The Path to Ministry – Correction and Growth

The Path to Ministry

Part Six

Correction and Growth

“My son, don’t take lightly the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by him; For whom the Lord loves, he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives”
Hebrews 12:5

Every child of God will know and experience His dealings; it is the surest sign of Him setting His Love upon us. King David knew much of God’s blessings and judgments. He was inspired to declare in Psalm 23:4 “Thy Rod and Thy Staff, they comfort me”. The true in heart find as much comfort in God’s Rod of correction as they do in the Staff of His provision and protection. All God’s children know of His correction, but many do not benefit from it. It is here where disciples are distinguished from adherents. Correction has no benefit to those who ignore God’s dealings. Those who seek to know the wonder of Him appointing them to His service, will consider these things as vital to their development.

“All chastening seems for the present to be not joyous but grievous; yet afterward it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been exercised thereby”
Hebrews 12:11

The peaceful fruit of righteousness is the result of being exercised by His corrections! Why would we ignore or take lightly His dealings with us? His corrections are given to make us partakers of His Life.

“Furthermore, we had the fathers of our flesh to chasten us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits, and live?”
Hebrews 12:9

We want life, His Life, in us. His Life grows in those who are in subjection to His corrections. A stubborn and rebellious child will not bear the likeness, the wonder and the power of God in any depth. It does not negate the power of a gift of the Spirit*, but it will leave the one in whom the gift operates with a sense of emptiness and may bring them to eventual ruin.

The Path into the life of ministry and service is filled with the dealings of a loving and wise Father. In His corrections we also discover a growing into and a knowing of His Holiness.

“For they indeed (our fathers in the flesh), for a few days, punished us as seemed good to them; but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of his holiness
Hebrews 12:10

Holiness is more than a gift; it is the very essence of God Himself. The only path to growing in His holiness is in our partaking of Him. God cannot give us holiness; we become holy through the medium of living and abiding in Him. He is the Holy One and it can only be real in us via relationship.

What is the fruit and benefit of His Holiness in us?

“Eagerly pursue peace and holiness with all,
without which no one will see the Lord”
Hebrews 12:14

The depth of an individual’s ministration will be in corresponding measure to their seeing of God.

“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you,
that ye also may have fellowship with us”
1 John 1:3

Σ

A wise son desires
the correction of the Father.

*Note: There is a great difference between the power expressed in a gift versus the authority and power revealed in those who live, abide and walk in submission to the King of kings. This will be covered later in this writing.

(Continued)

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Grace Grace

Thought for Today

Grace, Grace

We live in a time when the fire of God in our land has grown dim. The hearts of many have grown cold, where iniquity (self-will) abounds and sin is marginalized.  Many see the horror but say nothing at all for the sake of grace! This is a grace which is presented as a sentiment to ignore the sin and the loose living of those who call themselves by His Name. It is a word synonymous with compromise and hypocrisy. How we would do well to reacquaint ourselves with the unmerited Grace of God freely given to us in Christ Jesus…

“What shall we say then?
Shall we continue in sin,
that grace may abound?
God forbid…”
Romans 6:1-2

Is this the Grace of God?

Was it not Grace that caused the Son to “cleanse” the Temple in His Day? Is it not Grace that stands for the glory and honour of God in the day of apathy? Surely it is the true Grace of God which ministers a pure pursuit for holiness in all who call upon His Name (Hebrews 12:14). It is grace that produces a burning desire to overcome sin within our own hearts and to know the heartbeat of the Love of God for one another. It is Grace that must confront the complacency with sin and carnality in His House. A grace which is content with the current state of things in our land is not the grace of God. Instead it is a word used for compromise by those who rejoice “in the day of small things” (Zechariah 4:10). Grace has become a byword to justify sin, lethargy and wickedness. It is a word used to attempt to stifle the life and fire of God out of those who would contend for the faith. It is a word used to drown out the voices for truth and righteousness.

The True Grace

The true demonstration of Grace is when His people reveal Christ in such power that the hearers are brought to repentance (Acts 2:14-38). It is Grace that convicts us of our waywardness and worldliness, and Grace which moves us to the blessedness of broken and contrite hearts. This is the Grace which brings us into the life and the wonder of our God.

“And he shall bring forward the headstone
amid shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!
Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house;
his hands shall also complete it
Zechariah 4:7,9

The Grace of God working powerfully in the heart of Zerubbabel brought the completion of the House of God in the midst of all the opposition from within and without.

The Grace of God is given to complete His work within our hearts, not to comfort us in our sin and complacency.

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation
hath appeared to all men, teaching us that,
denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly,
righteously, and godly, in this present world
Titus 2:11-12

What does the true Grace of God teach us?

To Live godly in this present world.

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Seeing God

Thought for Today

Seeing God

“Pursue… holiness,
without which no one will see the Lord””
Hebrews 12:14

Holiness is never an end in itself; rather it is the seeing of God. Knowing God is the chief purpose of all life. Holiness is simply the condition of heart whereby the individual is able to see Him. Nature determines relationship, not teaching.

The things of God are never a resting place in themselves, for those who desire the Pearl of Great Price. Justification is a precious truth yet not the goal of a true heart. It is but the doorway into the knowing of Him as He is. Functioning in the gifts of the Spirit is not an end but simply an embellishment of the graces and mercies of our God. Salvation by grace is the gateway not the end of the pure in heart. Heaven is never the goal of the true child of God; HE is. Christ Himself, the Pearl, is the end and purpose of all creation. There is no relationship with the Father apart from being hid in Christ. It is in Christ alone the heart is at peace and filled with the wonder and Glory of God. There is no other call or purpose.

The pursuit of personal holiness is the means and the lens by which the individual believer may behold, touch and know Him. If the lens is dirty, clouded over with the filth, the stain and the impurities of this world our seeing of Him is partial, obscured and even tainted by our own condition. Purity of heart is the result of holy living.

“Blessed are the pure in heart:
for they shall see God”
Matthew 5:8

It is the horror of religion that makes holiness the end rather than the means. Self-righteousness is the bane and folly of the short sighted; the selfish desire of a wicked heart. The Pharisee in Jesus’ day was the corruption of the selfish pursuit of ungodly men. Pharisee in the original language means “called out ones”. They may at one time have been people whose sole purpose was right and true but with the passage of time (as is often the case) their eyes grew dim and the pursuit for the knowing of God became a selfish pretext to flaunt themselves.

The pure in heart pursue holiness in order to behold Him. It is in seeing the Pearl of Great Price that the pure in heart sell all that they have to acquire this one thing. True holiness is simply forsaking all other things in order to know this One Thing.

“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss
for the excellency of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…”
Philippians 3:8

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – The Way of Grace

Thought for Today

The Way of Grace

“The highway of the upright is to depart from evil:
he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul”
Proverbs 16:17

The way of grace is the way of righteousness. It is the path of all who follow their loving Shepherd. Psalm 23 declares that “he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness”. Those who follow Him know deep within their being that the “way of the Lord” leads us to “righteousness, peace and joy”. It is in the “keeping of His way” that we in fact “preserve our souls”.

Grace is ever given to hold us, keep us and sustain us in the “way of holiness”. The way of holiness is the only path to the seeing of Him and the knowing of Him (Hebrews 12:14). Grace is the power to walk, live and abide within the pavilion of His Kingdom. Grace to arise when we fall, Grace to endure temptations and Grace to know the joy of His salvation within our lives.

“through whom we have received grace and apostleship
to bring about the obedience of faith
among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake,”

Romans 1:5 (NASB)

The Way of Grace ever causes us to depart from evil and to cling to that which is good and right. It is by “grace” where we are saved through the wonder of faith. It is a grace which saves us from our sins and gives us the power to live godly in Christ Jesus.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith…”
Ephesians 2:8

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

The Wayfaring Ones

The Wayfaring Ones

“And an highway shall be there, and a way*,
and it shall be called The way* of holiness;
the unclean shall not pass over it;
but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men…”
Isaiah 35:8

In every generation there have always been “the wayfaring ones” who walk in the way of Holiness. The Hebrew word translated “highway” comes from the root word meaning to “lift up or exalt”; it might better be translated “high way”. It is also the narrow way of which Jesus spoke. Its proximity to the broad way of the masses may seem close at first but the ends of these two paths are radically different.

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate,
and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction,
and many there be which go in thereat:
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way,
which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it”
Matthew 7:14

The broad gate (easy gate) leads to destruction while the narrow way leads to life; His Life within the hearts of those who choose to travel such a road. The narrow way is the “Way of Holiness”. It is for the wayfaring ones who can no longer abide in the tents of Hagar. They can no longer be bound within the confines of a system and a contentment of the “partial faith” as was Ishmael. Part Faith (Abraham) part flesh (Hagar: the Egyptian), a mingling of the two where the ways of men exalt the flesh while attempting to declare the ways of God. The nature of Ishmael will always mock the child of promise. Nevertheless, the day will come that God brings separation and speaks His decree.

“Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless, what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free-womanGalatians 4:28-30

The Way of Holiness is the way of the wayfaring ones. It is a lonely way with the painful discovery of all that we are by nature: broken, sinful, selfish, vile and unloving. The Way of Holiness is the pathway to the seeing of Him and in the seeing of Him we see ourselves. The Way of Holiness is also the way to discovering His unmerited grace and wonder! In knowing our condition Grace is seen in its reality. Mercy is no longer just a religious word. It is the very power of God at work within to enable us to rise up and follow Him who “first loved us”.

Inherent within His own, the wayfaring ones, there is a cry and a desire to see Him, to know Him and to please Him. The cry rises from deep within, for it is nothing less than the cry of the spirit of adoption whereby we cry “Abba Father”. It is the result of the Life of another beating within our hearts, a cry which cannot be ignored nor pacified by the programs and ways of a dead and impotent religion. These wayfaring ones are filled with a hunger and a thirst for His righteousness to be worked out in their own lives. They do not leave the religious things because they think they are better; they leave because they can no longer ignore the need to know Him in a deeper and fuller way.

Pursue peace with all, and holiness,
without which no one will see the Lord
Hebrews 12:14

What is the promise of a faithful God to the wayfaring ones?

“And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion (Heb. 12:22) with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” Isaiah 35:10

The hardness, loneliness and sorrow of the way is the journey into the Joy and Gladness of the Lord. Blessed are those who remain true to the leading of His Spirit.

“Blessed are they which do hunger
and thirst after righteousness:
for they shall be filled”!
Matthew 5:6

*Note: Strong’s Definitions: דֶּרֶךְ derek, deh’-rek; from H1869; a road (as trodden); figuratively, a course of life or mode of action, often adverb:—along, away, because of, by, conversation, custom, (east-) ward, journey, manner, passenger, through, toward, (high-) (path-) way(-side), whither(-soever).

“Because it is written, be ye holy; for I am Holy”
1 Peter 1:16

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info