THE HEART – The Issue of LIFE –

THE HEART
THE ISSUE OF LIFE

“My son, forget not my law;
but let thine heart keep my commandments
PROVERBS 3:1

In the life of the authentic believer every action and word spoken is a direct revelation of the heart. While there are many Christian adherents to a teaching, a code of ethics, a dress code or outward compliance to a perceived religious concept, we read here that God is only interested in an obedience that is heart felt. It is the internal motivation that determines whether or not a thing has merit before Him. True life consists in knowing His Word and following it with our heart. Many good religious works may be done with the desire to be seen of others, to ease our conscience, or to reap some other benefit. Obedience from the heart is true worship. God sees more than just our actions; he sees the motives and intentions of our heart.

“For the Lord is the God of knowledge;
And by Him actions are weighed”
1 SAMUEL 2:3

We measure deeds by our own criteria but God sees and values things from His own perspective and heart.

“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

Jesus drew the attention of his disciples to this incident so they would “see” the unfolding of everyday occurrences from His perspective. We live in a day of great religious works, buildings and programs but unless we can see things from His heart we will miss Him in the true opportunities that are presented to us in our daily lives. It is a process in our own heart that frees us from outward and seemingly good works into a walk of faith that is authentic and springs from a deep love of our Saviour.

“Now it came to pass, as they went,
that he entered into a certain village:
and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
And she had a sister called Mary,
which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.
But Martha was cumbered about much serving,
and came to him, and said, Lord,
dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone?
bid her therefore that she help me.
And Jesus answered and said unto her,
Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part,
which shall not be taken away from her”
LUKE 10:38-42

Many are absorbed in the doing of numerous RELIGIOUS things FOR God while His real purpose is for us to be doing HIS WILL IN God.

“Truly, truly, I say to you,
the Son can do nothing of his own accord,
but only what he sees the Father doing.
For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise”
JOHN 5:19

The heart is the centre from which the core issues of our life are determined. What a man loves, what he treasures, and where his allegiance lies are kept in the secret places of the heart. How necessary it is that we invite Him to purify our hearts in order that we may obey His commandments uprightly and be freed from the outward works of religion.

“This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men”
MATTHEW 15:8-9

May our love for Him be the motivation from which we keep his commandments and honor His Name. This is true worship.

 

Brian Troxel

ADONIJAH

ADONIJAH

“Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying,
“I will be king”;
and he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen,
and fifty men to run before him.
(And his father had not rebuked him at any time by saying,
“Why have you done so?”
He was also very good-looking.
His mother* had borne him after Absalom.)
Then he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah
and with Abiathar the priest,
and they followed and helped Adonijah”
1KINGS 1:5-7 NKJV

( Read the whole event in 1Kings chapters 1 and 2)

“There is nothing new under the Sun” declares the Word. In the days when King David was passing off the scene and the need arose for a new king we see many false expressions rising to “claim” their place. Adonijah was a picture of this. He had a good sounding name (the Lord is my YHWH), a spiritually blind Joab and priesthood lending their credentials, and a multitude of people proclaiming that this was God’s anointed; the feast went on with great excitement yet GOD WAS NOT IN IT! Neither were those who truly knew their God involved in this.

“But Zadok the priest and Be-naiah the son of Jehoiada
and Nathan the prophet and Shimei and Rei
and David’s mighty men were not with Adonijah”
II CHRONICLES 3:3 (YLT Bible)

This is an example of a false move that ended in the judgment of God coming upon all who where involved in it. We see the parallel today with many claiming to be the anointed one, associated with signs and wonders and great excitement, BUT GOD IS NOT IN IT! We see “moves” of the spirit where people are barking like dogs, howling and running around with no wisdom or depth of character being displayed. The lack of discernment allows chaos and foolishness to be exercised and encouraged. Those who know their God are not taken in by such things. They stand in the wisdom of their God. Men and women of integrity know there is a difference between following signs and wonders or signs and wonders following them. While multitudes seek out signs and wonders there are those who are not moved by such things. Jesus said..

“An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign”
MATTHEW 12:39

It is evil to seek after signs. When Jesus sent out His disciples and they came back with the report that even the demons were subject to them in HIS NAME… Jesus replied…

“Notwithstanding in this rejoice not,
that the spirits are subject unto you;
but rather rejoice,
because your names are written in heaven”
LUKE 10:4

Our glory is to Glorify Him and to do HIS WILL! In the doing of that will we will discover that our rejoicing is always in Him. I have seen and been a part of great movings of God, have seen healings and experienced Holy Visitations of HIS glorious presence; in all of these glimpses of HIS Glory there remained the Holy Wonder of Him. It was not a circus. Rather it was the Holy One moving by grace to reveal His wondrous ways and person. His Holy Spirit has ONE PURPOSE and that is to humble men and glorify Jesus. We see men on stage soaking in the applause of men and glorified and followed as if they were of any account. In the days of Azuza’s outpouring one of the main preachers would hide himself behind the pulpit so as not to attract any attention to himself. In our day we put men’s names in lights so to speak and the multitudes following with an adulation that should be reserved for God alone!

In the Book of Acts we see Paul being used of God…

“And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius,
because he was the chief speaker.
Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city,
brought oxen and garlands unto the gates,
and would have done sacrifice with the people.
Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of,
they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out,
And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things?”
ACTS 14:12-15

Such is the difference between the ministers of God and the false ministrations of our day. Who is glorified and what is our motivation? These are eternal questions that will determine our end on the day of Judgement. Men who follow men know not their God. Their confidence is in being in concert with others and they know not the internal approval of God within their own hearts.

Will we not hear in this Day…

“Not every one that saith unto me,
Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;
but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day,
Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?
and in thy name have cast out devils?
and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them,
I never knew you:
depart from me,
ye that work iniquity.”
MATTHEW 7:21-23

There is a balance in the wonder of our God. We are exhorted to despise not prophesy for it is one of the means of God speaking to and encouraging His people; necessary and vital. On the other hand we must have those who are equipped with discernment and wisdom to judge all things that go on in the midst of God’s people.

May God continue to raise up elders and men of God that are here to see the plumb-line applied to the building of His house. Men of integrity, free from agendas and personal pursuits. Men whose sole purpose is to Glorify Jesus that HE may have the pre-eminence in our midst. Woe to those who partake of the fleshly excitement of trite expressions and dedicate themselves to the lifting up of organizations and men. Woe to those who cannot discern between the house of God and the organizations of men. Woe to those who are satisfied with the lack of reality in our day. Woe to those who can simply submit themselves to the rote of meetings and gatherings that are not producing men and women abandoned unto their God. Lord save us from the status quo of this day!!

“And the LORD said unto him,
Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem,
and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry
for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof”
EZEKIEL 9:4

*NOTE: The same faith that had birthed the rebellion of Absalom had now given birth to Adonijah. The same heinous expression only clothed in a different form. Both very good looking and pleasing to the eye, both exalting themselves, both of the “lineage” of David and yet false.

Brian Troxel

SPIRITUAL HABITAT ~ THE ALTAR ~

SPIRITUAL HABITAT

PART TWO

THE ALTAR

“…he built an altar there and called on the name of the LORD,
and he pitched his tent there;
and there Isaac’s servants dug a well”
GENESIS 26:25

This verse immediately follows Isaac receiving a promise and a visitation from the LORD. The PROMISE was no longer just Abraham’s it was now Isaac’s. The promise was given because of Abraham’s life of faith and obedience but there must come a time where the promise of God becomes our own. HIS promise not only becomes Isaac’s own but it produces a life of response within him. In the reception of the promise Isaac builds an Altar, calls on his God, pitches his tent (dwelling/abiding) and digs a well.

THE ALTAR

In the New Testament the altar speaks of many things but for the sake of brevity we will sum up the altar in the life of the individual believer as the place of true worship. This worship is to become a way of life for the true child of God. The Altar speaks of much more than a short time of singing one day a week; it is the place where we live and grow in our relationship in HIM, where we begin to realize that we are to offer ourselves unto HIM (Rom. 12:1) as a living sacrifice, where we offer the praises of our hearts, where we bow down under the weight of a Glory that softens our hearts and allows us to touch the very Holiness of HIS PRESENCE and the wonder of HIS BEING. It is here that we commune with HIM in the private sphere of our lives hidden away from the seeing of men. Here we offer prayers and the secrets of our heart in the most intimate of transactions with a Holy God. It is here that we learn of Him, we touch HIM, and HE speaks to us of things that words fail to convey. In this seeing of HIM we discover the truth of whom we are and the staggering contrast between who HE is and what we are. We begin to understand that even angelic perfection, though sinless and pure, cannot look upon HIM in HIS undimmed Glory in the heavens.

The Altar is the only place where we can touch such places of Glory. Here we are CHANGED into the Glory that we see from Glory to Glory; “EVEN AS BY the SPIRIT OF THE LORD”. As the Son walked this earth HE would spend hours alone with HIS FATHER in that perfect HOLY UNION that HE had from all eternity. The New Covenant provides ACCESS for us into the Holiest of ALL because of our lives being “HID with Christ in God”. It is by virtue of such a living reality that we can grow into the place of living and abiding at the very ALTAR of God. It becomes our spiritual habitat as we learn to abide in HIM.

The Altar is not only a place of sacrifice, communion and worship it is also the place of PROVISION; a PLACE where we eat and partake of HIM. It is the place of the “hidden manna” that comes to us by the seeing of HIM and the eating of HIM in the secret place. We read in Hebrews…

“We have an altar,
whereof they have no right to eat
which serve the tabernacle”
HEBREWS 13:10

And again…

“Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things
live of the things of the temple?
and they which wait at the altar
are partakers with the altar?”
I CORINTHIANS 9:13

Suffice it to say that the way of the ALTAR is the way of life. In the life of Isaac the first act of his response to GOD was the building of the altar. In the New Testament all spiritual realities are “made without hands” and as such we build our altar by simply spending time with HIM in the secret places of our hearts until it becomes our spiritual habitat. The Altar preceded the pitching of Isaac’s tent for it is in the “building” of the one that the life of “abiding” is cultivated.

Brian Troxel

THE WILLINGNESS OF GOD

THE WILLINGNESS OF GOD

“…a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus;
and he fell on his face and implored Him, saying,
“Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean”
LUKE 5:12

We read here of a man with a good measure of FAITH. It was a faith that had moved beyond the fact that Jesus was not only ABLE to heal into the simplicity of knowing that if Jesus was WILLING he would be healed. Faith is ever progressive and in this man’s life he begins to explore God’s character and willingness. So must we also move from not only knowing His ability but also knowing the very core of God’s heart for us. Is HE willing to reach down into the leprosy of our own hearts to heal and cleanse us from that stain of what we are?

The wonder here of God’s response is one that communicates the heart and purpose of the New Testament…

“Then He put out His hand and touched him, saying,
“I AM WILLING; be cleansed.”
MARK 5:13

Let the words of this HEART ring loud and clear within the recesses of our own needs. Let it drive away the condemnation of the enemy and the inner fears of our own sense of unworthiness.

“I AM WILLING”

May we arise today with the surety of HOPE that HE has not changed. That willingness coupled with the Almighty Power of the Living God is our anchor. Not only is HE ABLE but HE is WILLING! We are not left to our own devices to limp through life weighted down with our untold needs. The wonder of His Love and His Heart enables us to draw from Him His answer for the issues of our heart. Real answers for real needs because a real faith is touching a real God.

Ω

“When the even was come,
they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils:
and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:
That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses…”
MATTHEW 8:16 – 17

Brian Troxel

TO HIM THAT OVERCOMES

TO HIM THAT OVERCOMES

“He that overcometh shall inherit all things;
and I will be his God, and he shall be my son”
REVELATION 21:7

Throughout the New Testament we read much about faith and confession yet here in the Last Book of the Bible we read more about overcoming; we read of being called, chosen and faithful. We read of great suffering where all that is dark and evil rises up in great wrath upon all who would live “godly in Christ Jesus.” We read the letters written to the seven Churches where there is much amiss with sin, compromise and lost love. Worst of all we read of one church that shows Jesus on the outside knocking at the door seeking for any individual to open to Him. To each of these churches in their various stages of weakness, compromise and decay we hear the promise of Him saying to “him (individually) that overcomes will I GIVE…” The promise is not to those who say “Lord, Lord…”. The promise is not to those who have great understanding. The promise is to those who by a living faith have discovered in HIM the very LIFE to overcome all the trials and testings that they have encountered. To be sons of God is more than a simple statement of faith; it is more than a teaching, more than an association with a church or teacher. It is a life that reveals the only begotten ONE; a life of identification with the ONE who has overcome all things. It is in knowing that without HIM we can do nothing, but IN HIM we can do all things. Sonship is revealed in the lives of those who are being weaned from earthly agendas, religious affiliations, and causes to support. Our commonality with one another is because we live and move in HIM. We turn our back upon the things that have divided and secularized HIS CHURCH; we place no confidence in anything other than Christ Jesus our Lord. Our brotherhood is true because we have ONE FATHER. We believe in ONE LORD, we have one faith and hope and HIS NAME IS JESUS.

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God,
these are the sons of God”
ROMANS 8:14

Somewhere in the muddled teachings of this day we have ignored the clear presentation of the Scriptures and have replaced it with a “theology” that offers a “salvation” that is free from effort. The cross is mentioned as if it were optional (“…he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. Matthew 10:38); a religious atmosphere where little is required or expected. The results? People who though precious and loved of the Father have failed to GROW UP and BECOME sons of God through the medium of obedience, faith and death to self. A victorious Christian life is rarely taught or expected. TO HIM THAT OVERCOMES is not an idealistic concept but the earnest expectation of all those who follow HIM, are LED of HIM and above all LOVE HIM with all their whole being. It is time to stop and consider our ways, to stop playing church, to stop consoling ourselves with compromise. In HIM alone is our rest, our peace, our fruitfulness and our JOY! To him that overcomes is the promise given. He that overcomes is the one who can declare with great thankfulness of heart that of a truth JESUS IS THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE! It is in overcoming that we reveal the truth of this in our lives.

Faith is the means by which truth
becomes the substance and reality of our lives.

In our desire to obey, in our desire to follow Him, and in our desire to know this life of victory we must confront the weaknesses of our own hearts and wills. We must (as Abraham) consider our own body as good as dead in the ability to please God and in this place discover the power of a living faith that believes in HIM who is able!!! In all these things we are more than CONQUERORS THROUGH HIM THAT LOVES US!

Ω

“Any battle for victory, power, and deliverance
– from ourselves and from sin –
which is not based constantly upon
the gazing and the beholding of the Lord Jesus,
with the heart and life lifted up to Him,
is doomed to failure”
Alan Redpath

Brian Troxel

PSALM 23 – THE KINGS TABLE – PART 16 –

PSALM 23

PART SIXTEEN

THE KINGS TABLE

“Thou preparest a table before me… ”
PSALM 23:4

The table spoken of here is no ordinary table; it is the King’s Table. It is the Table of Royalty designated for Kings yet we find it set for those who follow the Shepherd! The Hebrew Word translated “TABLE*” here שֻׁלְחָן is properly defined as “a king’s table, (for) private use, sacred uses” (BDB Hebrew Definitions). It is the Hebrew Word used for the “Table of Show Bread”; the Hebrew word used when the Queen of Sheba visited Solomon’s “Table” and was astonished at the glory found therein. It is used when God was angry at Israel for how they treated HIS Table in their day of apostasy and neglect (see Malachi 1:7, 12). This is the Table that is provided to all who would follow their Shepherd and their King! It is a table of provision; a table of intimate and private concourse with the King of Kings. It is here that we eat of the Hidden Manna. It is here that HE comes and draws us aside to break the bread of fellowship and understanding that we may grow in strength and in our relationship with HIM. This is a PRIVATE TABLE reserved for those who follow HIM in Spirit and Truth; not with lip service but with all the passion of a heart that knows that nothing but Jesus can satisfy the longing within.

This is a prepared table. It is not one that is hastily set. The Hebrew word used here for “prepared” is translated most often in the Old Testament speaking of the armies of Israel being “arrayed” for battle. It is a prepared table for a prepared people. It is ordered and set with the utmost of care and attention to detail. God is never in a hurry. HE is always the ONE in CONTROL and HIS TABLE is prepared from eternity for our strengthening and preparation. While men would panic in the DAY of Battle our God is calm and purposed. We see Jesus at the last supper with His disciples, knowing full well the drama that was about to unfold, filled with PEACE and enjoying intimate fellowship with HIS disciples! There was no panic for HE was and is the REIGNING ONE! Let us draw near to this table and eat of HIM, with HIM and by HIM that we may arise as He PREPARED TO MEET the enemy in this HOUR.

This PRIVATE TABLE is seen throughout the Gospels as Jesus spoke in parables to the crowds and the religious leaders. Later He would take His Disciples aside to cause them to know and understand the truths of what HE had spoken. It is in these private moments that the “bread of LIFE” becomes alive to our hearts and we see and hear things in a new way! The reason men do not see the power of HIS LIFE pulsating in the Word of God is that they have not discovered this table. This table will only be found by those “who follow the Lamb” wherever HE goes. This is a table of relationship PREPARED for those who would eat of its rich provisions and walk in the strength of it. It is not a Table filled with sweet things only but also with meat seasoned with bitter herbs and bread to make men strong (EXODUS 12:8). It is, after all, the “Table of the Lord” and those who would minister Him must EAT ALL that is set before them. For it is in the eating of HIM that HE becomes a part of us!

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man,
and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life;
and I will raise him up at the last day.
For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me,
and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father:
so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me”
JOHN 6:52 – 57

This is not a table for the curious, for those who like to hear the latest teaching or those who run after signs and wonders. Rather it is a table set aside for those who will EAT of HIM through the medium of OBEDIENCE! Martyrs and Saints of all generations have eaten of this table and found FAITH and GRACE to overcome. May we follow the LAMB in our day to share at His table the prepared provision for the DAY THAT IS UPON US.

“…To him that overcometh
will I give to eat of the hidden manna”
REVELATION 2:17

Ω

“God walks with the humble; He reveals himself to the lowly;

 He gives understanding to the little ones;

He discloses his meaning to pure minds,

 but hides His grace from the curious and the proud”

THOMAS A KEMPIS

 

* Note the instances where this word is used it consistently refers to a table of royalty (good and bad), prophets and a table of showbread in the Tabernacle and Temples.

table, 56 Ex 25:23, Ex 25:27-28 (2), Ex 25:30, Ex 26:35 (3), Ex 30:27, Ex 31:8, Ex 35:13, Ex 37:10, Ex 37:14-16 (3), Ex 39:36, Ex 40:4, Ex 40:22, Ex 40:24, Lev 24:6, Num 3:31, Judg 1:7 (2), 1 Sam 20:29, 1 Sam 20:34, 2 Sam 9:7, 2 Sam 9:10-11 (2), 2 Sam 9:13, 2 Sam 19:28, 1 Kin 2:7, 1 Kin 4:27, 1 Kin 7:48, 1 Kin 10:5, 1 Kin 13:20, 1 Kin 18:19, 2 Kin 4:10, 1 Chr 28:16, 2 Chr 9:4, 2 Chr 13:11, 2 Chr 29:18, Neh 5:17, Ps 23:5, Ps 69:22, Ps 78:19, Ps 128:3, Prov 9:2, Isa 21:5, Isa 65:11, Ezek 23:41, Ezek 39:20, Ezek 41:22, Ezek 44:16, Dan 11:27, Mal 1:7, Mal 1:12

tables, 14 1 Chr 28:16 (2), 2 Chr 4:8, 2 Chr 4:19, Isa 28:8, Ezek 40:39-43 (9)

The Book of Hebrews declares that “We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat…” (Hebrews 13:10)  The only way to eat of this table is to Serve and Follow the LAMB OF GOD!!!

Brian Troxel

APOSTASY AND THE SPIRIT OF GRACE

APOSTASY
And
THE SPIRIT OF GRACE

THE GREAT FALLING AWAY

“Let no man deceive you by any means:
for that day shall not come,
except there come a falling away (ἀποστασια) first,
and that man of sin be revealed”
II THESSALONIANS 2:2

Apostasy. What does it mean and what does it look like? The Greek word used here for “a falling away” is ἀποστασια, a female derivative of the Greek Word ἀποστασιον that is translated “DIVORCE” in the New Testament (see Strong’s Concordance #646 and #647). Divorce is the result of a relationship where, over a period of time, the love has died. So it is with the word APOSTASY: it is the result of a love for God that has grown cold over time. The decay is so subtle and deceptive that the heart can scarcely discern it. The reason love grows cold in this day of obscurity is that “iniquity abounds” (lawlessness) within the house hold of faith; the wages of SIN are no longer to be feared, morals are loose and boundaries become less and less sure. The preaching from the pulpit is intended to create a “seeker friendly” atmosphere. The LIVING WORD of God is no longer offensive to the proud, the arrogant, and the haughty. We are told that God is LOVE therefore HE could not possibly be angry with SIN and the suffering it causes. We are presented with a meek and gentle Jesus that we cannot seem to reconcile with the ONE who cleansed the Temple, or with the New Testament judgement that fell on Ananias and Sapphira. We tend to pass over literally hundreds of warnings given to us in the New and Old Testament from a God who HATES SIN and JUDGES INIQUITY. As a result Grace has become cheap and meaningless in the ministration of the Gospel. It is God’s estimation of SIN that gives GRACE value and import. Amazing Grace is really only known by those who have truly known within their hearts the touch and the taste of the FEAR of the LORD! (A grace that saved me from a hell- bent life style is the only reason I am here. There was and is nothing good within me yet while I was in that hellish state, so lost and so ignorant, HE CAME. That is GRACE!) We do God a tremendous disservice when we appeal to men with human reason and carnal salesmanship rather than ministering in the power and the unction of the Holy Ghost! Men like John the Baptist would be disallowed in our church services as we would consider him uncouth and reckless. Men like Jeremiah and Isaiah would be far too fanatical for our polished presentation of the Gospel. Elijah would be too far out there for the comfortable environment we have produced.

It is for this very reason that we have fallen under the spell of APOSTASY AND LOOSE LIVING! Men and women see nothing strange about sitting in a pew or a living room couch for years with little or no expression of WHO GOD IS IN THEIR LIFE! Unaware of an eternal calling to be living ministrations of power and light! Unaware that they are called FOR A PURPOSE; not to give 10% of their earnings into an offering plate but to give 100% of their lives unto the King of Kings! How can we not look at what we call “church” and wonder at the incredible contradiction between what we see today and what we see in the New Testament? Where are those who can no longer be anaesthetized by the doctrinal statements, church programs and deep sounding teachings that have rendered the people of God harmless and impotent in a world racing towards judgement? Where are the cries that are birthed out of an inconsolable grief over the lack of HIS PRESENCE AND HIS POWER IN OUR MIDST? Where are those who are grieved by the insensitivity of how we treat one another, how we act in business, in our work and in our homes in terms of walking in such a way that men would ask “what is the hope” that lies within us? Our preaching first and foremost is to be with our lives and how we conduct ourselves, by how we treat our wives or how we treat our husbands? Where are those who would sound the alarm over a divorce rate that is OVER SIXTY PERCENT? Where are the preachers in the pulpit that rise up to the challenge of divorce and remarriage within the CHURCH? Where are those who will preach the Gospel even if it means that a large percentage of the pews will be empty the next week? Where are those who preach the truth because they desire to be found faithful unto HIM rather than to be considered a successful pastor due to the size of the congregation rather than the quality of the lives to whom they minister?

We are in the DAY of APOSTASY and men know it not for the most insidious result of sin and iniquity is that it numbs the hearts of those it holds. That is why leprosy is the figure of sin in the Old Testament. People with this disease lose their body parts one at a time because they no longer have the ability to feel pain.

We are in the DAY of the falling away, when the hearts of men grow cold and indifferent, where religion replaces relationship, where traditions of men usurp obedience, and the Sunday meeting goes on whether God shows up or not. Do we not read the “love of MANY shall grow cold”, that “strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and FEW there be that find it” and again “MANY shall say in that day LORD, LORD… And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity”? Do we not read these things and tremble? Can we not give ear to the voice of God in this hour? Let us see and feel the weight of all that is transpiring around us and began to cry out to God to move afresh in HIS CHURCH.

The DAY of the Lord is at hand for the APOSTASY is growing like a cancer and men see it not just as in the days of Noah when the “flood came and took them all away”! Read carefully and you will see that it was not Noah who was taken away. It was those “who knew not”; those that lived in carelessness and were too caught up in the world to notice that the DAY of Judgement was upon them. Jesus said the Day of His return would be as it was in the days of Noah…

The Day of the Lord is at hand for we also read that Jesus said that the Day of the Lord would be as it was in the days of LOT when promiscuity and sexual perversion filled the land. Do we not see this same thing and how it has flooded the Church in our day? Where are those who will cry out unto God for HIM to pour out the “spirit of GRACE and SUPPLICATION” that will bring the people of God to mourning, confession and repentance?

“And I will pour upon the house of David,
and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
the spirit of grace and of supplications:
and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced…
In that day shall there be a great mourning…”
ZACHARIAH 12:10 – 14

This mourning is the RESULT of the spirit of GRACE and SUPPLICATIONS being poured out on the people of God! Grace to return us to a people of a broken heart, a contrite spirit and a life that once again trembles and honours God’s Word! In the pouring out of such grace upon us and the resulting response from our hearts we read of God’s response…

“In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David
and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness”
ZACHARIAH 13:1

Even so Lord pour out upon us the “spirit of GRACE and SUPPLICATIONS” that we may be turned from our carnality and carelessness. Turn us again unto the right way, the way of repentance and restoration. May we as the prodigal son return broken and contrite from the folly of our worldly ways, where we have secularized your people, we have called ourselves by other names, we have met in the name of an organization, a teacher and a movement rather than simply coming together unto THEE. We have separated ourselves from the “lesser” brethren. We have elevated ourselves against those who are blood washed in the same blood that has purchased us, and in so doing we have separated ourselves from you. Bring us again to the common faith; to the discerning of the Body of Christ. Cause us to hate the sin in our hearts more than the inconsistencies in our brothers and sisters. Work in us to will and to DO of your good pleasure. Unite those who are yours that we may once again meet in the power of your Name and the Glory of your Presence.

EVEN SO LORD COME!

Brian Troxel

FORWARD

“Tell the children of Israel
to go forward”

“And the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me?
Tell the children of Israel to go forward”
EXODUS 14:15

The Red Sea on one side the hosts of Egypt on the other. In the face of such a situation the God of all Glory speaks to tell the people of God to move forward. The word to move forward PRECEEDED the opening of the Red Sea. Faith must precede the revelation of God’s Glory. Faith is revealed by the walk it produces. We are living in a day of words, teachings, books and seminars yet we see so little reality! For Faith to be Faith it must reveal its Author. In the midst of obscurity, passivity and apathy there are people who are hearing the Word to move forward regardless of what they SEE. For Faith comes by hearing not by seeing.

In the midst of a prolonged siege, when the famine had reached a breaking point, the King burst into where Elisha was staying only to hear a word of promise for the next day…

“Then Elisha said,
“Hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord:
‘Tomorrow about this time a seah of fine flour shall be sold for a shekel,
and two seahs of barley for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria.’”
So an officer on whose hand the king leaned
answered the man of God and said,
“Look, if the Lord would make windows in heaven, could this thing be?”
And he said, “In fact, you shall see it with your eyes,
but you shall not eat of it.”
II KINGS 7:1 -2

Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the EVIDENCE of things not seen! The evidence of God’s purposes for this DAY must be expressed by DOING and MOVING toward the thing that we know in our hearts to be true. The real evidence of the prayer of Jesus being answered is found within the hearts of those who are moving forward; pressing, seeking, knocking and knowing of a truth that this thing must be. Faith is never static and faith is never without works. Faith gives birth to a hope that is unshakeable in the character and the promises of God. Faith will never leave a man in poverty; never produce a Word in a man without the resources to become an expression of its verity. Our God is real and so is the faith in those who have hearts to believe.

Tell my people to MOVE FORWARD. This is the Word of the Lord for this hour; time to see the hurts of HIS people healed, the sectarian ways and the agendas of men brought down. To move in such a way as to see this Body of Christ arise out of the ashes. It is time to move forward against the issues of our own hearts in the resignation of our wills and our hearts unto HIM that is worthy. It is time to move forward against all of the obstacles that seem to hinder us from the fullness of all that HE has called us unto; to seek the welfare of the people of God.

Let us move toward a new depth of fellowship that has nothing to do with the old and static ways of men and begin to meet in the NAME, the PERSON and the wonder of HIS PRESENCE. Let us so pour out our lives into the lives of those around us that they would begin to WALK and FUNCTION within the power of HIS CALL unto them. No longer interested in our portion but, by virtue of touching the HEART of God, more concerned for others than we are for ourselves. It is time to be as the SON who, at the age of twelve, said “I MUST be about my Father’s business”. If HE is living in us then that heart must beat within us as well.

“Tell the children of Israel
to go forward”

Brian Troxel

PSALM 23 – PART 15 – HIS STAFF

PSALM 23

PART FIFTEEN

THY STAFF

“Thy STAFF…comforts* me”
PSALM 23:4

The Hebrew Word translated here as staff has two meanings. The first is translated generally as anything that supports and stabilizes (A feminine noun indicating a support, a supply. It is used of what firms up, keeps stable, furnishes needed supplies…{TCWS of the Old Testament}). It is this aspect that causes us to trust in Him, lean upon Him and draw from Him strength for all our daily needs. On our journey of LIFE we discover the truth of all that HE is to us. Through this unseen support and ministration we began to see that HE is not only our saviour but indeed HE is our salvation on a daily basis. It is in the present truth of HIS life that we find ourselves in full agreement with Psalm 46:1; HE is our PRESENT HELP in trouble. Not a God that is afar off, but a God who is present and real. It is this present help that *comforts us, humble us and causes us to exclaim with the writer of the Book of Hebrews “what is man that thou art mindful of him or the son of man that thou shouldst visit him”. These are moments when HIS unmerited goodness causes us to be humbled and broken; HIS goodness expressed in the face of our stubbornness and pride.

His staff supports, leads and guides, gently nudging us into the path that HE has chosen. It is HIS staff that leads us to green pastures, quiet waters and causes us to know that HE is ever watching over the lives of HIS own. How good and faithful is our Shepherd. How merciful and gracious are His ways with us. Left to ourselves we are all like sheep that “have wandered astray”. We have sought out our own ways, our own pastures and without Him we would ever be lost in the wilderness of our own wisdom with our own miserable resources. The LORD is our Shepherd and it is in the ministration of His staff that we are comforted and made right. It gives us hope and comfort when we feel the sting of His correction for it is in learning of Him that we grow in the wisdom and love of our shepherd. It is in learning of Him that we can be more effective in our ministration of that life to one another. For the Body of Christ to become ONE in heart, faith and reality there must be a corporate expression of His heart to one another. It is in learning of Him that we are no longer able to segregate ourselves from each other. For to have the Love of God beating in our hearts we must come to the place of loving what He loves and hating what He hates. We can no longer pick and choose who may be our brother or sister. We can no longer elevate one ministry over and above another for we have seen that each ministration of His life is necessary to reveal His fullness.

It is in being humbled by His goodness that we become expressions of that goodness to one another. It is in the appreciation of His unmerited grace that we become expressions of that grace to those around us. The truth of the staff enables us to walk no longer in the poverty of our own resources. Rather it brings us to the recognition of a supply of strength that is beyond ourselves; a strength to stand when we have no strength; a hope in His supply that will not allow us to succumb to the testings we must endure. His staff becomes a point of strength where we can declare the “Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not lack…” He has come, HE is come to be to us all that our present circumstances require. We are not to feel as chaff driven by the wind, we are not to feel as sheep having no shepherd, and we are not to be as orphans without hope in this world. He has come to strengthen us in HIM, to bring us to the place of trust in the God of our provision. He has come to make us PARTAKERS OF THE RICHES OF HIS FATHERS HOUSE!

His staff comforts us, enables us and causes us to become rich in the provisions of our God.

“The LORD God is my strength,
and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet,
and he will make me to walk upon mine high places”
HABBAKUK 3:19

* See Psalm 23 Part 12 for the definition of the Hebrew Word used here

Brian Troxel

PSALM 23 – PART 12 – THY ROD and THY STAFF –

PSALM 23

PART TWELVE

THY ROD and THY STAFF

“Thy Rod and Thy staff
they comfort me”
PSALM 23:4

We see here that the ministration of His Rod and His Staff are meant to have a profound effect upon our lives. We must realize in all of the scriptures that change and growth are to be the normal Christian experience. The word in the Hebrew that is translated “comfort” here has a lot more to do with the ability “to be sorry, be moved to pity, have compassion” (BDB Hebrew Definitions) than with what our word comfort means in the English language.

This Hebrew Word is translated 104 times in the KJV; 67 times having to do with the various forms of the word comfort (comfort, comforteth, comforts, comforted….) and the majority of the remainder being translated in various forms of the word repent (repent, repenteth, repents, repenting…). Strong’s concordance when defining this word says the following… “A primitive root; properly to sigh, that is, breathe strongly; by implication to be sorry, that is, (in a favorable sense) to pity, console or (reflexively) rue.” The purpose of God working and transforming our lives is to MAKE US men and women who reveal HIM in truth and in character. The Rod and the Staff of the great Shepherd is to produce in us a condition of heart that reveals Him in the everyday outflow of our lives. Without becoming our lives will always be an act of trying to “appear” righteousness; a labour of great and continual effort to show a semblance of righteousness rather than simply being the real thing.

The Rod and Staff are the tools of the ONE loving Shepherd. They are both manifestations of the SAME HEART and in fact the Rod is also the Staff. It is how it is used that determines its expression. The same gracious God who administers correction is the same one who heals, restores and leads us to “green pastures”, “quite waters” and in the “paths of righteousness”.

All of God’s dealings with us are to one end; to make us expressions of HIS GLORY by what we are. It is in becoming HIS righteousness that we can in fact DO righteousness. Therefore we do not faint in His dealings with us for that is the only means by which we may grow.

Those who have been able to see the purposes of God in the daily grind of life are able to find the grace to submit themselves under the “mighty hand of God” and thereby profit in wisdom, understanding, and the character development that is necessary in this journey.

The true purpose of teaching is to produce right thinking and right thinking must bring forth right living. The scriptures declare that we are to be “…transformed BY the renewing of our minds…” Unless the ministry of truth is producing CHANGE within the people of God it is a vain thing. Faith comes by hearing and by faith alone will this life of becoming be possible.

“In the destiny of every moral being there is an object more worthy of God than happiness.
It is character. And the grand aim of man’s creation is the development of a grand character,
and grand character is, by its very nature, the product of probationary discipline”
Austin Phelps

Brian Troxel