True Ministry

TRUE MINISTRY

True Ministry

The touchstone of Discipleship is revealed in our abandonment to His Glory. It is in our touching of Him where we are brought to the place of facing our own inherent desire for recognition and pre-eminence. This is something so vital to our walk and our sharing of Him with others. Freedom from ourselves is the path to our freedom in His Spirit. 

“He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory, but he who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and no unrighteousness is in him”
John 7:18

John the Baptist

“Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus
John 1:35-37

Do we really want this? Do the ministers of God and the multitudes of church organizations across the land really desire this one thing; for men to rise up and follow Jesus? Our part is to declare “Behold the Lamb of God” and to do it in such a way that men actually rise up to follow Him. We are here to make Him known. Those to whom we minister should hear us speak and then rise up and follow Jesus! How simple and pure ministry is to be! The sad part is that men, their organizations, and their own desire for recognition corrupt this simple truth and lead men to follow them and to “support” their ministry rather than the development of others in their own ministrations.

The purpose of the New Covenant…

“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more”
Jeremiah 31:33-34

It is to this end that we labour and preach the wonder of His Name! Purify us Lord for your glory.

BT

 

Becoming Free in Christ

Becoming Free In Christ

“Freely you have received, freely give…”

The true art of life is generosity. To give freely of ourselves is the revelation of our Savior’s presence within. How freely, how undeservedly we have received of His great mercy. Shall not that heart transform us from the stinginess of giving things rather than ourselves? To give of our time, effort, and most importantly our heart to those around us is life. To live in the freedom of each moment is to give with no thought to our own resources or concerns.

That is freedom.

To seek out the true welfare of another soul at our expense is true life. Life does not consist in what one has, but in the ability to give to others what has been so freely given to us. The Body of Christ today is one of ours, mine, us and they. All of these things denote a wrong thinking, which of course produces wrong living. I hear the term “our church”, “our pastor”, and “we believe”… how it crushes the real heart of all that we have been called to. Paul called himself a “steward” of the grace of God. A steward is one who owns nothing, but simply manages the wealth of another. Truth, Life and Power are only such in the giving of them away, freely and without expectation of any return.

The New Law

The only Law which governs true generosity is the Law of His Love and Wisdom. Love is never impoverished, for in and of itself is the very treasure of God! Men who are always talking of their poverty have not touched the reality of His Love. Love is not aware of itself. It has no vested interest in its state or “feelings”. It gives because that is its very nature. It lives because He lives. It defends not itself, holds on to nothing, and takes no account of its own resources. It is a life that lives in the sheer wonder of God’s Glory and resources. It is no wonder that the Eternal Son with great Joy beckons us to live and walk in the halls of His Father’s house.

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

Only the child-like faith of Christ can bring us to the simplicity of a life so free and unbound.

“Let this mind be in you,
which was also in Christ Jesus…”
Philippians 2:5

Brian Troxel

The River of God

The River of God

“Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus,
better than all the waters of Israel?
may I not wash in them, and be clean?
So he turned and went away in a rage.”
2 Kings 5:12

There are endless strategies and so-called resources to treat the ills of the human heart. Many seem right and sound right to a heart desperate for change and deliverance. Yet there is only ONE river that can bring the cleansing and healing power of God to the soul of man. Many will take a sip of it; they may even dip their toes into its life-giving flow and feel temporary relief; but few dare to immerse themselves into its depths and embrace the import of its full power.

By definition the River Jordan means to descend, to be humbled and brought low. It speaks of freedom from the pride, arrogance and self-seeking of the human condition. The horror of this pride is rampant within the Body of Christ with all of its associated vices: competition, rivalry, division and strife. These are clothed in spiritual garments of deceit and guile that keep His people suspicious, restless and out-of-sync with the character of God. These ones seek relief in confessions, exclusive cliques, and the pre-eminence in religious circles in an effort to appease the emptiness within. When invited into an immersion of a true “baptism” of humility they become angry at the audacity of such a notion. The God of all grace offers no other solution for any of us. We must do it His way or stubbornly refuse the waters of His Life and remain unchanged.

But made himself of no reputation,
and took upon him the form of a servant…”
Philippians 2:7

God has a provision. It is stepping into this river of humiliation and rejection, in concert with Him who deliberately “made Himself of no reputation”, wherein we find the wholesome life promised to all who would obey Him.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me;
for I am meek and lowly in heart:
and ye shall find rest unto your souls”
Matthew 11:29

The call of Christ is to Himself. In coming to Him, in taking upon us His yoke of obedience, we will discover this “rest” for our souls. It cannot be learned or experienced apart from obedience. The proud seek the accolades and approval of men, while inwardly they are excluded from the “learning of Him”. The River Jordan is deep and costly. It is filled with sufferings and humiliations, denunciation by friends and foes, but only by immersing ourselves in it are His graces formed within the depths of our being.

“Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place”
Psalm 66:11-12

The wealthy place of His ways in us is a land of broad streams, where His mercy flows freely. Forgiveness has been learned in the furnace of affliction and the Character of Christ has been formed in the inner recesses of our hearts. How good and wise are His ways in the lives of His own!

Can we not hear His Call?

“Come unto me,
all ye that labour and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest…”
Matthew 11:28

The wisdom of Naaman’s servant applies to us regardless of our situation in life.

“And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?”
2 Kings 5:13

Humility frees the heart from its own poison. It is the Balm of Gilead alone which can bind up the wounds of relationships from the rivalry, envy and jealously which are the offspring of pride and the source of so much division in His Body. This is the River of Life of which the inspired Psalmist declares:

“There is a river,
the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God…”
Psalm 46:4

Brian Troxel

The Path to Ministry – Part Two

The Path to True Ministry

Part Two

ENABLEMENT

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

Thankfulness is the touchstone of a true disciple. There is an overwhelming sense of indebtedness to the mercy of God in Christ (Romans 8:11-12). Thankfulness frees the soul from jealously and envy of others. In the recognition of our own unworthiness of any favour from God, we begin our journey into discipleship with a right motive. Many make the mistake of thinking they deserve or are qualified for such a high and glorious call. It is from such that schisms and strife arise in the Body of Christ. Motive is critical to the receiving of His enablement.

In receiving His enablement, we are empowered to make HIM known in the earth. True discipleship can only be as deep as the purity of our motives in following Him. Whenever and wherever people seek the approval of others they will know little of this empowering grace. Freedom from self and the opinions of others is the stamp of a true disciple. Disciples follow Him; they do not seek positions or places of recognition. They do not seek advantage for themselves, but only seek to please Him who has called them unto a life of separation.

In our day the word “ministry” has come to mean something that has very little to do with God’s original thought or meaning. It is a word fraught with the horror of misrepresentation of all God intended. The reasoning is that by sending individuals to an institution we can prepare men and women for the highest purpose in life. One who has the ability to compile scriptures, and present them with cleverness and personal charisma, is considered to have the “goods” for ministry. We suppose by mere instruction and following the methods of men we can produce divine and unique expressions of the living Christ! How far we have fallen from our reliance upon the creative power of Christ Himself. May the Lord free us from our dependency upon our own resources and bring us back to the “Divine Enablement” of Christ alone.

“What is a man, a minister, a sacrament, a city, a nation, without the Spirit of God? What makes matters so far wrong in a land, but that there is so little of the Spirit with ministers and people? There is no life where the quickening Spirit comes not: O sirs, we will have dead preaching. dead hearing, dead communicating, lifeless work this day if the purchased Spirit does not come! When He comes life comes with Him”
– Ralph Erskine

(Continued)

Brian Troxel

Serving God – Part Two – Freedom

Serving God

Part Two

Freedom

“Let my people go, that they may serve me”
Exodus 8:1

Freedom is a requirement to truly serve the Lord. Israel was in bondage to Pharaoh; their captivity was cruel and their taskmasters strong. Outwardly Pharaoh represents the world and inwardly he represents the power of sin. It takes a power beyond ourselves to extricate us from our bondage. The greatness of God’s power as revealed in the Book of Exodus is a glimpse of the power required to free us from the nature and power of sin. It takes a freedom from Pharaoh to serve the Lord.

“Let my people go, that they may serve me”

Our ability to serve Him will be proportional to our freedom from ourselves, our agendas and desire for the praises of men. Humility is simply living a life free from the opinions of others. It is a single-hearted devotion to His purposes whereby we know the service which is filled with His praise and His joy.

“Serve the Lord with gladness”
Psalm 100:2

Gladness springs from the wells of the pure in heart. Purity of heart is a heart single in purpose and in love. It is a heart forged in the fires of His love where self is dead and God reigns. The hardness of Pharaoh’s heart is a good illustration of our own; only through His faithfulness and determination is our heart subdued.

“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved,
let us have grace, whereby we may serve God
acceptably with reverence and godly fear
Hebrews 12:28

The service which pleases the Lord is based on Grace and this grace is revealed in those who serve Him with reverence and Godly fear. It is by grace we are made free in the singularity of our heart to speak His words and to do His works regardless of the consequences.

“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

There can be no true service unto the Lord except there be a freedom from the fear of man and the ways of man. In order to serve, one must be free to follow.

Serving God – Part One

Brian Troxel

Prayer for Today

Prayer for Today

Heavenly Father,
Work in us,
That we may work out,
The grace you pour in.

Grant us faith for the impossible,
That we may believe for the impossible.
Give us eyes to see the Invisible,
That we may become like Him.

Grant us power to become nothing,
That Christ may become all.
Grant to us the fear of the Lord,
That we may not stray.

Cause us to know your Love,
That we may Love others.
Cause us to know Righteousness,
That we may preach Righteousness.

Cause us to see You
That we may be freed from ourselves.

“As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness:
I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness”
Psalm 17:15

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – Alexander MacLaren

Quote for Today

“Given a man full of faith, you will have a man tenacious in purpose, absorbed in one grand object, simple in his motives, in whom selfishness has been driven out by the power of a mightier love, and indolence stirred into unwearied energy”
– Alexander MacLaren

“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ”
– Philippians 3:8

Quote for Today – Robert Chapman

Quote for Today

“I remember the time when I was afraid to die…. But on coming to Christ and being saved by him, I passed from that state to another, that of being afraid to live, for I feared that if I lived I might do something that would dishonor the Lord, and I would rather die a hundred times than do such a thing. But thanks be to God, I did not remain long in this state, for I saw clearly that it was possible to live in the world without dishonoring God”
– Robert Chapman

“Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is thy sting?
O grave, where is thy victory?”

– 1 Corinthians 15:54-55

Thought for Today – Witnessing –

Thought for Today

Witnessing

“Am I now seeking the approval of men,
or of God? Or am I striving to please men?
If I were still trying to please men,
I would not be a servant of Christ”
Galatians 1:10 (BSB)

The Holy Spirit IS come to make His people “witnesses” unto God, not men. We are not here to conduct ourselves in order to gain men’s approval. We are here to live inwardly and outwardly to seek God’s approval.

“But ye shall receive power,
after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you:
and ye shall be witnesses unto me…”
Acts 1:6

The power is given unto us that we might live lives solely unto Him. We are not here to please men but to serve God. We live in a day where the church in general is trying to live “nice” secular lives in order to persuade people to come to their church or fellowship. To live in this mind set Paul declares that we are no longer the “servants of Christ”! Jesus said if HE be lifted up He would draw all men unto Himself. We are here to live by Him, unto Him and through Him and in so doing we are freed from the horror of trying to please people. Authenticity is the freedom to live out of the well of all that we truly are in Him.

The Holy Spirit is come to make us witnesses UNTO God. The power of God is given to glorify Jesus.

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

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

Walking in the Spirit – The Call –

Walking in the Spirit – The Call –

PART ONE

THE CALL

“Walk in the Spirit,
and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh”
Galatians 5:16

The depth of our walk in the Spirit of God is revealed in the freedom we have from fulfilling the lusts and desires of the flesh. This scripture is not a teaching it is really a simple statement of truth. The natural man hates the truth for the truth leaves no room for compromise. The natural man, that carnal self with all of its deception and lies, cannot be saved. Its nature is corrupt to the core and God’s answer is not to be found in anything but crucifixion.

“For the mind of the flesh is death,
but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace;
because the mind of the flesh is enmity towards God;
for it is not subject to the law of God,
for neither can it be
Romans 8:6-7

When Jesus spoke of an individual becoming a disciple He conditioned it with an “if” which speaks of a voluntary choice made by His own. It is not an arbitrary statement; it is the essential and indispensable requirement to come to the place of thinking rightly towards God. Salvation is not a teaching or a formula whereby someone says the right things; it is the very transformation of an individual’s thinking. Without this ongoing process men and women are mere adherents to a teaching rather than living branches partaking of His Life.

“And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable,
and perfect, will of God
Romans 12:2

Why does the mind need to be renewed by the process of His transforming life within our hearts? To the end we may “prove what is that good, and acceptable and perfect will of God”! Those who bypass this process will go through life never fully being able to know God’s will for their lives. The cross is the essential instrument in this work of transformation. Those who circumvent the way of discipleship have no ability to discern between good and evil. They may be able to understand things on a doctrinal level but when it comes to the deceptive works of spiritual darkness they will be ill equipped to know that which is of God from that which is borne of the flesh and the dark work of fallen spirits.

God has not left us without the knowledge of the depth and surety of our walk in Him.

“Walk in the Spirit,
and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh”
Galatians 5:16

Paul goes on in this same chapter to explain unto the Church at Galatia what the works of the flesh look like:

“Now the works of the flesh are clearly revealed,
which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness,
lustfulness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, fightings, jealousies,
angers, rivalries, divisions, heresies, envyings, murders,
drunkennesses, wild parties, and things like these;
of which I tell you beforehand, as I also said before,
that the ones practicing such things
will not inherit the kingdom of God
Galatians 5:19-21

Do we have jealously? Envy? Uncleanness? Divisions? Lust? These are the works of the flesh. If we are walking in the Spirit of God we are freed from such things. The workings of the cross and the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus are making us free. Let us not deceive ourselves with the horror of the modern day “gospel” for His word tells us if we do these things we will “not inherit the Kingdom of God”. Let us not assume that because we know something we possess it, or because we started out well we are no longer under obligation to carry the cross and remain lifelong disciples of our Lord and Saviour. It is to this end we live to follow Him alone who can make us free from the plague of the self-life. It is in the crucifixion of self that we are made free. We must realize that truth is not a teaching or a scripture on the page of a book; truth is His Life living and ruling in me.

“And ye shall know the truth,
and the truth shall make you free”
John 8:32

What is the measure of truth at work within an individual? It is the degree to which we are made free to walk and live in His Spirit. The journey into truth begins with the revelation of our desperate need for Him. Truth reveals man’s inherent need for change and it is in the discovery of this that men and women turn their hearts to the One alone who is able to do this. Those who cling to teachings and doctrines will perish in the powerlessness of religion. Truth is a person and His Name is Jesus. In Him we are made free, in Him we become new creations of His Glory and Majesty and in Him we enter into the Kingdom of God.

“Little children, let no man deceive you:
he that doeth righteousness is righteous,
even as He is righteous”
1 John 3:7

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info