The Hidden Life

The Hidden Life

 The Hidden Life

“And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full.”
2 Kings 4:4

Deep transactions with God are often secret. Elijah instructed the widow to shut the doors; the grand thing the Lord would do was to be done within her own family. No one else would touch the sacredness of God moving on her behalf. Contrast that with the fanfare and emotion in many gatherings today, where often glib and empty works are “staged” to garner the praise of men. Worship often becomes a performance upon a stage where talent is extolled rather than the hidden beauty of brokenness, with true praise arising unto Him alone who is worthy.

“But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly”
Matthew 6:6

It is difficult for the carnal man to pray in secret, to have works hidden from the eyes of others.  We must walk uprightly before God knowing that He who regards all things will, in due season, cause us to know of His good pleasure.

The harvest of a true disciple may take many years to come to fruition, yet those who trust Him leave the reaping unto Him who judges the motives of every heart. Our sowing is in secret, our prayers for others to see, touch, and feel the wonder of God are known to Him alone. The true Christian Life is one of those secret things that the disciple lives unto his/her Master. If He is pleased it matters little what others think.

“Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.”
Psalm 51:6

External things may be noticed by many, but God’s desire is that our words, our actions, and the overriding intentions of our hearts, be true. Those who are pure within are free from the yoke of self. They are free from selfish agendas, jealously, envy and ambition. To live unto Him is the highest call. It requires a daily grace to live in the simplicity of Christ.

See: “The Days are Come”

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“The primary thought in the area of religion is— keep your eyes on God, not on people. Your motivation should not be the desire to be known as a praying person. Find an inner room in which to pray where no one even knows you are praying, shut the door, and talk to God in secret. Have no motivation other than to know your Father in heaven. It is impossible to carry on your life as a disciple without definite times of secret prayer.”
– Oswald Chambers

Brian Troxel

 

Spiritual Growth

Spiritual Growth

Growing in the Spirit of Truth

“No man also having drunk old wine
straightway desireth new: for he saith,
The old is better”
Luke 5:39

Spiritual growth is often the result of a series of spiritual crises and the rending of former things in order to embrace deeper and higher things in God. It is an easy thing to read of in the scriptures; the Spirit of God draws men and women from the former things into the new. However, when it is your own faith, your own beliefs and your own forsaking of things, it is a different matter.

 “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision, something like a great sheet descending, being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to me. Looking at it closely, I observed animals and beasts of prey and reptiles and birds of the air. And I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’ But I said, ‘By no means, Lord; for nothing common or unclean has ever entered my mouth. ’But the voice answered a second time from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, do not call common”
Acts 11:5-9

The true living faith of Christ within a heart is able to make that transition from one place into another for it is ever drawn by the Author and Perfecter of it. Peter’s ability to step into New Testament Truth was the result of a faith that knew his God. Many of God’s people are stuck in former things simply because it is comfortable and known. There is an inability to go beyond the elemental because of a faith which is rooted in something other than a living relationship with Christ.

“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways”
1 Corinthians 13:11

It is an easy thing to recognize and observe the natural growth of a child. Those with children or grandchildren are amazed at the constant changes and development they see in them from week to week and month to month. Spiritual growth however requires faith to move from the things of a child into the truth of the fullness of Christ. There are consequences to those who move on in God; there may be losses of friendship, changes in responsibilities, a battling of new enemies within and without. Yet it is these transformations which bring the adventure of walking with God. The years of holding on to the hands of a teacher (good for a season), must give way to the experiential touching and walking with God for themselves. The teachings and doctrines of others must give way to the ministration of His Life in order that His Name and His Power be made known. Clinging to forms of truth, without walking in them, will leave us stunted and undeveloped in our spiritual growth.

The compulsion to leave the shadows and forms of a thing to walk in the reality is a vital step of faith; the same one multitudes of God’s people have stepped into before us. Paul declares in Romans “from faith unto faith”. Every step taken is one of the joys of the Christian experience; not only for us but even more so for the joy it brings to our heavenly Father. May each of us hear His call to “Come up hither” (Revelation 4:1). To linger in the former things is to deny this call.

The stepping of Peter out of the boat, the young man’s lunch feeding the multitudes, the stretching forth of the withered hand on the Sabbath (in opposition to all in the Synagogue), are all examples of those who obeyed the faith stirring within. As Pilgrims of a living faith may we venture into the world around us with His Light, Love and Life.

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“The greatest spiritual crisis comes when a person has to move a little farther on in his faith than the beliefs he has already accepted”
– Oswald Chambers

See: NOT SO!

BT

The Basis of our Salvation

Nothing but the Blood

“…when I see the blood,
I will pass over you”
Exodus 12:13

A great misconception in much of the Gospel today is that the forgiveness of our sins is based upon compassion rather than the sacrifice of our Savior. His justice demanded that our sins be paid for. God’s love dictated that His Only Begotten Son offer Himself upon the Cross to pay the penalty for our rebellion, sin and shame. If we fail in understanding the nature of our God, we will fail to understand the nature and wonder of our salvation. This failure leads to lukewarm living and carelessness in the hearts of many.

“For God so loved the world
that He gave His Only Begotten Son…”

It was because of Love that God sent His Son to die in our stead. Forgiveness was based on the Blood of Jesus, not on the sentimentality of love. The Love of God never violates His righteousness. His Love is pure and holy and those who dwell in Love, walk in righteousness. It is humanistic reasoning that presents a salvation based upon anything less than the Sacrifice of Christ on our behalf. This infusion of humanism into the mixture of the Truth of God robs us of the conviction of sin; of the horror that it actually is. We get the idea that God simply “winks” at our sin because He is Love. It is because of this deadly supposition that many in Christ live at ease with sin and are robbed of touching the power and glory of God in their lives.

Whenever sin is regarded lightly, the knowledge of God is superficial. God hides Himself from such. It is in His Holy Presence that the true nature of sin becomes known and our repentance is real.

The Holy Love of God
required Sacrifice to procure our Forgiveness.

As we begin to know in truth that our salvation is only because of His Sacrifice we are able to respond to Him sacrificially. Anything less desensitizes us to the incredible cost of our redemption and produces lukewarm hearts, tepid prayers and impotent living.

“But to whom little is forgiven,
the same loves little.”
Luke 7:47

When we estimate our salvation based on a sentiment rather than the sacrifice of God’s Son, the corresponding heart response is artificial, lacking the fire and intensity of all that He is worthy of.

“It is shallow nonsense to say that God forgives us because He is love. Once we have been convicted of sin, we will never say this again. The love of God means Calvary— nothing less! The love of God is spelled out on the Cross and nowhere else. The only basis for which God can forgive me is the Cross of Christ. It is there that His conscience is satisfied”.
Oswald Chambers

Σ

Nothing but the Blood of Jesus

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

For my pardon, this I see,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
For my cleansing this my plea,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Nothing can for sin atone,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
Naught of good that I have done,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

This is all my hope and peace,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
This is all my righteousness,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Now by this I’ll overcome—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
Now by this I’ll reach my home—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Glory! Glory! This I sing—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus,
All my praise for this I bring—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
By Robert Lowry

Brian Troxel

Teacher, Master and Lord

“To have a master and teacher is not the same thing as being mastered and taught. Having a master and teacher means that there is someone who knows me better than I know myself, who is closer than a friend, and who understands the remotest depths of my heart and is able to satisfy them fully. It means having someone who has made me secure in the knowledge that he has met and solved all the doubts, uncertainties, and problems in my mind. To have a master and teacher is this and nothing less— “…for One is your Teacher, the Christ…” Matthew 23:8

Our Lord never takes measures to make me do what He wants. Sometimes I wish God would master and control me to make me do what He wants, but He will not. And at other times I wish He would leave me alone, and He does not.

“You call Me Teacher and Lord…”— but is He? Teacher, Master, and Lord have little place in our vocabulary. We prefer the words Savior, Sanctifier, and Healer. The only word that truly describes the experience of being mastered is love, and we know little about love as God reveals it in His Word. The way we use the word obey is proof of this. In the Bible, obedience is based on a relationship between equals; for example, that of a son with his father. Our Lord was not simply God’s servant— He was His Son. “…though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience…” (Hebrews 5:8). If we are consciously aware that we are being mastered, that idea itself is proof that we have no master. If that is our attitude toward Jesus, we are far away from having the relationship He wants with us. He wants us in a relationship where He is so easily our Master and Teacher that we have no conscious awareness of it— a relationship where all we know is that we are His to obey.”
Oswald Chambers

TITUS 2:14 PART TWO

TITUS 2:14 Part Two

Titus 2:14
Redemption and Sin

“Who gave himself for us,
that he might redeem us from all iniquity
,
and purify unto himself a peculiar people,
zealous of good works.”

Titus 2:14

“that HE might redeem us from ALL iniquity”

Jesus said,

“you do err (are deceived Greek)
not knowing the scriptures nor the power of God”
Mathew 22:29.

The New Testament clearly presents us with the truth that the obedience of Christ is of greater power than the disobedience of Adam. Yet we constantly hear that there is no “real” complete victory over sin in this life. We are told these statements are merely “positional” and not really actual. By our very confession of such things, we declare that the disobedience of Adam is of greater authority in our lives than the obedience of Christ! How can such things be? He gave Himself for us, on our behalf, that we might be redeemed from ALL iniquity! Deception is anything that keeps us from apprehending, understanding, and living in the power and glory of the life that is IN Christ Jesus. Deception comes from not knowing the scriptures NOR the power of God.

Here we have the clear statement “…that HE might redeem us from ALL iniquity…” Not some iniquity, or most iniquity, or in some theological positional-based teaching that tells us we are already totally free while ignoring the wrongness within. ALL iniquity. Wrong thinking produces a wrong living. Look around today and see the effects of our “believe and be blessed” teaching. Look at the passive “faith” and what it has produced. To know the substance of a thing, we must see what it produces in the lives of those in whom it dwells. This is a day to rend our hearts and return to the life of Love, Joy, and Authority that is the fruit of the true knowledge of the scriptures AND the power of God. Anything less than this Jesus called deception! The life of Faith is referred to throughout the scriptures as a fight, as a victory, and as a power that is able to reveal HIM in the best and the worst of circumstances.

Whenever there is a contradiction between our lives and the scriptures we must acknowledge that the contradiction is in our hearts. When we are confronted with these things we have a choice to either circumvent the clear declaration of the Word by “clever” teachings or turn our hearts unto the ONE that can make us the righteousness of God in Christ (Rom. 8:4). The life of Faith is one of pursuit. “I press toward the mark…” This is not a vain pursuit, it is a pursuit that is convinced that the provision has been made, the power is there and the “Author” of that Faith is committed to bringing us into ALL that HE IS!

We think we can ignore the WAY and somehow have knowledge of the TRUTH. We think we can ignore the TRUTH and somehow walk in the LIFE. This is DECEPTION. The WAY is a life of surrender and discipleship, the TRUTH is a POWER, not an opinion, the LIFE is HIM reigning in us. This LIFE is the FRUIT of those who WALK in the WAY, empowered by the TRUTH unto the revelation of HIS LIFE in us. The early Church did not meet the WAY we meet today, nor did they have the “teachings” that we have today. But we have not shaken the world as they did. In the purposes of God, the Glory of the latter house shall EXCEED the glory of the former. God always saves the best wine for the last!

Let us arise in this hour to shake off the disillusionment of all that is around us, all that is the product of a system that is the culmination of a stagnant faith and the tradition of men. For the tradition of men will always render the Word of God powerless (Mathew 15:6); the very scriptures tell us that! For the Word is empowered and made real only through the FAITH of God working in our lives.

“Let us, therefore, FEAR, lest a promise being left us of entering into HIS rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: BUT THE WORD PREACHED DID NOT PROFIT THEM, not being mixed with FAITH…”
Hebrews 4:1 – 2

We are here exhorted that we should fear if there is in our lives a coming short of entering into HIS rest. Why is there such complacency within the people of God? Why is there no godly fear left? It is because we know HIM little because we need Him little. We have accepted the teachings of men instead of the truth of God. We have accepted the “way of the world” rather than the WAY of TRUTH, and we have accepted the “carnal life” of good reason, prudence, and convenience instead of the LIFE of FAITH and TRUST. We have a church life that is run like any corporation of the world and we wonder why we live a life that resembles the life of the world. We are segmented and divided and wonder why the world cannot see the truth. (They shall know that you are my disciples because you love one another).

We no longer see the value of our brothers and sisters or even recognize them as such because the average believer sits passively on a pew no longer aware that we have an obligation and a responsibility for the condition of His house. We WILL be held accountable for what we have done with HIS precious life. We have men who delight in the current arrangement as they hold sway over the “faith” of “their” flock. Rather, the ministers of God should be “weeping between the porch and the altar” over the condition of GOD’S House. We have our churches, our fellowships, our pastors, our teachers, our prophets, and our apostles and do not know that this is CARNAL.

“For one says I am of Paul, another I am of Apollos…
are ye not CARNAL?”
I Corinthians 2:4

It is a day to repent, a day to turn from these things, and a day to seek HIS WAY, HIS TRUTH, and HIS LIFE. For these are the last days; the sacrifice has been made and the invitations sent. WHO WILL RESPOND? The Marriage Feast of the Bridegroom will be full and it will be attended only by those who have “their wedding garments on”. The garments of this present day will not suffice. We read that the “Bride hath made herself ready” (Revelation 19:7), she is clothed in the righteousness of God and she is glorious within and without. This glorious bride will not arise without the functioning and ministration of the individual believers of Christ operating in the Love and Power of HIS LIFE (Ephesians 4:15 – 16). We need one another. We need to love one another and we must function in HIS LIFE to empower one another unto godliness and true charity.

“And be ye kind one to another,
tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you”

Ephesians 4:32

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“We are not here to develop a spiritual life of our own,
or to enjoy spiritual retirement, we are here to realize Jesus Christ
that the Body of Christ may be built up”

Oswald Chambers

Brian Troxel