Friendship with God

Friendship with God

“Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who know you,
and your righteousness to the upright of heart!”
Psalm 36:10

There is an endearing ministration to those who walk closely with the Lord; wonders and mercies through the bonds of relationship. As we draw near to Him, we touch unspeakable aspects of His glory that are beyond the thoughts of men. Life, His Life, cannot be assimilated by the natural mind for God is beyond comprehension. Who can truly understand the mystery of a beating heart, the unfolding of a flower, or the intricacies of a relationship between a husband and wife? These are things we can see, feel, and appreciate for their simple beauty, but to try and understand them intellectually is folly. The enablement to see the growing dynamic of God, His Life, and His Wisdom, requires faith and surrender to His work in us.

“In thy light
shall we see light”

It requires the Christ within to enable us to “see” the Father as He is.

“All things were yielded up to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and the one to whom the Son purposes to reveal Him.”
Matthew 11:27

Jesus is the lens through which we behold the Father. He alone can impart to us the substance and being of all God is. Our depth of abiding will determine our knowledge of Him as He is. Jesus spoke parables to the masses (God’s own people; John 1:11), but His own disciples he would take aside and expound to them precious truths through the intimacy of friendship.

“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant, does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”
John 15:15

What was the vital truth which precipitated this transition from unknowing servants to friendship with the Son?

“You are my friends
if you DO what I command you.”
John 15:14

Obedience is the highest expression of Love. The summation of the Life of the Son in the earth can be bound up in one culminating crescendo of love.

“Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.”
Hebrews 10:7

The Holy-Spirit inspired scriptures go on to describe the effects of that Divine Will on our lives.

“By the which Will we are sanctified…”
Hebrews 10:10 (capitalization my own)

True sanctification will always be to the measure that His Will becomes our own. Those who are truly His, pursue one thing; full conformity and union with the purpose of the Son. “Lo, I come to do Thy will”.

“Then Jesus answered them and said, My teaching is not mine in origin but belongs to the One who sent me. If anyone is desiring to be doing His will, he shall know experientially concerning the teaching…”
John 7:16-17 (Wuest)

True disciples do not initiate their own doctrine. They read His Word with the eyes and the heart of a little child; what the word declares they believe. They make no allowances for self which always seeks to justify its aberrations from its purity. They seek earnestly and fervently for faith and grace to see their lives conformed to its truth. They understand that the same Spirit through which the Word became flesh in the Son has been given to work that same devotion to the Will of the Father in us.

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
2 Corinthians 3:18

Why is the ministration of the Spirit of God-given? To change us “into the same image”; the same likeness and demeanor which characterized the Son.

“Lo, I come to do Thy will”

The full revelation of Grace is expressed in our obedience to the Will of the Father.

“through whom we received grace and apostleship in order that there may be obedience to the Faith…”
Romans 1:5 (Wuest)

Brian Troxel

Grace the Power of God

Grace the Power of God

“For by grace are ye saved through faith”
Ephesians 2:8

The salvation of God is not based on His sentiment but upon His power. The power of sin can only be defeated by the power of His grace at work freeing the heart from its own inherent evil. Long lay the world lost in the contagion of its own construct. Faith is the conduit through which this power pours into the human heart. Every heart knows its own sorrow, its own helplessness, and its own misery. But Christ has come, and even more important IS come to deliver, heal and straighten that which is crooked. His works within the human heart are not based on anything less than the power of His eternal life-affecting Will in the divine act of redemption. This salvation is to result in something far more than forgiveness; it is a desire to set us free from the stain, the power, and the bondage of sin itself.

“If the Son, therefore, shall make you free,
ye shall be free indeed.”
John 8:36

The very words “indeed” in the Greek means “in reality” not in some doctrinal, esoteric concept but free in the Spirit of Him by whom we have access into “this grace”.

“Through Him, we have also obtained access by faith
into this grace in which we stand…”
Romans 5:2

“This Grace” which is accessed in Him by faith produces a standing tall against the temptations and wiles of all which we encounter in this world. Faith is the victory for it is through its wonder that grace courses effortlessly into the broken hearts of humanity. How good and glorious is His plan of salvation for all who call upon His Name!

“…the grace of God subdues
the selfishness inherent in the natural heart”
EGW

BT

Nothing Hid

Nothing Hid

Nothing Hid

“Surely in vain, the net is spread
in the sight of any bird”
Proverbs 1:17

Nothing is hidden from Him – He sees everything. The secret councils of all are open to Him – whether it be the strategies of the enemy, the devious plans of men or treachery between brothers and sisters – God sees all. As pointless as it is to set a trap for a bird in plain sight, so is the folly of all who work unrighteousness.

“…for the Lord is a God of knowledge,
and by him, actions are weighed”
1 Samuel 2:3

From the presumption of Ananias and Sapphira to the scheming of worldly governments, or the dark agendas of wicked principalities and powers, God sees all. Let no action or thought which crosses our minds go unattended, or be allowed to take root, without our consideration of Him who sees all things.

The crafty thoughts of Judas, or the bravado of Peter, unaware of his own human weakness, were all the same to Jesus. He was not carried away with the pomp and praises upon entering Jerusalem for He knew well the hearts of all men. When many were believing in Him after seeing the miracles, Jesus remained unmoved.

“But Jesus did not commit himself unto them,
because He knew all men”
John 2:24

It is in our heart of hearts that the issues of life are determined. We must know that the hidden intentions and actions which we may hide from others are open and unveiled to Him. Authenticity is the result of those who know this powerful truth and order their steps aright. They are ever “bringing every thought captive”.

“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him…”
2 Chronicles 16:9

Those who walk rightly, think rightly, and whose actions are purposed to bless Him, will know of His favor for “thy Father which seeth in secret Himself shall reward thee openly” (Matthew 6:4)

Ω

“Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.”
Psalm 24:3-4

Purity of heart is to be free from selfish agendas and hypocrisy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart
for they shall see God”
Matthew 5:8

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“For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested;
neither was anything kept secret, but that it should come abroad”
Mark 4:22

See: Secrets Revealed

Brian Troxel

In and Out

In and Out

“We must have the glory sink into us before it can be reflected from us. In deep inward beholding, we must have Christ in our hearts, that He may shine forth from our lives.”
– Alexander MacLaren

It is the illuminated heart that shines forth Him who is the illuminator. Christ is the Light of the World and it is only His Light through us which can illuminate this world of darkness and sorrow.

“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

How good is the grace of God! We are not left to our own resources to fabricate some light for others to see; we simply shine forth His radiancy into the world around us.

“…freely ye have received, freely give”
Matthew 10:8

BT

A Dispensation

A Dispensation

“For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.”
1 Corinthians 9:16-17

“But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.” Jeremiah 20:9

“When a man is filled with the Word of God you cannot keep him still, If a man has got the Word, he must speak or die”
– Dwight L. Moody

Godly Sorrow

Godly Sorrow

“I now rejoice, not that you were made sorry,
but that you were made sorry to repentance”
2 Corinthians 7:9

Godly sorrow is the fruit of godly ministry. The truth of God connects our everyday walk with our future inheritance. The man who buried his talent in the ground determined his future inheritance in God. The one who built their house by hearing (without doing) the future collapse was the result of his present error. To give in to temptation today may determine bondage and sorrow in our future.

“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

The greatest gift of God to us is the gift of repentance. It frees the heart, destroys condemnation and its riches are filled with goodness, mercy, and peace in our Saviours’ love.

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It is a good example for us to consider the construct of the Hebrew Language in order for us to understand the connection between our present doings and our future inheritance.

Hebrew understandings
of Tense and Time

Unlike today, the very construct of the Hebrew language when all the tenses are simplified essentially consisted of two tenses; past and future where the future tense incorporates the present.

[“In the Bible there are only two tenses… yes, only two (ken, rak shnaim,) past and future. There is no (ein) present tense in the Bible!” Yaron-Lessons in Hebrew]

How we have lost this critical truth in God! The Ancient Hebrew language was the only language that evolved through God’s dealings with them. Their whole history was determined by their relationship with God. If they departed from His truths and His ways they experienced judgment, captivity, and futility and if they walked with Him blessings and prosperity graced their nation. Because of this vital concept, they understood that their present doings determined their future; they did not compartmentalize present things from future realities. It is this powerful concept which conveyed to them the healthy fear of the Lord causing them to weigh their present actions with tomorrow’s outcome. Without this linkage, there is no true ability to understand God Himself.

We live in a day and speak in a language where past, present, and future tenses have no connection. This ethos has invaded the Church, its gospel, and its understanding of God; for of a truth, our presentation of Him is the reflection of our understanding of Him. A gospel that separates my present walk from any future implications robs His people from “walking circumspectly” before the Lord. Forgiveness has become the panacea for unholy living. Not long ago in my personal time with God, He impressed upon me a powerful truth “An individual’s concept of sin reveals their estimation of God”. Where sin is treated lightly it is because God is lightly esteemed. Repentance and godly sorrow are the hallmarks of a life growing in the wonder and the dynamic of God. Wherever and whenever the ministry of God fails to present God as He is “godly sorrow” is lacking and men and women walk in a salvation filled with regrets and sub-standard living.

“I now rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that you were made sorry to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly way, that you might suffer loss by us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance to salvation, which brings no regret…”
2 Corinthians 7:9-10

Whenever God is lightly esteemed sin will abound. Paul in his presentation of grace in his Epistle to the Romans declares “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid” (Romans 6:1-2). When grace is taught in an unrighteous manner where the stain and the contagion of sin have been compromised the Light of God is dimmed and the rampant culture of decay and lawlessness will lay hold of His church and correspondingly a nation will fall in its own folly.

“Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool,
but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding.”
Proverbs 10:23 (ESV)

Another translation says…

“It is as sport to a fool to do mischief:
but a man of understanding hath wisdom.”
Proverbs 10:23 (KJV)

Where sin and evil are treated lightly, wisdom and understanding are marginalized and the result will be chaos and lawlessness. This is true whether it be in our own personal life, the family unit, or the household of God.

The true ministration of Christ brings us to godly sorrow, repentance, and the joy of His salvation.

(Unedited excerpt from coming book, comments welcome)

Brian Troxel

The Eloquence of Love

The Eloquence of Love

“When the heart is right,
the tongue will be eloquent for God”
Joseph Parker

Throughout the Song of songs, there is a recurring theme that winds its way like a golden thread amidst the colours of its rich tapestry; “My Beloved”. There is something hidden in the Divine Love of God that stirs the hearts of those who have touched His substance. This wonder sets the heart aflame with a reciprocating response. Love begets love; it is by its very nature intense and purifying. Love can never rest in itself for its yearnings to know more deeply the One by whom it has been captivated produces quest and pursuit. It is a power that necessitates an outreach into the world around it. The power which compelled The Father in sending the Son would create within His Own that same desire to reach out to proclaim the Love of God in Christ.

We see in the scriptures that common uneducated fishermen were transformed by this same love into the eloquence of the Holy Spirit. The untutored, the common man and the outcasts of society would speak with wisdom and would frame such words of grace that men would be moved under their power. May we be moved by the same love to be expressions of the Most High God.

The Love of God
“Could we with ink the ocean fill
And were the skies of parchment made
Were every stalk on earth a quill
And every man a scribe by trade
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry
Nor could the scroll contain the whole
Though stretched from sky to sky”
Meir Ben Isaac Nehorai

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The love of God loosens the tongue and frees the heart. His presence graces the lips of men and women with praise and fills their lives with joy.

“…in thy presence is fulness of joy”
Psalm 16:11

Brian Troxel

Established in Love

Established in Love

Established in the Love of God

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”
Ephesians 3:17-19

Love is the foundation from which we are able to comprehend the vastness of God. Without this foundation, we are left with words, concepts, and a small view of all that God is. As we open ourselves up to the word of God, He will highlight things to us, and we see something we can build our life upon. Here Paul is writing to the Thessalonians. (Recognize that whereas James, John, Jude, and Peter are writing to the whole church, Paul’s is a more specific apostolic ministry). He writes to the church in different locations and even personal letters to address and strengthen and encourage them in those areas where they have a particular need. He is laying foundations whereas the others are calling God’s people to build on those foundations. Allow these words in the Epistle to the Thessalonians to enter your heart:

“Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.”
1 Thessalonians 3:11-13

Love is the most stabilizing grace in God. As we grow in the love of God we grow in His stability because love is the character and foundation of His relationship with you and me. All His working and doing in us is because He loves us. Whom the Lord loves He chastens. Whom the Lord loves He blesses. Whom the Lord loves He fashions and strengthens and encourages that we might strengthen and establish others. The Greek word used here, “that He may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness” is the same one that Jesus used when He spoke to Peter, “When you are converted, strengthen your brothers.” As you grow in your establishment and as we allow Him to convert us from our selfish ways, God allows you to strengthen others through the same love that has established you. Even in the biggest mistakes you make, you keep discovering this unfathomable love of God and you wonder… why does He stay with me? Because He is your foundation.

As you grow in God, He develops patience in you for others, because the love wherewith He has loved you is now being formed in you to love others to the end that they may be established. He is telling Peter, when you are converted, strengthen others; the depth of your conversion is revealed in the divine enablement for you to strengthen others. Knowing Him who is love enables us to love others with the same love wherewith He has loved us.

In Thessalonians, Paul addresses the day of God’s return. The man of sin is going to arise, there will be shakings and desolation, false prophets, etc. As you read this book there is a “flavor” all the way through of the Love of God. There were false epistles being written to them saying that the resurrection had already happened, and they had missed it. Paul is calming them down in the Spirit, asking them to remember the former things that had been ministered to them. “Don’t you remember when we were with you, and we told you the things that were going to characterize the day of the Lord?” (1 Thessalonians 3:4) He is settling them. God wants to produce in us that ability to settle, to strengthen, to confirm, to correct, and to reprove each other; that we may be established in the power and the wisdom and the glory of God.

BT

Watchman Nee – Seeing God

Watchman Nee – Seeing God

Seeing God

“Here is a heart condition God requires for the fulfillment of His purposes of grace. Purity of heart simply means a state where there are no hindrances to seeing God. The kingdom of the heavens is here, so there is no reason why anyone should fail to see Him, unless man himself puts up barriers.

It is not necessary to place a dirty article in front of your eyes to prevent you from seeing an object; a perfectly clean article will do just as well! The “clean heart” of the psalmist has to do with the removal of unclean things; the “pure heart” of the Sermon on the Mount has to do with the removal of all things, clean or unclean. Many have no right knowledge of God because they have numerous competing interests apart from God. Purity of heart corresponds to singleness of eye. It means that God is the exclusive object of attention. From such preoccupation, there will be no loss, “Thy whole body shall be full of light.”
– Watchman Nee

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light”
Matthew 5:22

Unity and Hope

Unity and Hope

Unity and Hope

Excerpt from New Book (unedited)

“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ”
Ephesians 4:13

Let no one deceive us in this. There is a standard, there is a measure and there remains a call unto the ministers of Christ to labour unto this one end. Unity is the result of the stature of Christ being formed within us. We are not here to propagate ourselves for that is the enemy of unity; we are not to seek the pre-eminence; we are here to so interact with His people that they are trained in righteousness from which this unity is the natural and only outcome. We have many who are satisfied with something far less than what God has called us to. Where there is no vision or expectation in ministry there will be no impartation of His glory. True vision produces purified hearts.

“Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him because we shall see Him as he is…”
1 John 3:2

What is the repercussion in those who bear this living hope within their hearts?

“And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure”
1 John 3:3

The true ministers of God present this living hope to all they encounter. It is a hope which burns like a fire, a hope from which fervent prayers filled with the incense of God rise unto Him as a sweet perfume. These are the intercession of the redeemed, these are the offerings of those whose hope ignites a passion to walk before Him in all purity and love.

Only Purified Hearts
can touch the Unity of God in Christ.

“…that they also may be one in us”
John 17:21

Brian Troxel