PSALM 23 – PART 11 – THOU ART WITH ME –

PSALM 23

PART ELEVEN

HIS PRESENCE

“For Thou are with me”
PSALM 23:4

His Presence is the chief end and summation of all things. While some may seek recognition and the approval of men a new generation is arising; one that will know the full purpose of God in Christ is to bring forth a people who live and walk in HIS PRESENCE. The storm that is about to break upon our land in such fury and devastation will necessitate that we have found that deep place of abiding in HIM. This is not a doctrinal statement; it must be the reality and truth of our everyday life. HE IS OUR SALVATION, not a teaching or doctrine. To be a people of HIS PRESENCE requires brokenness, humility and a heart that is compatible with HIS.

“…but to this man will I look,
even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit”
ISAIAH 66:2

If our inner life is right there must always be a revelation of that in our daily life. What we are we do. To be a people of HIS PRESENCE we must grow in the apprehension of truth inwardly and outwardly; the one must precede the other. Religion is only concerned with the outward; truth to be truth must become that in the secret places of our lives… “thou desirest truth in the inward parts…” This is why righteousness is such a critical issue in this hour as it can only be the offspring of a life that is growing in its submission to the leading and the purging of the Holy Spirit. Right thinking must produce right living.

“LORD, who shall ABIDE in thy tabernacle?
who shall DWELL in thy holy hill?
He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness,
and speaketh the truth in his heart.
He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour,
nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.
In whose eyes a vile person is contemned;
but he honoureth them that fear the LORD.
He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.
He that putteth not out his money to usury,
nor taketh reward against the innocent.
He that DOETH these things shall never be moved”
Psalm 15:1 – 5

To Abide in Him is the longing of every true heart. This abiding in HIM, growing in HIM and living in HIM requires a work of grace to bring forth the transformation necessary to live with HIM in truth. How we need to grow in that sensitivity to the promptings and moving of His Spirit in our daily lives!  Without obedience this sensitivity can never be developed. May we become HIS in the daily outflow of life that we allow Him to interrupt our schedule to do His will, listen to His voice and be instructed in the way of His Life within us.

“Thou art with me” is more than a nice religious cliché; it must become the substance, the verity and the truth of whom and what we are. To know of this presence that enables us to WALK through the valleys of difficulty, to become impervious to the fear of the evil we must face, it is essential that we know of a surety that HE is with us! Our depth of abiding is revealed in the life that we live, how we treat others (especially those of the household of faith) and the thoughts and motivations of our hearts. It is a day to seek Him, a day to ask Him to search us and know us and to free us from the hidden things that offend in our lives.

“Blessed are the pure in heart
For they SHALL see God”

Ω

“When we live in God’s presence, when we are in the all for the All relationship,
and surrender our own will and ways to God’s will and ways, only then,
no matter our physical and material circumstances, are we truly and fully alive.
Only in God’s presence are we able to enjoy the unique experience of holy freedom”
Brother Lawrence

“I will fear no evil
For Thou art with me”

Brian Troxel

PSALM 23 – PART 7 – PATHS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

PSALM 23

PART SEVEN

THE PATHS
OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

“He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake…”
PSALM 23:2

A path is not a destination. It is a way by which we travel to a specific destination. The “paths of righteousness” indicate a journey by which we travel to a desired end; a journey into HIM who is LIFE. The concept of a journey, a life of growth and development, a goal that we are seeking to attain (Philippians 3:7 – 15), has been lost in the teaching of our day. Throughout the New Testament we are exhorted to WALK in righteousness, LIVE in righteousness and GROW in righteousness. Jesus tells us to “SEEK FIRST the Kingdom of God AND HIS Righteousness”. In other words, this should be the primary focus and desire of our hearts. We must see here that we are not just wandering in a religious wilderness filled with doctrines and concepts of men in our search for righteousness. We are plainly told that HE LEADS US in the paths of this righteousness! To grow and live in the paths of righteousness is the RESULT of following HIM! It is a life of discovery, a life of HIS provisions, and a life filled with the wonder of HIM who is THE LIFE! Growth and development are the revelations of this life. A life that is not growing and changing is a life that has become stagnant in its heart. It may breathe, may say all the right words but in the very essence of its core it has “settled” in its quest for more of HIM. This journey is one that causes us to become pilgrims concerning the things of this world. It causes us to ever be attentive to HIS VOICE and HIS direction. It is the governing principle by which we conduct ourselves in this world. It also causes us to be aware that we are a living part of all those who have gone on before us; that in truth we are the children of the promise, the true offspring of Abraham who are looking and seeking for a City “whose builder and maker is GOD”.

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises,
but having seen them afar off £were assured of them,
embraced them and confessed
that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland”
HEBREWS 11:13 – 14

As we read the promises of God in the New Testament we must realize that there are tremendous promises yet unfulfilled. Such being the case we are exhorted over and over to seek, pursue and “press toward the mark” for the attaining of these things. Should not that cry be found within our own hearts? The WAY of God in Christ is a way of life and wonder. It is a WAY filled with change because it is a relationship with the INFINITE GOD of whom there is neither beginning nor end. It is an eternal call, for no real and vital relationship ever ceases to grow and develop.

“But the path of the just is as the shining light,
that shineth MORE AND MORE unto the perfect day”
PROVERBS 4:18

This path is filled with an ever growing light. This light beckons us on to greater things in HIM and a desire to PARTICIPATE in the thing HE is doing. To touch the CRY of HIS HEART for the life of another, to be co-labourers with HIM in the development of life (HIS LIFE) in our brothers and sisters is a joy that is ours in Christ. How can we not “run with endurance” for the Joy of knowing and walking with HIM? “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith” (ROMANS 1:16) thus describing a faith that is growing from one stage to another.

A people of the Way are ever on the move, they are growing and they are discovering the bonds of relationship; the worth of knowing others who are also on this journey. The fruit of that fellowship is deep, powerful and filled with the pulsating life of the Son who is the author, sustainer and end of this journey!

Ω

“The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon,
but only to hold a man’s foot long enough
to enable him to put the other somewhat higher”
Thomas Henry Huxley (1825–1895)

Brian Troxel

THE PRAYER OF MOSES

~ THE PRAYER OF MOSES ~

“O Lord GOD, thou hast BEGUN to show thy servant thy greatness,
and thy mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth,
that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might?”
DEUTERONOMY 3:24

Moses prays this after nearly 120 years of seeing the mighty hand of God in Egypt and the Wilderness. Moses prays this after a life of speaking with God, at times face to face, seeing His Glory in all of the various ways throughout all of those years and yet he prays thus… “Thou hast BEGUN to show Thy servant Thy greatness”! Can we not see, can we not catch a glimpse of the infinite Glory of our God? Is there not the infinite call of God to our hearts to come up higher, to go deeper, to KNOW HIM AS HE IS? Is there not a realization of the little that we settle for; the CRY for relationship that goes beyond teachings, meetings and the common course of the present day “Christian Life”? Is there not within the deep recesses of our hearts the Cry of the Son to know and please the Father? Do we not feel the Cry of all creation longing for the “manifestation of the sons of God…?” (Romans 8:19) While men debate what the “manifestations” should be of those who have the infilling of the Holy Spirit Paul states in Romans…

“For we know that the whole creation
groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.
Not only they, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit,
even we ourselves groan within ourselves,
eagerly waiting for the adoption,
the redemption of our body”
ROMANS 8:22 – 23

The manifestations of the firstfruits of the Spirit are revealed in a people who know this groaning and the longing for the full expression of the redemption that was purchased at Calvary! Where is that longing to see, to know and to be fully alive in CHRIST JESUS our Lord? To be satisfied with the status quo of today is an unthinkable state of existence. We see all around us those who are satisfied with state of the Church, who are content to walk within the confines of a doctrinal statement concerning righteousness; content with the impotence and benign expression of the Gospel of the Kingdom because of the lack of vision and the purpose to which the ONE CHURCH has been called. We read in Paul’s Epistle to the Church at Corinth that an unbeliever would walk into their midst and one would stand up and prophesy and the unbeliever would fall on his face because the very secrets of his heart would be revealed. Paul called that Church carnal because of the emulation of the different ministries and the setting of one ministry above another. WHAT WOULD HE SAY TO US IN OUR DAY?

Let us consider Gideon who was living in a time when the people of God were defeated . He was gathering a bit of grain hoping that the enemy would not come and take even that from him. Do we not see the same today where we are no longer affecting those around us but are in more of a survival mode hoping we do not lose the few that are left? In the midst of this God appears to a man; a man who has been gripped by the haunting burden of the cry of God within his own heart…

“O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’
JUDGES 6:13

God is not afraid of men who question the present day experience… HE LOVES THEM and He comes with an answer. HE comes because of them! He comes because they have the cry for something greater, something real, vital and true. Is it not time for us to read the scriptures anew? Is it not time to stop reading them as some historical novel and begin to compare WHAT WAS to WHAT IS? Is it not time to begin to question what all of our “ways” and our “wisdom” has produced? Is it not a DAY to turn from the deadness of the programs, the teachings and the building up of men’s organizations and men’s ministries and return again to the seeking, knowing, and walking in the ways of God? If we do not see the contrast between the present day expression and His purposes it is time to “consider our ways”. Jesus told us to pray… “Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, ON EARTH as it is in Heaven…” Should not that be more than some religious prayer but rather the CRY within our hearts and the purpose of our lives to see it be so?

It is a DAY to question; a DAY to seek afresh HIS FACE. For in the asking, the seeking and the knocking we HAVE A PROMISE THAT THE DOOR SHALL BE OPENED; a door that leads us into new places and reveals HIM in a fuller, deeper and richer way. That door will transform the present day Church into a precious bride that is pure, holy and righteous.

“I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel,
to do it for them”
EZEKIEL 36:37

Brian Troxel

PSALM 23 – PART 6 – HE RESTORES –

PSALM 23

PART SIX

“He restoreth my soul…”
PSALM 23:3

What a revelation of our Shepherd’s heart! “HE restoreth my soul…” is the simple statement that there is no other hope for us; no other means by which our soul can be set free, restored and turned away from its own misery and desolation. “HE restoreth my soul…” is the hope and anchor of all those who follow after the Great Shepherd of our souls. It is in HIM that we have reason to hope. It is in this ONE who is motivated by a LOVE that is beyond knowledge (Ephesians 3:19), a LOVE that loves because it is love, and a love that ever seeks to restore the fallen sons of Adam into the “glorious liberty of the children of God”. Let us realize that this LOVE is not just for us. It is what motivated God to send HIS ONLY begotten Son into this dark world that “whosoever” believes in HIM should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16)! Jesus said in the introduction of the parable of the Good Shepherd that HE came “… to save that which was lost” (Matthew 18:11). With this in mind let us realize that what HE is to us, we are to be to one another.

“A new commandment I give unto you,
That ye love one another; as I have loved you…”
JOHN 13:34

We are to love one another AS HE has loved us. That Shepherd’s Heart that is in HIM is to be revealed and worked out in our lives in loving and caring for one another. Truth is not truth until it is EXPRESSED in the common course of everyday life. If HE has so wonderfully expressed HIS love to me by the unmerited grace of God should not that same expression flow from our hearts to one another?

“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual,
RESTORE such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself,
lest thou also be tempted”
GALATIANS 6:1

The ability to restore another life is the revelation of HIS TRUTH living within us. It is the heart beat of all those who are coming to know and walk within the power and love of HIS LIFE. HE is the restorer of my soul and as HE lives so do all those who drink of the fountain of the living waters of HIS goodness and mercy. The measure of our walk, the validity of following after HIM, is expressed in the communication of HIS LIFE to restore, enable and to exhort one another to live Godly in Christ Jesus.

Ω

“Christians are like the several flowers in a garden
that have each of them the dew of heaven,
which, being shaken with the wind, they let fall at each other’s roots,
whereby they are jointly nourished, and become nourishers of each other”
JOHN BUNYAN

Ω

“THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD
I SHALL NOT WANT”

Brian Troxel

PSALM 23 – PART 5 – HE RESTORES –

PSALM 23

PART FIVE

“He restoreth my soul…”
PSALM 23:3

In this journey of life we slowly begin to realize that the very center and core of who and what we are needs change and transformation. The more we walk with Him, the more we learn of Him. We see the eternal power of God expressed in a love that in itself is so far beyond our grasp, our understanding and comprehension. The very quality of that love causes us to shy away from Him (who IS that love) because of its immensity and power. Yet within our hearts there is a cry and an intense desire to KNOW this ONE, to walk and live within the grip of His Life and to GROW in the wonder of a deep relationship with HIM. It is in this desire to know HIM that we discover the WAY in which we are to walk so that this relationship may become deeper, fuller and more meaningful in our life.

Change is the evidence of a life MOVING in God. No one who is active in their pursuit and desire for God can remain unchanged. A religious man may speak right things, may do good works, may appear spiritual but if there is not an ongoing work of transformation within his life there is an issue at heart.

The Hebrew Word here for “restore” (and its related forms) is translated 1339 times in the Old Testament and with few exceptions speaks of turning, repentance and change. There are countless times in our walk with Him that we have strayed, wandered or insisted on our own way yet HE mercifully comes and turns us and RESTORES us back to the paths of righteousness and truth. He is ever seeking, ever desiring for us to GROW and DEVELOP in our life with Him. The power of the New Covenant is that we are to “BECOME sons of God” (John 1:12). The only way to truly know this life of “BECOMING” is to recognize and embrace the life of change that is necessary for this reality.

Over the years I have come to realize that of all of God’s great gifts and dealings in my life, the gift of repentance is a most prized one. For it is in the things that we cling to, obstinately, and sometimes unknowingly, that we experience the bitter pangs of misery and weariness. The relief comes in letting go. The joy comes in turning from ourselves. The peace comes in submitting to HIS will and HIS way. “HE restores our soul”; HE brings us back to the good and right way. HE pulls us from things and issues, from unresolved relationships and returns us to the green meadows of HIS provisions and the still waters where we find “rest unto our souls” and communion with the ONE who Loves us.

“Or despisest thou the riches of His goodness
and forbearance and longsuffering:
not knowing that the goodness of God
leadeth thee to repentance…”
ROMANS 2:4

How blessed we are to have such a ONE who suffers long with great patience with each of us; ever seeking to restore us and work within us a heart and a life that is at home with HIM.

Ω

“THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD
I SHALL NOT WANT”

Brian Troxel

PSALM 23 PART 2 – I Shall Not Want –

PSALM 23

PART TWO

“I SHALL NOT WANT…”
PSALM 23:1

“Want” is not, for most of us, a concept with which we are familiar. We live in a land blessed with abundance. While in other parts of the world there is great want and need for the necessities of life, we here see a great want for the EXCESSES of life. When we truly believe that the Lord is our Shepherd and that HE provides our needs we should be free from the lust of things externally and internally. We should be finding rest in HIS PROVISIONS and HIS GREAT PROVIDENCES. So many of us work day and night to pay for the excesses; things that are far from being necessities. “We have to make a living” is our excuse when in reality we have sold ourselves into a life of servitude for the “things” that this world has to offer. We are not talking here of some religious vow of poverty; we are speaking of a contentment in the LORD our Shepherd. We are talking of a freedom from the passion for “things” that would entice and burden us with a life of debt to this world. Our lifestyle should not enslave us but rather free us to serve our God.

I SHALL NOT WANT is a life that is free to follow and serve our Great Shepherd. I SHALL NOT WANT is a life that is free from the lusts, passions and entanglements of this world. I SHALL NOT WANT is a life that has found peace in knowing that HE is our provider; that HE really is all that we need. It is a freedom from the pressure of this world to have and hold more. For in truth those things can have a hold on us. WE ARE ALWAYS THE SERVANT OF THAT WHICH OUR HEART DESIRES. That is why Jesus says….

“Take heed and beware of covetousness,
for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses”
LUKE 12:15

Covetousness is a condition of the heart. It steals the affections of our heart with great subtlety, slowly causing our focus to change; the reason that we do something is altered from that which is good and necessary to that which satisfies a lust or a desire. A contented life in this world is the result of seeking, desiring and living within the provision and way of the Lord our Shepherd. As we, in the spirit of thankfulness and praise, make our requests known unto HIM we begin to discover the WAY of HIS PEACE in our lives. It is a battle to keep our eyes focused on the ONE who is OUR PROVISION and our God. We are reminded in John’s Gospel…

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.
If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes,
and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
And the world passéth away, and the lust thereof:
but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever”
I JOHN 2:15

I SHALL NOT WANT is the fruit of a life that is finding its contentment in the LIFE and PROVISION of THE LORD OUR SHEPHERD. May we daily seek this life of simplicity and rest. To abide in the Love OF the Father is to be free from the love of the World. This freedom is found as we displace one love with a GREATER LOVE. Religion is always seeking to do things that appear spiritual and we often hear the scripture misquoted “…I must decrease, He must increase…” The truth is “HE MUST INCREASE, I must decrease…”

“THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD
I SHALL NOT WANT”

Brian Troxel

APPROVING OURSELVES

APPROVING OURSELVES

“But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God,
in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,
In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings,
in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness,
by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned…”
II CORINTHIANS 4:5 – 6

The approval of one’s ministry is revealed not only by the MINISTRATION of the LIFE OF CHRIST to others but by the REVELATION of the CHARACTER of Christ as we conduct ourselves in the course of everyday life. It is in the crucible of this life that we reveal the true state of our heart. We can speak great swelling words, do mighty works, associate with men of God, and have great knowledge in the things of God, but it is in our reaction to the circumstances around us that we either approve or disapprove ourselves unto God. Character is the revelation of a man’s walk with God. What we do reveals what we are.

“I will show thee my faith by my works”
JAMES 2:18

Faith is given in order for us to BECOME expressions of its author. We are all works in progress. Nevertheless if we do not equate FAITH with BEING we will deprive ourselves of all that God has purposed. Every trial that comes our way is to one end; that we are changed to more of a likeness of HIM.

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment,
worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory”
II CORINTHIANS 4:17

What is this “eternal weight of Glory”? Is it not HIS character and HIS likeness wrought into our very being? The true value of FAITH is to make us witnesses of HIM, not only in word, but more importantly in DEED. The nature and purpose of FAITH is to make us live BEYOND our own resources, to make available to us the riches, the substance and the goodness of our God. Where faith is real so is character. Men who claim great faith without revealing great character have deceived themselves.

We are living in a day of revelation. This day will reveal the one who built his house upon hearing the Word of God without doing and the one who built his house by the hearing and doing of God’s Word. For the flood is coming and with that flood will come the revelation that the strength of a man’s house is not in the house but that upon which it is built.

May the Lord work in us a fresh realization that it is in the daily grind of life we are to ever be about our Father’s business, which is to reveal HIS SON in each one of us.

“But when it pleased God,
who separated me from my mother’s womb,
and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me…”
GALATIANS 1:15 – 16

Ω

“Character in a saint
means the disposition of Jesus Christ persistently manifested”
Oswald Chambers

Brian Troxel

Builders Together

“BUILDERS TOGETHER”

“If anyone’s work which he has built on it (the foundation Jesus Christ)
endures, he will receive a reward”
ROMANS 11:22

We are all called to be builders. We are to build personally and corporately. We are to build reverently and attentively in the Body of Christ. We are not to be concerned with temporal things; our building is to be of the eternal. We are to build things that endure and are of such a nature that the fire, shakings and trials of this life can not destroy. Men who labour to build organizations, ministries and a name for themselves will find no lasting honour. It is in the realm of character, fruit that springs from the work of the Holy Spirit, that we find true lasting value. We are to be builders who hear and do the living Word of God. Those who are hearers only build on sand. To build on the rock we must HEAR and DO of His good pleasure. We are to so interact with one another that LOVE compels us to build each other up to the point of functioning and walking in the things of our Father. The Son desires to so have HIS way with us that we are ever at work to bring each of HIS people into the place of perfection, ministry and unity for that is the only purpose for TRUE ministry (Eph. 4:11 – 13).

Any ministry that is interested in the building up of itself has not seen or known the HEART OF THE SON. HE did not come to be ministered unto but to serve and bring others into the things of His (our) Father. It is in touching HIS love that we are moved beyond the selfishness of our own hearts to consider the needs of others. No door can bar one who holds the Love of God in their hearts; no obstacle is too great to hinder one who really desires to hear and do the words of life. Let us discover the TRUE purpose of Life in the day and place in which we live. Let us be builders in a faith that is motivated by love; a building that is the RESULT of HIS HEART, HIS LOVE and HIS WILL in our lives.

“We then, as workers together with him,
beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain”
II CORINTHIANS 6:1

Our working together with HIM is the revelation of HIS grace at work in our lives. HIS grace is freely given to ACCOMPLISH the bringing forth of the LIFE, the NATURE and the REVELATION OF THE SON in the earth. Grace at work in a life requires that it must be revealed in that life.

“Whereof I was made a minister,
according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me
by the effectual working of his power”
EPHESIANS 3:7

Brian Troxel

HE IS ABLE PART FIVE – THE COMMON FAITH –

HE IS ABLE

PART FIVE

THE COMMON FAITH!

“To Titus, mine own son after the common faith”
Titus 1:4

Here is Paul writing to Titus as his own son in the faith. Titus was sent to travel throughout the Church of Jesus Christ to set things in order and to ordain elders in every city. It was a ministry that was to preserve the purity of the word, to stop the gainsayers, the propagation of Jewish fables and the teaching of the traditions of men. Right from the outset Paul is communicating to Titus that there is a common faith.  A common faith that produces a common love for one another; a common faith that produces a common brotherhood. The heresy of this hour where we see closed and secular groups each claiming that they are of the “true” faith is to deny the very passion of the heart of our Lord Jesus Christ when HE prayed in John 17, that they may be ONE. We are not talking of some ecumenical concept for that is but an attempt by man to have a unity based on the minimizing of faith and truth. What Jesus spoke of was a unity founded on FAITH and TRUTH. The common faith must produce a common brotherhood!

The Greek word used here for “common” is the word koinos (κοινός) which is best translated “common or belonging to several or of which several are partakers”. This common Faith by its very nature is meant to be shared and held within the community of faith and not some “elect” circle. It is a faith that recognizes and participates with people of the “common” faith. It is the root word of koinōnia of which much has been written and of which much more is to be known. How necessary it is for us to see that the commonality of the FAITH, not teaching, is what makes us partakers and joint heirs of God! Paul prayed for the Ephesians…

“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ,
of whom the WHOLE family in
heaven and earth is named”
Ephesians 3:14 – 15

The Greek word here for family is singular! For it is by faith that we have been born into the family of God; it is by faith that we are made PARTAKERS and the expression of this faith in our daily lives must reveal this truth. The present day expression of a powerless, divided and secular church is a sad testimony to our real condition. Jesus said when the son of man returns will HE FIND FAITH. We are told that in this hour the love of many shall grow cold. Are we not seeing this? If we do not love our brother whom we have seen, how can we have the audacity to say that we love God whom we have not seen? This is the DAY to PREPARE the WAY of the LORD; a day to turn, to consider HIS HOUSE not our own. It is a day to return to the simplicity of the “common faith” that we might become that expression of the truth that will produce a depth of LOVE that the world may know of a surety that THIS IS THE FAMILY OF GOD.

May there be a hastening of this within the heart of every true believer in Christ.

HE IS ABLE!

Ω

“They are the true disciples of Christ,
not who know most,
but who love most”

Frederich Spanheim the Elder (1600–1649)

Brian Troxel

HE IS ABLE PART FOUR – SPIRITUAL PRIDE

HE IS ABLE!

PART FOUR

SPIRITUAL PRIDE

“And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee:
nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.?”
I Corinthians 12:21

Here we see Paul confronting the other enemy of the Body of Christ, spiritual pride. There are those who feel superior to other people of God so much so that they lose their ability to see the value of others in the Body of Christ. They have come to such a place that they actually do not see their need of the other members. Pride will always bring blindness and isolation. “…I have no need of you…” What an abominable thought, to come to such a “high place” that there is no recognition of the rich supply that is ministered through the wonder of relationship with one another.

“From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted
by that which every joint supplieth,
according to the effectual working in the measure of every part,
maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love”
Ephesians 4:16

There is a powerful supply that is ministered by the joints, that is relationships. The Greek word used here for joint means: “a joint by which other members of the body are connected together”. This supply can only flow THROUGH the members by means of the joints. This expression of the singular is only made possible by the supply of every joint. For individuals or groups to become proud and isolated is to cut themselves off from this supply. Stagnation, decay and death are always the result of spiritual pride. It is by these joints and the functioning of every member that the Body edifies itself in the Love of God.

“But the miry places thereof and the marshes thereof shall not be healed”
Ezekiel 47:11

Here we read in Ezekiel of a River that flowed from the threshold of the House of God, and everywhere this River flowed it brought healing and restoration to all that it touched. In the marshes and the miry places that were cut off from the flow of the river there was no healing or restoration. The life is in the River, and to partake of that life we must be part of its flow. The Hebrew word used for marshes here can be translated cistern or pool. This speaks of a separation that excludes the river; a teaching or “vision” that is not capable of embracing others. It is only running water that purifies itself. Ponds or lakes where there is no flow in or out quickly become stagnant and dead. So it is with us. The Dead Sea has inflow but no outflow. It is in the desire to save our “corporate life” that we shall surely lose it. Flow is essential to life and in the Wisdom of God we receive by giving.

“He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said,
out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water”
John 7:38

The validity of our faith is not expressed in doctrine, teachings and programs. It is revealed by the flow of living water. How that living water is expressed in each individual is as unique as God is infinite! How glorious and rich HIS House should be. The Psalmist cries out “How beautiful is your dwelling place, oh Lord of HOSTS…” We ARE HIS Dwelling Place, we ARE HIS Temple and may there be a new priesthood that has one cry upon their hearts; to make HIS Dwelling HERE resemble HIS Dwelling place in Heaven. “Thy will be done, ON EARTH AS it is in Heaven”. John hears the Voice of God and he says it is as the sound of many waters! Hallelujah! How glorious are HIS ways, how deep is HIS mercy towards us, that in the flowing forth of HIS river through each redeemed life we are able to “comprehend with ALL saints” what is the infinite splendour of our GOD!

How tragic it is for men to declare because “I am the eye… I have no need of thee”. Even the eye can become blind with its own importance.

In the New Covenant the word “heresy” meant something quite different than it means today. In the Greek it was anything that created a faction or sect. Whether the ministry was good or false, if it, or the adherents of a particular ministry, sought to create a special group or faction it was HERESY! May the Lord humble us from our own self importance and keep us ever in the place of living and abiding in HIM. We have Churches on every street corner that cannot help but propagate division and fragmentation. We have small groups scattered throughout the land as well, each with a great potential to become an extension of another isolated cell. For without a true vision of the Body of Christ we can easily become another form of heresy.

In the Book of Acts we see the ministry moving amongst the people of God from house to house, with no thought of raising up a particular “group” but ministering to the whole Body. This eliminates any self seeking agenda of HAVING disciples and brings forth the true heart of ministry in MAKING disciples unto our Lord Jesus Christ. To make disciples is to see HIS people come to the place of obedience, unto HIM who is the HEAD, that “in all things, HE might have the preeminence”!

May the Spirit of Grace fall upon us afresh in this hour that we might rise up in a new humility and pure motive to see that it is unto HIM that our gathering together is realized. May all the foolish pride and exclusions be destroyed in the recognition of HIS great MERCY that has been afforded each of us. May the “I have no need…” be eclipsed by the full recognition of our absolute need of each other that we find ourselves not cut off from HIS FLOW, HIS LIFE and HIS LORDSHIP.

“Only by pride cometh contention”
Proverbs 13:10

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“Pride is the ground in which all the other sins grow,
and the parent from which all the other sins come”
William Barclay (1907–1978)

Brian Troxel