Praying Effectively

Praying Effectively

“For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.”
Romans 15:3

Praying effectively for others requires a deep work of the Holy Spirit. There is an objectivity required to get past our own thoughts and desires for others in order to be in agreement with God’s purposes. It is critical that we grow into prayers which are born of the Holy Spirit. When our prayers are affected by our feelings, rather than by the clear direction of His Spirit, we ask amiss.

Effective prayers require an abiding in Him and Him and His words abiding in us, whereby we become free from the stain of selfish intents. The purer the heart the more powerful the prayer will be.

“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”
John 15:7

These lessons are not learned quickly. It requires the sharpness of the Word of God to delineate between soul and spirit to reveal the intents of the heart.

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Hebrews 4:12

If we regard lightly the Word of God, we will know little of this necessary ministration of God. Obedience to His Word liberates us from our soulish propensities. Praying amiss happens when our prayers are offered to God based on selfish motives and opinions. Such prayers will not find their way to God’s Throne.

“Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”
James 4:3

Effective prayers are those which have an effect. True prayer will cause changes in our own heart and, in holding others up before Him, we become aware of God’s heart and desire for them. A child-like attitude of heart is what opens our understanding to see them in His Light. In this approach we receive spiritual insight to pray accurately and from a right heart. God sees all and knows all; His desire is to bring us to a place of participation with Him in the life of another. Knowing the truth of someone’s situation will help us to walk wisely in our dealings with them. Our response should reflect the insight gained in our private time with Him. True and effective prayer can bring us to the place of becoming a means of our prayers being answered.

Freedom from self is the path to effective prayers.

See: Effectual Prayers – Wisdom

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“We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.”
-Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Brian Troxel

Weep Not!

Weep Not!

Weep Not
Jesus Has Won the Victory

“For your obedience
is come abroad unto all men”
Romans 16:19

In the early church, the Body of Christ was known for her obedience – not only on the earth but also in heavenly places. The overriding prerequisite for the moving of His Spirit, for His Faith inhabiting and expressing the Life of Christ, was obedience.

“Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith…”
Romans 16:25-26

Let these words strike our hearts: “according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith…”. The purpose of true ministry is to bring “all nations” to the obedience of faith! God is not looking for adherents – He seeks disciples! He wants lives who have no other purpose on this earth but to exhibit His qualities and character through the power of faith, a pure manifestation of His wonder to the world.

Faith that does not exhibit obedience and a growing sense of His Lordship within is not faith! Faith has only one purpose and that is to make known its Author. The Author of our Faith lived His Life here in perfect obedience.

Jesus the Perfect Lamb

He became the Author of our Salvation (Hebrews 5:9) because of His perfect obedience. It was because He overcame all things as a MAN that He won the right to take the sealed Book of Life from the right hand of the Father and to loosen its seals. His perfection as a man, living in perfect obedience here, is how He became our Salvation. That same Faith imparted into our lives is to produce in us an obedience of faith whereby we live for His Glory.

May the grandeur of this heavenly transaction stir our hearts in gratitude for all God has accomplished for us and in us because of Christ’s obedience (Revelation 5:1-.5).

“And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?”
Revelation 5:1-2

The fate of all humanity was bound in the sealed book. John, though in heavenly places, was weeping over this sealed book! He was beholding the glory of God, the Cherubim, the heavenly hosts, and yet instinctively he knew that his own fate, and all of humanity’s, was dependent upon someone being found worthy to loosen the seals. The Book of Life was sealed because of Adam’s disobedience. Jesus as the Son of God could not open it; its closure was due to the disobedience of man and only an obedient and worthy MAN could open it.

“And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.”
Revelation 5:3

What was John’s response to no MAN being found in heaven who was worthy to “open the Book”?

“And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.”
Revelation 5:4

As this eternal event unfolded John was caught up in the drama and the spirit of all that was transpiring.

“And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed* to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.” (*won the right)
Revelation 5:5

As a result of His overcoming all temptations and the wiles of the enemy, through the perfection of His obedience, He alone was ABLE to open this book! Oh, may we praise Him as we begin to comprehend all that was required of Him to become our Savior! Faith has been given to bring us into the same victory He has secured for us!

A gospel that declares that we need only to believe, without the corresponding wonder of His Life within bringing us to the same obedience which so glorified His Father, is the height of deception.

May we hear the promises of God and the condition required for us to reign with Him in heavenly places.

“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
Revelation 3:21-22

To sit with Him in His throne will require us to overcome AS He overcame, walking in the same obedience. Our ability, our hope, and surety of these things is His Faith enabling us through obedience to live unto the Glory of the Father.

The Good News is “weep not” for the MAN Christ Jesus has won the right! He has prevailed and has fully satisfied the legal requirements to open the Book of Life within which are written the names of those who have been redeemed.

Take Heed!

This does not mean that we can live unholy and disobedient lives and presume to be in that book. Let us heed the pleading of Paul after his exposition found in Romans chapters 9-11 in which the sovereignty of God is revealed in such depth and clarity. He sums up the message of God’s sovereignty by imploring the people of God to respond correctly to the truth of God:

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
Romans 12:1

This is the response of those who know of the wonder of faith. Those who simply hold a doctrine of faith feel no compulsion to be a “living sacrifice”; they are content believing in Him. It is the LIFE of the Son which pleased the Father. It is the LIFE of the Son reigning in us which alone can please Him; not a belief which produces nothing accomplishes nothing and changes nothing. Those who walk by faith understand the cost involved. Faith, true faith, will bring us to the way of the Cross.

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.
9  But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
10  Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye DO these things, ye shall never fall:
11  For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:5-11

Let us give diligence to “make our calling and election sure” and may the Lord save us from presumption, apathy, and mediocrity! Allow His faith to embrace our hearts and lives that we may show to all nations “the obedience of Faith”.

NOTE:

Note the very words of this proclamation: “the obedience of faith”. It is faith that originates the obedience. The flesh no matter how sincere, how strong, and how intent it is, will never please God. The obedience spoken of here is the miracle of His Life, His Heart, and His Obedience becoming our own through the power of His Faith at work in our heart.

This is why James declares “Faith without works is dead”. For faith is given to cause the life of Jesus to be made manifest in our MORTAL bodies.

“For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.”
2 Corinthians 4:11

Let us not stagger at the enormity of our call…

“because as He is, so are we in this world”
1 John 4:17

The faith of God begins as a little seed and in our response to its impulse it grows and develops. Wherever we are in our journey of faith God’s word to us is to “give all diligence” to heed His promptings within our hearts. As children, we grow as did Jesus. The scriptures tell us of His humanity whereby “He learned obedience”! (Heb. 5:8) So is it with us! The Church in our land is coming out of a very dark time, His Spirit is moving and making known afresh to all who have “ears to hear” that the faithful are obedient. The disobedient, the lukewarm, and the tares will talk about faith but it is a faith in word only, for it lacks the substance of obedience resulting in the works and the ministration of the Living Christ. May we all take heed today… and “Hear His Voice”.

See: Obedience and the Tree of Life

Brian Troxel

The Remnant – Watchman Nee

The Remnant – Watchman Nee

“When at the incarnation God visited His people, but a handful of them looked for the redemption of Israel. They believed God was going to act, and through them and because of them He acted. Then in Jesus’ own lifetime multitudes followed Him, but again it was a much smaller group who protested: “To whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.” And once more, before His ascension, He instructed His own to await the promise of the Father.

In practice, it seems to work out that God has always to move through a faithful remnant who, within the larger number and for the sake of God’s purpose in the whole, will be utter in their obedience to Him today.”
– Watchman Nee

BT

Elisabeth Elliot

Elisabeth Elliot

“It is Christ who is to be exalted, not our feelings. We will know Him by obedience, not by emotions. Our love will be shown by obedience, not by how good we feel about God at a given moment. “And love means following the commands of God.” “Do you love Me?” Jesus asked Peter. “Feed My lambs.” He was not asking, “How do you feel about Me?” for love is not a feeling. He was asking for action”
– Elisabeth Elliot

 

A Sound Heart

A Sound Heart

“Let my heart be sound in thy statutes;
that I be not ashamed”
Psalm 119:80

“We may regard this inspired prayer as containing within itself the assurance that those who keep close to the Word of God shall never have cause to be ashamed of doing so.

See, the prayer is for soundness of heart. A sound creed is good, a sound judgment concerning it is better, but a sound heart towards the truth is best of all. We must love the truth, feel the truth, and obey the truth, otherwise, we are not truly sound in God’s statutes. Are there many in these evil days who are sound? Oh, that the writer and the reader may be two of this sort!

Many will be ashamed in the last great day when all disputes will be decided. Then they will see the folly of their inventions, and be filled with remorse because of their proud infidelity and willful defiance of the Lord; but he who believed what the Lord taught, and did what the Lord commanded, will stand forth justified in what he did. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun. Men much slandered and abused shall find their shame turned into glory in that day”   Charles Spurgeon

Soundness of heart is an authentic heart, a heart free from duplicity and hypocrisy. The inward reality is congruent with the words spoken and the life lived.

“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”
Psalm 15:1-2

Brian Troxel

Led of the Spirit

Led of the Spirit

“I have led thee in right paths”
Proverbs 4:11

“The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness,
the Beginning of God’s creation”
Revelation 3:14

Christ is the Beginning and the Head of all creation. The scriptures declare “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made”. He is the initiator of all things and it is through the agency of His Life that we are in the process of becoming. Every act of submission, every ministration of His Faith within us, every impulse of the Divine Nature, hastens our own development. There is no growth apart from our redeemed will coming into harmony with His. The closer we walk with Him the more sensitive we become to the flicker of His Life within. His press upon us is the evidence of His Life. True Faith must produce an evidential response in those who are growing into His likeness.

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God,
these are children of God”
Romans 8:14

The above scripture is not a teaching or a doctrinal statement. It is the declaration of God describing those who are held in the grip of His Spirit. Being “led” implies that He is inserting Himself into our daily lives whereby we become an extension of His hands and His heart to those around us. Those “led by the Spirit of God” know the Divine imprint of His grace actively at work within the recesses of their hearts. It is a life of joy and adventure which requires a walk of abiding in Him.

“Can two walk together,
except they be agreed?”
Amos 3:3

The Ancient Hebrew pictograph here translated agreed* (see below) means one of “seeing the door”. It speaks of opportunity and an open door. It is more than just a doctrinal agreement, more than mere belief. It means we are moving in Him! As we walk with Him, we can agree to step into the doors of opportunity as we see and feel the impulse of His Spirit. Too few in our day comprehend that the New Covenant is entirely based on relationship, not a teaching or a mental assent to His Word.

The evidence of our relationship with Him is revealed in our seeing “the door” of opportunity and stepping into it. This door can only be entered into by the moving of His Faith, and with Love being the inspiration. The movement without is a result of His movement within. If there is no press from Him, we must tearfully examine the core and the substance of our relationship.

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God,
these are children of God”
Romans 8:14

Let His Word strike a powerful chord within us. Let us examine our lives to see whether we be “IN FAITH”. Or do we merely have a belief which births nothing, costs nothing, and therefore brings forth nothing to the honor of His Name?

“Examine yourselves,
whether ye be in the faith;
prove your own selves…”
2 Corinthians 13:5

“Be putting yourselves to the test whether you are in the Faith. Be putting yourselves to the test for the purpose of approving yourselves, and finding that you meet the specifications, put your approval upon yourselves. Or, do you yourselves not recognize that Jesus Christ is in you, unless you are those who are disapproved?”
2 Corinthians 13:5-6 (Wuest Translation)

“I being in the way, the Lord led me…”
Genesis 24:27

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* NOTE: Agreed (1349) ac: Repeat co:? ab: Witness: The pictograph o^ is a picture of the eye, the d^ is a picture of the door. Combined these mean “see the door”. As coming to a tent, a tent of meeting and entering in. A place, time, or event that is repeated again and again. (^ the pictographs are not representable in text)

Brian Troxel

Separation and Life

Separation and Life

Separation and Life

“Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty”
2 Corinthians 6:17-18

Separation from the world is an issue of the heart; it is in itself the revelation of our salvation. We are not sanctified by our confession, we are sanctified by the living truth of Christ working within to sanctify us without.

“Sanctify them through thy truth:
thy word is truth”
John 17:17

It is in the Word becoming the truth in us, whereby we know what sanctification is. Obedience is the only path to sanctification.

“Do not have Jesus Christ on your lips,
and the world in your heart”
Ignatius

BT

Have This Mind Today

Have This Mind Today

“Have this mind in you,
which was also in Christ Jesus”
Philippians 2:5

The sheer thought of having His Mind created within us is staggering as well as sobering. God never calls us to heights unattainable. He who measures the talents (minas) to us “according to their ability” knows our frame and our weaknesses. His expectations are not established upon our strengths but are rooted in His provision. The Call of God to us is therefore within the reach of everyone. His grace is not limited by the miry clay of our human composition. It is here where we stand upon the magnitude of an accountability unto Him who has made us able to walk in heavenly places. Grace requires response. Faith is the ability to respond to His Call. The personal Call of God in Christ to each of us requires faith, a faith which is revealed in our obedience to that Call.

Faithless belief will declare its allegiance to Christ, but will fail to respond to the Call of Christ. It is here where we need to forsake the deceptive cloak which we weave for ourselves, a false comfort in something other than truth. Truth pierces our false self – it cuts into the very essence of our being in order to bring us into the wonder of selfless living.

His ministry to us is relentless, His Call is ever filled with the divine enablement to walk in deeper places, to live beyond the veil of human impotency and to reach unto the High Call of God in Christ Jesus. His corrections and His grace bid us to be His hands in this world, to be His Light which reaches into the dimness of humanity to touch the Hem of His Endless Life for themselves. This is not a time to be crowded in by the limitations of fear and isolated living. The “mind of Christ” is ever available to those who by faith hear His Call to Obey the inspiration of His Life.

“No man has the mind of Christ,
except him who makes it his business to obey him”
George MacDonald

See – The Renewing Work of Christ

Brian Troxel

Discouragement and Fruitfulness

Discouragement and Fruitfulness

discouragement and Fruitfulness

“…the soul of the people was much discouraged
because of the way”
Numbers 21:4

The purpose of the Way of God is to bring purity and freedom. By design it shatters our self-seeking and self-realization. It is not an easy way. Our concepts and aspirations will be crushed in the wilderness. It is there our presumptions must die in order to prepare us for the Land of Promise. The Land of Promise is where “we live, move and have our being” in Him. It is where resurrection Life arises out of the grave of self.  That carnal self ever seeks to have the pre-eminence; it is the antithesis of all that God has purposed in Christ. Unity in Him is the result of a people who have laid aside their carnal selves for the joy of relationship in Him. They understand and feel the cords of Life binding them to one another. Humility is a necessity for those who seek the reality of being “hid with Christ in God”.

The Way will dry up the springs of self. Obedience is the Way into the provisions of Christ. The life of obedience is what gives us access to the “Tree of Life” and the abundance of all Christ is.

“Blessed are those who do his commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates into the city”
Revelation 22:14

The Tree of Life gives its fruit in every season. It is rooted deeply in the River of Life and in fact the River runs through this living Tree.

“…on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month…”
Revelation 22:2

Let us be not discouraged by the Way of Christ. Let us not fall victim to self-pity, murmuring, blaming others, and the bitterness that can so easily contaminate our being. The Way of Christ is sure. His end is glorious and His Wisdom beyond our own. Blessed are we if we continue to “do Truth” in spite of the hardness of the way. The Passover was eaten with “bitter herbs”; a reminder that the bitter way brings us to sweet waters and the “oil of Joy for mourning”.

Faithfulness is revealed in our obedience to Him regardless of our feelings and disillusionment. It is here the mettle of our faith is tried, the reigns of our hearts tested, and the power of His Life is increased within us.

“Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation”
Habakkuk 3:17-18

He is worthy of a faith life which continues to do of His good pleasure regardless of the situations in which we find ourselves.

“And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet”
Mark 11:13

May we be of such a disposition that when He comes to our tree He may find fruit even in the time when by “nature” the season has not yet arrived. Save us oh Lord from a life of fig leaves (the religious garments of Adam) and cause us Lord to bear fruit in every season!

See “In the Morning”

Brian Troxel

Take Hold

Take Hold

Take Hold of Eternal Life

I have given into thine hand Sihon the Amorite,
king of Heshbon, and his land: begin to possess it,
and contend with him in battle.”
Deuteronomy 2:24

In spiritual things there exists a substantial difference between His gifts and our possessions. There is a consistent revelation of this truth throughout the Bible. Whether it be Joshua and the Israelites needing to battle to possess the land that God had given them, or the passionate pursuit of Paul to “apprehend that for which he had been apprehended”, the essential truth is unchanged. In the Old Testament there was a physical element to possess His gifts; in the New Testament the truth of possessing His profound spiritual provisions remains the same: that of fighting “the good fight of faith”.

“Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you confessed the good confession in the sight of many witnesses”
1 Timothy 6:12

“Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called”. The exhortation to “take hold” is in the now of life. Paul is beseeching Timothy to continue to fight that he might “lay hold” of this Life of Jesus in an ever-deepening way. Too few comprehend the battle required to experience the Life of Christ to which we have been called. There are depths and wonders for us to take hold of that He might be shown to the world around us.

May we be encouraged afresh to “fight the good fight”, not in the realms of carnal warfare but in the issues of our hearts. By the power of His grace let us continue to battle to subdue every unholy thought and desire to the intent that we will take hold of His Life now

All creation is groaning for this: to see people who are fully His. It requires a full and complete submission to His Holy will and an obedience which springs from the root of His love working within us.

“For the creation waits with eager longing
for the revealing of the sons of God”
Romans 8:19

His return is predicated upon a people moving in the full Life of the Son; those who through faith have “apprehended” this Life in Christ. However, there is a land to be conquered; a thought life brought into the obedience of Christ and an unruly nature made subservient to Him in all things. The call goes out to all those who are His to overcome as He overcame.

The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Revelation 3:21-22

Fight the good fight my brothers and sisters that we may “lay hold” of this magnificent Life of Christ. He who has given us all things invites us to possess our possessions IN CHRIST.

Brian Troxel