Fervent in Spirit

Fervent in Spirit

“Be Fervent in spirit”

“Do not be slothful in zeal,
be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.”
Romans 12:11 (ESV)

To “be fervent in spirit” is the result of a heart that has touched Him, the touchstone of all creation.

Fervency in spirit is the Divine imprint upon a heart made alive by the fire of His being filling our own. Intensity is the fruit of love and abandonment. His fire within cannot coexist with apathy and lethargy. The true apprehension of us by Christ is described in the pure language of the scriptures.

“When He ascended up on high,
he led captivity captive…”
Ephesians 4:8

His resurrection is the basis of this captivation by Him. He took my addictions, my lost and captive heart and by the revelation of His wonder, those things lost their grip. Resurrection Life is the source of true freedom! There are no self-help strategies, no answers for the human condition other than Christ Himself. It is not the Christ of religion, words, and doctrines. It is only as the resurrected ONE reaches down from heaven’s Throne of Grace that men and women are set free.

Paul’s whole premise of faith was the Resurrected One; not words about Him but the very Life of Him. Who can behold Him and remain pragmatic, dispassionate, and satisfied with anything less than the fire of God burning within?

“And if Christ be not risen,
then is our preaching vain,
and your faith is also vain”
1 Corinthians 15:14

To all who struggle with sin, with failure within and without, come to Him, seek Him, for He will not turn away from a broken and contrite heart. He came and more importantly IS come, to set the captives free and to make them new creations filled with the vibrancy of His Life.

“For whosoever
shall call upon the name of the Lord
shall be saved”
Romans 10:3

Addictions are simply our attempt to fill the emptiness, the hurt, the abandonment, and the sorrow of heart that comes to all in this broken world. Freedom is found in His love, His forgiveness, and His life filling us unto the true freedom for which He has redeemed us. When Christ fills the heart there is no room for other things! His fulness is our freedom.

Fervency of spirit is the resounding wonder of a life captivated by His beauty.

“Do not be slothful in zeal,
be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.”
Romans 12:11 (ESV)

It is the fervent in spirit who serve the Lord.

See: Morning by Morning

Brian Troxel

BLESSING Part One

BLESSING

PART ONE

“To you first,
God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you,
in turning away every one of you from your iniquities”
ACTS 3:26

We hear much about blessing today and as we read here that is one of the reasons that Jesus came. However, let us note that the blessing spoken of here comes in the form of an enabling to turn from our iniquities. That blessing can only be realized by the power of the SON being received into our hearts by faith. The tenets of the Christian Teaching HAVE NO INTRINSIC POWER IN THEMSELVES! The power and the life of the New Covenant is not in words (1 Corinthians 4:20); the POWER of the New Covenant is solely based on the RESURRECTION LIFE OF THE SON. “God HAVING (past tense) RAISED UP….JESUS”! This same resurrected Jesus is NOW SENT to us for the purpose of blessing us IN turning us from our iniquities. He did not come to leave us in our carnality, our warped and corrupted ways, our malice, evil reasoning and lust; HE came to save us FROM our sins! For it is SIN that keeps us from the way of peace, SIN that perverts our interactions with other people, and SIN that prevents us from the WAY of LIFE. A salvation that leaves us in bondage and sin is unthinkable!

“…thou shalt call his name JESUS:
for he shall save his people FROM their sins”
MATTHEW 1:21

His blessing has come. It rests upon HIS people like a cloud of glory and power. This blessing seeks to permeate every aspect of our life, freeing us from the corruption of the First Adam and bringing us into the LIFE of the Last Adam! This Blessing is ever active IN our lives to “work in us to WILL and to DO of HIS good pleasure”. This Blessing is ever seeking, ever drawing and ever calling us to turn from our ways unto HIS. Our salvation rests in the resurrection LIFE of the SON not in the will power of men.

“For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ:
And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
But NOW is Christ risen from the dead…”
1 CORINTHIANS 15:16 – 20

It is in our yielding to that BLESSING that all that God has purposed in Christ begins to become a reality in our daily lives. HE IS OUR SALVATION AND HIS NAME IS JESUS FOR HE HAS COME TO SAVE US FROM OUR SINS.

Ω

Souls are not made sweet by taking [ill tempers] out,
but by putting something in – a great Love, a new Spirit, the Spirit of Christ.
Christ, the Spirit of Christ, interpenetrating ours, sweetens, purifies, transforms all.
This can only eradicate what is wrong, renovate and regenerate,
and rehabilitate the inner man. Will-power does not change men.
Time does not change men. Christ does.
Therefore “Let that mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”
Henry Drummond

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

TITUS 2:14 PART TWO

TITUS 2:14 Part Two

Titus 2:14
Redemption and Sin

“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

“that HE might redeem us from ALL iniquity”

Jesus said,

“you do err (are deceived Greek)
not knowing the scriptures nor the power of God”
Mathew 22:29.

The New Testament clearly presents us with the truth that the obedience of Christ is of greater power than the disobedience of Adam. Yet we constantly hear that there is no “real” complete victory over sin in this life. We are told these statements are merely “positional” and not really actual. By our very confession of such things, we declare that the disobedience of Adam is of greater authority in our lives than the obedience of Christ! How can such things be? He gave Himself for us, on our behalf, that we might be redeemed from ALL iniquity! Deception is anything that keeps us from apprehending, understanding, and living in the power and glory of the life that is IN Christ Jesus. Deception comes from not knowing the scriptures NOR the power of God.

Here we have the clear statement “…that HE might redeem us from ALL iniquity…” Not some iniquity, or most iniquity, or in some theological positional-based teaching that tells us we are already totally free while ignoring the wrongness within. ALL iniquity. Wrong thinking produces a wrong living. Look around today and see the effects of our “believe and be blessed” teaching. Look at the passive “faith” and what it has produced. To know the substance of a thing, we must see what it produces in the lives of those in whom it dwells. This is a day to rend our hearts and return to the life of Love, Joy, and Authority that is the fruit of the true knowledge of the scriptures AND the power of God. Anything less than this Jesus called deception! The life of Faith is referred to throughout the scriptures as a fight, as a victory, and as a power that is able to reveal HIM in the best and the worst of circumstances.

Whenever there is a contradiction between our lives and the scriptures we must acknowledge that the contradiction is in our hearts. When we are confronted with these things we have a choice to either circumvent the clear declaration of the Word by “clever” teachings or turn our hearts unto the ONE that can make us the righteousness of God in Christ (Rom. 8:4). The life of Faith is one of pursuit. “I press toward the mark…” This is not a vain pursuit, it is a pursuit that is convinced that the provision has been made, the power is there and the “Author” of that Faith is committed to bringing us into ALL that HE IS!

We think we can ignore the WAY and somehow have knowledge of the TRUTH. We think we can ignore the TRUTH and somehow walk in the LIFE. This is DECEPTION. The WAY is a life of surrender and discipleship, the TRUTH is a POWER, not an opinion, the LIFE is HIM reigning in us. This LIFE is the FRUIT of those who WALK in the WAY, empowered by the TRUTH unto the revelation of HIS LIFE in us. The early Church did not meet the WAY we meet today, nor did they have the “teachings” that we have today. But we have not shaken the world as they did. In the purposes of God, the Glory of the latter house shall EXCEED the glory of the former. God always saves the best wine for the last!

Let us arise in this hour to shake off the disillusionment of all that is around us, all that is the product of a system that is the culmination of a stagnant faith and the tradition of men. For the tradition of men will always render the Word of God powerless (Mathew 15:6); the very scriptures tell us that! For the Word is empowered and made real only through the FAITH of God working in our lives.

“Let us, therefore, FEAR, lest a promise being left us of entering into HIS rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: BUT THE WORD PREACHED DID NOT PROFIT THEM, not being mixed with FAITH…”
Hebrews 4:1 – 2

We are here exhorted that we should fear if there is in our lives a coming short of entering into HIS rest. Why is there such complacency within the people of God? Why is there no godly fear left? It is because we know HIM little because we need Him little. We have accepted the teachings of men instead of the truth of God. We have accepted the “way of the world” rather than the WAY of TRUTH, and we have accepted the “carnal life” of good reason, prudence, and convenience instead of the LIFE of FAITH and TRUST. We have a church life that is run like any corporation of the world and we wonder why we live a life that resembles the life of the world. We are segmented and divided and wonder why the world cannot see the truth. (They shall know that you are my disciples because you love one another).

We no longer see the value of our brothers and sisters or even recognize them as such because the average believer sits passively on a pew no longer aware that we have an obligation and a responsibility for the condition of His house. We WILL be held accountable for what we have done with HIS precious life. We have men who delight in the current arrangement as they hold sway over the “faith” of “their” flock. Rather, the ministers of God should be “weeping between the porch and the altar” over the condition of GOD’S House. We have our churches, our fellowships, our pastors, our teachers, our prophets, and our apostles and do not know that this is CARNAL.

“For one says I am of Paul, another I am of Apollos…
are ye not CARNAL?”
I Corinthians 2:4

It is a day to repent, a day to turn from these things, and a day to seek HIS WAY, HIS TRUTH, and HIS LIFE. For these are the last days; the sacrifice has been made and the invitations sent. WHO WILL RESPOND? The Marriage Feast of the Bridegroom will be full and it will be attended only by those who have “their wedding garments on”. The garments of this present day will not suffice. We read that the “Bride hath made herself ready” (Revelation 19:7), she is clothed in the righteousness of God and she is glorious within and without. This glorious bride will not arise without the functioning and ministration of the individual believers of Christ operating in the Love and Power of HIS LIFE (Ephesians 4:15 – 16). We need one another. We need to love one another and we must function in HIS LIFE to empower one another unto godliness and true charity.

“And be ye kind one to another,
tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you”

Ephesians 4:32

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“We are not here to develop a spiritual life of our own,
or to enjoy spiritual retirement, we are here to realize Jesus Christ
that the Body of Christ may be built up”

Oswald Chambers

Brian Troxel

STRONG HOPE FOR NOW

STRONG HOPE FOR NOW

“What I am doing you do not understand now”
JOHN 13:7

Can we trust that this is so in the now of our life? Is there a situation, a perplexity, a painful circumstance that seems to linger without any “proof” that there is an end in sight? Can we with the faith and trust of a child look to the unseen hand of God and believe that even in this HE IS AT WORK? His ways are higher, deeper and motivated by a love and desire to bring us to a greater relationship with HIM. He will not waste or squander the short and precious time that we have here. It is our part to behold HIS work and believe in the hidden hand of HIS wisdom to work for us “the exceeding, and eternal weight of glory” while we by faith walk in the circumstances before us.

“What I am doing you do not understand NOW”

This is the statement of a wise and gracious Father who is working, at this moment, to bring to pass HIS PURPOSES in our life. Though we may not yet see we believe that HE who knows us best loves us most! The clay must be firmly and painfully pressed and molded, the gold heated and tried in the furnace. The lukewarm heart must be subjected to circumstances to revive its warmth and passion for Him, the prodigal son “must come to himself”, and the fruitful branch must be pruned. All these things ARE FOR OUR BENEFIT AND LEARNING.

“What I AM DOING you do not understand now”

Can we see above the storm clouds that this is HIS HAND? Could Joseph possibly grasp that his “brothers” selling him into the hands of rough and heathen men was God’s “DOING”? From God’s perspective HE was sending a man into Egypt, (Psalm 105:17) to one day be the means of deliverance to these same brothers. From the misery and drudgery of slavery and prison rose a wise and tested PRINCE; one whom the fires, darkness and testing did not destroy but were actually servants of the MOST HIGH GOD.

“For You, O God, hast proved us: you have tried us, as silver is tried.
You brought us into the net; You laid affliction upon our loins.
Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads;
we went through fire and through water:
but you have brought us out into a wealthy place”

PSALM 66:10 – 12

A wealthy Christian life is one that is going through the processes of HIS LIFE. These are not ones who cry and despair of their poverty; they have discovered and have tasted of the wealthy place. Their waters fail not in drought; their resources are hidden and true. They are like trees that “bear fruit” in every season for their roots are drinking of the River of Life (Revelation 22:2). Let us not succumb to the present circumstances but let us in FAITH and TRUST believe in the ONE that says

“WHAT I AM DOING YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND NOW,
BUT YOU WILL KNOW AFTER…”

JOHN 13:7

Brian Troxel

Luke 17:14 – As They Went

AS THEY WENT

“And it came to pass, that, as they went,
they were cleansed”
Luke 17:14

We want results.  God wants obedience.  The two are connected in the person of Jesus. Not only were the ten lepers mentioned here sick, they were outcasts.  They wanted healing, they needed healing and they cried out for healing.  The Word from Jesus was simple: “go”.  Their condition had not changed but in spite of this they obeyed; the cleansing came AS they walked, not before.

Leprosy represents the contagion of sin in a man’s life. The entire human race is infected with this loathsome condition.  We see it around us, we see it in us and, because of it, we cry out for deliverance.  People wait for changes in their circumstances and situations before they venture to step out in faith; the Son says walk and be made whole.  Faith requires no evidence to believe. It matters not what our circumstances declare. Our weaknesses are of no consequence in the realm of faith. Our failures have no legitimate claim to dampen our faith; for Faith rests in the accomplished work of the Son, not our own.  Faith is not a “feeling” inherent in some people and not in others.  Faith is a power, a ministration of the Son who looks for hearts who will allow God to show Himself strong on their behalf!

“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro
throughout the whole earth,
to show himself strong
in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him

II Chronicles 16:9

We are here to learn that faith is the fruit of a relationship with its author.  It comes to us as a free unmerited gift, but its real development in our lives is the result of walking and growing in our relationship with Jesus!  It is in the walking with Him in the common course of life.   It is in the going when I feel crippled myself. It is in the realization of our emptiness we find rich provision that our brothers and sisters may be fed. In our own weariness we find His strength to encourage and refresh others!  This is the true nature of faith! Faith reaches through the clouds of discouragement and failure and lays hold of Him who is faithful and true.  Faith is the mover of men’s hearts and the impetus to do the works of God. As we go in His “go”, we are cleansed, made whole, and we find in Him the power to become an extension of His hands in the earth.

“Faith is an activity;
it is something that has to be applied”

Corrie ten Boom (1892–1983)

Brian Troxel

Who Shall Deliver Me? – Part 2

WHO SHALL DELIVER ME?

PART TWO

“…who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”

Romans 7:24

This is the response of a truthful heart to its condition.  The question presented here is not one of “what” shall deliver me but “who”.   The centrality of the New Covenant is Christ Jesus!  He is the New Covenant.  He is our deliverance.

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name
under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved”

Acts 4:12

Peter beholding Jesus (transfigured on the mount) with Moses and Elijah straightway declared “let us build” three tabernacles! Within the heart of man is this innate desire to build edifices, institute programs and exonerate ministries and expressions within the Body of Christ.  Yet here we see Peter reproved from God Himself, “THIS IS MY BELOVED SON, HEAR YE HIM”!!

All ministry must fade in the presence of the SON.  The purpose of true ministry is to so  minister HIS LIFE and Glory that the Church gets to the place where HE HAS the PRE-EMINENECE in ALL things.  We are to present Christ, the risen Christ, so that here on earth as it is in heaven every knee should bow and confess HE IS LORD.  Wherever the Holy Spirit is in control there is true order.  There is an unmistakeable freedom from the agendas of men and true liberty for the people of God to flow in the richness and power of the risen Christ.  Humility is the stamp of a life submitted to the will of God.  The unseemly members of the Body will know the “added” glory of our Great God so that there will be no more schisms within the context of His House.  Above all there will be the wonder of the Love of God flowing in such manifestations that even the world will know that we are CHRISTIANS!  This Glory is about to dawn upon our land in the midst of a segregated, divided and impotent church; even one filled with the energies of those who would build yet another tabernacle to lure others from other tabernacles in an ever ongoing cycle of division and agendas.  We are living at the very edge of the summation of all that God has purposed in Christ and, because the government rests upon His shoulders, we have reason to glory.   We have reason to be filled with the power of HIS Hope surging through our hearts by a living faith that knows HE IS ABLE!  Nothing will stay His Hand.  His wedding feast shall be full and He will complete all that HE has purposed.  Let men fail, let systems crumble, let the nations roar and take council against the Lord and His Anointed; HE will finish what HE has begun!

FOR HIS NAME IS JESUS!

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