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

A Word in Season – David Brainerd

A Word in Season

“We should always look upon ourselves as God’s servants, placed in God’s world, to do his work; and accordingly labour faithfully for him; not with a design to grow rich and great, but to glorify God, and do all the good we possibly can”
– David Brainerd

Thought for Today – Love and Service

Thought for Today

Love and Service

“And Jacob loved Rachel; and said,
I will serve thee seven years for Rachel
thy younger daughter”
Genesis 29:18

Love is the fountain from which true service unto the Lord flows. It is to be the inspiration for all of our actions. A river flows regardless of external things. When love is the source, service unto God is the natural flow of life. The work of God can only be accomplished by the love of God. Love robs the flesh of boasting of its accomplishments. It brings all things unto the worship of God rather than the promotion of self. Our service becomes an offering unto Him; our reward is His Joy welling up within. It is the feast of life to love and serve our God.

“And Jacob served seven years for Rachel;
and they seemed unto him but a few days,
for the love he had to her.”
Genesis 29:20

Brian Troxel

Serving God – Part Two – Freedom

Serving God

Part Two

Freedom

“Let my people go, that they may serve me”
Exodus 8:1

Freedom is a requirement to truly serve the Lord. Israel was in bondage to Pharaoh; their captivity was cruel and their taskmasters strong. Outwardly Pharaoh represents the world and inwardly he represents the power of sin. It takes a power beyond ourselves to extricate us from our bondage. The greatness of God’s power as revealed in the Book of Exodus is a glimpse of the power required to free us from the nature and power of sin. It takes a freedom from Pharaoh to serve the Lord.

“Let my people go, that they may serve me”

Our ability to serve Him will be proportional to our freedom from ourselves, our agendas and desire for the praises of men. Humility is simply living a life free from the opinions of others. It is a single-hearted devotion to His purposes whereby we know the service which is filled with His praise and His joy.

“Serve the Lord with gladness”
Psalm 100:2

Gladness springs from the wells of the pure in heart. Purity of heart is a heart single in purpose and in love. It is a heart forged in the fires of His love where self is dead and God reigns. The hardness of Pharaoh’s heart is a good illustration of our own; only through His faithfulness and determination is our heart subdued.

“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved,
let us have grace, whereby we may serve God
acceptably with reverence and godly fear
Hebrews 12:28

The service which pleases the Lord is based on Grace and this grace is revealed in those who serve Him with reverence and Godly fear. It is by grace we are made free in the singularity of our heart to speak His words and to do His works regardless of the consequences.

“If any man serve me, let him follow me;
and where I am, there shall also my servant be:
if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.”
John 12:26

There can be no true service unto the Lord except there be a freedom from the fear of man and the ways of man. In order to serve, one must be free to follow.

Serving God – Part One

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – Joseph Parker

Quote for Today

“The true worker puts the quality of his life into all his service; the painter paints with his soul; the preacher preaches with his soul; if the soul is not interested in the work, the work will crumble away, leaving no memorial.”
– Joseph Parker

The Third Day

The Third Day

“On the third day,
they threw the ship’s tackle overboard
with their own hands”
Acts 27:19

There comes in everyone’s life moments where all hope appears lost. The valiant efforts to extricate ourselves from the situation have failed. The storms batter and assail our soul relentlessly. The dark grey clouds and angry wind hide God’s Face from us and we seem to be at the total mercy of the storm. The context to the above verse is:

“When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days
and the great storm continued to batter us,
we abandoned all hope of being saved.”
Acts 27:20

It is here where we see the most seasoned of sailors cast all the tools of their own making overboard in resignation to the sea. When no other hope is left they are simply left clinging to the fragile ship itself. The relentless storm brought ALL who were on the ship to despair. The “we abandoned all hope of being saved” included saint and sinner. The storm came to all. We see in the world around us hurricanes, earthquakes, terrorists, fires, and a multitude of other disasters; God’s people are not spared these circumstances.

It is here that God appears. In these dire moments the word of God comes with assurance of hope and a way of escape.

“And now I exhort you to be of good cheer”
Acts 27:22

Why could Paul say this?

“For there stood by me this night the angel of God,
whose I am, and whom I serve…”
Acts 27:23

God’s coming was to the man who had made God his God. God’s coming was to him who had long before committed the very keeping of his life to God. God’s own are never left to the fate of circumstances and it is in these moments that His Own are revealed. It is in our now that the transactions of our life in God are made. It is before the storm that we are to become His. In the desire and diligent pursuit of God in our daily walk the covenant of grace is realized.

“Because thou hast kept the word of my patience,
I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation,
which shall come upon all the world,
to try them that dwell upon the earth”
Revelation 3:10

The Storm is coming to all
saint and sinner alike.

1. He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
Psalm 91:1-11

The keeping grace of God is unto those “who dwell in the secret place of the Most High”. God does not spare His Own from the storm; He keeps them IN it. Paul was kept through the storm for God had purposed that he testify before Caesar.

“For there stood by me this night the angel of God,
whose I am, and whom I serve,
Saying, Fear not, Paul;
thou must be brought before Cæsar…”
Acts 27:23-24

Later on Paul would be martyred in Rome. The same God who kept Paul in the storm also gave him grace to finish his course with the joy and certainty of all that awaited him.

The secret of Life is to discover grace in our present circumstances to bring us to the place where we can say in truth “I am His” and “whom I serve”. This is the confession of Paul prior to the great storm:

“But none of these things move me,
neither count I my life dear unto myself,
so that I might finish my course with joy,
and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus…”
Acts 20:24

Brian Troxel

Discernment – Try the spirits

Spiritual Discernment – Try the spirits

“Beloved, believe not every spirit,
but try the spirits whether they are of God:
because many false prophets are gone out into the world”
1 John 4:1

The Day of God is upon us; it begins in darkness and culminates in the brightness and radiance of His Glory.

“And the evening and the morning were the… day”
Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31

The sifting of His Church has begun in earnest. There are many aspects of this great winnowing of hearts as God determinedly separates the wheat from the chaff; those who “serve the Lord” from those who serve themselves.

“Then shall ye return,
and discern between the righteous and the wicked,
between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not”
Malachi 3:18

The test of the hour is determined by our serving God, not a church, an organization, a ministry or a teaching. Serving God is a walk in vital communion with Him, where He leads us, speaks to us and we respond by the doing of His Will. The criteria for our life is determined by Him. We live to do His bidding. Our doing is not based on seeking agreement with those around us. It is in our submission to His Will alone whereby we are able to serve Him in truth. Those who seek the consensus of others will never know the joy and depth of communion and relationship with Him. The doing of His Will brings us to the “narrow way”, the way of the Cross of Christ.

Within the confines of the testing of the spirits, which so freely minister in the household of faith, the Apostle speaks to us of the necessity to discern the many voices of this hour. It is critical to note here where John speaks of testing the spirit and says “many false prophets are gone out into the world”, that we are introduced to the correlation between ministry and the spirit in which they are ministering. We must understand the point the Holy Spirit is making here. While many may think they can discern between the true and the false by an intellectual process or scriptural analysis they will actually be ill equipped to judge correctly in this Day.

John is stressing to us the necessity
to try the spirit of the expression
not just the content of it.

“Believe not every spirit…because many false prophets
are gone out into the world”

Excerpt from the Spiritual Discernment and False Prophets Part One Writing

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – Richard Sibbes

Quote for Today

Richard Sibbes

“God is goodness itself, in whom all goodness is involved. If therefore we love other things for the goodness which we see in them, why do we not love God, in whom is all goodness? All other things are but sparks of that fire, and drops of that sea. If you see any good in the creature, remember there is much more in the Creator. Leave therefore the streams, and go to the fountainhead of comfort.”
– Richard Sibbes

Serving God – Part One

Serving God

Part One

“And Jesus answering, said to him,
“It has been written:
‘You shall worship the Lord your God,
and you shall serve Him only
Luke 4:8

Serving God will always be proportional to the condition of our hearts. Divided loyalties result in a tainted service unto Him. Jesus said unequivocally “No man can serve two masters…”. It takes the work of the Holy Spirit to bring an individual to the singular desire to serve God. Purity of heart (a heart void of mixture or agendas) is the criteria for wholly serving God. Within the core of human nature lies the unbridled and undisciplined chaos of the fall. This results in the lawlessness of the cravings and relentless pursuit for self-realization, self-gratification, and self-promotion. This inherent evil produces the conflicts, wars and grievous atrocities in the Body of Christ around us.

“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you?
Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?”
James 4:1

It is the war within that produces the conflicts without. The horrific need for control and recognition and satisfaction is the curse of the religious world. The great deception here is the promotion of self under the guise of serving God. Those who crucified Jesus did so in the name of God through the innate evil of self-serving ambition. Lust, self-love, covetousness, envy and jealousy are mitigating factors that rob the heart of its singular desire to serve and honor God. A divided heart is an evil heart. A divided heart is an unstable heart. A heart driven by a passion for anything other than the love of God will, in the end, betray Him. Dying to self is the only means to a pure and single heart. God has no other answer for the human condition.

“…knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him,
that the body of sin might be done away with,
that we should no longer be slaves of sin”
Romans 6:6

Freedom in Christ comes by our co-crucifixion with Him. It is in our daily walk of following Him that we are freed from the desires and lusts of self. Our ability to serve God with a whole heart will be proportional to the depth of our co-crucifixion with Him.

“By this all will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another.”
John 13:35

In the discipleship of picking up our cross and following Him His Love will be seen. Only disciples have the ability to show forth the wonder of the Love of Christ. True disciples of Christ are easily seen by the purity of love that flows to others.

Brian Troxel