THE LORD IS OUR STRENGTH

THE LORD IS OUR STRENGTH

“The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?”

PSALM 27:1

This statement is made by one who has a HISTORY with his God. This is not a doctrinal statement. It is the declaration of a man who has known adversity, failure and victory in his walk with the Most High. We cannot know HIM this way without having experienced our own weaknesses. It is in encountering the situations that are greater than our own resources that we “discover” that in truth HE IS OUR STRENGTH. Even our failures become the very stepping stones into this life of knowing HIM as our strength. The faltering steps of the Disciples slowly turn into the Apostolic Tread that became the foundation of the early church. The lives of believers whose stories grace the pages of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs were just like us yet as they walked with HIM they became strong. They discovered through the medium of faith and obedience that HE WAS in fact their strength. HIS STRENGTH displaced the fear of men and situations, HIS FAITHFULNESS destroyed the fear of their own weakness and HIS LOVE cast out all fear.

People who never “do” never know the reality of stepping into the raging waters of the storms that come but run from the very MEANS by which this truth is discovered. The testings and storms are HIS messengers, HIS servants to a deeper knowing of the blessed truth that HE IS OUR PRESENT HELP in every situation. May the God of all Grace lead us into the full assurance of faith that HE will never fail us in our time of need! May HIS FAITH welling up within our hearts cause us to step out of the boat to walk upon the storms of life, with our eyes fixed upon HIM knowing that HIS very name is FAITHFUL and TRUE.

“The LORD God is my strength,
and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet,
and he will make me to walk upon mine high places”

HABAKKUK 3:15

Brian Troxel

GOD’S INVESTMENT

GOD’S INVESTMENT

“If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand,
I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?”

I Corinthians 12:15

Value. Even in earthly things the value of something is based on what someone will pay for it, not its intrinsic worth. Something that may be of little value to one is priceless to another. In the Church at Corinth there was dissimulation and controversy because there was much value put on specific expressions while others were minimized. Today we have a similar situation where multitudes of God’s redeemed people sit in ignorance of the wealth and the precious investment that is theirs in Christ Jesus. We all admire a gracious ministration of God in an individual, but the truth of the New Covenant is that Jesus paid the same price for every man. He tasted the same death for everyone that calls upon HIS NAME. The attitude expressed here of “because I am not the hand” is really an expression of unbelief rather than humility. Value is not determined by function but by the price paid. How we need to see things through the eyes of our Redeemer! We hear things such as; “I could never preach like that, pray like that” and that may be true. However it is the “I” that is the problem not the giver. For there to be unity, life and glory in the Body of Christ there is no room for “I”. This is His Body and HE PLACES the members in it as it pleases HIM not us. There is no such thing as someone insignificant in God’s Eternal purposes. What HE has purchased is to become a priceless, unique and powerful expression of HIS LIFE. It is UNBELIEF that says “because I am not the hand, I am not of the body…” It is the recipient of the one talent who hid his portion in the ground that received such a stern judgment from the hand of the Lord.

“Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord,
we persuade men…”

II Corinthians 5:11

The FEAR OF THE LORD is the great leveler of men. Paul is stating here that the thing that propelled HIM from one city to the next in HIS declaration of the Gospel was the fear of the Lord. The fear of the Lord does not paralyze us it enables us to walk, live and be responsible to the investment of the Lord in our lives. It causes us to face our own unbelief and ARISE to walk in HIS PROVISION. It frees us from the fear of man, the fear of inadequacy and the fear of failure. It brings us to the awful recognition that it is to HIM I must give an account; it is a terrible sin to hold the precious things of HIM in faithless inactivity and unbelief. This is the DAY for the people of God to ARISE and LIVE and WALK in the provisions of the SON in OUR FATHER’S HOUSE. All things are HIS, and HE is looking for a healthy return upon the investment that HE has already made.

“And if you call on the Father, who without partiality
judges according to each one’s work,
conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear;
knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things,
like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct…
but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish”

I PETER 1:17 – 18

Brian Troxel

ARISING IN THE NIGHT!

ARISING IN THE NIGHT

”And I arose in the night”
Nehemiah 2:12

The test of faith is not only what we do in the times of light and blessing but how we respond in those times when we cannot see our way. Here we see a dark time for the people of God; the City of God was burned with fire, the gates destroyed, and rubble filled the streets. The enemy was strong in the Land and the oppressors kept diligent watch that there should be no rising up of the people of God.

Nehemiah had a call from God to see the City arise from the rubble. There was a cry in his heart for the City not for himself. The burden caused him to arise, the vision was strong upon him, his purpose was clear and his God was Great. He did not wait for others to “catch the vision”; he did not wait for the “conditions” to improve.  He arose to fulfill the cry of God in his heart.

True Vision produces DEEDS of FAITH. True vision brings us into the reality that our God is willing, able and faithful to provide substance and strength for the purpose for which we have been apprehended. While men linger in the night the tares are planted…

“But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat”
Matthew 13:25

While men sleep the enemy sows deception and error; thoughts that sound right but destroy the truth of the seed that was planted. Excuses and reasons why we cannot arise, why the people of God should be content to just maintain the status quo while the City of God remains divided, weak and barren, are all tares sown in the night.

“The slothful man saith, there is a lion in the way…”
Proverbs 26:13

LET US ARISE even in the night to see HIS Glory once again covering, filling and empowering the Church of JESUS CHRIST. Let us arise, lay aside the seeking of our own prosperity, and find HIS heart to seek the welfare of the Children of God!

“God’s program for reviving His people is definite and clear. First Elijah repaired the altar of Jehovah that was thrown down. That is the place to begin. All the ruin that sin has wrought must be cleared away by confession. Things must be made right with God; restitution must be made where it is due. Unless this is done definitely and thoroughly, prayer for reviving is vain. Too many are praying today without repairing the altar by confession of sin, without digging a trench of separation from the world and without a surrender that is even unto death. No wonder such prayer is fruitless”
Andrew Gih

Brian Troxel

FEED THEM

FEED THEM

“You give them to eat”
MATTHEW 14:17

Somewhere within the development of a healthy believer’s life there comes a startling moment when there must be the transition from a child always needing someone to feed them to becoming a source and supply for others. True ministry will facilitate and press those within its sphere to bring about this life of progression from relying on the bread of others to becoming bread for others.

Here we see Jesus looking over the multitudes with great compassion and His first response is to turn to the disciples and desire of them to feed the multitudes. He is ever beckoning us to come and participate (fellowship) with HIM in the bringing forth of HIS KINGDOM in the earth. The validity of any ministry is revealed in the development of those around it to become a unique, powerful ministration of the SON in their lives unto others. This is the nature of the Kingdom of God.

We live in a day where thousands upon thousands of believers sit year after year listening to others teach, preach and minister to them without a cry rising up within their own hearts to become life and bread to others. HOW CAN THESE THINGS BE? How long will this unnatural and stagnant condition continue? When will there be a recognition of the futility and impotency of our ways? Can we not hear the call to us from the Book of Hebrews…?

“For though by this time you ought to be teachers,
you need someone to teach you AGAIN the first principles of the
oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food”

HEBREWS 5:12

When there is a lack of development within the people of God, those with father’s hearts are ever there to be faithful to exhort and admonish the people of God onward… “let us go on to perfection…” (HEBREWS 6:1).

How sad it is to see the teacher/pupil relationship continue for years and years without change. To see the same people sitting and listening to sermons, tapes, teachings, seminars and countless other forms of the “multimedia” world we live in WITHOUT THE CORRESPONDING GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE MINISTRATIONS OF THE LIVING CHRIST WITHIN THE HEARERS is incomprehensible! This is not only an indictment of the condition within the Body of Christ in this hour it is a clear revelation that we are living in the last days.

“Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes,
will He really find faith on the earth?”

LUKE 18:8

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets,
some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
FOR the equipping of the saints FOR the work of ministry,
for the edifying of the body of Christ,
till we ALL come…”

EPHESIANS 4:11 – 13

Brian Troxel

HIS VOICE

HIS VOICE

“And ye said, Behold,
the LORD our God hath showed us his glory and his greatness,
and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire:
we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth.
Now therefore why should we die? for this great fire will consume us:
if we hear the voice of the Lord our God any more, then we shall die.
For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living
God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?
Go thou near, and hear all that the Lord our God shall say:
and speak thou unto us all that the Lord our God shall speak unto thee;
and we will hear it, and do it.”
Deuteronomy 5:24 – 27

Though Israel saw the works of God in Egypt and at the Red Sea it is here that they first caught a glimpse of the fact that He speaks to men. This reveals the possibility of relationship. It is one thing to see the moving of His hand; it is quite another to hear Him speak and enter into the place of comprehending His WILL and PURPOSE. Relationship denotes responsibility and accountability. Religion does not mind acknowledging God, nor does it have a problem with even His miracles and His words if they are related to us from a book or someone else. But the thought of hearing His voice for ourselves brings us to the edge of reality. It brings us to the awful place of His fire, His presence, and into the place of knowing. Religion is like an anesthetic; it gives us enough understanding to make us feel comfortable, but leaves us in enough darkness that we do not have to face that penetrating light and feel the heat from the fire of His presence. For it is in knowing that we see to some degree our state and His glory. It is in hearing His voice that He communicates His Will and His purpose for our lives. This is a fearful place. It is a place that strips us from the comfort of the shadows of obscurity into the knowledge of the Holy One by the revelation of Himself in and by His living Word.

“Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.
and ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent,
him ye believe not. Search the scriptures;
for in them ye think ye have eternal life:
and they are they which testify of me.”

John 5:37

The Jews had a confidence in their knowledge of the scriptures, yet that knowledge instead of revealing the Christ, blinded them to the seeing of Him, “…for in them ye think ye have life…” Their confidence was in the knowledge of words rather than in the hearing of His voice. If they had heard His voice they would have seen Him and known Him. The voice of the Lord is ever speaking into the earth looking and longing for His creation to hear and come that it might know Him and be changed.

It is the voice of God that calls us to the true knowledge of Him and to the awful revelation of ourselves. It is the voice of God that calls us to separation and obedience. No wonder the desire to remain in the comfort of obscurity. But, it is also the voice that reveals the Lamb of God in all of His Grace and Glory. It is the voice that draws us away from our sin and our sickness unto Holiness, without which no man can see God. It calls us to the place of worship, to the place of fellowship with Him, to the place of the mount of God baptized with fire and glory and ultimately it brings us to the place of His divine purpose, Christ in you the full hope of Glory. His voice is for one purpose; to make us so one with Him that our life becomes His voice to others, our life becomes his provision to those He brings our way. When the people asked John the Baptist who he was he simply replied…“I am a voice of one crying out in the wilderness… ” They could not recognize him because they knew not the voice that spoke through him, and that voice was to prepare the way for the true Shepherd who was to follow. It’s in hearing His voice that we become an echo of the One who is, who was and who is to come; “for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy”. Let us not draw back in the hearing of His voice but as Elijah who upon hearing the “still small voice” wrapped himself in his mantle and presented himself to the Will and the Purposes of God.

How men and women in this day quickly trade away their true standing in God and seek out men who will speak to them in the stead of God! How sad it is that there is a professional “ministry” who would stand in the place of God so that the people can shirk their responsibility and sit in pews when they should be up and about doing the will of their Father. Where is that ministry which will confront this lethargy and speak with power and unction to cause people to recognize their birthright as “sons” and draw near to God with hearts that long to hear and obey the voice of the Almighty? Where is that true ministry such as John the Baptist that rejoices when his disciples forsake him to follow in the footsteps of the Son? May God arise and pour out His fire in this day to ignite the hearts of His people to give our lives unto Him as living sacrifices’!

“An empty altar will receive no fire…”
Frank Bartleman

Brian Troxel

DOING GOOD

DOING GOOD

“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth
with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good,
and healing all that were oppressed of the devil;
for God was with him”

Acts 10:38

The power and evidence of the operation of the Holy Ghost in the life of Jesus was that he went about doing good. There are many who contend that the evidence of the Holy Ghost in a person’s life is speaking in tongues. While this may be it has been lost that the purpose of the Holy Ghost coming to his people from God’s perspective is to make us witnesses (Acts 1:8) through out the world unto him. We get caught up with so many things and lose sight of the reason why we are here. We are called unto love and good works. It is vital that we have the love of God burning in our hearts in such intensity that the result is a life that goes about doing good to those around us. The Holy Ghost operating in our lives is not only the power to deliver those that are oppressed, but to be filled with such love as to make that faith reach out to the lost. It is to such things that we have been called. We know that we are not saved by works but it is equally true that by doing good works we reveal that salvation that has been freely given to us. The servant is not above the master. If his life was lived in the context of this world by doing good are not we called to the same? A good fountain will give forth good water and a liberal soul will be expressed in generosity. These are the principles of fruit in his creation. Let us go out into this world with the lamp of the Lord burning brightly through the good works of those who have been empowered by His Spirit to walk as he walked.

Brian Troxel

SECURE SERVANTS

SECURE SERVANTS

“Jesus KNOWING
that the Father had given
all things into his hands,
and that he was come from God,
and went to God;
He riseth from supper,
and laid aside his garments;
and took a towel, and girded himself.
After that he poureth water into a basin,
and began to wash the disciples’ feet”

JOHN 13:3 – 5

Servanthood is directly related to our security in terms of relationship with God. Men who are insecure cannot, will not, ever touch upon the power of the HIS humility. “Jesus knowing” was the basis of HIS ability to serve and minister to others. HIS relationship with God was not determined by what HE did; HIS knowing of who HE was was not defined by the position HE took with other men. HE knew and was secure in HIS relationship with the FATHER. True ministry knows that the secret of the people of God flowing, moving and being empowered in their own ministrations of the risen Christ is directly related to each member being “rooted and grounded in the love of God”. Men may function in the gifts of the Holy Spirit but that is not true ministry. Ministry is that which flows from member to member because of relationship not gifting…

“From whom the whole body
fitly joined together
and compacted by that
which every JOINT supplieth,
according to the effectual working
in the measure of every part,
maketh increase of the body
unto the edifying of itself in love”

EPHESIANS 4:16

The Body of Christ is “fitly joined and supplied” by means of the joints which speak of relationship and love flowing from member to member. The Corinthian Church excelled in the operation of the Gifts of the Spirit, yet they were carnal and filled with strife and emulation even to the point of pitting one ministry above another. They did not realize that the true power of edification and ministry took place in serving one another in Christ. They did not see that the gifts, when they are not coupled with the character of the Son, could not produce ministry but could only express ministrations that (without the character of Christ) would not produce the unity and the love of God in the local church.

It is in each of us knowing and walking in the power of a safe and secure walk with God that we can serve one another in true love and power. King Saul was an insecure man, because his obedience was partial and his heart obstinate, and when he beheld the life of David and heard the singing of the maidens of the greater works of David his insecurity drove him to persecute and drive David away.

SECURITY can only be known by a walk of love and obedience for that is the revelation of HIM that alone will give us boldness in the Day of Judgment.

“Herein is our love made perfect,
that we may have boldness
in the day of judgment: because as he is,
so are we in this world”

I JOHN 4:17

Brian Troxel

FAITHFULNESS

FAITHFULNESS

“The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream;
and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully.
What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD.
Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD;
and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?”

JEREMIAH 23:28 – 29

Faithfulness to God is a rare commodity in our day; to simply give what has been given. Faithfulness means remaining faithful to HIM regardless of the response of those around us. To remain true to what we see and hear in our God, whether or not it is popular or convenient, is the essence of LIFE IN HIM. The truth of God is at its very core simple. It is not for the wise, the respected or the strong of this world… it is for the child like in heart. It is for those who are free from desiring respectability or the approval of men, for we have seen the vanity of our own heart and of those around us. To seek to honour HIM and be true to HIS heart and desire in the earth is FAITHFULNESS. To be free of ulterior motives, agendas and selfish pursuits and remain true to HIS purpose is FAITHFULNESS. Our portion is to give what we have received; to tell the dream, speak HIS WORD and DO HIS WILL. What a precious portion that is! This is the fellowship of and in the SON. To partake of HIS WILL in the speaking and the doing is the FELLOWSHIP OF LIFE; the exercise of my LIFE in HIS. Blessed are those who are faithful for they SHALL reap even though now the fields seem barren, the companions of the way few and the skies grey. The HARVEST IS COMING! Let us not grow weary but be encouraged in the doing, speaking and walking for our God is faithful! We cannot reap tomorrow unless we sow, speak and toil in the fields today. Men who are faithful are thus because they know that GOD is faithful.

“Who then is a faithful and wise servant,
whom his lord hath made ruler over his household,
to give them meat in due season?
Blessed is that servant,
whom his lord when he cometh shall find so DOING

MATTHEW 24:45 – 46

Brian Troxel

The Kingdom – Part 1

“The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth,
and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.”

Matthew 13:44

As we see from the many parables in the Gospels concerning the Kingdom of God, it is not a place that we go to when we die, nor is it a “deep” teaching to be known on an intellectual plane, it is a treasure beyond compare.  When a person actually discovers it’s true worth it produces a LIFE that sells itself out for the acquisition of it.  Men who have a teaching are content to talk about it, learn more about it and simply wait for it, but “when” a man finds its true meaning, there is a rising up and a “selling” of all that we have in order to purchase it. Consider….

  • “I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which I was apprehended…”
  • “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire…”
  • “Know ye not that they which RUN in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So Run   that YE MAY OBTAIN”

The truth of the Kingdom is powerful.  It grips the hearts of those who see its worth and produces a quest for reality and truth that cannot leave the beholder with a passive interest in its acquisition and a faithless waiting for it to come.   It must be pursued, purchased and acquired at any cost.  Obedience is the means by which “we sell our all”. True discipleship is characterized by “if” for it is the freewill offering of the New Covenant.


“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it…
For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels;
and then he shall reward every man according to his works

Matthew 16:24 – 27

Ω

The costs associated with the “buying” of this great treasure are very real because the faith that produces it is very real.  This is the day to arise and see the value of this great treasure!  Let us no longer be satisfied with the teachings of the Kingdom, waiting for the Kingdom, but let us, by the wonder of Faith and Trust, enter the Kingdom through the LIFE and POWER of the Son at work in our lives.

“Everyone wants the kingdom of God, but few want it first. Everyone wants high achievement, but few want to pay the price. Everyone wants God, but few want to put him first.”

Charles L. Venable

Faith Works

“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

Somewhere in the in the murky waters of religion, “works” became one of those words that became a stigma to the teaching of faith.  Works and faith were set in opposition to one another to such an extent that faith itself lost its power in the life of the individual believer.  Faith became a noun where it is said of some they are of a particular “faith”.  In the divorce of Faith from works, faith became an esoteric concept, a teaching, a statement of belief that could be hung from a wall, printed on a church bulletin, or written in a book and sold as a commodity.  It has come to such a low point that faith really has very little to do with the life of the common believer.  Its impact is relegated to “discussions” and doctrinal statements without so much as a thought as to what it should actually PRODUCE in the life of the believer.

“But wilt thou know, O vain man, that
FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD?”

James 2

As the church descended the slippery slopes where faith occupied less and less of the minds and hearts of God’s people, false teachings came in corrupting and beguiling the people of God and bringing the GREAT DIVORCE of Faith from Works.  Faith was no longer the heart and soul of the people of God; teachings and philosophy replaced the power and illumination of the lamp of God.  No longer did the fellowship of believers “provoke one another unto Love and Good Works”, but we replaced it with programs and teachings that promoted faithless inactivity.  Jesus was having a discussion with the Pharisees of HIS day in which they had said to HIM, “Abraham is our father”.  Jesus replied….

“If ye were Abraham’s children,
ye would do the works of Abraham”

John 8:39

 

So should it be said in this day, if we are the children of God, we should be doing the works of God.  In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus stated…

“Let your light so shine before men,
that they may see your good works,
and glorify your Father which is in heaven”

Matthew 5:16

We are not saved by works; we are saved UNTO good works by the union of Love and Faith.  Far too often have the scriptures been taken out of context and used to support the horror of divorcing Faith from Works…

“For by grace are ye saved through faith: and not that of yourselves:
it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus
UNTO GOOD WORKS, which God hath ordained that we
SHOULD WALK IN THEM.”

Ephesians 2:8 – 10

Where is the separation?  It is only in the abominable teaching of this hour.  Where are the works of the believer that are inspired by the living Faith of Christ within us?  How dare we separate these two; for in the separation we have compromised with a faith that is not only dead but has deceived the people of God into thinking that a faith without works is not only acceptable but pleasing to its Author.

Zealous of Good Works

A people redeemed from all iniquity, purified unto a peculiar (treasured and precious) people, are a people zealous of Good Works.  Whatever our place of development in God, whatever our standing, rest assured that our faith is being revealed by what it produces everyday in our lives.  In the Book of Revelation we see the ONE with the eyes of fire peering into the Church of Laodicea and HE SPEAKS this Word…

“I know thy WORKS,
that thou are art neither cold nor hot…”

Revelation 3:15

 

Our works reveal our faith.  The redemptive power of salvation is revealed in and through lives that are filled with the fire of a continually growing, dynamic faith that is made alive by the LOVE of God.

“For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision nor uncircumcision
availeth any thing, but
Faith which worketh by Love.”

Galatians 5:5

Ω

“Faith is the root of works. A root that produces nothing is dead.”

Thomas Wilson (1663–1735)

Brian Troxel