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Posts Tagged ‘Overcoming the Obstacles’


 Thought for Today

Circumstances

“And being not weak in faith,
he considered not his own body now dead*,
when he was about an hundred years old,
neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb:
He staggered not at the promise of God…
but was strong in faith, giving glory to God”
Romans 4:19-20

In the circumstances of life there are always obstacles and hindrances to the promises of God. Sickness, old age, finances, relationships, persecutions and a multitude of other things offer us reasons to excuse ourselves from our occupation of declaring Him to this generation.

The Greek translation of the above scripture literally states that Abraham fully considered his own body as being dead; yet in the face of this “he staggered not at the promise of God”. It is here that faith stands and takes us beyond our circumstances and abilities and keeps us active regardless of the situations in which we find ourselves. Many of our brothers and sisters at this moment are facing death, imprisonment, loneliness, health issues and untold hardships yet they are holding on to the promises of our faithful God. Shall we not do the same?

Whatever may be His promise to us, consider not the circumstance; consider God.

*Note: The KJV is saying the same thing but in a more difficult way to understand… “he considered not” means he did not let his “body being good as dead”, enter into his “accounting God” well able to fulfill the promise. Nor should we.

Brian Troxel

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Quote for Today

Hudson Taylor

“I have found that there are three stages in every great work of God: first it is impossible, then it is difficult and then it is done”
– Hudson Taylor

“Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe,
all things are possible to him that believeth”
Mark 9:23

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Thought for Today

Obstacles

“As for the Jebusites the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
the children of Judah could not drive them out:
but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah
at Jerusalem unto this day”
Joshua 15:13

Though the Land of Promise had been given, it was the responsibility of His people to take the land and possess it. Within every promise given to us by God there remains a warfare and a battle of faith to make it our own.

“This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child,
in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you,
that by them you may wage the good warfare
1 Timothy 1:18

It is in the receiving of God’s promises and embracing His call upon our lives that we contend in faith to see them come to pass. There is no victory without the battle, no crown without the fight and no overcoming without the exercising of our faith.

It has taken me years to appreciate that every obstacle in my life is for my own good and learning. It is in these things we discover the true value of Grace and Mercy. If the victory in these things were easy and within the realm of our own strength, then we would be a poor example of what HE has intended for us. If we do not engage in the warfare, our walk will never be able to show forth His victory in our lives and we will live a life of compromise with our enemies…

“By little and little I will drive them out from before thee,
until thou be increased, and inherit the land”
Exodus 23:30

God has a purpose in the obstacles which stand between us and His promises… it is to the “increase’ of our faith and our strength. He has purposed us to become strong, He has intended us to be persistent and determined in the apprehending of the promises given to us. It is in these things we grow strong in our God for we have learned that our God is strong!

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

 

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Thought for Today

The Crucible and the Crown

“Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ”
Philemon 1:1

Paul though bound in prison by order of the Roman government never saw Himself as such. His life and all that pertained to it had been fully given to God and His purposes therefore the circumstances were seen as attendant to God’s will.

Absolute surrender is the means to Godly Contentment

It is the surrendered life which is the victorious life. Paul could have called on lawyers and had petitions signed on his behalf to extricate himself from his situation; but it was his surrender to God that freed him from the bitterness of the moment. This victory in Christ can only be realized in the validity of our transaction with God. The rest of God comes with the surrender to God.

“For the which cause I also suffer these things:
nevertheless I am not ashamed:
for I know whom I have believed,
and am persuaded that he is able to keep
that which I have committed unto him against that day
2 Timothy 1:12

God’s keeping power comes from the persuasion that we know in Whom we have placed our trust. It enables His Own to see that the crucible is the means to the crown.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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The Secret of Receiving from God

“To him that overcometh will I give…”
Revelation 2:7, 2:11, 2:17, 2:26-28, 3:5, 3:12, 3:21

His table is set for us in the midst of our perplexities and adversaries (Psalm 23:5). His bread is rich in the spiritual nutrients of grace and the fruits of His Spirit. It is not in the absence of trouble that we grow and develop; rather it is in the midst of the very things which seek to undermine us. It is in the very face of our adversities that we are outfitted to walk and apprehend his call.

Little did Joseph’s brothers know that in their treatment of Joseph they were in fact unwitting vessels setting in motion the fulfillment of God’s purpose. Saul did not comprehend that his pursuit and envy of David were the means through which God raised a man after His own heart. Whether it is apathy, envy or distrust of our brothers and sisters, the forgetful butler (Gen. 40:23) or the unfeeling jailers of God’s people, the vision stands sure. God will accomplish His ends if we hold fast to the faith He has placed within our hearts.

It is not simply those who have vision who will receive of God’s gracious hand. It is those who overcome through hope in God’s vision who receive the prize of the “high calling of God in Christ Jesus”. Doctrinal visions fade with the passing of time. However, a vision received in the heart, held by hope in the ONE who cannot lie, is an unassailable power which will persevere until the day dawns and His purpose is fulfilled.

Overcoming is simply the result of His Life beating within our breast. His Life is the resurrection from death itself. No grave or disappointment can withstand Him. So not only do we hold to His promises but with the passage of time is the realization that we are held by Him! Through the mountains and valleys of our journey the flame of hope lights our way even in the darkest of nights. The flicker of the eternal keeps us bound to the vision He has birthed. As Paul stood before Agrippa bound in chains, held fast within the Roman penal system, he declared with all boldness…

“Whereupon, O king Agrippa,
I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision”
Acts 26:19

True vision holds one to a life of obedience regardless of the circumstances. This was not a personal vision which held Paul; it was a “heavenly” one and as such it could not fade because of earthly circumstances. This vision supplies to the beholder faith, obedience and the wonder of Hope as an anchor to our soul. Those who let the vision fade become weary, pragmatic and compromised in a world which seeks to undermine the intense fire of all true pilgrims.

Overcomers are those who keep their feet moving forward, their hearts beating with the fervor of a love which cannot be quenched. In their times of discouragement and failure they rise because of a Hope that cannot be denied. True overcomers are those who follow the “heavenly vision”.

“So often we have a kind of vague,
wistful longing that the promises of Jesus should be true.
The only way really to enter into them
is to believe them with the clutching intensity
of a drowning man”
William Barclay

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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SERVING JESUS

“If any man serve me, let him follow me;
and where I am, there shall also my servant be:
if any man serve me, him will my Father honour”
John 12:26

The central theme to which Jesus kept directing His disciples was relationship to Him. The great deception of religion is that men and women serve an organization, a doctrine, a teacher or even worse themselves. Here Jesus points to the essential cornerstone of true service unto Him: “let him follow me”. It is in following Him that we become separated unto Him. The “cross” of the individual believer is simply defined by a life of following Him. While many are willing to do strenuous religious observances, fasting, long prayer meetings, conferences and seemingly good works the issue remains one of following Him. The cross of Christ was in doing the will of the Father. In this place of true servitude the Son glorified the Father. It is in our being “yoked” with Him that our lives will in truth glorify the Son. Knowledge of the scriptures must give way to relationship with the Son. Knowledge alone of the Son will never make a person free nor bring about the true experiential knowing of Him within the human heart.

Throughout the scriptures we see that many stopped following Him because of the cost of the Way. The Scribes and Pharisees had no problem with long prayers, religious observances and the rites and rituals of the religious system but they failed to follow Him. In following Him they would have come to the crossroad of serving self or serving God. It is here that the truth of one’s heart is revealed. In this day of the great Apostasy the hearts of many are growing cold and unresponsive to Him and His Word. The forms of truth are retained but the active daily following of Him is replaced by the love of this world, by the busyness of religious programs, and in living a life of self-interest; this culminates in a life that no longer follows Him. Freedom from self with all of its wretched ways and miserable ends can only be found in the following of Him. To truly follow Him requires a forsaking of self. Religion is the “opiate of the masses”; it offers the appearance of a thing without the substance of the thing. It offers the sayings of Jesus without the required obedience to His words. It calls Him Lord but affords its adherents the means to escape actual obedience to Him by the soothing of the conscience with the very words of scripture. Early in Jesus’ life Satan came with great power and temptation by quoting the scriptures so that Jesus might seek to “save” His life supernaturally for all to see (Matthew 4:1-11). Jesus refuted such temptation as He was not here to fulfill His will. His purpose was to fulfill the will of the Father.

There can be no true serving of Jesus without a life of actively following Him. It is evident that we are in the time of the great falling away. It is a very subtle and deadly affair of the heart when men and women cling to the words of Jesus without the following of Him. The subtlety of such a life is called deception and it is the way of spiritual decay and death. We remain static while He moves on in the will and the glory of the Father. We hear many say that God does not answer prayer. The wonder of His presence is lacking and in most places not even expected. We have become accustomed to the forms of religion without His presence and power. It is not because He has forsaken us; it is that we have ceased as a people to “follow Him”. He declares to the Church at Ephesus:

“But I have against you
that you left your first love…”
Revelation 2:4

The verse preceding this one states “I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience…” The works continued but the love faded. The forsaking of their “first love” (pre-eminent love) was so critical to their place in God that His judgement upon such a people was the removal of His presence from their midst. The reason for the cooling of the heart of His people is the result of iniquity abounding.

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

The Greek word translated iniquity here does not fully imply gross sin. It speaks of lawlessness in that instead of obeying the commandments of Jesus we subtly set them aside declaring that we are now under grace. It is through the horror of this deceptive teaching that we are seeing the fervent love of many growing cold and indifferent. It is we who have forsaken the good and right way. The church has embraced teachers who bring in damnable heresies that turn His people from following Him to the serving of self and other things. We call Him Lord yet we set aside His commandments to obey the traditions and teachings of men. WE HAVE MADE THE WORD OF GOD OF NON-EFFECT! It is our own doing and God’s remedy is repentance and the return to our primary love.

“”This people honors Me with the lips,
but their heart is far away from Me; and in vain they worship Me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” (Isa. 29:13 8)
For forsaking the commandment of God,
you hold the tradition of men”
Mark 7:7-8

God has a simple answer for this generation and this time. It is the simplicity of obeying His commandments and following Him.

“If ye keep my commandments,
ye shall abide in my love”
John 15:10

The teaching of a grace that absolves His people from obedience to the commands of Jesus is a lie and deception of the devil himself! If we do not repent we will stand in the judgement of God as they who once knew the truth and turned away. This is the picture presented to us in the Parable of the Sower where the soil which grew weeds of the cares of self and this life and choked out the precious seed. This truth is presented throughout the New Testament to those who started out well yet grew cold and indifferent to Him in the end.

“For if by a full knowledge of the Lord and Savior,
Jesus Christ, they have escaped the defilements of the world,
and again being entangled they have been overcome by these,
then their last things have become worse than the first.
For it was better for them not to have fully known
the way of righteousness, than fully knowing to turn from
the holy commandment delivered to them”
2 Peter 2:20-21 (LITV)

Let us find Grace in this day to finish the race which is set before us. Let us not grow weary in our following of Him for we shall surely reap if we faint not.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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The Open Door

“For a great door
and effectual is opened unto me,

and there are many adversaries
1 Corinthians 16:9

Difficult and adversarial situations have no bearing upon the child of God. The Open Door into the things of our Father must be filled with opposition for this door can only be entered on the grounds of Faith; a Faith that is living, pressing and teeming with the life of God. Men who wait for all the conditions to be right will never know the hidden glories of God’s provisions.

“Thou preparest a table before me
in the presence of mine enemies”
Psalm 23:5

The rich provision of God’s table is served in the midst of our enemies. It is there we find the nourishment and faithfulness of our God to provide all that we need to accomplish His works in and through our lives. John on the Isle of Patmos was banished to a forlorn and desolate place for his testimony of God. It is there that he sees a great door opened and the heavens drawn back to unveil the deep and dramatic unfolding of the Revelation of Christ! We must not draw back from the doors presented to us. We must not consider the opposition and the obstacles that stand in our way; for faith never walks by sight. Many men and women of God sit in faithless inactivity waiting for the opposition to be removed before venturing into the things they have been called to.

“He that observeth the wind shall not sow;
and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap”
Ecclesiastes 11:4

The reaping in a man’s life is always in proportion to his sowing. Great testing is about to unfold in our day and it is incumbent upon us to be in the now of His Will; to step out of the confines of our world and into the open doors of His world. The way of truth is not an intellectual commodity; it is the Life of Jesus being lived out in my life today. When Jesus said “I am the Truth” He proclaimed truth to be His Life in me; not some doctrinal understanding of a teaching, but the very breath and power of His life in my own heart. Men who accomplish the works of faith are blind to the obstacles that stand in their way. They see through the barriers, they see through the weaknesses in their own lives and the limitations of their own resources for faith sees His Will and nothing else. It is a day to “lift up our eyes”, in order to see past the circumstances and be found “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith”.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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