Archive for December, 2011

Continuous Conversion

December 28th, 2011

. . . unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven —Matthew 18:3


These words of our Lord refer to our initial conversion, but we should continue to turn to God as children, being continuously converted every day of our lives. If we trust in our own abilities, instead of God’s, we produce consequences for which God will hold us responsible. When God through His sovereignty brings us into new situations, we should immediately make sure that our natural life submits to the spiritual, obeying the orders of the Spirit of God. Just because we have responded properly in the past is no guarantee that we will do so again. The response of the natural to the spiritual should be continuous conversion, but this is where we so often refuse to be obedient. No matter what our situation is, the Spirit of God remains unchanged and His salvation unaltered. But we must “put on the new man . . .” (Ephesians 4:24). God holds us accountable every time we refuse to convert ourselves, and He sees our refusal as willful disobedience. Our natural life must not rule— God must rule in us.To refuse to be continuously converted puts a stumbling block in the growth of our spiritual life. There are areas of self-will in our lives where our pride pours contempt on the throne of God and says, “I won’t submit.” We deify our independence and self-will and call them by the wrong name. What God sees as stubborn weakness, we call strength. There are whole areas of our lives that have not yet been brought into submission, and this can only be done by this continuous conversion. Slowly but surely we can claim the whole territory for the Spirit of God.



December 28, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, I am learning that for me to respond as a little child I am to look to You for guidance in all things. I am beginning to understand that I am to simply my surrender all things, all of my life to You… Thank you for teaching me that all things are out of my hands; and surrendered to Yours. In this way You will live Your life through me. And I am learning that in daily living You can only take control of those things that I release and surrender to You.

And God says…” Trust in Me with all your heart; do not trust your own understanding and I will crown your success.  If you want Me to guide your every step then you must give every step to Me. When you respond as a little child; I am able to be your Father. When you take control of your life I cannot. Listen to the Spirit and He will; guide you in all things, just as a Father leads His child.


John 16:12-15 (MSG)

 “I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t handle them now. But when the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is. He won’t draw attention to himself, but will make sense out of what is about to happen and, indeed, out of all that I have done and said. He will honor me; he will take from me and deliver it to you. Everything the Father has is also mine. That is why I’ve said, ‘He takes from me and delivers to you.’

Walk in the Light”

December 26th, 2011

If we walk in the light as He is in the light . . . the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin —1 John 1:7

To mistake freedom from sin only on the conscious level of our lives for complete deliverance from sin by the atonement through the Cross of Christ is a great error. No one fully knows what sin is until he is born again. Sin is what Jesus Christ faced at Calvary. The evidence that I have been delivered from sin is that I know the real nature of sin in me. For a person to really know what sin is requires the full work and deep touch of the atonement of Jesus Christ, that is, the imparting of His absolute perfection.The Holy Spirit applies or administers the work of the atonement to us in the deep unconscious realm as well as in the conscious realm. And it is not until we truly perceive the unrivaled power of the Spirit in us that we understand the meaning of 1 John 1:7 , which says, “. . . the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” This verse does not refer only to conscious sin, but also to the tremendously profound understanding of sin which only the Holy Spirit in me can accomplish.I must “walk in the light as He is in the light . . .”— not in the light of my own conscience, but in God’s light. If I will walk there, with nothing held back or hidden, then this amazing truth is revealed to me: “. . . the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses [me] from all sin” so that God Almighty can see nothing to rebuke in me. On the conscious level it produces a keen, sorrowful knowledge of what sin really is. The love of God working in me causes me to hate, with the Holy Spirit’s hatred for sin, anything that is not in keeping with God’s holiness. To “walk in the light” means that everything that is of the darkness actually drives me closer to the center of the light.

If we walk in the light as He is in the light . . . the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin —1 John 1:7

To mistake freedom from sin only on the conscious level of our lives for complete deliverance from sin by the atonement through the Cross of Christ is a great error. No one fully knows what sin is until he is born again. Sin is what Jesus Christ faced at Calvary. The evidence that I have been delivered from sin is that I know the real nature of sin in me. For a person to really know what sin is requires the full work and deep touch of the atonement of Jesus Christ, that is, the imparting of His absolute perfection.

The Holy Spirit applies or administers the work of the atonement to us in the deep unconscious realm as well as in the conscious realm. And it is not until we truly perceive the unrivaled power of the Spirit in us that we understand the meaning of 1 John 1:7 , which says, “. . . the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” This verse does not refer only to conscious sin, but also to the tremendously profound understanding of sin which only the Holy Spirit in me can accomplish.

I must “walk in the light as He is in the light . . .”— not in the light of my own conscience, but in God’s light. If I will walk there, with nothing held back or hidden, then this amazing truth is revealed to me: “. . . the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses [me] from all sin” so that God Almighty can see nothing to rebuke in me. On the conscious level it produces a keen, sorrowful knowledge of what sin really is. The love of God working in me causes me to hate, with the Holy Spirit’s hatred for sin, anything that is not in keeping with God’s holiness. To “walk in the light” means that everything that is of the darkness actually drives me closer to the center of the light.


December 26, 2012

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, the message I took from this devotional is that You have  given me the ability to hate sin, not because it represents something tawdry,  dirty and or unclean, but because it separates me from You. If I am to love You  and remain in relationship with You, I am to remain righteous. And while I  fully understand and have firsthand experience in failing at this, I know I can  remain righteous living surrendered to Your light.


And God says…”If you say you have no sin, then you are simply not being honest with yourself. You  can measure the amount and degree of unrighteousness in your life by measuring  your intimacy with Me. And you also discover that an insignificant and or  natural thought or deed can still create a significant break in our  relationship. You can create that gap even when you are the very best person you  can be…..there will still be a break in our relationship. However, when you  surrender your idea of goodness to Jesus, and let His light shine through you, we  are connected.”

1 John 1:8-10 (MSG) If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling
ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins—make a clean breast of them—he won’t let us down; he’ll be true to  himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing


Sharing in the Atonement

December 23rd, 2011

God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . —Galatians 6:14

The gospel of Jesus Christ always forces a decision of our will. Have I accepted God’s verdict on sin as judged on the Cross of Christ? Do I have even the slightest interest in the death of Jesus? Do I want to be identified with His death— to be completely dead to all interest in sin, worldliness, and self? Do I long to be so closely identified with Jesus that I am of no value for anything except Him and His purposes? The great privilege of discipleship is that I can commit myself under the banner of His Cross, and that means death to sin. You must get alone with Jesus and either decide to tell Him that you do not want sin to die out in you, or that at any cost you want to be identified with His death. When you act in confident faith in what our Lord did on the cross, a supernatural identification with His death takes place immediately. And you will come to know through a higher knowledge that your old life was “crucified with Him” (Romans 6:6). The proof that your old life is dead, having been “crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20), is the amazing ease with which the life of God in you now enables you to obey the voice of Jesus Christ.Every once in a while our Lord gives us a glimpse of what we would be like if it were not for Him. This is a confirmation of what He said— “. . . without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). That is why the underlying foundation of Christianity is personal, passionate devotion to the Lord Jesus. We mistake the joy of our first introduction into God’s kingdom as His purpose for getting us there. Yet God’s purpose in getting us into His kingdom is that we may realize all that identification with Jesus Christ means.

December 23, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, as You know, our Christmas plans changed a bit last  night. The priorities all changed as we were shocked with word that a member of the family displayed symptoms that could indicate a very critical medical condition. And without thinking the very first thing we did was pray.  Amazingly, worry and fear were not part of our response. We just knew he would be alright.

I must admit that my ability to respond in that way could have only  come from You. I don’t have the faith or spiritual strength to simply turn it  over to you like that.  Thank You for  that faith, hope and strength. I ask You to extend it to our entire family, and  give us the peace that passes all understanding.

And God says…”In this  world you will have trials, trouble and breakage. You live in a fallen world  with bodies that fail and age; in a world filled with a multitude of difficulties. But remember, I am your refuge and  strength, an ever-present help in trouble. You have no need to fear. Can I repair the breakage  to your bodies, families, homes, and or your provision?…I am the One that hung  the stars and spoke the universe into existence. I gave you my Son, and based  on the magnitude of that sacrifice, you can believe that I would not withhold any  good thing from you. Worry about nothing, but pray about everything and you  will know the peace that passes all understanding. You will know and live in a  peace that can only come from Jesus.”


The Drawing of the Father

December 22nd, 2011

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him . . . —John 6:44

When God begins to draw me to Himself, the problem of my will comes in immediately. Will I react positively to the truth that God has revealed? Will I come to Him? To discuss or deliberate over spiritual matters when God calls is inappropriate and disrespectful to Him. When God speaks, never discuss it with anyone as if to decide what your response may be (see Galatians 1:15-16). Belief is not the result of an intellectual act, but the result of an act of my will whereby I deliberately commit myself. But will I commit, placing myself completely and absolutely on God, and be willing to act solely on what He says? If I will, I will find that I am grounded on reality as certain as God’s throne.In preaching the gospel, always focus on the matter of the will. Belief must come from the will to believe. There must be a surrender of the will, not a surrender to a persuasive or powerful argument. I must deliberately step out, placing my faith in God and in His truth. And I must place no confidence in my own works, but only in God. Trusting in my own mental understanding becomes a hindrance to complete trust in God. I must be willing to ignore and leave my feelings behind. I must willto believe. But this can never be accomplished without my forceful, determined effort to separate myself from my old ways of looking at things. I must surrender myself completely to God.Everyone has been created with the ability to reach out beyond his own grasp. But it is God who draws me, and my relationship to Him in the first place is an inner, personal one, not an intellectual one. I come into the relationship through the miracle of God and through my own will to believe. Then I begin to get an intelligent appreciation and understanding of the wonder of the transformation in my life.
December 22, 2011

Journal Entry for today-JDV&DJR

Lord, when you call, I pray that I am listening, surrendered. I have decided to be surrendered to Your will in all that I say, touch and do this day. And I know that opportunities to live in your will shall appear this day.  So Lord, right now I offer up myself honestly and completely, knowing full well that I have a tendency to take over the reins and responsibility of my daily activities. So please help me in my surrender this day. Help me surrender to You and Your perfect will….all day long.

And God says…”When you pray that prayer with honest surrender, and give Me your day, you can engage your day with a sense of adventure, wonder and supernatural expectations. You can be certain of Me and My promises all day long…. as you stay surrendered and committed to living in My will … Trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and He will direct you and crown your efforts with success.

Experience or God’s Revealed Truth?

December 21st, 2011

We have received . . . the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God —1 Corinthians 2:12


My experience is not what makes redemption real— redemption isreality. Redemption has no real meaning for me until it is worked out through my conscious life. When I am born again, the Spirit of God takes me beyond myself and my experiences, and identifies me with Jesus Christ. If I am left only with my personal experiences, I am left with something not produced by redemption. But experiences produced by redemption prove themselves by leading me beyond myself, to the point of no longer paying any attention to experiences as the basis of reality. Instead, I see that only the reality itself produced the experiences. My experiences are not worth anything unless they keep me at the Source of truth— Jesus Christ.If you try to hold back the Holy Spirit within you, with the desire of producing more inner spiritual experiences, you will find that He will break the hold and take you again to the historic Christ. Never support an experience which does not have God as its Source and faith in God as its result. If you do, your experience is anti-Christian, no matter what visions or insights you may have had. Is Jesus Christ Lord of your experiences, or do you place your experiences above Him? Is any experience dearer to you than your Lord? You must allow Him to be Lord over you, and pay no attention to any experience over which He is not Lord. Then there will come a time when God will make you impatient with your own experience, and you can truthfully say, “I do not care what I experience— I am sure of Him!”Be relentless and hard on yourself if you are in the habit of talking about the experiences you have had. Faith based on experience is not faith; faith based on God’s revealed truth is the only faith there is.__________________________________________________

December 21, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, the experiences you allow have been refining
experiences; especially the waiting. When I started this intense waiting  process, I was impatient, worrying over the outcome, wanting my circumstances  to immediately be adjusted by You to conform to my idea of what I needed, when  I thought I needed it. You have been refining my spirit, and mind with the  waiting to the point where now can simply trust You and Your timing.

And God says…”Imagine your children existing on only the things they thought would make them happy at that  very moment; candy instead of nutritious food, toys instead of books, play  instead of study. Because your children cannot see the long term effects of their short term wants you must make decisions for them and then help them make  right choices until they are capable of making their own. So it is with your  heavenly father. I allow certain things to occur in your life as part of the
refining process. Remember, I am not as interested in your happiness, as I am
your righteousness. And recall that whenever you are going through the refining
process, that nothing can separate you from my love, and that nothing can touch
you that has not first touched My hands. Trust in Me and recall my promises.”

1 Peter 5:7-Let Him have all your worries and cares, for He is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you.

John 14:27- I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

Philippians 4:6-7-Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget  to thank Him for His answers. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ.

Psalms 40:1-3-I waited patiently for God to help me; then He listened and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit  of despair, out from the bog and the mire, and set my feet on a hard, firm path and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, of praises to our God. Now many will hear of the glorious things He did for me,  and stand in awe before the Lord, and put their trust in Him.

Psalms 34:17-19-Yes, the Lord hears the good man when he calls to Him for help, and saves him out of all his troubles. The Lord is close to those whose heart is breaking; He rescues those  who are humbly sorry for their sins. The good man does not escape all troubles – he has them, too. But the Lord helps him in each and every one.

Isaiah 40:31-Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

John 14:1-3-Let not your heart be troubled. You are trusting God, now trust in Me. There are many homes up there where my Father lives, and I am going to prepare them for your coming. When everything is ready, then I will come and get you, so you can always be with Me where I am. If this weren’t so, I would tell you plainly.

Deuteronomy 31:6-Be strong! Be courageous! Do not be afraid of them! For the Lord your God will be with you. He will neither fail you nor forsake you.

Isaiah 41:10-Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed. I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will uphold you with My victorious right hand.

Psalms 112:6-8-Such a man will not be overthrown by evil circumstances. God’s constant care of him will make a deep impression on all who see it. He does not fear bad news, nor live in dread of what may happen. For he is settled in his mind that Jehovah will take care of him. That is why he is not afraid, but can calmly face his foes.

Psalms 32:7-9-You are my hiding place from every storm of life; You even keep me from getting into trouble! You  surround me with songs of victory. I will instruct you (says the Lord) and guide you along the best pathway for your life; I will advise you and watch your progress. Don’t be like a senseless horse or mule that has to have a bit in its mouth to keep it in line!

Hebrews 10:35-38-Do not let this happy trust in the Lord die away, no matter what happens. Remember your reward! You need to keep on patiently doing God’s will if you want Him to do for you all  that He has promised. His coming will not be delayed much longer. And those  whose faith has made them good in God’s sight must live by faith, trusting Him in everything. Otherwise, if they shrink back, God will have no pleasure in them.

Isaiah 26:3-4-He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in Him, whose thoughts turn often to the Lord! Trust in the Lord always, for in the Lord, Jehovah, is your everlasting strength.

Psalms 37:7-Rest in the Lord; wait patiently for Him to act. Don’t be envious of evil men who prosper.

James 5:7-8-Now as for you, dear brothers who are waiting for the Lord’s return, be patient, like a farmer who waits until the autumn for his precious harvest to ripen. Yes, be patient. And take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near.

Romans 8:31-32-What can we ever say to such wonderful things as these? If God is on our side, who can ever be against us? Since He did not spare even His own Son for us but gave Him up for us all, won’t He also surely give us everything else?

Isaiah 41:13-14-I am holding you by your right hand – I, the Lord your God – and I say to you, don’t be afraid; I am here to help you. Despised though you are, fear not, Oh Israel; for I will help you. I am the Lord, your Redeemer; I am the Holy One of Israel.

Hebrews 13:5-7-Stay away from the love of money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never, never fail you nor forsake you.” That is why we can say without any doubt or fear, “The Lord is my Helper and I am not afraid of anything that mere man can do to me.” Remember your leaders who have taught you the Word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and try to trust
the Lord as they do.

Psalms 4:8-I will lie down in peace and sleep, for though I am alone, Oh Lord, you will keep me safe.

Isaiah 54:10-For the mountains may depart and the hills disappear, but My kindness shall not leave you. My promise of peace for you will never be broken, says the Lord Who has mercy upon you.

John 14:18-No, I will not abandon you or leave you as orphans in the storm – I will come to you.

Proverbs 3:5-6-Trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and He will direct you and crown your efforts with success.

Philippians 4:11-13-Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of contentment in every situation, whether it be a full stomach or hunger, plenty, or want; for I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ Who gives me the strength and power.

Psalms 37:8-11-Stop your anger! Turn off your wrath. Don’t fret and worry – it only leads to harm. For the wicked shall be destroyed, but those who trust the Lord shall be given every blessing. Only a little while and the wicked shall disappear. You will look for them in vain. But all who humble themselves before the Lord shall be given every blessing, and shall have wonderful peace.

2 Chronicles 20:17-But you will not need to fight! Take your places; stand quietly and see the incredible rescue operation God will perform for you, Oh people of Judah and Jerusalem! Don’t be afraid or discouraged! Go out there tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!

Romans 8:24-25-We are saved by trusting. And trusting means looking forward to getting something we don’t yet have – for a man who already has something doesn’t need to hope and trust that  he will get it. But if we must keep trusting God for something that hasn’t happened yet, it teaches us to wait patiently and confidently.

Romans 8:28-And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into His plans.

James 1:2-4-Dear brothers, is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy, for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow, and don’t try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything; strong in character, full and complete.

Habakkuk 2:1, 3-I will climb my watchtower now, and wait to see what answer God will give to my complaint.But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day

The Right Kind of Help

December 20th, 2011

And I, if I am lifted up . . . will draw all peoples to Myself —John 12:32


Very few of us have any understanding of the reason why Jesus Christ died. If sympathy is all that human beings need, then the Cross of Christ is an absurdity and there is absolutely no need for it. What the world needs is not “a little bit of love,” but major surgery.When you find yourself face to face with a person who is spiritually lost, remind yourself of Jesus Christ on the cross. If that person can get to God in any other way, then the Cross of Christ is unnecessary. If you think you are helping lost people with your sympathy and understanding, you are a traitor to Jesus Christ. You must have a right-standing relationship with Him yourself, and pour your life out in helping others in His way— not in a human way that ignores God. The theme of the world’s religion today is to serve in a pleasant, non-confrontational manner.But our only priority must be to present Jesus Christ crucified— to lift Him up all the time (see 1 Corinthians 2:2). Every belief that is not firmly rooted in the Cross of Christ will lead people astray. If the worker himself believes in Jesus Christ and is trusting in the reality of redemption, his words will be compelling to others. What is extremely important is for the worker’s simple relationship with Jesus Christ to be strong and growing. His usefulness to God depends on that, and that alone.The calling of a New Testament worker is to expose sin and to reveal Jesus Christ as Savior. Consequently, he cannot always be charming and friendly, but must be willing to be stern to accomplish major surgery. We are sent by God to lift up Jesus Christ, not to give wonderfully beautiful speeches. We must be willing to examine others as deeply as God has examined us. We must also be sharply intent on sensing those Scripture passages that will drive the truth home, and then not be afraid to apply them.


December 20, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, when I read one of these stern directed devotionals  from Chambers, I wonder. When he says it is our responsibility to expose sin  and hold up Jesus Christ, I get the picture of a judgmental Christian pointing out  some other person’s flaw, while carrying around a large helping of their own.  Your scripture points this out many times; that we are to forgive and offer up  Jesus to a world that knows they have need of Him, and we are to accomplish  this by living out Jesus…allowing Him to live through us.

And God says…”Simply  stay in relationship with Jesus; He can and will live through you. When you allow  Jesus to live through you, you can then observe as He manages the circumstances  to touch others. There will not be any need for you to decide what to say, or  how to act toward others. When you are connected to Jesus, you can allow him to  make the choices, let Him touch others as only He is able in concert with the
Holy Spirit. Jesus gave you but two commandments. When you are engaged in the
first, the second supernaturally follows.”

The Focus Of Our Message

December 19th, 2011

I did not come to bring peace but a sword —Matthew 10:34

Never be sympathetic with a person whose situation causes you to conclude that God is dealing harshly with him. God can be more tender than we can conceive, and every once in a while He gives us the opportunity to deal firmly with someone so that He may be viewed as the tender One. If a person cannot go to God, it is because he has something secret which he does not intend to give up— he may admit his sin, but would no more give up that thing than he could fly under his own power. It is impossible to deal sympathetically with people like that. We must reach down deep in their lives to the root of the problem, which will cause hostility and resentment toward the message. People want the blessing of God, but they can’t stand something that pierces right through to the heart of the matter.

If you are sensitive to God’s way, your message as His servant will be merciless and insistent, cutting to the very root. Otherwise, there will be no healing. We must drive the message home so forcefully that a person cannot possibly hide, but must apply its truth. Deal with people where they are, until they begin to realize their true need. Then hold high the standard of Jesus for their lives. Their response may be, “We can never be that.” Then drive it home with, “Jesus Christ says you must.” “But how can we be?” “You can’t, unless you have a new Spirit” (see Luke 11:13).

There must be a sense of need created before your message is of any use. Thousands of people in this world profess to be happy without God. But if we could be truly happy and moral without Jesus, then why did He come? He came because that kind of happiness and peace is only superficial. Jesus Christ came to “bring . . . a sword” through every kind of peace that is not based on a personal relationship with Himself.


December 19, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, this devotional suggests that I make the decision about  who needs compassion and who does not. I am not certain I am capable of making  that kind of decision. In fact my history says I am not even remotely (and never will be) capable of making that kind of distinction. When people are in  need I suspect I must simply trust You to lead me to my calling.

And God says…”That is  exactly right, when you encounter people in need of Me; you are to rely on Me to respond through you. You are not capable of making those kinds of  distinctions. Trust in Me and simply be available. Trust in Me with all your heart  and I will make your path straight. When you have absolutely no idea what to say or do for a person that needs Me, simply trust Me and place yourself on My  alter. Let Me deal with them through you; simply be available. Acknowledge Me  in all your ways, and I will make your paths straight.”

Wrestling Before God

December 16th, 2011

Take up the whole armor of God . . . praying always . . . —Ephesians 6:13,18


You must learn to wrestle against the things that hinder your communication with God, and wrestle in prayer for other people; but to wrestle with God in prayer is unscriptural. If you ever do wrestle with God, you will be crippled for the rest of your life. If you grab hold of God and wrestle with Him, as Jacob did, simply because He is working in a way that doesn’t meet with your approval, you force Him to put you out of joint (see Genesis 32:24-25). Don’t become a cripple by wrestling with the ways of God, but be someone who wrestles before God with the things of this world, because “we are more than conquerors through Him . . .” (Romans 8:37). Wrestling before God makes an impact in His kingdom. If you ask me to pray for you, and I am not complete in Christ, my prayer accomplishes nothing. But if I am complete in Christ, my prayer brings victory all the time. Prayer is effective only when there is completeness— “take up the whole armor of God . . . .”Always make a distinction between God’s perfect will and His permissive will, which He uses to accomplish His divine purpose for our lives. God’s perfect will is unchangeable. It is with His permissive will, or the various things that He allows into our lives, that we must wrestle before Him. It is our reaction to these things allowed by His permissive will that enables us to come to the point of seeing His perfect will for us. “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God . . .” (Romans 8:28)— to those who remain true to God’s perfect will— His calling in Christ Jesus. God’s permissive will is the testing He uses to reveal His true sons and daughters. We should not be spineless and automatically say, “Yes, it is the Lord’s will.” We don’t have to fight or wrestle with God, but we must wrestle before God with things. Beware of lazily giving up. Instead, put up a glorious fight and you will find yourself empowered with His strength.
December 16, 2012
Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, when I am reminded who I am in You I become aware of  the power, love, grace and mercy that surrounds me all day long. When I am well  connected, and in relationship with You, the worry and anxiety of difficult circumstances  do not impact my life. When I am reminded of who I am in You, I can rejoice  even when I am surrounded by very difficult circumstances. Anyone can rejoice  when all the world is in its place and times and circumstances are very good. Believers  in relationship are able to rejoice all the time.

And God says…”In this  life you will experience troubles and difficulties. They are part of the daily  landscape living in a fallen world. However, you need not be caught up in the  troubles and difficulties. Get caught up in Me. Stay in a daily, hour by hour,
minute by minute awareness of who you are in Me, and recall some of my  promises;

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and  not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

2 Peter 1:4   And because of his glory and excellence, he  has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable  you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.

Matthew 11:28-29
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take
my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and
you will find rest for your souls.

Isaiah 40:29-31 He  gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion.  But those who trust in the Lord will find new  strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow  weary. They will walk and not faint.

Philippians 4:19 And this same God who  takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which  have been given to us in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:37-39 No,  despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who  loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.  Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today  nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from  God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in
all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is  revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Proverbs 1:33 But all who listen to me will live in peace, untroubled  by fear of harm.”

John 14:27 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift  the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

Approved to God”

December 15th, 2011

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth —2 Timothy 2:15

If you cannot express yourself well on each of your beliefs, work and study until you can. If you don’t, other people may miss out on the blessings that come from knowing the truth. Strive to re-express a truth of God to yourself clearly and understandably, and God will use that same explanation when you share it with someone else. But you must be willing to go through God’s winepress where the grapes are crushed. You must struggle, experiment, and rehearse your words to express God’s truth clearly. Then the time will come when that very expression will become God’s wine of strength to someone else. But if you are not diligent and say, “I’m not going to study and struggle to express this truth in my own words; I’ll just borrow my words from someone else,” then the words will be of no value to you or to others. Try to state to yourself what you believe to be the absolute truth of God, and you will be allowing God the opportunity to pass it on through you to someone else.Always make it a practice to stir your own mind thoroughly to think through what you have easily believed. Your position is not really yours until you make it yours through suffering and study. The author or speaker from whom you learn the most is not the one who teaches you something you didn’t know before, but the one who helps you take a truth with which you have quietly struggled, give it expression, and speak it clearly and boldly.
December 15, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, what do I do to make certain I am allowing this light  you have given me to shine? What do I say and do to make certain You can flow  from me at every opportunity?

And God says…”It is  not up to you to shine, it is up to Jesus living inside of you. In fact as you  go about living your life, your light will shine brightest when you are not
even aware that someone is using your light as a lamp for their feet. Simply  stay connected on (and in) a daily, hourly, minute by minute relationship with  Jesus, and allow Him to shine. The value of your lamp and life has nothing at  all to do with your awareness (or even your behavior), but everything to do  with your connection and availability. In fact, you may cast the most light  when you are not even aware.”

The Great Life

December 14th, 2011

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled . . . —John 14:27

Whenever we experience something difficult in our personal life, we are tempted to blame God. But we are the ones in the wrong, not God. Blaming God is evidence that we are refusing to let go of some disobedience somewhere in our lives. But as soon as we let go, everything becomes as clear as daylight to us. As long as we try to serve two masters, ourselves and God, there will be difficulties combined with doubt and confusion. Our attitude must be one of complete reliance on God. Once we get to that point, there is nothing easier than living the life of a saint. We encounter difficulties when we try to usurp the authority of the Holy Spirit for our own purposes.

God’s mark of approval, whenever you obey Him, is peace. He sends an immeasurable, deep peace; not a natural peace, “as the world gives,” but the peace of Jesus. Whenever peace does not come, wait until it does, or seek to find out why it is not coming. If you are acting on your own impulse, or out of a sense of the heroic, to be seen by others, the peace of Jesus will not exhibit itself. This shows no unity with God or confidence in Him. The spirit of simplicity, clarity, and unity is born through the Holy Spirit, not through your decisions. God counters our self-willed decisions with an appeal for simplicity and unity.

My questions arise whenever I cease to obey. When I do obey God, problems come, not between me and God, but as a means to keep my mind examining with amazement the revealed truth of God. But any problem that comes between God and myself is the   result of disobedience. Any problem that comes while I obey God (and there will be many), increases my overjoyed delight, because I know that my Father knows and cares, and I can watch and anticipate how He will unravel my problems.


December 14, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, this devotional seems to bring the lessons of the last  few days into focus; namely that You do not necessarily remove the difficult  things of this life.  You allow me to face  them with a peace that passes all understanding. I know I am in relationship with You when I examine the circumstances of this life with a peace and  understanding that I am right where you want me to be. …as Chambers said…” When I do obey God, problems come… as a means to keep my mind examining with amazement the revealed truth of God.”

And God says…”I do not  give you a peace that is dependent on your outward circumstances, that are  constantly changing in a fallen world, I give you a peace that passes all understanding  as you allow Me to live through you. And how do you allow Me to live through  you? You surrender yourself to Me, all day, every day, and then watch and live  in wonder.”