Archive for May, 2010

“Yes— But . . .!” 5-30-2010

May 30th, 2010

“Yes— But . . .!”

May 30 2010
Lord, I will follow You, but . . . —Luke 9:61 

Suppose God tells you to do something that is an enormous test of your common sense, totally going against it. What will you do? Will you hold back? If you get into the habit of doing something physically, you will do it every time you are tested until you break the habit through sheer determination. And the same is true spiritually. Again and again you will come right up to what Jesus wants, but every time you will turn back at the true point of testing, until you are determined to abandon yourself to God in total surrender. Yet we tend to say, “Yes, but— suppose I do obey God in this matter, what about . . . ?” Or we say, “Yes, I will obey God if what He asks of me doesn’t go against my common sense, but don’t ask me to take a step in the dark.”

Jesus Christ demands the same unrestrained, adventurous spirit in those who have placed their trust in Him that the natural man exhibits. If a person is ever going to do anything worthwhile, there will be times when he must risk everything by his leap in the dark. In the spiritual realm, Jesus Christ demands that you risk everything you hold on to or believe through common sense, and leap by faith into what He says. Once you obey, you will immediately find that what He says is as solidly consistent as common sense.

By the test of common sense, Jesus Christ’s statements may seem mad, but when you test them by the trial of faith, your findings will fill your spirit with the awesome fact that they are the very words of God. Trust completely in God, and when He brings you to a new opportunity of adventure, offering it to you, see that you take it. We act like pagans in a crisis— only one out of an entire crowd is daring enough to invest his faith in the character of God.

Unquestion Revelation 5-28-2010

May 28th, 2010

Unquestion Revelation

May 28 2010
In that day you will ask Me nothing —John 16:23

When is “that day”? It is when the ascended Lord makes you one with the Father. “In that day” you will be one with the Father just as Jesus is, and He said, “In that day you will ask Me nothing.” Until the resurrection life of Jesus is fully exhibited in you, you have questions about many things. Then after a while you find that all your questions are gone— you don’t seem to have any left to ask. You have come to the point of total reliance on the resurrection life of Jesus, which brings you into complete oneness with the purpose of God. Are you living that life now? If not, why aren’t you?

“In that day” there may be any number of things still hidden to your understanding, but they will not come between your heart and God. “In that day you will ask Me nothing”— you will not need to ask, because you will be certain that God will reveal things in accordance with His will. The faith and peace of John 14:1 has become the real attitude of your heart, and there are no more questions to be asked. If anything is a mystery to you and is coming between you and God, never look for the explanation in your mind, but look for it in your spirit, your true inner nature— that is where the problem is. Once your inner spiritual nature is willing to submit to the life of Jesus, your understanding will be perfectly clear, and you will come to the place where there is no distance between the Father and you, His child, because the Lord has made you one. “In that day you will ask Me nothing.”


Journal Entry for Today

May 28, 2010

And so I try to focus on the lesson and my connection with God and find I am daydreaming and worrying about health insurance, finances, and the future. I know in my heart that God has said He will meet all my needs, and yet I can look back over my life and see and feel the pain of some hard lessons over the last few years. I know that God only has the best in mind for me, but it sure did not feel like “His best” as I went through the pain, uncertainty and troubles of the past two years.

And God says…” I experienced every bit of the pain that you did my son. I felt every heartache and every worry and concern you were feeling. But what is important to remember is that you did not go to any extremes that kept you apart from my love and care. Clearly I allowed certain circumstances into your life, but can you honestly say you did not become a better man and more engaged child of mine as a result? As you look back on your life, and the troubling circumstances, what would have happened if you had looked at the days and weeks of trials as adventures to be observed? What would you have felt if you knew deep down and believed that it would all be alright, that I had absolute control over your life? What if you could have simply reveled in the time expectantly watching God work in your life? With faith and hope and expectant joyful living, you can praise and worship me and watch as I change your life and your circumstances so that we are in intimate relationship more and more…and ultimately forever.

Why do I not take you at your word? Why am I constantly going back and forth from faith and trust and obedience to worry, uncertainty, sin and disobedience? Why am I unable to learn and live the life you have laid out so clearly?

And God said…”Because you are a mortal man in need of your own death, burial, and resurrection. You can be resurrected with Jesus when you trust and obey. When, with faith, you are prepared to embrace the unknown life of your future that I have prepared for you. I will change you from the inside out and hold you tightly and assuredly if you will only trust and obey…….I give you the strength for the trust and obedience as you are in relationship with me. Stay in relationship and you will not be worried or concerned, you will be excited, and expectantly joyful. We will be as one and you will be without questions or worry. “

The Life To Know Him 5-27-2010

May 27th, 2010

The Life To Know Him

May 27 0 2010
. . . tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high —Luke 24:49

The disciples had to tarry, staying in Jerusalem until the day of Pentecost, not only for their own preparation but because they had to wait until the Lord was actually glorified. And as soon as He was glorified, what happened? “Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear” ( Acts 2:33 ). The statement in John 7:39 — “. . . for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified”— does not pertain to us. The Holy Spirit has been given; the Lord is glorified— our waiting is not dependent on the providence of God, but on our own spiritual fitness.

The Holy Spirit’s influence and power were at work before Pentecost, but He was not here. Once our Lord was glorified in His ascension, the Holy Spirit came into the world, and He has been here ever since. We have to receive the revealed truth that He is here. The attitude of receiving and welcoming the Holy Spirit into our lives is to be the continual attitude of a believer. When we receive the Holy Spirit, we receive reviving life from our ascended Lord.

It is not the baptism of the Holy Spirit that changes people, but the power of the ascended Christ coming into their lives through the Holy Spirit. We all too often separate things that the New Testament never separates. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is not an experience apart from Jesus Christ— it is the evidence of the ascended Christ.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit does not make you think of time or eternity— it is one amazing glorious now. “This is eternal life, that they may know You . . .” ( John 17:3 ). Begin to know Him now, and never finish.

Thinking of Prayer as Jesus Taught May 26, 2010

May 26th, 2010

Thinking of Prayer as Jesus Taught

Our thinking about prayer, whether right or wrong, is based on our own mental conception of it. The correct concept is to think of prayer as the breath in our lungs and the blood from our hearts. Our blood flows and our breathing continues “without ceasing”; we are not even conscious of it, but it never stops. And we are not always conscious of Jesus keeping us in perfect oneness with God, but if we are obeying Him, He always is. Prayer is not an exercise, it is the life of the saint. Beware of anything that stops the offering up of prayer. “Pray without ceasing . . .”— maintain the childlike habit of offering up prayer in your heart to God all the time.

Jesus never mentioned unanswered prayer. He had the unlimited certainty of knowing that prayer is always answered. Do we have through the Spirit of God that inexpressible certainty that Jesus had about prayer, or do we think of the times when it seemed that God did not answer our prayer? Jesus said, “. . . everyone who asks receives . . .” ( Matthew 7:8 ). Yet we say, “But . . . , but . . . .” God answers prayer in the best way— not just sometimes, but every time. However, the evidence of the answer in the area we want it may not always immediately follow. Do we expect God to answer prayer?

The danger we have is that we want to water down what Jesus said to make it mean something that aligns with our common sense. But if it were only common sense, what He said would not even be worthwhile. The things Jesus taught about prayer are supernatural truths He reveals to us.


Journal Entry for Today

May 26, 2010

I think about the ways in which I missed the mark yesterday and the day before and I can only think about how I have failed my God and myself. I consider my lack of discipline and ongoing disobedience and wonder if and when I can ever be in constant connection with God.

 And God says….”I know you inside and out, backwards and forwards. I know your past and future mistakes; I know your past and future sins. I know your hopes and dreams and when you have given up on both your hopes and dreams. And I love you backwards and forwards. I love you and all that you are and are not. That is why I gave my Son for you. You have no consistent “good” side, and like all my people you shout out for help when it looks like a storm is coming your way or when it appears that things are not going your way.

Most of you sins are sins based on lack of faith and trust. You do not trust me to meet all your needs, and so you take matters into your own hands. You try to meet your own needs and then find that even if you do meet your needs in the short term, and that seldom really occurs, you find yourself right back in the same needy space the next day, week or month.

Trust me to meet ALL your needs and rest in connection with me. Do all you can to maintain the connection: study, pray, confess, repent, worship, and reach out to others. Trust me to make your life whole and complete and do not address your own needs, address me in constant prayer and let me meet your needs. When you are in constant prayer, you know I will meet all your needs. It is only when you disengage from me that you are vulnerable.

Trust me in all your ways, pray without ceasing, do not worry about anything but pray about everything….and the peace that passes all understanding will be yours in Christ Jesus.

Our Careful Unbelief 5-23-2010

May 23rd, 2010

Our Careful Unbelief

May 23 2010
. . . do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on —Matthew 6:25

Jesus summed up commonsense carefulness in the life of a disciple as unbelief. If we have received the Spirit of God, He will squeeze right through our lives, as if to ask, “Now where do I come into this relationship, this vacation you have planned, or these new books you want to read?” And He always presses the point until we learn to make Him our first consideration. Whenever we put other things first, there is confusion.

“. . . do not worry about your life . . . .” Don’t take the pressure of your provision upon yourself. It is not only wrong to worry, it is unbelief; worrying means we do not believe that God can look after the practical details of our lives, and it is never anything but those details that worry us. Have you ever noticed what Jesus said would choke the Word He puts in us? Is it the devil? No— “the cares of this world” (MatthewMatthew 13:22 ). It is always our little worries. We say, “I will not trust when I cannot see”— and that is where unbelief begins. The only cure for unbelief is obedience to the Spirit.

The greatest word of Jesus to His disciples is abandon.

Having God’s “Unreasonable” Faith 5-21-2010

May 21st, 2010

Having God’s “Unreasonable” Faith

May 21 2010
Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you —Matthew 6:33

When we look at these words of Jesus, we immediately find them to be the most revolutionary that human ears have ever heard. “. . . seek first the kingdom of God . . . .” Even the most spiritually-minded of us argue the exact opposite, saying, “But I must live; I must make a certain amount of money; I must be clothed; I must be fed.” The great concern of our lives is not the kingdom of God but how we are going to take care of ourselves to live. Jesus reversed the order by telling us to get the right relationship with God first, maintaining it as the primary concern of our lives, and never to place our concern on taking care of the other things of life.

“. . . do not worry about your life. . .” ( Matthew 6:25 ). Our Lord pointed out that from His standpoint it is absolutely unreasonable for us to be anxious, worrying about how we will live. Jesus did not say that the person who takes no thought for anything in his life is blessed— no, that person is a fool.

But Jesus did teach that His disciple must make his relationship with God the dominating focus of his life, and to be cautiously carefree about everything else in comparison to that. In essence, Jesus was saying, “Don’t make food and drink the controlling factor of your life, but be focused absolutely on God.” Some people are careless about what they eat and drink, and they suffer for it; they are careless about what they wear, having no business looking the way they do; they are careless with their earthly matters, and God holds them responsible. Jesus is saying that the greatest concern of life is to place our relationship with God first, and everything else second.

It is one of the most difficult, yet critical, disciplines of the Christian life to allow the Holy Spirit to bring us into absolute harmony with the teaching of Jesus in these verses.


Journal Entry for Today

May 21, 2010

When I woke up and began my morning routine I was praying and worshipping. I was praying about the devotional and being and staying connected.

And God said…”You are my sheep, you hear my voice. I lead you and make the pastures green and available to you. But just like sheep you have a tendency to simply focus on the pasture and your grazing; so much so that you can graze your way out of sight of me because your eyes are on the green grass and not on me.

And then you only look up when you find something has changed, the pasture is not so green or suddenly you remember to look for your shepherd.

Keep your eyes on your Shepherd especially when you are grazing in the very green grass, stay in my Kingdom, and I will meet all your needs, every one. Being connected to me or keeping me in your sight so you can always know my leading is crucial to your well being on this earth. Whenever you take your eyes off me, regardless of how green the grass seems you begin to follow your own way and simply graze yourself out of my kingdom.

Stay connected, keep eye contract with me as you graze in my pastures, and I will meet all your needs.

Taking Possession of Our Own Soul 5-20-2010

May 20th, 2010

Taking Possession of Our Own Soul

May 20 2010
By your patience possess your souls —Luke 21:19

When a person is born again, there is a period of time when he does not have the same vitality in his thinking or reasoning that he previously had. We must learn to express this new life within us, which comes by forming the mind of Christ (see Philippians 2:5 ). Luke 21:19 means that we take possession of our souls through patience. But many of us prefer to stay at the entrance to the Christian life, instead of going on to create and build our soul in accordance with the new life God has placed within us. We fail because we are ignorant of the way God has made us, and we blame things on the devil that are actually the result of our own undisciplined natures. Just think what we could be when we are awakened to the truth!

There are certain things in life that we need not pray about— moods, for instance. We will never get rid of moodiness by praying, but we will by kicking it out of our lives. Moods nearly always are rooted in some physical circumstance, not in our true inner self. It is a continual struggle not to listen to the moods which arise as a result of our physical condition, but we must never submit to them for a second. We have to pick ourselves up by the back of the neck and shake ourselves; then we will find that we can do what we believed we were unable to do. The problem that most of us are cursed with is simply that we won’t. The Christian life is one of spiritual courage and determination lived out in our flesh.


A Journal Entry for Today

May 20, 2010

Today I am not sure if I agree with Oswald Cambers, about how we should and can pull ourselves up by the neck and grow our spiritual courage and strength; because that has never seemed to work for me. After failure after failure I seem to give up; believing that everyone else is capable but me. So I then assumed that I was not able to do what my spiritual teachers have outlined. So if it could not work for me I simply gave up….

And God says…”and this is where I was able to do my work in you…when you stopped relying on your own discipline and courage. Apart from me you can do nothing of substance. Apart from me if you do something good, you become prideful, apart from me when you fail, you become sorrowful. However, when you are connected with me, you know you can do all things, and you know the things you do, regardless of the outcome, are in my will. You no longer define the “goodness” of your accomplishments by the outcome, (there is broken theology that says you define my will by the outcome of your effort) you define them by simply knowing it was my will and the strength of my Spirit that worked through you. Remember I asked the apostles to wait for the Spirit. You too should always wait for the Spirit. He is always with you, so your waiting is not waiting for Him to come, your waiting is waiting for the knowledge that He is in control of you. How long do you wait? When you are connected, you will always know.

Out of the Wreck I Rise 5-19-2010

May 19th, 2010

Out of the Wreck I Rise

May 19 2010
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? —Romans 8:35

God does not keep His child immune from trouble; He promises, “I will be with him in trouble . . .” ( Psalm 91:15 ). It doesn’t matter how real or intense the adversities may be; nothing can ever separate him from his relationship to God. “In all these things we are more than conquerors . . .” ( Romans 8:37 ). Paul was not referring here to imaginary things, but to things that are dangerously real. And he said we are “super-victors” in the midst of them, not because of our own ingenuity, nor because of our courage, but because none of them affects our essential relationship with God in Jesus Christ. I feel sorry for the Christian who doesn’t have something in the circumstances of his life that he wishes were not there.

“Shall tribulation . . . ?” Tribulation is never a grand, highly welcomed event; but whatever it may be— whether exhausting, irritating, or simply causing some weakness— it is not able to “separate us from the love of Christ.” Never allow tribulations or the “cares of this world” to separate you from remembering that God loves you ( Matthew 13:22 ).

“Shall . . . distress . . . ?” Can God’s love continue to hold fast, even when everyone and everything around us seems to be saying that His love is a lie, and that there is no such thing as justice?

“Shall . . . famine . . . ?” Can we not only believe in the love of God but also be “more than conquerors,” even while we are being starved?

Either Jesus Christ is a deceiver, having deceived even Paul, or else some extraordinary thing happens to someone who holds on to the love of God when the odds are totally against him. Logic is silenced in the face of each of these things which come against him. Only one thing can account for it— the love of God in Christ Jesus. “Out of the wreck I rise” every time.

Living Simply— Yet Focused 5-18-2010

May 18th, 2010

Living Simply— Yet Focused

May 18 2010
Look at the birds of the air . . . Consider the lilies of the field . .  —Matthew 6:26, 28

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin”— they simply are! Think of the sea, the air, the sun, the stars, and the moon— all of these simply are as well— yet what a ministry and service they render on our behalf! So often we impair God’s designed influence, which He desires to exhibit through us, because of our own conscious efforts to be consistent and useful. Jesus said there is only one way to develop and grow spiritually, and that is through focusing and concentrating on God. In essence, Jesus was saying, “Do not worry about being of use to others; simply believe on Me.” In other words, pay attention to the Source, and out of you “will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38 ). We cannot discover the source of our natural life through common sense and reasoning, and Jesus is teaching here that growth in our spiritual life comes not from focusing directly on it, but from concentrating on our Father in heaven. Our heavenly Father knows our circumstances, and if we will stay focused on Him, instead of our circumstances, we will grow spiritually— just as “the lilies of the field.”

The people who influence us the most are not those who detain us with their continual talk, but those who live their lives like the stars in the sky and “the lilies of the field”— simply and unaffectedly. Those are the lives that mold and shape us.

If you want to be of use to God, maintain the proper relationship with Jesus Christ by staying focused on Him, and He will make use of you every minute you live— yet you will be unaware, on the conscious level of your life, that you are being used of Him.

Here at CO2 we call it “being connected”. We are learnning that if we stay connected to the Spirit of God through the Spirit He gave us through our conversion, all our other spiritual needs  and physical circumstances will be addressed.     JDV/DJR


A Journaling Entry for Today

May 18, 2010

Over and over again we seem to be learning that the underlying issue, the underlying truth for a believer to know is to be connected to God through the person of Jesus Christ via the Spirit of God that lives within us. Connection, or as some say, an intimate relationship, is where we find our direction, peace and all of the answers we crave in face of our circumstances.

And God says…”When we are connected I can direct you, I can speak to you and you hear me. You will speak to me and I hear you, and you know my will. The mountains will not seem so far, nor the storm so powerful when we are connected. Your hopes and dreams will all seem possible and your joy is full of hope. This is the Kingdom of God on earth. This is life and life more abundantly. This is where …meeting all your needs…takes place, inside this intimate relationship.”

5 18 10
Good Morning Trinity,
I’m feeling bad. I realize I missed an opportunity yesterday. I coulda, woulda shoulda prayed with 2 friends. I think anyway. It seems perfect. Now from retrospect.
Well what were your dashboard indicators?
The anxiety meter was pegged. I hated it… being asked without being asked for money.
Sounds like the gages are working, did you just not trust them?
I only asked for an amount. I missed looking to you for additional opportunities. I didn’t even think of praying together until later. This devo today is right on target. I guess I just need more practice?
More practice, coming right up. You’ll have another chance today.
OK, I want to do better, you know.
We know, You’ll do better
Am I missing anything?
Yes of course. It might be called front burner focus.
….. Later with JD,,, the dash board doesn’t tell us what to do. It just tells us that something is up. something can happen. Opportunity is lurking, ready to be siezed the direction comes thru the connection….

His Ascension and Our Access 5-17-2010

May 17th, 2010

His Ascension and Our Access

May 17 2010
It came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven —Luke 24:51

We have no experiences in our lives that correspond to the events in our Lord’s life after the transfiguration. From that moment forward His life was altogether substitutionary. Up to the time of the transfiguration, He had exhibited the normal, perfect life of a man. But from the transfiguration forward— Gethsemane, the Cross, the resurrection— everything is unfamiliar to us. His Cross is the door by which every member of the human race can enter into the life of God; by His resurrection He has the right to give eternal life to anyone, and by His ascension our Lord entered heaven, keeping the door open for humanity.

The transfiguration was completed on the Mount of Ascension. If Jesus had gone to heaven directly from the Mount of Transfiguration, He would have gone alone. He would have been nothing more to us than a glorious Figure. But He turned His back on the glory, and came down from the mountain to identify Himself with fallen humanity.

The ascension is the complete fulfillment of the transfiguration. Our Lord returned to His original glory, but not simply as the Son of God— He returned to His father as the Son of Man as well. There is now freedom of access for anyone straight to the very throne of God because of the ascension of the Son of Man. As the Son of Man, Jesus Christ deliberately limited His omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience. But now they are His in absolute, full power. As the Son of Man, Jesus Christ now has all the power at the throne of God. From His ascension forward He is the King of kings and Lord of lords.


May 17, 2010

I wonder if I can get all of the stuff done today and stay in contact with God. Can I stay connected? I am already in overdrive running here, watching the clock, watching my work load.

And God says….”You are trying to “keep up” because you feel as if you will disappoint someone if you don’t “keep up” You feel you have to always be on the lookout for the hidden and painful surprise. But when you are connected and aligned with me….you can feel safe in my arms, knowing that I have already approved you in every way. Let me approve you and make this a day of peace and love and accomplishment for you and with you. Relax, and breathe and rest in me. Give me your list. And take a step at a time.

Take time to worship me this morning ………it is not always about “figuring it out” or learning more and more. It is about worship,  and worship is essential in order to  maintain our connection.