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Posts Tagged ‘Discernment’

BUTTER AND HONEY

PART ONE
(See Part Two)

“Butter and honey shall he eat,
that he may know to refuse the evil,
and choose the good*
Isaiah 7:15

Spiritually we are what we eat. The richness of the Word of God is revealed here as producing within the lives of His own discernment and right choices. How people walk reveals the depth and the import of their partaking of the things of God. In our day of lukewarm attitudes towards sin and conformity to the world it becomes clear that a religious gospel is not capable of producing a separated people. By and large the church is more concerned with the numbers in the pews rather than the righteousness of the people of God. The Word has been robbed of its power and purpose. Smooth things are spoken. Oratory has replaced the anointing. Programs and written resources have taken the place of the individual’s responsibility to seek God and His Will for themselves. Knowledge about God replaces the knowledge OF God. We have become as comfortable as Samson in Delilah’s lap. We have fallen asleep and know not the hour and the day that is about to break upon us. In our slumber we characterize those who cry out to the current condition of things as “legalistic” and overly religious. We have “discovered” new methods of evangelizing where we seek to appeal to the masses with a Jesus that can tweak human nature but still allow them to enjoy the world. This gospel is presented as a band aid rather than a cure; a new paint job rather than a new creation.

Unto those who feast upon the butter and honey of the word of God there is a growing ability to refuse evil and choose good. What a precious gift this is! Discernment is critical to our growth and maturity in God. Without discernment there is no ability to partake of the “strong meat of the Word”.

“But strong meat belongs
to them that are of full age,
even those
who by reason of use
have their senses exercised
to discern both good and evil”
Hebrews 5:14

Those who refuse the “butter and honey” of the Word cannot eat of the strong meat that produces men and women separated unto God. We read of Moses though raised in the very house of Pharaoh and given the opportunity of living a life of luxury…

“Choosing rather
to suffer affliction
with the people of God,
than to enjoy the
pleasures of sin for a season
Esteeming the reproach of Christ
greater riches
than the treasures in Egypt:
for he had respect
unto the recompense of the reward”
Hebrews 11:25-26

This empowerment to esteem the reproach of Christ as “greater riches” only comes by the eating of the Word through obedience and having our senses exercised to see things as they really are.

Ω

“The issue is now clear.
It is between light and darkness
and everyone must choose his side”
(The last words of GK Chesterton)

*NOTE: The prophetic word spoken here of the Son communicates to us His manner of life and His Beauty. All that is true in Him is to be true of those who are in Him.

“…because as he IS, so are we in this world”
1 John 4:17

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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What is Righteousness?

“Also now, behold, my witness is in heaven,
and my record is on high.
My friends scorn me…”
Job 16:19-20

Throughout all ages those who preach righteousness have done so at great cost. The pursuit of righteousness and truth brings alienation and separates the wheat from the chaff. While many would live at ease, satisfied with doctrinal declarations and teachings, the true seeker of righteousness will know separation and loneliness. Loneliness is not only a result of righteousness it may also be the path into righteousness for it brings the heart to a new and deeper dependency upon God Himself. The cost is trivial compared to the reward of growing in Him. While many accuse of legalism the true seeker of righteousness (His righteousness) knows full well his inherent inability to walk in this righteousness apart from the Life of Christ within. His Life becomes the only hope of a life of purity and authenticity. The covering of the “leaves” of religion will never bring true peace.

“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink;
but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost”
Romans 14:17

Without righteousness there can be no abiding peace. When one is at home in God there is Peace. Where there is Peace there is a deep and settled Joy in the Holy Spirit. It is the Joy of God Himself beholding and approving our life in Him. These things cannot be apprehended by teaching and religious declarations; they must be wrought in our lives by the working of His Spirit within us.

“Anything the church doesn’t want to do it calls legalism”
A.W. Tozer

The pursuit of righteousness will separate even good friends. God’s end in His own is righteousness not popularity. In truth the separation from friends and companions is part of the way into this righteousness; it affords opportunities to grow in forgiveness and long suffering. It is the means to bring us into the very heart of Christ Himself as Job discovered in the trial with his friends.

“And the Lord turned the captivity of Job,
when he prayed for his friends”
Job 42:10

The individual seeking true righteousness will discover sooner or later not only the bitterness of their own heart but an inherent ability to pray for those who withdraw themselves and even speak evil of them. That is the righteousness of Christ. Righteousness is treating others rightly regardless of how they treat us. God spoke to my own heart the other day this powerful truth:

“It is impossible to hold true righteousness
without knowing the Love of God”.

Love must cause us to treat others rightly. Righteousness is the fruit of love. Love is the very righteousness of God expressed in the deeds it produces within an individual’s life. Without Love there can be no righteousness, no real peace and no joy in the Holy Spirit.

“Little children, let no man deceive you:
he that doeth righteousness is righteous…
In this the children of God are manifest,
and the children of the devil:
whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God,
neither he that loveth not his brother
1 John 3:7,10

Doing right is not optional for the true child of God.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Faithful and Wise Servant

“Who then is a faithful and wise servant,
whom his lord hath made ruler over his household,
to give them meat in due season?
Blessed is that servant,
whom his lord when he cometh
shall find so doing”
Matthew 24:45-46

Faithfulness is a commendable virtue of God’s servants; those who labor in His fields shepherding and feeding His flock regardless of personal situations and circumstances. However, Jesus by His great work within our hearts, is always enlarging the scope of His ministration through us. It is one thing to be faithful and another thing altogether to be faithful and wise. Here Jesus commends His steward for having the ability to give His people “meat in due season”. One who ministers from a wise heart knows the condition of God’s people and walks in a discerning way. This servant is not just a disseminator of information but one who, in God’s wisdom, understands what God is after in each life and ministers accordingly. The faithful and wise servant seeks not the praises of men but pursues the honor of His Lord. The very essential portion of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. It is His people and therefore His salvation and His divine purposes that are to be fulfilled in each life.

Many appear to be faithful in our day within the confines of church activity and religious endeavors yet without the wonder of His wisdom at work in and through their lives such ministrations will be found lacking. This can be because of ulterior motives or an attemptt to minister from a position (job description) rather than through the ministration of His heart.

It is the faithful and wise servant who becomes endued with His authority in His house. Authority is given to those who are under His authority. Only those who are truly His servants (serving Him rather than themselves or a religious agenda) can actually walk and abide in His wisdom. The true wisdom of God is free from partiality and factious loyalties. It knows the fear of the Lord and will not be contaminated with anything that would interfere with the true ministration of His mercy or His judgments. People who function with a view to loyalty to a denomination or a particular faction or gathering of God’s people will forfeit the ability to walk in His wisdom.

“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure,
then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated,
full of mercy and good fruits,
without partiality, and without hypocrisy”
James 3:17

Those who stand in places of ministry in His house will reveal this union of faithfulness and wisdom in their own lives; in their families, their work and behavior in all circumstances. Paul wrote to Timothy concerning those who would walk and function from the wisdom of God:

“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 3:4-5

Faithfulness and wisdom are attributes of an individual not just in a religious setting but in every area of life. It is to this end that we interact with Him and those around us; that we may hear Him say to us “Well done thou good and faithful servant”.

“Who is wise and knowing among you?
Let him show his works by his good behavior,
in meekness of wisdom”
James 3:13

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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THE CONSECRATED LIFE

And
The Sanctified Ear

“For he whom God hath sent
speaketh the words of God”
John 3:34

The things which are true in Jesus are to become true in us. Jesus being the LIFE of the New Testament has come to live in us. His Words are to become ours via the rule and reign of His Spirit within our hearts. The power and the authority that resides in Him are to be ours, in a corresponding measure, to the degree of our submission unto Him. The verity of our submission is revealed in the words we speak.

Many years ago the Lord showed me that words are mere containers; the real value of a word is not in itself but in the power contained in the Word. The religious world is filled with many words that carry within them agendas, purposes, and voices to woo and call people to one thing or another. Those who hear words only and do not “feel” the weight, the power and the voice within the word will always be perplexed and mislead. Two individuals may share the same scripture; yet one is empty and void of life or power while the other is pulsating with the Life and Call of Jesus. Without a sanctified ear one will not know the difference. There is an inability to distinguish between that which is Holy and that which is lifeless and dead.

“For the ear trieth words,
as the mouth tasteth meat”
Job 34:3

The sanctified ear hears and discerns the voice of God in the words which men speak. It is attuned to the Voice of the Almighty. This is a day of great confusion within the religious world as many voices are calling out to His people. While these voices may speak great things, they seek the heart, the affection and the very souls of men to join their cause or organization and to come under the “covering” of some apostle. We must seek Him and prove His voice within our hearts. It is a day to taste and see that the Lord is good whereby we can know whether something spoken is of Him or the voice of another.

Jesus said “…the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63) It is to this end we must develop within our own hearts a deep and experiential knowing of His Spirit and the character and manner of His Life. In so doing we are exercised in the ability of discerning Him in all things. It is to those who have been so exercised that God opens the “strong meat” of His Word.

“But strong meat belongeth to them
that are of full age,
even those who by reason of use
have their senses exercised
to discern both good and evil”
Hebrews 5:14

God will not entrust His word to those who use it casually. He will not open understanding to one who will use the precious things of God for their own purposes. Many may quote and teach things that other people have seen and heard but the actual power and authority will be lacking. The words may have the form of something right but they are the empty, plagiarized words of others. Real truth must proceed from those who have first seen and heard within their own lives. These are truths begotten in God by relationship; personal relationship with the author Himself. The sanctified ear hears the voice of Him who is the sanctifier. It cannot waste time in the meaningless debates of the religious world, the speculations of the learned and the surmising of those who would rather know a thing intellectually than Him who is the Truth.

“Blessed is the man that hearth me”
Proverbs 8:34

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DISCERNMENT

“My judgment is just, for I do not seek My will,
but the will of the One sending Me, the Father”
JOHN 5:30 (LITV)

Discernment is proportional to the degree that a man is free from his own will and agenda. Men who are focused on building up a church, a ministry, or want recognition for themselves or others, will not have the ability to judge things rightly. In their own pursuits they become blinded by their lack of objectivity. The Judgement of Jesus was clear for He did not seek His own will. He was not here to be the Messiah, a prophet or some great teacher; He came to simply do the will of the Father and in the doing of that WILL He fulfilled all that was spoken of Him. The out working of the cross, whereby men die to their own desires, is the essential element in becoming objective in discernment.

“But the spiritual one discerns all things,
but he is discerned by no one”
1CORINTHIANS 2:15 (LITV)

Spiritual discernment is relative to the depth of being crucified with Christ in the experiential reality of life. Man’s need to control and have our own way is in itself a path to blindness and stagnation. Objectivity and Judgement suffer when men are not free from their own desires. Men who want to build up a large following are not concerned with the true condition of the people of God; for numbers in the pews determine their success as pastors and leaders. That standard of success will hinder a man from preaching the truth. This horror in the religious world today is why Truth is disregarded. The consequences of truth will never be popular and as a result true discernment is hidden from such a one.

Discernment is a spiritual faculty that is developed by the exercising. It is for our growth and maturation and is nurtured by seeking to minister to others by His Spirit. It is in learning how to discern the heart of those with whom we come into contact that we are enabled to sense the need and true condition of our brothers and sisters. This enablement is for the purpose of ministering His Word and His Grace to the glory of God. The development of this grace will only come as we walk learning to be sensitive to Him and His ways. It is by exercising of our “senses” we are able to grow in this faculty of discernment.

“But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age,
even those who by reason of use
have their senses exercised to
discern both good and evil”
HEBREWS 5:14

This growth in discernment is also the very means by which God opens His Word to us to partake of the “strong meat” of the Word.

Freedom from self is the window through which God shines.

Brian Troxel

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Children or Sons?

PART ONE

“Beloved, now are we the sons (Greek children) of God,
and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:
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”
1JOHN 3:2 – 3

This powerful, liberating truth of God speaks to all those who by FAITH have been born anew into the family of God; “…we are God’s children NOW”! This is not determined by the feelings or circumstances of life; this is the certainty of God. We are now children of His whereby we cry “Abba, Father”. To most of Christendom this is as far and as deep as things go. The beginning has become the end and we have manufactured a doctrinal thesis to keep this as the status quo. We see here in First John that there is to be a living hope that beats within our hearts of us growing into the full undimmed expression of HIM in our lives…that when HE appears we SHALL BE LIKE HIM! This is manifested by the maturation of a growing purity within the hearts of those who know of this living hope.

Doctrinal hopes have no power to convey this quest for life. It is simply a teaching that we believe which lays no claim to our personal lives. It is a religious concept that robs the WORD of its power and authority (Mark 7:13). There is little or no cost associated with such a “belief” and the adherents of such go through life with very little change. Children of God, loved of HIM, yet bereft of experiencing the glory and privilege of growing and developing into the sons of God. In the New Testament the Greek words used to differentiate between these two (for children and sons) are distinct*. As a child develops added responsibilities are given and with these responsibilities the added privileges of life. We do not give a three year old the car keys. God measures out to His own the pounds and the talents according to their “ability” and we see the withholding of truth to those who are unexercised in the development of true spiritual discernment.

“For every one that useth milk
is unskilful in the word of righteousness:
for he is a babe.
But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age,
even those who by reason of use
have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil”
HEBREWS 5:13 – 14

And again:

“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual,
but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
I have fed you with milk, and not with meat:
for hitherto ye were not able to bear it,
neither yet now are ye able”
1CORINTHIANS 3:1

Strong meat belongs to those who have grown from a child toward that full-aged development by the exercising of their senses to discern “good and evil”. Discernment is developed by growing into a pure heart so that we can see clearly and objectively (1Corinthians 2:15). “Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him” (Malachi 3:18). It is only by us becoming pure in heart that we shall see God and have the ability to discern between good and evil.

“And everyone that has THIS hope in him purifies himself as he is pure”

The revelation of our hope is revealed in a growing purity. That hope is the bridge between what we are now and what we will be when HE appears. All we need to do is to look at the parables of Jesus. They all speak of faith as a living, growing dynamic that is filled with HIS very life. The parable of the sower clearly states that the fruitfulness of a life is completely dependent upon the soil of the heart into which the precious seed falls. The seed that fell on the stony ground is the SAME seed that fell into the soil that brought forth the hundred fold harvest. The only difference is the soil; not the seed.

*NOTE
Huios (son) at times refers to a legal heir and thus, by implication, an adult. It seems to underscore the character or maturity of the individual. Teknon (child or children) is a more general designation for offspring and contemplates the individual as one who is parented, one who has been born to another. For example, Jesus is never designated as teknon or teknon Theou (gen. of Theos (G2316), God), Son of God, but always ho huios, the Son, the Son of God or the Son of Man

Also:

“The difference between believers as “children of God” and as “sons of God” is brought out in Rom. 8:14-21. The Spirit bears witness with their spirit that they are “children of God,” and, as such, they are His heirs and joint-heirs with Christ. This stresses the fact of their spiritual birth (vv. 16, 17). On the other hand, “as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God,” i.e., “these and no other.” Their conduct gives evidence of the dignity of their relationship and their likeness to His character.” (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testaments Words, by W.E. Vine)

Brian Troxel

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HEART OF A PRIEST

Part Three

“And they shall teach my people
the difference between the holy and profane,
and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean”

Ezekiel 44:22

In this day of obscurity and confusion there is to be a priestly people who rise up and so present Christ that it produces an ability within the people of God to easily see the difference between the holy and profane and to discern between the unclean and the clean. This ability to discern between good and evil is contingent upon the heart of each believer becoming free from personal agendas and secret motives. It is in the ministration of the living word, sharp to the very piercing of our inner hearts, that we are made free to see and hear clearly the issues that stand before us.

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful,
and sharper than any twoedged sword,
piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit,
and of the joints and marrow,
and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”

Hebrew 4:12

There is a need for men and women who have not circumvented this crucial work of the Lord. These people desire and seek the face of God to be purified from things that would taint His gracious expression of Life through them. In the very refining of our own hearts we are enabled to encourage and exhort others to endure His refining work because of our own experience. When one teaches without the experience of the dealings of God it can only produce a cold and indifferent expression; one that has no ability to impart the wisdom or consolation of the mercies of God. Mercy is given to the merciful, grace is given to the gracious and faith is given to those that are faithful.

In the New Testament priests are made, not born (Revelation 1:6). Priests become priestly by the ministration of God’s goodness and grace. It is His goodness that leads us to repentance, His truth that causes us to see ourselves as we really are, and His mercy that holds us in the seeing of such things.

“And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver:
and he shall purify the sons of Levi,
and purge them as gold and silver, that they may
offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness”
Malachi 3:3

“Then shall ye return, and discern
between the righteous and the wicked,
between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not”

Malachi 3:18

Brian Troxel

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