The Kingdom of God Series – Personal Note

The Kingdom of God Series

Chapter Three

Personal Footnote to Part Two

Obedience
The Fruit of Faith and Grace

I remember the first time I tried to read Andrew Murray’s book, “The School of Obedience”, many years ago. I read a few pages and threw the book against the wall. I just knew I could never walk in such obedience. Knowing my heart and self-will I felt utterly hopeless to attain to such a life. My problem was I did not understand that the obedience of which the scriptures speak is the fruit of faith empowered by grace. As the truth of this began to dawn upon me, I started to expect my life to grow in this wonder. Life became more of an adventure and I found God’s grace to be more than a sentiment but a real power to enable me to walk in new places. Grace became a constant need as my own resources were insufficient; my stubbornness often required wrestling and prayer to overcome. Fear of failure was a tool in the enemy’s hand that I needed to overcome in order to step into things into which God was leading me. Obedience is not a small thing in our lives, and it is essential for our growth. It is how we grow in our trust in Him and in our ability to be free from the fear of man. One act of obedience is better than fifty sermons. Learning of Him in these moments causes our faith to become real.

A key lesson to be learned in our growth in obedience is that the river never parts until we step into it. God has designed faith to rest upon Him so that we are not governed by what we see. I have had several experiences where the power of God is not made known to me until I have stepped into the thing before me. There is always that moment of hesitation (especially at first) before the step is made. God is faithful and the discovery of His faithfulness can only truly be realized by our obedience. Obedience is not some legalistic thing. It is our small part, insignificant in comparison to the release of God’s power as a result. Obedience brings us to the place of understanding His ways in our personal life and causes us to grow in our confidence in Him.

To be continued…

Brian Troxel

PODCAST – Revelation 4:1 – Part Two – Patmos

Podcast – Patmos – Revelation 4:1

The Isle of Patmos
God’s Purpose
for the Revelation of Himself

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Transition – Part Two – The Way of Provision

TRANSITION 

Part Two
(See Transition – Part One
The Way of Truth
)

The Way of Provision

“Pass through the camp and command the people, saying, Prepare provisions for you. For within three days you are crossing this Jordan to go in to possess the land which Jehovah your God is giving to you, to possess it
JOSHUA 1:11

Though the manna still fell every day, Israel was now preparing for war. The trials of the wilderness were giving way to the reality of battle. The manna had been God’s provision, but the time had come for God’s people to be weaned from the manna and to begin to prepare their own provisions. They would soon have to live off the land they were about to enter. The manna was for a season only; it ceased when they had eaten of fruit of the land!

“The manna ceased on the next day, after they had eaten of the produce of the land. The children of Israel didn’t have manna any more; but they ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year
JOSHUA 5:12

It is sad to see some of God’s people still waiting to be fed when they should be preparing their own provisions to be ready for warfare and to be able to feed others. They are content to sit passively while someone else feeds and waters them rather than reading God’s word for themselves; provisions that would make them strong and vital in the army of the Lord.

Transition is normal and necessary for a heathy life in God. Too many of us settle into a life that has become stagnant and stunted in growth. To enter in into new places in God will require a change in our provisions. New resources will be required to enter into the new things that we are called to.

The Hidden Manna

We read in John that Jesus came to Jacob’s well, “wearied with the journey”, and sent the disciples into the city to buy food. While Jesus sat at the well a woman came for water and Jesus began to minister unto her. When the disciples returned with food, He said he was no longer hungry. In the doing of His Father’s Will He Himself was fed!

“In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. 
But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. 
Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? 
Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work”
JOHN 4:30-33

The disciples had not yet learned of this provision, but they would in the days ahead.

In the Tabernacle there were three distinct offerings or provisions of bread. In the Outer Court (which was their present experience) was the gathering of the Manna that was wonderfully provided by God. In the Holy Place the priests had access to the Table of Showbread (Heb. Bread of the Presence or more literally Bread of the Face). In the Holy of Holies there was the “hidden Manna” that was found within the Ark of the Covenant, overshadowed by the very Shekinah Glory of God. In Revelation the “hidden Manna” is given to those who have overcome. This “hidden manna” is the bread of those who have engaged in the life of battle and victory. It is a provision for those who have “overcome” the enemies of their own hearts and the compromise and issues of the church of their day.

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes, to him I will give of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written, which no one knows but he who receives it.
REVELATION 2:17

Each of these distinct phases of provision are to be an experiential reality in our lives. To remain content with being fed and watered by others is to miss out on the vitality and wonder of our own relationship with God. It is essential that we go on in the deeper things of God for there are always new provisions. May God stir us afresh to grow into eating the “strong meat” that He desires to give us (Hebrews 5:14). Let us leave the “milk of the Word” as it can no longer sustain us in the normal progression of a healthy life in God. A child must be weaned from breast milk in order to grow and so must we! Growth is the EVIDENCE of LIFE.

“Whom will he teach knowledge? To whom will he explain the message? Those who are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts
Isaiah 28:9

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Redeeming the Time

Thought for Today

Redeeming the Time

“Redeeming the time,
because the days are evil”
Ephesians 5:16

Time is one of the most precious commodities given to humankind. The experience of every moment becomes the very fabric of our human existence. Every day, every moment, and every breath are God’s gift to us. Each minute that passes is one less left in our journey here on earth. We are exhorted by God to see these gifts of time as opportunities in our walk with Him.

“So teach us to number our days
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
Psalm 90:12

In Jesus’ life here on earth, no time was squandered. Each moment was filled with purpose and design. He was here to reveal the Father; to please His Father. He came that we might live our life with the same intensity of heart. His Life was active, yet ever at rest. His hands were busy in destroying the works of the devil. His words were filled with power and wisdom. His thoughts towards God’s fallen creation were pure. His feet took Him from the darkness of the synagogues to the lost woman at the well. In each situation men and women were struck with the very light of God. In short, His Life was not His own. John declared:

“Now there are also many other things that Jesus did.
Were every one of them to be written,
I suppose that the world itself could not contain
the books that would be written”
John 21:25

The Son of God was always engaged in the “now” of life. His heart was and is ever attentive to the will of His Father. Nothing was arbitrary or lost in His short 33 years. The secret of our life is to discover this same perspective. It is the surrendered life, free from our own pursuits, wherein we discover the divine enablement to be sensitive to the opportunities around us. It is here we “redeem the time” allocated to each of us. Discipleship is a journey of following in the Way of the Master; a life of cultivating and developing a sensitivity to His Spirit in our daily lives. The opportunities to extend His Love into the world are all around us.

“Do you not say,
‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’?
Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes,
and see that the fields are white for harvest
John 4:35

Life is to be lived in the moment. The deception of religion is that it concerns and consoles itself with either past or future concepts and ideas; Christ was always in the “now” of His Father. While people were and are looking toward an event, Jesus told His disciples to lift up their eyes to see that now, in the present, the fields are white unto harvest.

The secret to redeeming the time
is discovered in the “now” life we live.

Ω

“Only one life, ‘twill soon be past
Only what’s done for Christ will last.”
– C.T. Stud

Brian Troxel

Effectual Prayers – Part Nine – Discipleship

Effectual Prayers

Part Nine

Discipleship

“Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss,
that ye may consume it upon your lusts”
James 4:3

The nature of our walk will influence our requests to God. If we walk in the Spirit our requests, desires and needs will be consistent with His desires. If we walk in the flesh our entreaty can be influenced by the lusts and appetites of the flesh. Prayers delayed or unanswered may at times be prayers offered amiss because we are asking to satisfy or fulfill our own desires; or we may read our desires into the needs of others. Only those who are in the process of dying to self are able to be free of the taint of self. Our sympathies to the needs of others (especially ones we are close to) can skew our ability to see and pray clearly. It is here that our walk in God will determine our effectiveness. Only true disciples can learn to pray effectually for discipleship is only known by carrying our cross and following Him. The outworking of the Cross in our lives brings us to the heart and mind of Christ. It is within the confines of His rule that we begin to touch the true power of prayer.

“If ye abide* in me,
and my words abide* in you,
ye shall ask what ye will,
and it shall be done unto you.”
John 15:7

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon translates the word “Abide” as “something that has established itself permanently within my soul and always exerts its power in me”. The depth of abiding in Him is revealed in His Word exerting power within us. Obedience is the evidence of His Word wielding power over me. Those who do not obey express a life in which His Word has no power. Men and women may quote the scriptures, may teach others with seeming knowledge, but if there be no life of doing His word, it in fact has no real influence in their lives. If His Word has no power in us, our prayers will have no power with God. It is as we abide in Him that our prayers become the extension of His heart; His nature praying through us to the Glory of the Father.

Our progress in effectual prayer is contingent upon the growth and reality of our abiding in Him. We all begin our walk in Christ as children and we are “born anew” into a whole new realm of life and wonder.

“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word,
that ye may grow thereby”
1 Peter 2:2

This initial stage of our journey is blessed and one which we all experience and walk through. Prayer time is spent asking for things and often the answers from our heavenly Father come quickly as He seeks to strengthen and confirm our faith in Him. However, as time goes on God brings us into deeper things as He seeks to teach us the ways of relationship and intimacy. We are required to grow in the wisdom of His ways and as this transpires it effects the tenor and spirit in which we pray.

“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child,
I thought as a child: but when I became a man,
I put away childish things”
1 Corinthians 13:11

A life of change is the evidence of life. Where there is little or no change in the lives of His Own it is the result of His Word having little or no effect within. As we grow from a child into maturity we begin to speak differently and think differently which brings a dramatic change in our prayer life with God. As we put away the former things we begin the process of becoming men and women of God.

“Ye are my friends,
if ye do whatsoever I command you”
John 15:14

*Pulpit Commentary
And our Lord next unfolds the principle of prayer which laid such hold on the mind of the Apostle John: If ye abide in me (and then, instead of adding, “And I abide in you,” he says); and my words abide in you; i.e. if my teaching so abide with you as to control your thoughts and ideas, remain in you as your guide and inspiration, “then ask whatsoever ye will, and it shall be done to you”.

Effectual Prayers Part One – Incense
Effectual Prayers Part Two – Love
Effectual Prayers Part Three – Righteousness
Effectual Prayers Part Four – Humility and Repentance
Effectual Prayers Part Five – Wisdom
Effectual Prayers Part Six – Asking Largely
Effectual Prayers – Part Seven – Elisha and Jericho
Effectual Prayers – Part Eight – Ruth and Boaz
Effectual Prayers – Part Nine – Discipleship
Effectual Prayers – Part Ten – Knowing Jesus
Effectual Prayers – Part Eleven – The Fragrance of Prayer

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – Smith Wigglesworth

Quote for Today

Smith Wigglesworth

“You must every day make higher ground. You must deny yourself to make progress with God. You must refuse every- thing that is not pure and holy. God wants you pure in heart. He wants you to have an intense desire after holiness… Two things will get you to leap out of yourselves into the promises of God today. One is purity, and the other is FAITH, which is kindled more and more BY PURITY.”
– Smith Wigglesworth

Thought for Today – Growing in God

Thought for Today

Growing in God

“If you turn at my reproof, behold,
I will pour out my spirit to you;
I will make my words known to you”
Proverbs 1:23

A tender heart is a teachable heart. The way into truth is one of much correction and repentance. In the progressive revelation of all that He is we are confronted with all that we are. His beauty, His purity, His grace, patience and Holiness is beyond comprehension. There are no words to convey His glory. How privileged we are to behold Him, to receive His corrections and to have access to a grace which empowers us to turn from our ways to walk in His.

As we turn at His reproof and correction He pours out fresh ministrations of His Spirit. These on-going ministrations are intended to bring us into deeper communion with Him. In this ever-deepening relationship there is the unfolding of His Word to us.

“A wise man will hear, and will increase learning”
Proverbs 1:5

A wise man hears the reproof of the Lord. There is a passion to know Him experientially. This willingness to hear His correction will result in a continual change of our seeing, hearing and thinking. God is ever at work within the lives of those who are sensitive to the admonition of the Lord. Transformation and change are the evidence of those who know and love Him; the marks of one who loves and desires truth.

“…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 12:1

It is by the transformation of our thinking that we are equipped to know the will and purposes of God.

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Such As I Have

Thought for Today

“Such as I Have”

“Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none;
but such as I have give I thee:
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth
rise up and walk.:”
Acts 3:6

Ministry should be the natural outflow of any life rightly associated with God. One does not need to go to Bible school, join a large organization or subscribe to some well-known teacher in order to find the wonder and beauty of His Life. The path to a powerful, individual and unique ministry, unto which God has called each of us, is in the Life of the Son resident within one’s heart. This path is characterized in one word… GIVE. It is in giving what we have that more is given!

“Give, and it shall be given unto you;
good measure, pressed down, and shaken together,
and running over…”
Luke 6:38

Many Christians become so overwhelmed by “big” ministries that they look upon their own portion as meager and insignificant. It is here that many miss the wonder and greatness of our God. It is in understanding the heart of Jesus that we can launch out into the depths of God’s call in our lives. His heart is summed up in one small glimpse afforded us in the Gospel of Mark.

“And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living
Mark 12:41-44

While men see the amount, Jesus sees the depth of the gift. True ministry is not measured by what one has; Jesus measures by how much one gives. In giving what we have more is given to us in like measure. While many teachers relate this to the unrighteous currency of this world, Jesus was speaking of the true riches that He has placed within the lives of everyone that believes! Give all that you have to receive all that He gives. Every major river in the world begins somewhere as a trickle, an insignificant little stream. The secret of its power is that it continues to flow and as it flows it begins to grow. That which seemed inconsequential in its beginning becomes a river deep and powerful. Never consider any gift of God small, insignificant or irrelevant. The God of all Glory can take even a small meal of five loaves and the two fishes and feed multitudes. No gift of God is without significance. It only becomes so if the gift is neglected and held in faithless inactivity. The talent buried in the ground remains a talent. It is in our faithfulness to give and pour out our lives into those around us that the one becomes two, the two becomes four and the five becomes ten.

Peter’s journey to the place of imparting the life and glory of God into the life of another was no different than our own. The same God who has begun a good work in us will complete His work if we remain faithful to walk in His ways.

I have had the privilege of meeting with the underground church in other countries. In most cases their depth of Biblical knowledge is small in comparison to our land. However, while we may bask in our knowledge, they, at the peril of their lives, take what little they have and turn the world around them upside down.

Give and it shall be given unto you.

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

 

Butter and Honey – Part One

BUTTER AND HONEY

PART ONE
(See Part Two)

“Butter and honey shall he eat,
that he may know to refuse the evil,
and choose the good*
Isaiah 7:15

Spiritually we are what we eat. The richness of the Word of God is revealed here as producing within the lives of His own discernment and right choices. How people walk reveals the depth and the import of their partaking of the things of God. In our day of lukewarm attitudes towards sin and conformity to the world it becomes clear that a religious gospel is not capable of producing a separated people. By and large the church is more concerned with the numbers in the pews rather than the righteousness of the people of God. The Word has been robbed of its power and purpose. Smooth things are spoken. Oratory has replaced the anointing. Programs and written resources have taken the place of the individual’s responsibility to seek God and His Will for themselves. Knowledge about God replaces the knowledge OF God. We have become as comfortable as Samson in Delilah’s lap. We have fallen asleep and know not the hour and the day that is about to break upon us. In our slumber we characterize those who cry out to the current condition of things as “legalistic” and overly religious. We have “discovered” new methods of evangelizing where we seek to appeal to the masses with a Jesus that can tweak human nature but still allow them to enjoy the world. This gospel is presented as a band aid rather than a cure; a new paint job rather than a new creation.

Unto those who feast upon the butter and honey of the word of God there is a growing ability to refuse evil and choose good. What a precious gift this is! Discernment is critical to our growth and maturity in God. Without discernment there is no ability to partake of the “strong meat of the Word”.

“But strong meat belongs
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

Those who refuse the “butter and honey” of the Word cannot eat of the strong meat that produces men and women separated unto God. We read of Moses though raised in the very house of Pharaoh and given the opportunity of living a life of luxury…

“Choosing rather
to suffer affliction
with the people of God,
than to enjoy the
pleasures of sin for a season
Esteeming the reproach of Christ
greater riches
than the treasures in Egypt:
for he had respect
unto the recompense of the reward”
Hebrews 11:25-26

This empowerment to esteem the reproach of Christ as “greater riches” only comes by the eating of the Word through obedience and having our senses exercised to see things as they really are.

Ω

“The issue is now clear.
It is between light and darkness
and everyone must choose his side”
(The last words of GK Chesterton)

*NOTE: The prophetic word spoken here of the Son communicates to us His manner of life and His Beauty. All that is true in Him is to be true of those who are in Him.

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

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info