Timnath and the Riddle

Timnath and The Riddle

“And he said unto them,
Out of the eater came forth meat,
and out of the strong came forth sweetness.
And they could not in three days expound the riddle.”
Judges 14:14

The riddle of every believer can only be solved within the equation of their own experience. Samson’s riddle was one of personal experience and victory. There is no other living person who can solve the riddle of “Christ in you the hope of Glory”. Paul spoke at length of this mystery in Ephesians and Colossians.

“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory”
Colossians 1:27

The matchless wonder of the mystery can only be solved individually through the medium of obedience and victory. Samson’s riddle was his own; he did not share with anyone (initially) the victory over the young lion he met in the way. It was his victory and God’s strength that prevailed in the vineyards of Timnath. “Timnath” in the Hebrew means inheritance or allotted portion. What was true of Samson is true of everyone who truly knows the Lord. In our pursuit of Christ Himself (our Timnath) we will encounter the enemies of our soul that confront us, condemn us, and seek to destroy us. It is here we find provision in God to contend with our enemy until the victory is ours and our place in God is discovered.

Many Christians have no sense of spiritual identity, no comprehension of the call to walk and discover the unfolding mystery of Christ within them; a Christ who is known to them in the fierceness of the battle, a Christ who is known in the personal victories over sin, temptation and failure. To be an overcomer in Christ one must experience the victory of Christ within the riddle of their own life. The mists of confusion lift and doubts fade in the light and victory of Christ through our obedience to Him.

He is ever calling us to explore, walk and live within the sureties of His wonder in our lives. Like a flower ever unfolding, like the rising sun of each new day, He is beckoning us to explore and discover His riches within the sanctum of our own hearts. No one can solve this mystery but the individual to whom He is given. It requires walking, trusting, and a living faith to step into the Timnath of His Call in each of us.

May we, as Samson, know that out of that which sought to destroy us God prepares strong meat. Out of the strength of our enemies comes the sweetness of victory and the secret of the Lord. It is our glorious riddle to solve within the fabric of our own being.

“Blessed be the Lord my strength,
which teacheth my hands to war,
and my fingers to fight”
Psalm 144:1

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – The Visitations of God

Thought for Today

The Visitations of God

“Thou hast granted me life and favour,
and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit”
Job 10:12

Nothing less than the presence of God can preserve, restore and refresh the soul of His Own. The heart of the true child of God was made for His presence. The focus of life is to live in Him and to have His life holding us in the firm grip of grace and glory.

“Whom have I in heaven but thee?
and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee”
Psalm 73:25

The longing and pursuit of life is summed up in knowing Him. The Pearl of Great Price incites a singularity of purpose (Matthew 13:45-46). In His beauty the desire for other things is dissipated and drained of force and power within the human heart. Life becomes a journey consumed in the one great love, the one great quest and the one boundless pursuit of knowing Him.

Religion with all of its rituals, precepts and demands fail man’s inherent need… the visitations of God Himself! It is by His Presence we are preserved, refreshed and made right. He is our salvation, He is our strength and in Him alone are we kept clean from this present world.

“Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name:
the upright shall dwell in thy presence”
Psalm 140:13

Brian Troxel

Effectual Prayers – Part Nine – Discipleship

Effectual Prayers

Part Nine

Discipleship

“Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss,
that ye may consume it upon your lusts”
James 4:3

The nature of our walk will influence our requests to God. If we walk in the Spirit our requests, desires and needs will be consistent with His desires. If we walk in the flesh our entreaty can be influenced by the lusts and appetites of the flesh. Prayers delayed or unanswered may at times be prayers offered amiss because we are asking to satisfy or fulfill our own desires; or we may read our desires into the needs of others. Only those who are in the process of dying to self are able to be free of the taint of self. Our sympathies to the needs of others (especially ones we are close to) can skew our ability to see and pray clearly. It is here that our walk in God will determine our effectiveness. Only true disciples can learn to pray effectually for discipleship is only known by carrying our cross and following Him. The outworking of the Cross in our lives brings us to the heart and mind of Christ. It is within the confines of His rule that we begin to touch the true power of prayer.

“If ye abide* in me,
and my words abide* in you,
ye shall ask what ye will,
and it shall be done unto you.”
John 15:7

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon translates the word “Abide” as “something that has established itself permanently within my soul and always exerts its power in me”. The depth of abiding in Him is revealed in His Word exerting power within us. Obedience is the evidence of His Word wielding power over me. Those who do not obey express a life in which His Word has no power. Men and women may quote the scriptures, may teach others with seeming knowledge, but if there be no life of doing His word, it in fact has no real influence in their lives. If His Word has no power in us, our prayers will have no power with God. It is as we abide in Him that our prayers become the extension of His heart; His nature praying through us to the Glory of the Father.

Our progress in effectual prayer is contingent upon the growth and reality of our abiding in Him. We all begin our walk in Christ as children and we are “born anew” into a whole new realm of life and wonder.

“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word,
that ye may grow thereby”
1 Peter 2:2

This initial stage of our journey is blessed and one which we all experience and walk through. Prayer time is spent asking for things and often the answers from our heavenly Father come quickly as He seeks to strengthen and confirm our faith in Him. However, as time goes on God brings us into deeper things as He seeks to teach us the ways of relationship and intimacy. We are required to grow in the wisdom of His ways and as this transpires it effects the tenor and spirit in which we pray.

“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child,
I thought as a child: but when I became a man,
I put away childish things”
1 Corinthians 13:11

A life of change is the evidence of life. Where there is little or no change in the lives of His Own it is the result of His Word having little or no effect within. As we grow from a child into maturity we begin to speak differently and think differently which brings a dramatic change in our prayer life with God. As we put away the former things we begin the process of becoming men and women of God.

“Ye are my friends,
if ye do whatsoever I command you”
John 15:14

*Pulpit Commentary
And our Lord next unfolds the principle of prayer which laid such hold on the mind of the Apostle John: If ye abide in me (and then, instead of adding, “And I abide in you,” he says); and my words abide in you; i.e. if my teaching so abide with you as to control your thoughts and ideas, remain in you as your guide and inspiration, “then ask whatsoever ye will, and it shall be done to you”.

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 Ten – Knowing Jesus

Effectual Prayers

Part Ten

Knowing Jesus

“Jesus answered and said to her,
“If you had known the gift of God and who it is saying to you,
‘Give Me to drink,’ you would have asked Him,
and He would have given to you living water”
John 4:10

It is as we come to know Him that prayer rises for the “living waters” of Christ. He becomes the cry and the desire of our heart. He does not measure out this gift of living water; it flows from the abundance of His heart. Our partaking, our seeking and our asking will be in proportion to us knowing who He is. He is ever pouring out yet never running dry. His grace and mercy are as endless as the love from which they spring. The greater our thirst the deeper are the waters of His Supply. Continue reading “Effectual Prayers – Part Ten – Knowing Jesus”

Obedience and the Tree of Life

Obedience and the Tree of Life

“Blessed are they that do his commandments,
that they may have right to the tree of life,
and may enter in through the gates into the city.”
Revelation 22:14

Obedience to the will of God is the revelation of His Lordship. Calling upon His Name and then walking in the stubbornness of our own ways is labelled iniquity in the New Testament. Iniquity simply means “self-will”. It is the unbroken, undisciplined and unconquered will of one who claims to be a follower of Christ and yet exhibits all of the traits of the first Adam. We live in a day of a false gospel, a declaration that by simply naming the name of Jesus we have full access to all the promises of God, such is not the truth.

The message of Jesus to the seven churches in the Book of Revelation is consistent… “I know thy works…” It is in what we do wherein we reveal the nature and the spirit in which we walk.

“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord,
and do not the things which I say?”
Luke 6:46

Jesus follows this powerful question with the “Parable of the Houses” being built upon rock and upon the sand.

“Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.

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 6:47-49

How few realize that it is in doing His will wherein the deep foundation of the house is laid! It is in the doing where we discover the true nature of all that we are and run to Him for grace. His will is in itself the very foundation of our salvation. In His will we are confronted with our own stubbornness and we are met with the full knowing of our own weakness and folly. His Will is the cross upon which the horror of self is crucified. They who hear only never come to terms with their true self, they live in a world of teachings, confessions and religious talk without ever venturing into the land of truth. It is WHEN the flood comes that the foundation is discovered and the verity of an individual’s true nature is revealed.

Obedience brings us to the need of the true grace of God, it is no longer a sentient, a catch phrase or a religious cliché; it is the means by which our hearts find the power to submit to His ways and walk in them.

Through disobedience man lost the right and the access to the Tree of Life and it is through the wonder and life of the Son (as expressed in a life of obedience) we gain the right to the Tree of Life and are able to partake of its life giving fruit.

“Blessed are they that do his commandments,
that they may have right to the tree of life,
and may enter in through the gates into the city.”
Revelation 22:14

Brian Troxel

Effectual Prayers – Part Eight – Ruth and Boaz

Effectual Prayers

Part Eight

Ruth and Boaz

“And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do.”
Ruth 3:4

How powerful and penetrating is the story of Ruth and the right of redemption! Her need was great, her commitment to God pure and her hope of redemption was tied to the man Boaz. So is it with us. Boaz was the name of one of the pillars in Solomon’s Temple and its meaning to us is the foundation of all prayer: “In Him is strength”! Ruth went to the ONE who had the right and the ability to move on her behalf. It is a picture of the Lord as our hope for answered prayer; it is He who has all power and might to move on our behalf. What were her instructions concerning this ONE?

“And it shall be, when he lies down, you shall note the place where he lies down, and shall go in and uncover his feet, and lie down and he will tell you that which you are to do” (LITV)

May God show us afresh the beauty of this interaction between Ruth and Boaz. How many times do we rush feverishly into prayer with our requests and burdens with little regard for His person? Often in our haste we ignore His Lordship and Omnipotence and miss out on the peace and the repose of the moment with Him. Ruth did not clamour Boaz; she laid down at His feet expressing the need for him to move on her behalf. She then uncovered his feet speaking of the desire to KNOW His way in the matter! This is to impress upon us the wonder of our resting, asking and discovering His ways and His provision.

As with Ruth there are times in the situations of life where the need is great and the way seems shut. It is in these moments where as a child we come in surety and love and find rest at the feet of Him whose very name means “In Him is Strength”.

“And now, my daughter, fear not;
I will do to thee all that thou requires”
Ruth 3:11

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 Eleven – The Fragrance of Prayer

Effectual Prayers

Part Eleven

The Fragrance of Prayer

“While the king was at his table,
my perfume spread its fragrance”
Song of songs 1:12 (BSB)

The life of prayer brings us to many different experiences and aspects of our relationship with Him. At times while sitting in His presence we are simply struck with Him and are left without words. We are overwhelmed with just the wonder of His presence. It is in these times of quietude there is simply the wonder of His peace resonating through the silence. We feel the simplicity of a love arising from our hearts filling the moment with the fragrance of our worship for Him. It is here where prayer touches the unknowable and in the silence speaks the unspeakable elements of a shared love.

This spontaneous worship is worth life itself. Holy bonds of grace arise from the giver of all good things touching the heart of a redeemed soul binding it in the cords of His love. These are rich and precious times where we are sitting at His table and are bidden to simply feed upon the very presence and glory of Himself.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone should hear My voice and open the door,
then I will come in to him and will dine with him,
and he with Me.” (BLB)
Revelation 3:20

It is the hearing ear and the obedient heart which gives way to such communion with Him. He ever stands at the door of our hearts beckoning us unto Himself. It is in the Holy chambers of our time with Him that our hearts are made right, our fears alieved and our love for Him intensified.

“Jesus saith unto them,
Come and dine”
John 21:12

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 Seven – Elisha and Jericho

Effectual Prayers

Part Seven

Elisha and Jericho

“…Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss”
James 4:2

Our faith determines the nature of our requests. If we walk in the Spirit our requests, desires and needs will be consistent with the nature and sphere of our walk. If we walk in the flesh our request will be congruous with the lusts and appetites of the flesh. It is here we are given insight into the heart of our heavenly Father. In His love he may not answer or at the least delay prayers that are offered amiss.

Asking amiss can include anything from our own selfish desires to praying on behalf of others without understanding the purpose of God within the situation. It requires a seeking on our part as to what the will of God is in order to pray in faith. As we come before Him we discover the “secret of the Lord” in the need presented to us. There are many things hidden from our eyes; secret things known only to the Lord. Yet as we seek His face it is His joy to reveal the hidden things that our petitions may be accurate and aligned with His purposes. Such prayers readily find their way to the “Throne of Grace” where He is waiting to meet the need of the moment.

Elisha and Jericho

“And the men of the city said to Elisha, Behold, now, the site of the city is good, as my lord sees, but the waters are bad; and the ground causes barrenness. And he said, “bring a new dish to me, and put salt there.” And they took it to him. And he went out to the source of the waters and threw salt there, and said, so says Jehovah, I have given healing to these waters; there shall not be death and sterility there anymore. And the waters were healed to this day, according to the word of Elisha that he spoke.”
2 Kings 2:19-22

One of Elisha’s first miracles was healing the waters of Jericho. Rather than praying for the waters at the city, Elisha understands in the Spirit that the waters needed to be traced to the spring from which they flowed. Many times we pray and offer counsel concerning a situation at hand but if we seek the Lord He will lead us to the “source” or cause; therein we discover a true and lasting solution. Left to ourselves we tend to deal with the symptom rather than the cause. Prayers asked amiss will hinder the power of God being released.

“Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss”

Prayer and Obedience

Another cause of unanswered prayer is that often our prayers require obedience to be combined with insight. Elisha took the “new” dish of salt, cast it into the spring of the waters and then spoke the Word of the Lord over it. We must see that prayers without obedience can remain unanswered. Sometimes we ask amiss because we walk amiss!

Obedience and Prayer cannot be separated.

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 Six – Asking Largely

Effectual Prayers

Part Six

Jeroboam and Elisha

“…ye have not, because ye ask not”
James 4:2

Our faith determines the nature of our requests. Those who believe little ask for little. Faith is the formative factor in our asking and our receiving. The doors of His great storehouse are opened unto us upon the hinges of Faith.

Jeroboam went to Elisha the Prophet who was on his deathbed whereupon Elisha gave the King an arrow and told him it was the arrow of the Lord’s deliverance for Israel from the Syrians. He then instructed the King to shoot the arrow into the air and then strike the ground with the remaining arrows. The King did so and struck the ground three times; the Prophet responded:

“And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice.”
2 Kings 13:19

The King’s response revealed a faith which was lacking. Jeroboam’s desire for victory was small and correspondingly so was Israel’s victory over the Syrians. Our asking will always be proportional to the faith we hold in our hearts. We may pretend to ask largely but within the recesses of our heart we know when we are in the faith or when we are asking in the presumption of self.

“For all the promises of God in him are yea,
and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us”
2 Corinthians 1:20

It requires the faith of Christ to access the Amen of Christ to all the promises of God. (Galatians 2:20)

“The real tragedy of the poor
is the poverty of their aspirations”
Adam Smith

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

Thought for Today – Faithfulness

Thought for Today

Faithfulness

The Unrighteousness Mammon

“Howbeit there was no reckoning made with them
of the money that was delivered into their hand,
because they dealt faithfully”
2 Kings 22:7

In the eyes of God all of our dealings are measured and noted. The faithful in heart are faithful in all things. They bear the true knowledge of God; that he is ever beholding the thoughts and deeds of men. Here we see God taking notice that the carpenters and builders were faithful with the funds delivered into their hands. Righteousness and faithfulness are not limited to momentary situations but to a life. God has called us to be faithful in every aspect of our lives, living unto Him in holiness and truth.

“A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)”
1 Timothy 3:2-5

“Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless”
1 Timothy 3:8-10

We would do well to consider ourselves
and those who are in positions of authority.

“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
Luke 16:10-11

Brian Troxel