Archive for March, 2013

Isn’t There Some Misunderstanding?

March 28th, 2013

’Let us go to Judea again.’ The disciples said to Him, ’. . . are You going there again?’ —John 11:7-8

Just because I don’t understand what Jesus Christ says, I have no right to determine that He must be mistaken in what He says. That is a dangerous view, and it is never right to think that my obedience to God’s directive will bring dishonor to Jesus. The only thing that will bring dishonor is not obeying Him. To put my view of His honor ahead of what He is plainly guiding me to do is never right, even though it may come from a real desire to prevent Him from being put to an open shame. I know when the instructions have come from God because of their quiet persistence. But when I begin to weigh the pros and cons, and doubt and debate enter into my mind, I am bringing in an element that is not of God. This will only result in my concluding that His instructions to me were not right. Many of us are faithful to our ideas about Jesus Christ, but how many of us are faithful to Jesus Himself? Faithfulness to Jesus means that I must step out even when and where I can’t see anything (see Matthew 14:29). But faithfulness to my own ideas means that I first clear the way mentally. Faith, however, is not intellectual understanding; faith is a deliberate commitment to the Person of Jesus Christ, even when I can’t see the way ahead.

Are you debating whether you should take a step of faith in Jesus, or whether you should wait until you can clearly see how to do what He has asked? Simply obey Him with unrestrained joy. When He tells you something and you begin to debate, it is because you have a misunderstanding of what honors Him and what doesn’t. Are you faithful to Jesus, or faithful to your ideas about Him? Are you faithful to what He says, or are you trying to compromise His words with thoughts that never came from Him? “Whatever He says to you, do it ” (John 2:5).

Journal, DJR
Good Morning Lord.
That last question, Am I faithful to you, or just my ideas about you … pointed to some work that still needs to be done. I think the main reason I am more faithful to my ideas about you, than actually to you … is that I am more clear about my ideas of you than of you yourself. My ideas reside in the cerebral realm, they can be studied and analyzed and compared … and I have done all of that. So I have some pretty good ideas about you. But knowing and hearing you yourself … that’s in a whole different realm, the realm of relationship. There, I am less sure. What do I need to do to get as sure about you as I am about my ideas about you?

You, like most people, have assumed that by studying me that you will get to know me. It doesn’t work that way. By studying me, you get to know your ideas about me, and theological constructs and you become able to answer theological questions … But you dont get to know me all that well. Getting to know me comes from relationship more than study. Relationship that includes 2 way conversation and especially obedience when you hear a suggestion. Remember, I give suggestions. That leaves room for you to obey or not. When you have chosen to think about it, or pray about it, or analyze it, so many times … that becomes your habit, and my suggestions seem fainter. To get to know me better … quickly obey. Of course you will make mistakes. But less and less as our relationship grows. And that’s what grace is for anyway.

Spiritual Vision Through Personal Purity (2)

March 27th, 2013

Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place . . . —Revelation 4:1

A higher state of mind and spiritual vision can only be achieved through the higher practice of personal character. If you live up to the highest and best that you know in the outer level of your life, God will continually say to you, “Friend, come up even higher.” There is also a continuing rule in temptation which calls you to go higher; but when you do, you only encounter other temptations and character traits. Both God and Satan use the strategy of elevation, but Satan uses it in temptation, and the effect is quite different. When the devil elevates you to a certain place, he causes you to fasten your idea of what holiness is far beyond what flesh and blood could ever bear or achieve. Your life becomes a spiritual acrobatic performance high atop a steeple. You cling to it, trying to maintain your balance and daring not to move. But when God elevates you by His grace into heavenly places, you find a vast plateau where you can move about with ease.

Compare this week in your spiritual life with the same week last year to see how God has called you to a higher level. We have all been brought to see from a higher viewpoint. Never allow God to show you a truth which you do not instantly begin to live up to, applying it to your life. Always work through it, staying in its light.

Your growth in grace is not measured by the fact that you haven’t turned back, but that you have an insight and understanding into where you are spiritually. Have you heard God say, “Come up higher,” not audibly on the outer level, but to the innermost part of your character?

“Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing . . . ?” (Genesis 18:17). God has to hide from us what He does, until, due to the growth of our personal character, we get to the level where He is then able to reveal it.




March 27, 2013

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord I see one more time that my growth and understanding is dependent on my personal character, my personal integrity. And when I sense this I cringe because all I can see are my many, many flaws. How can I ever reach the higher level of spiritual understanding? Even as I have gone to your alter time after time, setting my teeth with resolve to be a “better man”, all I can recall are my failures.

And God says…” And yet all I can see when I look at you is Jesus. I do not recall your flaws or failures; they are spread as far as the East is from the West. Acknowledge Me in all your ways….seek first the Kingdom of God, which is Jesus and all you need will be provided. My grace is sufficient for you to reach the higher level. The plans I have for you are for good, for you to prosper.  Take your eyes off of yourself and your flaws, and look to Jesus,  and everything else, including your transformation will fall into place.”

Spiritual Vision Through Personal Purity (1)

March 26th, 2013

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God —Matthew 5:8

Purity is not innocence— it is much more than that. Purity is the result of continued spiritual harmony with God. We have to grow in purity. Our life with God may be right and our inner purity unblemished, yet occasionally our outer life may become spotted and stained. God intentionally does not protect us from this possibility, because this is the way we recognize the necessity of maintaining our spiritual vision through personal purity. If the outer level of our spiritual life with God is impaired to the slightest degree, we must put everything else aside until we make it right. Remember that spiritual vision depends on our character— it is “the pure in heart ” who “see God.”

God makes us pure by an act of His sovereign grace, but we still have something that we must carefully watch. It is through our bodily life coming in contact with other people and other points of view that we tend to become tarnished. Not only must our “inner sanctuary” be kept right with God, but also the “outer courts” must be brought into perfect harmony with the purity God gives us through His grace. Our spiritual vision and understanding is immediately blurred when our “outer court” is stained. If we want to maintain personal intimacy with the Lord Jesus Christ, it will mean refusing to do or even think certain things. And some things that are acceptable for others will become unacceptable for us.

A practical help in keeping your personal purity unblemished in your relations with other people is to begin to see them as God does. Say to yourself, “That man or that woman is perfect in Christ Jesus! That friend or that relative is perfect in Christ Jesus!”

Journal, DJR
Good morning Lord
I’d never seen that verse that way. That the pure in heart see God. It gives me another reason to keep pure in heart. To see you and your vision. Of course keeping pure in heart is a good idea anyway … but grinding it out with will power just for it’s own sake or because it’s the right thing to do …. hasn’t had long term success with me (or most humans, I would guess) So even with the motivation that I will see and hear better if I keep pure in heart … I still need your help in doing that. I guess I’ll never get to where I dont need your help. And that is a good thing.

Yes, it keeps us connected. I have paid for everything. You have access to all of me and my power and wisdom. You have asked often what there is for you to do. Here is something for you to do. Keep your heart pure and listen. Practice looking thru my eyes and letting me look thru your eyes. It’s exciting. But it only works at its best when your heart is pure. So fight the impurity that is in the world and your flesh and come along with me. What I have planned for you is more exciting anyway. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jer 29:11

Maintaining the Proper Relationship

March 25th, 2013

. . . the friend of the bridegroom . . . —John 3:29


Goodness and purity should never be traits that draw attention to themselves, but should simply be magnets that draw people to Jesus Christ. If my holiness is not drawing others to Him, it is not the right kind of holiness; it is only an influence which awakens undue emotions and evil desires in people and diverts them from heading in the right direction. A person who is a beautiful saint can be a hindrance in leading people to the Lord by presenting only what Christ has done for him, instead of presenting Jesus Christ Himself. Others will be left with this thought— “What a fine person that man is!” That is not being a true “friend of the bridegroom”— I am increasing all the time; He is not.

To maintain this friendship and faithfulness to the Bridegroom, we have to be more careful to have the moral and vital relationship to Him above everything else, including obedience. Sometimes there is nothing to obey and our only task is to maintain a vital connection with Jesus Christ, seeing that nothing interferes with it. Only occasionally is it a matter of obedience. At those times when a crisis arises, we have to find out what God’s will is. Yet most of our life is not spent in trying to be consciously obedient, but in maintaining this relationship— being the “friend of the bridegroom.” Christian work can actually be a means of diverting a person’s focus away from Jesus Christ. Instead of being friends “of the bridegroom,” we may become amateur providences of God to someone else, working against Him while we use His weapons.


Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord I pray that You help me remember your sacrifice and recall your love and commitment of a future for as well. Sometimes right in the middle of the hurry up of life and self-centeredness of my own issues I forget to recall your love and sacrifice for which I am truly thankful. Lord, help me to see my status and position as your child.

And God says…”Seek first My Kingdom, which is Jesus. 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. Simply stay connected to Jesus in all you say and do and you will know your secure position with Me. Whenever life seems to be too fast, too uncertain and painful, check your connection to Jesus. When you are secure in your connection, all else fails into place; regardless of circumstances. And I know the future I have for you…for good.”

The Burning Heart

March 22nd, 2013

Did not our heart burn within us . . . ? —Luke 24:32


We need to learn this secret of the burning heart. Suddenly Jesus appears to us, fires are set ablaze, and we are given wonderful visions; but then we must learn to maintain the secret of the burning heart— a heart that can go through anything. It is the simple, dreary day, with its commonplace duties and people, that smothers the burning heart— unless we have learned the secret of abiding in Jesus.Much of the distress we experience as Christians comes not as the result of sin, but because we are ignorant of the laws of our own nature. For instance, the only test we should use to determine whether or not to allow a particular emotion to run its course in our lives is to examine what the final outcome of that emotion will be. Think it through to its logical conclusion, and if the outcome is something that God would condemn, put a stop to it immediately. But if it is an emotion that has been kindled by the Spirit of God and you don’t allow it to have its way in your life, it will cause a reaction on a lower level than God intended. That is the way unrealistic and overly emotional people are made. And the higher the emotion, the deeper the level of corruption, if it is not exercised on its intended level. If the Spirit of God has stirred you, make as many of your decisions as possible irrevocable, and let the consequences be what they will. We cannot stay forever on the “mount of transfiguration,” basking in the light of our mountaintop experience (see Mark 9:1-9). But we must obey the light we received there; we must put it into action. When God gives us a vision, we must transact business with Him at that point, no matter what the cost.We cannot kindle when we will The fire which in the heart resides, The spirit bloweth and is still, In mystery our soul abides; But tasks in hours of insight willed Can be through hours of gloom fulfilled.
March 22, 2013
Journal Entry for Today-JDV
Lord, You tell me that if I come to you I will thirst no more, that all my wants, hopes, needs, fears and future are established. Not that all that I want or think I need will be provided,  but that in being connected to You, my wants , hopes, needs and fears will be addressed in ways I may not even comprehend. Lord, help me to be connected to You and disconnected from what I think I want, need and hope for my today and tomorrows.
And God says…”Seek first the Kingdom of God, which is Jesus, and all you want, hope, dream or think you need for your future will be provided. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart….as your heart and life are transformed with your wants, needs, hopes and dreams. Acknowledge the Lord in all your ways and He will make your paths straight. Let go of what you think you want and need, and be intimately connected to Jesus and discover a place where you will thirst no more.” 


Friendship with God

March 20th, 2013

Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing . . . ? —Genesis 18:17

The Delights of His Friendship. Genesis 18 brings out the delight of true friendship with God, as compared with simply feeling His presence occasionally in prayer. This friendship means being so intimately in touch with God that you never even need to ask Him to show you His will. It is evidence of a level of intimacy which confirms that you are nearing the final stage of your discipline in the life of faith. When you have a right-standing relationship with God, you have a life of freedom, liberty, and delight; you are God’s will. And all of your commonsense decisions are actually His will for you, unless you sense a feeling of restraint brought on by a check in your spirit. You are free to make decisions in the light of a perfect and delightful friendship with God, knowing that if your decisions are wrong He will lovingly produce that sense of restraint. Once he does, you must stop immediately.

The Difficulties of His Friendship. Why did Abraham stop praying when he did? He stopped because he still was lacking the level of intimacy in his relationship with God, which would enable him boldly to continue on with the Lord in prayer until his desire was granted. Whenever we stop short of our true desire in prayer and say, “Well, I don’t know, maybe this is not God’s will,” then we still have another level to go. It shows that we are not as intimately acquainted with God as Jesus was, and as Jesus would have us to be— “. . . that they may be one just as We are one . . .” (John 17:22). Think of the last thing you prayed about-were you devoted to your desire or to God? Was your determination to get some gift of the Spirit for yourself or to get to God? “For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him” (Matthew 6:8). The reason for asking is so you may get to know God better. “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). We should keep praying to get a perfect understanding of God Himself.

Will I Bring Myself Up to This Level?

March 19th, 2013

. . . perfecting holiness in the fear of God —2 Corinthians 7:1

Therefore, having these promises. . . .” I claim God’s promises for my life and look to their fulfillment, and rightly so, but that shows only the human perspective on them. God’s perspective is that through His promises I will come to recognize His claim of ownership on me. For example, do I realize that my “body is the temple of the Holy Spirit,” or am I condoning some habit in my body which clearly could not withstand the light of God on it? (1 Corinthians 6:19). God formed His Son in me through sanctification, setting me apart from sin and making me holy in His sight (see Galatians 4:19). But I must begin to transform my natural life into spiritual life by obedience to Him. God instructs us even in the smallest details of life. And when He brings you conviction of sin, do not “confer with flesh and blood,” but cleanse yourself from it at once (Galatians 1:16). Keep yourself cleansed in your daily walk.

I must cleanse myself from all filthiness in my flesh and my spirit until both are in harmony with the nature of God. Is the mind of my spirit in perfect agreement with the life of the Son of God in me, or am I mentally rebellious and defiant? Am I allowing the mind of Christ to be formed in me? (see Philippians 2:5). Christ never spoke of His right to Himself, but always maintained an inner vigilance to submit His spirit continually to His Father. I also have the responsibility to keep my spirit in agreement with His Spirit. And when I do, Jesus gradually lifts me up to the level where He lived-a level of perfect submission to His Father’s will— where I pay no attention to anything else. Am I perfecting this kind of holiness in the fear of God? Is God having His way with me, and are people beginning to see God in my life more and more?

Be serious in your commitment to God and gladly leave everything else alone. Literally put God first in your life.

Abraham’s Life of Faith

March 18th, 2013

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

In the Old Testament, a person’s relationship with God was seen by the degree of separation in that person’s life. This separation is exhibited in the life of Abraham by his separation from his country and his family. When we think of separation today, we do not mean to be literally separated from those family members who do not have a personal relationship with God, but to be separated mentally and morally from their viewpoints. This is what Jesus Christ was referring to in Luke 14:26.

Living a life of faith means never knowing where you are being led. But it does mean loving and knowing the One who is leading. It is literally a life of faith, not of understanding and reason—a life of knowing Him who calls us to go. Faith is rooted in the knowledge of a Person, and one of the biggest traps we fall into is the belief that if we have faith, God will surely lead us to success in the world.

The final stage in the life of faith is the attainment of character, and we encounter many changes in the process. We feel the presence of God around us when we pray, yet we are only momentarily changed. We tend to keep going back to our everyday ways and the glory vanishes. A life of faith is not a life of one glorious mountaintop experience after another, like soaring on eagles’ wings, but is a life of day—in and day—out consistency; a life of walking without fainting (see Isaiah 40:31). It is not even a question of the holiness of sanctification, but of something which comes much farther down the road. It is a faith that has been tried and proved and has withstood the test. Abraham is not a type or an example of the holiness of sanctification, but a type of the life of faith—a faith, tested and true, built on the true God. “Abraham believed God. . .” (Romans 4:3).


March 14th, 2013

. . . you are that one’s slaves whom you obey . . . —Romans 6:16

The first thing I must be willing to admit when I begin to examine what controls and dominates me is that I am the one responsible for having yielded myself to whatever it may be. If I am a slave to myself, I am to blame because somewhere in the past I yielded to myself. Likewise, if I obey God I do so because at some point in my life I yielded myself to Him.

If a child gives in to selfishness, he will find it to be the most enslaving tyranny on earth. There is no power within the human soul itself that is capable of breaking the bondage of the nature created by yielding. For example, yield for one second to anything in the nature of lust, and although you may hate yourself for having yielded, you become enslaved to that thing. (Remember what lust is— “I must have it now,” whether it is the lust of the flesh or the lust of the mind.) No release or escape from it will ever come from any human power, but only through the power of redemption. You must yield yourself in utter humiliation to the only One who can break the dominating power in your life, namely, the Lord Jesus Christ. “. . . He has anointed Me . . . to proclaim liberty to the captives . . .” (Luke 4:18 and Isaiah 61:1).

When you yield to something, you will soon realize the tremendous control it has over you. Even though you say, “Oh, I can give up that habit whenever I like,” you will know you can’t. You will find that the habit absolutely dominates you because you willingly yielded to it. It is easy to sing, “He will break every fetter,” while at the same time living a life of obvious slavery to yourself. But yielding to Jesus will break every kind of slavery in any person’s life.

Journal DJR
Good morning Lord,
Thank you for the fresh canvas of this day. Help us paint something amazing and encouraging and hopeful and helpful on it.
I know that can happen as I get and stay connected with you … the source of all my creativity. Many days I set out with this desire and at the end of many days I feel that I’ve fallen short of what you and I could have created that day. What am I missing?
It’s not so much what you are missing … your problem is more about what you are catching. You are trying to do too many things … have too many unfinished projects that pull on you. You were not designed for multi tasking and maximum busy-ness. You were built for focus. When you and I are connected and focused and clear…. it will be unlimited what we can accomplish. So choose. You cant do everything. You can do all things like Paul said, thru me, but he didn’t say he could do everything. Focus and Connect and Focus. Together we will change your world.

God’s Total Surrender to Us

March 13th, 2013

For God so loved the world that He gave . . . —John 3:16

Salvation does not mean merely deliverance from sin or the experience of personal holiness. The salvation which comes from God means being completely delivered from myself, and being placed into perfect union with Him. When I think of my salvation experience, I think of being delivered from sin and gaining personal holiness. But salvation is so much more! It means that the Spirit of God has brought me into intimate contact with the true Person of God Himself. And as I am caught up into total surrender to God, I become thrilled with something infinitely greater than myself.


To say that we are called to preach holiness or sanctification is to miss the main point. We are called to proclaim Jesus Christ (see 1 Corinthians 2:2). The fact that He saves from sin and makes us holy is actually part of the effect of His wonderful and total surrender to us.

If we are truly surrendered, we will never be aware of our own efforts to remain surrendered. Our entire life will be consumed with the One to whom we surrender. Beware of talking about surrender if you know nothing about it. In fact, you will never know anything about it until you understand that John 3:16 means that God completely and absolutely gave Himself to us. In our surrender, we must give ourselves to God in the same way He gave Himself for us— totally, unconditionally, and without reservation. The consequences and circumstances resulting from our surrender will never even enter our mind, because our life will be totally consumed with Him.


Journal Entry for Today-JDV

March 13, 2013

Lord, I pray that this day I will recall the magnitude of Your surrender as I seek our intimate relationship. I pray that You will fill me with Your Spirit and keep me mindful of all that You have given. Thank You for Your total surrender, and I ask that You help me totally surrendered to You.

And God says…”You can be surrendered to Me out of love, not obligation. I do not want you surrendered to me because you feel compelled to out of some sense of duty. Your true surrender can only come out of love as you are transformed by the Holy Spirit. Seek first the Kingdom of God, which is Jesus, and everything else becomes clear. “