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

 

Rewards of Faith

Rewards of Faith

“Behold, thy salvation cometh;
behold, His reward is with Him…”
Isaiah 62:11

To the wise and faithful the promise of His coming is one of joy and expectation. Those laboring ones, faithfully sowing, praying, weeping, and burdened with a heavenly care and concern for others, can look expectantly unto Him who is their reward and salvation.

“Who then is the faithful and wise servant whom his Lord has set over His household, to give to them the food in season? Blessed is that servant whom his Lord shall find so doing when He comes. Truly I say to you, He will set him over all His substance”
Matthew 24:45-47

The faithful and wise servants pour out themselves on the behalf of others that the Lord may receive the Glory due His Name. Blessed are those whom He finds “so doing”. The pure in heart have an intensity of spirit to proclaim His Name to all and to exhort all to obedience and submission. There is a fire that burns within for the truth, substance, and reality of His Call. Those with faithless works and dead confessions, with hearts unmoved and unchanged, talk all too freely about God but lack the burning love of God Himself. God has a word for such: Ichabod*! The Glory which once burned within is now a dead and lifeless thing; it has lost its first and foremost love and is content with the words of Him rather than the Life of Him.

“I know your works.
You have the reputation of being alive,
but you are dead”!
Revelation 3:1

Works are the criteria that God uses to assess the faith of His people in each and every Church in the Book of Revelation**! Works are the expression of a living vibrant faith, free from dead prayers, empty words, ingrown cliques, and stagnant lives. Faith which costs nothing is worth nothing. Those who make a difference in the lives of others, who feel within their hearts the ONE Spirit of God and the ONE-NESS to which we have been called; speak out against the lethargy of our day.

Let us lift our voices and cry out to those whose hearts have grown cold and withered, and are lost within the futility of mere religion. Do we not hear the words of Christ unto us? This is the Day of sowing and of harvest, it is not a Day to slumber nor a time for faithless inactivity! It is a Day to “Lift up our eyes” to see with the eyes of faith the opportunities before us.

“Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I TELL YOU, LIFT UP YOUR EYES, and see that the fields are white for harvest. Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together”
John 4:35-36

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So many Christians in these times are debating with one another about masks, vaccinations, and government restrictions. Let us keep our eyes in the right place. Jesus’ words to us are, “I TELL YOU, LIFT UP YOUR EYES, for the fields are white unto harvest”. How far have we fallen from the simplicity of the Call of Christ? The unfruitful discussions of procedures and politics, and the scepter of fear which has fallen upon the Church, are appalling and are an exposure of our true condition.

Let us consider our ways that we may bring the message of Christ to a world consumed with the same fear which seeks to rob us of the power of His faith and love in us. Let HIS CHURCH ARISE from fear and begin to believe afresh that all these things are for the furtherance of the Gospel.

How sovereign is our God! The truth of His Sovereign power in you is revealed by your faith in Him and the works it produces. Let His Faith be the measure by which you walk.

“He who gathers in summer is a wise son, but he who sleeps during the harvest is a son who causes shame.”
Proverbs 10:5

See: Present Truth Part Six

<NOTES>

*Ichabod – “And she named the child Ichabod, saying, the glory is departed from Israel…” 1 Samuel 4:21

** “I know thy works” see Revelation 2:2, 2:9, 2:13, 2:19, 3:1, 3:8, 3:15.

Brian Troxel

The Wonder of Wisdom

The Wonder of Wisdom

“Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord,
and find the knowledge of God.”
Proverbs 2:5

It is in our understanding the “fear of the Lord” where we discover the true “knowledge of God”. Wisdom is not the summation of learning nor is it a commodity gained by the efforts of men. Wisdom is the matrix by which truth is revealed. It is the wise in heart who grow in understanding.

When wisdom entereth into thine heart,
and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul
Discretion shall preserve thee,
understanding shall keep thee:”
Proverbs 2:10

The true knowledge of God comes to us as His wisdom enters our hearts. By it the knowledge of God is revered and held in awe.

“The first thing is wisdom—get wisdom,
And with all thy getting get understanding”
Proverbs 4:7

There are many in this day who hold a knowledge of His word apart from the fear of Him; without wisdom all knowledge is perverted. Only the wise in heart walk and keep themselves in the fear of the Lord. They hold themselves accountable to Him who weighs all the words, actions and the motives of our hearts.

“Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom;
and to depart from evil is understanding”
Job 28:28

The scribes and the Pharisees held a knowledge of God apart from the fear of God. The result was a religion based on the words of God without the wonder of God. There is no greater darkness, no greater delusion, than that of men who hold knowledge apart from wisdom.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven
against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men,
who hold the truth in unrighteousness…”
Romans 1:18

It is a fearful thing to hold the truth of God in an unrighteous manner! Let us not assume that by claiming a promise of God yet living in unrighteousness that He will acquit you in the Day of Judgment! Let us not presume that we can hold unforgiveness and yet be forgiven. Do not think that we can walk contrary to His Word and still grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“…to one who orders his way rightly
I will show the salvation of God!”
Psalm 50:23

To grow in the depths and power of our salvation requires us to walk in the wisdom of God. He shows His salvation to those who order their steps aright. He unveils Himself to those who align their hearts to His Word.

“Then laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil words, as newborn babes desire the pure soul-nourishing milk, that you may grow by it…”
2 Peter 2:1-2

The wise in heart put away from themselves all malice, hypocrisies, envies and evil words because they know, at least in some measure, the fear of the Lord. The recompense of walking in His righteous ways is the divine enablement to grow into Him in all things.

Christians may hold on to evil things while comforting themselves with the promises of God; this they do to their own sorrow. They may cover themselves with the fig leaves of religion even as they “hold the truth in unrighteousness” sealing to themselves a life void of the power of God. They may speak of grace, and can expound upon the mercies of God, yet never touch the true depths of either; only the fear of the Lord can reveal the power of these realities. It is by the enlightenment of His wisdom entering our hearts that we know the awe and the joy of obedience to Him who first loved us.

Without the fear of the Lord there can be no true wisdom or knowledge of Him. Only by the understanding that these bring are we able to depart from our evil ways.

“Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom;
and to depart from evil is understanding
Job 28:28

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“But wisdom is justified of all her children”
Luke 7:35

The wisdom of God is vindicated by the conduct of those who are held by its wonder.

Brian Troxel

Oswald Chambers

His

“They were Yours, You gave them to Me…”
John 17:6

“A missionary is someone in whom the Holy Spirit has brought about this realization: “You are not your own” (1 Corinthians 6:19). To say, “I am not my own,” is to have reached a high point in my spiritual stature. The true nature of that life in actual everyday confusion is evidenced by the deliberate giving up of myself to another Person through a sovereign decision, and that Person is Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit interprets and explains the nature of Jesus to me to make me one with my Lord, not that I might simply become a trophy for His showcase. Our Lord never sent any of His disciples out on the basis of what He had done for them. It was not until after the resurrection, when the disciples had perceived through the power of the Holy Spirit who Jesus really was, that He said, “Go” (Matthew 28:19; also see Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:8).

“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26). He was not saying that this person cannot be good and upright, but that he cannot be someone over whom Jesus can write the word Mine. Any one of the relationships our Lord mentions in this verse can compete with our relationship with Him. I may prefer to belong to my mother, or to my wife, or to myself, but if that is the case, then, Jesus said, “[You] cannot be My disciple.” This does not mean that I will not be saved, but it does mean that I cannot be entirely His.

Our Lord makes His disciple His very own possession, becoming responsible for him. “…you shall be witnesses to Me…” (Acts 1:8). The desire that comes into a disciple is not one of doing anything for Jesus, but of being a perfect delight to Him. The missionary’s secret is truly being able to say, “I am His, and He is accomplishing His work and His purposes through me. Be entirely His!”

  • Oswald Chambers

Devotion and Worship

Devotion and Worship

“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed,
do all in the name of the Lord Jesus”
Colossians 3:17

There is a sense of holiness which is to permeate our daily life. The mundane, the trivial and the great things all have significance in our walk before Him. As we walk closer with Him, His presence makes all things in our life important. These are things to be pondered. In our desire to please Him, and to be taught of Him, we become more attentive to the whispers of His Spirit.

“…in all things I am instructed”
Philippians 4:12

There are a couple of thoughts hidden within this scripture of which we should take note: 1) There must be a doing which springs forth from the well of His Spirit in our life. 2) The thing we are doing is to be done in His Name (the nature, the attitude and the Spirit). Not only is the deed important, but also the attitude in which the deed is done.

The foundation of true heartfelt devotion is Jesus Christ. This life of devotion is never about a cause, an organization or a ministry; all things are centered upon the person of Jesus Christ alone. Whether we are at work, at home, or out in the world, the words we speak, and the deeds we do are to be carried with a pure spirit of devotion unto Him. It is in the discovery of this that our life takes on the beauty and singularity of worship.

Worship is more than singing songs or a momentary focusing on Him; it is a life in which all things are simply an offering unto Him. The power of this truth is learned as we grow in the awareness of His Presence in the flow of our daily life.

“…for I do always those things that please him”
John 8:29

The Son never had an “off” moment; His life was full of the sense of His Father’s eye being ever upon Him. To the true disciple, devotion becomes the living of a pure life. Devotion is the gateway into a life in which His joy becomes our joy. The life of Christ within is our hope of entering into the simplicity of living intuitively in the wonder of continual worship.

“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart,
and with all thy soul, and with all thy might”
Deuteronomy 6:5

Brian Troxel

Compromise

Compromise

“Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him;
but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him,
lest they should be put out of the synagogue”
John 12:42

What was the Holy Spirit’s judgment on this?

“For they loved the praise of men
more than the praise of God”
John 12:43

When men and women lack the fortitude and courage to walk and seek God’s favour on their own, they will invariably seek their identity in “fitting in” with others. Many see the inconsistencies and compromise, yet remain complicit, ignoring the cry of their inner hearts. They succumb to conformity, to the protocols and doctrines of men at the expense of God’s glory. They become traitors to Christ; professing faith while choosing the acceptance of man over the call of God.

The penalty for such betrayal is beyond estimation, not only in this life but for eternity. Families are often destroyed by remaining in the throes of compromise for the sake of a horribly misplaced loyalty; parents (because of a loyalty to man) expose their children to lifeless concepts of God which often results in a life of wandering and futility.

The worth of a thing is determined by the price someone will pay for it. Those who esteem the praises of men more worthy than God’s pay a bitter price in the end. What people esteem becomes the compass by which they direct their life and they who value the approval of men must by necessity wander out of the Way of God.

“The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding
shall remain in the congregation of the dead”
Proverbs 21:16

May the grace of God work in us an uncompromising walk of faith. It is better to walk alone with God than to abide in the congregation of the dead.

“The fear of man bringeth a snare”
Proverbs 29:25

Brian Troxel

Letters to the Church – Words – Part Seven

Letters to the Church – Words

Part Seven

“For he that will love life, and see good days,
let him refrain his tongue from evil…”
1 Peter 3:10

The sacred scriptures speak much to us of the relationship between the words we speak and the quality of life we are afforded by the Grace of God. This exhortation from Peter is often overlooked. In the midst of the strife, contention and competition in religious circles, these words offer us a warning and a promise from God. Wisdom is the result of the fear of the Lord. In its sway we begin to weigh our words before we speak. We are saved from rash words filled with evil intent and the tendency to inflict upon others the poison of our own hearts. How often we need to be reminded of His omnipresence. He is present at every conversation weighing the words of our anger, foolishness and unsanctified thoughts.

“But I say to you, that every idle* word,
whatever men may speak,
they shall give an account of it in Judgment Day”
Matthew 12:36

There are no words spoken which will not be accounted for in the Judgment Day. All our words will be required of us in that Day. Jesus continues on in His discourse;

“For by your words you will be justified,
and by your words you will be condemned”
Matthew 12:37

The fruit of one’s lips are the revelation of their heart. We see here God’s perspective on the words we speak and the deeds we do. How we need to touch the Holiness of God to see and understand the implications of foolish words and an unbridled tongue! The gossip, slander and the seemingly innocent words spoken to dishonour another brother, or to further inflame situations in the Body of Christ, carry heavy repercussions in this life and judgment in the next.

“Do any of you think you are religious?
If you do not control your tongue,
your religion is worthless and you deceive yourself”
James 1:26

The value of a person’s walk and their relationship with God is readily seen in the words spoken. Regardless of our profession of faith, the religion of one who speaks with an undisciplined tongue is vain and worthless.

“One who brings gossip betrays a confidence,
but one who is of a trustworthy spirit is one who keeps a secret”
Proverbs 11:13

In our daily lives we either justify our walk with God or we reveal the vanity of our religious ways.

“So teach us to number our days,
that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom”
Psalm 90:12

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*Note: The Greek Word translated “idle” ἀργός is a compound word comprised of “ergon” (ἔργον) translated as works and deeds and is used 176 times in the New Testament; “ἀ” (the letter alpha which is often used in the Greek as a negative). A simple transliteration would be “words without the corresponding works”. (Words without power, fire or purpose. Words which do not inspire change in the hearers).

Humility is the precious fruit of the Spirit which becomes ours by the seeing of Him. It is in touching the Presence of God where we are delivered from our boastful words and the discrepancy of saying one thing while walking in another.

Our works are to give the words we speak the
weight and verity of Christ living within us.

“So speak ye, and so do,
as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty”
James 2:12
(Please read the context of this scripture James 2:12-26)

“Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, DO: and the God of peace shall be with you”
Philippians 4:9

Brian Troxel

Path to Ministry – Servanthood

The Path to Ministry

Servanthood

“I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing:
therefore, choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live”
Deuteronomy 30:19

The way of God is ever before us. His call, His purposes and His desire are presented unto us throughout the scriptures. Our life in Him is bound up in the choices we make. By our choices, this life in Him is either discovered or lost.

“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”
Romans 6:16

Mankind was created for obedience; it is the pathway to freedom. The above scripture reveals that one’s choice (yielding) determines whose servant they will be.

Whom or what we serve is the revelation of whose servant
we truly are regardless of what we profess!

The wisdom of God is clear and simple. All our professions, declarations and outward shows of religious activity are weighed in the balances of true obedience. Obedience is the fulcrum by which our true relationship with God is revealed. If I yield myself to sin, I am the servant of sin, regardless of my profession. Truth is truth and it is in “becoming” alive unto Him whereby we are made free from the power of sin over our lives. The true wonder of our “becoming” servants of God is the result of His victory being wrought out in the reality of our daily lives.

Servanthood to God is the highest call. A true servant of God serves Him, chooses Him and obeys Him from their heart. The individual who truly serves and obeys God, lives and walks in the Victory of Christ Himself. Without this victory we do not come to know the power and the glory of being a “servant of God”.

“Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ,
called to be an apostle…”
Romans 1:1

The depth and power of Paul’s apostolic expression was in corresponding measure to His servanthood to Christ. Whenever Paul defined his relationship to Christ, he always expressed it as servanthood not as apostleship. His apostolic expression was the result of his servanthood – not the other way around.

“I thank Him who enabled me, Christ Jesus our Lord,
because He counted me faithful, appointing me to service”
1 Timothy 1:12

Paul’s appointment to service was a result of his faithfulness to God. We must discover that the way into the true ministry to which God has called us will only be known by our faithfulness in serving and obeying Him.

We live in a day in which many of God’s people do not know their call or purpose in God. This dilemma can only be solved through the medium of obedience. Without obedience to God alone the riddle of the call of God to each of His own will remain unsolved and unfulfilled. It is in the yielding of ourselves unto obedience that we become servants of righteousness. If we yield ourselves unto sin, we become servants of sin. Jesus declared emphatically:

“No man can serve two masters…”
Matthew 6:24

Ministry today is often presented as serving people, a church, or an organization. In reality the true ministry of God serves Him, speaks His words and works His works.

“For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God?
Or am I striving to please men?
For if I were still pleasing men,
I wouldn’t be a servant of Christ
Galatians 1:10

An individual who seeks the esteem or favor of others cannot be at the same time a servant of God! Compromise is the womb of spiritual death. True humility frees an individual from the opinions of others and is the fragrance of a life in submission to God alone. There is much compromise within “Christendom” today. There is an impotency within the lives of those who seek the approval of men rather than God. Truth has been rendered powerless for it is often presented through the lives of those who do not know the workings of the Cross of Christ. It is the Cross which frees us from ourselves and bring us into singular devotion unto Christ.

“Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man,
but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father…)”
Galatians 1:1

Any ministry which validates itself by something other than doing and being a servant of Christ, will never know the power of a true servant of God.

Jesus prefaced His word, “No man can serve two masters”, with the need for a singular heart.

“The light of the body is the eye:
if therefore thine eye be single,
thy whole body shall be full of light”
Matthew 6:22

The Light and Life of Christ fills the heart which is single in its purpose to serve God alone.

Paul summed up his life in very simple terms:

“separated unto the Gospel of God”
Romans 1:1

Σ

“Set your affection on things above,
not on things on the earth”
Colossians 3:2

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Our Calling

Thought for Today

Our Calling

“For even hereunto were ye called:
because Christ also suffered for us,
leaving us an example,
that ye should follow his steps…”
1 Peter 2:21-22

Let the majesty of His call penetrate our hearts, and the grandeur of His purposes ascend above our experience. Let His call jolt us into the realization of our need for Him to be our life. We are to “follow His steps”, to climb heights unimaginable and unattainable by our own strength! The righteousness we have been called to must be apprehended upon the potency of faith. This living faith is undaunted by the magnitude of the call and our own utter weakness. How tragic it is for His people to settle for a justification by faith, rather than the full glory of a sanctified life lived unto Him. Those who knew Him, loved Him and pursued Him throughout the ages had a mark set before them. There was a divine aspiration, filling their hearts with a passion that eclipsed the religious of the day.

“Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren,
and exhort you by the Lord Jesus,
that as ye have received of us
how ye ought to walk and to please God,
so ye would abound more and more”
1 Thessalonians 4:1

May we hear the voice of Him who calls us to larger living and deeper places of abiding and drawing from Him; the power to live above and beyond the status quo of our day. May He open our eyes to see the heights and depths to which we have been called, that we may turn from any dependence upon ourselves, and launch our hearts into the great ocean of a grace which is able to lift us up and to make us to stand in this day.

Abounding More and More

Let us pursue an “abounding more and more” unto the perfect day. Let us hear the call with the hearing of the spiritual ear, without which there can be no arising. One who rests in the doctrine of justification, without a passion to know the power and wonder of the true righteousness of God produced and sustained by faith, has ceased to hear the Call of God in Christ!

“So then faith cometh by hearing,
and hearing by the word of God”
Romans 10:17

It is not a day to grow weary or to settle for meager living with faithless horizons. May God give us “ears that hear” that our faith would be energized with the certainty that He who has called us is able to fulfill His Call.

The fervency of an individual’s faith is revealed in its pursuit of Him. Those who see the summits of the call of God in Christ will not allow their experience to determine His Call; they have come to the place where the Call begins to determine their experience.

“But the path of the just is as the shining light,
that shineth more and more unto the perfect day”
Proverbs 4:18

To those who are truly justified in Christ, the path is as a shining light that shines more and more unto the perfect Day. A path is not a resting place; a path is the way to get to a destination. It is our great Shepherd who leads those who follow Him, in the paths of righteousness (Psalm 23:3).

“For even hereunto were ye called:
because Christ also suffered for us,
leaving us an example,
that ye should follow his steps…”

Please read Ephesians 1:17-23.
Meditate and feast upon
the Riches available to us in Christ!

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – Polycarp

Quote for Today

“…by grace ye are saved, not of works,” but by the will of God through Jesus Christ . . . If we please Him in this present world, we shall receive also the future world, according as He has promised to us that He will raise us again from the dead, and that if we live worthily of Him, ‘we shall also reign together with Him,’ provided only we believe . . .”
– Polycarp (martyr)