Quote for Today – John Owen

Quote for Today

“It is to be feared that very many have little knowledge of the main enemy that they carry about them in their bosoms. This makes them ready to justify themselves, and to be impatient of reproof or admonition, not knowing that they are in any danger” (2 Chronicles 16:10)
― John Owen

The Path to True Ministry – Part Three

The Path to True Ministry

Part Three

ENABLEMENT

I thank Him who enabled me, Christ Jesus our Lord,
because He counted me faithful, appointing me to service”
1 Timothy 1:12

The Cross is the Path to the Empowerment of Christ

The days of apostasy in God’s house are always preceded by a people walking and ministering His truth through the power of self. Whenever man is exalted the fire of God recedes and the resulting horror is a people left to themselves. God’s enablement falls upon those upon those who remain faithful to Him. His Life, His Power and His sharp two-edged sword proceeds from those who have known (in some measure) the devastating work of the Cross to the natural abilities and resources of their own selves. The cross is reserved for those who follow Him within the context of everyday life.

“For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are dying,
but to us who are being saved it is the power of God”
1 Corinthians 1:18

Where there is no obedience there can be no Cross.
Where there is no working of the cross
there will be no true power of the Christ of the Cross

The Cross of Christ is NOT the testings and the trials of everyday life for the world knows of these same things. The Cross of Christ is that which comes to those who DO His Will. It is in the doing of His Will where His Own know and identify with Him and the resulting opposition and hatred which comes their way. It is in speaking, standing and walking out of His Will where the graces of Him are formed and the natural tendencies of self are crucified. How foolish is the notion that we can experience the workings of the Cross of Christ apart from obedience unto Christ? Paul was enabled because his life was one of faithful obedience and submission unto the will of God.

The “enablement” of the favour and ministration of Christ Himself is the only source of power in His Church. The energies of self will always leave an individual powerless, fruitless and impotent in the ministrations of Christ. Fruit is the revelation of the power of our relationship with Him…

“Every branch in me that doesn’t bear fruit, He takes away.
Every branch that bears fruit, He prunes, that it may bear more fruit

John 15:2

Fruit is the undeniable result of a branch which abides and lives out of the resources of the living vine;

Remain in me, and I in you. As the branch can’t bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you, unless you remain in me
John 15:4

(Continued)

Brian Troxel

The Path to True Ministry – Thankfulness

The Path to True Ministry

Part One

THANKFULNESS

I thank Him who enabled me, Christ Jesus our Lord,
because He counted me faithful, appointing me to service”
1 Timothy 1:12

In this verse Paul the Apostle shares his heart with a young Timothy as to the foundation and truth of all genuine ministry. The Epistles to Timothy and Titus are expressions of a fatherly and love-laden soul. There is no hint in these epistles of Paul seeking to use these two precious ones to extend his own influence or to perpetuate his own ministry. Rather he seeks to bring them to the pinnacle of life: a walk of devotion with a singular reliance upon the life and approval of Christ alone. True and pure ministry, as presented in the New Covenant, is the fruit of our walk and obedience unto Jesus Christ. Paul does not refer to the giftings of the Holy Spirit, the variety of personalities, personal or intellectual abilities, or associations with other ministries, organizations or teachings. Paul’s presentation to Timothy concerning ministry is first and foremost infused with thankfulness. “I thank Him”! Why was this? Paul knew of his utter dependence on divine enablement to walk such a life! True recipients of grace are ever thankful and humbled by His great mercy. May God open our eyes to see that without the enablement of the Living Christ there can be no true ministration of the power of His Life. Without it men and women are reduced to powerless words, religious phrases, and vain expressions.

Jesus declared:

“He that speaketh of (or from)
himself seeketh his own glory…”
John 7:18

Thankfulness is the fruit of a life which knows its own unworthiness. Those who minister out of self, walk in a proud or haughty spirit (even though it may be clothed in a false humility), and carry a sense of entitlement. They “expect” to be treated differently. They consider themselves superior and reveal this in how they conduct themselves with others. The chief mark of a life called of God is humility. Humility is the foundation of all true authority. It is the revelation of one walking under God’s authority and it can only be expressed through the medium of obedience. In God only the humble can obey. (Titus 1:16)

Ω

I thank Him who enabled me, Christ Jesus our Lord,
because He counted me faithful, appointing me to service”
1 Timothy 1:12

Let us read carefully and meditate upon the above scripture. By the grace and inspiration of the Holy Spirit allow His thoughts to invade and bring to us His Light to bear upon such words of Divine power.

Thought for Today – Silence and Security

Thought for Today

Silence and Security

“And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders,
he answered nothing”
Matthew 27:12

It is in the face of false accusations that the power of Christ is most manifested. Our security in Him, who is our justification, is revealed in the crucible of false accusations, gossip and strife. It is here where His dominion and power in our life is revealed.

Humility is evidenced in a life free from the opinions of others. Its foundation lies in the power of a life rightly related to the will and purposes of God. A life lived in obedience to the truth will not have the need to justify itself to others.

“He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth”
Isaiah 53:7

Brian Troxel

Change is Coming

Change is Coming

The day of acquiescing with the words and teachings of the Kingdom is coming to an end. The time of the disciples walking, learning and hearing of His words ended abruptly in His crucifixion. Within the scope of ONE DAY everything changed. These disciples now must become Apostles. The truth of Emanuel (God with us) must give way to the Christ within (God IN us). He must go from being our teacher to being our Lord. We must go from needing bread to being bread. This is the day of substance and reality. He is coming for our words, our vows and our hearts. In the dawning of His Day the hearts of all men will be revealed. It is not a day to boast in our knowledge or zeal, it is a day to tremble and to humble ourselves under His mighty hand.

“The lofty looks of man shall be humbled,
and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down,
and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day”
Isaiah 2:11

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

The Invitation – Who Will Go For US?

The Invitation

PART TWO

“Who will go for us?”

“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying,
Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?
Then said I, here am I; send me”
Isaiah 6:8

In other words, who will represent Me (God) in godliness, righteousness and show forth my character in all their ways. It is one thing to have a dream, a word or a gift. It is another thing entirely to reveal the very character of God Himself.

True Leadership in God’s house exists when His call is fused with character and quality of being. Had David rejoiced in Saul’s death he would not have been a “man after God’s heart”. Had Moses, when God tested him to stand aside while God destroyed Israel to make Moses a great nation, agreed to such a proposal he would have utterly failed to represent God’s heart. Had David slain Saul when God presented the divine opportunity to seize the Kingdom by carnal means he would have failed to represent the heart of God. Those who are called to places of authority will know of such testings and it is in knowing His heart that the approval of God is gained. The Gifts of God without the character of God will always lack His authority and His approval. The gifts may bring a vessel honor and fame in this world but they will never gain the approval of God. There will always be an emptiness which will haunt the disobedient and gifted one.

Within God’s House there are vessels of honor and dishonor.

“But in a great house
there are not only vessels of gold and of silver,
but also of wood and of earth;
and some to honor, and some to dishonor”
2 Timothy 2:20

In the verse preceding this one Paul states… “Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity”. This is the true test of the authentic vessels of the Lord. Saul prophesied and Balaam prophesied an infallible word of God yet they were perverse in heart and spirit.

“Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots”
Jude 1:11-12

These are blemishes within the assembly of God’s people. They may function in gifts, ministries, and places of leadership and yet be utterly false in the eyes of the Lord (Matthew 7:21-23). They may see and hear right things but it is by their fruits they are known; how they conduct themselves and whether or not they seek the welfare of God’s people even in the face of adversity and rejection.

“Giving no offence in anything, that the ministry be not blamed: 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, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things” 2 Corinthians 6:3-10

The true ministrations of God approve themselves by their conduct in all phases of life.

“Who will go for us?”

This is a far more penetrating question than many realize. It is a question which has more to do with who we are than what we do or say.

“Blessed are the pure in heart
for they shall SEE God”

Ω

“God’s plan is to make much of the man,
far more of him than of anything else.
Men are God’s method.
The Church is looking for better methods;
God is looking for better men
― E.M. Bounds, Power Through Prayer

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

The Invitation – Whom Shall I Send?

The Invitation

PART ONE

“Whom shall I send?”

“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying,
Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?
Then said I, here am I; send me”
Isaiah 6:8

God uses men. In His hidden wisdom He delights in His strength being made perfect through our weakness. Isaiah, having been broken by the seeing of God’s glory, his lips purified by the coals of the heavenly altar, was now able to hear the Word of the Lord.

“Whom shall I send…”

An unbroken and impure heart will never hear this word. It is the pure heart which sees God; one free from agendas and self-seeking motives. God sends those who serve Him (Romans 1:1). This invitation came to Isaiah in the midst of seeing his wretched condition and the true condition of all men. The invitation came to Isaiah expressly. For the Word of God to be filled with power and authority it must be to the individual; it must be specific and personal. The vessel to whom it comes must know it to be a transaction of life for life. The Call is costly and absolute; to the one who receives it there is no “plan B”. What was Isaiah’s reward in this world? He was sawn asunder (cut in half). What was John the Baptist’s reward? He was beheaded. What was Paul’s reward? He was beheaded; Peter’s reward, crucified.

God’s question goes forth again:

“Whom shall I send…”

Only those who have seen His glory are able to answer such a call. While many love to discuss end-time teachings and deliberate over visions and prophecies (as good as those may be) there is a Word going forth which only a few can hear; “whom shall I send”? God is not looking for contributions. He is looking for sacrificial hearts. The invitation is “whom shall I send”? There is no clarification as to what the call will look like. It may be to the multitudes or it may be to a prison cell where no one sees. It may be to a life of loneliness, seemingly set aside from all the religious activity of the day, or it may be to confront the earthly powers of the world (religious and political). The call is not to a position; it is to God Himself to send and use us as He sees fit.

The second question is… “who will go for us…” (see Part Two)

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

Thought for Today – Humility –

Thought for Today

Humility and Obedience

Humility

“And being found in fashion as a man,
he humbled himself, and became obedient
Philippians 2:8

Humility is the precursor to obedience. Only a humble heart can obey God’s Word. True humility is expressed in a life of obedience. It is the stiff necked, self-willed, and obstinate who cannot obey God’s Word. Men may preach, teach and perform many overt signs and wonders but it is God who searches the heart (Matthew 7:21-23). Only those who are truly humbled in heart before God can obey, please and honor Him.

As the Son humbled Himself as a man He became obedient to the Father while clothed in mortal flesh. The book of Hebrews declares:

“Though he were a Son,
yet learned he obedience
by the things which he suffered”
Hebrews 5:8

It is not that Jesus was ever disobedient but in His incarnation, as a Man, He had to learn obedience! He came from Glory into a whole new realm and manner of life. In becoming a man, He had to overcome the testings, the temptations and the frailties of all that we are. Why and to what end?

“And being made perfect,
he became the author of eternal salvation
unto all them that obey him
Hebrews 5:9

In His overcoming here, as a true man, He became the author of a salvation which is available to all who obey Him. The authenticity of the salvation of an individual must culminate in obedience unto Him. Salvation is revealed by our obedience. The depth to which we are saved is revealed in the depth of our submission unto His will.

Those who claim to be “saved” will show forth His salvation by living a life of obedience.

“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord,
and do not the things which I say?”
Luke 6:46

While many may say “Lord, Lord” it is in the crucible of obedience that His Lordship is revealed.

The humility of a life
is not known by a timid demeanor,
It is known by the submission
of itself to the Word of God.

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

Thought for Today – Leadership & The New Wine Skin

Thought for Today

New wineskin

Leadership and the New Wine Skin

In Moses’ day there was a moving of God’s Spirit among the people and Joshua was moved by jealousy for Moses’ position because others were prophesying.

“And Moses said unto him,
Enviest thou for my sake?
would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets,
and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!”
Numbers 11:29

The envy, jealously and all of the other works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21) must be dealt with in God’s house. It is the horror of our ways which keep His glory from falling upon us. The works of the flesh prevent the fruit of the Spirit. God’s house is a spiritual house and He will not mingle the ways of men with the Holiness of the Lord. The lordship of man must be cast down and the ways of men must cease so that there may be true mercy, goodness, kindness and love between His people. The Lord alone will be exalted in this day. True leaders desire the glory of God in HIS people, they are willing to decrease to see the increase of God. The purpose and the heart of the New Covenant is that we would so selflessly minister to one another to see the end of ministry. For the purpose of ministry is to bring God’s people to know HIM fully for themselves. They who love the preeminence and places of control will have no place within the New Wine Skin.

Jeremiah 31:33-34
But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour,
and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord:
for they shall all know me,

from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord”

Let the prophets speak, let the intercessors pour out their hearts unto Him, let those who aspire to preeminence humble themselves and turn from the job descriptions of “positions” and seek the callings and purposes of God. It is a day to prepare the Way of the Lord. Every high place will be brought low and those of humble hearts will be exalted. Receive His words from those who seek His honor in this day.

Let the people of God humble themselves with one another that we may behold, taste and see God’s provisions for us in one another.

“Submitting yourselves one to another
in the fear of God”
Ephesians 5:21

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info