Archive for January, 2012

Have You Ever Been Alone with God? (1)

January 12th, 2012

When they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples —Mark 4:34

Our Solitude with Him. Jesus doesn’t take us aside and explain things to us all the time; He explains things to us as we are able to understand them. The lives of others are examples for us, but God requires us to examine our own souls. It is slow work— so slow that it takes God all of time and eternity to make a man or woman conform to His purpose. We can only be used by God after we allow Him to show us the deep, hidden areas of our own character. It is astounding how ignorant we are about ourselves! We don’t even recognize the envy, laziness, or pride within us when we see it. But Jesus will reveal to us everything we have held within ourselves before His grace began to work. How many of us have learned to look inwardly with courage?

We have to get rid of the idea that we understand ourselves. That is always the last bit of pride to go. The only One who understands us is God. The greatest curse in our spiritual life is pride. If we have ever had a glimpse of what we are like in the sight of God, we will never say, “Oh, I’m so unworthy.” We will understand that this goes without saying. But as long as there is any doubt that we are unworthy, God will continue to close us in until He gets us alone. Whenever there is any element of pride or conceit remaining, Jesus can’t teach us anything. He will allow us to experience heartbreak or the disappointment we feel when our intellectual pride is wounded. He will reveal numerous misplaced affections or desires— things over which we never thought He would have to get us alone. Many things are shown to us, often without effect. But when God gets us alone over them, they will be clear.


Journal DJR

Good morning Lord,

I am overwhelmed by the tragedy that has happened to my friend who just lost his son to suicide.   The fact that just last year, he lost his daughter to a freak blood clot embolism makes it doubly hard.   I dont know how to think or feel or respond.   I want to help and I will reach out today … but what to say?  Cant say, been there, done that.  Almost no one in this country could say that….

Well, I can say that I’ve been there, done that.   Even more so.   I gave up my son … and knew it was coming … even planned it.   For you.  

Wow.  Yes of course, that’s right.  But still it leaves the question of what to say and how to be in this time.  I dont want to be like “Job’s Comforters”

Keep the emphasis on “be”   Job’s friends ran amuck when they opened their mouths.   So be his friend.  Be there.   Dont offer platitudes or cliches.   You know how to be … and I will guide you on the few things to “do and say”

I’m reminded of the Laura Story song, Blessings … that grew out of her husbands life threatening illness.    There are so many things in life that start out bad and turn out good … if we keep our hands off and make things worse.   I’m reminded of Romans 8:28.    It still doesn’t seem time to send my friend a link … so let me know when.

I’ve also noticed that there are very few songs about the part of our relationship with you that the lesson today brings.   Even the one I  chose is more about the warm and fuzzy side.

So why dont you write one?

OK, if you give me the material and the push … I carry a little notebook in my pocket.  BTW, I’m not asking to go thru anything like my friend has on his plate, just so I can write a song.

Dont worry, everyone’s path is different.   But everyone’s formula is the same.   Walk close with me.  Focus on our relationship and our love and I will pour the power thru you to get through victoriously.

You have been teaching us that.  Thank You.  I love you.

What My Obedience to God Costs Other People

January 11th, 2012

As they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon . . . , and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus —Luke 23:26

If we obey God, it is going to cost other people more than it costs us, and that is where the pain begins. If we are in love with our Lord, obedience does not cost us anything— it is a delight. But to those who do not love Him, our obedience does cost a great deal. If we obey God, it will mean that other people’s plans are upset. They will ridicule us as if to say, “You call this Christianity?” We could prevent the suffering, but not if we are obedient to God. We must let the cost be paid.When our obedience begins to cost others, our human pride entrenches itself and we say, “I will never accept anything from anyone.” But we must, or disobey God. We have no right to think that the type of relationships we have with others should be any different from those the Lord Himself had (see Luke 8:1-3).A lack of progress in our spiritual life results when we try to bear all the costs ourselves. And actually, we cannot. Because we are so involved in the universal purposes of God, others are immediately affected by our obedience to Him. Will we remain faithful in our obedience to God and be willing to suffer the humiliation of refusing to be independent? Or will we do just the opposite and say, “I will not cause other people to suffer”? We can disobey God if we choose, and it will bring immediate relief to the situation, but it will grieve our Lord. If, however, we obey God, He will care for those who have suffered the consequences of our obedience. We must simply obey and leave all the consequences with Him.Beware of the inclination to dictate to God what consequences you would allow as a condition of your obedience to Him.


January 11, 2012

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, once again I am a little crossways with Oswald  Chambers on the devotional. I do agree that our obedience will confuse and  baffle others. Sometimes my obedience confuses and baffles me. If his objective  in this devotional was to show that other people may not understand our  commitment to You, because they do not have the Holy Spirit, and access to a  supernatural understanding; I get it. Even as I look back over the last several  years myself, Your leading has taken me where I did not expect to go. However,  I know I am exactly where you want me to be. I have found peace that passes understanding  and while the transformation to obedience may confuse others, they can see the  peace and I get to live it….when I am connected and surrendered.

And God says…” When  you choose to surrender, you choose to give up the right to yourself, and to  that point, self-focus was the motivating and governing part of your life. It  hurts others when they cannot and do not understand your motivation. They may  still be self-focused.  However, when you  surrender yourself and allow Me to live through you, while it may confuse and  cost others, it will also demonstrate the life worth living and the peace that  passes all understanding. Trust Me, and trust Me to handle the response of  others.

The Opened Sight

January 10th, 2012

I now send you, to open their eyes . . . that they may receive forgiveness of sins . . . —Acts 26:17-18

This verse is the greatest example of the true essence of the message of a disciple of Jesus Christ in all of the New Testament.

God’s first sovereign work of grace is summed up in the words, “. . . that they may receive forgiveness of sins . . . .” When a person fails in his personal Christian life, it is usually because he has never received anything. The only sign that a person is saved is that he has received something from Jesus Christ. Our job as workers for God is to open people’s eyes so that they may turn themselves from darkness to light. But that is not salvation; it is conversion-only the effort of an awakened human being. I do not think it is too broad a statement to say that the majority of so-called Christians are like this. Their eyes are open, but they have received nothing. Conversion is not regeneration. This is a neglected fact in our preaching today. When a person is born again, he knows that it is because he has received something as a gift from Almighty God and not because of his own decision. People may make vows and promises, and may be determined to follow through, but none of this is salvation. Salvation means that we are brought to the place where we are able to receive something from God on the authority of Jesus Christ, namely, forgiveness of sins.

This is followed by God’s second mighty work of grace: “. . . an inheritance among those who are sanctified . . . .” In sanctification, the one who has been born again deliberately gives up his right to himself to Jesus Christ, and identifies himself entirely with God’s ministry to others.



Journal, DJR

Good Morning, Lord

Today’s message reminds me that sometimes I feel like I’m only converted … but haven’t received what Oswald is talking about or what the “super saints” have.   I know it doesn’t do any good, thinking that way or striving to create something.   In my own power I know I’ll only create a temporary and small thing and probably a mess.   When You get involved, big and eternal things … miraculous things, can happen.    Help me get out of the way.

That is the correct attitude and the only attitude of a vessel that I will use to the max.   Of course I can use donkeys and rocks,  But I delight in pouring my power thru a submitted vessel committed to instant obedience.   In addition to moving my kingdom in this way, it is FUN … for you and for me.

Thanks for the reminder Lord.

Prayerful Inner-Searching

January 9th, 2012

May your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless . . . —1 Thessalonians 5:23

“Your whole spirit . . . .” The great, mysterious work of the Holy Spirit is in the deep recesses of our being which we cannot reach. Read Psalm 139 . The psalmist implies— “O Lord, You are the God of the early mornings, the God of the late nights, the God of the mountain peaks, and the God of the sea. But, my God, my soul has horizons further away than those of early mornings, deeper darkness than the nights of earth, higher peaks than any mountain peaks, greater depths than any sea in nature. You who are the God of all these, be my God. I cannot reach to the heights or to the depths; there are motives I cannot discover, dreams I cannot realize. My God, search me.”

Do we believe that God can fortify and protect our thought processes far beyond where we can go? “. . . the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). If this verse means cleansing only on our conscious level, may God have mercy on us. The man who has been dulled by sin will say that he is not even conscious of it. But the cleansing from sin we experience will reach to the heights and depths of our spirit if we will “walk in the light as He is in the light” (1 John 1:7). The same Spirit that fed the life of Jesus Christ will feed the life of our spirit. It is only when we are protected by God with the miraculous sacredness of the Holy Spirit that our spirit, soul, and body can be preserved in pure uprightness until the coming of Jesus-no longer condemned in God’s sight.

We should more frequently allow our minds to meditate on these great, massive truths of God.


January 9, 2012

Lord, thank you for the reminder that in Your sight I am beautiful. It is a wonderful thought and I love You so much for reminding me of your love in this way. Thank you for your ocean of mercy and grace. Please help me to stay lost in your ocean of mercy, grace and love this day.

And God says…”When you focus on Jesus and the notion that you are beautiful in My sight, your view of your life changes. When you are connected to Jesus and allow Him to live through you by your act of prayerful surrender, your thoughts are His thoughts, your ideas and plans, His plans. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own devices; seek Jesus and His life first and everything you seek becomes yours.”

Clouds and Darkness

January 3rd, 2012

Clouds and darkness surround Him . . . —Psalm 97:2

A person who has not been born again by the Spirit of God will tell you that the teachings of Jesus are simple. But when he is baptized by the Holy Spirit, he finds that “clouds and darkness surround Him . . . .” When we come into close contact with the teachings of Jesus Christ we have our first realization of this. The only possible way to have full understanding of the teachings of Jesus is through the light of the Spirit of God shining inside us. If we have never had the experience of taking our casual, religious shoes off our casual, religious feet— getting rid of all the excessive informality with which we approach God— it is questionable whether we have ever stood in His presence. The people who are flippant and disrespectful in their approach to God are those who have never been introduced to Jesus Christ. Only after the amazing delight and liberty of realizing what Jesus Christ does, comes the impenetrable “darkness” of realizing who He is.Jesus said, “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). Once, the Bible was just so many words to us — “clouds and darkness”— then, suddenly, the words become spirit and life because Jesus re-speaks them to us when our circumstances make the words new. That is the way God speaks to us; not by visions and dreams, but by words. When a man gets to God, it is by the most simple way—words.

January 3, 2012

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, there is a lot of truth in the words to this song. I have sought revelations and “a word” from you only to learn that You have given  me the word and the Holy Spirit. And often the word sits upon my shelf while I am in the other room, on my knees asking You for specific directions and guidance. It is awakening to learn that for many of my questions and requests you have already provided answers.

And God says…”When you honestly seek Me you will find Me. When you go to My word you will find light for you in this world, and a map for your feet.  My word is sharper than a scalpel, laying you open to hear and obey. My word is food for your soul; My word will inform and transform you.

Do not simply pray for a vision or direction, find your vision and direction in My word, as you are directed by the Spirit.

Hebrews 4:12 (MSG) God means what he says. What he says  goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through  everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what.


Will You Go Out Without Knowing?

January 2nd, 2012

 He went out, not knowing where he was going —Hebrews 11:8

Have you ever “gone out” in this way? If so, there is no logical answer possible when anyone asks you what you are doing. One of the most difficult questions to answer in Christian work is, “What do you expect to do?”You don’t know what you are going to do. The only thing you know is that God knows what He is doing. Continually examine your attitude toward God to see if you are willing to “go out” in every area of your life, trusting in God entirely. It is this attitude that keeps you in constant wonder, because you don’t know what God is going to do next. Each morning as you wake, there is a new opportunity to “go out,” building your confidence in God. “. . . do not worry about your life . . . nor about the body . . .” (Luke 12:22). In other words, don’t worry about the things that concerned you before you did “go out.”Have you been asking God what He is going to do? He will never tell you. God does not tell you what He is going to do— He reveals to you who He is. Do you believe in a miracle-working God, and will you “go out” in complete surrender to Him until you are not surprised one iota by anything He does?Believe God is always the God you know Him to be when you are nearest to Him. Then think how unnecessary and disrespectful worry is! Let the attitude of your life be a continual willingness to “go out” in dependence upon God, and your life will have a sacred and inexpressible charm about it that is very satisfying to Jesus. You must learn to “go out” through your convictions, creeds, or experiences until you come to the point in your faith where there is nothing between yourself and God.


January 2, 2012

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, this is a lesson You have been showing me for some time; namely that I do not need to know where You are or what You are doing in my life. I do not need to know the who, what, where or why, I simply need to stay connected to You and trust You to move me, shape me and make me aware when and how You choose.

And God says…”Have you noticed the peace that passes all understanding in your life when you let go of the need to know; when you allow Me to have and hold the knowing for you? Have you noticed how much more exciting this life adventure can be when you simply trust Me and wait for Me to unfold the present and future? Trust in Me with all your heart and do not relay on your own devices. Put the Lord first in all you do and He will crown your efforts with success.”