Thought for Today – Obstacles –

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
www.aword.info

 

GIVE ME THIS MOUNTAIN

“Give me this mountain”

“…yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in. Now therefore give me this mountain…”
JOSHUA 14: 11 – 12

Faith is not only a substance and the real evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1) it is also a spiritual reality and a precious fruit of God’s Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22–23). Faith is not determined by age or the weaknesses that are common to man. We see here the testimony of Joshua who, at the age of eighty-five, is undaunted by the promises of God. The mountain he asked for was inhabited by the giant Arba and the Anakims which were the giants of the land of whom Goliath was a descendant. His eyes were fixed upon the promises of God, not himself.

Because that living faith burned within his heart it had NOT diminished with the passing of time; he was able to declare…

“Now therefore give me this mountain…”

The eternal purposes of God do not rest upon our physical strength or abilities; they are carried along by the operation of His faith within the recesses of our hearts. Joshua still had to invade that land and fight the giants but his strength was the product of a living faith and not the other way around. So must we in our day continue to “contend for the faith”. Faith that is living and true, that is present tense and at this moment “strengthened for war…to go out and to come in”. Wherever there is true faith there is a continual war in the spirit both to hold onto what is ours in Christ and to see total victory over the strongholds within.

“(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled”
II CORINTHIANS 10:4

And again…

“This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy,
according to the prophecies which went before on thee,
that thou by them mightest war a good warfare”
I TIMOTHY 1:18

Many of Joshua’s fellow Israelites did not live to enter the Promised Land because of the issue of faith; so it is in our day (I Corinthians 10:6-12 and Hebrews 4:6). May the Lord stir our hearts to hold faith, walk in faith and live a life that pleases HIM. May we be found strong to finish the race for HIS Glory.

“Finally, my brethren,
be strong in the Lord,
and in the power of his might”
EPHESIANS 6:10

Brian Troxel

THE LAMP OF LIFE

THE LAMP OF LIFE

“And her lamp does not go out by night”
PROVERBS 31:18

Literally in the Hebrew language “does not go out” is best translated “not extinguished or quenched” (see Song of Solomon 8:7). In the New Testament we find that the Lamp of God is not merely an understanding of the intellect, it is in fact the VERY LIFE OF THE SON living and shining within our hearts.

“In him was life;
and the life was the light of men”
JOHN 1:4

We see clearly here that it is HIS LIFE that is the light of men. His Life in me is Eternal Life not a doctrinal statement that I ascribe to, not some formula that I recite, but the very reception rather the very conception of Him within my heart. It is this “Light of Life” (John 8:12) that we hold by the precious faculty of Faith to illuminate our way, to hold us to the path and purpose of God, and to keep us pure in a dark and contaminated world. The lamp spoken of here is a light that the darkness ever seeks to extinguish, pervert and stamp out. The stratagems of the darkness are many and powerful and come at us in a variety of attacks; bitterness, unforgiveness, temptation, compromise, weariness of the way and disappointments to name but a few. However, the Word stands true “HER LAMP DOES NOT GO OUT BY NIGHT”!

It is as we face these things that we are made OVERCOMERS. The lamp burns in the night seasons, the lamp burns in dry places and the lamp burns in and through the storms of life.

We live in dark and ominous times and the Word tells us the “…love of many, shall grow cold”. Religion, traditions, the programs and the institutions of men seek to replace the simplicity of relationship with the Lamb of God and adherence to doctrines seeks to replace the life of obedience. We have ceased contending for the faith and have succumbed to a life of passivity and impotence. Men like John the Baptist are considered uncouth, the zeal of Paul untactful and the burning statements of James, Peter and Jude out of touch with the “seeker friendly” atmosphere being presented today. It is in such an hour as this that we must be held by the precious LIFE of Him.  His Life never fails to keep us safe and secure within the cords of His Love and because of this…

“…her lamp does not go out by night”

Ω

“He who breathes into our hearts the heavenly hope,
will not deceive or fail us when we press forward to its realization”
Anonymous

Brian Troxel

HOPE TO MAKE US STRONG

HOPE
TO MAKE US STRONG

“Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me,
Write: for these words are true and faithful
MATTHEW 5:9

Whatever our lot, our circumstances and our present day experiences, let the promise of God ring within our hearts. “Behold, I make all things NEW…” is the hope that we have and the surety of things to come. The weariness of the way, the shallowness of much of what we hear and see today, must and will give way to the WILL and PURPOSE of God. Things will not remain the same. We have this promise from a God who cannot lie; the God who paid for the NEW by the very sacrifice and death of His own Son. This is not an idle religious promise by which we try to encourage ourselves. Rather it is a living hope that beats within our hearts; a hope founded and sustained by a living faith. A faith that is the very substance of the hope we have and the things that we do not see…

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen”
HEBREWS 11:1

We sense the eternal heartbeat of a longing and a cry that resides within our own hearts; a yearning for something greater, deeper and fuller. This same call of the eternal resonated in the lives of all those who longed for a City whose builder and maker is GOD. Abraham did not look for an earthly city, his eyes were not upon some sliver of land; his hope was higher. He “looked for a City… whose builder and maker is GOD”!

Shall not we, who are the true offspring of Abraham (Gal. 3:7), have that same living hope pressing us on to stay the course, to run the race with the same Holy zeal and the same faithfulness of spirit and trust in a God whose name is “faithful and true”?

Let us even today allow the hope and vitality of the promise of God that speaks of a “New heavens and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness” be the anchor in our daily life.

Ω

“Live in the presence of God and you too will have the eyes of Abraham.
Eyes that are always alert to the unexpected.
Eyes that see God’s actions in petty annoyances and even in tragedies.
Eyes that trust.
And eyes that continue seeking
whenever they are tempted to turn inwards”
Glen Argan

Brian Troxel

ARISE & RETURN

ARISE & RETURN

“I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst the pillar,
and where thou vowedst a vow unto me:
now arise, get thee out from this land,
and return unto the land of thy kindred!”
GENESIS 31:13

In our journey with God there are times that we need His mercy to intervene and bring us back to that place of remembrance, back to the place of our vows of abandonment to Him and Him alone. Life takes its toll upon us. We get caught up in the things of this world, we take our eyes off Him and we discover ourselves living and thinking as the world. We find ourselves lost in the temporal issues of life and our perspective becomes skewed. We lose sight of the glorious “prize” of the high call of God in Christ Jesus. It is in these moments that HE brings us back to the place of our vow where we first made a transaction with Him that we might once again become focused on the things that matter. We remember His mighty deliverance and the great kindness HE showed unto us when we least expected it or deserved it. He brings us back to the place where our love for Him was fresh and our eyes were single. He causes us to know that those words spoken in love and sincerity were important to Him and that He has now come to remind us of His favor and His faithfulness to “keep that which we have committed to Him…” How good our God is. How wonderful and merciful are His ways.

“…now ARISE,
get thee out from this land,
and RETURN…”
GENESIS 31:13

We hear the command of God to ARISE for the place where we are is below the place that He has called us to. It takes an ARISING out of the stupor and the complacency in which we find ourselves; out of the wanderings and circular paths of the world to once again walk in the “narrow” ways of the Kingdom, through the “straight gate” that leads us unto LIFE, LIBERTY and the JOY of the LORD! It takes an ARISING out of the mindset that has caused our eyes to slowly fall from being focused upon Him to the things that be of this world. It takes an ARISING to break the habits and the chains of a faithless walk to once again see and live in the atmosphere of a living powerful FAITH; a FAITH that brings purpose and intensity of quest back into the heart of HIS own that we may run with great strength and determination. A FAITH that presses us on to a new intensity of knowing and pleasing Him more than we do now. A FAITH that sees afresh the real and eternal issues of Life that stands before us.

“In returning and rest shall ye be saved…”
ISAIAH 30:15

It is in our returning that we find a renewed sense of His Presence and His Blessing in our lives. Returning requires obedience and response to His Living Word. The response is the means by which we ARISE out of our present circumstance. Faith always requires obedience and action. It is the Word producing within us the ACTION required for its own fulfillment. It is by us staying current with our God that we remain under the shadow of His Wings. For HIS WAY is never static, it is never stale and it will never leave us “barren nor unfruitful” in the things of our God!

“They that dwell under his shadow shall return;
they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine:
the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon”
HOSEA 14:7

May we ever stay current with our God! May HE ever be to us our “present help” in times of trouble. May He ever keep us in the “present truth” of His purposes concerning this Day!

Brian Troxel