Thought for Today – Little Children

Thought for Today

Little Children

“And said, Verily I say unto you,
Except ye be converted, and become as little children,
ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 18:3

The other day I was holding my newest grandchild and was simply basking in the wonder and the handiwork of God. Her freshness of life and the incredible spontaneity of being was not only a joyful experience but one of instruction. As she was looking at the largeness of the world around her and trying to absorb what she was seeing the thought came to me “Every thought has a face”. The spontaneous expressions on her face were the mirror of what she was thinking. Sometimes it was puzzlement and the next minute sheer joy when she caught a glimpse of a someone she knew. In the environment of surrounding love, she had no need to filter or mask her spur-of-the-moment responses. This freedom from concern or worry of what others think is a liberating lesson.

“And the servant abideth not in the house for ever:
but the Son abideth ever.
If the Son therefore shall make you free,
ye shall be free indeed”
John 8:35-36

Authenticity of being is the only means by which we are truly free. The purpose of truth is to make me true. In my becoming true within I will know the wonder and joy of being right and free in God. The child-like being of whom Jesus spoke is the fruit of a true and full conversion by the ministration of His Spirit. Here we discover the quality of heart required to enter into the Kingdom of God. It is as we become as a little child that we have the rightness of being to enter into all that He has so graciously made available to us.

Spontaneity is the fruit of Authenticity

Brian Troxel

The Case for God

The Case for God

“And God said unto Moses,
I AM THAT I AM”
Exodus 3:14

Lost within the complex maze of religion there is a bright and shining truth: God is God. Men and women seek to define the mystery of God with words, doctrines and dogmas.  In so doing they invariably end up with an image or a concept of something which has little or no relationship to His true being. Through the ages people have established images and methods of worship in order to appease their inner sense of knowing that He exists. Religion is merely the invention of men seeking to unravel the mystery; to find the wonder of God within the riddle of their innate consciousness of His reality. Even the atheist acknowledges the idea of God by his determination to argue His non-existence. This sense of God is universal for within creation lies the thumbprint and the effervescence of His certainty. The idea of matter coming into existence out of nothing is in itself an absurdity. Neither can life and consciousness of being spring forth from inanimate matter. To hold the notion that the birth of a life is the summation of mindless, inanimate specks of the material world evolving themselves from nothingness into the spark of a living soul is to deny all logic or reason.

One of the fundamental laws of Being is that inanimate matter is incapable of the acknowledgement of its own existence.

“I AM THAT I AM”

This is the declaration of God Himself. What is true in Him is true of us. We are who we are. This sounds trite and banal yet at the core of this acknowledgment is the rationale as to who we are. The mystery of self is in itself proof of God’s existence. It is this sense of being and self wherein lies the spark and inspiration for the contemplation and inquiry into the mystery of God.

The verity of our being is the validation of His being.

The distinctiveness of each life, the individuality and uniqueness of every living thing, speaks of a creator who is capable of infinite thought and design. The concept of uniqueness communicates an aspect of His attentive design to every one of us! We need look no further than the mystery of the singularity of every living thing to recognize a creator. Every tree, flower, animal and human, though each may be of the same species, differs in its own being. The fir tree, though bearing a likeness to all other fir trees, is still differentiated by its own being. Its bent, its limbs and overall structure are the result of the master creator. All creation has purpose and design within our own experiential reality.

The interaction of the forces of nature express the integrated logic of design. The wind, rain and heat shape and form the beauty of mountains, canyons and deserts. Rivers cut into the various geographical features of our world producing beauty that fills our souls with awe. All are expressions of the design of God. The fact that we are created by His design and then set into this world to be formed and shaped by our interactions with the rest of His creation speaks of His continued interest in each of us. The ongoing works of God are the means and method of Him finishing what He has begun. The living tree, ever becoming more of itself through the process of life, is a mere reflection of God’s work in the human soul. Trees which have suffered great injury respond by becoming very unique from their counterparts. Life is the ability to respond and react to the experiences around us. It is this reaction which defines our own growth and brings us in reality to the development of our own being. Nothing in life is static; everything is moving, changing and in the process of becoming. It is this process of becoming that brings us to the reality of Good and Evil.

Good and Evil

Evil in itself can only exist if there is the notion of Good. It is in our knowledge of goodness that we have the ability to call something evil. If there were only evil, there would be no contrasting value from which we could assess its nature. The atheist who questions how there could be a God when they consider the evil in the world, is aware of a sense of goodness from which he is referencing “evil”. It is a contradiction in itself. This innate understanding of good is an affirmation of God’s existence. The laws of government, which set the boundaries of the behavior of its citizens, is proof world wide of this latent consciousness of good and evil. Even the most primitive, undeveloped and isolated societies of the world have laws which are designed to govern their conduct. If there were no fingerprint of God within humanity, if we were but the outcome of a mindless process of atomic matter, reason would not exist. Good and evil would be a non-existent concept. It is the sense of goodness alone by which evil is defined.

The more evil an individual or nation becomes the greater their sense of goodness diminishes. The progressive work of evil, apart from repentance, will culminate in greater darkness. The more an individual becomes good, the greater their sensitivity to evil. It is this discrimination that increases their capacity to recognize the good, choose the good and thereby become good. Evil becomes more evil in the light of that which is good.

Good and evil are expressions of the latent condition of the soul. The existence of both is evident in the mixture and impurity of our own selves. God’s work in us is to purify our hearts; purity is simply the absence of mixture. Purity is the desire of a life committed to truth and holiness. Purity is the lens through which we see God (“Blessed are the pure in heart…for they shall see God” Matthew 5:8). Religion has little desire for purity. Its way of “seeing” God lies in instructions and teachings, observances of laws and regulations, and their purpose is to convince others of their “rightness”. External observances will never in themselves effect change in the nature of an individual. Transformation requires a higher nature bringing change to a lower nature. Jesus Himself questioned the religious leaders of His day “And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one foot?”. These “spiritual” leaders were slaves to their own traditions and laws. They measured themselves by an outward conformity to their concept of God and set themselves in opposition to the Light of God. Their pride resulted in a life of hypocrisy. They measured their growth in God by their external adherence to the law rather than by the internal transformation of their hearts to the goodness, grace and wonder of God. Religion can make people capable of greater evil because they have an ability to justify evil under the pretense of “doing God a service” (John 16:2). They think that what they “believe” determines who they are before God – regardless of their actions. Such a contradiction is deception.

Another universal law of being is this: what people DO is the revelation of WHO they are. Religion tends to affirm what people “believe” determines who they are regardless of their actions. Such a contradiction is the LIE of religious deception.

Another Fundamental Law of Being is:
What One DOES is the revelation of what One IS

“Let no man deceive you:
he that does righteousness is righteous…”
1 John 3:7

How simple this statement is and yet within the religious world of teachings and doctrines this is a contradiction! One religion teaches if I pray every day, I am in good standing with God regardless if I kill or injure others around me. Another religion teaches if I simply confess a statement of faith I am no longer accountable for my ongoing actions. In some manner or another it becomes a way to pacify or excuse the wrong being and doing. Whenever evil is justified God’s proximity to that heart is lessened. To kill another in the name of God is inconceivable. To despise another (who is created in the image of God) is to despise God Himself. Right doing can only come in truth from right being. The hope of righteousness (right being) cannot be known through the outward works of religion. The Peace OF God cannot be known apart from the righteousness 0f God. True Peace is the fruit of the rightness of being, not a correctness of doctrine.. The purpose of teaching is to bring men and women into purity of heart and the authenticity of life. The God who tells us to “love our enemies” is capable of making this a reality.

Authenticity is the fruit of truth.
Hypocrisy is the byproduct of religion.

“Love thinketh no evil…”
1 Corinthians 13:4-5

When a life is governed by the incomprehensible Love of God, it becomes incapable of thinking evil. It is incapable of envy and lust. Love is the true fulfillment of the heart of man. An individual filled with Love has no need for other things. His deepest longings are fully met in the admiration and the worship of God Himself.

“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned,
in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”
Philippians 4:11

This fulfillment is only available within the Life of Christ Himself. Rest is experienced only when God Himself is at rest within us.

“As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness:
I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.”
Psalm 17:15

Authenticity is the fulfillment
of God’s work in man

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Simplicity

Thought for Today

Simplicity

“Whoever claims to abide in Him
must walk as Jesus walked”
1 John 2:6

In this Epistle John kept truth very simple. His teaching, his life and his depth of knowing Christ produced an unpretentious presentation of Christ. There is little attempt to soften the blow of truth. Grace is not presented in an obscure, generic fashion. Truth is depicted as the verity of one’s walk. Eternal life is set forth as the “now” life, wherein the actions, thoughts and intents of an individual’s heart IS the revelation of their relationship and life in God.

With the simplicity of the Spirit of God the truth in these powerful statements declare that what one does reveals the spirit in which one walks. There is no escaping these blunt statements regarding our condition. In the reading of this Book we are forced to face the authenticity of our own character.

Religious obscurity offers a shelter with enough ambiguity to give the illusion that things are fine. There is a dimming of the light and the promise of a bright future with no correlation to the life now lived. There is a compartmentalization which disconnects our current walk from our future end. Such a concept is a lie.

Whenever and wherever truth is obscured, and teachings and precepts cloud the current state of one’s condition, grace becomes a sentiment which comforts an individual rather than a ministration which empowers them to arise and live godly in Christ Jesus.

The cry of the sincere heart is one of embracing truth, loving truth and desiring the piercing revelation of all Christ is in order to bring change into our current life, our “now” life. The true in heart seek no alternative. They pursue no hiding place from the Light of God in their own hearts. They find no comfort in anything other than His power producing within them the life of Christ. The true in heart love the simplicity of truth and seek the Living Word of God to reprove, correct and cut away all that is not of Him.

Truth is come to make us free. This freedom brings not only an emancipation from sin but a life unfettered and spontaneous which unconsciously expresses the verity of Him. May we find the joy of His Word as it illuminates, reveals and burns away the dross and contagion of self. Let His Truth be simple, powerful and above all evident in the life we live.

Authenticity is simply the fruit
of being free in Christ.

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Union in Christ

Thought for Today

Union in Christ

“If we love one another, God dwelleth in us,
and his love is perfected in us.”
1 John 4:12

Love is the bond, the ligaments as it were, of the Body of Christ. Love is never content with shallow religious affiliations. It seeks out, pursues and ever desires full knowledge of another. Within its own heart is the flame of relationship and union in Christ. Its reach into another heart is for the purpose of apprehending oneness; the same oneness for which Christ prayed unto the Father. This union of hearts is the very essence and heartbeat of His Spirit within His own. It is a cry which can only be fulfilled in the purity and wonder of His Holiness becoming in truth our holiness. Many fear such depths of fellowship for in the intimacy of holy bonds there is no room for the hypocrisy and pretense of an insincere heart. Holiness in Christ is the fearful abode in which only the authentic can live and be at home. The depth of our abiding in Him corresponds with the depth of our relationship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. The measure of our own partaking of His resurrection life is revealed in the love we have for our brothers and sisters. Only the deceived can find rest in a life lived outside of the love of God.

“We know that we have passed from death unto life,
because we love the brethren.”
1 John 3:14

There are many in this day who find refuge in obscurity where the true inner condition remains hidden from the view of others. It is a refuge of darkness and in this hiding place men and women live a life of duplicity and bondage. The light of God does not penetrate the self-made cloak of iniquity to bring healing, freedom and life. This dark place becomes a habitation of judgment and unreality. Those who choose such a place will never know the freedom and glory that the ministration of truth brings to the soul of man.

The natural outflow of a healthy heart seeks depths of relationship with others. It is free from the need to hide and conceal the true, secret life within. Indifference to the true condition of the lives of those around us is the fruit of a life lived within the obscurity of its own making. The Love of God differs greatly from the love of self. The Love of God seeks purity within for only the “pure in heart” can see God. The blazing light of God shining within the human heart exposes the falseness and perversity of our very being; it pierces the deception of our own selfishness.

The relationship which God has called us to is one of union and oneness, not worldly and distant.

“So we, being many, are one body in Christ,
and every one members one of another.”
Romans 12:5

The relationship that Jesus has called us to is not a casual one. The depth of relationship we are called to is of the same nature and power as “He is with the Father”. There will be no real change in the paradigm of the Body of Christ until the desire for true relationship is the cry of our hearts. The unity of the faith will never be realized outside of our being ONE in Him. A shallow relationship with HIM will be evident in our relationship with our brothers and sisters. To be ONE with Him is to desire and pursue the same depth of relationship with the other members of His Body.

“He that loveth his brother abideth in the light,
and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.”
1 John 2:10

Σ

“Holy Father, keep through thine own name
those whom thou hast given me,
that they may be one, as we are”
John 17:11

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – Anthony of Padua

Quote for Today

“Actions speak louder than words.
Let your words teach and your actions speak.”
Anthony of Padua

“So speak ye, and so do,
as they that shall be judged
by the law of liberty.”

James 2:12

Brian Troxel

Spiritual Discernment – Ananias and Sapphira

Spiritual Discernment

Ananias and Sapphira
(Acts 5:1-11)

They pretended to give all yet held back something for themselves. It was the pretense that brought the judgment of the Lord upon them. Had they held back a portion and stated so, their offering would have been accepted. It was the deceit of portraying that they had given all which was judged so severely. How we need to endeavor that our hearts be free of this great sin. This is a common sin of our day and is often overlooked for now. However, when we stand before our King such things will be brought to light for nothing will be hid in that day.

“For the Son of Man will come
in His Father’s glory with His angels,
and then He will repay each one
according to what he has done”
Matthew 16:27

Excerpt from the Spiritual Discernment and False Prophets Part One Writing

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – Benard of Clairvaux

Quote for Today

Bernard of Clairvaux

“There are those who seek knowledge for the sake of knowledge; that is curiosity. There are those who seek knowledge to be known by others; that is vanity. There are those who seek knowledge in order to serve; that is Love”
Benard of Clairvaux

Quote for Today – Augustine

Quote for Today

Augustine

“A Christian is: a mind through which Christ thinks, a heart through which Christ loves, a voice through which Christ speaks, and a hand through which Christ helps”
Augustine

The Bride – Part One

His Bride

Part One

“Behold, thou art fair…behold, thou art fair”
Song of Songs 4:1

The Bride of Christ is beautiful. Her beauty is not one of a positional truth; she is beautiful because, like Esther, she has submitted herself to the dealings and processing of His Spirit*. She is not of the spirit of Vashti** who refused the invitation to come at her Lord’s command (Esther 1:12; Matthew 22:2-14). She is humble and beautiful inside and out. In her submission to the Holy Spirit she has been adorned with the graces and the wonders of her Christ. She has found in Him the ability to become heavenly with no stain of earth upon her (Ephesians 5:27). She wears the garments of righteousness in Christ and through the operation of His Spirit, she has made herself ready for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb! (Revelation 19:17) The trials and testings have brought her to a purity in Him. The Word has had its way within her heart and her nature has been exchanged; the first Adam for the second Adam. Nature is the determining factor of this relationship as Holy is joined to holy. Not only is union with Christ the basis of true fellowship with one another, but of necessity His Bride must be of the same nature as He. How little we understand the significance of nature being the holy ground upon which the Bridegroom and the Bride must meet. It is in the here and now of our life that these things take place. It is in the curious work of God in the “lowest parts of the earth”, substance yet unseen, that the members of this body are being wrought by God.

“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!”
Psalm 139:14-17

David is speaking prophetically of the Body of Christ, each member being wonderfully and skillfully wrought by the Master Craftsman. Though incomplete they are written into the Book of Life and even now continue to be formed in secret. God calls the things which are not and brings them into the substance and reality of Life. How great is His love and the sum of His thoughts towards us!

“Behold”! The Bridegroom beckons us to look upon His Bride and marvel at His work in her. “Behold” (Song of songs 4:1)! He speaks to the principalities and powers even to the ages to come of His manifold wisdom in the Church!

“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”
Ephesians 2:7

“…so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places”
Ephesians 3:10

The religious of this world understand little of the Call of God unto His Own. They do not comprehend “the breadth, and length, and depth, and height” to which we have been called. The ability to see these things is through the operation of Christ dwelling in our hearts by faith, our lives rooted and grounded in the very love of God!

“That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge”
Ephesians 3:16-18

The divine enablement to comprehend these things necessitates a “strengthening by His Spirit in our inner man”, a true “dwelling of Christ in our hearts by faith”, and being “rooted and grounded in the Love of Christ”. The verity of these things will result in His saints apprehending the clarion call of God unto His Own! These things are hidden from the wise, the prudent and the religious and revealed unto those with child-like faith.

For what purpose is the seeing and comprehending of these things?

“that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God”
Ephesians 3:19

Paul in his ecstatic declaration of these things ends with the final Amen.

“Now unto him that is able to DO exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us”
Ephesians 3:20

The true Bride of Christ will not stagger at these promises. Like Mary of old she does not dispute or stumble at the seeming impossibility of these things but simply responds “be it unto me, according to thy word”. The religious and unbelieving will twist and dilute these truths but those who know Him know that He is able!

The intent of God is that we be filled with all the fullness of God! His Bride holds within her the heartbeat of a living faith which presses her unto the fulfillment. She responds through the medium of obedience. Faith and obedience are synonymous. The revelation of the one (faith) is revealed in the other (obedience).

It is the humble in heart in whom the promises are found for humility is the nature from which obedience springs. The proud, the lofty and the self-righteousness cannot and will not submit to walk in obedience to Christ. One must have His nature to obey His call. God’s great judgement at the end of days will be to separate the sheep from the goats, the true from the false.

“…as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world”
Matthew 25:22-34

Moving in the gifts of the Spirit, knowing much about Christ, sitting in meetings where His Word is spoken will not be sufficient in the Day of His judgment. The nature of the individual will be the deciding factor.

“Then shall ye begin to say, we have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity
Luke 13:26-27

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity
Matthew 7:22-23

Being born again implies a new nature; the divine nature through which we are empowered to escape the filth and lust of this world (2 Peter 1:4). Though that nature is available to all who are born again, the partaking of it requires faith and obedience. It is through obedience that our souls are purified. It is the pure in heart who shall “see God”.

“Seeing ye have purified your souls
in obeying the truth through the Spirit…”
1 Peter 1:22

Obedience is the desire of the Bride’s heart. She knows that in obeying Him she not only pleases Him but her obedience is the means to becoming pure. The love of God becomes our motivation and our joy and in the seeing of Him everything else becomes dim.

“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him:
for the marriage of the Lamb is come,
and his wife hath made herself ready”
Revelation 19:17

It is easy to talk about these things but we must come to the place of obedience to Him to make the call and the election of God a sure thing (2 Peter 1:10). The day of exalting in what we know must give way to trembling at the seeing of Him. All men are humbled upon seeing Him. Such was the testimony of John:

“And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead”
Revelation 1:17

There is no room for exaltation of anyone but Him!

The Bride, His Fair One are those whom His eye is ever upon. She is carefully and meticulously being groomed for greatness and royalty. She has His eye because He has her heart! It is the humility of her heart that draws His attention and His gaze.

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

The Bride of Christ is His; she will not take on the name of another. She will not join that which is a mixture of flesh and spirit. She follows the Lamb wherever He goes. She seeks no following for she is captivated with Him and intent on following Him. She does not seek the praises of men but lives for His approval. She does not fit into the systems of this world for she is not of this world. The temples, buildings and organizations of men cannot lure her away from the pursuit of Him. Rather than agendas she seeks the Life. Rather than methods and strategies she discovers the Way of God within. Her eyes are set upon a City whose builder and maker is God. She is a pilgrim in this world because she is only at home in His. Even so Lord “be it unto us according to Thy Word”.

“For of him, and through him, and to him,
are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen”

Notes:
* The beautiful narrative of Esther is prophetic of the rise of the Bride of Christ where her story is an exposé on the journey of the Bride in our day. We see her being selected as one of many fair ones of which only one was to be chosen as the new Queen due to Vashti’s disobedience. The Eunuch Hegai’s purpose was to submit each of these to the process of purifying, teaching and preparing them to be fit to be queen. The bitter experiences are represented by the myrrh; the pleasant odors of the other spices plus “other things” were for their purifying. It was the grace and beauty with which Esther carried herself that caught the attention of Hegai. She was shown special favor by him so that she would be most prepared in her presentation unto the King. “Many are called but few are chosen” is a sobering truth in this day when the lives of those who seek to be faithful are scorned and mocked as legalistic and old fashioned. Nevertheless, the Bride will stand at the last day arrayed in the fine linen of Christ’s righteousness and the heavens will rejoice!
**The Story of Vashti is a portrayal of deep truths which have been fulfilled multiple times throughout the history of God and man. We see it in the refusal of one generation to enter the land of promise and God raises up the next one to go in with greater grace; we see it in the continual refusal of Israel to walk with God and He turned to the Gentiles; we see it in the parable of the Wedding Feast where the called of God did not respond to His call and they were left to themselves while the servants of the Lord were sent to the highways and the byways to bring people in. The pride and arrogance of one generation is the doorway for another. God will always fulfill His purposes but “they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief”. (Hebrews 4:6) God will raise up another. It is with this in mind that we are instructed to seek humility and walk obediently before Him.

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – William Secker

Quote for Today

William Secker

“There is no ascertaining the quality of a tree but by its fruits. When the wheels of a clock move within, the hand on the dial will move without. When the heart of a man is sound in conversion, then the life will be fair in profession. When the conduit is walled in, how shall we judge of the spring but by the waters which run through the pipes?”
William Secker

“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them”
Matthew 7:20