Thought for Today – Leadership & The New Wine Skin

Thought for Today

New wineskin

Leadership and the New Wine Skin

In Moses’ day there was a moving of God’s Spirit among the people and Joshua was moved by jealousy for Moses’ position because others were prophesying.

“And Moses said unto him,
Enviest thou for my sake?
would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets,
and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!”
Numbers 11:29

The envy, jealously and all of the other works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21) must be dealt with in God’s house. It is the horror of our ways which keep His glory from falling upon us. The works of the flesh prevent the fruit of the Spirit. God’s house is a spiritual house and He will not mingle the ways of men with the Holiness of the Lord. The lordship of man must be cast down and the ways of men must cease so that there may be true mercy, goodness, kindness and love between His people. The Lord alone will be exalted in this day. True leaders desire the glory of God in HIS people, they are willing to decrease to see the increase of God. The purpose and the heart of the New Covenant is that we would so selflessly minister to one another to see the end of ministry. For the purpose of ministry is to bring God’s people to know HIM fully for themselves. They who love the preeminence and places of control will have no place within the New Wine Skin.

But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of IsraelAnd they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord”
Jeremiah 31:33-34

Let the prophets speak, let the intercessors pour out their hearts unto Him, let those who aspire to preeminence humble themselves and turn from the job descriptions of “positions” and seek the callings and purposes of God. It is a day to prepare the Way of the Lord. Every high place will be brought low and those of humble hearts will be exalted. Receive His words from those who seek His honor in this day.

Let the people of God humble themselves with one another that we may behold, taste and see God’s provisions for us in one another.

“Submitting yourselves one to another
in the fear of God”
Ephesians 5:21

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – God’s Witness

Thought for Today

witness

God’s Witness

“…for now I know that thou fearest God”
Genesis 22:12

In the context of this scripture Abraham’s obedience was offered to God in the spirit of faith and wonder. It was in the doing that God acknowledged the validity of Abraham’s Faith. Many hold faith in the intellect but it is in the crucible of doing that God acknowledges the weight of our fear of Him, love of Him and trust in Him.

A faith that does not give birth to works is a faith not worth the words in which it is spoken.

“My little children, let us not love in word,
neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth”
1 John 3:18

The deeds are the verification of the substance of the love/faith that birthed them.

God’s declaration of “now I know…” is His testimony, His speaking of divine favor upon Abraham’s faith. The God who never changes is ever ready to give His witness to the reality of our offerings to Him when they proceed from honest and willing hearts.

“And these all,
having obtained a good report through faith”
Hebrews 11:39

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

Thought for Today – Comfort –

Thought for Today

Comfort

“The Lord knoweth the days of the upright”
Psalm 37:18

There is a comfort in God’s nearness and His awareness of our days. Often the trials of His own are feelings of being alone and isolated. This journey of faith will take us down narrow and lonely paths with few companions in the night seasons.

In such times we are reminded of the very foundation of our life; “The Lord knows the days of the upright”! It is a comfort that quietly calms the stormy seas of angst and loneliness. The truth of this one underlying promise, “He knows”, is a consolation that forms as dew upon our disappointments and sorrows.

In the whispering of this one unassailable truth we are reminded of the sure mercies of our God.

“…weeping may endure for a night,
but joy cometh in the morning”
Psalm 30:5

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

The Lesson of the Fig Tree

Thought for Today

The Lesson of the Fig Tree

“Now in the morning as he returned into the city,
he hungered.
And when he saw a fig tree in the way,
he came to it, and found nothing thereon,
but leaves only, and said unto it,
Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever.
And presently the fig tree withered away”
Matthew 21:18-19

Fruit. God’s purpose for every life is to bear fruit. His purpose in coming was to make the barren fruitful, the desert to blossom and the lame to walk.

Fig leaves represent the response of Adam and Eve to their fallen state. The religious response to man’s need for a covering. It is an inherent desire to be covered on the outside; to appear good, honest and spiritual. This leaves the life barren and unfruitful in the things of God. We may walk in an outward show of righteousness but the inward reality may be void of His Life and power.

Deception comes to those who seek to deceive. The lie of living to appear right will always result in a greater lie.

“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse,
deceiving, and being deceived
2 Timothy 3:13

Honesty and integrity are the means to Life in Him. We come as we are, transparent with Him and with those about us. This see-through living will bring us to the blood, the mercy and the covering of His garments of Salvation. In being who we are, fully reliant on all that He is, we can rest confidently in His faithfulness to bring glory to the Father.

Authenticity of Life is the fruit of integrity within and without

Fruit is not religious works. It is the result of the power of His Life within producing the fruit without.

“Herein is my Father glorified,
that ye bear much fruit”
John 15:8

His sheep are those who follow Him. They hear His voice and they will not follow the voice of another. He leads them through green pastures, still waters, paths of righteousness, valleys of great shadows and even death; but the assurance to these will always be:

“Surely goodness and mercy
shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever”
Psalm 23:6

Brian Troxel

Heart of a Priest Part 11 Continued

Heart of a Priest

Part 11

Continued

WISDOM

“The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned,
that I should know how to speak a word in season
to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning,
he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.”
Isaiah 50:4

Those priests of God who are walking in the way of truth begin to be “awakened” to hear His heart within their own. In the mystery of relationship with Him there is a divine enablement to “speak a word in season” to those who are faint and weary. Through the medium of knowing and experiencing Him in our own walk we touch His ways and His heart to the end we may be wise in the ministration of His grace to others. Whether it be encouragement, hope, a kind word or even a word of admonishment it is all with the earnest desire to see our brothers and sisters rise up and finish the race set before us.

The ear of the “learned” is to come to a place of being tuned in to His voice and heart. It is not something which can be learned through books, counselling strategies, Christian seminars and other means of education. The true understanding of such things can only be found in a life “yoked” with Christ in God. He (Jesus) is the sum of all wisdom, love and true knowledge and it is in Him we learn to live and move and become the very extension of all that He is. This heart is really only available to the true disciple who has discovered the wonder and joy of following Him and the necessity of carrying his own cross. This way is fraught with the discovery of one’s self. It is a way of repentance, transformation, and glory. In the Old Testament the priesthood was mainly obtained by birth but in this New Covenant we are made priests by the ministration of His Life within us through obedience and relationship.

“And hath MADE us kings and priests
unto God and his Father;
to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever”
Revelation 1:6

It is His purpose to make us kings and priests unto Him who alone is the “Great High Priest” of better things to come.

“But Christ being come
an high priest of good things to come,
by a greater and more perfect tabernacle,
not made with hands…”
Hebrews 9:11

It is in our learning of Him and His ways that we discover, grow and develop the “tongue of the learned” because our “ears have been awakened morning by morning” to His living word.

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

EFFECTUAL PRAYERS – WISDOM – Part 5

EFFECTUAL PRAYERS

PART 5

WISDOM

“But I have prayed for you, 
that your faith fail not”
LUKE 22:32

Not long ago I was waiting before The Lord on how to pray for a certain brother according to HIS WILL. As I did the above scripture was brought to my attention. So often we pray for God to remove the situation, bring healing, deliverance or whatever seemingly corrects the issue at hand. But here we see Jesus praying for Peter’s faith to stand in the midst of the situation that was about to unfold! He did not pray that Peter would not fail; it was necessary that Peter come to face his reliance on his own strength. He prayed that Peter’s faith would not fail. It takes faith, strong faith, to hold us in the crises that we must face. Faith to stand when we must confront our weaknesses and failures; for if our faith stands we will come forth in victory.

“And this is the victory 
that overcomes the world, 
our faith”
1 JOHN 5:4

We are to become, by the out-workings of the Holy Spirit in our lives, “Kings and Priests unto our God” (Revelation 1:6). As we grow we begin to see and understand the purposes of God in those around us. There will be times when, in order to pray effectually, instead of praying for the situation to change we will find ourselves praying for our brother’s/sister’s faith to hold strong. Faith is our victory; faith is also their victory. For faith is the power of God in us to enable us to live beyond our own resources. In so doing we discover the wonder of overcoming.

Effectual prayer is borne out of our hearts by sensing and knowing the will of God for others. Such things are not learned quickly but if we seek HIS Wisdom He will not withhold it from us.

“But if any of you lacks wisdom, 
let him ask of God, 
who gives to all liberally and with no reproach, 
and it shall be given to him.
But let him ask in faith, 
doubting nothing”
JAMES 1:5-6

Praying according to the will of God requires wisdom and wisdom is the fruit of the fear of the Lord. We seek His Will concerning the things for which we pray because we have learned, or are learning, that we can easily pray amiss by not seeing things clearly. In order for the true power of prayer to be restored to the people of God we must learn these things. Effectual praying is determined by the depth of Faith, Wisdom, Persistence, and the Love of God operating within our hearts.

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 Four – Humility and Righteousness

EFFECTUAL PRAYERS

PART FOUR

Humility and Righteousness

“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

This is an often quoted scripture these days but usually only partially. What I hear most often quoted is more like “If my people pray… then I will heal their land”; this disregards the meat and the power of what God is saying to us. The unpopular message to a “seeker friendly” environment is this: “If MY PEOPLE WILL HUMBLE THEMSELVES SEEK MY FACE AND TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYSTHEN WILL GOD HEAR…” The power and substance of effectual prayer starts with humble hearts, seeking hearts and repentant hearts. The condition of the heart is of more importance than the prayer itself. For prayer is not simply asking God for things and help; it is first and foremost a time of communion with HIM. The beauty of HIS presence is of itself an answer to the needs of the human heart. Touching His presence lifts us out of this dim and sick world into the very wonder of heaven itself. To experience communion and interaction with the ALMIGHTY GOD requires a heart that is compatible with His heart. Relationship is the interaction of two. Jesus spoke of the Pharisee praying in His self-righteousness and remarked that the man “prayed thus with himself” (Luke 18:11)! In other words, his prayer never left the room and he had no audience with God. Issues of the heart are the issues of prayer. God’s word tells us…

“Can two walk together,
except they be agreed?”
(Amos 3:3)

In order to walk with God my heart must be in agreement with His Word and His heart. In regard to prayer there must be a change in the heart of man to discover the secret place of the Most High. Religion is not concerned with such things but truth and reality are. Effectual prayers arise from hearts that are soft and compliant with His Will in the earth and in their own lives.

“…but to this man will I look,
even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit,
and trembleth at my word”
(Isaiah 66:2)

Those who honor and tremble at His Word in any sense of authenticity cannot be proud and arrogant in heart.

“Right hearts
birth right prayers”

Ω

“There is a mighty lot of difference
between saying prayers and praying.”
– John G. Lake

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

THE FRAILTY OF MAN

The Frailty of Man

“Your fathers, where are they?
And the prophets, do they live forever?”
Zechariah 1:5

We live in a day of sectarianism and personality cults within the Body of Christ with a multitude of voices and ministries clamoring for followers and “supporters”. We have lost sight of the purpose of ministry; to bring each and every believer into a vital relationship with the Head, even Christ the Lord of all. Men live but a short time while the eternal priesthood of the Son abides forever. Man’s life is but a vapor; here for a moment and then gone. We cling to the temporal while ignoring that which will never pass away. It is far more important that we pay attention to that which will impart eternal value to the soul of every believer.

John the Baptist was focused on bringing men and women to the Son not to himself. Such should be the goal of every ministration of life in the body. We read in the scriptures that “in Him was life…” Every expression of HIS life that resides within any heart is the result of the Son being the source and sustainer of it. It is by abiding in Him that we have this eternal Life.

While there are many who desire the attention and even the affection of the people of God, true ministry seeks to “make” disciples of The Lord Jesus Christ not “have” disciples. The difference between making disciples and having disciples is an issue of life and death; life and death not only to the ministers of God but also to the people of God. “Having” disciples creates schisms and division within the Body of Christ and tears at the very fabric of the one wine-skin. Those who “make” disciples unto Christ ultimately reveal the beauty of the unity of Him in the earth for men to see. For such a unity the Son prayed and died and more importantly rose again.

Purity of heart is the requirement for all those who would serve The Lord unto this end. Men with impure motives seek followers, disciples and adherents to their “ministry”. The end of such a thing will be spiritual death and the judgement of God.

He that speaks of or from himself seeks his own glory. The people of God in Corinth had become carnal in their sectarian ways by choosing one ministration over another. “I am of Paul” said some, while others chose Peter or Apollos. To this Paul replied, “Are you not carnal? Who are Paul, Peter or Apollos but servants of God by whom you have believed. I plant, Apollos waters and it is God who gives the increase.”

Shallow men and weak believers cling to men failing to recognize that whether we live or die it is unto God not unto men. We can read in the scriptures of Dathan, Korah, Balaam and others who sought to usurp God’s way in order to draw attention to themselves. What was the end of them and their followers? Let us receive warning and instruction from their example.

“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples:
and they are written for our admonition,
upon whom the ends of the world are come.
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth
take heed lest he fall”
1Corinthians 10:11-12.

The desire of all true ministrations of the life of the Son is to have Him increase while we ourselves decrease. For of His Glory there will be no end. Man is but for a moment but HE is forever.

Brian Troxel

JOSEPH and BENJAMIN Part One

JOSEPH & BENJAMIN

PART ONE

“And it came to pass,
when they had eaten up the corn
which they had brought out of Egypt,

their father said unto them,
Go again, buy us a little food”

Genesis 43:2

The Manifold Workings of God

There was a famine in the land. The famine was for a purpose. It was to end the separation of Jacob and his sons from Joseph (whom Jacob thought was dead). Joseph was in one place and they were in another. Jacob was content to stay where they were as long as they had provision. God’s purpose was to bring them to Joseph, the source. This place of independence is not God’s ultimate design. We get our sermons and teachings so that we can sustain our way of living. We want provision so that we can maintain our independence and our “place” of abiding. God is only interested in a living expression called the ONE Body of Christ. We hold on to our “teachers” and our “ministers” while living in independence from the Body of Christ around us. Not only is this a meagre existence, it also prevents the real edification that is ours by the local gathering and functioning of the Body of Christ. It keeps us from participating in the things of our Father with each other; from developing the very ministry that HE has called us unto; from realizing that my relationship with my brother is paramount in the seeing of His Face.

“And Judah spake unto him, saying,
The man did solemnly protest unto us, saying,
Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you
Genesis 43:3

For Jacob’s part he must sacrifice the object of his greatest love. For his independence to die he had to give up that which was most dear to him. The thing that he clung to had to be released in order to realize God’s full revelation. Little did he realize that the Faith of Abraham must be lived out through each succeeding generation. Doctrines and teachings can pass without much cost, but real and vital faith must know true sacrifice. Abraham’s experience (of offering up Isaac) would not suffice for Jacob. Jacob must also offer the same sacrifice to know the same God. The famine had to be greater than Jacob’s resistance to hold back, yet in the final relinquishing of his last love he found that God gave more than he could ever imagine. So too is it with each of us.

For Jacob’s sons part they would not see the face of Joseph until they were willing to sacrifice their lives for their brother Benjamin (Genesis 44:18 – 45:2). Joseph means, “He shall add”. As the early Church revealed the life and power of the risen Christ in their day, we too are standing on the brink of the coming forth of Benjamin, the Son of HIS RIGHT HAND! This Benjamin will require people who are willing to lay down their lives for each other that the Lord Jesus Christ himself may openly declare HIS presence in our midst. The sacrifice and faith required for the early church must once again be known by this generation. It is a day to repent of living APART from the people of God around us; a time to cease from a life of subsisting on a provision from somewhere else. The manna that sustained us in the wilderness is not designed for the Land of Promise! Let us lay down our lives that we might see the face of our beloved. It is for Benjamin that the Son is looking; it is to Benjamin that the fivefold portion is given. It is in loving one another, interacting with one another and praying for one another that we shall know of this Glory.

“Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love,
being of one accord, of one mind”
Philippians 2:2

Ω

“Ye know that my wife bare me two sons” *
GENESIS 44:27

“The sons of Rachel;
Joseph and Benjamin”

* Later writing

Brian Troxel

TITUS 2:14 PART THREE

TITUS 2:14

“Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity,
and purify unto himself a peculiar people,
zealous of good works.”

Titus 2:14

PART THREE

THE LAW OF LIFE

To fully appreciate what true salvation is, its depth and its power we must first comprehend what it is we are saved from and unto. Words like sin, iniquity, transgressions, evil, unrighteousness and many others used in the scriptures must be more than mere religious clichés. To the average Christian sin is just something wrong in thought or deed without any degree of an understanding of what it actually is. So it is with the word used here for iniquity. It is a Greek word used 17 times in the New Testament. The actual Greek word is anomia and it’s meaning simplified means “without law”, “lawlessness”. Iniquity is a state where men will not or cannot conform to the Law. It can apply to the judicial laws of Government, Laws of Society, and cultural laws but in the scriptures it ultimately refers to the Law of God. It took a redemptive ACT of God to bring our lives into a place of living within the glory and freedom of HIS LAW!

“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:
for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”

Romans 8:7 – 8

The carnal mind by its very nature is enmity AGAINST God. Not only is it lawless by choice it also has no capacity to be subject to the law of God. The very offering of Jesus Christ was to REDEEM us from this condition whereby we are redeemed from all Lawlessness. He has come that we might be free to live within the wonder and glory of His Law. What is this LAW? Men immediately think of some code of religious “do and don’ts” and that is one of the reasons the Church is so divided, sectarian and powerless. May God give us eyes to see! The New Testament has a LAW. It is a law of power, glory, freedom and true relationship! IT IS CALLED the LAW OF LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS! We have been redeemed so that we might LIVE within grip of this life James refers to it as the PERFECT LAW of LIBERTY. John spoke of it as the Light of Life; Paul speaks in Romans of the Law of Faith. Can we not see that when we live in iniquity (lawlessness) that we are placing ourselves outside of the Sphere of this LOVE, this POWER and this FREEDOM.

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
Romans 8:2 – 4

Why would we want to live anywhere else! Everything that is not governed by the LAW of LIFE in Christ Jesus is iniquity! To live outside of the Law of Life is to find ourselves subject to another law, the law of sin and death. The only reason men can submit to the Law of God is because they have been redeemed! The depth of that redemptive work is revealed by the life that we live. The power to live within the dynamic of this law of life is expressed in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. This is the Kingdom, and blessed are they who enter into the beauty of Holiness. Freedom from self, freedom from all lawlessness, freedom to live and choose of HIS Good will is true life indeed.

“The purpose of Christ’s redeeming work
was to make it possible for bad men to become
good—deeply, radically, and finally.”

A. W. TOZER (1897–1963)

Brian Troxel