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Posts Tagged ‘Following Jesus’

The Mixed Multitude

“And a mixed multitude went up also with them”
Exodus 12:38

The great multitude that left Egypt (well over one and half million people) was comprised not only of Israelites but also of foreign slaves and Egyptians; a great diversity of races, cultures and motives. There were no doubt sincere followers of God in every one of these nationalities* for the promise of the Passover was to all: “when I see the blood I will pass over”. The blood was the reason for the pardon; not the nationality of the people inside the house. Even here we see glimpses of the New Covenant promise which is based upon faith and not natural birth. This mixed multitude were called the children of Israel. The wilderness was the crucible where many offending elements of the throng would be judged and purified (1 Corinthians 10:1-6).

Historically within the purposes of God mixture is a common malady. Within the hearts of all exists various motives for following after God. There are those who join themselves to the multitude for the blessings rather than out of a pure love for God. After the Sermon on the Mount a great multitude followed Him enthralled by the pure words of grace and wisdom which He spoke.

“When he was come down from the mountain,
great multitudes followed him”
Matthew 8:1

Later we read that multitudes followed Him because He fed them.

“Ye seek me…because ye did eat of the loaves,
and were filled”
John 6:26

Jesus began to speak of deeper things; truths which were no longer pleasant and soft but offensive to the natural mind and the religious culture.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man,
and drink his blood, ye have no life in you”
John 6:53

The multitudes began to shrink and many fell away. The way was becoming narrow and the gate unpopular. Many of His “disciples” began to murmur.

“Many therefore of his disciples,
when they had heard this, said,
This is an hard saying; who can hear it?”
John 6:60

So too in our day the multitudes enjoy the broad way focusing only on the elementary things of God. Discipleship, dying to self, the pursuit of true righteousness and holiness are forsaken for the golden calf of the masses. In our day the masses are the proof of a successful church or ministry and often the truth is crucified at the hands of those who want the approval and esteem of men. Nevertheless, there are those whose hearts are set upon following Him. It is to the disciple that His sayings become costly and His way becomes narrow. The self-life must be left behind to move forward in the mystery of His Way. It is the hard sayings of Jesus that cause many to stumble.

“From that time many of his disciples went back,
and walked no more with him”
John 6:66

In our day we have many places where people can congregate to ease their conscience and pacify their convicted soul. They can hear His words without having to follow Him and call Him Lord without obeying. It is a new “gospel” that claims one simply has to believe and heaven is assured and God is pleased. A relieved conscience and a no-cost gospel are nothing more than a religious sedative for a lukewarm environment.

“Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people;
Ephraim is a cake not turned.
Strangers have devoured his strength,
and he knoweth it not…”
Hosea 7:8-9

Even so God calls out to us to draw near in truth and in purity of heart; to leave the crowds and the broad paths. There is a refuge and consolation to be found there. Even the weak, the downtrodden and the lonely are made strong in the way of our God. The Great Shepherd Himself will lead us through the labyrinth of compromise and mixture into truth, righteousness and holiness.

“A faith which works not for purification will work for putrefaction.
Unless our faith makes us pine after holiness,
it is no better than the faith of devils,
and perhaps it is not even so good as that.
A holy man is the workmanship of the Holy Spirit”
Charles Spurgeon

* Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite; one example of several non-Israelites. For his faithfulness to God, Caleb was given an inheritance of the Tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:13).

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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The Purpose of God

“So then death worketh in us,
but life in you”
2 Corinthians 4:12

The radical nature of the Kingdom of God is one of mystery and paradox; it is contrary to the constitution of natural man. Entering into it requires the death and renunciation of the self-life in order to touch the wonder of its power. The very LIFE of the Kingdom of God is only available in Jesus. There is “salvation in no other name” and there is LIFE in no other. He ALONE is the Kingdom and He ALONE is the Way into the Kingdom. He is the TRUTH of the Kingdom and He is the LIFE of the Kingdom.

“For the Jews require a sign,
and the Greeks seek after wisdom”
1 Corinthians 1:22

Here Paul sums up the inclinations of the world and the people of God. His people desired signs and wonders and others sought “wisdom” (Greek word “sophia” from which we derive the word philosophy*). The nature of the heart of man has not changed. God’s Kingdom will not be found by these means for Paul goes on in the very next verse of scripture:

“But we preach Christ crucified,
unto the Jews a stumblingblock,
and unto the Greeks foolishness”
1 Corinthians 1:23

Christ crucified is the pivotal point upon which the entire purposes of God rest. The Way into this Kingdom is dependent upon the extent of our identification and participation in His death being worked out in our lives. The corresponding revelation of His Life in us will be to the degree of “death” being worked into us. This happens through the operation of His Holy Spirit combined with our own will yielding in true discipleship. Smooth words, elaborate teachings and overt signs and wonders will never replace the power of a crucified life. It is in this place that God’s work must culminate if we would enter into the wonder of His Life. Again Paul continues:

“But unto them which are called,
both Jews and Greeks,
Christ the power of God,
and the wisdom of God”
1 Corinthians 1:24

It is in those who are called that this revelation is made known. The nature of a call requires a response and the call to discipleship is predicated with an “if”. The “if” allows a free-will response from the individual. Entrance into the Kingdom is not by words, understanding, or signs and wonders but by the crucible of the Cross.

“For we which live
are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake,
that the life also of Jesus
might be made manifest in our mortal flesh
2 Corinthians 4:11

The end and purpose of all life is “…that the life of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh”.

*NOTE: Contained within the Greek language are differing words for knowledge and love. The word for Philosophy comes from two Greek words (φίλος- philos) and (σοφία-sophia). Philos is one of three main Greek words for Love; agape, philos, and eros. Each speak to a realm or a sphere of love. Eros is a love which proceeds from the flesh and in turn loves fleshly things. Philos is a love which originates from the soul; it speaks of friendship and affection and when combined with (σοφία-sophia) we end up with the word philosophy: man’s love for wisdom and knowledge. It is a knowledge which may sound deep and good but leaves those who hold it weak and ineffective in the ministration of His life. God’s end is Agape – it is His love ruling, leading and holding us to His ways and purposes. God’s love cannot rest in anything which is contrary to His nature. It is the One over-riding motive which can produce discipleship within the heart of an individual. Peter’s love (philos) failed for man’s affection will never hold a heart true in times of testing.

“That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men,
but in the power of God”
1 Corinthians 2:5

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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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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The Sanctified Ear

“Moses took of the blood of it,
and put it upon the tip of Aaron’s right ear…”
Leviticus 8:23

“Take heed therefore how ye hear:
for whosoever hath, to him shall be given;
and whosoever hath not,
from him shall be taken even
that which he seemeth to have
Luke 8:18

The sanctified ear brings one to the place of not only hearing His voice but of hearing it correctly. This hearing is coupled with obedience. In religious circles there is much information and often good and right teachings. The subtle challenge of our day is not so much what we hear, it is how we hear. True hearing must be accompanied with the corresponding act of obedience. It keeps the individual in a habitat of movement and change. A static Christian experience is not possible for the very call of Christ is for us to pick up our cross and follow Him. Following denotes movement and keeps us in an active state of attending unto Him in everyday life. No matter how demanding the business world, our home life or our secret life, there is watchfulness required that transcends all of these other things. The sanctified ear is set apart for Him, above all the noise and demands of this life, alert to His Call and His Will.

The authentic Christian life is one of being ”on call” and active in response to Him. Sensitivity to His voice grows as we hear and obey Him in even the little things of life. Integrity in business, selflessness in responding to the needs of others, going out of our way to bring a word of encouragement or exhortation to another even in the face of opposition, are all indicators of a healthy Christian walk. The phrase “take heed how ye hear” contains a warning that we can lose what we seem to have. Hearing without obedience brings a deception of thinking that because we know something we have something.

“For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer,
he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way,
and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was”
James 1:23-24

The hearing of a good thing without the corresponding action leaves one in a state of ambiguity and uncertainty. It causes men and women to be tentative and filled with perplexity in their walk as Christians.

“Take heed how you hear” is the warning of Jesus to every one of us. It is a phrase intentionally set at the end of the Parable of the Sower. Time has a way of passing quickly and “take heed how you hear” is His exhortation to all of us to be watchful that we do not fall into the subtlety of routine and religion. The sanctified ear is God’s answer to the deception of our hearts. It is His way of keeping us from the narrowness and comfort of our own tendencies. This error (implied in the Greek for the word deception in James) is insidious in its workings. Not only we as individuals are susceptible but even more so in any type of corporate Christian gatherings. There is a blindness that can creep in of such delusion that without a strong prophetic ministration (often times from the outside) it may become ingrown and closed to others who do not “see the truth” as they do.

In Luke’s Gospel we read the story of Jesus’ parents going up to Jerusalem for the yearly feasts and then returning home.

“But they, supposing him (Jesus)
to have been in the company…”

Luke 2:44

They assumed He was with them. After all He was with them as they went to the feast and He had been with them since. They took for granted he was still with them. This is a warning to His people, especially those who have been gathering for a long time. There is an assumption that He is with us, for we are meeting and doing what we have been doing for a long time; God was with us in the past so surely He must still be with us. This is especially true for groups and organizations that in the past have had moves or stirrings of the Spirit. Yet over time the Son has moved on and they are unaware that anything has changed. The Son does not abide in a certain place. He is ever about His Father’s business. It is incumbent upon us to follow Him and not to presume He is with us! The difference between the two has eternal consequences. Obedience is a journey filled with movement, change and growth. He is ever calling us out of the “boat”; out from the other disciples to walk upon the water unto Him* (Matthew 14:25-32). It is here where we reveal whether we are His disciples or mere adherents to a teaching, doctrine or religious association. The beauty of this story in Luke is that when they discovered He was not with them they forsook their “company”* and sought Him out. He will always be found doing his Father’s business. We must be willing to do the same regardless of our relationships and understandings with others with whom we have fellowship.

“Take heed how you hear” is the living truth which must abide in our hearts continually. For He is our Way, He is our Truth and in the knowing of Him in these things He will also Become our LIFE which is what we have been called to.

“Take heed to how ye hear”
Luke 8:18

*Note: Obedience to Jesus is paramount in our walk; all true relationships with our brothers and sisters are to be based upon Him being our head. When Peter rose up out of the boat he was not forsaking the others in terms of relationship but he was stepping out in a living response to Jesus. True relationships that are the result of a vital connection with Jesus are never interrupted by such obedience. Relationships built upon a teaching or a religious affiliation will always be in opposition to the ways and the will of God. The essential thing in the life of the true disciple is our obedience unto Him. Religion brings conformity but the living way of God brings transformation; one is static the other is living.

“So David went on his way,
and Saul returned to his place
1 Samuel 26:25

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Preaching Righteousness

“I have preached righteousness
in the great congregation:
lo, I have not refrained my lips, O Lord”
Psalm 40:9

One cannot preach Christ without preaching righteousness. He is our righteousness and our living hope. Today faith is relegated to a statement of what a person believes rather than how a person lives. We have reduced faith either to signs and wonders on the one hand or a teaching that declares we are the righteousness of God as a doctrinal concept on the other. We have forgotten that faith is a living power within the life of a true believer by which righteousness is made a reality in those who walk in the Spirit. Paul in the eighth chapter of Romans declares this righteousness which is to be fulfilled in us requiring a walk and an abiding in the Spirit!

“That the righteousness of the law
might be fulfilled in us,
who walk not after the flesh,
but after the Spirit”
Romans 8:4

The purpose of faith being given, the reason for which God initiated the New Testament, is for the sole effect that the righteousness of the law be fulfilled in the life of His people (Hebrews 8:7). The ministration of the Law failed as a result of the weakness of the flesh not because of its commands*. Paul prefaces the declaration of the fulfillment of this righteousness of the law with…

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus
hath made me free from the law of sin and death”
Romans 8:2

Romans 7 speaks of a man who is living in the law of sin and death; wanting to live right but feeling the impotency of the human condition to actually do right. Paul in Romans 8 reveals the way out of such a life of contradiction and failure! He introduces us to the “law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus”. It is by living in this law, this divine enablement, that we are freed from the law of repeated sin and death. It is the law of His life living, ruling and freeing us from the “body of this death” as set forth in Romans 7. This righteousness is to be ours as we learn to live and abide in the very Spirit of God. He has made a way, a living way, for you and I to enjoy freedom from the cycle of wanting to do right and failing. His Name is Jesus! But a Jesus that is living and ruling in our hearts. The reason we can preach righteousness is because of this very thing: He is able and He who loves us, sent His only Son into the earth to bring forth a people who live and walk in His righteousness.

How can we not preach righteousness? How can we settle for a life of constant defeat, living with a desire to do right without the power to do right? This is not the Gospel that God has presented unto us. This is “another Gospel”, the product of men who would ignore the dying to self and the battle of faith to see the victory of Christ wrought within the heart of every believer. This is the religion of our day where men no longer expect, believe, nor pursue a life where the “righteousness of the law” is actually fulfilled in those who walk in the Spirit of God.

The preaching of righteousness is simply the testimony of the work of Christ and the purpose for which He was sent. The depth of our enjoyment of His freedom is proportional to our walk and abiding in His Spirit. Paul goes on in Romans 8 to declare…

“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 life of dependency in the Spirit is to be the truth of every child of God. This is the life we have been called to. It is a life of seeming impossibility when viewed from our own resources but one of endless possibilities when viewed through the eyes of faith and the power of God.

Every believer should be a preacher of righteousness because it is a life that is available to all who believe.

“Now unto him
that is able to keep you from falling,
and to present you faultless
before the presence of his glory
with exceeding joy”
Jude 1:24

Paul says in Romans 7:14 “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal…” The Law is not a carnal commandment; it is a spiritual law which requires a spirit-led life to fulfill it. The carnal mind is enmity with God, and as such cannot please God for it is not able to subject itself to Him. They that live in the flesh are not willing or able to please God.

“For they that are after the flesh
do mind the things of the flesh;
but they that are after the Spirit
the things of the Spirit.
For to be carnally minded is death;
but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:
for it is not subject to the law of God,
neither indeed can be.
So then they that are in the flesh
cannot please God”
Romans 8:5-8

Herein lies the cornerstone of the New Testament. Only those who live and walk in the Spirit can please God. The scriptures are clear: life in the Spirit of God is the only desire God has for His people! To begin in the Spirit and then to turn to the flesh is the horror of religion. It is the fallacy of religion to present a legal code of ethics to bring this about and it is also the fallacy of religion to absolve men of responsibility for their sin thereby circumventing the call to righteousness. Faith is the conduit through which the power of God is made available to walk and live within the Glory of His Kingdom.

“Now unto him
that is able to keep you from falling,
and to present you faultless before
the presence of his glory with exceeding joy

Jude 1:24

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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PSALM 23

PART TWENTY-FOUR

SURELY

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life”
PSALM 23:5

SURELY! The word used for “SURELY” is a particle of affirmation in the Hebrew Language; it indicates a certainty! It is the declaration of FAITH arising from a heart that is following after the Great Shepherd! It is a declaration from a life that knows there will be “valleys of shadows” and separation, of difficulties that seem insurmountable and too deep to cross in our own strength. It is the assurance felt within the heart of one that knows the character and the grace of our God. It is the very thing that carries us through the great trials and troubles that we encounter in this life. This confidence is not borne out of a confidence in ourselves but is founded upon His Goodness and Mercy that is ours as we pursue and follow after Him! We see this same declaration echoed in the life of Paul and others in the New Testament…

“Yet in all these things
We are more than conquerors
through Him who loved us.

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life,
Nor angels nor principalities nor powers,
Nor things present nor things to come,
Nor height nor depth,
nor any other created thing

Shall be able to separate us
From the love of God
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”

ROMANS 8:37 – 39

This surety must come from a life of knowing and doing. True confidence is the fruit of doing. While men may say and declare great things it is through those who do His Will that the quiet fruit of confidence and stability is revealed.

“And wisdom and knowledge
shall be the stability of thy times,
and strength of salvation:
the fear of the LORD is his treasure”
ISAIAH 33:6

“Surely” is the positive declaration of those who have followed their Shepherd throughout the journey of life; for in the following of Him we can be assured that His Goodness and Mercy WILL follow us. Like a boat crossing a lake it leaves a wake that goes out to distant shores. The Psalmist here declares that the wake of God’s Goodness and Mercy will “surely” touch others, bless others and make known to others the Goodness of our God. We are not here to become obsessed with watching our wake for in so doing we take our eyes off Him and we quickly become lost in the wilderness of self! It is in keeping our eyes upon Him and following Him that we can be confident of this very thing; that “His Goodness and Mercy will follow us”.

Brian Troxel

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THE CALL TO LIFE

“But if by the Spirit you put to death
the deeds of the body,
you will live.”
ROMANS 8:13

Life; it is the purpose for which the SON has come.

“I am come that they might have life,
and that they might have it more abundantly”
JOHN 10:10

Jesus did not come to introduce to the world a new teaching, a new religion or a philosophy. He came to destroy the works of the devil and to bring LIFE to His fallen creation. Life does not consist of knowing something or knowing about a thing. LIFE, true life, consists of abiding in HIM.

We read here in Romans 8 that LIFE is known by those who “by the Spirit” are enabled to put the deeds of the body to death. Life is realized by overcoming the deeds of our body by the operation of HIS SPIRIT within our lives. The call to “discipleship” IS the call to life. The CROSS, being the very instrument of death, in our walk with God becomes the very PRINCIPLE by which HIS LIFE is discovered. While the “church” today is overloaded with teachings, sermons, “resources” and programs she is in fact worldly; compromised and powerless in the realms of victory over sin and carnality. More sermons, teachings and conferences will not avail us one iota of the wonders of HIS LIFE. Getting the latest revelation from the multitude of “prophets”* and “apostles”* will not bring this precious resource to the human heart. For the LIFE that JESUS gives is the very life of resurrection. It is a life that arises from the principle of death. It is a life that pulsates with the ability to overcome and reign in Christ Jesus our Lord. On the cross Jesus himself was reigning in a life that conquered death and the grave. It is a life that is undefeatable and eternal in the scope and power of all it holds in its sway. It speaks of something that is beyond the comprehension of men, beyond what we can imagine, consider or even has “entered into the heart of man”.

“Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard,
neither have entered into the heart of man,
the things which God hath prepared
for them that love him”
1 CORINTHIANS 2:9

This LIFE is not to be discovered by simply knowing the scriptures; being able to quote them, expound upon them and claim them as our own. That precious written word bears witness of JESUS. It is the ONE central thought of the whole New Covenant…JESUS THE CHRIST, THE ONLY BEGOTTON SON.

“Search the scriptures;
for in them ye think ye have eternal life:
and they are they which testify of me.
And ye will not come to me,
that ye might have life”
JOHN 5:39-40

It is in the coming to HIM we have life. When the HOLY SPIRIT has such sway within our lives that we can by the very power of God put to death the deeds of our own body we HAVE LIFE. It is in the participation and partaking of the “Divine Nature” that we are made free from the horror of self and that old Adamic Nature. How long will the people of God be content with hearing about this life, sermons on what it looked like in someone else, without the very CRY for it to become the pulse of our own?

We read of that “exceeding abundant” dynamic of God’s power at work toward us BEING “according” (in proportion) to the power that is at work in us! The only limitation to HIS LIFE working in us is our cooperation in HIS WILL. The Cross is simply the Will of God walked out in my life. Teaching, as important as it is, will never be a substitute for OBEDIENCE.

“Now unto him that is able to do
exceeding abundantly
above all that we ask or think,

according to the power that worketh in us”
EPHESIANS 3:20

The validity that we are truly HIS is revealed by those who know the deep and painful inworking and outworking of the CROSS.

“And they that are Christ’s
have crucified the flesh
with the affections and lusts”

GALATIANS 5:24

This is the stamp of the ownership of Christ within the LIFE of HIS OWN. This call to the experiential co-crucifixion with Christ is the one thing that destroys within us the propagation of self and the desire for self-realization. The same CROSS, that leaves the debris of self and the associated bondage of all that goes with it strewn along the path of the ardent disciple, is also the matrix from which His Life is manifested through our fragile earthen vessels.

While men chase after the latest “miracle worker”, and thousands of sermons and teaching go forth every day, there remains the eternal call of the Spirit of God to DISCIPLESHIP. “If any man would be my disciple, let him deny himself and pick up his cross and follow me.

To those who are weary and heavy laden with the words, and the never ending flow of information and resources, the promise of Jesus stands as an open door beckoning us to “come to Him” and we will have rest for our souls.

Can we hear the fresh call to the simplicity of discipleship? Can we see beyond the horror and pain of the death that the cross would work in us? Can we see past the agony, humiliation and suffering of all that it would bring and to see HIS LOVELY FACE SHINING IN THE GLORY OF THE UNDIMMED LIGHT OF HIS LIFE?

“Looking unto Jesus
the author and finisher of our faith;
who for the joy that was set before him
endured the cross, despising the shame,
and is set down
at the right hand of the throne of God”
HEBREWS 12:2

 

*NOTE  This is not to diminish any true ministry in the Body of Christ however hearing without doing is but vain religion.

Brian Troxel

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