Archive for April, 2011

What You Will Get

April 28th, 2011
April 28, 2011
I will give your life to you as a prize in all places, wherever you go —Jeremiah 45:5

This is the firm and immovable secret of the Lord to those who trust Him— “I will give your life to you . . . .” What more does a man want than his life? It is the essential thing. “. . . your life . . . as a prize . . .” means that wherever you may go, even if it is into hell, you will come out with your life and nothing can harm it. So many of us are caught up in exhibiting things for others to see, not showing off property and possessions, but our blessings. All these things that we so proudly show have to go. But there is something greater that can never go— the life that “is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3).

Are you prepared to let God take you into total oneness with Himself, paying no more attention to what you call the great things of life? Are you prepared to surrender totally and let go? The true test of abandonment or surrender is in refusing to say, “Well, what about this?” Beware of your own ideas and speculations. The moment you allow yourself to think, “What about this?” you show that you have not surrendered and that you do not really trust God. But once you do surrender, you will no longer think about what God is going to do. Abandonment means to refuse yourself the luxury of asking any questions. If you totally abandon yourself to God, He immediately says to you, “I will give your life to you as a prize . . . .” The reason people are tired of life is that God has not given them anything— they have not been given their life “as a prize.” The way to get out of that condition is to abandon yourself to God. And once you do get to the point of total surrender to Him, you will be the most surprised and delighted person on earth. God will have you absolutely, without any limitations, and He will have given you your life. If you are not there, it is either because of disobedience in your life or your refusal to be simple enough.


April 28, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV
Lord, thank you for the lesson….that whenever I even consider my own circumstances, it demonstrates that I am not surrendered to you. And that whenever I am completely surrendered to you…I just know you have my life in the palm of Your hand.

 I wondered where those cares went. It suddenly felt different to see my difficult circumstances and not feel compelled to bring them to your attention.  It felt lighter. Is this what you mean by life and life more abundantly? Living in the world, but not of this world?

And God says…”As you surrender your life to Me, you surrender your right, or what you have sometimes felt as an obligation, to be concerned about any part of your life. Life and life more abundantly is not about changing the circumstances of your life, necessarily, it is about living a surrendered life and trusting Me. When you do this you cannot worry. You will not even notice the very same storms that heretofore would stop you in your tracks. Trust in Me with all your heart and I will make your paths straight. Delight yourself in Me…and observe the desires of your heart all around you.”

What Do You Want?

April 27th, 2011

April 27, 2011
Do you seek great things for yourself? —Jeremiah 45:5

Are you seeking great things for yourself, instead of seeking to be a great person? God wants you to be in a much closer relationship with Himself than simply receiving His gifts— He wants you to get to know Him. Even some large thing we want is only incidental; it comes and it goes. But God never gives us anything incidental. There is nothing easier than getting into the right relationship with God, unless it is not God you seek, but only what He can give you.

If you have only come as far as asking God for things, you have never come to the point of understanding the least bit of what surrender really means. You have become a Christian based on your own terms. You protest, saying, “I asked God for the Holy Spirit, but He didn’t give me the rest and the peace I expected.” And instantly God puts His finger on the reason-you are not seeking the Lord at all; you are seeking something for yourself. Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you . . .” (Matthew 7:7). Ask God for what you want and do not be concerned about asking for the wrong thing, because as you draw ever closer to Him, you will cease asking for things altogether. “Your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him” (Matthew 6:8). Then why should you ask? So that you may get to know Him.

Are you seeking great things for yourself? Have you said, “Oh, Lord, completely fill me with your Holy Spirit”? If God does not, it is because you are not totally surrendered to Him; there is something you still refuse to do. Are you prepared to ask yourself what it is you want from God and why you want it? God always ignores your present level of completeness in favor of your ultimate future completeness. He is not concerned about making you blessed and happy right now, but He’s continually working out His ultimate perfection for you— “. . . that they may be one just as We are one . . .” (John 17:22).


April 27, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

The distinction is subtle and yet substantial. A relationship based on love not leverage? I suspect that in the right relationship with You, our desire is not for heaven or blessings or rescue. You do not desire a relationship based on what You can and will do for us, but a relationship based on Your love. All else will follow and is incidental to our relationship.

And God says…” You are starting to understand the relationship I want with you. The relationship I desired when I first created Adam, and the relationship I enjoy with My Son.  I understand your needs and I will meet all your needs…but I seek a relationship based on love, not wants or needs. The depth of My sacrifice is a testimony to My love for you.  And I give you My love freely, without reservation or requirement. Simply accept My love and the sacrifice of Jesus. Come and rest in relationship with Me.”

The Supreme Climb

April 26th, 2011

April 26,  2011
Take now your son . . . and offer him . . . as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you —Genesis 22:2

A person’s character determines how he interprets God’s will (see Psalm 18:25-26). Abraham interpreted God’s command to mean that he had to kill his son, and he could only leave this traditional belief behind through the pain of a tremendous ordeal. God could purify his faith in no other way. If we obey what God says according to our sincere belief, God will break us from those traditional beliefs that misrepresent Him. There are many such beliefs which must be removed-for example, that God removes a child because his mother loves him too much. That is the devil’s lie and a travesty on the true nature of God! If the devil can hinder us from taking the supreme climb and getting rid of our wrong traditional beliefs about God, he will do so. But if we will stay true to God, God will take us through an ordeal that will serve to bring us into a better knowledge of Himself.

The great lesson to be learned from Abraham’s faith in God is that he was prepared to do anything for God. He was there to obey God, no matter what contrary belief of his might be violated by his obedience. Abraham was not devoted to his own convictions or else he would have slain Isaac and said that the voice of the angel was actually the voice of the devil. That is the attitude of a fanatic. If you will remain true to God, God will lead you directly through every barrier and right into the inner chamber of the knowledge of Himself. But you must always be willing to come to the point of giving up your own convictions and traditional beliefs. Don’t ask God to test you. Never declare as Peter did that you are willing to do anything, even “to go . . . both to prison and to death” (Luke 22:33). Abraham did not make any such statement— he simply remained true to God, and God purified his faith.


April 26, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

I suspect looking back is the best way for me to understand what God has done in my life…how He has transformed me. My daily failures and wrong choices do not tell the story, nor does my inability to be the man I believe I should be by now.  I often define my Christianity and maturity by my mistakes and difficulties in this world.  Then I am moved to trust You, God completely because I can do nothing else, I look back and discover that You have indeed transformed me.

And God says…”I do not see you failures and wrong choices when I look at you.  I see Jesus. Over time you will be transformed into His very likeness and until then, you are covered in My mercy and grace.  Know that you are loved beyond your wildest dreams and expectations.  My sacrifice is evidence of this, and as you look back at yourself over time….so is your transformation.”

“Ready in Season”

April 25th, 2011
April 25, 2011
Be ready in season and out of season —2 Timothy 4:2

Many of us suffer from the unbalanced tendency to “be ready” only “out of season.” The season does not refer to time; it refers to us. This verse says, “Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season.” In other words, we should “be ready” whether we feel like it or not. If we do only what we feel inclined to do, some of us would never do anything. There are some people who are totally unemployable in the spiritual realm. They are spiritually feeble and weak, and they refuse to do anything unless they are supernaturally inspired. The proof that our relationship is right with God is that we do our best whether we feel inspired or not.

One of the worst traps a Christian worker can fall into is to become obsessed with his own exceptional moments of inspiration. When the Spirit of God gives you a time of inspiration and insight, you tend to say, “Now that I’ve experienced this moment, I will always be like this for God.” No, you will not, and God will make sure of that. Those times are entirely the gift of God. You cannot give them to yourself when you choose. If you say you will only be at your best for God, as during those exceptional times, you actually become an intolerable burden on Him. You will never do anything unless God keeps you consciously aware of His inspiration to you at all times. If you make a god out of your best moments, you will find that God will fade out of your life, never to return until you are obedient in the work He has placed closest to you, and until you have learned not to be obsessed with those exceptional moments He has given you.


April 25, 2010

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord you have been teaching us this lesson for a number of days now…”regardless of how we might feel, we are to stay connected and take you at your word.” Not trust our circumstances or our feelings…simply trust you. The main thing is the main thing over and over again….stay connected with you in an intimate relationship. Focus on you; not our mission or work we think we are doing for You, nor our feelings as we wait upon fickle inspiration or our even more fickle feelings. We are to focus on You, all else will take care of itself.

And God says…”When you focus on Me, have your eyes on Me, the Holy Spirit can transform you and if necessary and important (to My plans) transform your circumstances. As you are learning and experiencing, when you focus on Me, your love, trust hope and faith flows from Me and allows you to transcend the storms, just like Peter as he walked on the water toward Me. Don’t be transformed by your circumstances or difficulties, be transformed. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed  by the renewing of your minds. live by the Spirit….don’t let the day to day issues of this world impact you…in fact they cannot as long as you are connected to Me. Acknowledge Me in all your ways and I will make your paths straight. ”

Do You Worship The Work?

April 23rd, 2011

April 23, 2011
We are God’s fellow workers . . . —1 Corinthians 3:9

Beware of any work for God that causes or allows you to avoid concentrating on Him. A great number of Christian workers worship their work. The only concern of Christian workers should be their concentration on God. This will mean that all the other boundaries of life, whether they are mental, moral, or spiritual limits, are completely free with the freedom God gives His child; that is, a worshiping child, not a wayward one. A worker who lacks this serious controlling emphasis of concentration on God is apt to become overly burdened by his work. He is a slave to his own limits, having no freedom of his body, mind, or spirit. Consequently, he becomes burned out and defeated. There is no freedom and no delight in life at all. His nerves, mind, and heart are so overwhelmed that God’s blessing cannot rest on him.

But the opposite case is equally true–once our concentration is on God, all the limits of our life are free and under the control and mastery of God alone. There is no longer any responsibility on you for the work. The only responsibility you have is to stay in living constant touch with God, and to see that you allow nothing to hinder your cooperation with Him. The freedom that comes after sanctification is the freedom of a child, and the things that used to hold your life down are gone. But be careful to remember that you have been freed for only one thing–to be absolutely devoted to your co-Worker.

We have no right to decide where we should be placed, or to have preconceived ideas as to what God is preparing us to do. God engineers everything; and wherever He places us, our one supreme goal should be to pour out our lives in wholehearted devotion to Him in that particular work. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might . . .” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).


April 23, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

The song and devotional point me once again to the notion of…keeping the main thing….. well,  …the main thing. It is amazing that even in the dark we can see the light when we are connected and focused on Jesus.  I can be engaged in Christian work, or family work, even missionary or pastoral work and find constant fatigue and disappointment whenever I am driving or directing the work. Thank you Lord for reminding me that all our work belongs to You and that whenever You lead and direct me, the circumstances, resources and or obstacles have no meaning or impact. The main thing is staying connected to You….when I do that…. the work will have meaning even though I may know the meaning.

And God says…”I am the way, the truth and the light. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Seek first the Kingdom of God….wait upon the Lord, acknowledge Me in all your ways and I will make your paths straight. I am the vine you are the branches, stay connected to Me because apart from Me you can accomplish nothing that will hold any significance in this world or the next. …..Even when you do not know what work it is that you should do. Especially when you do not know what work you should do…..focus on Me and I will direct you. And you can leave the end result to Me.”

The Light That Never Fails

April 22nd, 2011

April 22, 2011
We all, with unveiled face, beholding . . . the glory of the Lord . . . —2 Corinthians 3:18

A servant of God must stand so very much alone that he never realizes he is alone. In the early stages of the Christian life, disappointments will come— people who used to be lights will flicker out, and those who used to stand with us will turn away. We have to get so used to it that we will not even realize we are standing alone. Paul said, “. . . no one stood with me, but all forsook me . . . . But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me . . .” (2 Timothy 4:16-17). We must build our faith not on fading lights but on the Light that never fails. When “important” individuals go away we are sad, until we see that they are meant to go, so that only one thing is left for us to do— to look into the face of God for ourselves.

Allow nothing to keep you from looking with strong determination into the face of God regarding yourself and your doctrine. And every time you preach make sure you look God in the face about the message first, then the glory will remain through all of it. A Christian servant is one who perpetually looks into the face of God and then goes forth to talk to others. The ministry of Christ is characterized by an abiding glory of which the servant is totally unaware— “. . . Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him” (Exodus 34:29).

We are never called on to display our doubts openly or to express the hidden joys and delights of our life with God. The secret of the servant’s life is that he stays in tune with God all the time.


April 22, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

I wonder how many times you will forgive me, how long can you endure my selfishness? How can I know when it is your voice speaking to me and not my own imagination? Why can’t I get it right once and for all? Why do I keep screwing it all up, just when I think I am on the major growth curve……blam, wham, kerplunk…..I fall right on my face.  

And God says…”I will always forgive you, and I will endure your selfishness forever, because Jesus paid the price for your mistakes and bad choices. Our love for you is greater than your selfishness and all your bad choices, past and present.”

“You continue to struggle when you have your eyes on something or someone other than Jesus. When you take your eyes and heart off of Jesus and put them on yourself, or your circumstances and potential difficulties, you will always fall. Stay focused on Jesus.”

“You know it is My voice speaking to you, you JUST KNOW. My sheep know My voice.  Trust in Me with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding and I will make your paths straight. Wait on Me and My direction and you will rise up strong; run and not grow weary, and you will take flight like you have the wings of eagles. Listen for My voice and you will hear it. And let My Spirit testify to your heart that it is Me.”


Don’t Hurt the Lord

April 21st, 2011

April 21, 2011

Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? —John 14:9


Our Lord must be repeatedly astounded at us-astounded at how “un-simple” we are. It is our own opinions that make us dense and slow to understand, but when we are simple we are never dense; we have discernment all the time. Philip expected the future revelation of a tremendous mystery, but not in Jesus, the Person he thought he already knew. The mystery of God is not in what is going to be-it is now, though we look for it to be revealed in the future in some overwhelming, momentous event. We have no reluctance to obey Jesus, but it is highly probable that we are hurting Him by what we ask-”Lord, show us the Father . . .” (John 14:8). His response immediately comes back to us as He says, “Can’t you see Him? He is always right here or He is nowhere to be found.” We look for God to exhibit Himself to His children, but God only exhibits Himself in His children. And while others see the evidence, the child of God does not. We want to be fully aware of what God is doing in us, but we cannot have complete awareness and expect to remain reasonable or balanced in our expectations of Him. If all we are asking God to give us is experiences, and the awareness of those experiences is blocking our way, we hurt the Lord. The very questions we ask hurt Jesus, because they are not the questions of a child.

“Let not your heart be troubled . . .” (14:1, 27). Am I then hurting Jesus by allowing my heart to be troubled? . If I believe in Jesus and His attributes, am I living up to my belief? Am I allowing anything to disturb my heart, or am I allowing any questions to come in which are unsound or unbalanced? I have to get to the point of the absolute and unquestionable relationship that takes everything exactly as it comes from Him. God never guides us at some time in the future, but always here and now. Realize that the Lord is here now, and the freedom you receive is immediate.


April 21, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord sometimes I feel like there is way too much to remember after the three hundred and eighty fifth devotional….one more reminder by Chambers that I need to try and remember.  Or in Chambers’ case two or three more important things to remember. He says..I need to remain balanced in my expectations. Avoid asking You to give me experiences, or I will hurt You….and not allow questions that are unbalanced. These are just the admonitions of Chambers for today! How can I keep it all together when I am also trying to keep a handle on my nature?

And God says…”You are not capable of remembering all the lessons, and sometimes My greatest teachers can deliver too much. Come to Me as a little child, trust Me as children trust their parents. Focus on Me and let Me transform you. There is only one thing to remember; love Me and trust in Me with all your heart, mind and soul and you will be transformed into the image of Christ. Everything else will take care of itself. You do not have to remember or recall all the lessons you have been taught, you are not strong enough. But I am strong enough and I live through you.”

Can a Saint Falsely Accuse God?

April 20th, 2011


April 20, 2011

All the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen . . . —2 Corinthians 1:20

Jesus’ parable of the talents recorded in Matthew 25:14-30  was a warning that it is possible for us to misjudge our capacities. This parable has nothing to do with natural gifts and abilities, but relates to the gift of the Holy Spirit as He was first given at Pentecost. We must never measure our spiritual capacity on the basis of our education or our intellect; our capacity in spiritual things is measured on the basis of the promises of God. If we get less than God wants us to have, we will falsely accuse Him as the servant falsely accused his master when he said, “You expect more of me than you gave me the power to do. You demand too much of me, and I cannot stand true to you here where you have placed me.” When it is a question of God’s Almighty Spirit, never say, “I can’t.” Never allow the limitation of your own natural ability to enter into the matter. If we have received the Holy Spirit, God expects the work of the Holy Spirit to be exhibited in us.

The servant justified himself, while condemning his lord on every point, as if to say, “Your demand on me is way out of proportion to what you gave to me.” Have we been falsely accusing God by daring to worry after He has said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you”? (Matthew 6:33). Worrying means exactly what this servant implied— “I know your intent is to leave me unprotected and vulnerable.” A person who is lazy in the natural realm is always critical, saying, “I haven’t had a decent chance,” and someone who is lazy in the spiritual realm is critical of God. Lazy people always strike out at others in an independent way.

Never forget that our capacity and capability in spiritual matters is measured by, and based on, the promises of God. Is God able to fulfill His promises? Our answer depends on whether or not we have received the Holy Spirit.


Journal Entry for Today-JDV

April 20, 2011

This lesson really hit home this morning Lord; the thought that You have provided me all that I need to live a victorious life here on earth. This idea that all my needs are (already) addressed by You , regardless of what I can see, touch or sense brings me right back to the idea that I am to praise You at all times.  When I do not feel close to You I am not to trust anything as fickle as my feelings, I am to take You at your word, and praise You for what You have provided and will provide….and more importantly I am to praise for who You are. For it is within this praise and worship that our intimate relationship manifests itself in my sense of well being.

And God says…”When you praise and worship Me, the Holy Spirit joins with you so that you are intimately connected with Me at the very highest level. Your faith, hope and joy are renewed and restored and as you worship, praise and pray, you will notice the peace that passes all understanding permeates your heart, mind and soul. Seek the kingdom of God through your worship and praise and then realize that I have met all your needs according to MY riches in heaven.”

Beware of the Least Likely Temptation

April 19th, 2011

Joab had defected to Adonijah, though he had not defected to Absalom —1 Kings 2:28

Joab withstood the greatest test of his life, remaining absolutely loyal to David by not turning to follow after the fascinating and ambitious Absalom. Yet toward the end of his life he turned to follow after the weak and cowardly Adonijah. Always remain alert to the fact that where one person has turned back is exactly where anyone may be tempted to turn back (see 1 Corinthians 10:11-13). You may have just victoriously gone through a great crisis, but now be alert about the things that may appear to be the least likely to tempt you. Beware of thinking that the areas of your life where you have experienced victory in the past are now the least likely to cause you to stumble and fall.

We are apt to say, “It is not at all likely that having been through the greatest crisis of my life I would now turn back to the things of the world.” Do not try to predict where the temptation will come; it is the least likely thing that is the real danger. It is in the aftermath of a great spiritual event that the least likely things begin to have an effect. They may not be forceful and dominant, but they are there. And if you are not careful to be forewarned, they will trip you. You have remained true to God under great and intense trials— now beware of the undercurrent. Do not be abnormally examining your inner self, looking forward with dread, but stay alert; keep your memory sharp before God. Unguarded strength is actually a double weakness, because that is where the least likely temptations will be effective in sapping strength. The Bible characters stumbled over their strong points, never their weak ones.

“. . . kept by the power of God . . .”— that is the only safety. (1 Peter 1:5).

DJR Journal 4 19 11

Good Morning, Lord      Is the reminder to stay alert and rehearse our reliance and connection to you related to your command, “do this in remembrance of me?”

It is one of the reasons it was put in the book.

This is the first time I have really seen the value of the rest of that admonition, “as often as you gather.”   Almost none of the Protestant church see the need to obey that “as often” part.   Perhaps if we more often reminded ourselves of what you did, what it provided and what you conquered, and that without you, we could (will) fall, but in the power that is ours provided by your sacrifice … that we can stand … perhaps we wouldn’t have so many stumbles.    My current church is the first place I’ve been that does communion every week.  I like it.   It’s an opportunity to review and rehearse all that you provided and also remind myself that without diligence I can relax and easily get tripped up.   It’s a way of tightening up my connection with you.     Thank you.


April 19, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

We are to be vigilant. I understand that we can be tempted from anywhere and even in our supposed strengths fall….or perhaps it is within our supposed strengths that we do fall.

And God says…” When you feel strongest, you are the most vulnerable. When you are capable of meeting your needs, you are the least filled with Me. When you are strong you “soldier on” and “man up”. These traits take you inside of yourself, trusting your own strength.  I do not allow trials and difficulties in your life so that you can “soldier on” and “man up’, I allow them so that you can see your need for Me. Trust in Me with all your heart and do not rely on your own strength, and I will make your paths straight.”


April 18th, 2011

April 18, 2011
God called to him . . . . And he said, ’Here I am’ —Exodus 3:4

When God speaks, many of us are like people in a fog, and we give no answer. Moses’ reply to God revealed that he knew where he was and that he was ready. Readiness means having a right relationship to God and having the knowledge of where we are. We are so busy telling God where we would like to go. Yet the man or woman who is ready for God and His work is the one who receives the prize when the summons comes. We wait with the idea that some great opportunity or something sensational will be coming our way, and when it does come we are quick to cry out, “Here I am.” Whenever we sense that Jesus Christ is rising up to take authority over some great task, we are there, but we are not ready for some obscure duty.

Readiness for God means that we are prepared to do the smallest thing or the largest thing— it makes no difference. It means we have no choice in what we want to do, but that whatever God’s plans may be, we are there and ready. Whenever any duty presents itself, we hear God’s voice as our Lord heard His Father’s voice, and we are ready for it with the total readiness of our love for Him. Jesus Christ expects to do with us just as His Father did with Him. He can put us wherever He wants, in pleasant duties or in menial ones, because our union with Him is the same as His union with the Father. “. . . that they may be one just as We are one . . .” (John 17:22).

Be ready for the sudden surprise visits of God. A ready person never needs to get ready— he is ready. Think of the time we waste trying to get ready once God has called! The burning bush is a symbol of everything that surrounds the person who is ready, and it is on fire with the presence of God Himself.


April 18, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

It is amazing how praising God can bring on the most reverent sense of connection, and while I do not want to judge my closeness or intimacy with God by something as unreliable as my feelings, it is nonetheless joyful to have this sense of connection. I wonder why I forget that praise is the solution to my sense of spiritual well-being.

And God says…”When you praise Me you are telling Me that you trust Me and I am your God. The first commandment given you by Jesus was to love Me with all your heart, mind and soul. Jesus knew that when you focus on Me and your overwhelming love for Me, you would experience a supernatural sense of wellbeing. Try this. Whenever you are hurting, in doubt, anxious and or doubting My role in your life, simply begin to praise Me. Notice the change inside your heart and mind. Acknowledge the Lord in all your ways and He will make your paths straight. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”