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Posts Tagged ‘The Pursuit of God’

Thought for Today

The Soul’s Desire

“As the hart panteth after the water brooks,
so panteth my soul after thee, O God.”
Psalm 42:1

The soul is the seat of our affections. What the eyes behold the soul pursues. Those who set their affections upon heavenly things know the longing, seeking and pursuit for God. Those who behold earthly things, lust and desire after the things of the world and the praise of men know nothing of heavenly things. It is not difficult to discern the true longing of any heart for it cannot hide the thing it desires most.

“For where your treasure is,
there will your heart be also”
Matthew 6:21

The heart of a life is revealed in the thing it covets.

“Set your affection on things above,
not on things on the earth”
Colossians 3:2

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Vision and Quest

”Many shall be purified,
and made white, and tried;
but the wicked shall do wickedly:
and none of the wicked shall understand;
but the wise shall understand”
DANIEL 12:10

Understanding comes to the wise. The wicked pass through life void of the understanding of the Almighty God. Though trials, testings and temptations are the common lot of those who seek first His Kingdom, there comes to us the consolation of true understanding that more than compensates for the hardness of the way. With true understanding comes Vision. In the purposes of God, vision must give way to reality. Joseph’s dream must become substance. For a vision to remain something visionary only is the danger of religion; where the impulse of the desire of God becomes a teaching and a doctrine, a thing instead of a life. Men linger in the realm of words and creeds. A living vision must create a life of pursuit and quest where obedience is not optional.

“Whereupon, O king Agrippa,
I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision”
Acts 26:19

True vision communicates a need for obedience for it births a burden for the thing to come to pass. All true visions concerning God and His purposes must impart a burden for the thing to be made real. Vision is the womb of a quest. It is the conception that enables a birthing of that which was promised. People with a teaching are content with words; people with a  burden cannot linger. During a great storm the disciples were besieged in a small boat. In the midst of this they saw Jesus walking on the water and they were terrified. Only Peter saw Jesus in a way that communicated a longing to walk as Jesus. The vision imparted the desire to walk. The vision birthed the impulse to launch himself from the security of the boat into the violent sea. Men and women throughout the ages have launched themselves into the purposes of God. They have left the safety of their “boat” for the great sea of God’s will. Abraham went out…not knowing where he was going. The launch precedes the knowledge of the destination; the impulse is in itself the very compass which will unerringly bring us to His End. To ignore the impulse is to miss the launch.

The launching of our lives into the purposes of God is a series of definitive acts not just a one time occurrence. It is a life of yielding to Him. There are many opportunities along the way for compromise and failure. Our one hope is found in His Faithfulness. Faithfulness to lead us from the good to the better, from the better to His highest. We see Peter on the Mount of Transfiguration saying it was good to be there and “let us build” only to be rebuked from God Himself. While many settle for the good those whose vision transcends the status quo can never be satisfied with the building of human hands regardless of how “good” the experience or motive. The heavenly call is upward not just higher. Upward communicates a direction not a destination; higher is just another step in the stairway.

SPIRITUAL HABITAT

Men declare their heart by their “abode”. The demoniac dwelt in the graveyard, Lot in Sodom, and Abraham in Mamre. In all of God’s creation every organism has a habitat that is in harmony with its inner life; so also in the spirit. Where people dwell is the revelation of the life within.

“And Jesus saith unto him,
The foxes have holes,
and the birds of the air have nests;
but the Son of man
hath not where to lay his head”
Matthew 8:20

The scriptures are full of such illustrations. May we find within our hearts the call to follow, the call to forget the past and the call to apprehend that for which we have been apprehended.

“So David went on his way,
and Saul returned to his place
1 Samuel 26:25

Saul’s vision was for himself, his concern was for his house (legacy), while David’s was for God and His House. Such is the contrast between the static and the dynamic.

Brian Troxel

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HIS LIGHT AND TRUTH

“O send out thy light and thy truth:
let them lead me;
let them bring me unto thy holy hill,
and to thy tabernacles”
PSALM 43:3

God’s precious provisions of light and truth come to us with purpose and power. They are not meant to simply make me feel good about the present state of my relationship with Him. They are intended to LEAD me and BRING me into an abiding and living relationship IN HIM. They are filled with the Call of God to higher, deeper things than what I now know. My present walk with Him, my seeing and knowing of Him today, must give way to the greater things of which Jesus spoke of. An Infinite God has called us to explore the depths and wonders of His being, to know the unknowable, to be sustained by the “seeing of Him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27), and to grow from “glory to glory” (2Corinthians 3:18). How can we linger when HE is beckoning us to depths unimaginable? How can we settle when HE has sent out and IS sending out HIS LIGHT AND HIS TRUTH in order to bring us to where HE IS? To Love Him is to pursue Him.

The prayer of David here should be echoed by the cry welling up within the heart of God’s own. Truth is eternal and those who have “like precious faith” must feel the same call that we read of here. Faith is the ability to respond to the call of God. Faith desires to be LED by His Light and His Truth. When this is absent FAITH has ceased to be the prevalent force within the human heart.

John the Apostle found himself on the Isle of Patmos in exile because of his life of faith and obedience. The word says that he was “in the Spirit” and we can only imagine the depth of his abiding in Jesus. Yet the heavens open and John hears a word that invites him to deeper and higher things…

“After this I looked,
and, behold, a door was opened in heaven:
and the first voice which I heard
was as it were of a trumpet talking with me;
which said,
COME UP HITHER…”
REVELATIONS 4:1

Do we hear the call in the light and the truth that HE gives to us? Do we hear the call to relationship and knowing? Do we hear the call out of the obscurity of the religious and unto the clarity of HIS Spirit which cannot be sullied by the words of men? Is there not within our hearts the echo of all creation…

“For we know
that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth
in pain together until now.
And not only they,
but ourselves also,
which have the firstfruits of the Spirit,
even we ourselves groan within ourselves,
waiting for the adoption,
to wit, the redemption of our body”
ROMANS 8:22-23

This groaning is the RESULT of the Spirit of God within the hearts of His own; the natural man is incapable of producing such a cry. This is not a teaching but a condition produced by the ministration of God’s living truth.

David in this Psalm was not attempting to be religious or pious; he was merely expressing the heart of one who has “tasted of the goodness of the Lord” and was in pursuit of the “Pearl of Great Price”. So it is in our day.

“O send out thy light and thy truth:
let them lead me;
let them bring me unto thy holy hill,
and to thy tabernacles”

Brian Troxel

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CURIOSITY

“…the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him,
Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not;
but confessed, I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then?
Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet?
And he answered, No. Then said they unto him, Who art thou?
that we may give an answer to them that sent us”
I JOHN 1:19 – 22

The individuals quoted here were not interested in truth; they merely asked questions of John that they could satisfy the curiosity of the religious leaders of that day. Apparently the leaders of that day had such little interest in the things of God that they could not even be bothered to seek out the substance of these things for themselves. History has a tendency to repeat itself. Man’s unregenerate heart at its basic state remains unchanged throughout the history of man. The rhetoric remains; the terminology may change, and the thing that God is doing may be different, but the response is the same, Religion prefers the historical account of an event rather than the current manifestation, or as Peter would state “the present truth”, of God’s will in the earth. The true seeker is one whose passion is to know HIM more today than was known of HIM yesterday. In the glimpses we are afforded there is a grace that compels us to cry out for a truer and deeper seeing of HIM. Men seek that which they love and pursue the things on which their heart is set.

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single,
thy whole body shall be full of light”
MATTHEW 6:21

In this day of information overload we see and hear much curiosity in the “teaching” that some ascribe to; as if truth were simply an arrangement of scriptures arbitrarily put together with which we can substantiate any given lifestyle. This type of religion has very little (if any) effect upon the ones who hold such views. For truth to be true it must necessitate a CHANGE in the one who holds it. It must first of all CONVICT an individual of the absolute necessity for the REDEMPTIVE act of God; an ongoing CRY for CHANGE at the heart level of who we are. Truth is not a statement of our doctrines. Rather it is the SPIRIT of GOD working from within to transform the very fabric of our being, what we are by nature, into an expression of the Living God. THE PURPOSE OF TRUTH IS TO MAKE US TRUE. The sad testimony of this hour is that there is a satisfaction in knowing about the historical events of God without any pursuit to know HIM in a greater way today. When Jesus spoke of the Kingdom of God HE gave the following parable…

“The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls,
who, when he had found one pearl of great price,
went and sold all that he had and bought it”
MATTHEW 13:45 – 46

Truth will not be found of those who casually ask, leisurely inquire or by those who seek the approval of men. Truth is known of those who understand the costs associated with its acquisition. We cannot grow in truth while we cling to our own untruthful self and self-interests. We cannot remain where we are if we are caught up in the pursuit of HIM who is truth. Truth always beckons us to more of HIM! It bids us to “take up our cross and follow HIM”. It does not allow us to hold onto unforgiveness, envy, lusts, jealously and anger; it produces a deep awareness of our own poverty and brings us to the realization of our riches in the Risen Christ.

The journey into truth beckons us to “ask” in order to receive, “seek” in order to find and to “knock” in order to enter its door; “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it”. (Matt 7:7 – 9)

Ω

“I want deliberately to encourage this mighty longing after God. The lack of it has brought us to our present low estate. The stiff and wooden quality about our religious lives is a result of our lack of holy desire. Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. Acute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people. He waits to be wanted. Too bad that with many of us He waits so long, so very long, in vain”
A. W. Tozer

Brian Troxel

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PSALM 23

PART SIX

“He restoreth my soul…”
PSALM 23:3

What a revelation of our Shepherd’s heart! “HE restoreth my soul…” is the simple statement that there is no other hope for us; no other means by which our soul can be set free, restored and turned away from its own misery and desolation. “HE restoreth my soul…” is the hope and anchor of all those who follow after the Great Shepherd of our souls. It is in HIM that we have reason to hope. It is in this ONE who is motivated by a LOVE that is beyond knowledge (Ephesians 3:19), a LOVE that loves because it is love, and a love that ever seeks to restore the fallen sons of Adam into the “glorious liberty of the children of God”. Let us realize that this LOVE is not just for us. It is what motivated God to send HIS ONLY begotten Son into this dark world that “whosoever” believes in HIM should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16)! Jesus said in the introduction of the parable of the Good Shepherd that HE came “… to save that which was lost” (Matthew 18:11). With this in mind let us realize that what HE is to us, we are to be to one another.

“A new commandment I give unto you,
That ye love one another; as I have loved you…”
JOHN 13:34

We are to love one another AS HE has loved us. That Shepherd’s Heart that is in HIM is to be revealed and worked out in our lives in loving and caring for one another. Truth is not truth until it is EXPRESSED in the common course of everyday life. If HE has so wonderfully expressed HIS love to me by the unmerited grace of God should not that same expression flow from our hearts to one another?

“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual,
RESTORE such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself,
lest thou also be tempted”
GALATIANS 6:1

The ability to restore another life is the revelation of HIS TRUTH living within us. It is the heart beat of all those who are coming to know and walk within the power and love of HIS LIFE. HE is the restorer of my soul and as HE lives so do all those who drink of the fountain of the living waters of HIS goodness and mercy. The measure of our walk, the validity of following after HIM, is expressed in the communication of HIS LIFE to restore, enable and to exhort one another to live Godly in Christ Jesus.

Ω

“Christians are like the several flowers in a garden
that have each of them the dew of heaven,
which, being shaken with the wind, they let fall at each other’s roots,
whereby they are jointly nourished, and become nourishers of each other”
JOHN BUNYAN

Ω

“THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD
I SHALL NOT WANT”

Brian Troxel

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“LET US RUN…”

 

“…let us run with patience (endurance & fortitude) the race that is set before us,
looking unto Jesus…”

Hebrews 12:1 – 2

The race is neither to the strong nor to the swift. This race is not one of understanding, intellect or physical or mental capabilities. It is a race of the heart; of affection, love and devotion. It is a race where only the Love of God in our hearts will qualify and enable us to finish. All the motives of self seeking, the pursuit of glory for oneself and selfish ambition will surely fail in the course of this race. This is a race of endurance and fortitude in which only by the Love of God beating in our hearts will we finish triumphant and with great joy. The Love that God gives “beareth all things… endureth all things.” Only those who love God pursue Him. Love ever seeks to please and know that which it loves.

In the heart of man there is but one law; his greatest love will always subdue the lesser loves. Whether it is love of self, pleasure, or the love of God, what a man holds dear will always prevail, either unto Life or unto Death.

We need to guard intently the affairs of our hearts in the subtlety of this day in which there seems to be no ramifications to how we live. They that know their God understand the need to walk circumspectly and to seek out fellowship that is true that we may find ourselves ready for the hour that is about to break forth in our land.

“If ye be risen with Christ,
seek those things which are above…
Set your affection on things above,
not on the things on the earth…”

Colossians 3:1 – 2

Ω

 

“A man’s heart has only enough life in it to pursue one object fully”
CHARLES HADDON SPURGEON (1834–1892)

Brian Troxel

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