Take Heed How We Hear – Excerpt from coming book

The Sanctified Ear

“Moses took of the blood of it,
and put it upon the tip of Aaron’s right ear…”
Leviticus 8:23

“Take heed therefore how ye hear:
for whosoever hath, to him shall be given;
and whosoever hath not,
from him shall be taken even
that which he seemeth to have
Luke 8:18

The sanctified ear brings one to the place of not only hearing His voice but of hearing it correctly. This hearing is coupled with obedience. In religious circles there is much information and often good and right teachings. The subtle challenge of our day is not so much what we hear, it is how we hear. True hearing must be accompanied with the corresponding act of obedience. It keeps the individual in a habitat of movement and change. A static Christian experience is not possible for the very call of Christ is for us to pick up our cross and follow Him. Following denotes movement and keeps us in an active state of attending unto Him in everyday life. No matter how demanding the business world, our home life or our secret life, there is watchfulness required that transcends all of these other things. The sanctified ear is set apart for Him, above all the noise and demands of this life, alert to His Call and His Will.

The authentic Christian life is one of being ”on call” and active in response to Him. Sensitivity to His voice grows as we hear and obey Him in even the little things of life. Integrity in business, selflessness in responding to the needs of others, going out of our way to bring a word of encouragement or exhortation to another even in the face of opposition, are all indicators of a healthy Christian walk. The phrase “take heed how ye hear” contains a warning that we can lose what we seem to have. Hearing without obedience brings a deception of thinking that because we know something we have something.

“For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer,
he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way,
and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was”
James 1:23-24

The hearing of a good thing without the corresponding action leaves one in a state of ambiguity and uncertainty. It causes men and women to be tentative and filled with perplexity in their walk as Christians.

“Take heed how you hear” is the warning of Jesus to every one of us. It is a phrase intentionally set at the end of the Parable of the Sower. Time has a way of passing quickly and “take heed how you hear” is His exhortation to all of us to be watchful that we do not fall into the subtlety of routine and religion. The sanctified ear is God’s answer to the deception of our hearts. It is His way of keeping us from the narrowness and comfort of our own tendencies. This error (implied in the Greek for the word deception in James) is insidious in its workings. Not only we as individuals are susceptible but even more so in any type of corporate Christian gatherings. There is a blindness that can creep in of such delusion that without a strong prophetic ministration (often times from the outside) it may become ingrown and closed to others who do not “see the truth” as they do.

In Luke’s Gospel we read the story of Jesus’ parents going up to Jerusalem for the yearly feasts and then returning home.

“But they, supposing him (Jesus)
to have been in the company…”

Luke 2:44

They assumed He was with them. After all He was with them as they went to the feast and He had been with them since. They took for granted he was still with them. This is a warning to His people, especially those who have been gathering for a long time. There is an assumption that He is with us, for we are meeting and doing what we have been doing for a long time; God was with us in the past so surely He must still be with us. This is especially true for groups and organizations that in the past have had moves or stirrings of the Spirit. Yet over time the Son has moved on and they are unaware that anything has changed. The Son does not abide in a certain place. He is ever about His Father’s business. It is incumbent upon us to follow Him and not to presume He is with us! The difference between the two has eternal consequences. Obedience is a journey filled with movement, change and growth. He is ever calling us out of the “boat”; out from the other disciples to walk upon the water unto Him* (Matthew 14:25-32). It is here where we reveal whether we are His disciples or mere adherents to a teaching, doctrine or religious association. The beauty of this story in Luke is that when they discovered He was not with them they forsook their “company”* and sought Him out. He will always be found doing his Father’s business. We must be willing to do the same regardless of our relationships and understandings with others with whom we have fellowship.

“Take heed how you hear” is the living truth which must abide in our hearts continually. For He is our Way, He is our Truth and in the knowing of Him in these things He will also Become our LIFE which is what we have been called to.

“Take heed to how ye hear”
Luke 8:18

*Note: Obedience to Jesus is paramount in our walk; all true relationships with our brothers and sisters are to be based upon Him being our head. When Peter rose up out of the boat he was not forsaking the others in terms of relationship but he was stepping out in a living response to Jesus. True relationships that are the result of a vital connection with Jesus are never interrupted by such obedience. Relationships built upon a teaching or a religious affiliation will always be in opposition to the ways and the will of God. The essential thing in the life of the true disciple is our obedience unto Him. Religion brings conformity but the living way of God brings transformation; one is static the other is living.

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

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

THOUGHT FOR TODAY – POTENTIAL – APRIL 3, 2016 –

THOUGHT FOR TODAY
APRIL 3, 2016

POTENTIAL VERSUS TRUTH

The first step of all obedience is not taken in strength, it is initiated by our love and trust in Him. The strength received comes AS we walk, the trust to obey comes as our history with Him grows through the medium of obedience. They that obey their God are strong in their God. A faith that alters not our walk is like seeds that are never sown, deeds never done and love never expressed. Potential accomplishes nothing.

Faith for the future is sown in the deeds of today (Samuel 17:37).

“The way to be strong is to act on the credit of strength being given.
Strength is received in the act of obeying. When the path of duty is clear,
it is want of faith to continue asking for strength, and not to act upon it.”
G.W. Milne

Brian Troxel

HOPE TO MAKE US STRONG

HOPE
TO MAKE US STRONG

“Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me,
Write: for these words are true and faithful
MATTHEW 5:9

Whatever our lot, our circumstances and our present day experiences, let the promise of God ring within our hearts. “Behold, I make all things NEW…” is the hope that we have and the surety of things to come. The weariness of the way, the shallowness of much of what we hear and see today, must and will give way to the WILL and PURPOSE of God. Things will not remain the same. We have this promise from a God who cannot lie; the God who paid for the NEW by the very sacrifice and death of His own Son. This is not an idle religious promise by which we try to encourage ourselves. Rather it is a living hope that beats within our hearts; a hope founded and sustained by a living faith. A faith that is the very substance of the hope we have and the things that we do not see…

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen”
HEBREWS 11:1

We sense the eternal heartbeat of a longing and a cry that resides within our own hearts; a yearning for something greater, deeper and fuller. This same call of the eternal resonated in the lives of all those who longed for a City whose builder and maker is GOD. Abraham did not look for an earthly city, his eyes were not upon some sliver of land; his hope was higher. He “looked for a City… whose builder and maker is GOD”!

Shall not we, who are the true offspring of Abraham (Gal. 3:7), have that same living hope pressing us on to stay the course, to run the race with the same Holy zeal and the same faithfulness of spirit and trust in a God whose name is “faithful and true”?

Let us even today allow the hope and vitality of the promise of God that speaks of a “New heavens and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness” be the anchor in our daily life.

Ω

“Live in the presence of God and you too will have the eyes of Abraham.
Eyes that are always alert to the unexpected.
Eyes that see God’s actions in petty annoyances and even in tragedies.
Eyes that trust.
And eyes that continue seeking
whenever they are tempted to turn inwards”
Glen Argan

Brian Troxel

OBEDIENCE The WAY to LIFE

OBEDIENCE

The WAY to LIFE

“The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
Arise, and go down to the potter’s house,
and THERE I will cause thee to hear my words”
JEREMIAH 18:2

Had not Jeremiah obeyed the voice of the LORD to go to the potter’s house, he would never have known of the Word of the Lord found THERE and only there. Obedience precedes the ministry of God’s LIVING Word. In our day we have many, many teachers; “revelations” coming forth from countless expressions. “Knowledge has increased” but with this increase in knowledge there has not been an increase in FAITH. Why is this? It is because much of revelation is taught as teachings that men may hold in the intellect without the corresponding call to OBEDIENCE. We hear a lot about “just believe” and God will bring it to pass; the prophecies given must come to pass for God has said it; the promises given are sure and true; just believe. But we must remember that God’s Word always requires obedience, faith and personal RESPONSE. Consider the prophetic words given to Timothy….

“This charge I commit to you, son Timothy,
according to the prophecies previously made concerning you,
that by THEM you may wage the good warfare”
1 TIMOTHY 1:18

Paul says concerning his own life…

“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run,
but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.
And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things.
Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown,
but we for an imperishable crown.
Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty.
Thus I FIGHT: not as one who beats the air.
But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection,
lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified
1 CORINTHIANS 9:24 – 27

The purpose of all teaching and ministry is to set before the people of God, the MARK, the PRIZE which is the LORDSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST. The ministration of the WORD should be setting forth the true cry of the Holy Spirit to every believer to “Run in such a way” that the people of God MAY OBTAIN IT! May we be saved from the Gospel of believe-ism and be brought into the Gospel that is the POWER of GOD unto salvation because it is declared through vessels who know the weight of obedience, the ferocity of the fight of FAITH and the KEEPING POWER OF OUR GOD. Any ministration that does not include the accountability of the believer unto his God, the necessity of the fear of the Lord, and the call of God unto a life of obedience is lacking in vision. True revelation brings men and women into the place of beholding HIM and in the seeing of HIM we know the fear of the Lord and the awesome Glory of God.

“Moreover, brethren,
I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud,
all passed through the sea,
all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,
all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink.
For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them,
and that Rock was Christ. But with most of them God was not well pleased,
for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
Now these things BECAME OUR examples,
to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted.
And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written,
“The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.”
Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did,
and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us tempt Christ,
as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents;
nor complain, as some of them also complained,
and were destroyed by the destroyer.
Now all these things happened to them as examples,
and THEY WERE WRITTEN FOR OUR ADMONITION,
upon whom the ends of the ages have come”
1 CORINTHIANS 10:1 – 11

God is looking for disciples and soldiers; men and women who not only recognize the cost of following Jesus, but have found (or are in the process of discovering) that it is by the power of HIS LIFE operating in us that these become realities. Faith is the only means by which the teaching of discipleship becomes the everyday life of the believer.

Ω

“You are but a poor soldier of Christ
if you think you can overcome without fighting
and suppose you can have the crown without conflict”

John Chrysostom

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

LOOK UNTO ME

LOOK UNTO ME

“Look unto me, and be ye saved”
Isaiah 45:22

Salvation is not a onetime experience. It is a life and a relationship. The complexities of our heart and the trials and tribulations of our faith in an antagonistic world demand a constant looking unto HIM. There are also great changes that must be made within our being to walk with the Almighty God. These bring us the NEED for fresh and new revelations of HIS saving grace in our lives.

It is in our continual looking unto HIM that we are ever in the ACT of being saved; saved from our short sightedness and our resistance to change and growth.

“Look unto me, and be ye saved” is more than a nice scripture to quote. It is in the seeing of HIM that we are lifted up out of ourselves, our outlook and our carnal tendencies and enabled to see the world through HIS eyes.

“Look unto me, and be ye saved” is the WAY of LIFE. It is the only way for growth and development. Yes it is fraught with new responsibilities, trials and testing, but it is the way of LIFE. Whether it is the disciples who walked the Emmaus Road in discouragement, or Peter venturing out of the boat to walk upon the stormy sea, HE is our answer. Growth is the evidence of LIFE. Growth in HIS purposes is revealed in the child like faith of walking with our heavenly Father. Except we “become as little children” we will not enter the Kingdom. This is not just a phrase it is a REQUIRED condition. Our only participation in the ACT of “becoming” is to be continually “looking unto HIM”! He is the Author and the Finisher of our faith. “Our Faith” is a faith that is personal and precious and its development requires our attention and response to HIM. To hear and not do, to see and not respond, are the earmarks of decay and stagnation.

“Look unto me, and be ye saved”. No matter what the circumstances HE is our present help; the ladder out of every pit, our light in times of darkness, our guide when we are lost, our friend when there is no other. HE is OUR SALVATION and HIS name is JESUS!

“Look unto me, and be ye saved”

Brian Troxel