Leadership

Leadership and the New Wine Skin

Part Two

“Peter saith unto him,
Thou shalt never wash my feet.”
John 13:8

Peter’s deep reverence for Jesus had elements of worldly esteem. His carnal conception of what leadership was to be, was offended by this act of humility. Washing the disciple’s feet contradicted Peter’s idea of how Jesus should be; he deemed it denigrating. The humility of Jesus is an affront to all who desire pre-eminence in religious circles. True leadership of the New Emerging Wine Skin will be by those who understand this powerful truth within the depths of their being.

Leadership in the Spirit is simply a life consumed with following Him. It arises from those who follow the Lamb. Their vision, their purposes and their desires are not to lead others but to follow Christ. The true sheep follow those who bear the nature and the likeness of Christ. They have no earthly agendas, no grandiose concepts of personal greatness; their glory is to serve and honour Christ.

Paul could say freely and simply:

“Then whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all things to the glory of God. Be without offense both to Jews and Greeks, and to the assembly of God. Even as I also please all in all things, not seeking my own advantage, but that of the many, that they may be saved. Be imitators of me, even as I also am of Christ
1 Corinthians 10:31-33; 11:1* (see note below)

Paul’s leadership was founded in the cause of Christ; he did nothing for his “own advantage”. It was a leadership poured out in the edification and admonishment of others for their growth and apprehension of Christ, free from personal gain and agendas. The heart and soul of this new leadership being raised up will not build up anything unto itself. It will not seek its own nor use others for its advantage! It will be free from the pomp and the pride of anything other than the Lordship and Majesty of Christ. It will not walk in the pretense of a false humility. It will not be presumptuous or jealous of others. Rather it will welcome and foster, at every opportunity, authentic expressions of Christ and extend to others an invitation to sit and partake of the fellowship of the Spirit. It will not cut itself off from others nor walk in the spirit of Diotrephes who “loved to have the pre-eminence”. (Such corruption will subject them to the Judgment of God). Those who view any gathering of the people of God “my church”, “my people” or “my fellowship” will find themselves excluded from the New Wine Skin. There must be stamped upon our hearts the living truth:

“Unto Him shall the glory be”

Paul in his epistle to the Philippians declared that many of that day sought their own things and not the things of Christ. Those who refuse to humble themselves in this hour, who refuse to open their hearts to the ministrations of others, will reap sorrow and judgement.

This new leadership will have written upon their very hearts a pure desire to see the Unity of the Spirit become the reality here on earth until we come to the glory and power of the Unity of the Faith! (Ephesians 4:3,13) Any ministration which does not seek this One thing will be cut off from the commonwealth of His Life and Glory! Only the Life of Christ can produce such pure and holy lives.

“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor that which is evil. Cling to that which is good. In love of the brothers be tenderly affectionate to one another; in honor preferring one another…”
Romans 12:9-10

The new and emerging leadership must exemplify this heart. They are to be “ensamples” to, not lords over God’s heritage.

“We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything. We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide open. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. In return (I speak as to children) widen your hearts also”
2 Corinthians 6:3-13 (ESV)

The verity of all ministry is to One End:

“that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus”
Colossians 1:28

“of which I was made a servant, according to the stewardship of God which was given me toward you, to fulfill the word of God,”
Colossians 1:25

What does this life look like?

“for which I also labor, striving according to his working, which works in me mightily”
Colossians 1:29

__________________________________________

“Let this mind be in you,
which was also in Christ Jesus”
Philippians 2:5

*Note: The statement “Be imitators (followers KJV) of me, even as I also am of Christ” has grievously been isolated from the context of the truth of what Paul was presenting in 2 Corinthians, chapter 10, by the placing of a chapter division; some have erroneously interpreted this scripture to their own ends.

Brian Troxel

The Elect of God

The Elect of God

“Put on therefore, as the elect of God,
holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness,
humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering…”
Colossians 3:12

The “elect of God” reveal their call and election through their expression of Christ-like character. They bear unfeigned aspects of His heart and passion. In spiritual things, we are revealed by what we are and what we are is expressed by what we do. In religious things, it is not necessary to have a connection between being and doing.

David breathed a prayer which was “after the heart of God”.

“Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth:
unite my heart to fear thy name”
Psalm 86:11

A united heart is an authentic heart; a heart full of the fear and wonder of the Lord. The inconsistencies of our being become united by the singularity of His rule within. Growth in Christ is revealed in the spontaneous flow of His nature into the world around us. The desire for a united heart is the affirmation of His Spirit at work within us.

The purpose of truth is to make us true. True to Him, true to one another and true to the world around us.

“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence
to make your calling and election sure…”
2 Peter 1:10

Brian Troxel

The Purpose of Grace – 4

The Purpose of Grace

Part Four

“For this purpose the Son of God was manifested,
that He might destroy the works of the devil”
1 John 3:8

We are called to be the light of the world. Another way to declare that powerful truth: we are called to be His Light to the world. His Light reveals the hearts of men. His light dispels the works of darkness. His Life destroys the workings of despair which would beguile and tempt men and women into the throes of bitterness, sorrow and death. Many die long before they stop breathing. Their lives are twisted and perverted by the wretchedness of sin gift wrapped in the illusion of pleasure; hollow souls with vacant eyes and empty hearts bound in the misery of addiction and hopelessness.

He came for such as these. He has invested Himself into our own brokenness, that we may take the light of His Life to see the “works of the devil” destroyed in others. God’s answer is the power of Christ shining through redeemed souls, made whole by the same grace, now reaching out to others. May we see that the answer to our timidity, our reluctance, our apathy and our fear is the fulness of God’s love in our hearts.

These who have God’s love give of themselves first to Him, then to the world. The same God who so loved the world to the point of giving His only begotten Son has also purposed for us to give of ourselves.

“… as my Father hath sent me,
even so send I you”
John 20:21

(See The Purpose of Grace Part 1)
(See The Purpose of Grace Part 2)
(The The Purpose of Grace Part 3)
(Grace)

Brian Troxel

Politics and the Day of the Lord

Politics and the Day of the Lord

“It is better to trust in the LORD
than to put confidence in princes”
Psalm 118:9

There is an angst in those who look to political leaders for answers to the upheavals of our day. Peace comes from God alone and not from the strategies and ideas of men. There are spiritual forces at work to stir up the chaos filling our streets. We are seeing but the precursor to a storm brewing on the horizon.

“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world…”
Luke 21:25-26

Why are these things happening?

“For the powers of the heavens will be shaken”
Luke 21:26

God is moving and powers are being shaken. Wicked spirits from on high are being cast down knowing they have but a short time. Wickedness will increase and lawlessness will reign for a season; these things must be. Yet in the end God will prevail in glory and majesty. Suffering precedes glory and seeming defeat is the path to sure victory. The crucible must give way to the crown. The winds are beginning to howl, the darkness is falling, and that Lawless One must be revealed for the Day of the Lord decrees it.

Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God”
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

Trouble on earth is the result of heavenly powers being shaken. It is truly a time for us to look up “for our redemption draweth nigh”! God’s Word comes to us to prepare us, strengthen us and gird us up in the preserving power of His Life. Let not the fear of all these things trouble our hearts. He is our strong tower in this Day of the growing storm.

“Turn you to the strong hold,
ye prisoners of hope…”
Zechariah 9:12

It is a time to seek Him, pursue Him and allow Him to fully prepare us for the Day which is upon us. The graces of God are to be our shelter. Love, peace and the enduring hope of His appearing will guard our hearts from the bitterness and turmoil of this hour. Forgiveness is the costly preservative for our hearts. It is a balm which heals us from all injury and gives us the power to love beyond all human ability.

“Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.”
2 Thessalonians 2:15-17

Brian Troxel

The Mystery of Holiness

The Mystery of Holiness

Part One

“…that we should be holy and without blame
before him in love”
Ephesians 1:4

Our religious concept of holiness has many faces. It can appear austere, ascetic, harsh or given to cliques and elite tendencies. Nothing could be further from the mind and heart of God. The truth is, our growth into His Holiness must be garmented in the wonder of His Love. True holiness is founded upon the immensity of the Love of God. Its disdain for things of the world, its repulsion of isolationism and elitism, its burning desire to see the Body of Christ arise from the ashes of division, are the pure expressions of a life growing in the Love of Christ.

Worldliness spawns chaos and division. Racism, the desire for dominance, the need for men to draw others to themselves (or the need to be a follower of others), all stem from the same contaminated stream; the desire for self-gratification and a sense of belonging. These stains are rife in the Body of Christ; rivalry, competition, jealously and envy are the result of lives untouched by holiness. These things do not exist in heavenly places. They are obliterated in His Presence.

Those who have touched even the hem of the garments of His presence should be grieved by the slander, the separations, the envying and the striving for pre-eminence in the midst of God’s people. The pretense of holiness is a sign of ones lost in their own importance. There can be no true growth in holiness apart from its author, Love.

“…that we should be holy and without blame
before him in love”
Ephesians 1:4

The Holiness of God prompted the Father to send His Only Begotten Son into this world through the impulse of Love. Rather than looking down upon His creation, He desires to raise us out of its corruption and restore its beauty through the offering of Jesus. False ideas of what constitutes holiness are but another facade of the self-perpetuating and self-glorifying lust of men. Holiness is a life where all things are in order; the lust of self, the chaos and contradictions of our own hearts, are brought under the jurisdiction of the Spirit of God. The reign of harmony and peace are the fruits of holiness. As our own unruly self becomes subject to the Love of God, we begin to see order in our own hearts and in God’s house (not by law, but by grace). Order is the revelation of holiness. It takes little discernment to gaze over the landscape of what men call “Christendom” and see the energies and pursuits of self revealed in all of its disorder. When we declare “my church”, “my fellowship”, “my teacher” (1 Cor. 1:11-13) we have departed from the love and holiness of God. Order is the result of all things being in Him.

But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, don’t boast and don’t lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, sensual, and demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition are, there is confusion and every evil deed. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceful, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace”
James 3:14-18

Humility is a life free from the pursuits of self. It is bold and at times audacious in its presentation of Christ. It will not yield to the religious of the day, not because it is self-important, but because it is free from the agendas of others. Peace is the atmosphere of humility. There is a liberty and ease within made possible by the cross of Christ.

“A vain man through pride causeth debate* (division),
And with the counselled is wisdom”
Proverbs 13:10 (YLT)

The selfish man profits from division. It is in the chaos of division and strife that he can find a place of pre-eminence.

“For where jealousy and selfish ambition are,
there is confusion and every evil deed”
James 3:16

It is insecurity that compels men to follow others, to feel the need to be part of earthly organizations and religious cliques. They who are secure in Christ know there is but ONE Body, ONE Faith and ONE God and Father of us all. His Salvation is our freedom from the fallen self and the need to be recognized by others. His Unity can only be realized in the living truth of His Holiness dwelling in our hearts by Love!

Σ

“…and the leaves of the tree
were for the healing of the nations”
Revelation 22:2

*NOTE: The word translated “debate” in the YLT or “contention” in the KJV is defined as follows:

מַצָּה - maṣṣāh: “A feminine noun depicting strife, contention. It refers to wrangling, quarreling, and contention” The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament; Warren Baker

Thayer’s Lexicon points out this Hebrew word is from the Hebrew Root נָצָה - nâtsâh (naw-tsaw')
A primitive root; properly to go forth (1 John 2:19), that is, (by implication) to be expelled, and (consequently) desolate; causatively to lay waste. (scripture reference added by me)

Brian Troxel

True Life

True Life

The Life of Becoming

“Those things, which ye have both learned,
and received, and heard, and seen in me, DO:
and the God of peace shall be with you”
Philippians 4:9

Knowledge is good. Understanding the work of Christ on the cross is the foundational truth whereby we have the assurance of our standing in Him. Upon this cornerstone the Father was able to send unto us the power and wonder of the Holy Spirit that we might receive Christ within and live lives that actually reveal Him. It is through the glorification of Jesus, His death, and His resurrection, that the Holy Spirit has been sent into our hearts.

“He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”
John 7:38-39

The plan and the purpose of the Holy Spirit being given is to produce His likeness in us. To whatever degree truth is actual on an individual level will determine the depth of our journey into the Unity of the Spirit*. We have far too much apathy in the knowledge of what Christ did FOR US* when in reality the pressing issue (for each of us) is what has He accomplished IN and THROUGH US. They who have the true knowledge of what He did for us reveal its wonder by our abandonment to His Will (Romans 12:1). Jesus died for the sins of the whole world but how few are radically affected by His great sacrifice. Faith is the defining agency between a mere knowing of a thing and the incomprehensible changing power of His resurrection life.

“Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth”
1 Corinthians 8:1

The giving forth of the Spirit of Christ is to culminate in a life (true life) with an authentic expression of He who is The Life. It is a life of doing because it proceeds from a life of being. Paul in the spirit of true humility could declare this incredible statement:

“Those things, which ye have both learned,
and received, and heard, and seen in me, DO:
and the God of peace shall be with you”
Philippians 4:9

For those with ears to hear and eyes to see, the purpose of God in Christ is the very power to renovate our pride of knowing into the humility and brokenness over our true spiritual condition. The pride of man is shattered by the truth of Christ! It is not what we know that has value in the economy of God; it is what we become by the work of His Spirit within us. Faith is the conduit through which this transformation is conducted.

“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 measure of Christ’s work within us is proportional to our submission to Him. Light is simply the flow of power through a flimsy element. The element has no ability to produce light in itself. It matters little if the element can give a great discourse on the composition of power, how it is made and where it comes from; if there is no actual flow there will be no light. So it is with us. The knowledge of God must culminate in the flow of His power through us in order for His purposes to be accomplished. Paul was not content in what he knew. He did not glory in the revelations given; his heart was inflamed with the necessity of “apprehending” that full power of Christ within.

“Not that I have already obtained,
or am already made perfect; but I press on,
that I may take hold of that for which also
I was taken hold of by Christ Jesus”
Philippians 3:12

May God, by His Spirit, impact our lives afresh with the depth and the heights to which He has called us. The glory of this call cannot but produce within us a depth of humility which frees us from the pride of knowledge and bring us into a living hope that sustains us in the seeing of our great need for Him.

There is but one unmistakable proof of this living hope being active and alive within us:

“…but we know that, when He shall appear,
we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as he is.
And every man that hath this hope in Him
purifieth himself, even as He is pure
1 John 3:2-3

The Hope of Christ within will always produce a growing purity of heart. The great and (H)impossible call and purpose of God remains:

“As He is,
so are we in this world”
1 John 4:17

____________________

*Note: The Unity of the Spirit is the fruit of our being in Him. My submission to Him and His Spirit reigning in you results in us being unified in Him. Fellowship in Him will always be proportional to the depth in which we walk in His Light. Where there is no true fellowship with another, Light is the issue. The validity of our walk is revealed in the wonder and joy of our sharing in Him one with another.

“But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light,
we have fellowship one with another
1 John 1:7

*Note: Eternity will not be long enough to explore and comprehend the mystery of His sacrifice and the Love which motivated the grand and unfathomable gift of Himself. The measure of His grace is purposed to produce burning, living and radical lives which have been affected by the wonder of His unspeakable gift. 

“Who gave himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee”
Titus 2:14-15

Brian Troxel

 

Samson and the Downtrodden

The Sign of Samson

“And the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes and brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze shackles. And he ground at the mill in the prison.”
Judges 16:21

The Life of Samson
is a SIGN to the Downtrodden

Round and round the unseen track trod this prisoner bound in brass. Round and round, his broken soul weighed down with the pain of having failed his God. The once proud and arrogant Samson, with God-given strength, who feared little and did as he pleased, was now reduced to an object of worldly sport and the jeering of his enemies. Round and round the defeated one walked, his hopeless and pitiful existence spent in this daily, endless grind. Ridiculed by his foes, and apparently abandoned by his God, his end seemed near.

Many children of God have lost hope and thus assume that these are their last days with no seeming purpose. Others cling to promises which seem farther away today than they did the day before. The evening shadows fall heavily upon their souls. The light which burned bright in former days gives way to obscurity and growing doubt. Round and round the monotony of the daily path slowly drains their joy and passion for God. Just like Samson lives are beaten down with defeat, broken dreams, and shattered hopes in the midst of failures and circumstances too great to overcome. The way seems barred, the doors shut. Such would be the case – except for GOD!

The once powerful Samson was reduced to slavery and ridicule because of his foolish love of Delilah (representing the world and its ways). He fell under her seduction and gave up the secret of his strength. Bound and fettered by her beguiling ways, his eyes were put out (his spiritual vision) and he became the slave and merchandise of the Harlot. Time passed in worldliness and selfish pursuits until at last the realization begin to dawn upon him as to the dire place to which he had fallen. The careless life he lived, the reckless abandon to his selfish ways and pursuits, brought him to a place of utter bondage and hopelessness.

“But the hair of his head
began to grow again after it had been shaved”
Judges 16:22

May God remind us that His promises hold true and His mercies never cease. The enemy, your enemy, does not know the hidden ways of the Lord. The Devil sees not the secret council of the wisdom and the purposes of God. God will surely “renew their strength” and in due time “they will mount up with wings as eagles”. It is time to lift up your eyes which have been blinded by your enemy; a day to lift up the hands which hang down and to once again sing the song of the Lord with joy. It is of the Lord’s mercies to work in our Day; to cause His servants to arise and, as Samson, strike a greater blow in our weakness than we ever did in the days of our strength.

“Therefore also now, saith the Lord,
turn ye even to me with all your heart,
and with fasting, and with weeping,
and with mourning…”
Joel 2:12

“Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.” Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down, the grass shall become reeds and rushes. And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray. No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there. And the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Isaiah 35:3-10

Ω

“…let the weak say, I am strong”
Joel 3:10

Brian Troxel

Light of the World

Light of the World

“And the light shineth in darkness”
John 1:5

This Light was nothing less than the indomitable Life of Jesus illuminating the dark world in which He walked; a Light of such magnitude that the whole earth was lit with His glory. It was a Life clothed in humility in stark contrast to Roman arrogance and power. It was a Life of purity in the face of the darkness and corruption of the religion of the Jews. It was the breath of heaven bringing hope and power to those who were bound. He was in fact the fulness of the Godhead and the pure manifestation of the Father.

“For in him dwelleth all the fulness
of the Godhead bodily”
Colossians 2:9

He would declare without compromise “he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father”. The enormity of this truth ought to stagger the human race. The disclosure in this declaration is so grand, so high and so vast that without the power of a living faith no man could grasp its significance. The One who uttered this incomprehensible truth came to inject the very Life of God into the human race in order to raise up those who would walk, speak and, with the same purity of heart, minister that Love to all. In other words, to fully manifest the Glory of the Father in the Face of Jesus Christ. He came with one purpose: to be that living seed which would fall into the ground and die in order to be sown into the hearts of men, and that that same resurrection Life would raise up those who would bear His likeness in this darkened world of men.

“Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world”
1 John 4:17

To the natural mind His purposes in Christ are a fable and considered too high to be attainable. Without the power of a living faith, “reasonable” expectations, ministered by faithless teachers, produce nothing but vain religion. The Living Faith of Christ empowers His Own to “unattainable” heights of His Life. They are not staggered by their own limited resources of self. They refuse to comply with faithless expectations and unholy living; they recognize compromise and apathy as enemies.

“They profess that they know God;
but in works they deny him…”
Titus 1:16

Those who have His Life (present tense) shine His Light into this present world. They cannot profess one thing while in fact living another. His Life is the Light of Men. It is in the shining forth of His Light into the world whereby we reveal the truth of who we are. The measure of the Light that shines from each of us is the revelation of the depth of our living and walking in Him. May we again be struck anew with the force of the call of God to each of us:

“…as He is, so are we in this world”
1 John 4:17

This Holy truth cannot be taught. It can only be manifested through the power of relationship. To be “as He is” requires a moment by moment dwelling in Him just as the branch simply bears fruit by being One with the Vine from whom the power and life-force flows.

Relationship with Christ is the solitary hope of man. It is one thing to talk about abiding in Him but the undeniable evidence is a growing dependency upon Him.

“He that saith he abideth in him
ought himself also so to walk,
even as he walked”
1 John 2:6

Talking the talk without walking the walk is folly and deception. Faith without the evidence is the lie of religion. It is the result of feeding from the Tree of Knowledge rather than the Tree of Life. “As He is” is the call to each of us and knowing this leaves us no choice but to grow into an ever-deepening relationship with Him who is The Life.

“He that loveth his brother
abideth in the light…”
1 John 2:10

This pulse of Christ Jesus within makes it impossible not to love our brothers and sisters in Christ. To love is to care. The true Love of God is a fire and the spring from which flows admonition and exhortation. We cannot remain silent in the face of compromise; we care too much to see them settle for anything less than God’s purpose. One cannot read the epistles and not feel the burning which stirred within. Their lives were engulfed in the fire of God. If there was ever a time to admonish and exhort one another unto the Life and the Works of God, it is today! Love will never be silent in the face of apathy!

“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching”
Hebrews 10:25

What is to be the temper and the purpose of gathering together? To exhort one another and so much more as we see the Day approaching. What are we to exhort one another unto?

“And let us consider one another
to provoke unto love and to good works”
Hebrews 10:24

There is a deceptive gospel which separates Faith from Works. It is the lie and horror of religion to make people feel comfortable in a state in which their faith lays no claim upon their life. It comforts the soul without emancipating it.

Jesus declared:

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven”
Matthew 5:16

“And the light shineth in darkness”
John 1:5

Are you?

Σ

“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. *For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins”
Hebrews 10:24-26

* Consider the context of this verse… “for if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth”. What truth? The exhorting and provoking one another unto love and good works. May we take heed to the Word of God as we see the Day approaching!

Brian Troxel

The Present Truth – Part Six

The Present Truth – Part Six

“lift up your eyes”

“Say NOT ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest”
John 4:35

The context of this scripture illustrates God’s call to the “present” truth of His life within us. Jesus, being weary and hungry, had sent the disciples into the city of Sychar for food and sat at the well waiting them to return. As He was waiting a woman came to the well to draw water. Within a few short sentences He had exposed the secrets of her heart, revealed Himself and shared the desire of His heavenly Father for true worshipers. The disciples returned with food and He responds, “I have meat you know not of”! The profound truth is, in the present doing of His will, we are fed, strengthened and empowered in the “today” of His Life. The hidden manna is reserved for those who see and participate with Him in the opportunities afforded us Today.

Let us take his admonishment, “say not” to heart. “Say not” sometime later God is going to bring in a harvest; “say not” sometime in the future God is going to use me; “say not” God will someday move through my life. It is the deception of our own procrastination which is unable to respond to present day opportunities! God’s answer to the impotency of such faith? “Lift up your eyes” for the fields are already white unto the harvest! Those who see in the Spirit know of the works, the opportunities and movings of God as present truth. Too many of God’s people walk in the impotency of an apathetic faith, not seeing the opportunities of NOW. Delegating everything to sometime in the future results in fruitless and barren living. It is in the NOW that we develop a greater faith for tomorrow’s works of faith.

Jesus confronted the faith of Martha regarding Lazarus her brother; a faith stuck in the past:

“Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord,
if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died”
John 11:21

Her response to Jesus’ declaration “Thy brother shall rise again” also revealed a procrastination of faith to some future day: “I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day”. A true statement but one that missed the message that Christ wanted her to hear.

“I AM the resurrection, and the life…”
John 11:25

Too many of us live as if our faith is in a God whose name is “I will be” rather than His glorious name of “I AM”; the present God, the present truth and the present answer to the needs of fallen humanity around us. Of course, there are always more glorious things to come in God; such is the truth of His eternal plans. Yet, if I walk in His Spirit, I will see the glorious truth that there are fields, present tense, “white unto harvest”. The blindness of a “someday faith” deprives us of present truth thus robbing God of His present glory. It results in stagnation and spiritual death; ever waiting for some future thing while ignoring the bread and wonder of the present. The “hidden manna” falls every day to those whose eyes are open to see His fields of opportunity.

It is as we walk in faith today that we are prepared for the opportunities of tomorrow’s faith.

“Sanctify yourselves (today):
for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you”
Joshua 3:5

The sanctifying work of today is the precursor to the beholding of His works tomorrow. Sanctifying ourselves today means we are set apart for His works, His will and the doing of the “present truth”. David, before he met Goliath, had a spiritual history with his God. The faith which emboldened him to confront Goliath had been developed in the past victories of faith; overcoming the lion and the bear.

“Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear:
and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them…”
1 Samuel 17:36

Those who walk in the “I AM” of today will be prepared of Him for the greater conflicts which await us. Present Truth is God’s provision for tomorrow.

“Today if ye will hear His Voice,
harden not your hearts”
Hebrews 4:7

To those who whose walk in the present truth of our God the fields are “already” white unto harvest; there are (now) lives to be rescued, hearts to be encouraged, and lives to be transformed by the present wonder of our God.

“SAY NOT YE, there are yet four months, and THEN cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, LIFT UP YOUR EYES, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest”
John 4:35

Brian Troxel

The Foundational Truth

The Foundational Truth

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

Obedience is the fruit of Love. The Love wherewith He has loved us is the foundation and the fountain from which all true obedience flows.

“We love him, because he first loved us”
1 John 4:19

Only the obedience which springs from His pure love moving in us is worthy of His glory.

“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called”
Ephesians 4:1

Brian Troxel