Thought for Today – The War Against the Soul

War Against the Soul

The War Against the Soul

“Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims,
abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul”
1 Peter 2:9

The aged and seasoned Peter beseeches the people of God to abstain from the fleshly lusts of this world which have long embattled the souls of the pilgrims of faith. Throughout the varied history of God’s people, the tendency has been to compromise with their enemies rather than eradicate them. The enemies and vices with whom one generation makes covenants/compromises, rule over them in succeeding generations. The things that one generation allows become the excesses of the next; the purity and the life of Christ ebbs away with each passing generation.

We are called to abstain from these things for they war against our very soul. These lusts and desires wither and shrink the vision of our Beloved. They taint the thought life, the inner sanctum of our being, and blind the soul from the light and glory of God Himself. It is an all-out assault on the minds and souls of God’s people. There is but one answer: the Lordship of Christ within the life of every believer. Victory! His Lordship coupled with our obedience insulates us in His Holy Presence. Joseph fled temptation and in the end became the Zaphnath–paaneah of the known world. If Christ’s Spirit does not rule within, our outward life will not stand in this day. His Kingdom starts within the thoughts, desires and intentions of every heart.

The Kingdom of God is not a message; it is a life. It is not a teaching, a word or a concept; it is the rule of God within the heart of man. It is a state of being; a heart fully submissive to the intonations of His Holy Spirit. His will is our will. His thoughts are our thoughts and He is seen and heard within the lives of His own.

“For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power”
1 Corinthians 4:20

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

It takes power and an authority beyond the scope of human nature to bring this kingdom into the heart and soul of man. Just as in the days of Israel, our enemies are stronger and more powerful than we are. The secret of victory is in our humility of learning the ways of His warfare. His Spirit teaches our hands to war and our fingers to fight.

“He teacheth my hands to war;
so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms”
1 Samuel 22:35

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

The war of the soul takes place in the unseen realm of our thoughts, far away from the sight of all but God. It is here that the battle rages. It is here that the unseen foes are defeated by the power of His Spirit working within our lives.

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5

The authority of His Kingdom is known first and foremost in the secret places of the heart.

“For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it”
Matthew 8:9

True authority in God’s Kingdom will be revealed through those who are under His authority. Many may claim authority because of knowledge, associations, and strength of personality; but God sees into the secret places and sets His love upon those who love Him.

“In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men
by Jesus Christ according to my gospel”
Romans 2:16

It is a day to avail ourselves of His grace to find the strength to fight the fight of faith and having done all to stand victorious in this evil day! To Him be the Glory and the Power and the Praise!

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God,
that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day,
and having done all, to stand”
Ephesians 6:13

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Treasures of Darkness –

Thought for Today

Light my candle

The Treasures of Darkness

“For thou wilt light my candle:
the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.”
Psalm 18:28

Darkness comes to all who walk in the light. “And the evening and the morning were the first day”. The days of God are all “evening and morning” until we reach the last Day in which there will be no darkness for eternity. Note that the Days of God begin with the evening; the darkness is only to bring us to a greater light. The ways of God are always progressive.

“But the path of the just is as the shining light,
that shineth more and more unto the perfect day”
Proverbs 4:18

The dark seasons of life are given to us for our good and our development. Adversity and resistance are designed to make us strong, unmovable and steadfast in spirit. There are hidden treasures and supplies within the dark places of our lives; resources to be found in the living Christ as we overcome. In adversity we are instructed to grow in the grace and beauty of our Lord. Let us not despise His ways but wait patiently and expectantly for those treasures that He will give!

“And I will give thee the treasures of darkness,
and hidden riches of secret places,
that thou mayest know that I, the Lord…”
Isaiah 45:3

Just as Samson found honey within the carcass of the lion that had attacked him His people find the table of His provision in the presence of their enemies. Caleb declared that the giants of the promised land would be bread for them; so are the trials and situations in which we find ourselves. It is here that the fruit of His Spirit grows and ripens to maturity.

The fruits of the Spirit are all interconnected. The patience (endurance) of the Spirit is the fruit of a living Hope; the Joy of the Spirit comes from the power of a Faith to believe in the midst of trials; the Peace of God comes from the power of a love which sends away all fear. These are the treasures of darkness which are found by those who walk and live in Him. Let us be assured that the darkness cannot overcome those who cling to the light of His Life within.

“But he knoweth the way that I take:
when he hath tried me,
I shall come forth as gold”
Job 23:10

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

THE NATURE OF TRUE VISION

THE NATURE OF TRUE VISION

“Except a man be born again,
he cannot SEE the kingdom of God”
JOHN 3:3

This verse has become in some ways the message of the modern church. It presents a vital and eternal truth; a man MUST be born again. The word “except” precludes any other way. Yet within the confines of man’s relationship with God it is the matrix into eternity but not the Kingdom of God. It is by being born again that man is awakened and enabled to SEE the Kingdom, not enter it. Entering the Kingdom is vastly different than the mere seeing of it. How sad it is that men are satisfied with seeing rather than entering. The nature of Vision is that by stepping into the one, it always offers glimpses of another. Being born again is the beginning of our walk not the end. Most of Christendom is satisfied with seeing, a good and wholesome start, yet only the beginning of the wonder of eternal life. Some venture into the truths of the ceremony of baptism in water and even into the baptism and birth of the Holy Spirit where giftings become an experiential reality. Jesus goes on to say…

“Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit,
he cannot enter into the kingdom of God”
JOHN 3:5

Jesus begins to speak of the higher things of God. Now instead of SEEING the Kingdom He speaks of ENTERING the Kingdom. He speaks of being BORN of water and of the Spirit. This is a new call to ASK and SEEK for these things to become real in the lives of His disciples. Jesus told His disciples that He had many more things to share with them but that they were not ready to bear them. Their development of character was not sufficient (in the original language) but he said that when the Holy Spirit came HE would lead and guide them into ALL TRUTH. If being born again was to be the sum total of His Truth to us why would Jesus speak of greater things to come by the ministration of the Holy Spirit? Our failure to seek and hunger for the greater things makes us settle for seeing rather than apprehending. Paul cried out in Philippians that he was on a quest to “apprehend” something and that in the pursuit of the ONE THING he counted the loss of all things as dung in order to lay hold of it. This should be our cry as well. We settle for far less than what God has for us because the pursuit of that call involves a cost. It is a cost that few men are willing to pay. As a result of faithless inactivity their eyes grow dim, their hearts wither and they settle for the comfort of a teaching that will soothe and often even quench the fire for more of Him.

Let us consider the Call to Abraham the “Father of our faith”.

“Lift up now thine eyes,
and look from the place where thou art northward,
and southward, and eastward, and westward”
GENESIS 13:14

Abraham’s faith had brought him thus far. He had obeyed the call and left the UR of the Chaldees. He had passed through many places and built several altars unto his God. Men and women of faith cannot settle and abide in the Land of their Birth for faith is an active thing; a living thing that is filled with purpose and quest. Abraham had obeyed, had followed his God, and remained a sojourner in his day. The original call was to Abraham alone, yet Abraham brought Lot with him on his journey contrary to the call to leave all. Finally, in the dealings of God Lot and Abraham separate, Lot choosing the land that was compatible with his heart and Abraham remaining in the land of his promise (Genesis 12:7).

“And the Lord said unto Abram,
AFTER that Lot was separated from him,
Lift up NOW thine eyes…”
GENESIS 13:14

It was AFTER Lot had finally departed, after the separation that God came to him and spoke that word of wonder… “Lift up NOW thine eyes and look…” Obedience is the key to VISION. It was after Abraham and Lot were separated that the word of God came. For many years Abraham kept Lot in his company. Lot in the original means “veiled one” and we see the result of Lot’s faith in choosing the cities of Sodom to dwell in. This walk of separation is the price paid by those who walk in the faith and the obedience of The Call. It is costly and at times lonely; yet a small price to pay in comparison to hearing God say “Lift up NOW thine eyes…”

Vision lifts the beholder out of the “present world” and shows the promises of God. The danger of any vision is that it becomes stagnant and remains undeveloped. Men are prone to letting vision be the end rather than the womb of something greater. Every vision is only the beginning of a new journey, a new impetus into the deeper and higher things of God. Had Abraham been content with the seeing of the earthly land of promise he would not have become the father of our faith.

Vision in our language means to see; vision in God’s language means to enter into, walk in and possess. The great tragedy is that men become content with seeing. They enjoy discussions, teachings and even prayers concerning what they see. People gather together on the basis of a vision but with the passing of time the vision fades from a pursuit to an ideal. Faith once passionate and living now becomes a doctrinal statement and a forlorn distant concept. Those to whom the promise was once given, (through unbelief fail to enter in) their bones bleach white in the wilderness of disobedience. The vision remains and it waits for a new generation who will rise up out of the failures of the former and enter into a fresh aspect of God’s purposes.

The entering in to the new land of promise requires a greater vision to obtain it. It is one thing to cross over the river. It is quite another to have the vision of seeing God afresh, for that new land is filled with powerful enemies that must be conquered. There is no end to a new seeing of Him in our walk. One victory leads us to new battles and new victories for those who are gripped by the power of a living faith. The Call is not a High Call. It is an UPWARD CALL, one that is filled with an ever-increasing discovery of the Eternal Riches of Christ in God. There is no point of arrival for the unsearchable riches of Christ are eternally unveiling new vistas, new wonders and new dimensions of Grace and Glory!

“After this I looked, and, behold,
a door was opened in heaven:
and the first voice which I heard
was as it were of a trumpet talking with me;
which said, Come up hither,
and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter”
REVELATION 4:1

Brian Troxel

Let No Man Deceive You

“LET NO MAN DECEIVE YOU”

“For this ye know* (see note below),
that no whoremonger (sexually impure),
nor unclean person, nor covetous man,
who is an idolater,
hath ANY inheritance
in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Let no man deceive you with vain words…”
Ephesians 5:5-6

How clear is the call of the New Testament to LIVE righteously! Men and woman who declare anything contrary to this are deceptively speaking empty and “vain words”. The Church in our day has been “deceived” with another Gospel; one in which people are comforted and excused for sin rather than delivered FROM sin by the power of God through faith. Faith is the means by which we are empowered to live a life of victory over sin, self and the world.

“For whatsoever is born of God
overcometh the world:
and this is the victory
that overcometh the world,

even our faith”
1John 5:4

We live in a day where sin is sympathized with, excused and tolerated. We speak as if the LOVE of God overlooks our sin and rebellion. God’s estimation of SIN is revealed by the necessity of the sacrifice of HIS SON at Calvary. By faith we have access to the “law of life in Christ Jesus” whereby we are enabled to live righteously in God! The true LIFE which Jesus came to give to every believer is one of victory and power. This life is known in reality by the power of the Holy Spirit putting to death the DEEDS of our body…

“For if ye live after the flesh,
ye shall die:
but if ye through the Spirit
do mortify the deeds of the body,
ye shall live”
Romans 8:13

The true life that God gives is one of righteousness. The Kingdom of God is not in having the necessities of this life rather it is “righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit”! Somehow the “gospel” of today absolves men and women from living righteously by a teaching that relieves them of any accountability. Woe to those who preach such a word and woe to those who listen to such things that are clearly contrary to the WORD of GOD. All will be without excuse.

“Who will render to every
man according to his deeds”
Romans 2:6

Jesus presents the Kingdom as a narrow way in which few will find its glory and wonder. We read in the Book of Revelation concerning those who will ENTER the gates of the CITY of God…

“And there shall in no wise
enter into it (The City of God)
ANY THING that defileth,
neither whatsoever worketh abomination,
or maketh a lie:
but they which are written
in the Lamb’s book of life”
Revelation 21:27

Righteousness lived here on earth by faith is the hope we have that is set before us. Faith is the divine enablement to LIVE righteously, HOPE is the power to energize our will to do so and LOVE is the fruit of this life! (Faith, Hope and Charity)

“And, behold, I come quickly;
and my reward is with me,
to give every man
according as his work shall be.
I am Alpha and Omega,
the beginning and the end,
the first and the last.
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 22:12-14

*NOTE: Obviously this was common knowledge in the days of the early Church from which we have strayed greatly.

Brian Troxel