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

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

Who shall deliver me? – Part 1

WHO SHALL DELIVER ME?

PART ONE

“…who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”
Romans 7:24

Death has many faces.  The Greek word used here is translated “death” 115 times in the New Testament.  In the scripture above and in many other places it is speaking of a death that is the result of a spiritual condition.  Somehow over the years in the Christian church we have become so numb to the power of His Life that we fail to see what His resurrection is to impart to us.  Paul is speaking here in Romans of a life that is an expression of death…

“… for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.”
Romans 7:18 – 19

In response to this condition of willing to do good but not doing, and of doing what one does not want to do, there is recognition of a need for deliverance from the “body of THIS death”.  Romans 7 is not to be the abiding experience of the normal Christian life; it is a necessary part of the journey as we grow and develop our relationship with Him, but it is NOT our dwelling place!  Paul goes on a few verses later and declares…

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus
hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
Romans 8:2

The Romans 7 experience is characterized by one key word…. “I”.  From Romans 7:14 – 23, the word “I” is mentioned 25 times.  Attempting to live the Christian Life in our own resources will always bring us back to the “death” herein described in Romans 7.  Romans 8 speaks of the LIFE in Christ Jesus!  It speaks of the LAW of Life in Christ Jesus; a LAW that frees us from the law of sin and death.  For the law of sin and death rules with an iron fist over the self life; it cannot be defeated by the self life no matter how good our intentions are.  Christian Theology cannot save me from the “body of this death”, it can only intensify it!  The end of all ministry MUST CULMINATE IN HIM.  It matters not how good someone’s teaching or preaching is; without the LIFE of Christ ruling and reigning in me its profits nothing.  The purpose of true ministry is to bring men into relationship with Christ Himself for HE ALONE can save us from our sins. HE ALONE can lift us into a realm of LIFE that is freed from the law of sin and death.  This does not negate ministry; it defines and empowers it with the realization that in the ministration of truth, living vital truth, are the people of God made free.  A ministry that leaves the people of God with an abiding experience of Romans 7 is not a ministry of TRUTH!

The purpose of TRUTH is to MAKE us free.  Truth is not words, it is not opinions.  Truth is the LIFE and POWER of the SON ruling and reigning within the hearts of men.


“And ye shall know the truth,
and the truth shall MAKE you FREE”
John 8:32

Brian Troxel