The Night Season and God’s Glory

Night Seasons

“What I tell you in the darkness,
speak in the light…”
Matthew 10:27

There are deep truths and graces which can only be known and understood in the night seasons. God has purposed specific lessons, along with dispensations of mercy, for each of us which are discovered as we walk through dark places. It is in those trying and desperate times that we are weaned from the distraction of other things. Our sight is limited, and the silence is disconcerting. God seems distant and we are left with little but our own thoughts and perplexities. It is then that God draws near to unveil Himself and reveal His greatness and purposes to us.

David had learned of this when he declared in Psalm 139 this magnificent truth:

“If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee”
Psalm 139:11-12

Scriptures are full of the visitations of God in the night seasons. They testify of the wrestling within whereby Jacobs become Israels. They speak of strength and hope being ministered to His own in their pilgrimages and wanderings in lonely and desolate places. Foundations are established, callings confirmed, and hearts renewed in the faithfulness of our God. Who cannot but praise the One who visits us in such places!

“And God spake unto Israel
in the visions of the night…
Saying fear not…”
Genesis 46:2-3

It was during the night that God called Samuel to be a light in the desolation of Israel because of a backslidden and adulterous priesthood. It was in the night that Jesus came walking upon the stormy seas to call His disciples unto Himself.

“And in the fourth watch of the night
Jesus went unto them,
walking on the sea…
And he said (to Peter), Come”
Matthew 14:25,29

As David’s history with God developed over the years he began to speak of his own personal “night watches” where he meditated upon God. He remembered his God and listened for Him to speak and comfort him within the depths of his soul.

“When I remember thee upon my bed,
and meditate on thee in the night watches”
Psalm 63:6

Do not fear the night seasons for hidden within are the personal and private disclosures of His purposes for you. Out of these times men and women of faith emerge with renewed strength to meet the New Day and declare in the light the truths received in their own night season.

“And it came to pass that night,
that the word of the Lord came unto Nathan…
” Go and tell my servant David,
Thus saith the Lord…”
2 Samuel 7:4

Brian Troxel

Faithfulness and the Open Door

Faithfulness and The Open Door

I know thy works:
behold, I have set before thee an open door,
and no man can shut it…”
Revelation 3:8

Faithfulness to the present truth we know will always culminate in greater things in God. The Church at Philadelphia, even in their weakness and poverty, were faithful to do the works of God and were given an open door. Doing the will of God inevitably leads us into greater avenues of service unto Him. Those who are faithful in the little things will always receive more.

The stagnation of a faith without works perpetuates its own lethargy and barrenness. Within the true disciple lies an eagerness to do that which is before them without hesitation or delay. We must always bear in our hearts the verdict of God upon a “faith” which is void of works.

“What good is it, my brothers, if a man says he has faith, but has no works? Can faith save him? And if a brother or sister is naked and in lack of daily food, and one of you tells them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled;” and yet you didn’t give them the things the body needs, what good is it? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead in itself. Yes, a man will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without works, and I by my works will show you my faith. You believe that God is one. You do well. The demons also believe, and shudder. But do you want to know, vain man, that faith apart from works is dead?”
James 2:14-20

The “Open Door” is set before those who are faithful to yield themselves to the promptings of God within and respond accordingly. There are those who feel hemmed in by circumstances when in fact they may have not been faithful to the things at hand. Joseph, bound within Pharaoh’s prison, remained faithful to the gifts which God had given him, and, in the end, he was given great authority!

“For whoever has, to him will be given, and he will have abundance, but whoever doesn’t have, from him will be taken away even that which he has”
Matthew 13:12

The path to enlarged places in God is found within our faithfulness to Him in the little things; hidden things, often only known to God. In the end they will bring us to the open door of His grace.

Just a couple of examples are David who, while tending the sheep of his father, overcame the lion and the bear. Rebekah at the well, in her willingness and faithfulness to serve, was brought into the lineage of Christ!! (read Genesis 24:12-27) May we see the importance God places on those who reveal their heart by the work of their hands. He sees and measures out greater faith in proportion to their faithfulness in everyday life.

Let us seek His “open door” through faithfulness in our commonplace lives. Let our determination to honour Him “in all things” be an entrance into the greater things of Him. May we find joy each day in ever looking for ways to glorify Him, even in the secret thoughts of our hearts.

“I thank him who enabled me, Christ Jesus our Lord, because He counted me faithful, appointing me to service…”
1 Timothy 1:12

Obedience will open doors that no amount of praying alone can.

“The Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his lord will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the right times? Blessed is that servant whom his lord will find doing so when he comes. Truly I tell you, that he will set him over all that he has.
Matthew 24:45-47

May His exhortations permeate our hearts, and may we seek to be faithful to Him in all things.

Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord”
Matthew 25:23

The one who was unfaithful lost what he had been given and the eternal consequences were even greater.

“But his lord answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant. You knew that I reap where I didn’t sow and gather where I didn’t scatter. You ought therefore to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received back my own with interest. Take away therefore the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will be given, and he will have abundance, but from him who doesn’t have, even that which he has will be taken away. Throw out the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth”
Matthew 25:26-30

Faithfulness determines eternal destinies.

“…they that are with Him
are called, and chosen, and faithful
Revelation 17:14

Brian Troxel

Joseph Parker

Quote for Today

Joseph Parker
Commenting On
John the Baptist

“Look at John; see how the great men crowd around him; hear what temptation they suggest to him. It had never occurred to John himself, in all probability; that was Elias, that he was “that prophet”, that he was some great one. So the suggestion comes to him with all the force of a subtle temptation. What does he answer? He says, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord.” That was his answer: “What did he say of himself? “I am a voice.” What did he say of his ministry? “I am sent to prepare the way of the Lord in the attention and the affections of the world.” Thus, he who had offered to him by a very subtle temptation a brilliant crown and a high throne said, “No; I am but a voice; I am not the expected One, clearly understand my ministry and function in life; I am the herald, not the King: I blow the blast of the trumpet and he himself will be here presently.” That is just what every Christian has to do; to go before, to proclaim the Lord, to call men to preparedness, to awaken their attention, to tell them to be ready: for the Bridegroom cometh, and then to stand out of the way, as those who have indeed done a humble, yet a most useful work, in the world. But I repeat, he who knows his strength as John knew it will be strong, as no man can be who imagines himself to have a power with which God never invested him. A stern, solemn, grand man was John.”
– Joseph Parker

Honouring God

Honoring God

“So speak ye and so do”
James 2:12

We live in a very strange time when individuals can study the scriptures, memorize them, and readily discuss them with others; yet live their lives contrary to the very words they speak. The only way to honor His Word is by obeying it. Obedience is the evidence of a life who truly honors and treats His Word for what it is: Holy. If we do not reverence His Word through obedience we will reap the consequences. How foolish it is to speak His Word and yet not honor it not with our lives.

“For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense; how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation
Hebrews 2:2

They who esteem His Word lightly, lightly esteem the One who speaks it.

“And if any man obey not our word by this epistle,
note that man, and have no company with him,
that he may be ashamed”
2 Thessalonians 3:14

Brian Troxel

The Lesson of the Fig Tree – Part Two

The Lesson of the Fig Tree

Part Two

“Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away”
Matthew 21:18-19

The lesson of the fig tree is one of great value to those who seek truth. Its message is for our growth and development.

Jesus came to the fig tree looking for figs. He came looking for fruit consistent with its capability. So it is with us. The righteousness of God prevents Him from an expectation that is beyond the ability of the tree to produce. The God who measures the talents to every child of His according to their ability, is the same God who holds each of us accountable to Him for that gift. This truth brings our accountability into perspective. It is also meant to be instructive to us as parents and ministers of God that we walk in His wisdom regarding the lives of our own children and of every believer. We are not to expect Paul to minister as Peter, nor Jude to speak as Apollos. Such expectations are the result of religious doctrines and confines. The Life of Christ within regards the individual gifts and capacities of others and looks for the corresponding fruit. When the fruit of an individual is consistent with the call and the gifts of God given, there should be a collective rejoicing unto the Giver of all good things. When the fruit of a life is missing or lacking the vitality of its call and capability, there is great need for the ministration of exhortation and admonition. Ministers who fail in this vital aspect of ministry will find themselves accountable to the Chief Shepherd of our souls.

Stewards and Shepherds

We are stewards of the grace of God and as such we are to shepherd His flock with a desire to see Him glorified in each and every child of His. It requires a pure heart to walk in such things knowing full well our own accountability unto Him. The fear of the Lord is the ground upon which His true ministers walk and function. John the Apostle declared that he had no greater joy than to “see his children walking in truth”; the truth of what has been given to them. The one who has been given prophetic insight, that is the thing to which God will hold them accountable (1-see below). The one who teaches must teach the truth of God to the end that every life will grow in the holiness and wisdom of God. (2-see below). Those who exhort must do so with purity and simplicity (3-see below) As to the Apostolic, there is to be a faithfulness to call God’s people to the obedience of faith (4-see below). The list is as endless as the diversity of God’s creation.

(1) “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith” (Romans 12:6)
(2) “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Colossians 1:28)
(3) “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3)
(4) “By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name” (Romans 1:5)

In the book of Romans, Paul exhorts God’s people to receive all of these diversities as the gifts and the wisdom of God. Those who refuse these expressions deny God’s wisdom and subject themselves to His judgment. Division is the result of man’s wisdom and pride.

“Only by pride cometh contention…”
Proverbs 13:10

The Lesson of the fig tree is that He comes to each of us looking for corresponding fruit. His expectation is consistent with His grace given. In the Parable of the Talents, the man with one talent was judged severely for his faithlessness to the gift given (Matthew 15:30). In the Parable of the Vine, the branch which bore no fruit was “cut off” (John 15:2,6). The lesson of the Fig Tree was meant for our admonition and learning to that same end.

The response of Jesus to the two individuals who were faithful to their respective talents was the same! Different talents yet the same reward for their faithfulness to God’s measure.

“His lord said unto him, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord”
Matthew 25:21,23

The purpose of these diverse ministrations is:

“That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing,
being fruitful in every good work…”
Colossians 1:10

Brian Troxel

Small Things

Small Things

“For who knoweth what is good
for man in this life”
Ecclesiastes 6:12

Can we see Him in the dreary paths of life; in the mundane and the seemingly insignificant matters of every day? Or do we, like the potter’s vessel, feel the hand of God molding and shaping the inner man into a vessel which honours and serves Him? The circular rote of daily life with its unspectacular events seems to come and go endlessly, yet within our walk with God there are unseen opportunities to please Him.

Do the seemingly small things pass our eyes without us seeing the hidden wisdom and purposes of God?

“And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And he said, of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had”
Luke 21:2-4

That poor widow had no idea that her small act of giving would be used for centuries to explain a great truth of the Kingdom of God!

In view of such things we are to be instructed to be diligent and faithful in every aspect of our life. Who knows what God may see and use for His Glory? It is crucial in the unguarded and trivial things of life that we remain true to our God.

“And Asa did that which was good and right
in the eyes of the Lord his God”
2 Chronicles 14:2

May this be our testimony unto Him.

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – John Knox

Quote for Today

 

“As touching nature I am a worm of this earth, and yet a subject of this commonwealth; but as touching the office wherein it has pleased God to place me, I am a watchman… For that reason I am bound in conscience to blow the trumpet publicly.”
– John Knox

Stewardship and the Prophetic

Stewardship and the Prophetic

“But as for me, I am full of power by Yahweh’s Spirit,
and of judgment, and of might,
to declare to Jacob his disobedience,
and to Israel his sin”
Micah 3:8

True prophetic expressions have their origin in God Himself. The fountain from which they spring is God’s heart, not their own. It is a call, not a career. It is a heart that has touched the sacred atmosphere of His dwelling place and sees and feels the waywardness of the human condition. The Holiness of God is the matrix by which all things are uncovered and made bare. Those who have, in some measure, the “knowledge of the Holy…” (Proverbs 9:10) have nothing to boast of. There is no high-mindedness, for in touching God they have seen themselves in that same piercing, Holy Light (Isaiah 6:5). It is a Light which obliterates any sense of worthiness or merit. It cries out against apathy, disobedience and sin, because God does. Those who bear such things know the dichotomy of the treasure in the earthen vessel. The press from within is of greater value than the animosity from without. The over-riding need to express the Holiness of God becomes the purpose of life itself. Whatever may be the reaction of all the powers of the world, or the indignation of our brothers and sisters, faithfulness to Him is paramount.

“For if I proclaim the gospel, no glory is to me;
for necessity is laid on me,
and it is woe to me if I do not proclaim the gospel.
For if I do this willingly, I have a reward;
but if unwillingly, I am entrusted with a stewardship
1 Corinthians 9:16-17

How few in our Day know of the necessity to declare The Gospel of God; this unutterable, inherent need to speak of His Holiness and His hatred of sin. The horror of the religious ways and methods of men obscure His very person. The presentation of a Gospel entangled with the ambitions of men for personal gain and recognition, dims the radiance of the risen Christ. Where are those who recognize the entrustment of a stewardship? This call is like a ship at sea driven by the winds of heaven, no longer free to navigate its own way. The ebb and flow of God determines the when and the where of such lives. These are the expressions of those who know the fulness (see note below) of His Spirit and from this fulness that the Words of God flow. It is a fulness which makes the vessel aware of its own emptiness. The great mystery of God at work through fragile earthen vessels is the true revelation of the Grace of God.

“the Lord God hath spoken, who can but prophesy?”
Amos 3:8

It is in the hearing, the touching and the seeing of Him that the press of His Spirit rises within. He is the origin of all things pertaining to His Glory. He alone is worthy of lives yielded to Him. May God make known to the next generation the Call to Himself that they may be no longer their own.

Stewardship

“For if I do this willingly, I have a reward;
but if unwillingly, I am entrusted with a stewardship

To know the life of stewardship is as costly as it is precious. A steward is entrusted with the goods of the master. He owns nothing. He is conscious that God’s things are Holy, and he dare not handle them carelessly. Stewards do not have their own doctrine, nor do they subscribe to the popular teachings of the day. They carry within themselves the true doctrine of the Lord:

“My meat is to do the will of him that sent me,
and to finish his work
John 4:34

The stewards do not have their own agenda. They do not live to build up a following, or what men call a “ministry” or “church”. They are His alone and by the grace of God they remain such. Their ministry is simple:

“That which we have seen and heard
declare we unto you”
1 John 1:3

Ω

A Steward of the Lord

“And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem,
not knowing the things that shall befall me there”
Acts 20:22

* The fullness of God's Spirit is relative to the capacity of the vessel. In the parable of the Talents the measure given to each individual was determined by their capability.The individual to whom two talents were given filled them to the measure of their capacity. In their obedience and faithfulness the two talents became four and so it is with each of us. God pours out His Spirit without measure and as He has His way with us our capacity grows to walk in Him.

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – A.W. Tozer

Quote for Today

“Without doubt the emphasis in Christian teaching today should be on worship. There is little danger that we shall become merely worshipers and neglect the practical implications of the gospel. No one can long worship God in spirit and in truth before the obligation to holy service becomes too strong to resist. Fellowship with God leads straight to obedience and good works. That is the divine order and it can never be reversed.”
– A.W. Tozer

Speaking the Truth – Part One – Truth and Partiality

Speaking the Truth

Part One

Truth and Partiality

“Them that sin rebuke before all,
that others also may fear.”
1 Timothy 5:20

The true love of God cares about others within the Body of Christ. It is not silent nor does it turn a blind eye to sin within His House. The “wages of sin is death”. Do we really believe this? Has sin become so rampant, so common and prevalent that we care little about its horror? Have we become so anesthetized in our own hearts that we dare not confront that which is without because of the compromise within?

Paul followed his charge (the above scripture) to Timothy with:

I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality
1 Timothy 5:21

Denominations, sects, kingdom-building and the desire to please others, has become more important than the truth of God. We are more concerned with people’s opinions of us than we are with staying true to God’s Word and purpose. The need to fill the pews and be popular outweighs the purity and power of God’s living truth. We sacrifice truth upon the altar of our agendas and desires. We place men upon pedestals and hold them to a different standard than we do others.

Paul speaks this truth concerning himself:

“But even if we or an angel out of heaven should preach a gospel to you contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let him be accursed!”
Galatians 1:8

The love of truth, for the sake of God’s glory in our midst, must exceed the love of our personal relationships. God’s house is to be holy and pure, having the same love one for another; it is to that end we live and move within His Body. There are to be no schisms or sects and no favoritism. Timothy was charged with the solemn task of accountability to God, he was to live in the simplicity of honoring and glorifying God. There was no favoritism and the repulsion of treating one member differently from another.

Truth is truth.

Truth is not relative! The devastating lie of “relativism” has crept into the very core of the Church of Jesus Christ. We may speak truth to one brother and turn a blind eye to another but God has a word for such an unspeakable act: HYPOCRISY.

The condition of the Church of Jesus Christ today is a sad testament to this hypocrisy. The Love of God has fallen to such a low degree where we have set His Call to holiness below that of our relationships with others. A relationship that cannot survive the speaking of truth to one another is a carnal relationship and is based upon something other than God.

Woe to us if we walk in partiality, sectarianism and the horror of a love that only loves its own. Woe to us if we walk in anything less than the pure love of truth.

The Call of God is going out to bring forth a people who love in deed, word and truth without partiality.

“For while one saith, I am of Paul;
and another, I am of Apollos;
ARE YE NOT CARNAL?
1 Corinthians 3:4

How many today speak these same things? I am of the Pentecostal church or the Alliance church; I follow a certain leader or a particular teaching; are we not carnal? Within these boundaries partiality flourishes and so does sin!

“For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying,and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?”
1 Corinthians 3:3

There is a simple solution to this.

“But speaking the truth in love”
Ephesians 4:15

Love is the only motive and power which can cause the walls of sectarianism, denominational-ism and carnal factions to be removed.

The true love of God will not and cannot stand idly by and watch a brother/sister or fellowship/church destroy their lives or the life and unity of the Body of Christ without speaking to it. It is an impossibility. When sin is viewed from a lethargic heart it is easy to say nothing. When it is seen for the deadly thing it is we cannot remain silent. Apathy begets apathy. Love is the only answer to apathy. Love is the only thing which can and will break down the walls of carnal thinking and carnal doing. Where the fear of man reigns secularism and denominational-ism will prevail. Whenever love and truth are the impetus, God is glorified.

The Test

There is a simple test to know the validity of our relationships. Set your heart to the speaking and receiving of truth. If the relationships hold then God is the foundation. If contention and strife arise then know that the foundation is built upon the sand of men’s ways and not God’s.

The call of God today is to seek with all of our hearts to be true within the secret places of our lives. Love God above all. Be true to Him and from such a spring you will drink the refreshing waters of the eternal fellowship of Christ IN His Body.

“For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”
John 3:20-21

Brian Troxel