The Quest and the Cost

The Quest and the Cost

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live;
yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:
and the life which I now live in the flesh
I live by the faith of the Son of God,
who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
Galatians 2:20

Jesus did not come to annihilate the soul of man; He came to save it. The crucified life is one that chooses to reveal His resurrection in a fragile clay vessel that His power might be seen. Many speak of the cross in a future tense, but such is not the language of the New Covenant.

“I die daily…”
1 Corinthians 15:31

The folly of words that speak of future things while ignoring the call of Christ “Today” is the bane of religion. We are called to live His Life NOW, to walk daily in the wonder of this flesh and bone existence. Those who speak of things in some distant future while they allow the sands of time and the opportunities of today to slip through their fingers live in the danger and peril of a religious faith.

“…but if ye through the Spirit
do mortify the deeds of the body,
ye shall live
Romans 8:13

The way of the cross is not a doctrine, a teaching, or a concept; it is the doorway into His life, present tense. Jesus did not come to share a new teaching; He came that WE may have life and have that life abundantly!

The life that you and I NOW live
is the revelation of our
daily participation in the Cross of Christ.

“Consecrate yourselves (today),
for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.”
Joshua 3:5

Our depth of consecration today will determine God’s work in and through us tomorrow.

The Daily Offering

“Beside the burnt offering of the month, and his meat offering, and the daily burnt offering, and his meat offering, and their drink offerings, according unto their manner, for a sweet savour, a sacrifice made by fire unto the Lord
Numbers 29:6

The Old Covenant speaks of New Testament truths in Christ. We are called to participate in the “daily burnt offering”. The offering is one of ourselves, daily, unto Him alone who is worthy. Do we not hear the voice of His Spirit calling out to us in the “now” of our life?

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship
Romans 12:1

This is not some future truth or call; it is the heart and desire of all true disciples. It is the way of life, His Life, in us. The religious adherent talks about the cross in abstract and rhetorical words of philosophical wisdom. The disciple embraces it with the full knowledge that the Life of Christ cannot be apprehended by any other means.

“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win* (see note below) Christ”
Philippians 3:8

Paul counted the cost in His pursuit for the full apprehension of Christ. His life was spent in the “loss of all things” to the end that he would “win” Christ. Few understand this pursuit to “win” *(see note below) Christ. It is in large part an unknown quest, a mystery which few have looked into. It is however the mystery of the call of Christ unto each of us.

“That I may win Christ”

Paul’s pursuit was to “win” or “gain” the fullness of the majesty and wonder of Christ. He was “reaching” unto something beyond the perspectives of man’s concepts and teachings. He was stretching, reaching, pressing unto the fullness. There existed in him a passion for the “One Thing”. In light of this “prize” he could not and would not rest in his current knowledge of Him. Oh, may we see afresh the vast horizons of glory reserved for those who feel the fire and call of God in Christ Jesus!

If any man will come after me,
let him deny himself,
and take up his cross daily,
and follow me”
Luke 9:23

*Note: κερδαίνω
“Metaphorically used of persons meaning to gain or win someone, i.e., as a friend or patron, referring to Christ (Php 3:8); a brother (Mat 18:15). To gain over to one’s side, meaning to win over to Christ and thus bring to salvation (1Co 9:19-22, where it is equivalent to sṓzō [G4982], to save or to deliver in 1Co 9:22; see 1Co 7:16, where sṓzō is used; 1Pe 3:1).”
“The Complete Word Study New Testament” (Word Study Series) Dr. Spiros Zodhiates

Brian Troxel

The Present Truth – Part Six

The Present Truth – Part Six

“lift up your eyes”

“Say NOT ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest”
John 4:35

The context of this scripture illustrates God’s call to the “present” truth of His life within us. Jesus, being weary and hungry, had sent the disciples into the city of Sychar for food and sat at the well waiting them to return. As He was waiting a woman came to the well to draw water. Within a few short sentences He had exposed the secrets of her heart, revealed Himself and shared the desire of His heavenly Father for true worshipers. The disciples returned with food and He responds, “I have meat you know not of”! The profound truth is, in the present doing of His will, we are fed, strengthened and empowered in the “today” of His Life. The hidden manna is reserved for those who see and participate with Him in the opportunities afforded us Today.

Let us take his admonishment, “say not” to heart. “Say not” sometime later God is going to bring in a harvest; “say not” sometime in the future God is going to use me; “say not” God will someday move through my life. It is the deception of our own procrastination which is unable to respond to present day opportunities! God’s answer to the impotency of such faith? “Lift up your eyes” for the fields are already white unto the harvest! Those who see in the Spirit know of the works, the opportunities and movings of God as present truth. Too many of God’s people walk in the impotency of an apathetic faith, not seeing the opportunities of NOW. Delegating everything to sometime in the future results in fruitless and barren living. It is in the NOW that we develop a greater faith for tomorrow’s works of faith.

Jesus confronted the faith of Martha regarding Lazarus her brother; a faith stuck in the past:

“Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord,
if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died”
John 11:21

Her response to Jesus’ declaration “Thy brother shall rise again” also revealed a procrastination of faith to some future day: “I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day”. A true statement but one that missed the message that Christ wanted her to hear.

“I AM the resurrection, and the life…”
John 11:25

Too many of us live as if our faith is in a God whose name is “I will be” rather than His glorious name of “I AM”; the present God, the present truth and the present answer to the needs of fallen humanity around us. Of course, there are always more glorious things to come in God; such is the truth of His eternal plans. Yet, if I walk in His Spirit, I will see the glorious truth that there are fields, present tense, “white unto harvest”. The blindness of a “someday faith” deprives us of present truth thus robbing God of His present glory. It results in stagnation and spiritual death; ever waiting for some future thing while ignoring the bread and wonder of the present. The “hidden manna” falls every day to those whose eyes are open to see His fields of opportunity.

It is as we walk in faith today that we are prepared for the opportunities of tomorrow’s faith.

“Sanctify yourselves (today):
for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you”
Joshua 3:5

The sanctifying work of today is the precursor to the beholding of His works tomorrow. Sanctifying ourselves today means we are set apart for His works, His will and the doing of the “present truth”. David, before he met Goliath, had a spiritual history with his God. The faith which emboldened him to confront Goliath had been developed in the past victories of faith; overcoming the lion and the bear.

“Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear:
and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them…”
1 Samuel 17:36

Those who walk in the “I AM” of today will be prepared of Him for the greater conflicts which await us. Present Truth is God’s provision for tomorrow.

“Today if ye will hear His Voice,
harden not your hearts”
Hebrews 4:7

To those who whose walk in the present truth of our God the fields are “already” white unto harvest; there are (now) lives to be rescued, hearts to be encouraged, and lives to be transformed by the present wonder of our God.

“SAY NOT YE, there are yet four months, and THEN cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, LIFT UP YOUR EYES, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest”
John 4:35

Brian Troxel

The Present Truth – Part Four

The Present Truth

Part four

“…be established in the present truth”
2 Peter 1:12

What was the “present truth” of which Peter speaks? The “present truth” is revealed in the context of the above scripture. Being established in the “present truth” is not a teaching or an acknowledgment of the scriptures; it is a life of interaction with Him who is the truth. It can only be known by the wonder of our participation in its work of bringing us to a life of authenticity. “Present truth” requires diligence and effort. It requires communion, prayer and discipline to discover the mystery of drawing from Him (the vine) the divine enablement to grow by the miracle of His Life in us. The context of the “Present Truth” scripture being the following exhortation…

5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ
2 Peter 1:5-8

Read this chapter in its context to grasp the significance of  what the present truth is.

It is as we add to our faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, to knowledge temperance…patience… godliness… brotherly kindness… God’s love that we “make our calling and election sure” (2 Peter 1:10). These graces are the evidence of the I AM becoming our I AM experience. The adding of these things to our faith is simply the expression of living and growing in Christ daily; the “now” life being lived through the “faith OF Christ” (Gal. 2:20).

Doing of truth in our daily lives is the only way to come to the greater light of His Life within us.

“But he that doeth truth cometh to the light”
John 3:21

We are exhorted in the scriptures concerning “Today” in our relationship with Him.

“And Joshua said unto the people,
Sanctify yourselves (today):
for tomorrow
the Lord will do wonders among you”
Joshua 3:5

The sanctifying of the people today was the present truth which would result in the tomorrow of God’s wonders. The religious of today wants God’s movings while ignoring the sanctifying truth of today!

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God,
that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day,
and having done all, to stand”
Ephesians 6:13

It is in our “having done all”  today whereby we will be able to stand in the evil day of tomorrow. The careless and unenlightened ones forfeit the opportunities of obedience today which is the requirement to be clothed in Him tomorrow. The lamps of the foolish virgins went out because of their casual indifference to the truth and importance of TODAY.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day”
2 Timothy 4:7-8

The confident “henceforth” declaration of Paul was because he had (past tense) “fought the good fight” and had “finished his course” in God. He had been faithful to keep his faith active and alive in his daily life. His confidence was born of obedience to the I AM.

They who have the true understanding of the time in which we live know the significance of walking in the “Present Truth”.

Ω

“Men that had understanding of the times.”
1 Chr. 12:32

“I cannot doubt that this sentence, like every sentence in Scripture was written for our learning. These men of Issachar are set before us as a pattern to be imitated, and an example to be followed, for it is a most important thing to understand the times in which we live, and to understand what those times require”
― J.C. Ryle

 – Continued in Part Five –

Part One
Part Two

Part Three
Part five

Brian Troxel