Archive for April, 2011

The Failure To Pay Close Attention

April 15th, 2011

April 15, 2011
The high places were not removed from Israel. Nevertheless the heart of Asa was loyal all his days —2 Chronicles 15:17

Asa 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.


April 15, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Being completely surrendered seems to require that I am dependent on You. And for me to be dependent on You requires that I am unable to cope with some of the very important and compelling issues and circumstances in my life. When I can handle my circumstances I simply …”handle my circumstances”. But deep down I know the only way I can truly find peace is to trust You to lead, guide and direct my future. And for that to occur, I often need a future so uncertain that I am compelled to hand it over to You Lord.

And God says…”When you examine your life, circumstances and uncertain future, consider what it takes for you to; seek first the Kingdom of God, and to acknowledge Me in ALL your ways. What kinds of circumstances are required for you to place yourself completely in My hands and to find joy, peace and love in uncertainty?  I love you enough to allow and create those kinds of circumstances with the accompanying uncertainty. I came to give you life and life more abundantly, and this is one of the ways I accomplish just that.”

Inner Invincibility

April 14th, 2011

April 14, 2011
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me . . . —Matthew 11:29

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.


April 14, 2010

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

You are everything that I need even though I think I need more of this, less of that. Even when I believe that this certain change in my life will bring me peace and joy and happiness, you steer me back to the place where I realize that You truly are everything I need. And I realize that You do not require me to live without the things I want and need, especially when and if I have turned over my wants and needs to You. Even when you provided me with all that I could ever ask for or imagine, and I was NOT connected in an intimate relationship with You, I was empty.  Thank You Lord for filling me with You. Thank you for the joy, peace and love that flows from that filling, regardless of my circumstances.

And God says…”Seek first the kingdom of God. Acknowledge the Lord in all your ways, Delight yourself in the Lord. Wait on the Lord. Come onto Me, if you abide in Me and My words abide in you………These are all conditional promises that I have given you to reassure you that if you first seek Me, I will answer and meet all your needs. I have provided you promise after promise to instruct you in how to live. Start with our relationship, start with Me before you start anything, and you will have life and life more abundantly. Live this way and you will have peace that passes all understanding. “

What To Do When Your Burden Is Overwhelming

April 13th, 2011
April 13, 2011
Cast your burden on the Lord . . . —Psalm 55:22

We must recognize the difference between burdens that are right for us to bear and burdens that are wrong. We should never bear the burdens of sin or doubt, but there are some burdens placed on us by God which He does not intend to lift off. God wants us to roll them back on Him— to literally “cast your burden,” which He has given you, “on the Lord . . . .” If we set out to serve God and do His work but get out of touch with Him, the sense of responsibility we feel will be overwhelming and defeating. But if we will only roll back on God the burdens He has placed on us, He will take away that immense feeling of responsibility, replacing it with an awareness and understanding of Himself and His presence.

Many servants set out to serve God with great courage and with the right motives. But with no intimate fellowship with Jesus Christ, they are soon defeated. They do not know what to do with their burden, and it produces weariness in their lives. Others will see this and say, “What a sad end to something that had such a great beginning!”

“Cast your burden on the Lord . . . .” You have been bearing it all, but you need to deliberately place one end on God’s shoulder. “. . . the government will be upon His shoulder” (Isaiah 9:6). Commit to God whatever burden He has placed on you. Don’t just cast it aside, but put it over onto Him and place yourself there with it. You will see that your burden is then lightened by the sense of companionship. But you should never try to separate yourself from your burden.


April 13, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

The song lyric is, “What if your blessings come through raindrops, what if your blessings come through tears?” And that is the fact of the matter is it not? The blessings that create the faith, hope and love for that we require for our lives do in fact come through raindrops and tears. On this side of a great trial or burden I can see the plan. Inside the trial or burden it is much more difficult.

And God says…”Of course it is more difficult to see the benefit of fear and heartache when you are inside your circumstance. But you do not have to wait until you are outside of the trial or burden to experience the blessings of my faith, hope and love. You can cast your burdens upon Me and experience the peace that passes all understanding even as raindrops and tears surround you. I did not come to take all your burdens away, I came to take all your burdens on myself and provide you the strength, hope, and courage to accept, endure or overcome.  Your happiness and peace is not dependent on your circumstances changing. Your happiness, peace and joy comes from Me. Delight yourself in the Lord and I will give you the desires of your heart.”

Complete and Effective Dominion

April 12th, 2011

April 12, 2011
Death no longer has dominion over Him. . . . the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God . . . —Romans 6:9-11

Co-Eternal Life. Eternal life is the life which Jesus Christ exhibited on the human level. And it is this same life, not simply a copy of it, which is made evident in our mortal flesh when we are born again. Eternal life is not a gift from God; eternal life is the gift of God. The energy and the power which was so very evident in Jesus will be exhibited in us by an act of the absolute sovereign grace of God, once we have made that complete and effective decision about sin.

“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you . . .” (Acts 1:8)— not power as a gift from the Holy Spirit; the power is the Holy Spirit, not something that He gives us. The life that was in Jesus becomes ours because of His Cross, once we make the decision to be identified with Him. If it is difficult to get right with God, it is because we refuse to make this moral decision about sin. But once we do decide, the full life of God comes in immediately. Jesus came to give us an endless supply of life— “. . . that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19). Eternal life has nothing to do with time. It is the life which Jesus lived when He was down here, and the only Source of life is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Even the weakest saint can experience the power of the deity of the Son of God, when he is willing to “let go.” But any effort to “hang on” to the least bit of our own power will only diminish the life of Jesus in us. We have to keep letting go, and slowly, but surely, the great full life of God will invade us, penetrating every part. Then Jesus will have complete and effective dominion in us, and people will take notice that we have been with Him.


April 12, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Thank you God for the reminder that there is a way, that you will make a way when there appears to be……no way. Thank you for the reassurance that You are The Way, The Truth and The Light. It seems that I may be at the end of this particular lesson on faith and trust in light of very difficult circumstances. Once again You brought me through when I could not see a way through the obstacles.

And God says…”When you look at your obstacles instead of Me, you find no peace, hope or reassurance. You can only see your obstacles. But when you look to Me, your faith, hope and love are magnified and you become transformed by the faith that I provide you. I know your faith and hope are insufficient, but I am sufficient. Trust in Me, lean on Me, lean not on your own understanding and I will make your paths straight. Delight yourself in the Lord and I will give you the desires of your heart.

Complete and Effective Divinity

April 11th, 2011

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

Co-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.

Why We Lack Understanding

April 7th, 2011

April 07, 2011
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

As 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?


April 7, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, thank you for the lessons while being remade. I had no idea what it meant to gain my life by losing it until I lived it. I know I have gone through the process so far, kicking and screaming on occasion, but Lord I am thankful.  I know I have not embraced the rapid changes and difficult circumstances, and have found myself attending a number of “pity parties” en route to the learning, but Lord I look back and can understand that there was really no other way for me to learn some very powerful and essential lessons. I know I do not say it often enough, but thank you Lord for loving me enough to not only send your Son but the lessons that drive me closer to Him as well.

And God says…”Acknowledge the Lord in all your ways and do not rely on your own understanding and He will make your paths straight. When you wait on Me you will grow stronger and rise up like on the wings of eagles and take flight. You gain wisdom and understanding because you seek my counsel and have asked to become a man after my own heart.  You have been pushed, tried and stretched from every angle so that you are stronger and more flexible; in much better shape to reach out to others and live a testimony of life more abundantly.”

The Collision of God and Sin

April 6th, 2011

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



The 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 3:162 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.


April 6, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, it is not a coincidence that my faith and hope has been resuscitated after meditating on your promises. Thank you for the reminder.

And God says…”I provided the Holy Spirit and My word for you- along with the church. Immerse yourself in them all to grow and preserve  the faith, hope and love you need to live.”

His Agony and Our Access

April 5th, 2011

April 05. 2011
Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples . . . . ’Stay here and watch with Me’ —Matthew 26:36, 38

We 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 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.


April 5, 2011

Journal Entry for Today

Lord, like many others, I suspect, I take my “spiritual temperature” based on my feelings. If I “feel” close to You then I am close to You. If I “feel” sanctified then I think that perhaps I am sanctified.  If I “feel” a warm glow and am emotionally drawn to call on you, with tears in my eyes and your name on my lips, I “feel” like I am connected. But as I think about my emotional swings, and my capacity to misinterpret and misunderstand, it occurs to me that I should not be so daring as to leave my sense of connection to my emotions or feelings.

And God says…”On the boat, the disciples cried out during the storm on the boat. Were they in any more or less peril as they cried out? When Peter denied Christ out of his fear, was Christ any less the Messiah? When Mary and Martha cried out to Jesus that their brother would have lived if Jesus had been there…..did their brother come alive anyway, in spite of their feelings? You trust your fickle, undependable and chaotic feelings to gauge my whereabouts in your life, over My word. How do you “feel” about my promise to never leave you or forsake you; or the promise that nothing can separate you from MY love? What part of my promise to meet all your needs is untrue or conditional on your goodness? “

“Be in the word, recall and write my promises on your heart, and find Me there, not in your feelings.”

The Way to Permanent Faith

April 4th, 2011
April 04, 2011
Indeed the hour is coming . . . that you will be scattered . . . —John 16:32

Jesus was not rebuking the disciples in this passage. Their faith was real, but it was disordered and unfocused, and was not at work in the important realities of life. The disciples were scattered to their own concerns and they had interests apart from Jesus Christ. After we have the perfect relationship with God, through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, our faith must be exercised in the realities of everyday life. We will be scattered, not into service but into the emptiness of our lives where we will see ruin and barrenness, to know what internal death to God’s blessings means. Are we prepared for this? It is certainly not of our own choosing, but God engineers our circumstances to take us there. Until we have been through that experience, our faith is sustained only by feelings and by blessings. But once we get there, no matter where God may place us or what inner emptiness we experience, we can praise God that all is well. That is what is meant by faith being exercised in the realities of life.

“. . . you . . . will leave Me alone.” Have we been scattered and have we left Jesus alone by not seeing His providential care for us? Do we not see God at work in our circumstances? Dark times are allowed and come to us through the sovereignty of God.Are we prepared to let God do what He wants with us? Are we prepared to be separated from the outward, evident blessings of God? Until Jesus Christ is truly our Lord, we each have goals of our own which we serve. Our faith is real, but it is not yet permanent. And God is never in a hurry. If we are willing to wait, we will see God pointing out that we have been interested only in His blessings, instead of in God Himself. The sense of God’s blessings is fundamental

“. . . be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Unyielding spiritual fortitude is what we need.


April 4, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Father God, it seems like obstacles are lined up against me….all around me and I cannot seem to get an answer to my prayers. And then this devotional shows up teaching me that You will allow me to stay inside my circumstances and obstacles long enough to understand that blessings and rescue are not the issues nor do they provide the answers to my life questions. Our relationship is the issue. …OK I get it, but why does this feel like just one more time of blessings and or promises being delayed so I can go through more pain?

And God says…” Your life with Me and our relationship must be about more than just blessings and rescue if you are to truly live in abundant life. If I was your “cosmic genie” at your beck and call, would you live a life of faith and commitment to Me or would you simply show me you list of wants and needs and wait for Me to deliver?  Do you notice that when you are surrounded by difficult circumstances you are more attuned to my voice, more acutely aware of Me in your life? You are less distracted by the routine of your life and more focused on Me. Have I not always delivered you at the precise moment and time of your need? Trust in Me and rest in me, regardless of your circumstances or feelings. Delight yourself in the Lord….and He will give you the desires of your heart. When have I NOT shown up to answer your prayers? Perhaps NOT when you first called or cried out in fear, but at the precise time when my response would have the most impact. “