TEMPTATION

TEMPTATION

“Blessed is the man who endures temptation;
for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life
which the Lord has promised to those who love Him”
James 1:12

Temptation is neither a sin nor a sign of carnality. It is the everyday reality for all men. The issue is not temptation but the response to it within our heart that matters. It is through enduring and resisting temptation that the victory of the Crown of Life is received. Where there is no battle there can be no crown. The crown of life spoken of here is given to those who by the mercy of our Lord and Saviour have fought the fierce battles that wage in the secret places of our hearts and minds, often while no one is watching. They have known the utter weakness of the flesh, the deceitfulness of their own heart and the pressure that comes to bear upon them in their walk of faith. Left to ourselves the outcome would be certain and the end of the matter sure.

“But thanks be to God,
who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”
I CORINTHIANS 15:57

The Glory of this life of Faith in Christ Jesus is that we are not left to ourselves in the matter of overcoming sin. We are not orphans that are left to our own resources in this matter, nor are we to labour under the rigorous requirements of the Law by our own strength! We have available to us the wonder and the glory of “…the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death!” It is through HIM that we are made “more than conquerors”. In Him we are not only freed from the power of Sin but are indeed made alive that we can walk in the very Spirit of His Life and provision. Such things are not known by simply taking thought. These virtues of His Life are won in the arena of this life. It is the Crown of His life that we receive as we overcome and endure the hardships of temptation and trial. It is in these places that we learn the secrets of dependence and victory; the sufficiency of His Grace in contrast to our weakness; the discovery that “love endures ALL things”; that He is “…able to keep us from stumbling”.

These victories are to be known in the life of every believer. We not only have His rich provision for the victory but even in the midst of defeats and discouragements we have the assurance of forgiveness and mercy to rise up from every one of them and press the battle until the victory has been received.

“For a righteous man may fall seven times
and rises again”
PROVERBS 24:16

The life of the Christian is more than forgiveness, more than mere religious sayings and nice sermons; it is a life of pursuit, of victory and of overcoming as He overcame. It is in growing in Him, learning of Him and discovering the absolute necessity of abiding in Him that we find the wonder of His provision and mercy.

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world.
And this is the victory that has overcome the world even your faith.”
I JOHN 5:4

Brian Troxel

BY FAITH ~ Part One ~

BY FAITH

PART ONE

“By faith we understand…”
HEBREWS 11:3

Faith is the means by which we see and understand the purposes of God. For faith IS the substance of the thing hoped for. It is the deposit of that which is not seen. In order for us to see these things FAITH becomes not only our eyesight but in itself is the very SUBSTANCE of the thing that we see and hope for. The reason we see so little understanding in our DAY, the reason that there is so little VISION and PURPOSE in our DAY, is because we are living in a time when FAITH has very little to do with the everyday life of the average believer. We hear much, yet we see so little in the expression of a dynamic living FAITH gripping the hearts of His own. We see little in terms of a personal faith being expressed in unique ministrations of the life of the Son from member to member. We have succumbed to a faith that is in word only; a “faith” that is not producing His Likeness and His Righteousness in our everyday life. We have settled for a righteousness that is by doctrine rather than a Righteousness that is the product of a living faith ABLE to bring forth a REAL RIGHTEOUSNESS that this world can see.

“Little children, let no man deceive you:
he that DOETH righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous”
I John 3:7

By FAITH we understand that this is true and that by His Faith living and growing within these things are possible to all who believe. Faith lays hold of such truths and produces within us the seeking (seek first His Kingdom and His Righteousness), and the doing. By FAITH we UNDERSTAND that these things that are declared in His Word are to become our living experience.

The very Word of God without FAITH will remain a religious document, a historical narrative about something from a distant era, an outdated book that has no real relevance for today. That same Word when viewed through the eyes of one in whose heart FAITH is alive and well pulsates with LIFE, HIS LIFE. It reveals mysteries and glimpses into the very wonder and glory of God. It draws a man into a quest and a life of pursuit of the RISEN CHRIST; for BY FAITH it breathes into our hearts the “substance of things hoped for and the EVIDENCE of things not seen”. Such things cannot be held with the intellect. They are only ours through the operation of a living, breathing FAITH!

For one to look into the Word of God and believe it one must first KNOW that it is TRUE and that whatever is written therein is for us in Christ Jesus. This can only be when we see it through the eyes of FAITH.

“BY FAITH WE UNDERSTAND…”
HEBREWS 11:3

Ω

“Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable,
and receives the impossible”
Corrie ten Boom (1892–1983)

Brian Troxel

STRENGTHENED BY FAITH

Strengthened by Faith

“…through faith in His name, has made this man strong,
whom you see and know”
ACTS 3:26

Faith comes to make men strong. It takes the lame, the deaf and the blind and makes them whole. It causes the weak things of this world to confound the strong. It finds the lost and wandering and fills them with His purpose. The excerpt of scripture above is from Peter’s sermon in the Temple after the healing of a man who was lame from birth. When Peter and John were confronted by the leaders of their day Peter spoke with great boldness and effect.

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John,
and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men,
they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them,
that they had been with Jesus”
ACTS 4:13

Faith, living faith, true and powerful faith, takes ordinary men and women and makes them strong. Throughout the scriptures we read “BY FAITH…” The religious leaders of that day “TOOK KNOWLEDGE” that these men “HAD BEEN WITH JESUS”! Is the world around us acknowledging that we have been with Jesus? If not, why? Where is the disconnect? Where are those who are weary and troubled by the sterile, safe, ambiguous Christian expression in our land? Where are those who are tired of words, explanations and books describing our doctrinal position in Christ rather than defining what we are to BE in CHRIST? How can we believe that we have no part to play in HIS WILL in the earth when the scriptures are full of accounts of those who risked their lives for the Glory of HIS NAME? How can we read the book of THE ACTS of the Apostles and not see the great contradiction between then and now? Countless Christians are weak and impotent simply because they KNOW NOT WHO HAS CALLED THEM AND WHAT HE HAS CALLED THEM UNTO. Our Christian experience is much more than a “human choice” to accept Him into our lives. We are the result of THE ETERNAL CALL OF GOD unto a specific purpose which we will only discover through the obedient walk of faith in our lives!

“But you are a chosen generation,
a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people;
that ye should SHOW forth the praises of him
who hath CALLED you out of darkness into his marvellous light”
1 PETER 2:9

“That ye would walk worthy of God,
who hath CALLED you unto his kingdom and glory”
1 THESSALONIANS 2:12

This thing called faith should cause us “to WALK worthy of God” in this world; not TALK worthy, but WALK and BE expressions of HIS GLORY. When will those around us take notice that we have been with Jesus? When our walk begins to match our talk. When the name by which we identify ourselves is none other than the name of Jesus rather than one of countless denominations. Let the words of Paul convict us…

“Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul;
and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
IS CHRIST DIVIDED?
was Paul crucified for you?
or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?”
1 CORINTHIANS 1:12 – 13

Read the context of such things and let them sink deeply into our hearts. Let us return to the living truth from whence TRUE AND POWERFUL EXPRESSIONS OF FAITH ARISE IN POWER AND LIFE. Wherever there are powerful ministrations of truth there will be powerful expressions of FAITH; Faith to make men strong, Faith to make men free and Faith to bring HIS LIFE and GLORY into this world.

Ω

“Many Christians estimate difficulty in the light of their own resources,
and thus they attempt very little and they always fail.
All giants have been weak men who did great things for God
because they reckoned on His power and presence to be with them”
James Hudson Taylor

Brian Troxel

HEARING

HEARING

“Let your hands be strong, you that hear in these days”
ZECHARIAH 8:9

True hearing is paramount to faith. We live in a day of information overload; conferences, seminars, I Pod’s, and other multimedia resources that enable us to listen to the latest Christian messages over the internet… but to what end? There are many types of hearing but each of them will produce a different response.

There is a hearing with no understanding….

“…hearing they hear not, neither do they understand”
MATTHEW 13:13

There is a hearing with no doing….

“But he who heard and did nothing
is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation,
against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell.
And the ruin of that house was great.”
LUKE 4:49

Then there is a hearing that produces FAITH revealed by doing …

“Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them,
I will show you whom he is like:
He is like a man building a house, who dug deep
and laid the foundation on the rock.
And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house,
and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock”
LUKE 4:48 – 49

How a man hears determines the eternal issues of life. Since FAITH is the product of hearing, and our faith is revealed in what we do, what we pursue, and what we are, it is an hour for us to be asking HIM to search out our hearts and motivations. Unforgiveness, presumption, secret sins, pride, old wounds, envy, jealously and any other strongholds that keep us bound within, all hinder us from hearing and doing. Hearing is related to the condition of our hearts not our intellect.

“Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
And seeing you will see and not perceive;
For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing…”
MATTHEW 13:15

Brian Troxel