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Posts Tagged ‘Paths of Righteousness’

Thought for Today

The Lesson of the Fig Tree

“Now in the morning as he returned into the city,
he hungered.
And when he saw a fig tree in the way,
he came to it, and found nothing thereon,
but leaves only, and said unto it,
Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever.
And presently the fig tree withered away”
Exodus 3:2

Fruit. God’s purpose for every life is to bear fruit. His purpose in coming was to make the barren fruitful, the desert to blossom and the lame to walk.

Fig leaves represent the response of Adam and Eve to their fallen state. The religious response to man’s need for a covering. It is an inherent desire to be covered on the outside; to appear good, honest and spiritual. This leaves the life barren and unfruitful in the things of God. We may walk in an outward show of righteousness but the inward reality may be void of His Life and power.

Deception comes to those who seek to deceive. The lie of living to appear right will always result in a greater lie.

“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse,
deceiving, and being deceived
2 Timothy 3:13

Honesty and integrity are the means to Life in Him. We come as we are, transparent with Him and with those about us. This see-through living will bring us to the blood, the mercy and the covering of His garments of Salvation. In being who we are, fully reliant on all that He is, we can rest confidently in His faithfulness to bring glory to the Father.

Authenticity of Life is the fruit of integrity within and without

Fruit is not religious works. It is the means of glorifying God.

“Herein is my Father glorified,
that ye bear much fruit”
John 15:8

His sheep are those who follow Him. They hear His voice and they will not follow the voice of another. He leads them through green pastures, still waters, paths of righteousness, valleys of great shadows and even death; but the assurance to these will always be:

“Surely goodness and mercy
shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever”
Psalm 23:6

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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THE WELLS OF ISAAC

PART TWO

WELLS OF CONTENTION
SITNAH

“And they digged another well,
and strove for that also:
and he called the name of it Sitnah.
And he removed from thence,
and digged another well;
and for that they strove not:
and he called the name of it Rehoboth;
and he said,
For now the LORD hath made room for us,
and we shall be fruitful in the land”
GENESIS 26:19-20

Isaac, having removed himself from the well that he dug near Gerar, dug another well and again experienced contention and strife. This well seemed to be even more contentious than the first for he named it “Sitnah”. Sitnah in the Hebrew means accusation and hatred; it comes from the Hebrew root word satan. The severe meaning of the name indicates an escalated sense of contention; far more personal and malicious.

We all know from experience that we have an adversary. His name means to lie in wait to oppose or attack (satan). His strategies are varied as are the vessels through whom he works. The result of his influence within the Body of Christ has been much damage, sorrow and division. In this passage we see Isaac once again removing himself from this place to dig yet another well.

The journey in the things of God requires patience and persistence to discover a place of peace and rest within our own hearts. Forgiveness and fortitude must be the attitude by which we grow and walk within path of righteousness. These graces will enable us to be fruitful in the purposes of our God.

The persistent pursuit of peace and fruitfulness will always give way to God’s best for us. We read in Psalm 23 that the Lord our Shepherd leads us beside still waters where we can drink deeply of His abundant provisions even in desert places.

May the Lord teach us and lead us into such wonders; fellowship with Him and His people where the waters are quiet and sweet and filled with His presence.

Brian Troxel

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THE WAY TO PURITY

“How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it according to Your word”
PSALM 119:9 (NASB)

Purity of heart is not only relative and progressive it is attainable! The simplicity of the above verse is powerful and within reach to every believer no matter the circumstances in which we may find ourselves. The provision for purity of heart, required by the scriptures, that enables us to see God is set before us to grow and delight in. The one requirement is simple and yet profound… obedience. By keeping His Word, reading it, cherishing it and DOING IT we receive the benefits of a heart that grows in purity and in that growing purity we see God more clearly and profoundly (Matthew 5:8). Obedience is the lamp by which we see His Face.

True obedience is by its very nature sacrificial. It is the way of the cross that leads us into the footsteps of the Son and the doorway into the growing dynamic of His life in us. In order to obey I must lay aside my will for His. I choose His Word and His Way over my own. In the doing of this I not only discover the hidden resources of His Life but I find His Word preserving my life in Him from the trappings and temptations of this world. For example:

“I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes”
PSALM 101:3

By taking heed to this I am preserving my thought life and the purity of my heart. In embracing such a powerful truth I must disobey the lust and desire of the old man and keep the integrity of the new man that is being created in His Image! How simple and just are His ways. By the keeping of His Word we grow in righteousness and peace. In the keeping of His Word we are freed from the wages of sin and death! Obedience is the only way to know of this purity.

“Seeing ye have purified your souls
in obeying the truth through the Spirit
unto unfeigned love of the brethren…”
1 PETER 1:22

Though the keeping of His Word is simple in its application it does require the empowering and enabling work of the Holy Spirit to see us through. Within the confines of a growing relationship with our God there is the constant need for us to walk, live and move within His Holy Spirit. The more we obey His Word the easier it is to know of this divine enablement. With each new step into the transforming Life of the Son we find our great Shepherd leading us onward in the “paths of righteousness”. How precious and glorious are His Ways!

Ω

“The proximate result of obedience to God
is inward conformity to the Divine image”
Charles Hodge

Brian Troxel

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Peace WITH God & The Peace OF God

PEACE

“Therefore being justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”
Romans 5:1

Peace is the fruit of Righteousness; the greater the depth of righteousness the greater will be the depth of that Peace. In the life of every believer we are to know by faith we have (present tense) Peace with God. This peace was secured by the precious Lamb of God’s supreme offering of Himself for us on Calvary. Not only is this an historic fact it is an eternal truth upon which we can stand even in the face of our own personal failures and defeats. It is by this eternal truth that we meet the accusation of the enemy with the power of this declaration. It is a Peace settled in heaven by the guarantor of our salvation. May HE ever be praised! This is the starting place from which we begin our journey in Him.

HE came that we might have life, abundant life. That Life begins with the declaration that we are His children and because of that we have peace WITH GOD. May the Lord open our eyes to the glorious reality that HE IS COME that we may go on in HIM to have the peace OF GOD!

“And let the peace of God rule* in your hearts,
to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful”
COLOSSIANS 3:15

Here we see that this peace OF God is to rule in our hearts. It is a peace that rules and reigns within the concourse of our everyday life. It is to govern our conduct within the scope of our daily lives. It is to teach us the more perfect way of God. We are to walk in that Peace to such an extent that we recognize when we lose or trouble that Peace we are missing God on some point of action. The fruit of the righteousness of God in our lives is peace and when that peace is disturbed we can be sure that we are stepping out of His way to walk in our own. Peace is found in walking in His Way. The Way of Peace is mentioned in the scriptures as a path wherein we must walk to know of its reality. The Good News is that HE is come to guide our feet into the Way of Peace.

“To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace
LUKE 1:79

“And the way of peace have they not known…”
Romans 3:17

I know in my own experience that I have, without a doubt, peace with God and after forty years of walking with Him it is an unshakeable truth. But my heart longs for continued growth in the knowing of the peace of GOD that passes ALL UNDERSTANDING and is available to all who come to God by Christ Jesus. This PEACE OF GOD is of such a nature that nothing can affect its power, no outside circumstance nor any principality or power can disrupt its dominion in our lives. It is a peace that can only be known in the SON by the HOLY SPIRIT.

“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink;
but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost”
Romans 14:17

May we not grow weary and may our hearts desire for Him to propel us into the depths of this covenant relationship with our God. For it is HIS good pleasure to brings us into to the full knowing of the Son wherein we discover the fullness of HIS righteousness by the which we know the fullness of the PEACE of GOD.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;
and all these things shall be added unto you”
MATTHEW 6:33

Ω

* βραβεύω brabeuō; fut. brabeuso. To be a brabeus, an umpire, director or arbiter in the public Greek games. In the NT, to rule, govern, and metaphorically to prevail, abound. Used intrans. (Col. 3:15, “the peace of God rule in your hearts”).

Brian Troxel

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RIGHTEOUSNESS

PART ONE

“The Gentiles shall SEE your righteousness”
ISAIAH 62:2

We live in a time of great religious activity within the landscape of a secularized Christian “church”. Within this environment “righteousness” has taken on a profession of a faith that is to be stated and debated rather than a life that is actually to be lived. To the normal Christian “righteousness” is a term and a legal standing that we have because of the incredible sacrificial death of Jesus on the Cross; a powerful truth and the STARTING PLACE for all of God’s people. However we are exhorted to LIVE and GROW in this righteousness because of the LIFE of the Risen Christ who is the power and the source for us to LIVE in righteousness by the New Law made available to us; “The Law of Life that is in Christ Jesus”!

We see here in Isaiah that the real prophetic purpose of the New Covenant is to bring forth a righteousness that is real, true and actual in our daily lives. The “Gentiles shall SEE” this righteousness for it is not based on a teaching; it is revealed in the everyday life of EVERY believer! Righteousness first and foremost is CHARACTER. It must become the essence of what we are to such an extent we reveal HIM unconsciously in how we conduct the affairs of our life. Fruit is the expression that flows from character, from what a thing IS. An apple tree brings forth apples because that is the revelation and the offspring of what it is in itself.  Apples are the RESULT for fruit is simply the expression of the latent life of any organism. Love, Joy, Peace… are the EXPRESSIONS of a righteous life and godly character. The futility of trying to “do” or “express” the fruit of the Spirit without being connected as a branch to the vine is the horror and angst of a powerless religious life.

“In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river,
was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits,
each tree yielding its fruit every month.
The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations”
REVELATION 22:2

This “TREE OF LIFE” is the revelation of all that HE had purposed in the Creation of the World. We see it in the Garden of Eden in Genesis and we see it standing teeming with LIFE and FRUITFULNESS in the City of God! HIS purposes have not altered and HIS provision for this to BE the reality in our own lives is rich and full because of the Resurrection Life of the SON. This TREE is nourished by the RIVER of LIFE and so must our lives ever move more and more to that end. Trees grow from tiny seeds to a majestic stature, and so must we. The provisions we have and the wisdom of our great Shepherd in HIS dealings with us as we travel through this dark world on the path that ever leads onward and upward is for us to BECOME SONS of God by a new and living WAY!

“…to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning,
the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
that they might be called trees of righteousness,
the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified”
ISAIAH 61:2

It is in receiving HIS BEAUTY for our ashes, partaking of the Oil of HIS Joy that comes from mourning and lamenting our selfish carnal ways, that we are garmented in the PRAISES of HIM who is ABLE and WILLING to cause this to BE the substance of our lives. This life of BECOMING is one of trial, temptation, failure, victory and joy. It is a journey that must eclipse that which we now walk in… for a man’s vision must always surpass that which he currently knows.

Ω

“Brethren,
I do not count myself to have apprehended;
but one thing I do,
forgetting those things which are behind
and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
I press toward the goal for the prize
of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind…”
Philippians 3:13 – 15

Brian Troxel

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PSALM 23

PART SEVEN

THE PATHS
OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

“He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake…”
PSALM 23:2

A path is not a destination. It is a way by which we travel to a specific destination. The “paths of righteousness” indicate a journey by which we travel to a desired end; a journey into HIM who is LIFE. The concept of a journey, a life of growth and development, a goal that we are seeking to attain (Philippians 3:7 – 15), has been lost in the teaching of our day. Throughout the New Testament we are exhorted to WALK in righteousness, LIVE in righteousness and GROW in righteousness. Jesus tells us to “SEEK FIRST the Kingdom of God AND HIS Righteousness”. In other words, this should be the primary focus and desire of our hearts. We must see here that we are not just wandering in a religious wilderness filled with doctrines and concepts of men in our search for righteousness. We are plainly told that HE LEADS US in the paths of this righteousness! To grow and live in the paths of righteousness is the RESULT of following HIM! It is a life of discovery, a life of HIS provisions, and a life filled with the wonder of HIM who is THE LIFE! Growth and development are the revelations of this life. A life that is not growing and changing is a life that has become stagnant in its heart. It may breathe, may say all the right words but in the very essence of its core it has “settled” in its quest for more of HIM. This journey is one that causes us to become pilgrims concerning the things of this world. It causes us to ever be attentive to HIS VOICE and HIS direction. It is the governing principle by which we conduct ourselves in this world. It also causes us to be aware that we are a living part of all those who have gone on before us; that in truth we are the children of the promise, the true offspring of Abraham who are looking and seeking for a City “whose builder and maker is GOD”.

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises,
but having seen them afar off £were assured of them,
embraced them and confessed
that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland”
HEBREWS 11:13 – 14

As we read the promises of God in the New Testament we must realize that there are tremendous promises yet unfulfilled. Such being the case we are exhorted over and over to seek, pursue and “press toward the mark” for the attaining of these things. Should not that cry be found within our own hearts? The WAY of God in Christ is a way of life and wonder. It is a WAY filled with change because it is a relationship with the INFINITE GOD of whom there is neither beginning nor end. It is an eternal call, for no real and vital relationship ever ceases to grow and develop.

“But the path of the just is as the shining light,
that shineth MORE AND MORE unto the perfect day”
PROVERBS 4:18

This path is filled with an ever growing light. This light beckons us on to greater things in HIM and a desire to PARTICIPATE in the thing HE is doing. To touch the CRY of HIS HEART for the life of another, to be co-labourers with HIM in the development of life (HIS LIFE) in our brothers and sisters is a joy that is ours in Christ. How can we not “run with endurance” for the Joy of knowing and walking with HIM? “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith” (ROMANS 1:16) thus describing a faith that is growing from one stage to another.

A people of the Way are ever on the move, they are growing and they are discovering the bonds of relationship; the worth of knowing others who are also on this journey. The fruit of that fellowship is deep, powerful and filled with the pulsating life of the Son who is the author, sustainer and end of this journey!

Ω

“The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon,
but only to hold a man’s foot long enough
to enable him to put the other somewhat higher”
Thomas Henry Huxley (1825–1895)

Brian Troxel

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