Archive for February, 2012

The Discipline of Hearing

February 14th, 2012

Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops —Matthew 10:27

Sometimes God puts us through the experience and discipline of darkness to teach us to hear and obey Him. Song birds are taught to sing in the dark, and God puts us into “the shadow of His hand” until we learn to hear Him (Isaiah 49:2). “Whatever I tell you in the dark. . .”— pay attention when God puts you into darkness, and keep your mouth closed while you are there. Are you in the dark right now in your circumstances, or in your life with God? If so, then remain quiet. If you open your mouth in the dark, you will speak while in the wrong mood— darkness is the time to listen. Don’t talk to other people about it; don’t read books to find out the reason for the darkness; just listen and obey. If you talk to other people, you cannot hear what God is saying. When you are in the dark, listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else once you are back in the light.

After every time of darkness, we should experience a mixture of delight and humiliation. If there is only delight, I question whether we have really heard God at all. We should experience delight for having heard God speak, but mostly humiliation for having taken so long to hear Him! Then we will exclaim, “How slow I have been to listen and understand what God has been telling me!” And yet God has been saying it for days and even weeks. But once you hear Him, He gives you the gift of humiliation, which brings a softness of heart— a gift that will always cause you to listen to God now.


Journal DJR
Good Morning Lord, The part about not talking to people when we are in the darkness runs against some other advice and my tendencies. Usually I think that “talking it out with my brother” is the way out of darkness ??

There is value in fellowship and a time for that type of talking. But you run the risk of pooling ignorance and blending human pain with human wisdom and missing what I am trying to teach. There are times when you and me alone is the only way to get the best.

How do we know? When it’s time for fellowship and when it’s time for you alone.

Focus on connection with me and you will know.

The Devotion of Hearing

February 13th, 2012

Samuel answered, ’Speak, for Your servant hears’ —1 Samuel 3:10

Just because I have listened carefully and intently to one thing from God does not mean that I will listen to everything He says. I show God my lack of love and respect for Him by the insensitivity of my heart and mind toward what He says. If I love my friend, I will instinctively understand what he wants. And Jesus said, “You are My friends . . .” (John 15:14). Have I disobeyed some command of my Lord’s this week? If I had realized that it was a command of Jesus, I would not have deliberately disobeyed it. But most of us show incredible disrespect to God because we don’t even hear Him. He might as well never have spoken to us.The goal of my spiritual life is such close identification with Jesus Christ that I will always hear God and know that God always hears me (see John 11:41). If I am united with Jesus Christ, I hear God all the time through the devotion of hearing. A flower, a tree, or a servant of God may convey God’s message to me. What hinders me from hearing is my attention to other things. It is not that I don’t want to hear God, but I am not devoted in the right areas of my life. I am devoted to things and even to service and my own convictions. God may say whatever He wants, but I just don’t hear Him. The attitude of a child of God should always be, “Speak, for Your servant hears.” If I have not developed and nurtured this devotion of hearing, I can only hear God’s voice at certain times. At other times I become deaf to Him because my attention is to other things— things which I think I must do. This is not living the life of a child of God. Have you heard God’s voice today?

February 13, 2012

Once again Lord, I am not certain that Oswald Chambers and I agree.  Oh I agree that I let things get in the way of hearing You and I agree that I need to be “in tune’ and focused so that I can clearly hear You; all the time. However, the notion that if somebody loves someone they will “instinctively” know what they want from us is beyond me. I need to hear your voice. I do not and cannot trust all the voices I hear, so Lord, please help me hear Your voice clearly and let it be the only voice I respond to.

And God says…”When you listen for Me, you will hear Me. Knock and the door will be opened, search and you will find. When you are connected to Jesus, you can and will hear Me very, very clearly. Stay close to Jesus and you will be transformed, even your ability to listen.”

Hebrews 1

1-3Going through a long line of prophets, God has been addressing our ancestors in different ways for centuries. Recently he spoke to us directly through his Son. By his Son, God created the world in the beginning, and it will all belong to the Son at the end. This Son perfectly mirrors God, and is stamped with God’s nature. He holds everything together by what he says—powerful words!

Is Your Mind Stayed on God?

February 11th, 2012

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You —Isaiah 26:3

Is your mind stayed on God or is it starved? Starvation of the mind, caused by neglect, is one of the chief sources of exhaustion and weakness in a servant’s life. If you have never used your mind to place yourself before God, begin to do it now. There is no reason to wait for God to come to you. You must turn your thoughts and your eyes away from the face of idols and look to Him and be saved (see Isaiah 45:22).Your mind is the greatest gift God has given you and it ought to be devoted entirely to Him. You should seek to be “bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ . . .” (2 Corinthians 10:5). This will be one of the greatest assets of your faith when a time of trial comes, because then your faith and the Spirit of God will work together. When you have thoughts and ideas that are worthy of credit to God, learn to compare and associate them with all that happens in nature-the rising and the setting of the sun, the shining of the moon and the stars, and the changing of the seasons. You will begin to see that your thoughts are from God as well, and your mind will no longer be at the mercy of your impulsive thinking, but will always be used in service to God.“We have sinned with our fathers . . . [and] . . . did not remember . . .” (Psalm 106:6-7). Then prod your memory and wake up immediately. Don’t say to yourself, “But God is not talking to me right now.” He ought to be. Remember whose you are and whom you serve. Encourage yourself to remember, and your affection for God will increase tenfold. Your mind will no longer be starved, but will be quick and enthusiastic, and your hope will be inexpressibly bright.

February 11, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, this lesson reminds me of the time You were teaching me me about seeing You in everything I experience, see and hear. I looked for You inside of nature and every circumstance, event and song; even rock and roll songs. I remember listening to rock and roll and interpreting the song differently because it was filtered by my mind that was viewing everything inside of the concept of Your Lordship.

And God says…”When you seek me, you will find me. When you expect to be connected you are connected with and to Me. Continue to see the world through that context and you will experience the peace that passes all understanding. You will be at peace even when surrounded by chaos, knowing that I am God and all that you experience must first pass through My hands.”

Is Your Ability to See God Blinded?

February 10th, 2012

Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things . . . —Isaiah 40:26

The people of God in Isaiah’s time had blinded their minds’ ability to see God by looking on the face of idols. But Isaiah made them look up at the heavens; that is, he made them begin to use their power to think and to visualize correctly. If we are children of God, we have a tremendous treasure in nature and will realize that it is holy and sacred. We will see God reaching out to us in every wind that blows, every sunrise and sunset, every cloud in the sky, every flower that blooms, and every leaf that fades, if we will only begin to use our blinded thinking to visualize it.

The real test of spiritual focus is being able to bring your mind and thoughts under control. Is your mind focused on the face of an idol? Is the idol yourself? Is it your work? Is it your idea of what a servant should be, or maybe your experience of salvation and sanctification? If so, then your ability to see God is blinded. You will be powerless when faced with difficulties and will be forced to endure in darkness. If your power to see has been blinded, don’t look back on your own experiences, but look to God. It is God you need. Go beyond yourself and away from the faces of your idols and away from everything else that has been blinding your thinking. Wake up and accept the ridicule that Isaiah gave to his people, and deliberately turn your thoughts and your eyes to God.

One of the reasons for our sense of futility in prayer is that we have lost our power to visualize. We can no longer even imagine putting ourselves deliberately before God. It is actually more important to be broken bread and poured-out wine in the area of intercession than in our personal contact with others. The power of visualization is what God gives a saint so that he can go beyond himself and be firmly placed into relationships he never before experienced.



February 10, 2012

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, it seems that I can find all kinds of ways to separate myself from our intimate relationship. I can follow my own selfish inclinations,  I can operate on the fear that often clouds my heart and mind, and I can even get caught up in “spiritual service” that is more about service that being connected to and with You. There is no end the ways I can disconnect myself from you. And yet I know that being connected with
and to You is vital and essential to my wellbeing. How can I be rescued from this pattern and remain connected to You?
And God says…”Remember Paul’s dilemma, what he wrote in his letter to the Romans?

Romans 7:21-26 (NLV) This has become my way of life: When I want to do what is right, I always do what is wrong. My mind and heart agree with the Law of God. But there is a different law at work deep inside of me that fights with my mind. This law of sin holds me in its power because sin is still in me. There is no happiness in me! Who can set me free from my sinful old self? God’s Law has power over my mind, but sin still has power over my sinful old self. I thank God  I can be free through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Even when you feel as if you are not connected, you can remember and trust that Jesus Christ provided the sacrifice that facilitates your “constant connection”. Focus on Jesus and trust that everything else is accomplished, regardless of your old nature and how you feel.”

Are You Exhausted Spiritually?

February 9th, 2012


The everlasting God . . . neither faints nor is weary —Isaiah 40:28

Exhaustion means that our vital energies are completely worn out and spent. Spiritual exhaustion is never the result of sin, but of service. Whether or not you experience exhaustion will depend on where you get your supplies. Jesus said to Peter, “Feed My sheep,” but He gave him nothing with which to feed them (John 21:17). The process of being made broken bread and poured-out wine means that you have to be the nourishment for other people’s souls until they learn to feed on God. They must drain you completely— to the very last drop. But be careful to replenish your supply, or you will quickly be utterly exhausted. Until others learn to draw on the life of the Lord Jesus directly, they will have to draw on His life through you. You must literally be their source of supply, until they learn to take their nourishment from God. We owe it to God to be our best for His lambs and sheep, as well as for Him.
Have you delivered yourself over to exhaustion because of the way you have been serving God? If so, then renew and rekindle your desires and affections. Examine your reasons for service. Is your source based on your own understanding or is it grounded on the redemption of Jesus Christ? Continually look back to the foundation of your love and affection and remember where your Source of power lies. You have no right to complain, “O Lord, I am so exhausted.” He saved and sanctified you to exhaust you. Be exhausted for God, but remember that He is your supply. “All my springs are in you” (Psalm 87:7).

Journal DJR

Good morning Lord.   Thank you for the reminder that getting exhausted (for you) is what we are saved for.  I have tended to get exhausted for many reasons and then forget that you are the source of my refreshing.   But when I stay in tight relationship with you … I find I dont get exhausted as much and that restoration is easier.

Exhaustion in my work is easier to recover from than carnal exhaustion from chasing the things of this world.    Dont worry about getting exhausted … it’s good for you, as long as we are doing it together.  Then come away with me and I’ll restore you … better than new.

The Cost of Sanctification

February 8th, 2012

May the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely . . . —1 Thessalonians 5:23

When we pray, asking God to sanctify us, are we prepared to measure up to what that really means? We take the word sanctification much too lightly. Are we prepared to pay the cost of sanctification? The cost will be a deep restriction of all our earthly concerns, and an extensive cultivation of all our godly concerns. Sanctification means to be intensely focused on God’s point of view. It means to secure and to keep all the strength of our body, soul, and spirit for God’s purpose alone. Are we really prepared for God to perform in us everything for which He separated us? And after He has done His work, are we then prepared to separate ourselves to God just as Jesus did? “For their sakes I sanctify Myself . . .” (John 17:19). The reason some of us have not entered into the experience of sanctification is that we have not realized the meaning of sanctification from God’s perspective. Sanctification means being made one with Jesus so that the nature that controlled Him will control us. Are we really prepared for what that will cost? It will cost absolutely everything in us which is not of God.Are we prepared to be caught up into the full meaning of Paul’s prayer in this verse? Are we prepared to say, “Lord, make me, a sinner saved by grace, as holy as You can”? Jesus prayed that we might be one with Him, just as He is one with the Father (see John 17:21-23). The resounding evidence of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life is the unmistakable family likeness to Jesus Christ, and the freedom from everything which is not like Him. Are we prepared to set ourselves apart for the Holy Spirit’s work in us?______________________________________________February 8, 2012

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, it was ten days ago that you taught us that we could best pursue sanctification as we engaged others with the gospel of our lives, that pursuing sanctification for the sake of sanctification was a selfish act. Today we read that sanctification can be pursued but it is very costly. I am a bit confused.

And God says…”Pursuing for the sake of being righteous is by itself a selfish pursuit. And pursuing sanctification so you can enhance your peace or personal feelings and wellbeing is also pointless and selfish. However, it is My will for you to pursue an
intimate relationship with Me, through Jesus, and for us to be connected. Sanctification will follow being connected and you will take on the likeness of Christ as you live out the Gospel for others. As a result of this kind of living,  and giving that  can only come from the inside out, you will have peace and life more abundantly. It is the priority of the relationship that is always at issue. Do not pursue the outcomes of peace, good feelings, health, and wellbeing. Simply pursue our intimate relationship, and everything else will follow…..or not. When you are connected, you will notice that it does not matter what else may……. or may not follow.” 

Spiritual Dejection

February 6th, 2012

We were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened —Luke 24:21

Every fact that the disciples stated was right, but the conclusions they drew from those facts were wrong. Anything that has even a hint of dejection spiritually is always wrong. If I am depressed or burdened, I am to blame, not God or anyone else. Dejection stems from one of two sources— I have either satisfied a lust or I have not had it satisfied. In either case, dejection is the result. Lust means “I must have it at once.” Spiritual lust causes me to demand an answer from God, instead of seeking God Himself who gives the answer. What have I been hoping or trusting God would do? Is today “the third day” and He has still not done what I expected? Am I therefore justified in being dejected and in blaming God? Whenever we insist that God should give us an answer to prayer we are off track. The purpose of prayer is that we get ahold of God, not of the answer. It is impossible to be well physically and to be dejected, because dejection is a sign of sickness. This is also true spiritually. Dejection spiritually is wrong, and we are always to blame for it.
We look for visions from heaven and for earth-shaking events to see God’s power. Even the fact that we are dejected is proof that we do this. Yet we never realize that all the time God is at work in our everyday events and in the people around us. If we will only obey, and do the task that He has placed closest to us, we will see Him. One of the most amazing revelations of God comes to us when we learn that it is in the everyday things of life that we realize the magnificent deity of Jesus Christ.


February 7, 2012

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, just about the time I start feeling dejected and separated from You, I receive a lesson that strikes right at the heart of the matter, namely myself. Thank you for the lessons last evening I heard on the radio about your mercy and grace, about how You never run out of patience, mercy or grace. So whatever it takes for me to know I am next to You and whatever it takes in my life to bring You glory, Lord, please work it in my life.

And God says…”Whatever the circumstance whether victory, defeat or in between, stay focused and connected to Me and be refreshed, and at peace. Pray for this. Focus on Me not your failure, success or plans for either. Acknowledge Me in all your ways, and I will make your paths straight…..and you will be blessed.”

Are You Ready To Be Poured Out As an Offering?

February 6th, 2012

 I am already being poured out as a drink offering . . . —2 Timothy 4:6

Are you ready to be poured out as an offering? It is an act of your will, not your emotions. TellGod you are ready to be offered as a sacrifice for Him. Then accept the consequences as they come, without any complaints, in spite of what God may send your way. God sends you through a crisis in private, where no other person can help you. From the outside your life may appear to be the same, but the difference is taking place in your will. Once you have experienced the crisis in your will, you will take no thought of the cost when it begins to affect you externally. If you don’t deal with God on the level of your will first, the result will be only to arouse sympathy for yourself.“Bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar” (Psalm 118:27). You must be willing to be placed on the altar and go through the fire; willing to experience what the altar represents-burning, purification, and separation for only one purpose-the elimination of every desire and affection not grounded in or directed toward God. But youdon’t eliminate it, God does. You “bind the sacrifice . . . to the horns of the altar” and see to it that you don’t wallow in self-pity once the fire begins. After you have gone through the fire, there will be nothing that will be able to trouble or depress you. When another crisis arises, you will realize that things cannot touch you as they used to do. What fire lies ahead in your life?Tell God you are ready to be poured out as an offering, and God will prove Himself to be all you ever dreamed He would be.__________________________________________________________________________February 6, 2012

Lord, this song is my prayer, again today. I surrender once again, to You and ask that Your Spirit be poured out in me so I can be poured
out for others.

And God says…”The very thing that makes you whole is when you surrender yourself and allow Jesus to live through you out to others. Accept the gift of today with the knowledge and awareness that it is to be poured out to and for others. And at the end of this day, you can and will rejoice.”  

The Compelling Force of the Call

February 2nd, 2012

Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel! —1 Corinthians 9:16

Beware of refusing to hear the call of God. Everyone who is saved is called to testify to the fact of his salvation. That, however, is not the same as the call to preach, but is merely an illustration which can be used in preaching. In this verse, Paul was referring to the stinging pains produced in him by the compelling force of the call to preach the gospel. Never try to apply what Paul said regarding the call to preach to those souls who are being called to God for salvation. There is nothing easier than getting saved, because it is solely God’s sovereign work— “Look to Me, and be saved . . .” (Isaiah 45:22). Our Lord never requires the same conditions for discipleship that he requires for salvation. We are condemned to salvation through the Cross of Christ. But discipleship has an option with it-”If anyone . . .” (Luke 14:26).Paul’s words have to do with our being made servants of Jesus Christ, and our permission is never asked as to what we will do or where we will go. God makes us as broken bread and poured-out wine to please Himself. To be “separated to the gospel” means being able to hear the call of God (Romans 1:1). Once someone begins to hear that call, a suffering worthy of the name of Christ is produced. Suddenly, every ambition, every desire of life, and every outlook is completely blotted out and extinguished. Only one thing remains— “. . . separated to the gospel. . . .” Woe be to the soul who tries to head in any other direction once that call has come to him. The Bible Training College exists so that each of you may know whether or not God has a man or woman here who truly cares about proclaiming His gospel and to see if God grips you for this purpose. Beware of competing calls once the call of God grips you.

February 2, 2012

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, help me to understand and live as if the quality of my life is dependent on living out the Gospel. Lord, I pray for the care,  compassion and love for others that can only come from You. Please help me to trust, obey and step out in faith this day.

And God says…”When you reach out to help others out of love, you are living out the life of Jesus, which is within you.  And when you are reaching out to others out of this compelling love of Jesus, your life is (being) supernaturally changed.When you
give up your life to Jesus and for others, you discover life and life more abundantly.

“Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your servant; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your slave: even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.”—Matt. 20:26, 27, 28.



The Call of God

February 1st, 2012

Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel . . . —1 Corinthians 1:17

Paul states here that the call of God is to preach the gospel. But remember what Paul means by “the gospel,” namely, the reality of redemption in our Lord Jesus Christ. We are inclined to make sanctification the goal of our preaching. Paul refers to personal experiences only by way of illustration, never as the end of the matter. We are not commissioned to preach salvation or sanctification— we are commissioned to lift up Jesus Christ (see John 12:32). It is an injustice to say that Jesus Christ labored in redemption to make me a saint. Jesus Christ labored in redemption to redeem the whole world and to place it perfectly whole and restored before the throne of God. The fact that we can experience redemption illustrates the power of its reality, but that experience is a byproduct and not the goal of redemption. If God were human, how sick and tired He would be of the constant requests we make for our salvation and for our sanctification. We burden His energies from morning till night asking for things for ourselves or for something from which we want to be delivered! When we finally touch the underlying foundation of the reality of the gospel of God, we will never bother Him anymore with little personal complaints.The one passion of Paul’s life was to proclaim the gospel of God. He welcomed heartbreak, disillusionment, and tribulation for only one reason— these things kept him unmovable in his devotion to the gospel of God.

February 1, 2012

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, You have taught us for three years the same lesson,  over and over; the most important element of our spiritual lives is our daily,  minute by minute intimate relationship with You.  You have been teaching David and me this  lesson and continually bringing us back to this primary truth. Now it seems  that You have shifted into a lesson about living out the Gospel. Yesterday we  learned that our sanctification does not come about because we aim or try to  become better people; our sanctification evolves as a result of the Gospel of our lives touching others.  Today, Chambers seems to  reaffirm this notion; that sanctification, personal salvation and spiritual development and growth come about as a result of raising up Jesus.

And God says…”Again I  remind you that Jesus provided but two commandments; love God with all that you  are, and love your neighbor as yourself. As a result of obedience to these two commandments,  everything else in your life will take care of itself. This does not mean that  everything you need and want will come your way, nor does it mean that you will  develop the character of a saint when and how you expect and interpret it. It  means that when you are connected to Me through Jesus, and live out the good  news by loving your brothers and sisters, you are transformed into the very  person of Jesus and are no longer concerned about the circumstances of this  life. You simply know that I will meet all your needs as you are committed to  Me and reach out to others.”

“Seek first the kingdom of God, which is Jesus,  and all that you need will be provided”.