Quote for Today – CR Oliver

Quote for Today

“Standing fast in the Lord” constitutes a stance and a commitment. A stance, in that one must maintain Biblical inerrancy (against all the intrusions, like the ones discussed in the previous chapters). It is also a commitment, in that one must maintain an “in the Lord” relationship. (It is one thing to cling to doctrinal purity and quite another to hear and do the will of God.)”
– C.R. Oliver

Obedience and the Tree of Life

Obedience and the Tree of Life

“Blessed are they that do his commandments,
that they may have right to the tree of life,
and may enter in through the gates into the city.”
Revelation 22:14

Obedience to the will of God is the revelation of His Lordship. Calling upon His Name and then walking in the stubbornness of our own ways is labelled iniquity in the New Testament. Iniquity simply means “self-will”. It is the unbroken, undisciplined and unconquered will of one who claims to be a follower of Christ and yet exhibits all of the traits of the first Adam. We live in a day of a false gospel, a declaration that by simply naming the name of Jesus we have full access to all the promises of God, such is not the truth.

The message of Jesus to the seven churches in the Book of Revelation is consistent… “I know thy works…” It is in what we do wherein we reveal the nature and the spirit in which we walk.

“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord,
and do not the things which I say?”
Luke 6:46

Jesus follows this powerful question with the “Parable of the Houses” being built upon rock and upon the sand.

“Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.

But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.”
Luke 6:47-49

How few realize that it is in doing His will wherein the deep foundation of the house is laid! It is in the doing where we discover the true nature of all that we are and run to Him for grace. His will is in itself the very foundation of our salvation. In His will we are confronted with our own stubbornness and we are met with the full knowing of our own weakness and folly. His Will is the cross upon which the horror of self is crucified. They who hear only never come to terms with their true self, they live in a world of teachings, confessions and religious talk without ever venturing into the land of truth. It is WHEN the flood comes that the foundation is discovered and the verity of an individual’s true nature is revealed.

Obedience brings us to the need of the true grace of God, it is no longer a sentient, a catch phrase or a religious cliché; it is the means by which our hearts find the power to submit to His ways and walk in them.

Through disobedience man lost the right and the access to the Tree of Life and it is through the wonder and life of the Son (as expressed in a life of obedience) we gain the right to the Tree of Life and are able to partake of its life giving fruit.

“Blessed are they that do his commandments,
that they may have right to the tree of life,
and may enter in through the gates into the city.”
Revelation 22:14

Brian Troxel

Poem of the Day – Brendan Jaster

Poem of the Day

From Babylon to Zion bright,
Let children tread above the mire.
For gods in which man takes delight
Shall drag him to eternal fire.

The rulers fought for kingdom-come
Without a thought of Christ within.
How much indeed will be the sum
Of judgement if we likewise sin.

There is no rest, no throne on earth,
That grasping, we shall have repose.
But God in Christ has made a birth
In which His kingdom is disclosed.

– Brendan Jaster
Words from the Crucible

Quote for Today – Richard Sibbes

Quote for Today

“When the soul admires spiritual things it is then in a holy frame, and so long it will not stoop to any base comfort. We should therefore labor to keep our souls in a state of holy admiration.”
– Richard Sibbes

Effectual Prayers – Part Eight – Ruth and Boaz

Effectual Prayers

Part Eight

Ruth and Boaz

“And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do.”
Ruth 3:4

How powerful and penetrating is the story of Ruth and the right of redemption! Her need was great, her commitment to God pure and her hope of redemption was tied to the man Boaz. So is it with us. Boaz was the name of one of the pillars in Solomon’s Temple and its meaning to us is the foundation of all prayer: “In Him is strength”! Ruth went to the ONE who had the right and the ability to move on her behalf. It is a picture of the Lord as our hope for answered prayer; it is He who has all power and might to move on our behalf. What were her instructions concerning this ONE?

“And it shall be, when he lies down, you shall note the place where he lies down, and shall go in and uncover his feet, and lie down and he will tell you that which you are to do” (LITV)

May God show us afresh the beauty of this interaction between Ruth and Boaz. How many times do we rush feverishly into prayer with our requests and burdens with little regard for His person? Often in our haste we ignore His Lordship and Omnipotence and miss out on the peace and the repose of the moment with Him. Ruth did not clamour Boaz; she laid down at His feet expressing the need for him to move on her behalf. She then uncovered his feet speaking of the desire to KNOW His way in the matter! This is to impress upon us the wonder of our resting, asking and discovering His ways and His provision.

As with Ruth there are times in the situations of life where the need is great and the way seems shut. It is in these moments where as a child we come in surety and love and find rest at the feet of Him whose very name means “In Him is Strength”.

“And now, my daughter, fear not;
I will do to thee all that thou requires”
Ruth 3:11

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

Quote for Today – Joseph Parker

Quote for Today

“The man whose little sermon is ‘repent’ sets himself against his age, and will for the time being be battered mercilessly by the age whose moral tone he challenges. There is but one end for such a man—‘off with his head!’ You had better not try to preach repentance until you have pledged your head to heaven”
– Joseph Parker

Effectual Prayers – Part Eleven – The Fragrance of Prayer

Effectual Prayers

Part Eleven

The Fragrance of Prayer

“While the king was at his table,
my perfume spread its fragrance”
Song of songs 1:12 (BSB)

The life of prayer brings us to many different experiences and aspects of our relationship with Him. At times while sitting in His presence we are simply struck with Him and are left without words. We are overwhelmed with just the wonder of His presence. It is in these times of quietude there is simply the wonder of His peace resonating through the silence. We feel the simplicity of a love arising from our hearts filling the moment with the fragrance of our worship for Him. It is here where prayer touches the unknowable and in the silence speaks the unspeakable elements of a shared love.

This spontaneous worship is worth life itself. Holy bonds of grace arise from the giver of all good things touching the heart of a redeemed soul binding it in the cords of His love. These are rich and precious times where we are sitting at His table and are bidden to simply feed upon the very presence and glory of Himself.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone should hear My voice and open the door,
then I will come in to him and will dine with him,
and he with Me.” (BLB)
Revelation 3:20

It is the hearing ear and the obedient heart which gives way to such communion with Him. He ever stands at the door of our hearts beckoning us unto Himself. It is in the Holy chambers of our time with Him that our hearts are made right, our fears alieved and our love for Him intensified.

“Jesus saith unto them,
Come and dine”
John 21:12

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

Effectual Prayers – Part Seven – Elisha and Jericho

Effectual Prayers

Part Seven

Elisha and Jericho

“…Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss”
James 4:2

Our faith determines the nature of our requests. If we walk in the Spirit our requests, desires and needs will be consistent with the nature and sphere of our walk. If we walk in the flesh our request will be congruous with the lusts and appetites of the flesh. It is here we are given insight into the heart of our heavenly Father. In His love he may not answer or at the least delay prayers that are offered amiss.

Asking amiss can include anything from our own selfish desires to praying on behalf of others without understanding the purpose of God within the situation. It requires a seeking on our part as to what the will of God is in order to pray in faith. As we come before Him we discover the “secret of the Lord” in the need presented to us. There are many things hidden from our eyes; secret things known only to the Lord. Yet as we seek His face it is His joy to reveal the hidden things that our petitions may be accurate and aligned with His purposes. Such prayers readily find their way to the “Throne of Grace” where He is waiting to meet the need of the moment.

Elisha and Jericho

“And the men of the city said to Elisha, Behold, now, the site of the city is good, as my lord sees, but the waters are bad; and the ground causes barrenness. And he said, “bring a new dish to me, and put salt there.” And they took it to him. And he went out to the source of the waters and threw salt there, and said, so says Jehovah, I have given healing to these waters; there shall not be death and sterility there anymore. And the waters were healed to this day, according to the word of Elisha that he spoke.”
2 Kings 2:19-22

One of Elisha’s first miracles was healing the waters of Jericho. Rather than praying for the waters at the city, Elisha understands in the Spirit that the waters needed to be traced to the spring from which they flowed. Many times we pray and offer counsel concerning a situation at hand but if we seek the Lord He will lead us to the “source” or cause; therein we discover a true and lasting solution. Left to ourselves we tend to deal with the symptom rather than the cause. Prayers asked amiss will hinder the power of God being released.

“Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss”

Prayer and Obedience

Another cause of unanswered prayer is that often our prayers require obedience to be combined with insight. Elisha took the “new” dish of salt, cast it into the spring of the waters and then spoke the Word of the Lord over it. We must see that prayers without obedience can remain unanswered. Sometimes we ask amiss because we walk amiss!

Obedience and Prayer cannot be separated.

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