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Posts Tagged ‘Standing True in Strife’

Thought for Today

The Alabaster Box
And
Freedom from Strife

“Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people…”
Psalm 18:43

God has an answer for the strife, jealously and contention of religious, partisan discord. Clinging to teachings, ministries of God, and the honoring of men and organizations over Him, clouds His likeness in this world. It destroys the very fabric and wonder of His salvation and the unity of His Spirit. It is as we abide, seek and desire Him alone that He delivers us from the misery and shame of the “strivings of the people”.

The Alabaster Box

There is no better description of this age-old spectacle than that of the story of the woman with the Alabaster box. The room was filled with the carnality, contention, and strife of the various sects of the religious world. The self-righteous Pharisee (himself a leper), the indignant and blind disciples, and the broken-hearted woman (who alone saw the true wonder and glory of the Son) were all confined in one room. Have we not all been in such situations and even sat in the seat of each of these at some time? The Pharisee was oblivious to his own state yet filled with contempt over the woman’s reputation. The disciples were supposedly distressed over the cost and waste of the ointment being poured out. The worshiping woman saw nothing other than the priceless beauty of Christ.

The Pharisee was disturbed with the person, the disciples concerned with the gift, while the woman only had eyes for Him. Singleness of eye is God’s deliverance from the “strivings of the people”. A pure heart rises above partisan politics to see the motivation from which an action proceeds. The reality is that both parties of this drama were offended by her lavish and unmitigated worship of Him! Religious people will always find fault with the true worshiper of Christ; it is an indictment of their own lack of passion for Him.

The Scribes and the Pharisees consulted in the killing of Lazarus for his very presence was a testimony to the resurrection life of Jesus. Cain killed his brother Abel because his gift was accepted and Cain’s rejected. The Pharisees had to cover their ears during the stoning of Stephen because it was a damning of their own true condition. Those who walk with singleness of eye will know loneliness in this world and the contempt of the religious but the joy of seeing Him delivers them from the “strivings of the people”.

“Truly I tell you,
wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world,
what she has done will also be told,
in memory of her”
Mark 14:9

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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“Enemy of Our Soul”

ENVY

“Ephraim shall not envy Judah,
and Judah shall not trouble Ephraim”
Isaiah 11:11

The power and beauty of the Body of Christ is found in the unity of His heart beating within (Psalm 133). It suffers greatly when there is rivalry between its own members; in this instance the enemies are not so much from without but from the carnality within.

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest,
which are these…Envying’s”
Galatians 5: 19-21

The works and deeds of the flesh mar the image and likeness of Christ in the earth. When men and women are filled with love of self they harbor envy and cling to this destructive work which prevents them from entering God’s Kingdom (Galatians 5:21). They withdraw from the union and fellowship of the Spirit with others. Where there is no vision of the Body of Christ there can be no comprehension of the devastation that is wrought by this enemy. In the seeds of this evil there is a deception which hides God’s face from the heart of the one who holds on to envy. It is an insidious work of the Devil himself. Gossip, evil speaking, lies, murder and darkness lurk and grow within its domain. Exclusion of the other members of the Body of Christ, causing schisms and divisions are the outcome of its curse. Envy was the primary motive for Cain to kill his brother because the sacrifice of Abel was accepted and Cain’s was rejected. Saul envied David and Joseph was envied of his brothers.

“But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts,
glory not, and lie not against the truth.
This wisdom descendeth not from above,
but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
For where envying and strife is,
there is confusion and every evil work
James 3:14-16

Wherever there is envy and jealously within a heart darkness and deception are sure to overtake the light bringing damnation and judgement. Envy at its root grows from an ungrateful heart for the giftings and callings given of God. By envying another we are telling God that He is unrighteous in His giving. Traces of the sin of envy and the judgement thereof are found throughout the scriptures. Korah was a prime example of someone not content with the call of God upon His own life. It was and will continue to be the downfall of many.

Those who hold on to envy reveal the darkness in which they walk; to continue in its way one must hide themselves from the light and the fear of the Lord. What is the end of this work of the flesh and of the devil?

“envying’s…of the which I tell you before,
as I have also told you in time past,
that they which do such things
shall not inherit the kingdom of God
Galatians 5:22

ω

“Wherever God is — there is peace.
And the opposite is self-evident:
where there is envy, enmity, impatience, self-love — there is the devil.
Wherever the devil is — there, everything is ruinous, proud and hostile.”
St. Anatoly

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Heart of a Priest

Part 8

“And when he prayed for his friends,
Jehovah turned the captivity of Job”
Job 42:10

The depth of any individual’s ministry as a priest in God’s house will always be in proportion to the degree to which they are free from the contagion of self. God’s blessings fall freely and often upon those who are able to set self aside and minister His grace into the lives around them. We read here in Job the conclusion of a heated exchange of words with three of his brother’s in the midst of a very distressing situation. The bitter words spoken in haste and rancor escalated the trial of Job to an agonizing level. Job’s release from this situation was finally obtained when he prayed for his friends. True priests work through the bitter exchanges in life, the hatred, variance and strife within the household of God for they have His end in sight; a body filled with His Glory each member functioning in a measure of the very life of Jesus to one another. It is here that the mettle and heart of His people are revealed. It is in these contentious moments we have the opportunity to approve ourselves unto God.

“For there must also be heresies among you,
so that the approved ones
may become revealed among you”
1 Corinthians 11:19 (LITV)

Those who are of the Truth will always be revealed by their conduct, character and humility. The ability to shorten our trial lies in our ability to respond with His character and grace. The words, the rejection and the outright hostility from others become the very catalyst to bring forth healing waters from our hearts. His mercy is released from those who abide in His life. The fruit of the Spirit is the outflow of any life that walks in His Spirit. In the Song of Songs the Bride describes her beloved…

“His cheeks are like a bed of spices,
a raised bed of aromatic herbs.
His lips are like lilies dropping flowing myrrh”
Song of Songs 5:13 (LITV)

The process of becoming a priest in His house is directly related to the development of His Character and Life within our own hearts. Jesus, when men beat and mocked Him, turned the other cheek. He did not reply to His accusers for He came as the precious Lamb of God! When men smote Him the fragrance of spices flowed effortlessly from Him in whom there is no guile. His words poured forth like the sweet smelling myrrh and He held His composure in the midst of all that evil man could bring upon Him! (Who is like unto Thee, Oh Lord of Hosts!) As He is so are we to be in this world. When men and women walk contrary to this, yet boast of their walk with Him, they reveal the darkness and blindness of their way. While many will reject His own, speak evil and despitefully use them, those who are His reveal His Life by praying, reaching out to the offending ones and truly desiring and seeking reconciliation. Those who are His reveal it by the life they live and gracious manner in which they respond to the circumstances of life.

“Who is wise and knowing among you?
Let him show his works by his good behavior,
in meekness of wisdom”
James 3:17 (LITV)

This is the heart of a priest which beats and ever seeks to live in this world to glorify Him regardless of the cost to self.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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