Archive for July, 2011

Do You See Jesus in Your Clouds?

July 29th, 2011

July 29, 2011

Behold, He is coming with clouds . . . —Revelation 1:7

In the Bible clouds are always associated with God. Clouds are the sorrows, sufferings, or providential circumstances, within or without our personal lives, which actually seem to contradict the sovereignty of God. Yet it is through these very clouds that the Spirit of God is teaching us how to walk by faith. If there were never any clouds in our lives, we would have no faith. “The clouds are the dust of His feet” (Nahum 1:3). They are a sign that God is there. What a revelation it is to know that sorrow, bereavement, and suffering are actually the clouds that come along with God! God cannot come near us without clouds— He does not come in clear-shining brightness.

It is not true to say that God wants to teach us something in our trials. Through every cloud He brings our way, He wants us tounlearn something. His purpose in using the cloud is to simplify our beliefs until our relationship with Him is exactly like that of a child— a relationship simply between God and our own souls, and where other people are but shadows. Until other people become shadows to us, clouds and darkness will be ours every once in a while. Is our relationship with God becoming more simple than it has ever been?

There is a connection between the strange providential circumstances allowed by God and what we know of Him, and we have to learn to interpret the mysteries of life in the light of our knowledge of God. Until we can come face to face with the deepest, darkest fact of life without damaging our view of God’s character, we do not yet know Him.

“. . . they were fearful as they entered the cloud” (Luke 9:34). Is there anyone except Jesus in your cloud? If so, it will only get darker until you get to the place where there is “no one anymore, but only Jesus . . .” (Mark 9:8 ; also see Mark 2-7).


July 29, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

I can recall what C. S. Lewis said regarding our pain… “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” It has certainly been the case in my life Lord. And I know the scripture in Hebrews about correcting and directing those that You love. (Although my natural man sometimes wishes you would go love someone else for a while though). But I know I must (or rather get to) praise you in the storms, valleys and difficult circumstances if I am to act on the knowledge and faith that you are making all things work for my good.

And God says…”I want you to be pain free and successful; however, success in large doses (early and often) is not healthy for most, if not all, humans. And as you noted in your journal, man seems to hear Me more clearly in painful circumstances. However, as the scripture says, there is a time for all things. Trust in Me with all your heart and seek first the Kingdom of God. As you are waiting for Me to respond to your pain and prayers, (and I I will answer in the very best timetable for your good), build your faith and patience. Reach out and share the Gospel…………… using words only when necessary.”

God’s Purpose or Mine?

July 28th, 2011

July 28, 2011
He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side . . . —Mark 6:45

We tend to think that if Jesus Christ compels us to do something and we are obedient to Him, He will lead us to great success. We should never have the thought that our dreams of success are God’s purpose for us. In fact, His purpose may be exactly the opposite. We have the idea that God is leading us toward a particular end or a desired goal, but He is not. The question of whether or not we arrive at a particular goal is of little importance, and reaching it becomes merely an episode along the way. What we see as only the process of reaching a particular end, God sees as the goal itself.

What is my vision of God’s purpose for me? Whatever it may be, His purpose is for me to depend on Him and on His power now. If I can stay calm, faithful, and unconfused while in the middle of the turmoil of life, the goal of the purpose of God is being accomplished in me. God is not working toward a particular finish— His purpose is the process itself. What He desires for me is that I see “Him walking on the sea” with no shore, no success, nor goal in sight, but simply having the absolute certainty that everything is all right because I see “Him walking on the sea” (Mark 6:49). It is the process, not the outcome, that is glorifying to God.

God’s training is for now, not later. His purpose is for this very minute, not for sometime in the future. We have nothing to do with what will follow our obedience, and we are wrong to concern ourselves with it. What people call preparation, God sees as the goal itself.

God’s purpose is to enable me to see that He can walk on the storms of my life right now. If we have a further goal in mind, we are not paying enough attention to the present time. However, if we realize that moment-by-moment obedience is the goal, then each moment as it comes is precious.


July 28, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, just when I think I am about to have a breakthrough in my circumstances I read a devotional like this one that implies my circumstances don’t really matter;  that all you are concerned with is my growth and transformation. This devotional tells me that you are not really concerned with my success or failure in this life and that my goals are not necessarily what you have in mind for me.

And God says…”When you are aligned with Me, when you are allowing Me to live through you, your goals and my goals for your life are aligned. And one of My goals for you is that you live each day, hour and minute in the present;  not putting off your natural idea of happiness that can only seem to arrive after do this thing or accomplish that goal, or secure that opportunity. I am concerned about your success or failure, success or failure at being transformed into the likeness of Jesus. I am engaged in showing you how to be happy and fulfilled today, right now, this minute. I know the keys to your happiness and fulfillment and that is where I lead you. Trust in Me with all your heart and do not rely on your own devices (goals or plans) and I will make your paths straight.”

The Way to Knowledge

July 27th, 2011

July 27

Jesus said, “I didn’t make this up. What I teach comes from the One who sent me. Anyone who wants to do his will can test this teaching and know whether it’s from God or whether I’m making it up. John 7:17 (Msg)
The golden rule to follow to obtain spiritual understanding is not one of intellectual pursuit, but one of obedience. If a person wants scientific knowledge, then intellectual curiosity must be his guide. But if he desires knowledge and insight into the teachings of Jesus Christ, he can only obtain it through obedience. If spiritual things seem dark and hidden to me, then I can be sure that there is a point of disobedience somewhere in my life. Intellectual darkness is the result of ignorance, but spiritual darkness is the result of something that I do not intend to obey.

No one ever receives a word from God without instantly being put to the test regarding it. We disobey and then wonder why we are not growing spiritually. Jesus said, “If you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23-24). He is saying, in essence, “Don’t say another word to me; first be obedient by making things right.” The teachings of Jesus hit us where we live. We cannot stand as impostors before Him for even one second. He instructs us down to the very last detail. The Spirit of God uncovers our spirit of self-vindication and makes us sensitive to things that we have never even thought of before.

When Jesus drives something home to you through His Word, don’t try to evade it. If you do, you will become a religious impostor. Examine the things you tend simply to shrug your shoulders about, and where you have refused to be obedient, and you will know why you are not growing spiritually. As Jesus said, “First . . . go . . ..” Even at the risk of being thought of as fanatical, you must obey what God tells you.


July 27, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Obedience. This is hard Lord, perhaps even impossible. The things that I want to do I do not. The things that I ought to do I do not. But You lift me up Lord and set me right, even though I deserve none of it. Your mercy and grace astounds me. And when I am able to do the things that you command, when I find that I have accomplished something on behalf of Your kingdom, I am often proud of myself and of my spiritual growth and accomplishments. I look around and notice that I am more spiritual that that person, or that denomination. And just when I notice what a spiritual failure I am, You wash me in a sea of mercy and grace and tell me I am yours; and that you have already made me the man I need to be in Christ Jesus. Mine is to just surrender and let You live through me.

And God says…”Obedience is not an action I have chosen for you to simply keep you subservient to Me. Obedience is the easier way to life and life more abundantly. Many of your trials are trials that need not be. Many of your circumstances are circumstances that arise when you choose to follow another path. I do not necessarily punish you for your disobedience; you accomplish that by yourself by choosing your way and not mine. I love you and want you to live life and life more abundantly. When you choose to obey it means that you trust Me and have chosen the road I have laid out for you. When you first choose to seek My kingdom, the person of Jesus Christ, then all other things can be added unto you.”

The Way to Purity

July 26th, 2011
July 26, 2011
Those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart . . . . For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man . . . —Matthew 15:18-20

Initially we trust in our ignorance, calling it innocence, and next we trust our innocence, calling it purity. Then when we hear these strong statements from our Lord, we shrink back, saying, “But I never felt any of those awful things in my heart.” We resent what He reveals. Either Jesus Christ is the supreme authority on the human heart, or He is not worth paying any attention to. Am I prepared to trust the penetration of His Word into my heart, or would I prefer to trust my own “innocent ignorance”? If I will take an honest look at myself, becoming fully aware of my so-called innocence and putting it to the test, I am very likely to have a rude awakening that what Jesus Christ said is true, and I will be appalled at the possibilities of the evil and the wrong within me. But as long as I remain under the false security of my own “innocence,” I am living in a fool’s paradise. If I have never been an openly rude and abusive person, the only reason is my own cowardice coupled with the sense of protection I receive from living a civilized life. But when I am open and completely exposed before God, I find that Jesus Christ is right in His diagnosis of me.

The only thing that truly provides protection is the redemption of Jesus Christ. If I will simply hand myself over to Him, I will never have to experience the terrible possibilities that lie within my heart. Purity is something far too deep for me to arrive at naturally. But when the Holy Spirit comes into me, He brings into the center of my personal life the very Spirit that was exhibited in the life of Jesus Christ, namely, the Holy Spirit, which is absolute unblemished purity.


July 26, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Sometimes I just cannot believe my first reactions to the pressure cooker of life. Just when I think I have progressed so far as a believer Lord, my real nature exposes itself. Just when I thought I had left narcissism, fear, anger, greed, and lust behind, I show myself what I sinner I am at heart.

And God says…”Yes you are a sinner at heart. But I am not, so let Me live through you. When you do exhibit love, peace, joy, loving-kindness, and are giving and selfless, do you really think that comes from inside of you? It does not and cannot come from you. It comes from Me. Like every lesson you have learned over the last few years, once again be reminded that when you stay connected to Me and allow Me to live through you, you live a transformed life. Stay connected and stay pure.”

Am I Blessed Like This?

July 25th, 2011
July 25, 2011
Blessed are . . . —Matthew 5:3-11
When we first read the statements of Jesus, they seem wonderfully simple and unstartling, and they sink unnoticed into our subconscious minds. For instance, the Beatitudes initially seem to be merely soothing and beautiful precepts for overly spiritual and seemingly useless people, but of very little practical use in the rigid, fast-paced workdays of the world in which we live. We soon find, however, that the Beatitudes contain the “dynamite” of the Holy Spirit. And they “explode” when the circumstances of our lives cause them to do so. When the Holy Spirit brings to our remembrance one of the Beatitudes, we say, “What a startling statement that is!” Then we must decide whether or not we will accept the tremendous spiritual upheaval that will be produced in our circumstances if we obey His words. That is the way the Spirit of God works. We do not need to be born again to apply the Sermon on the Mount literally. The literal interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount is as easy as child’s play. But the interpretation by the Spirit of God as He applies our Lord’s statements to our circumstances is the strict and difficult work of a saint.
The teachings of Jesus are all out of proportion when compared to our natural way of looking at things, and they come to us initially with astonishing discomfort. We gradually have to conform our walk and conversation to the precepts of Jesus Christ as the Holy Spirit applies them to our circumstances. The Sermon on the Mount is not a set of rules and regulations— it is a picture of the life we will live when the Holy Spirit is having His unhindered way with us.
July 25, 2011
Andrew said something during the sermon yesterday that reminded me of one of the lessons You have been teaching me Lord; namely that You will cause All things to work for my good regardless of how good I am. Like Andrew mentioned, I used to believe that your promise in Romans 8 was conditional: All things work for the good of those that love the Lord …. (As long as I am doing good things). But of course that is not a requirement. It is interesting how we intertwine things we think we must do in order to receive Your promises. My love and hope is all you need.
And God says…”My love grace and forgiveness are available to you regardless of who you are or what you do. My love, grace and forgiveness are available all day, every day. Many feel like as if they must perform and or conform to certain standards after they come to belief in order to justify or signify their actual conversion. It is a trap…do not go there. Your transformation is my responsibility, your responsibility is to believe, surrender and receive your transformed life. And when you cannot grasp the meaning in a difficult circumstance that calls Romans 8:28 to mind-let the Holy Spirit minister the meaning to you. Simply accept my love, hope and promise.”
July 25 Journal DJR
Good Morning Lord,
I wish I didn’t blow it so much. Where are you, where am I, Where are we … when I say something that was so carnal and “unlike me?” … and I suspect is really at the core of me … Stuff that I wish I could pull back….
Well we were temporarily disconnected. Peter was that way when he denied me. Obviously I didn’t move. My love didn’t change. So let me put the question back to you … Where did you go?
I see that when my schedule gets compressed that my stress seems to go up and as my peace gets squeezed out, so does my Christlikeness. It doesn’t have to, but it does.
You’re right, it doesn’t have to. In fact that’s a mark of maturity and character … when you can experience stressors and still keep your peace. Dont beat yourself up. That’s just helping Satan. I’ll keep arranging circumstances for you to practice this skill. You’ll never get it 100% till you get here. Just keep walking. Just keep coming.
There are several areas, many areas where I can see a gap between where I am and Christlikeness. It seems overwhelming to work on all of them at the same time.
It is. So Holy Spirit will make it clear which are for you to focus on right now and at any particular time.
There are some things that I know aren’t the best but I dont seem to have any energy or willpower to fight them ….
You will never win long term with will power alone anyway. Those issues are not on the docket right now. Dont worry, I see them. We’ll get to them in due time. I’ll let you know when it’s time to work on those. Right now you have your plate full. So let’s go to work.
Good, thanks for letting me know … that you’ve got it under control, and I dont have to worry about it, just work on the stuff that you set before me.
Yes. Actually trying to do more than I have planned will aid the enemy as you will fail and have guilt and that’s his specialty. You can do the title of these writings … My Utmost For His Highest. Just know that when you get past my plans and into your own will power … you are exactly that … beyond my plans … outside of my perfect will for sure … and maybe outside of my blessing. Look at history. All the people who started out to please me and went beyond or took a wrong turn. Denominational rivalry, Aparthied, Crusades … Yuck! That wasn’t me. Once again, we are back where we started and always end… To stay the course, to stay on track, —-STAY CONNECTED.
Yes, it’s getting clearer and clearer. As we have less to look at … and more to see. Less of the world and Satan and his lies and more of you and your agenda. Thanks, I love you.

Sanctification (1)

July 22nd, 2011

July 22, 2011

This is the will of God, your sanctification. . . —1 Thessalonians 4:3

The Death Side. In sanctification God has to deal with us on the death side as well as on the life side. Sanctification requires our coming to the place of death, but many of us spend so much time there that we become morbid. There is always a tremendous battle before sanctification is realized— something within us pushing with resentment against the demands of Christ. When the Holy Spirit begins to show us what sanctification means, the struggle starts immediately. Jesus said, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate . . . his own life . . . he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26).

In the process of sanctification, the Spirit of God will strip me down until there is nothing left but myself, and that is the place of death. Am I willing to be myself and nothing more? Am I willing to have no friends, no father, no brother, and no self-interest— simply to be ready for death? That is the condition required for sanctification. No wonder Jesus said, “I did not come to bring peace but a sword” (Matthew 10:34). This is where the battle comes, and where so many of us falter. We refuse to be identified with the death of Jesus Christ on this point. We say, “But this is so strict. Surely He does not require that of me.” Our Lord is strict, and He does require that of us.

Am I willing to reduce myself down to simply “me”? Am I determined enough to strip myself of all that my friends think of me, and all that I think of myself? Am I willing and determined to hand over my simple naked self to God? Once I am, He will immediately sanctify me completely, and my life will be free from being determined and persistent toward anything except God (see 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).

When I pray, “Lord, show me what sanctification means for me,” He will show me. It means being made one with Jesus. Sanctification is not something Jesus puts in me— it is Himself in me (see 1 Corinthians 1:30).


July 22, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Sweetly broken? It sounds like a contradiction, but as I look back Lord, that is what has occurred. Looking forward, I am certain of more of the same. I am thankful and grateful for the changes you have wrought in me Lord. I do not choose to be broken Lord, but I am very grateful for the transforming power of Your Spirit as You put the pieces back together in Your likeness.

And God says…”It is the Holy Spirit that works within you to bring you to and through life changing circumstances, people and opportunities. Unfortunately, human nature is not often well served by or with success. When you are being “sweetly broken” you can be certain I am right in the middle of the trial waiting for you to give up yourself and be transformed………..”

Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

The Doorway to the Kingdom

July 21st, 2011

Blessed are the poor in spirit . . . —Matthew 5:3

Beware of thinking of our Lord as only a teacher. If Jesus Christ is only a teacher, then all He can do is frustrate me by setting a standard before me I cannot attain. What is the point of presenting me with such a lofty ideal if I cannot possibly come close to reaching it? I would be happier if I never knew it. What good is there in telling me to be what I can never be— to be “pure in heart” (Matthew 5:8), to do more than my duty, or to be completely devoted to God? I must know Jesus Christ as my Savior before His teaching has any meaning for me other than that of a lofty ideal which only leads to despair. But when I am born again by the Spirit of God, I know that Jesus Christ did not come only to teach— He came to make me what He teaches I should be. The redemption means that Jesus Christ can place within anyone the same nature that ruled His own life, and all the standards God gives us are based on that nature.

The teaching of the Sermon on the Mount produces a sense of despair in the natural man— exactly what Jesus means for it to do. As long as we have some self-righteous idea that we can carry out our Lord’s teaching, God will allow us to continue until we expose our own ignorance by stumbling over some obstacle in our way. Only then are we willing to come to Him as paupers and receive from Him. “Blessed are the poor in spirit . . . .” This is the first principle in the kingdom of God. The underlying foundation of Jesus Christ’s kingdom is poverty, not possessions; not making decisions for Jesus, but having such a sense of absolute futility that we finally admit, “Lord, I cannot even begin to do it.” Then Jesus says, “Blessed are you . . .” (Matthew 5:11). This is the doorway to the kingdom, and yet it takes us so long to believe that we are actually poor! The knowledge of our own poverty is what brings us to the proper place where Jesus Christ accomplishes His work


July 21, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Thank you Lord for pointing out the futility of my life and efforts without You. Thank you for reminding me that it is You that began and completes the good work in me. My work is to surrender. Thank you for showing me the very narrow road and then showing me I do not have the ability to walk that narrow road.

And God says…”This is a lesson to be learned until it is ingrained into all believers; that the life of the believer can only be realized in personal defeat. My standards are absolute so that you can see the disparity and futility of trying to live the Christian life. It is not for you to “do your very best” I cannot accept your “very best”. I can only accept the purity and absolute righteousness of Jesus. This comes when you surrender and allow Him to live through you.” As Paul wrote to the Corinthians….2 Corinthians 3:18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

Dependent on God’s Presence

July 20th, 2011

Those who wait on the Lord . . . shall walk and not faint —Isaiah 40:31

There is no thrill for us in walking, yet it is the test for all of our steady and enduring qualities. To “walk and not faint” is the highest stretch possible as a measure of strength. The word walkis used in the Bible to express the character of a person— “. . . John . . . looking at Jesus as He walked. . . said, ’Behold the Lamb of God!’ ” (John 1:35-36). There is nothing abstract or obscure in the Bible; everything is vivid and real. God does not say, “Be spiritual,” but He says, “Walk before Me. . .” (Genesis 17:1).

When we are in an unhealthy condition either physically or emotionally, we always look for thrills in life. In our physical life this leads to our efforts to counterfeit the work of the Holy Spirit; in our emotional life it leads to obsessions and to the destruction of our morality; and in our spiritual life, if we insist on pursuing only thrills, on mounting up “with wings like eagles” (Isaiah 40:31), it will result in the destruction of our spirituality.

Having the reality of God’s presence is not dependent on our being in a particular circumstance or place, but is only dependent on our determination to keep the Lord before us continually. Our problems arise when we refuse to place our trust in the reality of His presence. The experience the psalmist speaks of— “We will not fear, even though . . .” (Psalm 46:2)— will be ours once we are grounded on the truth of the reality of God’s presence, not just a simple awareness of it, but an understanding of the reality of it. Then we will exclaim, “He has been here all the time!” At critical moments in our lives it is necessary to ask God for guidance, but it should be unnecessary to be constantly saying, “Oh, Lord, direct me in this, and in that.” Of course He will, and in fact, He is doing it already! If our everyday decisions are not according to His will, He will press through them, bringing restraint to our spirit. Then we must be quiet and wait for the direction of His presence.


July 20, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Waiting is not something I do well Lord. I cannot or perhaps simply do not grasp the sense of the everlasting in my day to day living. For some reason it seems like I am in a race to accomplish, learn, achieve or obtain. Quite often my sense of waiting seems bound up in a “hurry up” kind of living that keeps me from enjoying this day, hour or minute. Lord, please help me grasp your everlasting presence this day and help me enjoy your presence and promises more completely every hour and minute.

And God says…”You can begin to grow and appreciate the everlasting as you praise and worship Me day by day, hour by hour and minute by minute. Pray without ceasing,(that is simply stay conscious of Me all the day) stay connected, and experience my love and peace  beyond understanding. When you pray without ceasing and are connected, waiting becomes a pleasurable experience as you begin to know and appreciate the certainty of My promises and your place in them”.


July 19th, 2011

July 19, 2011

“Ye call Me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.” John 13:13

Our Lord never insists on having authority; He never says – Thou shalt. He leaves us perfectly free – so free that we can spit in His face, as men did; so free that we can put Him to death, as men did; and He will never say a word. But when His life has been created in me by His Redemption I instantly recognize His right to absolute authority over me. It is a moral domination – “Thou art worthy . . .” It is only the unworthy in me that refuses to bow down to the worthy. If when I meet a man who is more holy than myself, I do not recognize his worthiness and obey what comes through him, it is a revelation of the unworthy in me. God educates us by means of people who are a little better than we are, not intellectually but “holily,” until we get under the domination of the Lord Himself, and then the whole attitude of the life is one of obedience to Him.

If Our Lord insisted upon obedience He would become a taskmaster, and He would cease to have any authority. He never insists on obedience, but when we do see Him we obey Him instantly, He is easily Lord, and we live in adoration of Him from morning till night. The revelation of my growth in grace is the way in which I look upon obedience. We have to rescue the word “obedience” from the mire. Obedience is only possible between equals; it is the relationship between father and son, not between master and servant. “I and My Father are one.” “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered.” The Son’s obedience was as Redeemer, because He was Son, not in order to be Son.


July 19, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, this is where it gets tough for me. There is no evidence that You even heard me praying over the last few weeks; though it seems more like years. And not a clear word from You about what, where, why or when. I suspect I could stay the course more strongly if I know I was right where You wanted me to be. But I am uncertain. I feel like I have been left to receive what I deserve and that frightens me. How can I be certain that I am in your will when all around me seems so tenuous and uncertain?

And God says…”My Son was and is my promise that I will never leave you or leave you alone to your own devices. In fact, I ask you to leave your devices behind. Your uncertainty and anxiety are indicators that you are to search for new revealing truths from Me. IF you are anxious, IF you are uncertain, IF you are fearful, you know with certainty that these feelings cannot and did not come from Me. But I allowed them to touch you so that you could once again come to the end of yourself and a new awareness of your relationship with Me. Remember, faith is the substance of things hoped for, of things that are not seen. I remain faithful even when you cannot. I am always on your side, always providing, protecting and provisioning… 2Cor 2:14 Now thanks be to God who always causes us to triumph in Christ, and through us shows the savor of His knowledge in every place.”

The Mystery of Believing

July 18th, 2011
July 18. 2011
He said, “Who are You, Lord? —Acts 9:5

Through the miracle of redemption, Saul of Tarsus was instantly changed from a strong-willed and forceful Pharisee into a humble and devoted bondservant of the Lord Jesus.

There is nothing miraculous or mysterious about the things we can explain. We control what we are able to explain, consequently it is only natural to seek an explanation for everything. It is not natural to obey, yet it is not necessarily sinful to disobey. There can be no real disobedience, nor any moral virtue in obedience, unless a person recognizes the higher authority of the one giving the orders. If this recognition does not exist, even the one giving the orders may view the other person’s disobedience as freedom. If one rules another by saying, “You must do this,” and, “You will do that,” he breaks the human spirit, making it unfit for God. A person is simply a slave for obeying, unless behind his obedience is the recognition of a holy God.

Many people begin coming to God once they stop being religious, because there is only one master of the human heart— Jesus Christ, not religion. But “Woe is me” if after seeing Him I still will not obey (Isaiah 6:5 , also see Isaiah 6:1). Jesus will never insist that I obey, but if I don’t,I have already begun to sign the death certificate of the Son of God in my soul. When I stand face to face with Jesus Christ and say, “I will not obey,” He will never insist. But when I do this, I am backing away from the recreating power of His redemption. It makes no difference to God’s grace what an abomination I am, if I will only come to the light. But “Woe is me” if I refuse the light (seeJohn 3:19-21).


July 18, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord the song struck me like the lesson about Saul of Tarsus….. being struck by your love and grace. I have often been concerned about …”what must I do”. How must I live, react, study, obey, trust…I am often concerned about my role in our relationship; what are my responsibilities. This song and lesson seem to attack that notion.

And God says…”All the work for and in the believer is for Me to accomplish. Yours is but to surrender. And there are times when you are unable to surrender, and your salvation must be “worked out”. Inside the stages of your life trust in Me with all your heart, and when you cannot and there will be times when you cannot,  simply stay connected. I have begun a good work in you and I will complete it.”