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Posts Tagged ‘His Presence’

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

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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

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PSALM 23

PART TEN

FEAR

“I will fear no evil…”
PSALM 23:4

Fear is a common reality felt from the poorest of men to the richest. Fear, in itself, is not a sin. If fear were not a part of our everyday life words such as courage, bravery, overcoming and fearless, among others, would have no value. It is what we DO in the face of fear that determines whether a thing is commendable and worthy of honour or cowardly and worthy of shame. The Hebrew Word used here יָרֵא occurs hundreds of times in the Old Testament; here as a verb but also (though less) as a noun and is used interchangeably to describe the Fear of the Lord or fear of a particular circumstance or situation. We read throughout the Sacred Scriptures of the Fear of the Lord being the principle part of Wisdom. We also read of those who, because of the fear of the Lord, obeyed Him, served Him and loved Him through the actions it produced in their lives.

In this Psalm we read of an individual following and loving their Shepherd and, in that following, they find themselves walking through the valley of the Shadow of Death. It is in the midst of this experience that we hear the declaration that they will not be deterred in following Him. The fear of this place of evil and darkness will not prevail or have any effect upon their decision to walk through this valley! These valleys are not crossed over because of the absence of fear; they are crossed over in spite of the fear! The love of God displaces the terror and the grip of FEAR enabling us to pass over, to walk through, and to overcome the thing that would prevent us from obeying HIM!

God’s people should never feel ashamed when encountering fear; what matters is what we DO in the face of it. Countless martyrs throughout the ages have faced the fear of torture, persecution and even death yet they found the strength and the courage to be faithful to walk through the realities of these things. They are not moved by the fear because HE IS WITH THEM. There is a peace and a power that holds their souls in adversity; a presence that imparts GRACE to stand, to walk and to hold the course in spite of all that rises up to meet them in the path of following Jesus.

“through whom also we have access BY FAITH into this grace
in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations,
knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;
and perseverance, character; and character, hope”
ROMANS 5:2 – 4

It is HIS GRACE that enables us to stand and this grace is only accessed through the portal of FAITH. Without faith we have no access to this Grace; Grace not only to stand but to rejoice and glory in tribulation! Such things are too high for the ability of man within himself. These things are reserved for those who are growing in the seeking, pursuit and abiding in HIM!

God has an answer to the fears that would cause us to falter in our way.

HIS answer is HIMSELF.

“I will fear no evil;
For You are with me”

Ω

“Fear. His modus operandi is to manipulate you with the mysterious, to taunt you with the unknown. Fear of death, fear of failure, fear of God, fear of tomorrow—his arsenal is vast. His goal? To create cowardly, joyless souls. He doesn’t want you to make the journey to the mountain. He figures if he can rattle you enough, you will take your eyes off the peaks and settle for a dull existence in the flatlands.”
Max L. Lucado (1955– )

Brian Troxel

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