Archive for January, 2012

Do You See Your Calling?

January 31st, 2012

. . . separated to the gospel of God. . . —Romans 1:1

Our calling is not primarily to be holy men and women, but to be proclaimers of the gospel of God. The one all-important thing is that the gospel of God should be recognized as the abiding reality. Reality is not human goodness, or holiness, or heaven, or hell— it is redemption. The need to perceive this is the most vital need of the Christian worker today. As workers, we have to get used to the revelation that redemption is the only reality. Personal holiness is an effect of redemption, not the cause of it. If we place our faith in human goodness we will go under when testing comes.Paul did not say that he separated himself, but “when it pleased God, who separated me . . .” (Galatians 1:15). Paul was not overly interested in his own character. And as long as our eyes are focused on our own personal holiness, we will never even get close to the full reality of redemption. Christian workers fail because they place their desire for their own holiness above their desire to know God. “Don’t ask me to be confronted with the strong reality of redemption on behalf of the filth of human life surrounding me today; what I want is anything God can do for me to make me more desirable in my own eyes.” To talk that way is a sign that the reality of the gospel of God has not begun to touch me. There is no reckless abandon to God in that. God cannot deliver me while my interest is merely in my own character. Paul was not conscious of himself. He was recklessly abandoned, totally surrendered, and separated by God for one purpose— to proclaim the gospel of God (see Romans 9:3).

January 31, 2012

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, it feels like You have been listening to my prayers lately, the ones about helping me become a better man; to help me lose my bad habits and selfish inclinations. I have been asking you to improve and strengthen my character and integrity, and all the while I thought it sounded pretty noble. But Chambers tells me this morning that is not what you desire for me. As I read this devotional, I understand the message to be: “we are transformed into people of the right character and integrity, not by asking for those attributes, but by reaching out to others proclaiming the Gospel.

Lord, help me become recklessly abandoned to You and the Gospel of Christ….with my life”

And God says…”Jesus gave you but two commandments; to love your God with all that you are, and to love your neighbor as yourself. And remember, proclaiming the Gospel has less to do with what you say and more to do with how you live out your love of God. Seek to proclaim the Gospel with your life, and over time, as a by product, the character of Christ will inhabit your life. “

The Dilemma of Obedience

January 30th, 2012

Samuel was afraid to tell Eli the vision —1 Samuel 3:15


God never speaks to us in dramatic ways, but in ways that are easy to misunderstand. Then we say, “I wonder if that is God’s voice?” Isaiah said that the Lord spoke to him “with a strong hand,” that is, by the pressure of his circumstances (Isaiah 8:11). Without the sovereign hand of God Himself, nothing touches our lives. Do we discern His hand at work, or do we see things as mere occurrences?Get into the habit of saying, “Speak, Lord,” and life will become a romance (1 Samuel 3:9). Every time circumstances press in on you, say, “Speak, Lord,” and make time to listen. Chastening is more than a means of discipline— it is meant to bring me to the point of saying, “Speak, Lord.” Think back to a time when God spoke to you. Do you remember what He said? Was it Luke 11:13 , or was it 1 Thessalonians 5:23? As we listen, our ears become more sensitive, and like Jesus, we will hear God all the time.Should I tell my “Eli” what God has shown to me? This is where the dilemma of obedience hits us. We disobey God by becoming amateur providences and thinking, “I must shield ’Eli,’ ” who represents the best people we know. God did not tell Samuel to tell Eli— he had to decide that for himself. God’s message to you may hurt your “Eli,” but trying to prevent suffering in another’s life will prove to be an obstruction between your soul and God. It is at your own risk that you prevent someone’s right hand being cut off or right eye being plucked out (see Matthew 5:29-30).Never ask another person’s advice about anything God makes you decide before Him. If you ask advice, you will almost always side with Satan. “. . . I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood . . .” (Galatians 1:16).

January 30, 2012

Journal for Today-JDV

Lord, sometimes I wonder if it is your voice that I hear, or  my own. Is it your leading or my own mind taking me where I think I ought to  go? God I don’t want to hear my own voice, or the voice of the pastor or my brothers,  I want to hear Your voice and know it is You. When I know it is You I know I  can be obedient. Please help me discern the sound of Your voice.

And God says…”You will  learn to discern My voice among all the others calling you, when you are  obedient and practiced at hearing My voice.  Listen for Me all day long, and you will know the sound of My voice.  Search for Me and you will find Me throughout your day. I am right beside you  and you find Me right inside of your obedience and listening. However, knowing it is My voice has not  historically guaranteed your obedience. Are you obedient to my every word in the Bible? Your obedience, your ability to obey comes from being connected to Me and responding to every word and call. The more you are conformed into obedience, the greater your propensity and ability to hear and obey…”the next time”.

 “Seek and you shall find,  knock and the door will be open, search and you will find. All those that  search for Me find Me, and most of the time you will find Me right at the point of  your need as the result of your trust and obedience.”

Look Again and Think

January 27th, 2012

Do not worry about your life . . . —Matthew 6:25

A warning which needs to be repeated is that “the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches,” and the lust for other things, will choke out the life of God in us (Matthew 13:22). We are never free from the recurring waves of this invasion. If the frontline of attack is not about clothes and food, it may be about money or the lack of money; or friends or lack of friends; or the line may be drawn over difficult circumstances. It is one steady invasion, and these things will come in like a flood, unless we allow the Spirit of God to raise up the banner against it.“I say to you, do not worry about your life . . . .” Our Lord says to be careful only about one thing-our relationship to Him. But our common sense shouts loudly and says, “That is absurd, I must consider how I am going to live, and I mustconsider what I am going to eat and drink.” Jesus says you must not. Beware of allowing yourself to think that He says this while not understanding your circumstances. Jesus Christ knows our circumstances better than we do, and He says we must not think about these things to the point where they become the primary concern of our life. Whenever there are competing concerns in your life, be sure you always put your relationship to God first.“Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:34). How much trouble has begun to threaten you today? What kind of mean little demons have been looking into your life and saying, “What are your plans for next month— or next summer?” Jesus tells us not to worry about any of these things. Look again and think. Keep your mind on the “much more” of your heavenly Father (Matthew 6:30).
January 27, 2012

Lord it seems so… natural to wander into worry about how we shall live. It seems so natural to be concerned about houses, mortgages, jobs, income and opportunity. How is it we can live without the planning and concern associated with our needs? I know the scriptures, but it seems, so, so irresponsible to not be concerned about the things of this world that we need.  How do we actually live without getting caught  up in our needs?

And God says…”Trust in me with all your heart, do not rely on your own devices and I will make your paths straight. Seek first the kingdom of God, which is Jesus, and all you need will be given you. …You can live without getting caught up in your needs when you let go of your need to be “in control”. Learn to trust Me. Learn to trust in Me, and I will meet all your needs according to my riches in heaven. And when you are unable to trust in Me, bring your need to trust…. to Me as well.”


Psalms 37

4 Take
delight in the LORD,

and he will give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit
your way to the LORD;

trust in him and he will do this:

6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,

your vindication like the noonday sun.

7 Be still
before the LORD

and wait patiently for him;


Look Again and Consecrate

January 26th, 2012

If God so clothes the grass of the field . . . , will He not much more clothe you . . . ? —Matthew 6:30

A simple statement of Jesus is always a puzzle to us because we will not be simple. How can we maintain the simplicity of Jesus so that we may understand Him? By receiving His Spirit, recognizing and relying on Him, and obeying Him as He brings us the truth of His Word, life will become amazingly simple. Jesus asks us to consider that “if God so clothes the grass of the field . . .” how “much more” will He clothe you, if you keep your relationship right with Him? Every time we lose ground in our fellowship with God, it is because we have disrespectfully thought that we knew better than Jesus Christ. We have allowed “the cares of this world” to enter in (Matthew 13:22), while forgetting the “much more” of our heavenly Father.“Look at the birds of the air . . .” (Matthew 6:26). Their function is to obey the instincts God placed within them, and God watches over them. Jesus said that if you have the right relationship with Him and will obey His Spirit within you, then God will care for your “feathers” too.“Consider the lilies of the field . . .” (Matthew 6:28). They grow where they are planted. Many of us refuse to grow where God plants us. Therefore, we don’t take root anywhere. Jesus said if we would obey the life of God within us, He would look after all other things. Did Jesus Christ lie to us? Are we experiencing the “much more” He promised? If we are not, it is because we are not obeying the life God has given us and have cluttered our minds with confusing thoughts and worries. How much time have we wasted asking God senseless questions while we should be absolutely free to concentrate on our service to Him? Consecration is the act of continually separating myself from everything except that which God has appointed me to do. It is not a one-time experience but an ongoing process. Am I continually separating myself and looking to God every day of my life?

January 26, 2012

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, it seems if I can go forward one or two steps and then slip back one. Then I read a devotional or scripture that reminds, corrects and directs me. I wonder if it is possible to stay connected, all the time, 24 hours a day. Is it possible to stay in relationship with You, in obedience all the time, and if so, how can I accomplish this?


And God says…”Yes it is possible to stay in relationship with Jesus 24 hours, 1440 minutes per day. It is possible to pray without ceasing. However, this requires trust in God, believing I will meet all your needs. It requires you to believe in my provision and plan for your life. When you “get off track” it is generally because  you are concerned with meeting your own needs, concerned that you will miss out.  You abandon your trust and faith relationship with Me and strike out on your  own.

Matthew 6:33

The Message (MSG)

“If God gives  such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even  seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for  you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so  preoccupied with getting, so  you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you  know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative,  God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday  human concerns will be met.


God’s Overpowering Purpose

January 24th, 2012


I have appeared to you for this purpose . . .—Acts 26:16

The vision Paul had on the road to Damascus was not a passing emotional experience, but a vision that had very clear and emphatic directions for him. And Paul stated, “I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision” (Acts 26:19). Our Lord said to Paul, in effect, “Your whole life is to be overpowered or subdued by Me; you are to have no end, no aim, and no purpose but Mine.” And the Lord also says to us, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go . . .” (John 15:16).

When we are born again, if we are spiritual at all, we have visions of what Jesus wants us to be. It is important that I learn not to be “disobedient to the heavenly vision”—not to doubt that it can be attained. It is not enough to give mental assent to the fact that God has redeemed the world, nor even to know that the Holy Spirit can make all that Jesus did a reality in my life. I must have the foundation of a personal relationship with Him. Paul was not given a message or a doctrine to proclaim. He was brought into a vivid, personal, overpowering relationship with Jesus Christ.Acts 26:16 is tremendously compelling “. . . to make you a minister and a witness . . . .” There would be nothing there without a personal relationship. Paul was devoted to a Person, not to a cause. He was absolutely Jesus Christ’s. He saw nothing else and he lived for nothing else. “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).



Journal DJR
Good morning, Lord. It’s clear today that you are the source of the call and the vision and the power to get the vision built. And if you call me and empower me, why dont I get more done?

That is not the right focus. I am not worried about getting projects or visions done. You are the project that I focus on. When you see that and start seeing my workings in all the day to day circumstances, things will go much smoother and even the things you call projects will go better.

I know that you said you were the potter and I am the clay. And I suspect you are teaching me in the shop with the wood and the lathe.

Yes, I will teach anyone who comes to me … anywhere they are.

I’ve expected you were in there when I’ve had some near misses and said “thank you” … but I know you have more than that to teach me.

Indeed I do. Stay expectant and curious and you will see it more and more.

Will do. I love you.

Transformed by Beholding

January 23rd, 2012

We all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image . . . —2 Corinthians 3:18

The greatest characteristic a Christian can exhibit is this completely unveiled openness before God, which allows that person’s life to become a mirror for others. When the Spirit fills us, we are transformed, and by beholding God we become mirrors. You can always tell when someone has been beholding the glory of the Lord, because your inner spirit senses that he mirrors the Lord’s own character. Beware of anything that would spot or tarnish that mirror in you. It is almost always something good that will stain it— something good, but not what is best.The most important rule for us is to concentrate on keeping our lives open to God. Let everything else including work, clothes, and food be set aside. The busyness of things obscures our concentration on God. We must maintain a position of beholding Him, keeping our lives completely spiritual through and through. Let other things come and go as they will; let other people criticize us as they will; but never allow anything to obscure the life that “is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). Never let a hurried lifestyle disturb the relationship of abiding in Him. This is an easy thing to allow, but we must guard against it. The most difficult lesson of the Christian life is learning how to continue “beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord . . . .”
January 23, 2012
Journal for Today-JDV

Lord, you are the mirror that transforms me….. living water that satisfies my thirst once and for all. It is not coincidence, this lesson  about being transformed, is it Lord? I heard the message last week and this  week in the sermon, how we are transformed by simply staying connected to You; in every way that we can…prayer, study, intimate dialog. We are able to be and stay connected, when our intention is to be close to Jesus. I also heard that You give us transforming power as we are connected to You.

And God says…”I am the vine you are the branch. You can do nothing apart from Me. Stay connected to Me  and live life more abundantly.  Trust  in Me with all your heart, and watch as your life is transformed. When you trust  in Me with all your heart, the circumstances of this world cannot define you. You  are defined by Me.

Vision and Darkness

January 19th, 2012

When the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him —Genesis 15:12

Whenever God gives a vision to a Christian, it is as if He puts him in “the shadow of His hand” (Isaiah 49:2). The saint’s duty is to be still and listen. There is a “darkness” that comes from too much light-that is the time to listen. The story of Abram and Hagar in Genesis 16 is an excellent example of listening to so-called good advice during a time of darkness, rather than waiting for God to send the light. When God gives you a vision and darkness follows, wait. God will bring the vision He has given you to reality in your life if you will wait on His timing. Never try to help God fulfill His word. Abram went through thirteen years of silence, but in those years all of his self-sufficiency was destroyed. He grew past the point of relying on his own common sense. Those years of silence were a time of discipline, not a period of God’s displeasure. There is never any need to pretend that your life is filled with joy and confidence; just wait upon God and be grounded in Him (see Isaiah 50:10-11).Do I trust at all in the flesh? Or have I learned to go beyond all confidence in myself and other people of God? Do I trust in books and prayers or other joys in my life? Or have I placed my confidence in God Himself, not in His blessings? “I am Almighty God . . .”— El-Shaddai, the All-Powerful God (Genesis 17:1). The reason we are all being disciplined is that we will know God is real. As soon as God becomes real to us, people pale by comparison, becoming shadows of reality. Nothing that other saints do or say can ever upset the one who is built on God.

January 19, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, how do I know that it is a vision from You and not  just the sound of my own voice and my own wants and needs? Lord, I want to wait  on You and wait for what You have in store, and will as long as I am certain  that the vision is from You.

And God says…”Your  uncertainty is found inside your own mind and feelings. Your certainty is fed  by My word, My Spirit and prayer. Notice that when you pray without ceasing and  seek Jesus your uncertainty is gone; sometimes replaced by a definitive vision,  sometimes replaced with simply knowing you are right where you are  supposed to be. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your  own devices and I will make all your paths straight. Be anxious about noting
but pray about everything and the peace that passes all understanding shall
fill your heart and mind.

“It Is the Lord!”

January 18th, 2012


Thomas answered and said to Him, ’My Lord and my God!’ —John 20:28

Jesus said to her, ’Give Me a drink’ ” (John 4:7). How many of us are expecting Jesus Christ to quench our thirst when we should be satisfying Him! We should be pouring out our lives, investing our total beings, not drawing on Him to satisfy us. “You shall be witnesses to Me . . .” (Acts 1:8). That means lives of pure, uncompromising, and unrestrained devotion to the Lord Jesus, which will be satisfying to Him wherever He may send us.

Beware of anything that competes with your loyalty to Jesus Christ. The greatest competitor of true devotion to Jesus is the service we do for Him. It is easier to serve than to pour out our lives completely for Him. The goal of the call of God is His satisfaction, not simply that we should do something for Him. We are not sent to do battle for God, but to be used by God in His battles. Are we more devoted to service than we are to Jesus Christ Himself?

Journal DJR

Good morning Lord.   It does seem easier to get involved in service than relationship.   It’s true on the human level as well as with you.   Service can actually numb the pain of lack of relationship.   But what Oswald said about needing to ensure your pleasure seems only half of the story … one side of the coin … true, but not complete.

Yes, of course, there is another side.  When you go all out for me, you receive more from me than if you had just tried to get fulfillment.  Remember you can’t out give me.  The more you give, the more you will receive   … unless you are trying to formularize it.  Then it won’t work.


The Call of the Natural Life

January 17th, 2012

When it pleased God . . . to reveal His Son in me . . . —Galatians 1:15-16

The call of God is not a call to serve Him in any particular way. My contact with the nature of God will shape my understanding of His call and will help me realize what I truly desire to do for Him. The call ofGod is an expression of His nature; the service which results in my life is suited to me and is an expression of my nature. The call of the natural life was stated by the apostle Paul— “When it pleased God . . . to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him [that is,purely and solemnly express Him] among the Gentiles . . . .”

Service is the overflow which pours from a life filled with love and devotion. But strictly speaking, there is no call to that. Service is what I bring to the relationship and is the reflection of my identification with the nature of God. Service becomes a natural part of my life. God brings me into the proper relationship with Himself so that I can understand His call, and then I serve Him on my own out of a motivation of absolute love. Service to God is the deliberate love-gift of a nature that has heard the call of God. Service is an expression of my nature, and God’s call is an expression of His nature. Therefore, when I receive His nature and hear His call, His divine voice resounds throughout His nature and mine and the two become one in service. The Son of God reveals Himself in me, and out of devotion to Him service becomes my everyday way of life.


Journal DJR

Good Morning, Lord.

It is good to hear that your call may be a fluid and changing thing … but it is empowered from our relationship with you.   It may result in our service in one area and then another area later.   So we just keep getting filled up with your Crazy Love and then keep on serving … somewhere, somehow, however you lead or ??

I love to sit back and watch how you will respond to your new revelations of my love and my character.  You are not robots, you have choices.   Especially after you experience my love, I love to see what you will choose to do with it.    

When your service comes from your revelation of me, it is wonderful and world changing.   When it comes from guilt or hype or other human motive … it’s a mess.   I dont live there.    So follow me tightly and get full of my love … then go pour it out in whatever service you would like.   I’ll watch, and keep the love coming.

OK,  I like that better than motivation by guilt or should or ought.

The Voice of the Nature of God

January 16th, 2012

I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: ’Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ —Isaiah 6:8

When we talk about the call of God, we often forget the most important thing, namely, the nature of Him who calls. There are many things calling each of us today. Some of these calls will be answered, and others will not even be heard. The call is the expression of the nature of the One who calls, and we can only recognize the call if that same nature is in us. The call of God is the expression of God’s nature, not ours. God providentially weaves the threads of His call through our lives, and only we can distinguish them. It is the threading of God’s voice directly to us over a certain concern, and it is useless to seek another person’s opinion of it. Our dealings over the call of God should be kept exclusively between ourselves and Him.The call of God is not a reflection of my nature; my personal desires and temperament are of no consideration. As long as I dwell on my own qualities and traits and think about what I am suited for, I will never hear the call of God. But when God brings me into the right relationship with Himself, I will be in the same condition Isaiah was. Isaiah was so attuned to God, because of the great crisis he had just endured, that the call of God penetrated his soul. The majority of us cannot hear anything but ourselves. And we cannot hear anything God says. But to be brought to the place where we can hear the call of God is to be profoundly changed.

January 16, 2012

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, once again I woke up this morning in a prayer…seeking You; seeking Your voice and direction. I remember, it was a prayer begun about four am, when I turned over, and it was on my heart and lips two hours later when I woke to the alarm. I was seeking You and the natural, or is it supernatural, intimacy I have enjoyed.  But the intimacy was not right there at my “beck and call”. So I searched harder. I suspect that was exactly what I was supposed to do.

And God says…” Seek first the kingdom of God, which is Jesus…knock and the door shall be opened, seek and you will find.

When you seek Me, truly seek Me, and not just relief from your circumstances, you
will find Me. I do not hide from you I am always right here with you as I [promised. However, you can miss Me when you are seeking something other than just Me. When you seek peace, relief, courage, healing, blessings, or a supernatural  experience, you can find yourself struggling to find Me. But when you simply seek Me, you will always find Me, because I am not hidden. I will never leave you nor forsake you. Nothing can separate you from Me and My love…nothing.