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Posts Tagged ‘Faithfulness’

SERVING JESUS

“If any man serve me, let him follow me;
and where I am, there shall also my servant be:
if any man serve me, him will my Father honour”
John 12:26

The central theme to which Jesus kept directing His disciples was relationship to Him. The great deception of religion is that men and women serve an organization, a doctrine, a teacher or even worse themselves. Here Jesus points to the essential cornerstone of true service unto Him: “let him follow me”. It is in following Him that we become separated unto Him. The “cross” of the individual believer is simply defined by a life of following Him. While many are willing to do strenuous religious observances, fasting, long prayer meetings, conferences and seemingly good works the issue remains one of following Him. The cross of Christ was in doing the will of the Father. In this place of true servitude the Son glorified the Father. It is in our being “yoked” with Him that our lives will in truth glorify the Son. Knowledge of the scriptures must give way to relationship with the Son. Knowledge alone of the Son will never make a person free nor bring about the true experiential knowing of Him within the human heart.

Throughout the scriptures we see that many stopped following Him because of the cost of the Way. The Scribes and Pharisees had no problem with long prayers, religious observances and the rites and rituals of the religious system but they failed to follow Him. In following Him they would have come to the crossroad of serving self or serving God. It is here that the truth of one’s heart is revealed. In this day of the great Apostasy the hearts of many are growing cold and unresponsive to Him and His Word. The forms of truth are retained but the active daily following of Him is replaced by the love of this world, by the busyness of religious programs, and in living a life of self-interest; this culminates in a life that no longer follows Him. Freedom from self with all of its wretched ways and miserable ends can only be found in the following of Him. To truly follow Him requires a forsaking of self. Religion is the “opiate of the masses”; it offers the appearance of a thing without the substance of the thing. It offers the sayings of Jesus without the required obedience to His words. It calls Him Lord but affords its adherents the means to escape actual obedience to Him by the soothing of the conscience with the very words of scripture. Early in Jesus’ life Satan came with great power and temptation by quoting the scriptures so that Jesus might seek to “save” His life supernaturally for all to see (Matthew 4:1-11). Jesus refuted such temptation as He was not here to fulfill His will. His purpose was to fulfill the will of the Father.

There can be no true serving of Jesus without a life of actively following Him. It is evident that we are in the time of the great falling away. It is a very subtle and deadly affair of the heart when men and women cling to the words of Jesus without the following of Him. The subtlety of such a life is called deception and it is the way of spiritual decay and death. We remain static while He moves on in the will and the glory of the Father. We hear many say that God does not answer prayer. The wonder of His presence is lacking and in most places not even expected. We have become accustomed to the forms of religion without His presence and power. It is not because He has forsaken us; it is that we have ceased as a people to “follow Him”. He declares to the Church at Ephesus:

“But I have against you
that you left your first love…”
Revelation 2:4

The verse preceding this one states “I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience…” The works continued but the love faded. The forsaking of their “first love” (pre-eminent love) was so critical to their place in God that His judgement upon such a people was the removal of His presence from their midst. The reason for the cooling of the heart of His people is the result of iniquity abounding.

“And because iniquity shall abound,
the love of many shall wax cold”
Matthew 24:12

The Greek word translated iniquity here does not fully imply gross sin. It speaks of lawlessness in that instead of obeying the commandments of Jesus we subtly set them aside declaring that we are now under grace. It is through the horror of this deceptive teaching that we are seeing the fervent love of many growing cold and indifferent. It is we who have forsaken the good and right way. The church has embraced teachers who bring in damnable heresies that turn His people from following Him to the serving of self and other things. We call Him Lord yet we set aside His commandments to obey the traditions and teachings of men. WE HAVE MADE THE WORD OF GOD OF NON-EFFECT! It is our own doing and God’s remedy is repentance and the return to our primary love.

“”This people honors Me with the lips,
but their heart is far away from Me; and in vain they worship Me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” (Isa. 29:13 8)
For forsaking the commandment of God,
you hold the tradition of men”
Mark 7:7-8

God has a simple answer for this generation and this time. It is the simplicity of obeying His commandments and following Him.

“If ye keep my commandments,
ye shall abide in my love”
John 15:10

The teaching of a grace that absolves His people from obedience to the commands of Jesus is a lie and deception of the devil himself! If we do not repent we will stand in the judgement of God as they who once knew the truth and turned away. This is the picture presented to us in the Parable of the Sower where the soil which grew weeds of the cares of self and this life and choked out the precious seed. This truth is presented throughout the New Testament to those who started out well yet grew cold and indifferent to Him in the end.

“For if by a full knowledge of the Lord and Savior,
Jesus Christ, they have escaped the defilements of the world,
and again being entangled they have been overcome by these,
then their last things have become worse than the first.
For it was better for them not to have fully known
the way of righteousness, than fully knowing to turn from
the holy commandment delivered to them”
2 Peter 2:20-21 (LITV)

Let us find Grace in this day to finish the race which is set before us. Let us not grow weary in our following of Him for we shall surely reap if we faint not.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Excerpt from coming Book

The Sanctified Ear and the Circumstances of Life

Part 4
“Elijah and the Fire…”

“And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave
1 Kings 19:11-13

“And after the earthquake a fire…” Elijah, in obedience to God’s word, stood upon the Mount of God and as God passed by he was subjected to various repercussions of God’s movings. Yet this man of God did not respond to any of them “for God was not in them”. We even see fire as a final test for Elijah. In the Spiritual world there are many kinds of fires, none without significance. The Word declares that our God is a consuming fire; this may be the most difficult of all the tests to pass but they that know their God are able to discern the flames of different fires. In the scriptures we read of Nadab and Abihu who offered “strange fire” unto the Lord and died as a consequence.

“And Nadab and Abihu died before the Lord,
when they offered strange fire before the Lord”
Numbers 3:4

This was the offering of a priesthood which knew not the fire of God. They supposed that one fire was as good as the next. It is the same today. Men and women make offerings and engage in strange and unsanctified workings of the flesh and spirit unto God not knowing or considering the horror of such things. As in Elijah’s day, those who know their God will not respond to sensationalism. Many with no discernment in the religious world delight in the offerings of Cain (the work of their hands). Men and women seek to stir up the flesh in ardent activities and programs in an effort to show their fervor for God; but God is not in them. There is so much blindness and callousness in the “Christian” world that there is not even awareness that God will not accept Cain’s offering, or the “strange fire” of the “ministry” of Nadab and Abihu. God withholds His presence and His blessing. In this unbridled atmosphere men become more and more brazen in their attempts to draw people to “their” church or ministry. What many call the “liberty” of the spirit is really the chaos of the flesh and in the seeming silence of God (as in Israel of old) we see the catastrophic introduction of churches which are operated not by the Spirit but by the ways of the corporate world and the introduction of false worldly religions creeping into the very fabric of the Christian landscape. Yet those who will not partake of such things are considered to be legalistic and narrow-minded.

After Elijah stood firm in the midst of the wind, the shaking, and the fire, God spoke to Elijah in “a still small voice”. (In the Hebrew it is better translated “the voice of stillness”). It is to this voice that Elijah responds wrapped in the mantle of His calling. These are those today who know their God and His voice within their hearts. They have been steadfast through the tests of God and have proven themselves faithful unto Him in a day of apostasy and spiritual harlotry. These are people of the sanctified ear. They do not respond to the activities of men. Neither are they are moved by the repercussions and shakings of God’s moving’s in the political, financial and religious worlds. They stand true in the midst of spiritual fads and the empty spiritual winds of overt signs and wonders; and the fires of men’s self-seeking agendas. The sanctified ear brings men and women to the threshold of God’s New Day wherein His Holiness is revealed and the folly of men judged in the fires of God’s anger.

We will soon see the day in which the five foolish virgins and the five wise virgins will be revealed and the tremendous ramifications of both.

“The days are at hand,
and the effect of every vision…”
Ezekiel 12:23

One’s vision of God and their perception of Him are revealed in the effect it has upon their life. The man with the one talent “perceived” God as hard and austere and therefore hid his talent in the ground. His perception was that God was only interested in his gift not realizing that God expected him to invest his gift into the lives around him and bring an increase to God’s Glory. It is to such that God declares “Thou wicked and slothful servant”. The captain of the armies of Syria who came to Elijah with the “perception” that Elijah would call upon his God and strike the place where he stood and heal him became angry when told to go wash in the river Jordan. Those who “perceive” that God does not care about the condition of His House, who think He is unconcerned with the ways of men, the kingdom building agendas of this day, the unholy living, the loose morals and carelessness with which His people conduct themselves, will be shocked in the Day that is at hand. The effect of such a vision will render them unable to stand in the day of persecution and judgement. The fires of their lamps will grow dim in the waning hours of His return. Woe to those who preach and teach a Gospel of unaccountability for the effect of such things will be devastating and eternal.

It is in such an hour as this that a prophetic people arise and call out unto Him who rules and reigns in the heavens. Not only do they call out to God in the heavens they also speak with authority unto those who love and join themselves to the vanity of religion…

“O ye sons of men,
how long will ye turn my glory into shame?
how long will ye love vanity…”
Psalm 4:2

The sanctified ear is the result of a sanctified heart. Those who walk circumspectly in this time will be kept by the power of God in the day which is about to break.

“And the Lord said unto him,
Go through the midst of the city,
through the midst of Jerusalem,
and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men
that sigh and that cry for all the abominations
that be done in the midst thereof”
Ezekiel 9:4

While the masses join themselves to the chaos and “religion” of this hour there will be those who know their God and keep themselves “set apart” as virgins betrothed unto God even as they are accused of being legalistic and “out of touch” with the “new ways” of the Spirit. Though Jonathan knew the Kingdom of God belonged to David he could not find it in his heart to separate himself from Saul and perished with him in the judgement of God. God’s word to those who stand faithful in this hour is…

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
Revelation 3:10

“Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him”
Malachi 3:16-17

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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His Word

Part One

The Word of Fire

“Is not my word like as a fire?
saith the Lord;
and like a hammer that breaketh
the rock in pieces?”
Jeremiah 23:29

God’s Word is not only an expression of Himself it is also an extension of Himself. He is His Word and His Word is Himself (John 1:1). We read in both the Old and New Testaments that our God is a consuming fire (Deuteronomy 4:24, Hebrews 12:29). They who bear His Living Word within their hearts know in a corresponding measure to their walk the truth of this. For His Word is the very expression of His Nature, His Thoughts and His Ways. Words without fire are words without unction. Men cannot touch His Presence and remain unaffected, apathetic and unconcerned about His inheritance in the earth. His presence is fire and glory. His zeal for His House (Psalm 119:139, John 2:17) in the earth is a consuming fire within the hearts of those who have His Word.

His Word is a fire which consumes, purifies and impels those who bear it to speak with intensity to all who would hear. This fire cannot be quenched, compromised or contaminated by the tepid atmosphere of religious men who would desire something less than God Himself. This Word is antagonistic to the comfortable, to those who would seek a complacent and more popular approach to God; yet to those who desire to walk and live within the fiery presence of a Holy God it is the necessity of life itself.

It is the work of God to bring His people to such expressions…

“But his word was in mine heart
as a burning fire
shut up in my bones”
Jeremiah 20:9

Men without fire have not yet touched His Presence. It is ever the work of the Holy Spirit to bring men to such places (Exodus 3:2) where the Fire of God burns like the Holy Lamp did in the days of the Tabernacle/Temple of God in the Old Testament. The Word of God declares “ye are the temple of the living God” and as such there ought to be the fire of His Presence burning within our hearts.

The Priesthood of Eli

Eli was a priest who through neglect became blind in His service to God and as a result the lamp of God went out in the tabernacle! This lamp of fire had been preserved and watched over by the priests of God for over 450 years! His sons had become immoral and loose in their walk before God. This was a day of no accountability. Men did as they pleased and the ministry was silent concerning God’s Righteousness. The outward observance of God’s law continued but the fire went out and men did not lay these things to heart.

There is also in our day a ministry in the earth which has neither fire nor unction; a ministry which has resulted in the fire of God going out in His house. There is a religious environment in which men hold the Word in the form of teachings and doctrines rather than in their hearts by the living fire of His presence. These are they who hold His Word in unrighteousness, who seek to fill their churches and fellowships with kind and comfortable words but have no actual concern for the condition of His people or their walk in righteousness. The Word speaks of the fruit of such a ministry:

“And because iniquity shall abound,
the love of many shall wax cold”
Matthew 24:12

The reason the fire goes out is because of iniquity and sin. The Love of God beating within a man’s heart will cause him to forsake sin. A Gospel which does not have the very fire of God within it is not God’s Living Word. In contrast to this unholy ministry we read of another.

The Stranger and the Words of Fire

Two disciples walking down the road to Emmaus in deep despair and perplexity were joined by a “stranger”* who spoke sternly to them concerning their plight and their lack of faith. Their eyes where blinded to the One who spoke with them as they journeyed. Would our hearts receive such words from a stranger?

“O fools, and slow of heart to believe
all that the prophets have spoken…”
Luke 24:25

After realizing the stranger was in fact the risen Lord who had spoken to them these hard words the disciples remarked to one another:

“And they said one to another,
Did not our heart burn within us,
while he talked with us by the way,
and while he opened to us the scriptures?”
Luke 24:32

Empty words proceed from hearts lacking fire. The words of the religious are different than the Words of Jesus and they who serve at His Altar will speak His Words and seek His Glory and not their own.

“And it came to pass,
when Jesus had ended these sayings,
the people were astonished at his doctrine:
For he taught them as one having authority,
and not as the scribes”
Matthew 7:28-29

Burning Words flow from burning hearts!

Even so Lord draw us to the fire of your presence and cause that fire to burn, purify and consume all that is unholy and carnal in us. Make us to be “ministers of flaming fire”. Men who will not abide in such words now will perish in the fire of His return.

“If a man abide not in me,
he is cast forth as a branch,
and is withered; and men gather them,
and cast them into the fire,
and they are burned”
John 15:6

* Men reveal by their response the true condition of their hearts. Here a stranger came and spoke hard words, yet these two downtrodden disciples resisted not the admonition for they were men who desired truth and loved it. Men who refuse the fire and the hammer of God’s Word are not abiding in His Spirit. They have not the love of truth burning within their heart. They appear religious and will seek to build and do religious things but in their inner heart truth is not desired nor pursued. It is the day of the Revelation of Jesus Christ and in the revealing of Him men’s works will be made manifest even as by fire.

“Every man’s work shall be made manifest:
for the day shall declare it,
because it shall be revealed by fire;
and the fire shall try every man’s work
of what sort it is”
1 Corinthians 3:13

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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We Have Today

“For man also knoweth not his time”
Ecclesiastes 9:12

The great deception of life is the blindness of its own mortality. The foolish man declares tomorrow I will do this or that; in truth we have only today to walk uprightly and to treat others with the wisdom and kindness of God. We only have today to hear His voice and to live our lives to please Him. The Psalmist declares…

“So teach us to number our days,
that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom”
Psalm 90:12

The wise man who walks in the fear of the Lord knows the importance of each day. Those with an understanding of “the Holy” know that each day presents opportunities of faith and accountability unto Him who sees the very intent of a man’s heart. Our days are not to be spent foolishly or without regard to Him unto whom we must give an account. In reality the journey of man is brief and filled with foolishness but those who “number their days” make a concerted effort to apply wisdom.

Men who fear the Lord seek out fellowship with others who know of this wisdom. They gather for no other reason than to worship Him who alone is worthy; to speak and exhort one another to live each day to the doing of His Will.

“Then they that feared the Lord
spake often one to another:
and the Lord hearkened, and heard it,
and a book of remembrance was written
before him for them that feared the Lord,
and that thought upon his name”
Malachi 3:16

This is the fruit of those who have tasted and touched the Holiness of God. Sadly many allow each day to pass without the application of His Truth and His Will. God speaks daily to one who has ears to hear and a heart to obey.

“Wherefore as the Holy Ghost saith,
Today if ye will hear his voice
Harden not your heart”
Hebrews 3:7, 3:15. 4:7

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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BE VIGILANT

“And it came to pass…
at the time when kings go forth to battle,
that David sent Joab, and his servants with him,
and all Israel;
and they destroyed the children of Ammon,
and besieged Rabbah.
But David tarried still at Jerusalem
2Samuel 11:3

This is the prelude to a very dark time in David’s life. Sin does not suddenly overtake a man; it is usually a result of neglect of our own vigilance to “keep yourselves in the love of God” (Jude 1:21). These things occur when we take our eyes off Jesus. We turn aside from the daily warfare and we seek rest and comfort for ourselves. David was to have been out battling against the enemies of God. Instead he sent Joab and others out while he “tarried” at home. While he “tarried” he encountered temptation in the form of Bathsheba and he fell. The repercussions of this incident impacted him for the rest of his life. These things are written for our instruction whereby we are warned to be sober and alert that we may finish our days in the victory of His Life in us. We dare not relax from vigilance for our enemy is always seeking those whom he may entice and draw away from the life of faith.

”Be sober, be vigilant;
because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion,
walketh about, seeking whom he may devour”
1Peter 5:8

We must keep our eyes upon Jesus and seek out true and living fellowship with others in order to exhort one another to live Godly lives in Christ Jesus. The life of a true child of God is one of being a soldier in His army, constantly on duty, never taking leave of our post in the course of daily life. The call is high, the prize is great and our enemy is ever seeking our downfall. How easy it is to “tarry” from the battle, to become lax in the call to diligence and discipline. We all know from experience that a little “leaven” in our lives will contaminate the very manna of God. Our lives become compromised in lukewarm living where we go through the motions of a religion but in reality are denying the power of God to bring His Light into the world in which we live. A compromised life is an impotent life. It is a life with right words but powerless to bring change into the lives around us.

It is to the vigilant that the promises of God come. It is in standing at our post fully engaged in the “fight of faith” that we reap the rewards from Him. We must stand faithful even in the night watches. The monotony of life tends to lull us to slumber and voices that speak of futility allow the sleep of death to overtake us. It is in the morning watch of each day, where we rise up to drink in of His life, to touch His heart and remain alive unto the things of the Spirit, that we find grace to remain faithful. Faithfulness is simply being full of faith for the task to which we have been called. Blessed are they who find themselves filled with the same heart that beat in the Son:

”…wist ye not that
I must be about my Father’s business?”
Luke 2:49

Even at the age of twelve Jesus was singular in the life that he lived. His Father’s business was the preoccupation of his heart. If He is alive and dwelling in us that same heart beats within us as well.

Let us trim the lamps of our hearts to keep the life we live simple and confined to the one great purpose, to do His Will. We must remain vigilant against the subtleties of this temporal life to be about our Father’s business.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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The Open Door

“For a great door
and effectual is opened unto me,

and there are many adversaries
1 Corinthians 16:9

Difficult and adversarial situations have no bearing upon the child of God. The Open Door into the things of our Father must be filled with opposition for this door can only be entered on the grounds of Faith; a Faith that is living, pressing and teeming with the life of God. Men who wait for all the conditions to be right will never know the hidden glories of God’s provisions.

“Thou preparest a table before me
in the presence of mine enemies”
Psalm 23:5

The rich provision of God’s table is served in the midst of our enemies. It is there we find the nourishment and faithfulness of our God to provide all that we need to accomplish His works in and through our lives. John on the Isle of Patmos was banished to a forlorn and desolate place for his testimony of God. It is there that he sees a great door opened and the heavens drawn back to unveil the deep and dramatic unfolding of the Revelation of Christ! We must not draw back from the doors presented to us. We must not consider the opposition and the obstacles that stand in our way; for faith never walks by sight. Many men and women of God sit in faithless inactivity waiting for the opposition to be removed before venturing into the things they have been called to.

“He that observeth the wind shall not sow;
and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap”
Ecclesiastes 11:4

The reaping in a man’s life is always in proportion to his sowing. Great testing is about to unfold in our day and it is incumbent upon us to be in the now of His Will; to step out of the confines of our world and into the open doors of His world. The way of truth is not an intellectual commodity; it is the Life of Jesus being lived out in my life today. When Jesus said “I am the Truth” He proclaimed truth to be His Life in me; not some doctrinal understanding of a teaching, but the very breath and power of His life in my own heart. Men who accomplish the works of faith are blind to the obstacles that stand in their way. They see through the barriers, they see through the weaknesses in their own lives and the limitations of their own resources for faith sees His Will and nothing else. It is a day to “lift up our eyes”, in order to see past the circumstances and be found “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith”.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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HOPE AND FAITHFULNESS

“I had fainted,
unless I had believed to see the goodness
of the Lord in the land of the living”
PSALM 27:13

The living hope of seeing Him in this life is the source from which faithfulness draws its strength. A living hope is one that produces life within the hearts of those who are held in its grasp. While many hold to a hope after death, a living hope is found in those who are alive in Christ; from its well flows faithfulness and purity of heart (1John 3:3). We see Him in proportion to the purity in which we walk. A living hope facilitates a life of growth and stability. It speaks of holding fast, of feeding others when we are hungry, giving water to others while walking in desert places, of rising up when we are close to fainting and of worshiping Him even when “…the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls.”

Our Faith is revealed in these times. We hold our course and we faint not in a “dry and weary land, where there is no water”. It is in times of loneliness and separation that we are most tempted to yield to despair. These are the times we look to our forefathers who endured great hardships and we see the faithfulness of God meeting them in the “land of the living”.

We read of Moses who endured “as seeing Him who is invisible”; Sarah “receiving strength” to conceive being well past the age of child bearing” because she judged “Him faithful who had promised”. We read of the “endurance of Job and the end of the Lord”. All these things are written for us that we may overcome as they did to the Glory of our God.

“Thou therefore endure hardness,
as a good soldier of Jesus Christ”
2TIMOTHY 2:3

Brian Troxel

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