Archive for January, 2013

Do You See Your Calling?

January 31st, 2013

. . . 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).

Journal DJR

Good Morning Lord,
Once again I see that “trying to be better” is not the way to go … at least not the thing to try. Getting better and being more Christlike comes as a result of seeking and knowing you, like a by product. Why is this so hard to implement? In my life and the church in general? Is it because it’s easier to throw ourselves into a program or efforts of some kind?
From the beginning temptation has been there to do your own thing. That was Satan’s ploy with Eve … do your own thing, do it your way, Never mind what God said. Wanting to do your own thing is actually part of the way you were created … to be creative, like Me. But it can (will) lead you astray if you are not connected to Me. So stay connected and be as creative as you can. Through our connection, my creativity can flow and when you are doing your own thing, it will really be my thing … our thing. Stay connected. Come to me. Get to know me. It’s really that simple. There is no other cookbook by which you can cook up holiness.

The Dilemma of Obedience

January 30th, 2013

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).

Journal DJR
Good morning Lord, I think we would all like the life described as a romance and an adventure. The prescription given here, saying “Speak, Lord” & waiting … seems so simple … why cant we walk in that way more?
Busyness, Prosperity, and Options are the main deterrents from a life of romance and adventure with me. You, in America, have too much of all of that and I get the short end of your attention. It’s not so much that way with other believers in other places that I’ve shown you. But their walk is not your concern. You are where you are and I have you there. It is time to learn to walk that romantic adventure right where you are.
Is it possible to keep all the things I have going and still learn to hear your voice.
Of course it is possible but it is the wrong question. You should press in to me and the romance rather than trying to keep going with as many distractions as you can get away with.
Got it. I’ve been sensing that it is time to slash the schedule and re arrange some priorities. Please help me do that. I’m listening …. Help me listen. Whatever form that takes.

How Could Someone So Persecute Jesus!

January 28th, 2013

Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? —Acts 26:14

Are you determined to have your own way in living for God? We will never be free from this trap until we are brought into the experience of the baptism of “the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11). Stubbornness and self-will will always stab Jesus Christ. It may hurt no one else, but it wounds His Spirit. Whenever we are obstinate and self-willed and set on our own ambitions, we are hurting Jesus. Every time we stand on our own rights and insist that this is what we intend to do, we are persecuting Him. Whenever we rely on self-respect, we systematically disturb and grieve His Spirit. And when we finally understand that it is Jesus we have been persecuting all this time, it is the most crushing revelation ever.

Is the Word of God tremendously penetrating and sharp in me as I hand it on to you, or does my life betray the things I profess to teach? I may teach sanctification and yet exhibit the spirit of Satan, the very spirit that persecutes Jesus Christ. The Spirit of Jesus is conscious of only one thing— a perfect oneness with the Father. And He tells us, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29). All I do should be based on a perfect oneness with Him, not on a self-willed determination to be godly. This will mean that others may use me, go around me, or completely ignore me, but if I will submit to it for His sake, I will prevent Jesus Christ from being persecuted.


January 28, 2013

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord this song reminds me that while I may be a nail in your hands or the thorns on your head, You love me anyway. You remind me that our relationship does not require a quid pro quo. Your grace is all encompassing, and  Your love and acceptance does not require me to meet some standard. You took care of that at the cross, and I am thankful.

And God says…”The magnitude of the sacrifice at Calvary provides all the love and grace required for your daily and constant connection with Jesus. And while you do persecute Jesus, this was accounted for in His sacrifice.  If you want to refrain from persecuting Him, simply stay connected, stay in an intimate relationship with Jesus and allow Him to transform You.  And be reminded that when you do persecute Him, that He loves you anyway.”

God’s Overpowering Purpose

January 24th, 2013

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).


January 24 2013

Lord thank you for the reminder that just like Paul, I am called to the person of Jesus; not to a cause or activity or mission. I am called to Jesus. You called me to Jesus. Thank you for that very simple truth. I will try and keep it in the forefront of my heart, mind and vision.

And God says…”Try as hard as you might, you will not be able to keep Jesus at the forefront of your mind…you are easily distracted. But you can look for Jesus in every event and activity of your day. In that way, you can learn to behold Him in every aspect of your life, and stay connected. Not just in prayer, Bible study and sharing,  but in every aspect of your life. Acknowledge the Lord in all your ways and He will make your paths straight.”

Transformed by Beholding

January 23rd, 2013

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, 2013


Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, it is that simple isn’t it? Simply fix my eyes on You; not what I do or do not…not what I say, not who I help or do not help. All that follows as I focus on You. Lord help me to fix my eyes, heart and mind on You this day, in all I do.

And God says…”Seek first the kingdom of God which is Jesus, and all you need will be provided. Acknowledge the Lord in all your ways and He will make your paths straight. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Everything you want or need will follow your connection to Jesus. Start there every day,  hour and minute and watch your world be transformed. All things become possible, all things are within reach, you become transformed and new as you focus and are connected to Jesus.”  

Am I Looking To God?

January 22nd, 2013

Look to Me, and be saved . . . —Isaiah 45:22

Do we expect God to come to us with His blessings and save us? He says, “Look to Me, and be saved . . . .” The greatest difficulty spiritually is to concentrate on God, and His blessings are what make it so difficult. Troubles almost always make us look to God, but His blessings tend to divert our attention elsewhere. The basic lesson of the Sermon on the Mount is to narrow all your interests until your mind, heart, and body are focused on Jesus Christ. “Look to Me . . . .”

Many of us have a mental picture of what a Christian should be, and looking at this image in other Christians’ lives becomes a hindrance to our focusing on God. This is not salvation— it is not simple enough. He says, in effect, “Look to Me and you are saved,” not “You will be saved someday.” We will find what we are looking for if we will concentrate on Him. We get distracted from God and irritable with Him while He continues to say to us, “Look to Me, and be saved . . . .” Our difficulties, our trials, and our worries about tomorrow all vanish when we look to God.

Wake yourself up and look to God. Build your hope on Him. No matter how many things seem to be pressing in on you, be determined to push them aside and look to Him. “Look to Me . . . .” Salvation is yours the moment you look.

Journal DJR
Good Morning Lord,
“Look to me and you are saved” … sounds to me like the message we have been hearing … “Get connected and stay connected.” Looking to you means connection. How could it be otherwise? How could I look to you and not be connected. So I see here one aspect of connection … Where I am looking. The devo points out that prosperity and blessings sometimes obscure or detract us from looking to you, the source of the blessings. It then becomes a self regulating system where we focus too much on the blessings and forget the blesser. This will always lead to reduced blessings, which then leads to more seeking of the blesser … which then leads to more blessing. This is probably too much analysis and things never fit neatly in boxes like that.
It’s true I will never fit in your boxes. But the concept you mentioned has some truth to it. Things like this are good to keep as context and background for your thinking. Not for specific pointing the finger at a situation and blaming me or the person. That is above your pay grade and not your job. The Pharisees did that.
I think the verse for me for today … after my favorite, Jeremiah 29:11 is Proverbs 30: 7-9

7 “Two things I ask of you, Lord;
do not refuse me before I die:
8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
9 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.

That verse in Jeremiah 29 is being so helpful to me

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.

I know I am ripping it out of context, it was written to a people in exile in Babylon and it has timing and conditions attached … but regardless, it points to your character and desire to bless. It has been a rock for me to stand on. Thank you for making sure it got “In The Book” Perhaps there are parallels between living the life of prosperity in 21st century America and living the life of captivity in Babylon ???

It might even be easier to “Look to me” in the real Babylon compared to the Babylon of prosperity that you live in. The Hebrew people of that time didn’t have all the distractions. Fighting distraction and learning to “Just Say No” is a major skill that you must develop. Come to me and I will help you. If you listen to the still small voice, you will hear things like “Turn it off” and “Not that channel” and “Come away and spend time with me”

Recall What God Remembers

January 21st, 2013

Thus says the Lord: ’I remember . . . the kindness of your youth . . .’ —Jeremiah 2:2

Am I as spontaneously kind to God as I used to be, or am I only expecting God to be kind to me? Does everything in my life fill His heart with gladness, or do I constantly complain because things don’t seem to be going my way? A person who has forgotten what God treasures will not be filled with joy. It is wonderful to remember that Jesus Christ has needs which we can meet— “Give Me a drink” (John 4:7). How much kindness have I shown Him in the past week? Has my life been a good reflection on His reputation?


God is saying to His people, “You are not in love with Me now, but I remember a time when you were.” He says, “I remember . . . the love of your betrothal . . .” (Jeremiah 2:2). Am I as filled to overflowing with love for Jesus Christ as I was in the beginning, when I went out of my way to prove my devotion to Him? Does He ever find me pondering the time when I cared only for Him? Is that where I am now, or have I chosen man’s wisdom over true love for Him? Am I so in love with Him that I take no thought for where He might lead me? Or am I watching to see how much respect I get as I measure how much service I should give Him?

As I recall what God remembers about me, I may also begin to realize that He is not what He used to be to me. When this happens, I should allow the shame and humiliation it creates in my life, because it will bring godly sorrow, and “godly sorrow produces repentance . . .” (2 Corinthians 7:10).


January 21, 2013

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, I have forgotten lately that all things all possible, that You are able….thank you for this reminder. I have let the circumstances of my life bring me down a bit, focusing on the difficult details of disappointment. Thank you for the reminder that You are truly able…and that Your gift only requires my surrender and acknowledgement that You are God and love me beyond imaginings.

And God says…” You have a way of being distracted by your immediate circumstances, and the enemy knows this. Consequently, he will keep sending short term distractions in an attempt to steal your faith, hope and connection.  Surrender to Me in the morning, afternoon and evening. Surrender and trust the love I revealed through the sacrifice of Jesus. Know that I love you beyond imaginings not because of what you do or can do, but because of  Jesus. Stay surrendered and connected and you will live an abundant and joyful day and life”.

The Call of the Natural Life

January 17th, 2013

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 of God 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.
January 17, 2013
Journal Entry for Today-JDV
Hallelujah, He lives in me…Lord this is the verse that kept coming to me over and over from this song….. Hallelujah, He lives in me. Thank you for this reminder and reinforcement. Sometimes I forget that the very Spirit of God lives in me. I know I am not worthy but Jesus is worthy and He lives in me.
And God says…”Simply open your heart and listen for Me and you will be reminded that I am with you always, in every circumstance. I am always with you, living inside of you and through you. I am the Great I AM. You need not wait for Me to reveal myself, I reveal myself all the time, all the day long, simply open your heart and listen for Me. My sheep know My voice and hear Me.  I speak to you all day long in a voice so quiet that you must be still and listen closely. Be still and know that I am God, and I love you.”

The Voice of the Nature of God

January 16th, 2013

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.

Journal DJR
Good Morning Lord,
Today we are reminded that your call is personal, customized to us, and we are the only ones who can hear it and it’s not the best idea to discuss it with others. That’s kind of opposite of what comes natural. But of course it makes sense when we remember that your ways are higher than our ways. It also makes sense that everyone’s call would be different because you are infinite and each person is a reflection of a different part of you. And at the same time, everyone’s call is in a way the same, because it is a reflection on You and your nature, which is Love. So today, help me find the call of your love in my path and follow it … wherever you lead. And also to remember the call(s) that I have heard over the last many years. I am seeing that now is the time for some of them, some that didn’t make sense or could get no traction when I first heard them, I see that now is the “God Time” for them.
Love is my nature and Time doesn’t limit me like it does humans. Remembering those two things will make it easier to discern my call. Those old callings that you didn’t understand when you first heard them, looking back now, were they not about Love?
Yes, totally.

Do You Walk In White?

January 15th, 2013

We were buried with Him . . . that just as Christ was raised from the dead . . . even so we also should walk in newness of life —Romans 6:4

No one experiences complete sanctification without going through a “white funeral”-the burial of the old life. If there has never been this crucial moment of change through death, sanctification will never be more than an elusive dream. There must be a “white funeral,” a death with only one resurrection-a resurrection into the life of Jesus Christ. Nothing can defeat a life like this. It has oneness with God for only one purpose— to be a witness for Him.

Have you really come to your last days? You have often come to them in your mind, but have you really experienced them? You cannot die or go to your funeral in a mood of excitement. Death means you stop being. You must agree with God and stop being the intensely striving kind of Christian you have been. We avoid the cemetery and continually refuse our own death. It will not happen by striving, but by yielding to death. It is dying— being “baptized into His death” (Romans 6:3).

Have you had your “white funeral,” or are you piously deceiving your own soul? Has there been a point in your life which you now mark as your last day? Is there a place in your life to which you go back in memory with humility and overwhelming gratitude, so that you can honestly proclaim, “Yes, it was then, at my ’white funeral,’ that I made an agreement with God.”

“This is the will of God, your sanctification . . .” (1 Thessalonians 4:3). Once you truly realize this is God’s will, you will enter into the process of sanctification as a natural response. Are you willing to experience that “white funeral” now? Will you agree with Him that this is your last day on earth? The moment of agreement depends on you.

Journal DJR
Good Morning Lord,
Is it an event or is it a process that you are looking for? The first part of a process could be seen as an event.

Sanctification is a continuing process punctuated by many events. Every person is different. I customize the plan for each individual. You err when you compare. My plan for you is revealed as you come to me with a surrendered heart and expectation to hear and obey. Sometimes you’ll see what the Father is doing and obey, like in John 5:19. Sometimes you will see my hand in your life only after you’ve walked thru an event. It is good to look back often, looking for these things. Then you will begin to know my ways and see things coming your way more often.