Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Ministry’

Called with Purpose

“Whereunto I am appointed a preacher,
and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles”
2 Timothy 1:11

Those appointed of God know definitively His divine call upon their lives. The “Christian” experience is not to be one of aimless wandering in some religious wilderness. Those who know their God feel the weight of His call; they are not left to their own ways and choices. There is a sense of accountability deep within their being. While others may go and do, seemingly at will, such is not the life of the called.

Paul in his Epistles declares over and over that his apostolic expression is “not by the will of men”. It is a call that requires separation and obedience. It is a call to God Himself and not to an organization, ministry or selfish motives. God’s call leaves room for no one but Himself. Without hearing and responding to His call we will wander in a barren land without a sense of purpose.

It takes little effort, even in casual conversation, to recognize one who knows the Call of God. There is a fire, a passion and a desire for an apprehension of those things to be accomplished in their lives. There is an intensity that transcends the status quo of attending meetings, hearing messages and having casual religious conversations. Paul cries out with this intensity that he might “…apprehend that for which he had been apprehended”. This cry is not the result of a teaching. The cry is the result of the call. Without the call there is no drive to apprehend; no sense of being held accountable to fulfill His call. Meetings, conferences and sermons will easily satisfy those to whom the call has become distant and dim. The fire fades and the need to obtain and fulfill His purpose loses its hold upon the reins of their life. Retirement and comfort becomes more important than fulfilling the call. Those in whom the fire has gone out distance themselves from those who challenge them to rise up and press into their call.

How good and precious is the fear of the Lord! It holds us to our course. It keeps us attentive to the things of Him in our life. We are constantly stirred by the keeping power of His Spirit to stay on task concerning our portion in Him. It is here, as we seek out others with this fire and intensity, that we discover the real purpose of fellowship. The glory of knowing the call of God brings a sense of walking in an appointed way. This brings a certainty of purpose in the challenges of life.

“And we know that all things work together
for good to them that love God,
to them who are THE CALLED
according to HIS PURPOSE
Romans 8:28

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

Read Full Post »

His Word

Part One

The Word of Fire

“Is not my word like as a fire?
saith the Lord;
and like a hammer that breaketh
the rock in pieces?”
Jeremiah 23:29

God’s Word is not only an expression of Himself it is also an extension of Himself. He is His Word and His Word is Himself (John 1:1). We read in both the Old and New Testaments that our God is a consuming fire (Deuteronomy 4:24, Hebrews 12:29). They who bear His Living Word within their hearts know in a corresponding measure to their walk the truth of this. For His Word is the very expression of His Nature, His Thoughts and His Ways. Words without fire are words without unction. Men cannot touch His Presence and remain unaffected, apathetic and unconcerned about His inheritance in the earth. His presence is fire and glory. His zeal for His House (Psalm 119:139, John 2:17) in the earth is a consuming fire within the hearts of those who have His Word.

His Word is a fire which consumes, purifies and impels those who bear it to speak with intensity to all who would hear. This fire cannot be quenched, compromised or contaminated by the tepid atmosphere of religious men who would desire something less than God Himself. This Word is antagonistic to the comfortable, to those who would seek a complacent and more popular approach to God; yet to those who desire to walk and live within the fiery presence of a Holy God it is the necessity of life itself.

It is the work of God to bring His people to such expressions…

“But his word was in mine heart
as a burning fire
shut up in my bones”
Jeremiah 20:9

Men without fire have not yet touched His Presence. It is ever the work of the Holy Spirit to bring men to such places (Exodus 3:2) where the Fire of God burns like the Holy Lamp did in the days of the Tabernacle/Temple of God in the Old Testament. The Word of God declares “ye are the temple of the living God” and as such there ought to be the fire of His Presence burning within our hearts.

The Priesthood of Eli

Eli was a priest who through neglect became blind in His service to God and as a result the lamp of God went out in the tabernacle! This lamp of fire had been preserved and watched over by the priests of God for over 450 years! His sons had become immoral and loose in their walk before God. This was a day of no accountability. Men did as they pleased and the ministry was silent concerning God’s Righteousness. The outward observance of God’s law continued but the fire went out and men did not lay these things to heart.

There is also in our day a ministry in the earth which has neither fire nor unction; a ministry which has resulted in the fire of God going out in His house. There is a religious environment in which men hold the Word in the form of teachings and doctrines rather than in their hearts by the living fire of His presence. These are they who hold His Word in unrighteousness, who seek to fill their churches and fellowships with kind and comfortable words but have no actual concern for the condition of His people or their walk in righteousness. The Word speaks of the fruit of such a ministry:

“And because iniquity shall abound,
the love of many shall wax cold”
Matthew 24:12

The reason the fire goes out is because of iniquity and sin. The Love of God beating within a man’s heart will cause him to forsake sin. A Gospel which does not have the very fire of God within it is not God’s Living Word. In contrast to this unholy ministry we read of another.

The Stranger and the Words of Fire

Two disciples walking down the road to Emmaus in deep despair and perplexity were joined by a “stranger”* who spoke sternly to them concerning their plight and their lack of faith. Their eyes where blinded to the One who spoke with them as they journeyed. Would our hearts receive such words from a stranger?

“O fools, and slow of heart to believe
all that the prophets have spoken…”
Luke 24:25

After realizing the stranger was in fact the risen Lord who had spoken to them these hard words the disciples remarked to one another:

“And they said one to another,
Did not our heart burn within us,
while he talked with us by the way,
and while he opened to us the scriptures?”
Luke 24:32

Empty words proceed from hearts lacking fire. The words of the religious are different than the Words of Jesus and they who serve at His Altar will speak His Words and seek His Glory and not their own.

“And it came to pass,
when Jesus had ended these sayings,
the people were astonished at his doctrine:
For he taught them as one having authority,
and not as the scribes”
Matthew 7:28-29

Burning Words flow from burning hearts!

Even so Lord draw us to the fire of your presence and cause that fire to burn, purify and consume all that is unholy and carnal in us. Make us to be “ministers of flaming fire”. Men who will not abide in such words now will perish in the fire of His return.

“If a man abide not in me,
he is cast forth as a branch,
and is withered; and men gather them,
and cast them into the fire,
and they are burned”
John 15:6

* Men reveal by their response the true condition of their hearts. Here a stranger came and spoke hard words, yet these two downtrodden disciples resisted not the admonition for they were men who desired truth and loved it. Men who refuse the fire and the hammer of God’s Word are not abiding in His Spirit. They have not the love of truth burning within their heart. They appear religious and will seek to build and do religious things but in their inner heart truth is not desired nor pursued. It is the day of the Revelation of Jesus Christ and in the revealing of Him men’s works will be made manifest even as by fire.

“Every man’s work shall be made manifest:
for the day shall declare it,
because it shall be revealed by fire;
and the fire shall try every man’s work
of what sort it is”
1 Corinthians 3:13

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

Read Full Post »

AGELESS FAITH

PART TWO

“And even when I am old and grayheaded,
O God, do not leave me
until I declare Your arm to this generation,
Your power to everyone who is to come.”
PSALM 71:18

To those that know Him life has but one overriding purpose… to declare His power and glory. Age and infirmities do not preclude this one thing. We live to speak and declare Him. We live to honor Him with all that is within us. For He has redeemed us, He has girded us with strength in the times of trouble, He has lifted our soul from the ways of this world and He has given us the very LIFE of His Son. How can we not declare Him to all who would hear?

Faith does not grow old nor is it dependent upon the natural strength of man. Its vitality and power, like a fine wine, develops with age and, by testing and trial grows more precious with the passing of time.

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while,
if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,
that the genuineness of your faith,
being much more precious than gold that perishes,
though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor,
and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ”
1 PETER 1:6-7

Genuine faith ever lives to glorify God. It is never static or cold. It is the very breath and life of those who love God. Faith is the fuel that enables men to walk godly in this present world. Faith is the fire that keeps a man’s heart aflame in the midst of a lukewarm church. It is the gift of the Almighty that enables us to remain strong and vibrant in God.

“But you, beloved,
building yourselves up by your most holy faith,
praying in the Holy Spirit…”
JUDE 1:20

Men of Faith are always concerned about the next generation. They are passionate to share the fervor and the authenticity of His power to those who follow after; to declare HIS ARM to the succeeding generation. They cannot rest until the Glory of the Lord truly fills the whole earth with righteousness.

Even so Lord, do not leave us until we have finished our purpose to this generation.

“O God, do not leave me
UNTIL I declare Your arm to this generation,
Your power to everyone who is to come”

Brian Troxel

Read Full Post »

LEADERSHIP & RIGHTEOUSNESS

“If anyone is blameless, husband of one wife,
having faithful children,
(who are) not in accusation of loose behavior, or disobedient”
TITUS 1:6

Religion has a way of circumventing truth. When men in leadership fail to live according to the standards presented in scripture there is a moral decline that permeates the household of faith. If the faith of a man does not work within his own house how can he be equipped to function within the local assembly? Titus and Timothy were commissioned to ordain Elders throughout the Church of God in their day. Paul gave instructions so that the quality of faith and wisdom would be passed along by men who had proved themselves faithful in their own homes and within the community in which they lived.

“…for if a man does not know how to rule his own house,
how will he take care of the church of God?”
1TIMOTHY 1:6

In this day of apathy standards have been lowered to such a level that a few years in a Bible school is all that is required for leadership. When such low expectations are placed on leadership we must expect a compromised truth to be passed on to those they teach. This results in a subtle and downward spiral within the church with all manner of sexual immorality, divorce and remarriage and faithless lives. Congregations with unsaved men and women are impervious to the conviction of the Holy Spirit because the fear of God is no longer known by the people of God. Accountability has been replaced with a gospel of tolerance and men are no longer expected to live Godly and Righteous lives.

The leaders of the church today are often from somewhere else and not known by the local community of faith, contrary to the very instructions set forth in scripture. We end up with men who have no personal testimony locally (as they are brought in from outside the local community), they are not required to live righteously before they are qualified for leadership within the local church. The scriptures clearly teach that the leadership OF the local assembly is to be raised up FROM the community IN which they live. They are to be men who are known by the people locally; those who have proven their faith and wisdom; those who love their wife and raise godly children in a godless world.

It does matter how we live and it does matter that our faith works in our own home. Men who do not stand for truth in the home have no business being involved in the leadership of God’s people. The priesthood of every man starts in his own home. When we water down truth to be merely a teaching rather than a life of example, the power of God will be lacking in the community of faith. Truth is not a teaching. It is a life, and how a man lives reveals the truth he holds. Truth is a power that enables us to live righteous lives. It transforms men and makes them strong in Christ.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ…
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith”
ROMANS 1:17-17

The Gospel of Christ is meant to produce lives that reveal the righteousness of God from faith to faith. As our faith grows so will the revelation of the righteousness of God in our lives. That is why faith and righteousness are inextricably linked in the New Testament. Faith is the means by which we are enabled to live Godly in this present world. That is why the LEADERSHIP of the Church of God must be men who have proven their FAITH by how they live.

“Let a man so account of us,
as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful”
1CORINTHIANS 4:2

We must return to the scriptures; we must repent from the ways of men that have produced worldly organizations rather than a living organism which is called THE Body of Christ. Let us examine our place in the home, in the workplace, in the fellowship of believers and in our personal secret lives. Righteousness is the product of a living faith. Sound teaching must come from a life that resembles the very truth it proclaims.

“But as for you,
speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine:
that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate,
sound in faith, in love, in patience;
the older women likewise,
that they be reverent in behavior,
not slanderers, not given to much wine,
teachers of good things—
that they admonish the young women to love their husbands,
to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers,
good, obedient to their own husbands,
that the word of God may not be blasphemed.
Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded,
in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works;
in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility,
sound speech that cannot be condemned,
that one who is an opponent may be ashamed,
having nothing evil to say of you”
TITUS 2:1-8

Brian Troxel

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

“Nevertheless”

“And Simon answering said unto him, Master,
we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing:
nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net”
ISAIAH 51:4

True living faith will never be conditioned by experience. Faith, to be faith, must always find its dependence in God not ourselves. Though experience says one thing the cry and purpose of faith must remain undaunted. “Nevertheless” is the word of a man who sets aside his own resources, strengths and abilities and believes God in the moment. This faith must birth a doing in the now. “Nevertheless” is a word that gives way to the doing of a thing regardless of our past experience. It is a word that comes to those who believe, and by that believing there is a response in the now of our life. It is not the “faith” of Mary who said Lord I know “… in that day…” something will happen, for the Christ stands in our midst speaking “I AM the resurrection and the life…”

Let this word “nevertheless” speak to us of better things than what our experience would teach us; for those who listen and regard their experience cease to walk and live by faith. “Today if ye will hear HIS voice…” is the creed by which we must live. Men who don’t do won’t hear. The Word is to those who “have ears to hear” for with every hearing there must be a corresponding act of doing and obeying HIS WORD.

The Spirit of God is HERE to press us beyond our circumstances, our former experiences, and our own resources into the glorious provisions of a God who is constantly calling us to deeper waters, a higher vision and a greater dependency upon HIM. How good is our God! How gracious are HIS ways; the thing we are confronted with is HIS doorway into greater things in HIM!

Faith, to be faith, must always be fresh, living and beating within our hearts. Faith IN a teaching or an idea will eventually become stagnant and dead; the faith of the living Son is active and real! It is never static for it is always moving from one faith into a greater. Every living thing grows and everything static and stagnant remains the same.

“So David went on his way,
and Saul returned to his place”
1 SAMUEL 26:25

Two men; one ever moving on in the WAY of God the other set in ways of stagnancy, disobedience and compromise.

Ω

“Belief is truth held in the mind;
faith is fire in the heart”
Joseph Fort Newton (1880–1950)

Brian Troxel

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »