Quote for Today – CR Oliver

Quote for Today

The Awakening on the Ile of Lewis Scotland

In every awakening, there is someone who prepares their heart and desires that others do the same. The element of heart preparation is crucial to any move of God.

A mid-century example is found in the Awakening which took place on the Ile of Lewis in 1949.

When Christine and Peggy (elderly Presbyterians in the 1950’s) began praying for a sovereign move of God over their town of Barvis, on the Ile of Lewis, in Scotland, they sanctified themselves and pledged to pray every evening from 9pm to 3am. Soon, a group of men, led by her pastor, began a prayer meeting at the same times in a Barn. Several months went by while the purging of all spiritual dross was taking place. Finally, one young man stood and cried out to God saying, “My heart is pure, my hands are clean, it is time for you Lord to keep your promise and answer our prayers.” When they opened the barn doors, approximately 300 souls were prostrate in the adjacent field, under conviction of their sins. No preacher had preached, no music had been sung, no appeal had been given—just the power of the Holy Ghost brought conviction and conversion.

“Even so Lord Come”!

Trusting God in the Now

Trusting God NOW

“What I am doing you do not understand now”
JOHN 13:7

Can we trust that this is so in the now of our life? Is there a situation, a perplexity, a painful circumstance that seems to linger without any “proof” that there is an end in sight? Can we with the faith and trust of a child look to the unseen hand of God and believe that even in this HE IS AT WORK? His ways are higher, deeper and motivated by a love and desire to bring us to a greater relationship with HIM. He will not waste or squander the short and precious time that we have here. It is our part to behold HIS work and believe in the hidden hand of HIS wisdom to work for us “the exceeding, and eternal weight of glory”while we by faith walk in the circumstances before us.

“What I am doing you do not understand NOW”

This is the statement of a wise and gracious Father who is working, at this moment, to bring to pass HIS PURPOSES in our life. Though we may not yet see we believe that HE who knows us best loves us most! The clay must be firmly and painfully pressed and molded, the gold heated and tried in the furnace. The lukewarm heart must be subjected to circumstances to revive its warmth and passion for Him, the prodigal son “must come to himself”, and the fruitful branch must be pruned. All these things ARE FOR OUR BENEFIT AND LEARNING.

“What I AM DOING you do not understand now”

Can we see above the storm clouds that this is HIS HAND? Could Joseph possibly grasp that his “brothers” selling him into the hands of rough and heathen men was God’s “DOING”? From God’s perspective HE was sending a man into Egypt, (Psalm 105:17) to one day be the means of deliverance to these same brothers. From the misery and drudgery of slavery and prison rose a wise and tested PRINCE; one whom the fires, darkness and testing did not destroy but were actually servants of the MOST HIGH GOD.

“For You, O God, hast proved us: you have tried us, as silver is tried.You brought us into the net; You laid affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but you have brought us out into a wealthy place”
PSALM 66:10 – 12

A wealthy Christian life is one that is going through the processes of HIS LIFE. These are not ones who cry and despair of their poverty; they have discovered and have tasted of the wealthy place. Their waters fail not in drought; their resources are hidden and true. They are like trees that “bear fruit”in every season for their roots are drinking of the River of Life (Revelation 22:2). Let us not succumb to the present circumstances but let us in FAITH and TRUST believe in the ONE that says

“WHAT I AM DOING YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND NOW,
BUT YOU WILL KNOW AFTER…”

JOHN 13:7

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“We cannot always trace God’s hand,
but we can always trust God’s heart”
Charles Spurgeon

Brian Troxel

I Beseech You

I Beseech You

“I beseech you, brethren,
suffer the word of exhortation.”
Hebrews 13:22

 

True exhortation flows from the lives of those who see the dimness and feel the apathy of the hour in which we live. A slumber has settled upon His Church, but even in that there are those who are beginning to sense the coming incursion of darkness; a virulent uprising against all who are of the light. They who slumber in this deceptive indifference, if not addressed, will culminate in an inability to “stand in the evil day” which is upon us.

Exhortation is shunned and detested by those whom drowsiness is overtaking, even as those who are on the verge of sleep hate the sound of anything that keeps them awake. It is an irritation and a thing to be avoided.

The prayer of the Night Watchman is priestly and borne by those who know their own weakness. There is a comprehension of the necessity to be clothed in the life and power of Christ to stand in this evil Day.

“Consider and hear me, O Lord my God:
lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death”
Psalm 13:3

There is a slumber which is unto death. A pervasive and powerful contagion of this deadly slumber has fallen upon His Church. The lamps of the unwise are failing and the residue of the oil of the Spirit is lacking within the hearts of many. It is a poverty of spirit resulting from a heart that does not know its own state.

The Church OF the Laodiceans knew not they were blind; the Church of Sardis said they were alive, yet in God’s estimation they were dead. It is the presumptuous who become careless in thinking that because we are of His Church, we need not be diligent. It is upon people who have known Him that this deception falls:

“For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered”
Isaiah 29:10

WHY?

“Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men…”
Isaiah 29:13

Whenever and wherever there are people who know little of repentance and humility it is because they know Him not. Repentance is the atmosphere of those who have touched the glory of the Almighty. No flesh can remain unbowed in the majestic presence of God. Those who speak lightly of this hour are indeed blind to the intensity and the ramifications of all which is about to transpire.

“And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake:
but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved”
Mark 13:13

Those who “endure unto the end” will be those who have been willing to be despised of all men (including God’s own people) for the sake of His name.  Those who in the time of a false comfort have “sounded the alarm” to call God’s people to walk in righteousness and to warn them of the coming storm.

Because you kept my command to endure, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, which is to come on the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. I am coming quickly! Hold firmly that which you have, so that no one takes your crown”
Revelation 3:10-11

Let us hold fast in this hour, our lamps burning by the oil of His Spirit, standing in the midnight watch for His coming.

This is God’s Word to His Watchmen of this hour:

“Blow ye the trumpet in Zion,
and sound an alarm in my holy mountain:
let all the inhabitants of the land tremble:
for the day of the Lord cometh,
for it is nigh at hand”!
Joel 2:1

Those who despise the ministry of exhortation do so at their own peril for the Day of the Lord is upon us. The Alarm is to be sounded! Let the true ministers of the Lord weep between the porch and the altar for the people of God.

“Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord,
weep between the porch and the altar,
and let them say, Spare thy people, O Lord”
Joel 2:17

It is the hireling and false shepherds who speak of peace and safety in this hour of great danger. It is the voice of the enemy who speaks pleasant things in the day of preparation. Those who slumber and are not prepared will fall with devastation and judgment. Many who should be warning God’s people of this hour have instead become blind and dumb.

“His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber”
Isaiah 56:10

Like dogs unable to bark, they cannot sound the alarm for they are blind and spiritually ignorant of the Day which is upon us; they love the comfort of slumber. They speak of “smooth things” because that is what the people want to hear. Their comforting and soothing words falsely assure them of their standing in God while lulling them to sleep.

“But take heed to yourselves, for fear that your hearts become over-full of the pleasures of food and wine, and the cares of this life, and that day may come on you suddenly, and take you as in a net: for so it will come on all those who are living on the face of all the earth”
Luke 21:34

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“I beseech you, brethren,
suffer the word of exhortation.”
Hebrews 13:22

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – John Owen

Quote for Today

“It is to be feared that very many have little knowledge of the main enemy that they carry about them in their bosoms. This makes them ready to justify themselves, and to be impatient of reproof or admonition, not knowing that they are in any danger” (2 Chronicles 16:10)
― John Owen

Quote for Today – Daniel Fuller

“Genuine faith must go beyond the mere intellectual assent concerning biblical doctrines. People must let the implications of these doctrines radically affect their hearts so that they respond positively to God with the obedience and works of faith”
– Daniel Fuller

The Path to Ministry – Correction and Growth

The Path to Ministry

Part Six

Correction and Growth

“My son, don’t take lightly the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by him; For whom the Lord loves, he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives”
Hebrews 12:5

Every child of God will know and experience His dealings; it is the surest sign of Him setting His Love upon us. King David knew much of God’s blessings and judgments. He was inspired to declare in Psalm 23:4 “Thy Rod and Thy Staff, they comfort me”. The true in heart find as much comfort in God’s Rod of correction as they do in the Staff of His provision and protection. All God’s children know of His correction, but many do not benefit from it. It is here where disciples are distinguished from adherents. Correction has no benefit to those who ignore God’s dealings. Those who seek to know the wonder of Him appointing them to His service, will consider these things as vital to their development.

“All chastening seems for the present to be not joyous but grievous; yet afterward it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been exercised thereby”
Hebrews 12:11

The peaceful fruit of righteousness is the result of being exercised by His corrections! Why would we ignore or take lightly His dealings with us? His corrections are given to make us partakers of His Life.

“Furthermore, we had the fathers of our flesh to chasten us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits, and live?”
Hebrews 12:9

We want life, His Life, in us. His Life grows in those who are in subjection to His corrections. A stubborn and rebellious child will not bear the likeness, the wonder and the power of God in any depth. It does not negate the power of a gift of the Spirit*, but it will leave the one in whom the gift operates with a sense of emptiness and may bring them to eventual ruin.

The Path into the life of ministry and service is filled with the dealings of a loving and wise Father. In His corrections we also discover a growing into and a knowing of His Holiness.

“For they indeed (our fathers in the flesh), for a few days, punished us as seemed good to them; but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of his holiness
Hebrews 12:10

Holiness is more than a gift; it is the very essence of God Himself. The only path to growing in His holiness is in our partaking of Him. God cannot give us holiness; we become holy through the medium of living and abiding in Him. He is the Holy One and it can only be real in us via relationship.

What is the fruit and benefit of His Holiness in us?

“Eagerly pursue peace and holiness with all,
without which no one will see the Lord”
Hebrews 12:14

The depth of an individual’s ministration will be in corresponding measure to their seeing of God.

“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you,
that ye also may have fellowship with us”
1 John 1:3

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A wise son desires
the correction of the Father.

*Note: There is a great difference between the power expressed in a gift versus the authority and power revealed in those who live, abide and walk in submission to the King of kings. This will be covered later in this writing.

(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

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“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

Thought for Today – The Cycle

Thought for Today

“The historical cycle seems to be: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to apathy, from apathy to dependency; and from dependency back to bondage once more”
– Alexander F. Tytler (1747-1813)

This is an accurate description seen  today in the context of both spiritual and political realms. The days ahead will require a living faith to birth the courage and intensity to stand against the darkness,  clothed in the garments of “tolerance”,  declaring that “evil is good and good is evil”.

Brian Troxel