Thought for Today – Why Art Thou Cast Down

Thought for Today

Why Art Thou Cast Down?

“Why art thou cast down, O my soul?”
Psalm 42:5

Like a sailing ship at sea, the soul fixed upon God is ever dependent upon the winds of His Spirit for movement and purpose. When the wind is withheld and the sails are no longer filled with the wonder of His breath our ship may seem adrift in the depths of obscurity. A cry rises from those whose hearts are set upon Him and Him alone.

“As the hart panteth after the water brooks,
so panteth my soul after thee, O God.
My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God:
when shall I come and appear before God?”
Psalm 42:1-2

These precious verses describe one who loves Him with a desperate love. The religious have no conscious need for this; life goes on with or without His presence in their lives. It is the heart that is aflame for Him, ever mindful of the need for His presence and His Life beating within, from which this cry arises. It is in these moments that God would have us take great encouragement. The cry for His presence is of great delight to Him. It is the revelation of a heart that understands its dependency upon His Life within. The concealing of His evident presence is a picture of what it would be like to live without Him. It is a gentle reminder for us to remain mindful of His Spirit within the sphere of our life on earth. He graciously brings our attention to the real issues of life and our paramount need to abide in the wonder of His ever-present grace.

Do not fear the times when the winds cease and our ship seems to be adrift in a sea of futility. Do not let the voices of the enemy speak of desolation and abandonment; rather let it be a time for our redeemed soul to rise through the mists of unbelief with the tenacity and longing of pure love unto Him. It is this atmosphere from which the deepest and most fragrant acts of worship ascend unto Him.

“In the day when I cried thou answered me,
and strengthened me with strength in my soul”
Psalm 138.3

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – The Alabaster Box

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
www.aword.info

Heart of a Priest – Part Six – Jehovah’s Inheritance

Heart of a Priest

Part 6

“For Jehovah’s portion is His people”
Deuteronomy 32:9 (LITV)

The true priests of the Lord know deep within the very core of their hearts that God’s people are His portion in the earth. They carry the burden of knowing that the condition of God’s people, their manner of life, their love for Jesus and one another is paramount to all other things. They cannot be content with the prevalent “business as usual” attitude. True priests are concerned with the fervor, the passion and the temper of God’s Church. True priests are concerned with the purity of heart by which the service and the offerings are brought unto the altar of the Lord. It is one thing to go through the motions of a Sunday meeting where the rote of a “service” is conducted; it is another thing all together when the praise and worship unto God proceeds from hearts filled with the wonder of His Love. Men and women who are content with tepid offerings unto God and the religious garb of a priesthood that delights in the pews being full rather than hearts being full, are hirelings. They are satiated with outward things but the fire within has long gone out.

Those who burn with the fire of God’s love know that nothing less than sacrifice offered with the Holy Fire of God is able to bring forth the sweet aroma unto our God. The Epistles of the New Testament burn with words of fire that flowed from hearts that were aflame for God’s glory, not their own. They were concerned about His inheritance; not their church, fellowship or ministry.

True priests minister truth. They are not interested in being popular or accepted. Their estimation of life is to glorify God and to see that the altar receives the sacrifices and offerings unto God which are offered in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:23-24). Worship flows from hearts that know it is on the basis of God’s grace, His shed blood and His mercy that they are able to stand before Him. Those who know they have been forgiven much love much. Little do God’s people realize that as in the Old Testament so also in the New we are to bring forth sacrifices as a holy priesthood!

“…you also as living stones are being built a spiritual house,
a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices
acceptable to God through Jesus Christ”
1 Peter 2:5

We are to be a nation of priests. That ministry is not for a select few; every member is called into their own vital ministration in God’s economy. A human body does not have non-vital members (unless it is unhealthy), if it is healthy every member participates with their own function within the context of the whole.

“But you are “an elect race,” “a royal priesthood,”
“a holy nation,” “a people for possession,”
so that “you may openly speak of the virtues”
of the One who has called you
out of darkness into His marvelous light”
1 Peter 2:9 (LITV)

Lord, we pray over Your inheritance in our land. Move afresh upon our hearts to see the true call to which you have called us. Let us see our portion in the rising up of your Church to the glory, the beauty and the expression of all that you are. Remove the blindness, the shortsightedness and the apathy from our hearts. Cause us to see how we have been backslidden in our singleness of heart to serve you. Move with great power to turn us from our religious ways, from the ways of the world, from our kingdom building and the seeking of pre-eminence. Cause us to be broken over Your inheritance in our land and bring repentance from seeking the things of this world and the building up of our own houses while your house lays waste (Haggai 1:4-7).

It is a day for us to consider our ways and turn back to the good and right way wherein righteousness and glory dwells. Turn us Oh Lord and we shall be turned.

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

PROPHETIC PURPOSE The Altar

PROPHETIC PURPOSE

PART ONE

“And he repaired the altar of the LORD
that was broken down”
(1KINGS 18:30)

God’s purpose in raising up prophets is to restore the power and wonder of true worship. Worship is central to the purpose of God in every generation. How little we realize the power that is transmitted through true worship to the people of God. It is the fundamental desire of God to find such worshippers of Him…

“But the hour cometh, and now is,
when the true worshippers
shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth:
for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
  God is a Spirit:
and they that worship him must worship
him in spirit and in truth”
JOHN 4:23-24

Through apathy and apostasy the altar of God becomes broken down as men neglect their spiritual responsibilities. The imposition of worldly ways, entertainment, programs, professional and orchestrated performances crowd out the true worship of God. The fire goes out and the glory of God fades from the hearts and minds of men. The true worship that comes from broken and contrite hearts is replaced with human confidence in talents and professionalism leaving a powerless and worldly church in its wake. It is at such a time as this that we see God raising up expressions of ministry that are gripped by the tepid and impotent condition of HIS Church. They confront the exaltation of men and their ways, the religion of convenience and the sheer horror of men claiming ownership over the things of God; they declare “my people, my church, and my ministry” while the true altar of God is broken down and neglected. It is a day of confrontation as the fire of God burns within the hearts of those who are concerned for HIS Glory and His Ways. The prophets of Baal are always more numerous and conspicuous. They love the attention and the adulation of the people of God. In due time God answers by fire and the trite and worldly ways of men are left to the JUDGEMENTS of God and once again the fickle hearts of men are drawn back to the TRUE ALTAR.

There is but ONE ALTAR and it is only there that men conduct business with God. It is there that men offer themselves unto God and His purposes. It is there that men begin to see and understand the depth of the Sacrifice of the Son on their behalf and touch the awesome HOLINESS of God in spirit and in truth. In the light of such things men and women are transformed, hearts are ignited and God’s Glory is seen. From this arises a new generation of living sacrifices that have cast away the pursuits of self realization and self love to become flaming torches filled with a passion to see HIS NAME Glorified! This day is about to dawn and the PURE and HOLY Bride will arise out of the ashes of men’s ways, men’s religious systems and teachings. The day is upon us!

The Prophetic Purpose is to restore to HIS CHURCH the true Worship of God, to see the people of God once again declare “THE LORD HE IS GOD” and to restore THE CHURCH to the place where God has preeminence in our midst.

The call of God goes forth in this hour to empower those who will hear and arise with the very fire of God burning in their hearts.

“…therefore gird up thy loins, and arise,
and speak unto them all that I command thee:
be not dismayed at their faces,
lest I confound thee before them.
  For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city,
and an iron pillar, and brazen walls against the whole land,
against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof,
against the priests thereof,
and against the people of the land”
JEREMIAH 1:17

Brian Troxel