Hope, He is our strength and in Him we can walk uprightly by a living faith that draws from His veins the Life of God Himself.

The Blood has not only purchased our forgiveness but has brought us into the realm of His Life and Grace. Those who are consecrated as revealed in the Blood being applied to the “big toe” must walk in His ways. The power of the Blood is our access to His life and grace. Therefore the glory of the Gospel is not just His forgiveness but also the partaking of His nature.

“When Christ, who is our life, shall appear,
then shall ye also appear with him in glory”
Colossians 3:4

Appearing with Him in Glory is the result of Christ being our life. It is not a believing on Him it is a believing into Him.

*NOTE While there are several Hebrew words translated “consecration” the one which refers to the setting of Aaron (and his sons) into the priesthood of the Old covenant is revealing in terms of it speaking directly of God choosing men rather than man choosing God. It is the same Hebrew word used to describe the cut and polished precious stones being “set” into the priestly ephod (Ex 25:7, Ex 35:9, Ex 35:27, 1 Chr 29:2) The setting in of these stones was based upon a finished work of the craftsman. God sets those who are faithful, compliant and obedient into places of ministry unto Him. No man takes this honor unto himself; it is the result of God’s choosing and our faithfulness (1Timothy 1:12 and 2Timothy 2:21)

מִלֻּא millûʼ
Total KJV Occurrences: 15
consecration, 7
Ex 29:22, Ex 29:26-27 (2), Ex 29:31, Lev 8:22, Lev 8:29, Lev 8:33
consecrations, 4
Ex 29:33-34 (2), Lev 7:37, Lev 8:28, Lev 8:31
set, 4
Ex 25:7, Ex 35:9, Ex 35:27, 1 Chr 29:2

In the instances where this Hebrew word is used it is only translated either in the consecration of the High Priest and his sons or in the precious stones being set in the Ephod. This speaks of God ordaining the vessel which will minister unto Him. Many are called to such a place but few there be that are chosen. The truth of this is revealed in the New Covenant; “many are called; few are chosen”. The Greek used in the corresponding scripture reads:

πολλοί γαρ εισι κλητοί ολίγοι δε εκλεκτοί
For many are called, but few are chosen
For many are called, few are selected

Peter goes on to say…

“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall”
2 Peter 1:10

It is by our diligence to do the will of God that we make our call and election sure. Being called is the beginning of our salvation. We are constantly reminded in the New Testament to “Press toward the mark”, “Let us go on to perfection…” The Call of God is to righteousness, purity of heart and holiness without which no man shall see God. Men and women who linger in a passive and apathetic approach to God will suffer grave consequences now and in the life to come. The Call of God goes forth to all creation. His heart is such that none should perish. In the Book of Revelation the voice of God calls out to His own to come out of Babylon lest they partake of her judgements and her plagues. If His people partake of her sins they will surely partake of His judgements. The Blood will not circumvent a disobedient life.

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues”
Revelation 18:4

A Blood washed life cannot linger in the sins of the world. A Blood washed life is one that keeps the way of the Lord and will not walk in the way of sinners nor stand in the council of the ungodly (Psalm 1:1). It is the faithfulness of our daily walk that makes our “calling and election sure”.

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info