Archive for April, 2010

Can You Come Down From the Mountain? 4-16-2010

April 16th, 2010

Can You Come Down From the Mountain?

Apr 16 2010
While you have the light, believe in the light . . . —John 12:36

Can You Come Down From the Mountain?We all have moments when we feel better than ever before, and we say, “I feel fit for anything; if only I could always be like this!” We are not meant to be. Those moments are moments of insight which we have to live up to even when we do not feel like it. Many of us are no good for the everyday world when we are not on the mountaintop. Yet we must bring our everyday life up to the standard revealed to us on the mountaintop when we were there.

Never allow a feeling that was awakened in you on the mountaintop to evaporate. Don’t place yourself on the shelf by thinking, “How great to be in such a wonderful state of mind!” Act immediately— do something, even if your only reason to act is that you would rather not. If, during a prayer meeting, God shows you something to do, don’t say, “I’ll do it”— just doit! Pick yourself up by the back of the neck and shake off your fleshly laziness. Laziness can always be seen in our cravings for a mountaintop experience; all we talk about is our planning for our time on the mountain. We must learn to live in the ordinary “gray” day according to what we saw on the mountain.

Don’t give up because you have been blocked and confused once— go after it again. Burn your bridges behind you, and stand committed to God by an act of your own will. Never change your decisions, but be sure to make your decisions in the light of what you saw and learned on the mountain.

The Failure To Pay Close Attention 4-15-2010

April 15th, 2010

The Failure To Pay Close Attention

Apr 15, 2010
The high places were not removed from Israel. Nevertheless the heart of Asa was loyal all his days —2 Chronicles 15:17

The Failure To Pay Close AttentionAsa was not completely obedient in the outward, visible areas of his life. He was obedient in what he considered the most important areas, but he was not entirely right. Beware of ever thinking, “Oh, that thing in my life doesn’t matter much.” The fact that it doesn’t matter much to you may mean that it matters a great deal to God. Nothing should be considered a trivial matter by a child of God. How much longer are we going to prevent God from teaching us even one thing? But He keeps trying to teach us and He never loses patience. You say, “I know I am right with God”— yet the “high places” still remain in your life. There is still an area of disobedience. Do you protest that your heart is right with God, and yet there is something in your life He causes you to doubt? Whenever God causes a doubt about something, stop it immediately, no matter what it may be. Nothing in our lives is a mere insignificant detail to God.

Are there some things regarding your physical or intellectual life to which you have been paying no attention at all? If so, you may think you are all correct in the important areas, but you are careless— you are failing to concentrate or to focus properly. You no more need a day off from spiritual concentration on matters in your life than your heart needs a day off from beating. As you cannot take a day off morally and remain moral, neither can you take a day off spiritually and remain spiritual. God wants you to be entirely His, and it requires paying close attention to keep yourself fit. It also takes a tremendous amount of time. Yet some of us expect to rise above all of our problems, going from one mountaintop experience to another, with only a few minutes’ effort.

Inner Invincibility

April 14th, 2010


Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me . . . —Matthew 11:29

Inner Invincibility

   Whom the Lord loves He chastens . . .” ( Hebrews 12:6 ). How petty our complaining is! Our Lord begins to bring us to the point where we can have fellowship with Him, only to hear us moan and groan, saying, “Oh Lord, just let me be like other people!” Jesus is asking us to get beside Him and take one end of the yoke, so that we can pull together. That’s why Jesus says to us, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light” ( Matthew 11:30 ). Are you closely identified with the Lord Jesus like that? If so, you will thank God when you feel the pressure of His hand upon you.

“. . . to those who have no might He increases strength” (Isaiah 40:29 ). God comes and takes us out of our emotionalism, and then our complaining turns into a hymn of praise. The only way to know the strength of God is to take the yoke of Jesus upon us and to learn from Him.

“. . . the joy of the Lord is your strength” ( Nehemiah 8:10 ). Where do the saints get their joy? If we did not know some Christians well, we might think from just observing them that they have no burdens at all to bear. But we must lift the veil from our eyes. The fact that the peace, light, and joy of God is in them is proof that a burden is there as well. The burden that God places on us squeezes the grapes in our lives and produces the wine, but most of us see only the wine and not the burden. No power on earth or in hell can conquer the Spirit of God living within the human spirit; it creates an inner invincibility.

If your life is producing only a whine, instead of the wine, then ruthlessly kick it out. It is definitely a crime for a Christian to be weak in God’s strength.

Complete and Effective Divinity 4-11-2009

April 11th, 2010

Complete and Effective Divinity

April 11 2010
If we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection . . . —Romans 6:5

Complete and Effective DivinityCo-Resurrection. The proof that I have experienced crucifixion with Jesus is that I have a definite likeness to Him. The Spirit of Jesus entering me rearranges my personal life before God. The resurrection of Jesus has given Him the authority to give the life of God to me, and the experiences of my life must now be built on the foundation of His life. I can have the resurrection life of Jesus here and now, and it will exhibit itself through holiness.

The idea all through the apostle Paul’s writings is that after the decision to be identified with Jesus in His death has been made, the resurrection life of Jesus penetrates every bit of my human nature. It takes the omnipotence of God— His complete and effective divinity— to live the life of the Son of God in human flesh. The Holy Spirit cannot be accepted as a guest in merely one room of the house— He invades all of it. And once I decide that my “old man” (that is, my heredity of sin) should be identified with the death of Jesus, the Holy Spirit invades me. He takes charge of everything. My part is to walk in the light and to obey all that He reveals to me. Once I have made that important decision about sin, it is easy to “reckon” that I am actually “dead indeed to sin,” because I find the life of Jesus in me all the time ( Romans 6:11  ). Just as there is only one kind of humanity, there is only one kind of holiness— the holiness of Jesus. And it is His holiness that has been given to me. God puts the holiness of His Son into me, and I belong to a new spiritual order.

When we make a decision to become “dead to sin” we start to absorb the holiness of God by identifying with His death, burial, and resurrection. Our part is to be available and accepting, even when we fall, and we will, we still have faith that God will complete the work He started in us. We simply trust and obey. (Philippians 1:6 ..being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.) JDV/DJR

Complete and Effective Decision About Sin 4-10-2010

April 10th, 2010

Complete and Effective Decision About Sin

April 10 2010
. . . our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin —Romans 6:6

Complete and Effective Decision About SinCo-Crucifixion. Have you made the following decision about sin— that it must be completely killed in you? It takes a long time to come to the point of making this complete and effective decision about sin. It is, however, the greatest moment in your life once you decide that sin must die in you-not simply be restrained, suppressed, or counteracted, but crucified— just as Jesus Christ died for the sin of the world. No one can bring anyone else to this decision. We may be mentally and spiritually convinced, but what we need to do is actually make the decision that Paul urged us to do in this passage.

Pull yourself up, take some time alone with God, and make this important decision, saying, “Lord, identify me with Your death until I know that sin is dead in me.” Make the moral decision that sin in you must be put to death.

This was not some divine future expectation on the part of Paul, but was a very radical and definite experience in his life. Are you prepared to let the Spirit of God search you until you know what the level and nature of sin is in your life— to see the very things that struggle against God’s Spirit in you? If so, will you then agree with God’s verdict on the nature of sin— that it should be identified with the death of Jesus? You cannot “reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin” ( Romans 6:11  ) unless you have radically dealt with the issue of your will before God.

I wonder which is better, to acknowledge my sin and take it to the Lord, repeatedly it seems, or to become so spiritually “evolved” that I believe I am never engaged in sin at all (or I never think about it)_. 1 John 1:10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be . As I read this devotional it comes to mind that neither is appropriate for a “connected” believer. When we are connected to the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit in us communing with the Spirit of God, we understand fully the power of grace, however, we also begin to understand that God can, and will, deal with the sin inside of us and change us from the inside out. As we bring ourselves to the cross and identify with Jesus, we begin to change, over time. And we understand that the victory has already been secured by Jesus, regardless of what it looks like to us. I suspect it is important to identify with the victory even if it does not look like victory to us. Remember, the cross did not look like victory to the disciples either, at the time. We now know, as did they, that the cross and His death and resurrection represents the ultimate victory.  And even in what appears to be our failures, we too can find victory through the cross and resurrection of Jesus. JDV/DJR


Have you entered into the glorious privilege of being crucified with Christ, until all that remains in your flesh and blood is His life? “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me . . .” ( Galatians 2:20  ).

Have You Seen Jesus? 4-09-2010

April 9th, 2010

Have You Seen Jesus?

Apr 09 2010
After that, He appeared in another form to two of them . . . —Mark 16:12

Have You Seen Jesus?Being saved and seeing Jesus are not the same thing. Many people who have never seen Jesus have received and share in God’s grace. But once you have seen Him, you can never be the same. Other things will not have the appeal they did before.

It has been our experience that we cry out to God most often becasue trials asking Jeus to come and change or remove them. However very often these trials out us right where God wants us; crying out to Jesus. JDV/DJR

You should always recognize the difference between what you see Jesus to be and what He has done for you. If you see only what He has done for you, your God is not big enough. But if you have had a vision, seeing Jesus as He really is, experiences can come and go, yet you will endure “as seeing Him who is invisible” ( Hebrews 11:27 ). The man who was blind from birth did not know who Jesus was until Christ appeared and revealed Himself to him (see John 9 ). Jesus appears to those for whom He has done something, but we cannot order or predict when He will come. He may appear suddenly, at any turn. Then you can exclaim, “Now I see Him!” (see John 9:25 ).

We tried to “find Jesus” on a mountain retreat last year. We were both hungry for the vision and intimate relationship, and felt lost in circumstances. But He did not show up like we thought He would. We thought we could just call out and He would show up at our “beck and call’.  We thought He would show up just to address our individual needs and smooth out our trials.

What we came to understand later was that He was always there, all the time, but we had not reached out for the relationship…for the intimate day to day connection of seeing, feeling and knowing that He can be directly and intimately connected to us. Our CO2 sessions every morning are but one discipline we try to put into place every day so we can remind ourselves and each other that our relationship and conection with Jesus is the most important part of our faith. When we are connected and intimate with Jesus, everything else seems to “fall into place” even though our trials and circumstances may not have changed very much at all. JDV/DJR

Jesus must appear to you and to your friend individually; no one can see Jesus with your eyes. And division takes place when one has seen Him and the other has not. You cannot bring your friend to the point of seeing; God must do it. Have you seen Jesus? If so, you will want others to see Him too. “And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either” ( Mark 16:13 ). When you see Him, you must tell, even if they don’t believe.

O could I tell, you surely would believe it!
O could I only say what I have seen!
How should I tell or how can you receive it,
How, till He bringeth you where I have been?

His Resurrection Destiny 4-09-2010

April 8th, 2010

His Resurrection Destiny

Apr 08 2010
Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory? —Luke 24:26

His Resurrection DestinyOur Lord’s Cross is the gateway into His life. His resurrection means that He has the power to convey His life to me. When I was born again, I received the very life of the risen Lord from Jesus Himself.

Christ’s resurrection destiny— His foreordained purpose— was to bring “many sons to glory” (Hebrews 2:10). The fulfilling of His destiny gives Him the right to make us sons and daughters of God. We never have exactly the same relationship to God that the Son of God has, but we are brought by the Son into the relation of sonship. When our Lord rose from the dead, He rose to an absolutely new life— a life He had never lived before He was God Incarnate. He rose to a life that had never been before. And what His resurrection means for us is that we are raised to His risen life, not to our old life. One day we will have a body like His glorious body, but we can know here and now the power and effectiveness of His resurrection and can “walk in newness of life” ( Romans 6:4 ). Paul’s determined purpose was to “know Him and the power of His resurrection” ( Philippians 3:10 ).

Jesus prayed, “. . . as You have given Him authority over all flesh that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him” ( John 17:2 . The term Holy Spirit is actually another name for the experience of eternal life working in human beings here and now.

It is here that we often forget that we already have the victory over all trials, tribulations and difficulties of this life. If we have the victory, regardless of the circumstances, perhaps we can remember to focus on our victory instead of our circumstances. We have discovered that this a good thing to know, but our ability to live this out comes when we discover and put in place the disciplines we find essential to keep us focused and connected. We do these daily devotionals as part of our daily initial “reconnect” to help jump start the rest of our day. When we get connected at the beginning of the day we find it is much easier to walk through the circumstances of the day and keep our eyes on Jesus. It is not an always thing but over time, it becomes more and more a part of how we live. JDV/DJR


The Holy Spirit is the deity of God who continues to apply the power of the atonement by the Cross of Christ to our lives. Thank God for the glorious and majestic truth that His Spirit can work the very nature of Jesus into us, if we will only obey Him.

Why We Lack Understanding 4-7-2010

April 7th, 2010

Why We Lack Understanding

Apr 07 2010
He commanded them that they should tell no one the things they had seen, till the Son of Man had risen from the dead —Mark 9:9

Why We Lack UnderstandingAs the disciples were commanded, you should also say nothing until the Son of Man has risen in you— until the life of the risen Christ so dominates you that you truly understand what He taught while here on earth. When you grow and develop the right condition inwardly, the words Jesus spoke become so clear that you are amazed you did not grasp them before. In fact, you were not able to understand them before because you had not yet developed the proper spiritual condition to deal with them.

Our Lord doesn’t hide these things from us, but we are not prepared to receive them until we are in the right condition in our spiritual life. Jesus said, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now” ( John 16:12 ). We must have a oneness with His risen life before we are prepared to bear any particular truth from Him. Do we really know anything about the indwelling of the risen life of Jesus? The evidence that we do is that His Word is becoming understandable to us. God cannot reveal anything to us if we don’t have His Spirit. And our own unyielding and headstrong opinions will effectively prevent God from revealing anything to us. But our insensible thinking will end immediately once His resurrection life has its way with us.

“. . . tell no one . . . .” But so many people do tell what they saw on the Mount of Transfiguration— their mountaintop experience. They have seen a vision and they testify to it, but there is no connection between what they say and how they live. Their lives don’t add up because the Son of Man has not yet risen in them. How long will it be before His resurrection life is formed and evident in you and in me?

The Collision of God and Sin 4-06-2010

April 6th, 2010

The Collision of God and Sin

Apr 06 2010
. . . who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree . . . —1 Peter 2:24

The Collision of God and SinThe Cross of Christ is the revealed truth of God’s judgment on sin. Never associate the idea of martyrdom with the Cross of Christ. It was the supreme triumph, and it shook the very foundations of hell. There is nothing in time or eternity more absolutely certain and irrefutable than what Jesus Christ accomplished on the Cross— He made it possible for the entire human race to be brought back into a right-standing relationship with God. He made redemption the foundation of human life; that is, He made a way for every person to have fellowship with God.

The Cross was not something that happened to Jesus— He came to die; the Cross was His purpose in coming. He is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” ( Revelation 13:8 ). The incarnation of Christ would have no meaning without the Cross. Beware of separating “God was manifested in the flesh. . .” from “. . . He made Him. . . to be sin for us. . .” ( 1 Timothy 3:16 ; 2 Corinthians 5:21  ). The purpose of the incarnation was redemption. God came in the flesh to take sin away, not to accomplish something for Himself. The Cross is the central event in time and eternity, and the answer to all the problems of both.

The Cross is not the cross of a man, but the Cross of God, and it can never be fully comprehended through human experience. The Cross is God exhibiting His nature. It is the gate through which any and every individual can enter into oneness with God. But it is not a gate we pass right through; it is one where we abide in the life that is found there.

The heart of salvation is the Cross of Christ. The reason salvation is so easy to obtain is that it cost God so much. The Cross was the place where God and sinful man merged with a tremendous collision and where the way to life was opened. But all the cost and pain of the collision was absorbed by the heart of God.

His Agony and Our Access 4-5-2010

April 5th, 2010

His Agony and Our Access

Apr 05 2010
Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples . . . . ’Stay here and watch with Me’ —Matthew 26:36, 38

His Agony and Our AccessWe can never fully comprehend Christ’s agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, but at least we don’t have to misunderstand it. It is the agony of God and man in one Person, coming face to face with sin. We cannot learn about Gethsemane through personal experience. Gethsemane and Calvary represent something totally unique— they are the gateway into life for us.

It was not death on the cross that Jesus agonized over in Gethsemane. In fact, He stated very emphatically that He came with the purpose of dying. His concern here was that He might not get through this struggle as the Son of Man. He was confident of getting through it as the Son of God— Satan could not touch Him there. But Satan’s assault was that our Lord would come through for us on His own solely as the Son of Man. If Jesus had done that, He could not have been our Savior (see Hebrews 9:11-15 ). Read the record of His agony in Gethsemane in light of His earlier wilderness temptation— “. . . the devil . . . departed from Him until an opportune time” ( Luke 4:13 ). In Gethsemane, Satan came back and was overthrown again. Satan’s final assault against our Lord as the Son of Man was in Gethsemane.

The victory for all mankind was and is based on elements that are historically not associated with victory: humble acceptance of false accusations, surrender to unjust authority, and He was beaten and crucified without complaint as He already knew the outcome. Just as we can already know the outcome as we go through trials…..we simply focus and stay connected to Jesus and experience His understanding supernaturally…. ”  for the joy set before Him He endured the cross”. JDV/DJR

Hbrrews 12:2 (MSG) Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!

Perhaps it would be well to consider that Jesus looked for His friends for help and found none, He asked the Father to take the cup away but in the end, Jesus simply trusted the Father’s will. Just as we can do when (and if) we come to the end of ourselves……… even as we live and act as if there is no end to ourselves and our focus on alternate plans. JDV/DJR

The agony in Gethsemane was the agony of the Son of God in fulfilling His destiny as the Savior of the world. The veil is pulled back here to reveal all that it cost Him to make it possible for us to become sons of God. His agony was the basis for the simplicity of our salvation. The Cross of Christ was a triumph for the Son of Man. It was not only a sign that our Lord had triumphed, but that He had triumphed to save the human race. Because of what the Son of Man went through, every human being has been provided with a way of access into the very presence of God.