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Posts Tagged ‘Press Toward the Mark’

 

Deeper into Him Message at Boulder Street Church March 19, 2017

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A Plea to God’s People

“This people says, the time has not come, the time for the house of Jehovah to be built. And the word of Jehovah was by Haggai the prophet, saying, Is it time for you yourselves to live in your finished houses, and this house to lie waste? And now, so says Jehovah of hosts: Set your heart on your ways! You have sown much, and bring in little; you eat, but are not satisfied; you drink, but not to be filled; you dress, but there is no warmth to one. Yea, he who sells himself sells himself for a bag of holes. So says Jehovah of hosts: Set your heart on your ways. Go up the mountain and bring wood and build this house. And I will be pleased with it, and I will be glorified, says Jehovah. You looked for much, and, behold, little! And when you brought it home, then I blew on it. Why, declares Jehovah of hosts? Because of My house that is ruined, and you, each man, run to his own house. On account of this, the heavens above you have held back the dew, and the earth is held back from her produce. And I called for a drought in the land, and on the mountains, and on the grain, and on the new wine, and on the oil, and on that which the ground produces, and on man, and on livestock, and on all the labor of your hands”
Haggai 1:2-11(LITV)

This word and its implication in the days in which we live are burning in my heart. The response of God’s people, many of whom once believed in the entering in (Hebrews 4:1-6; Philippians 3:8-14), is dismal as they have settled and grown weary with the way. I have heard it said that the reason for the poverty of this generation is because God is not opening the door. There will be no proper response to God from His people until we ourselves acknowledge that it is our doing which has brought about the spiritual malaise of this hour. It will require broken hearts, repentance and a coming together on the basis of His worthiness and His glory; people with an inherent cry to enter in to that which has been given to us.

It is we who have caused God’s presence to be dimmed as all the prophets of old have declared. We have become accustomed to the lack of His Presence in our midst. We have settled for ease and shrugged off our accountability unto Him. We have been forgiven, called, and gifted, in order to declare His Glory to this generation. Instead we have become comfortable with brothers and sisters who do not speak to one another, animosity and division which ruptures the very fabric of His Body. We are called to love one another, pray for one another and admonish one another unto love and good works. A great storm is about to break and we have not laid these things to heart. It is a day to repent, to turn from the love of the world, and to acknowledge that if I do not care about my brother I am walking in darkness. We must facilitate the rising up of HIS BODY in the earth. We cannot continue to walk outside of the fear of the Lord, for in His fear we are aware that our words and deeds are measured before our God.

It is with this attitude of heart that I plead with my brothers and sisters to reach out to find common ground in His heart; to relate to one another in His Love that we might receive the encouragement and admonition of the Lord and rise up out of our apathy in the Unity of His Spirit and His Faith. Unto Him be Glory in the Church now and forever! Amen.

A New Generation Arises

There is a new generation arising with faith and determination to enter into that which God has set before them. Many of the older generation* have failed to enter in because of unbelief (Hebrews 3:19, 4:6). They seek by prayer and religious works that which has already been provided for in Christ. The Word of God declares…

“So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief”
(Hebrews 3:19)

“Seeing therefore it remains that some must enter therein,
and they to whom it was first preached
entered not in because of unbelief”
(Hebrews 4:6)

The thing that God has promised sits before us, open and ready for those who step into the River Jordan. While the former generation hold prayer meetings and discussions about how God needs to open the door, a new generation is hearing the call. Those who sit in faithless inactivity fail to understand the truths in the parables of the pounds and the talents. He has given us great ministrations of His Life; it is what we do with them that determine the outcome. To declare that God is the one holding us back is to intimate our spiritual condition is due to His providence rather than our own unbelief. The River parts AS His People step into it. It is unbelief to pray to God to give what has already been given (Exodus 14:15-16). Unbelief cloaked in religious activities has been the sin of many a generation, yet within these times of unbelief God has people who are rising up to take the promise of their day and their hour. Such is the crisis/opportunity of today. In the midst of this unbelief there is a new generation arising that will not be denied. Their hearts cannot linger in the “religion” of unbelief and a faith that does not produce the works of the Son. The veil has been torn (past tense) and to ask God to open the veil is an expression of unbelief.

To say that the reason God’s people live in such spiritual poverty is because of God’s unwillingness to open the way is to lay blame for their spiritual condition upon God rather than themselves. This is a fearful place to walk.

While the bones of one generation bleach white on the sands of unbelief * a new one rises with added grace to enter in and displace the enemies who have too long held the Land of our inheritance. May we be those who feel Him pressing us to walk with the “hind’s feet” (Psalm 18:33) of His provisions. We cannot linger in the valley of vain words, religious meetings and wordy discussions. We must shed our unbelief and stop consoling one another with words rather than the works and admonitions of faith.

I am blessed and encouraged to see the faith of this new generation taking them beyond the impotence and staleness of former things. They are lights shining in the dark! Their words convey a faith not learned by reading books or hearing sermons but a faith that is the very gift of God. They know intuitively there is a Land filled with the Glory of God which is beyond the reach of the religious, but easily accessible by childlike faith. It is a great consolation to hear these voices arising which are speaking better things than the jealously of Saul, the gainsaying of Korah, and the greed of Balaam. The cry within their hearts is for the Unity for which the Son prayed and they will not allow jealousy, apathy and high-mindedness to deter them. They understand the truth of Isaiah 58; the true fast of the Lord is one of doing and becoming rather than the Pharisaical works of the flesh. It is of these that Jesus speaks “suffer the little children to come unto ME”. They are not schooled in the unbelief of our day. They do not know and care little about great men; they have been enamored by the ONE who matters. They know we are here to be the answer to HIS prayer and desire in the earth.

“…that all may be one, as You are in Me,
Father, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us,
that the world may believe
that You sent Me”
John 17:21 (LITV)

The final outpouring of His Spirit will not fall on a divided and sectarian people. The New Wine will only be poured out into a New Wineskin (Matthew 9:16-17). The old, inflexible wineskin, held together with the carnal energies of those who would seek their own glory and not His, will never be able to contain His Glory. Patching things up rather than seeking the New will never work. There is only ONE NAME by which this will happen; His Name is JESUS and it is above all others. This coming move of God will not be identified as Pentecostal, Baptist, Alliance or the thousand other names by which men have sought to differentiate themselves from others. Those who will be part of this New Wineskin will find their whole identity in Him and seek His Glory alone. They will so minister the life of Jesus that they will rejoice when their brothers and sisters surpass them in their knowing of Him. It is from such a heart that Paul declared:

“I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. for I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh
Romans 9:1-3

This is the heart that draws the anointing from God; the heart to which God can entrust the power and the wonder of His ways; the heart that knows the ministration of the Holy Spirit is not about them but about His People and His Inheritance. It is into such a vessel that this New Wine will be poured out without measure. It will not be poured into those who separate themselves from God’s people and pray for God to move. Faith without works is not a living faith. Elijah prayed for the “child of promise” which had died and when the prayers were not answered he stretched himself out and identified with that dead body (three times) in order to see it arise (1 Kings 17:19-22). Any “truth” which does not cause an individual to identify with God and His People is not truth but simply a teaching.

“But he that doeth truth cometh to the light,
that his deeds may be made manifest,
that they are wrought in God
John 3:21

One cannot hold faith or truth within their hearts
and be without the deeds which are borne of them.

* Note: In the midst of a whole generation failing the purposes of God at Kadesh Barnea there were those of that generation who walked in the faith and fire of God. These are they of whom it is said they followed after a “different spirit” than the generation who declared the enemies were too large and strong…

“But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land wherein to he went; and his seed shall possess it”
(Numbers 14:24)

The promise of entering in is not based upon teachings or doctrines; it is determined by the spirit in which one walks with God. Many linger in things which are dead and passing away, even things which had life for many years. They now must give way to the New and the New can only be known by having ears to hear and a heart to obey.

“Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth…”
(Isaiah 43:18-19)

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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“I press toward the mark…”

PART TWO

In our day and age in the Body of Christ there is very little sense of purpose; to be more precise there is little concept of what is the MARK in the Christian life. If there be no MARK presented to the people of God by the “ministry” how can there be any pursuit of the MARK clearly set forth in the Living Word of God? There can be no pressing into the things of God without a clear presentation of what those things are; it is like trying to run a race with no finish line. That would be absurd and yet it is exactly what so many seem to do. Once the “seekers” are “saved” the seeking tends to wane. Others will “feed” them and look after the “development” of their faith as long as they give their tithe and get involved with a few programs. How do “pressing toward the mark”, “reaching forth unto the things that lie before” and “counting the loss of ALL things as dung” in order to WIN Christ even fit into the “theology” of this present day? If there is no goal there is no pursuit. Wrong teaching produces wrong living.

The Greek word used here for MARK is σκοπός, (skopos), where we get the English word scope, best expressed as the scope of a rifle with a cross-hair in it for aiming at a specific target. Paul was not a theoretical or idealistic man; he was a man with a determined and specific purpose in his pursuit of the living God. All things were measured by this ONE THING. Everything else was made subservient to this one call and as a result he never swerved from the singular desire of his heart. Men who see little, pursue little. Only those who find the “Pearl” to be of great price will sacrifice all to purchase this unique and priceless treasure. What we are at this moment is the revelation of our vision. If we are comfortable and content with the status quo of our life in God, if we have settled for anything less than a life that is in full pursuit of HIS LIFE in us, then we have seen little. If there is not a cry within us to affect the lives of those around us and, more importantly, those we do not even know, we have seen but little. If there is a contentedness to remain independent and aloof from the lives of God’s people around us, if we are unmoved at the divorce rate, if we are not alarmed by the overwhelming dependence of God’s people for mood altering “medications”, if we are not burdened over the lack of HIS FIRE in our midst, if we have been meeting with the same people for years with little or no development in the expression of Christ in our lives or theirs, then we are most definitely in need of VISION and a true understanding of God’s purpose in the race.

There is a MARK to be aimed at by the people of God. In the Epistle to the Church at Philippi Paul was laying bare his heart regarding the attitude by which every one of God’s people was to be driven. Without HIS LOVE beating within our hearts there can be no pursuit. This pursuit is not birthed by a religious zeal for that will fail in the difficulty of the way. Self realization will fade in the recognition that there is no place in which the flesh can glory. It will cost us all that we hold dear. There will be no going back when once we truly see the MARK…HE who first loved us!

“Bad will be the day for every man
when he becomes absolutely content with the life that he is living,
with the thoughts that he is thinking, with the deeds that he is doing,
when there is not forever beating at the doors of his soul
some great desire to do something larger,
which he knows that he was meant and made to do because he is still,
in spite of all, the child of God.

PHILLIPS BROOKS (1835–1893)

Brian Troxel

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