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Posts Tagged ‘Freedom from Self’

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
http://www.aword.info

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Unity  

The Natural State of All Things In God

Unity is the natural order of anything which pertains to God in the Spiritual world. Where God rules, Unity is. It is not something to be attained by works rather it is the natural state of anything that is submissive to God’s Spirit. Jesus prayed that we may be ONE as He and His Father are. Jesus did not strive to be ONE with His Father for that ONENESS is who they are. If we are in Him the natural expression is UNITY. It is the Lie and the desire of self that prevents that which is in heaven to be so in the earth. Men do not want to give up their positions, their churches, fellowships, ministries or their very selves in order to see God’s end in the earth: the ONE Body. Unity is the fruit of the heart of Jesus and the whole purpose of salvation is expressed in us “being transformed, by the renewing of our minds” until we are freed from the fallen nature into the mind of Christ. (Read each verse in the same Spirit which inspired it).

2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Philippians 2:2-8

How can we read this and not feel the piercing of His Holy conviction? How do we reconcile the thing we see in the land today with such deep and powerful words? We see every day, everywhere the contradiction of this within the household of faith. Men and women ostracizing others, declaring this is our church, our beliefs, our teacher (pastor, evangelist, prophet or apostle). This is not the language of the New Testament nor of the Spirit of God! It grieves God’s heart for such things to even be spoken. Yet many of God’s people feel no pangs of sorrow, no grief of soul and are even comfortable with the arrangement.

“The prophets prophesy falsely,
and the priests bear rule by their means;
and my people love to have it so…”
Jeremiah 5:31

This is nothing new for where there is no change within the human heart there will always be this comfortable arrangement. Jeremiah precedes this verse with a telling description of the environment which is conducive to this horror.

“Now hear this, O foolish people, even you without heart, who have eyes and do not see. who have ears and do not hear. Do you not fear Me, declares Jehovah? Will you not tremble before My face, that I have placed the sand as the boundary for the sea by a never ending decree, so that it cannot cross over it? And though they toss themselves, yet they cannot prevail; though its waves roar, yet they cannot cross over it. But to this people there is a revolting and a rebellious heart; they have turned, and are gone. And they do not say in their heart, let us now fear Jehovah our God who gives both the former and the latter rain in its season; He keeps for us the appointed weeks of the harvest. Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withheld good from you. For among My people are found wicked ones. They lie in wait, as one who sets snares. They set a trap, they catch men. Like a cage full of birds, so their houses are full of treachery. On account of this they have become great and grown rich. They have become fat; they shine. Yes, they pass over the deeds of the evil; they do not plead the cause, the cause of the orphan, that they may prosper. And they do not vindicate the right of the needy. Shall I not visit for these things, declares Jehovah? Shall not My soul be avenged on such a nation as this? An astounding and horrible thing has happened in the land. The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their hands; and My people love it so…”
Jeremiah 5:23-31(LITV)

The reason things do not change is because His people are comfortable with the status quo. The preachers preach a comfortable gospel, the people pay them to do so, there is no conviction, reproof or exhortation in the land. We are not pressed to forsake our carnal ways and the way of the world..

There can be no unity to those who walk in the strategies of the carnal mind, “for the carnal mind is not subject to the law (and reign) of God, neither indeed can be” (Romans 8:7-8). Unity will only be known by those who walk, live and dwell in His Spirit. They who insist on their own way, who love the pre-eminence and the control where God’s people meet will never know of the blessing, power and glory of God in our midst.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.
Psalm 133:1-3

The unity brings the anointing, the power and the blessing.

Ω

“The Church, during the apostolic age, did not consist of isolated, independent congregations, but was one body, of which the separate churches were constituent members, each subject to all the rest…”
– Charles Hodge

 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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A TRUE HEART

THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE
Part One

“Also the Lord was angry with me for your sakes,
saying, Thou also shalt not go in thither.
But Joshua the son of Nun, which standeth before thee,
he shall go in thither: encourage him:
for he shall cause Israel to inherit it”
Deuteronomy 1:37-38

We see and hear much of leadership in the context of the Christian faith these days. We see many who are striving to build up their church, their organization and their ministry; all the while the Body of Christ remains divided and secularized. God’s true leaders seek not their own. They seek God’s glory which is the welfare and spiritual condition of His People. Moses paid a terrible price in being denied access to the promised land because of Israel’s hard heart and unbelief. In the midst of such disappointment God charges Moses to encourage, teach and mentor Joshua to finish what God had begun with Moses. A selfish and self-serving man could not endure this sacrificial task. It would be one thing to appear to fulfill a commission like this but another thing altogether to do it with a whole and pure heart. Only men who are concerned with God’s glory and purposes can walk in such high places. A pure and holy heart is the means by which these things can be real and alive within the Body of Christ.

Let nothing be done
through selfish ambition or conceit,
but in lowliness of mind let each esteem
others better than himself”
Philippians 2:3

Can we grasp the power and intent of the heart of God in this scripture? Let us meditate on the little phrase “Let nothing be done” out of the spirit of factions and self promotion. How quickly the Body of Christ would arise out of the ashes of human striving for pre-eminence and control into a glorious expression of all that HE has purposed in Christ!. May God convict us to desire that pure heart and the joy found in seeing our brothers excel in the gifts and the callings of God in their lives. If the very Son of God took upon Himself the “form” of a servant shall not we, who declare it is He alone we serve, do likewise?

It is time to search our hearts, to consider the hidden motives by which we “serve” God. Though our works may appear good in the sight of men it is the ONE with the “eyes of fire” who sees the true motives and intents of our hearts (Hebrews 4:12).

“Let us search and try our ways
and turn again unto the Lord”
Lamentations 3:40

It is only then that we will discover the “Pearl of great price”; HIS heart living in us.

“…let us have grace, whereby we may serve God
acceptably with reverence and godly fear”
Hebrews 12:28

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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DISCERNMENT

“My judgment is just, for I do not seek My will,
but the will of the One sending Me, the Father”
JOHN 5:30 (LITV)

Discernment is proportional to the degree that a man is free from his own will and agenda. Men who are focused on building up a church, a ministry, or want recognition for themselves or others, will not have the ability to judge things rightly. In their own pursuits they become blinded by their lack of objectivity. The Judgement of Jesus was clear for He did not seek His own will. He was not here to be the Messiah, a prophet or some great teacher; He came to simply do the will of the Father and in the doing of that WILL He fulfilled all that was spoken of Him. The out working of the cross, whereby men die to their own desires, is the essential element in becoming objective in discernment.

“But the spiritual one discerns all things,
but he is discerned by no one”
1CORINTHIANS 2:15 (LITV)

Spiritual discernment is relative to the depth of being crucified with Christ in the experiential reality of life. Man’s need to control and have our own way is in itself a path to blindness and stagnation. Objectivity and Judgement suffer when men are not free from their own desires. Men who want to build up a large following are not concerned with the true condition of the people of God; for numbers in the pews determine their success as pastors and leaders. That standard of success will hinder a man from preaching the truth. This horror in the religious world today is why Truth is disregarded. The consequences of truth will never be popular and as a result true discernment is hidden from such a one.

Discernment is a spiritual faculty that is developed by the exercising. It is for our growth and maturation and is nurtured by seeking to minister to others by His Spirit. It is in learning how to discern the heart of those with whom we come into contact that we are enabled to sense the need and true condition of our brothers and sisters. This enablement is for the purpose of ministering His Word and His Grace to the glory of God. The development of this grace will only come as we walk learning to be sensitive to Him and His ways. It is by exercising of our “senses” we are able to grow in this faculty of discernment.

“But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age,
even those who by reason of use
have their senses exercised to
discern both good and evil”
HEBREWS 5:14

This growth in discernment is also the very means by which God opens His Word to us to partake of the “strong meat” of the Word.

Freedom from self is the window through which God shines.

Brian Troxel

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