Archive for the ‘Life versus Religion’ Tag

The Sanctified Ear   1 comment

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This is from the blog A Word in Season:

“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 the 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 was 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
http://www.aword.info

Fellowship and the Mystery of God   2 comments

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This is from the blog A Word in Season:

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light,
we have fellowship one with another,
and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son
cleanseth us from all sin”
1 John 1:7

True fellowship is a blessed and precious expression of the Life of the Son between His people. It is a function of light not of teaching. Many today within the landscape of the Christian Church have little or no concept of this vital flow of life. Being in one room does not constitute fellowship. Speaking of the things of God, singing, sharing, and praying together does not in itself imply this powerful act of the Holy Spirit. Fellowship in and unto God is a transaction wherein the depth of God in one vessel pours the very life and glory of God into another. The light of His Being is imprinted upon the whole; the ministration of the Blood of Jesus releases an impartation of the cleansing power of the Lamb. The wonder of community, the koinonia, is known by God’s glory. It is grievous to behold the blindness which exists between the religious things of men and the precious things of the Spirit. Within the mixture of today men cannot discern between that which is Holy and that which is lifeless and mundane. Light is the Life of Jesus within His own (John 1:4). It is so much more than words, actions and prayers. It is as we touch His Life within another person that we know the brotherhood of Christ. It is in the fragrance of another’s expression that the aroma of Christ in His Body is known. This flow of Life is the Light of the World and the wonder of Heaven.

“Then said the Lord to him,
Put off thy shoes from thy feet:
for the place where thou standest is holy ground”
Acts 7:33

Moses having left Egypt because of the recognition of his true identity as an Israelite by birth, was not yet aware of his call as a true Israelite (a prince with God) in his walk. He stood in the very presence of God and knew it not. Though he had left Egypt he still walked in the shoes of Egypt and was unable to sense God’s presence even in the place he stood. So it is with religion. Men and women may have teaching, may have even a spiritual heritage (as Moses with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), and yet be totally unaware of God’s reality. It is in the taking off of those shoes, (the religious and carnal ways of men) that we are introduced to the Holy Presence of God. We begin to “feel” our way into the life to which He has called us. While many boast of knowledge, or take comfort in their association with great teachers or organizations, it does not avail them of the knowledge of the Holy.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom:
and the knowledge of the holy is understanding”
Proverbs 9:10

In God’s estimation it is not in the accumulation of data and information that gives a person true understanding; it is in their knowing of the HOLY. Without this sense of awe we will never be able to really flow in the life and light of God. It is this flow which brings us to the Holy Ground of fellowship in God. There is an unseen line of demarcation which religious people cannot pass through; it is a realm of life and liberty in the Holy Spirit. People may behold it but it is always outside of them. It is a thing to see but not one which is internal and real.

“But as he went the people thronged him. And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. And Jesus said, Who touched me?When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me”
Luke 8:42-46

In the midst of all the people thronging about Jesus there was one who touched Jesus in the realm of need and faith. Though many were “touching” Jesus, clamouring to hear his words and see His acts, there was one who touched Him in such a manner that virtue (power) flowed from Him into her. This flow is the power of true fellowship and life. Many throng about Him in meetings, services, Bible studies and prayer meetings, yet without the living faith of Him within the heart the virtue of Christ remains hidden and distant.

True and vital fellowship exists where each member shares the substance of Christ which they have seen and heard within their own hearts. It is the communication of their faith because of their relationship and walk with God. The flow of the sharing is orchestrated by the Lordship of the Holy Spirit and culminates in the symphony of His life within the whole. This is no longer a religious gathering. It is in fact the very essence of heaven and the true life of the Son being revealed through vessels of clay who walk in the knowledge of the Holy.

It is through the Glory of such fellowship that the change and transformation of our hearts occurs. It is in the beholding of Him, seeing His wonder in our brothers and sisters, that we touch the beauty of His true Body. It is only by the seeing of Him that we are changed, for no one can see Him and remain the same. While many gather in some manner or another, change will always be the fruit of those who behold His glory; where there is no change there is no glory. The Virtue of Christ always flows into the lives of those who touch Him in the reality of the living faith of God.

“But we all, with open face
beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord,
are changed into the same image from glory to glory,
even as by the Spirit of the Lord”
2 Corinthians 3:18

The desire to know Him is the only impetus which can bring the mystery of this fellowship to the life of an individual. People who are content with the status quo will never know this vital flow of the Son. It is the story of this woman’s need and desire which caused the touching of Him in reality. Religion is content with things about Him, they who are of the truth are only concerned with the knowing of Him experientially (corporately and individually). Change is the fruit of seeing God. For fellowship with Him brings us to His light and the love of His people. No one can have fellowship with God and walk in darkness.

“This then is the message which we have heard of him,
and declare unto you, that God is light,
and in him is no darkness at all.
If we say that we have fellowship with him,
and walk in darkness,
we lie, and do not the truth”
1 John 1:6

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info