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Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 23’

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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PSALM 23

PART TWENTY-THREE

CONCLUSION

CONFIDENCE AND REST

“…and I will dwell* in the house of the LORD for ever.”
PSALM 23:5

The Hebrew word translated here for “dwell” comes from the primary Hebrew root word to “sit” (*see below). It speaks of a rest and a posture of confidence and comfort. David in his pursuit of God came to a point where he was confident in His God, not himself. His posture of rest was not based on some teaching or the fact that he was a King rather his rest was based on the character of HIS GOD. This statement of confidence “I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever” had little to do with David’s own ability to serve God; it was founded upon the personal KNOWING that the LORD was HIS SHEPHERD! Many of God’s people struggle with this confidence, this sense of knowing and belonging. We seek for assurance by doing good things, by clinging to doctrines, assurances from others, belonging to some Christian organization, subscribing to a well-known teacher or some other outward thing to satisfy this need for security. God has only one thing to offer us: the PLEDGE of HIMSELF; the verity of HIS own character. Every action and motive that is not birthed from this place of abiding will eventually fail to satisfy the deep longing within the heart of His own. This place of rest cannot instill a sense of complacency or apathy. It must and will produce a pursuit and seeking of HIM who has become the ONE THING the true heart desires (Psalm 27:4, Philippians 3:13). The pursuit of Him is no longer based on gaining HIS approval but is birthed of an intense desire “to know HIM”.

“That I may KNOW HIM, and the power of his resurrection,
and the fellowship of his sufferings,
being made conformable unto his death…
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:
but this ONE THING I do…
I press toward the mark for the prize
of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”
Philippians 3:10 – 14

The one who wrote the scripture above also wrote…

“But God, who is rich in mercy,
for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Even when we were dead in sins,
hath quickened us together with Christ,
(by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together,
and made us SIT together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus”
Ephesians 2:4 – 5

The posture of sitting together with Christ in heavenly places is born of an insatiable desire to know HIM more fully and deeply. It is the starting point of our journey. In this knowledge we will arise from our failures, disappointments and trials that are all part of the discovery of both the depths and the riches of His Grace.

Trust and confidence can only be known via relationship. Such is the heart of our Great Shepherd who leads us to the “still waters” of resting in HIM, the “green pastures” of feeding upon Him in the tranquility of His tender love and care, the feasting with Him in the “presence of our enemies” and to the discovery of His Presence with us in “the valley of the shadow of death”! Let us with great humility of heart follow HIM, seek Him and grow in the graces of HIM who is the LORD OUR SHEPHERD!

Ω

The Lord my pasture shall prepare,
And feed me with a shepherd’s care;
His presence shall my wants supply,
And guard me with a watchful eye.
Joseph Addison (1672–1719)

* H3427. יָשַׁב yāšaḇ: A verb meaning to sit, to dwell, to inhabit, to endure, to stay. Apparently, to sit is the root idea, and other meanings are derived from this. (THE COMPLETE WORD STUDY DICTIONARY: OLD TESTAMENT Warren Baker, D.R.E. Eugene Carpenter, Ph.D.)

Brian Troxel

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PSALM 23

PART TWENTY ONE

HIS ABUNDANCE

“my cup runneth over”
PSALM 23:5

The overflowing cup is a result of the Anointing. This life of abundance and flow is the RESULT of HIS LIFE and HIS influence in our lives. Man left to himself is a desert; an unruly patch of weeds, thorns and thistles. The only hope of Glory for any man is “Christ IN us…”! This abundant flow of the grace of God is known along with the keen recognition that within ourselves we are barren and impoverished. Only He has the ability to make the desert bloom, the barren land a fruitful field and the fountains of living water to flow without measure. So much time is spent by many of God’s people focusing on their lack and their own condition that they remove themselves from the fountain of His abundance. We need to take note of the Word of God in this regard…

“He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said,
out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive:
for the Holy Ghost was not yet given…”
JOHN 7:38 – 39

The flow of this river out of the lives of His people is based not only on the Holy Spirit being given but also being received! There is much emphasis on sending men and women to Bible schools, conferences and seminars when the real need is to see them filled, empowered and living in the power, the government and the vitality of the Holy Spirit! Teaching will not empower a man (as good and as necessary as that is). True teaching must bring the people of God into the pursuit, passion and the desire for others to know of this essential reality.

Christians are not to be impoverished, selfish, carnal and wounded people. They are to be living epistles of the living God. The abundance is to be of such an order and of such a nature that the world will behold the works that the Spirit of God produces within our lives and will cause them to Glorify OUR FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN.

“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

True light produces True Works! The gracious pouring out of the Holy Spirit is to produce something far higher, far deeper and far more comprehensive than merely speaking in tongues. It is to produce a life teeming with the grace and glory of God; a life that bears fruit in every circumstance, a life that can identify with the pain and suffering of others, a life of abundance that flows out to others with the faith and mercy of our great God. It is to be a life that stands for truth and God’s way in a day of growing darkness and apostasy with a boldness to declare the council and purposes of God regardless of the consequences. Such things are only ours through a life that has received and continues to receive the pouring forth of this unmerited gift of the Holy Spirit.

Let us never stop growing and living and seeking and desiring more of all that He desires to give for we are reminded that the Spirit of God is poured out without measure! It is we who determine the depth of its influence and Lordship in our lives; it is we who must ask, must knock, must seek this anointing that is now ours because Jesus has been Glorified! (John 7:39)

How we must see that this GIFT is given not on the basis of our own merit but it is given because JESUS HAS BEEN GLORIFIED! Therefore the abundance, the life of overflowing is ours because of HIS MERIT and HIS ASCENSION!!!

“Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high,
he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men”
EPHESIANS 4:8

Let us re-evaluate the measure of the life that we live today as compared to the purpose that God has for us in CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD!

“Amplius” means broader, fuller, wider.
That is God’s perpetual word to us in relation to filling of the Holy Spirit.
We can never have enough to satisfy His yearning desire.
When we have apprehended most,
there are always unexpected supplies in store
ready to be drawn upon”
FB Meyer

Brian Troxel

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PSALM 23

PART TWENTY

HIS ANOINTING OIL

“Thou anointest my head with oil”
PSALM 23:5

The anointing brings sanctification, power and ability. It takes ordinary people and empowers them to be expressions of Glory and manifests the gifts and the calling of a merciful and Most High God. There is, however, more to this anointing than power and divine enablement; empowered vessels can still be selfish and wounded. They can be carnal, absorbed with self, deceived and fragile. It is necessary for us to know and understand that the full work of God is to MAKE us, in thought, word and deed, a people who ARE like Him!

“And hath MADE us kings and priests unto God…”
Revelation 1:6

The Hebrew Word*, translated “Oil” in this verse, denotes fatness, richness, with clear references to cleansing and healing. In order for us to be made rich and fat in the blessings of our God we must become whole within the very heart of our being. Without the healing and cleansing aspect of the work of the Holy Spirit we would be blemishes to all that God has purposed man should be. The scriptures are full of examples of men and women who have power without character and the resulting horror of such things. Power without character is the great evil in the world today, whether it be political, financial, judicial, and above all, religious.

It is interesting to see that the express meaning of the word used in the Hebrew for Oil conveys the essential purpose of God in His plan of redemption and salvation. It is to be unto us the power of God working to bring forth of His richness, His abundance and His enablement to shine forth the character, the person and the heart of the ANOINTED ONE, CHRIST JESUS our Lord! Within the flow of the Life of the Son in us that power (dunamis Greek) is active and alive to transform the fallen sons of Adam into the Children of God!

Let us not become discouraged in His dealings with us. Let us realize that while a large segment of the “Christian” world seeks power, signs and wonders there is a quiet and determined work of the Holy Spirit to bring us to the place of being vessels fit and prepared for the Master’s use; vessels that know the deep cost of walking in forgiveness, of knowing how to extend mercy to others, having peace in the midst of conflict, grace for others, clinging to truth at all costs and the power to declare the purposes of God to those around us regardless of the consequences! These vessels are shaped by the knowing of themselves and because of that knowledge they see and understand others more clearly. They have been freed from the bitterness and strife within their own hearts that the sweetness of His healing waters may flow. In all of these things we BECOME approved unto our God. It is in the anointing oil having HIS way within the very recesses of our hearts that we know of His Joy and approval in our lives.

We read…

“But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver,
but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour,
sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work”
II TIMOTHY 2:20 – 21

To that end let us run the race that is set before us that we might be vessels of honour, sanctified and ready for the Master’s use.

Ω

“The Holy Spirit is the gift of the Risen Christ. His anointing filling,
empowering work is a baptism of love that gives power
to make Jesus real to you and known to others”
Winkie Prateny

* “שֶׁמֶן A masculine noun meaning fat, oil. This word has a wide range of figurative meanings relating to richness and plenty. Most simply, it is used of food, relating to feasts of good, rich food (Isa. 25:6). It is also used frequently of oil. This can be oil used for food and cooking (Deut. 8:8; 32:13); for oil which was used to anoint holy objects or kings (Ex. 30:25; 1 Sam. 10:1); or for oil used as an ointment to soothe and cleanse, leading to healing (Ps. 133:2; Isa. 1:6). The figurative meanings are also important. This word can be used to signify strength, such as in Isaiah 10:27 where growing fat meant growing strong. It also frequently relates to fruitfulness and fertile places where good things grew (Isa. 5:1; 28:1). The overall picture one gets from this word is that of richness, strength, and fertility.”

THE COMPLETE
WORD STUDY DICTIONARY:
OLD TESTAMENT
Warren Baker, D.R.E.
Eugene Carpenter, Ph.D.

Brian Troxel

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PSALM 23

PART NINETEEN

HIS ANOINTING

“Thou anointest my head with oil”
PSALM 23:5

In the Old Testament there were three expressions that were anointed in God’s people; Priests, Kings and Prophets. These were to be holy expressions necessary for the ministration of God’s Laws, His Mercy and His Council. This anointing was to sanctify, empower and to declare the calling of God upon a man for God’s specific purposes.

“…thou shalt anoint UNTO ME him whom I name unto thee”
1 SAMUEL 16:3

The anointing is to bring forth a life that is lived UNTO HIM. It is to work in and saturate a man’s life until his whole being is lived UNTO the Lord. It is a most significant sign of a life that has been CHOSEN by God to be lived unto God for His own end. We read of this same thing in the New Testament…

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you:
and ye shall be witnesses UNTO ME both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea,
and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth”
ACTS 1:8

This anointing has come to all those who have been washed in the precious blood of the Lamb; all who have sought for and desired a LIFE of separation by seeking and desiring the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. This is not to live a life unto ourselves or to seek to build up a church or ministry but to be witnesses UNTO HIM! It is to live our daily lives with the cry within our hearts for Him to “work in us to will and to DO of His good pleasure” that we might truly know of the Joy of the Lord (HIS JOY) welling up in our lives. It is to grow in our walk with Him by living in the sensitivity of our hearts to that anointing that would teach us all things that pertain to His Life being lived in us.

“Thou anointest my head with oil” is more than just a poetic phrase. It is a substantial reality REQUIRED for any life to live and be equipped to walk in the WAY of the SON. This anointing is an essential step in the journey of a life that no longer desires anything but Him, that no longer desires to live out of the miserable resources of self and can no longer find satisfaction in anything else. For this anointing must birth a realization that in every place and in every moment He is watching us and knows our thought life; our motivations and our actions are weighed in the balances of His righteousness. This anointing brings us to the awful realization that we are in truth “witnesses UNTO HIM”!

This anointing causes us to be open to the search light of truth within the very core of our own heart. It causes us to know that it matters very little what men think or say for we have discovered the reason for living is to glorify Him, please Him and to know Him more and more in this brief journey of life.

This anointing also causes us to speak truth, to live truth and to become more true to the life that we see in Him. It is BECAUSE of this anointing that men can be empowered to become Priests, Kings and Prophets unto our God. It is because of His gracious call, His Power and His Mercy that ordinary men and women BECOME authentic and powerful expressions of the MOST HIGH GOD!

We need look no further than the young child David to see the effect of this anointing as he grew INTO the call and purposes of God; King, a Priest and a Prophet of the MOST HIGH! Can we not expect GREATER THINGS to arise from a New Covenant that has made provision for our sin by the precious blood of the spotless perfect Lamb; who has now BECOME our baptiser, our way, our truth and our LIFE? Shall we not go on to know Him in a fullness that will please and glorify the Father? Did He not abolish the Old Testament because it could not make anything perfect and whole?

“For the law made nothing perfect,
but the bringing in of a better hope did;
by the which we draw nigh unto God”
HEBREWS 7:19

He has brought forth a New and Living Ministration of the Life of the Son that we might live in the wonder and the glorious provision of His anointing! He IS come and the scriptures testify that we have received of this anointing that we might be taught of Him and empowered of Him to become witnesses of His Life in this world.

“But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you”

Ω

“The Holy Spirit is the gift of the Risen Christ. His anointing filling,
empowering work is a baptism of love that gives power
to make Jesus real to you and known to others”
Winkie Pratney

Brian Troxel

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PSALM 23

PART EIGHTEEN

BREAD FOR US

“Thou preparest a table before me
in the presence of mine enemies”
PSALM 23:5

“They are bread for us…” This was the declaration of FAITH that characterized the lives of Joshua and Caleb in the face of Israel’s unbelief and the number and the size of the enemies that inhabited the Land of Promise. Their strength was not in themselves. Their confidence was grounded in the unshakable trust that God was with them; a live vision that enabled them to remain unmoved by the size and the scope of their enemies. This is the crucial element to a faithful and consistent walk in God. The KEY phrase to this declaration is found in the verse preceding; “If the LORD delight in us”. True Vision always lifts our eyes from ourselves and causes us to focus on the things that please HIM. The life of the Son was always centered upon the one and great eternal desire to please the Father. His will was fixed upon this one thing and because of that His life was governed by that ONE GREAT WILL. The ability to see our enemies as bread for us is in direct correlation to our submission to HIS purposes; that we are here to DO His will and to walk in HIS ways regardless of the cost.

“The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him;
and he will show them his covenant”
PSALM 25:14

The life of feasting at this table must always be preceded by the WAY of the ALTAR. The Altar of Burnt Offering precedes the Table of Showbread! Vision is the result of a man’s walk; our ability to see and understand the purposes of God are directly related to our heart’s condition not our intellect. Spiritual ignorance is the fruit of disobedience. It was the obedience of Abraham to take his only son Isaac and offer him unto the Lord (as per the Word of the Lord) that Abraham saw the revelation of “Jehovah Jireh” (Genesis 22:13). It was WHEN the “feet of the Priests” carrying the Ark stepped into the flooding river Jordan that it parted allowing them to enter the Promised Land. It was WHEN Judah offered himself in the stead of Benjamin that Joseph could no longer restrain himself from revealing who he was in their midst. Joseph was there the whole time yet they could not see him until there was a change of heart. So too this table is set before us with the bountiful provisions of our God to nourish and supply us with all that we need to finish this race “that is set before us” (HEBREWS 12:1).

“Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress”
PSALM 4:1

Ω

“It is only by obedience that we understand the teaching of God”
Oswald Chambers (1874–1917)

“Every man must tread the Word for himself.
One may read it in one shape,

another in another: all will be right if it be indeed the Word they read,
and they read it by the lamp of obedience.
He who is willing to do the will of the Father shall know the truth
…the Spirit is “given to them that obey him”
GEORGE MACDONALD

Brian Troxel

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PSALM 23

PART SEVENTEEN

THE PLACE OF FEASTING

“Thou preparest a table before me
in the presence of mine enemies”
PSALM 23:5

This table has been set with rich provisions and is there for us to eat and drink and become strong thereby. It is not a table for mere talking and listening but it is the table of the Bread of HIS LIFE which must be consumed in order that it becomes a reality in our lives. We have had much in terms of teaching; in fact much of our Christian experience in this land is really one of LISTENING to didactical teaching and the dissemination of information. It becomes an intellectual exercise and much of it remains purely theoretical in its actual application. We have become good at hearing, debating, and discussing the doctrines and concepts of men without the substance of LIVING in the reality of the LIFE OF CHRIST. The outward FORM of TEACHING is necessary for a season but somewhere it must give way to the EXPERIENCE and WALK in every true disciple. Notice that this TABLE OF PROVISION is not set in the confines of a nice and comfortable Christian Setting but in the PRESENCE OF OUR ENEMIES! The PROVISION comes as we OVERCOME our enemies.

It is in the conflicts of life that we discover His strength. Here, as the WORD of GOD is eaten and made real, we no longer live in ethereal teachings, concepts and good sounding religious ideas. Instead HIS LIFE is discovered WITHIN the conflicts of our daily lives! We discover the wonder of a living FAITH that must bring what I have heard into my WALK! This is where Christ becomes the EXPERIENCE of the individual believer. By its very nature the life of overcoming can only be appropriated on an individual basis. The corporate expression is only as valid as the authenticity of the individual. Just because I LISTEN to good teaching does not mean my Christian experience is valid. The validity of my LIFE in Christ can only be known by the expression of HIS LIFE in me. In order for that to be the truth of my life it requires not only a hearing of HIS WORD but it must give way to a doing of that WORD; obedience is the ONLY way to the life of OVERCOMING. If there is no obedience there can be no OVERCOMING!

In the Gospels we see and hear Jesus teaching the WORD concerning the Kingdom of God and we are struck with the wonder and the wisdom found within the beauty of HIS words. However, HE does not allow the Disciples to linger in the place of hearing only. Because HE is not just a teacher (but has come to fulfill His Father’s will) we see Him sending the Disciples to live and walk out that which He has spoken of. He sends them out to heal the sick, cast out demons and to declare the WORD of the Kingdom! Likewise the WORD must become flesh in our own experience. We must eat of the provisions of this table in the presence of our enemies! Not only the obvious, external ones but more importantly the enemies of our heart, the weaknesses of our flesh and the “I” that is always clamouring for pre-eminence, comfort and its own way. We must find HIM as our victory here or it will matter very little what we know. Judas heard and saw the Glory of Christ yet in the end he betrayed HIM for his own ends. It is not enough to know and have an association with Jesus; we MUST EAT OF HIM at this table “prepared” for us in the “presence of our enemies”!

Men love knowledge and understanding. We love to discuss things, debate things and share things but Jesus came that men may have “LIFE and LIFE abundantly…” He did not come to bring a new teaching or to tickle men’s ears with revelatory speech. HE came to be the very EXPRESSION of the all that God is. Not an expression only but the MEANS by which the fallen race of man would become “THE BODY OF CHRIST” in the earth. For this reason HE sets this table of provision that we may BECOME “bone of HIS bone and flesh of His flesh” in demonstration in our daily life. It is crucial to see that the conflicts and tribulations of this life are given to us to become strong. May God save us from teachings that leave us impoverished, impotent and unable to walk and may we find HIS table “prepared” for us in the “presence of our enemies”.

Ω

Obstacles in the pathway of the weak
become stepping-stones in the pathway of the strong.
Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881)

Brian Troxel

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