God’s House or Religion

God’s House or A Religious System

worship

“For they are an uncontrolled people, false-hearted,
who will not give ear to the teaching of the Lord:
Who say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets,
Do not give us word of what is true,
but say false things to give us pleasure”
Isaiah 30:10 (BBE)

Most people would not blatantly say such things but God sees the heart. Many religious people do not want to hear truth. They do not want to concern themselves with the condition of their hearts, God’s house, nor the gravity of the day in which we are living. There is only the desire for positive words and good things to bolster our carnal ways. We have not come to this state of apathy by embracing His truth and walking in His Spirit. We are here because of our choices. We have a “church” where the people elect who would minister to them rather than whom God may send. We have our own agendas for how we want “our” church to look. It is not about God; it is about an atmosphere where we can feel comfortable, accepted and in control.

Truth has become something that fortifies our “doctrine”, our way of doing things and conducting our church/fellowship business. The ministration of the Word is no longer a fearful thing. It is not something which holds up the light, wonder and holiness of God; it has become tepid and impotent. Rather than bringing conviction it soothes our failures to live righteously. It makes light of sin and our carnal and worldly ways. Pastors and preachers who want to hold on to their “jobs” need to stay within the comfort zone or their replacement will easily be found. Those who love truth will speak it. These ones do not seek the approval of men for there is a knowledge deep within their hearts of a holy accountability unto Him who will judge all things. This is nothing new as noted by Francis Bacon in his day.

“In periods of unsettled faith, skepticism, and mere curious speculation in matters of religion, teachers of all kinds swarm like the flies in Egypt. The demand creates the supply. The hearers invite and shape their own preachers. If the people desire a calf to worship, a ministerial calf-maker is readily found. “The master of superstition is the people, and in all superstition wise men follow fools” (Bacon, Ess. 17).

There is always a “priesthood” quick to provide whatever the people want:

“…the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron,
and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us…”
Exodus 32:1

Aaron quickly responded:

“…and fashioned it with a graving tool,
after he had made it a molten calf:
and they said, “These be thy gods, O Israel,
which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt”.
And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it;
and Aaron made proclamation, and said,
Tomorrow is a feast to the Lord”
Exodus 32:4-5

Notice how quickly they took the “new” and made it appear as if it was unto the Lord! Religion has not changed. There is nothing new under the sun. Surely this is a generation who loves to hear smooth and nice words. Whenever and wherever God’s people choose their own ministers the results will be the same.

It is during these times that God raises up true men and women who seek to live truth, speak truth and to confront the horror of such things. In God’s House the ministrations of His Spirit are not chosen by the people they are called…

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

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

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

Ziklag – The Great Press of God

ZIKLAG – The Great Press of God

Ziklag – The Great Press of God

“And David said in his heart,
I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul:
there is nothing better for me than that I should
speedily escape into the land of the Philistines”
1 Samuel 27:1

These are insights into the heart of David in the midst of a long and protracted circumstance. Saul’s relentless pursuit of David continued year after year in spite of the fact that David spared his life on several occasions. David finally came to the conclusion that Saul was not going to change. The situation seemed hopeless and David, now at the point of weariness, succumbed to a logical solution. For centuries the Philistines had been one of the chief enemies of God’s purposes; we see them even in the days of Isaac contending for his wells and God’s promises. The very meaning of “Philistine” “is to wear down, to roll or wallow in self (pity)”. Have we not all at one time or another been victims and sojourners in “the land of the Philistines”? We face situations with our health, financial issues, sins that plague us, temptations, struggles with relationships and many other circumstances whereby we are under assault often for years without any remedy in sight. Consciously or subconsciously we give in to a life of defeat and despair of ever knowing victory in a particular situation.

When Saul heard that David had moved into the land of the Philistines he no longer pursued him. So it is with the enemy of our souls. A defeated and hopeless Christian is no longer a threat to Satan’s dominion for we are dwelling in the place of his rule.

“And it was told Saul that David was fled to Gath:
and he sought no more again for him”
1 Samuel 27:4

It is bad enough to move into the land of the Philistines but David went even further and asked the King of the Philistines to appoint a place for him to dwell!

“And David said unto Achish,
If I have now found grace in thine eyes,
let them give me a place in some town in the country,
that I may dwell there”
1 Samuel 27:5

To which the King of the Philistines was more than pleased to give unto David Ziklag.

“Then Achish gave him Ziklag that day”
1 Samuel 27:6

Ziklag comes from a Hebrew root verb meaning to “press (mentally) someone or something to reveal what is inside” (*see note). Ziklag is a spiritual land we must visit in our walk with God. It is a place wherein we find ourselves when the press is on, the situation is dire and we, in that moment, revert to our own devices and seek out a refuge from the storm apart from God. It is a necessary work of God to reveal to us our hidden reliance on other things rather than Him alone. It is here that David is pressed even further.

While David and his men were gathered to join in battle with the Philistines to fight Israel, the Amalekites attacked Ziklag and took all of the wives and children of David and his men captive and burned the city with fire.

“And it came to pass,
when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day,
that the Amalekites had invaded the south,
and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire;
And had taken the women captives, that were therein:
they slew not any, either great or small,
but carried them away, and went on their way”
1 Samuel 30:1-2

David’s men had faithfully followed him into this place but this last compounding of the trial had brought them (and David) to a place of inconsolable grief.

“Then David and the people that were with him
lifted up their voice and wept,
until they had no more power to weep”
1 Samuel 30:4

It is hard to even comprehend the depth of grief they were all feeling. In the midst of this great sorrow we read even David’s men began to speak of stoning him!

“And David was greatly distressed;
for the people spake of stoning him,
because the soul of all the people was grieved,
every man for his sons and for his daughters…”
1 Samuel 30:6

The great pressing of God had come to David. The energies and strategies of all his natural ability had been thrown into the press of the Almighty God. The despair, discouragement and enormity of circumstance had been brought to bear upon this one who was called of God to rule and reign in Israel. What would become of him?

“…but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God”
1 Samuel 30:6

“And David recovered all that the Amalekites
had carried away: and David rescued his two wives.
And there was nothing lacking to them,
neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters,
neither spoil, nor any thing that they had taken to them:
David recovered all”
1 Samuel 30:18-19

The end of man brings us to the beginning of God and His resources. Though the press seems more than one can bear, God knows our frame and His ways are higher than ours. Men who are called of God to walk in the high places must know of these pressings and ways of the Most High God. In the Old Testament men were born priests; in the New Covenant we are “…made kings and priests unto God and his Father” (Revelation 1:6). God’s end in our lives is to be made like unto Him to such an extent that “…as he is, so are we in this world”.

Well could David declare…

“O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard: Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved. For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place
Psalm 66:8-12

It is also interesting to note that Ziklag was originally a city of Philistine rule. As a result of David being brought low, and then rising up in the strength of his God, Ziklag became a possession of Israel! That which was meant by the enemy to destroy David became part of the inheritance of Israel. God’s intention is to bring us to the place of victory in Christ Jesus.

“…wherefore Ziklag pertaineth
unto the kings of Judah unto this day”
1 Samuel 27:6

It is God’s plan and desire that all the things which are meant to crush us become a place of victory and praise unto our God. It is in these places that the overcomers in God arise and stand in the strength and faithfulness of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“He giveth power to the faint;
and to them that have no might
he increaseth strength”
Isaiah 40:29

*NOTE: Ziklag: Scholars have identified two separate roots of the form צוקiti
1: The verb צוק (suq I) denotes pressing someone (mentally) in order to bring out what’s kept inside. Thus enemies press the cities they besiege to surrender (Deuteronomy 28:53-57, Isaiah 51:13, Jeremiah 19:9). The Timnite pressed Samson for the answer to his riddle (Judges 14:17), and Delilah for the secret of his strength (16:16).
2: The verb צוק (suq II) also denotes the bringing forth of something contained internally, which is done either by applying pressure or by smelting. From rock copper is smelted (Job 28:2), but rocks poured/squeeze out streams of oil (Job 29:6). Likewise, Isaiah observes that in their distress (from צרר, sarar) the people of Israel visited YHWH and poured/squeezed out a whisper (Isaiah 26:16).

See Also: The Brook Kidron – The Place of Betrayal

Brian Troxel

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