Archive for April, 2013

Gracious Uncertainty

April 29th, 2013

. . . it has not yet been revealed what we shall be . . . —1 John 3:2

Our natural inclination is to be so precise—trying always to forecast accurately what will happen next—that we look upon uncertainty as a bad thing. We think that we must reach some predetermined goal, but that is not the nature of the spiritual life. The nature of the spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty. Consequently, we do not put down roots. Our common sense says, “Well, what if I were in that circumstance?” We cannot presume to see ourselves in any circumstance in which we have never been.Certainty is the mark of the commonsense life—gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. This is generally expressed with a sigh of sadness, but it should be an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. As soon as we abandon ourselves to God and do the task He has placed closest to us, He begins to fill our lives with surprises. When we become simply a promoter or a defender of a particular belief, something within us dies. That is not believing God—it is only believing our belief about Him. Jesus said, “. . . unless you . . . become as little children . . .” (Matthew 18:3). The spiritual life is the life of a child. We are not uncertain of God, just uncertain of what He is going to do next. If our certainty is only in our beliefs, we develop a sense of self-righteousness, become overly critical, and are limited by the view that our beliefs are complete and settled. But when we have the right relationship with God, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy. Jesus said, “. . . believe also in Me” (John 14:1), not, “Believe certain things about Me”. Leave everything to Him and it will be gloriously and graciously uncertain how He will come in—but you can be certain that He will come. Remain faithful to Him.
April 29, 2013

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, if there is a road I should walk, help me find it. If there is a way I should go, help me go there. I bring you doubt and You give me faith, I bring you disobedience and You give me grace, mercy and love. Lord, whatever, wherever, and whenever it is in my life, please help me find it.

And God says… “Simply surrender and be connected with Jesus and I can lead you. Trust in Me with all your heart and do not rely on your own devices and I will make your paths straight.  Seek first the Kingdom of God which is Jesus and everything else shall be added to you. Delight yourself in the Lord and I will give you the desires of your heart. Bring Me your empty hands and let me fill them. Bring Me your empty heart and let Me fill it with the never ending love of a God willing to give Himself for you.”


“Ready in Season”

April 25th, 2013

Be ready in season and out of season —2 Timothy 4:2

Many of us suffer from the unbalanced tendency to “be ready” only “out of season.” The season does not refer to time; it refers to us. This verse says, “Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season.” In other words, we should “be ready” whether we feel like it or not. If we do only what we feel inclined to do, some of us would never do anything. There are some people who are totally unemployable in the spiritual realm. They are spiritually feeble and weak, and they refuse to do anything unless they are supernaturally inspired. The proof that our relationship is right with God is that we do our best whether we feel inspired or not.

One of the worst traps a Christian worker can fall into is to become obsessed with his own exceptional moments of inspiration. When the Spirit of God gives you a time of inspiration and insight, you tend to say, “Now that I’ve experienced this moment, I will always be like this for God.” No, you will not, and God will make sure of that. Those times are entirely the gift of God. You cannot give them to yourself when you choose. If you say you will only be at your best for God, as during those exceptional times, you actually become an intolerable burden on Him. You will never do anything unless God keeps you consciously aware of His inspiration to you at all times. If you make a god out of your best moments, you will find that God will fade out of your life, never to return until you are obedient in the work He has placed closest to you, and until you have learned not to be obsessed with those exceptional moments He has given you.

Do You Worship The Work?

April 23rd, 2013

We are God’s fellow workers . . . —1 Corinthians 3:9

Beware of any work for God that causes or allows you to avoid concentrating on Him. A great number of Christian workers worship their work. The only concern of Christian workers should be their concentration on God. This will mean that all the other boundaries of life, whether they are mental, moral, or spiritual limits, are completely free with the freedom God gives His child; that is, a worshiping child, not a wayward one. A worker who lacks this serious controlling emphasis of concentration on God is apt to become overly burdened by his work. He is a slave to his own limits, having no freedom of his body, mind, or spirit. Consequently, he becomes burned out and defeated. There is no freedom and no delight in life at all. His nerves, mind, and heart are so overwhelmed that God’s blessing cannot rest on him.

But the opposite case is equally true–once our concentration is on God, all the limits of our life are free and under the control and mastery of God alone. There is no longer any responsibility on you for the work. The only responsibility you have is to stay in living constant touch with God, and to see that you allow nothing to hinder your cooperation with Him. The freedom that comes after sanctification is the freedom of a child, and the things that used to hold your life down are gone. But be careful to remember that you have been freed for only one thing–to be absolutely devoted to your co-Worker.

We have no right to decide where we should be placed, or to have preconceived ideas as to what God is preparing us to do. God engineers everything; and wherever He places us, our one supreme goal should be to pour out our lives in wholehearted devotion to Him in that particular work. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might . . .” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

Journal DJR
Good Morning, Lord.
I love the idea of ultimate freedom and no more boundaries. The place where I have stumbled in the past is wanting to walk in that level of freedom before I walk in that level of surrender. If the natural desires aren’t crucified first … ultimate freedom and no boundaries can be a recipe for disaster. How do I know when I’m surrendered enough to have the “freedom of a child, and the things that used to hold your life down are gone.”

If you have to ask the question, you aren’t there yet. You always have freedom. I made you that way. But until you are totally surrendered and continually plugged in to me, you will feel the boundaries and guilt and doubt that you have lived with. You can try to break those boundaries, and deny the guilt and doubt, but those will just be replaced by others. Only surrender and focus on me and our relationship will make you truly free. So come to me and connect … all the time. Commune with me and do what I did in John 5:19 “only do what I see the Father doing…” I was totally free to do whatever I wanted to do including lay my life down, and you can walk in that same freedom. Surrender and connection and obedience lead to complete freedom. It doesn’t make sense to the world. Dont worry … I have overcome the world and show you a better way.

The Light That Never Fails

April 22nd, 2013

We all, with unveiled face, beholding . . . the glory of the Lord . . . —2 Corinthians 3:18

A servant of God must stand so very much alone that he never realizes he is alone. In the early stages of the Christian life, disappointments will come— people who used to be lights will flicker out, and those who used to stand with us will turn away. We have to get so used to it that we will not even realize we are standing alone. Paul said, “. . . no one stood with me, but all forsook me . . . . But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me . . .” (2 Timothy 4:16-17). We must build our faith not on fading lights but on the Light that never fails. When “important” individuals go away we are sad, until we see that they are meant to go, so that only one thing is left for us to do— to look into the face of God for ourselves.

Allow nothing to keep you from looking with strong determination into the face of God regarding yourself and your doctrine. And every time you preach make sure you look God in the face about the message first, then the glory will remain through all of it. A Christian servant is one who perpetually looks into the face of God and then goes forth to talk to others. The ministry of Christ is characterized by an abiding glory of which the servant is totally unaware— “. . . Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him” (Exodus 34:29).

We are never called on to display our doubts openly or to express the hidden joys and delights of our life with God. The secret of the servant’s life is that he stays in tune with God all the time.


April 22, 2013

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, is amazing how you speak to me with your promises, not just in your word, but in songs, and the words of friends and even the songs on the radio. Perhaps it is because I am listening for You that I can hear Your voice? Both thoughts are accurate…if I believe I can hear you I can , and if I believe I cannot…..well then…I cannot. I believe Lord, help me in my unbelief.

And God says…”I am the great I Am. Trust in me with all your heart, do not rely on your own devices…and I will make your paths and heart straight. You cannot come to me out of more discipline, more Bible studies, or by gritting your teeth and trying harder to be a man after My own heart. You come to me with a tiny sliver of trust and hope knowing you cannot do any good thing. Give Me your trying, effort and sliver of hope and I will be the light of your life. You can do all things through Christ Jesus. Delight yourself in Me and I will give you the desires of your heart.  

All or Nothing?

April 17th, 2013

When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment . . . and plunged into the sea —John 21:7

Have you ever had a crisis in your life in which you deliberately, earnestly, and recklessly abandoned everything? It is a crisis of the will. You may come to that point many times externally, but it will amount to nothing. The true deep crisis of abandonment, or total surrender, is reached internally, not externally. The giving up of only external things may actually be an indication of your being in total bondage.

Have you deliberately committed your will to Jesus Christ? It is a transaction of the will, not of emotion; any positive emotion that results is simply a superficial blessing arising out of the transaction. If you focus your attention on the emotion, you will never make the transaction. Do not ask God what the transaction is to be, but make the determination to surrender your will regarding whatever you see, whether it is in the shallow or the deep, profound places internally.

If you have heard Jesus Christ’s voice on the waves of the sea, you can let your convictions and your consistency take care of themselves by concentrating on maintaining your intimate relationship to Him.

Journal DJR

Good Morning Lord. The song says that “you ruined my life” but made a miracle. It’s the kind of ruining that I need. But it seems like if I try to schedule it … it doesn’t work, doesn’t really happen. Initially this devo was depressing and guilting me… But the last thought redeems it all… “let your convictions and your consistency take care of themselves by concentrating on maintaining your intimate relationship to Him.” It gives me something “to do” that seems in the realm of possibility to me. Concentrating on maintaining our intimate relationship. But as I think about it, I even need your help with that. Bottom line: I just need you. Left to my own devices, I run amuck. Thank you for loving me and not kicking me out, and providing everything that I need. Along with Paul, I say “Thanks.”

1 Corinthians 15:57 (NIV)
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Can You Come Down From the Mountain?

April 16th, 2013

While you have the light, believe in the light . . . —John 12:36

We all have moments when we feel better than ever before, and we say, “I feel fit for anything; if only I could always be like this!” We are not meant to be. Those moments are moments of insight which we have to live up to even when we do not feel like it. Many of us are no good for the everyday world when we are not on the mountaintop. Yet we must bring our everyday life up to the standard revealed to us on the mountaintop when we were there.

Never allow a feeling that was awakened in you on the mountaintop to evaporate. Don’t place yourself on the shelf by thinking, “How great to be in such a wonderful state of mind!” Act immediately— do something, even if your only reason to act is that you would rather not. If, during a prayer meeting, God shows you something to do, don’t say, “I’ll do it”— just doit! Pick yourself up by the back of the neck and shake off your fleshly laziness. Laziness can always be seen in our cravings for a mountaintop experience; all we talk about is our planning for our time on the mountain. We must learn to live in the ordinary “gray” day according to what we saw on the mountain.

Don’t give up because you have been blocked and confused once— go after it again. Burn your bridges behind you, and stand committed to God by an act of your own will. Never change your decisions, but be sure to make your decisions in the light of what you saw and learned on the mountain.

Journal DJR
Good morning Lord, As usual, I could take away some guilt feelings from today’s message. But also as usual, I can also take away some good action points. I could feel guilty or like a failure with the mandate that I … “must bring our everyday life up to the standard revealed to us on the mountaintop when we were there. & Never allow a feeling that was awakened in you on the mountaintop to evaporate.” My experience just hasn’t seemed to measure up to those standards.
But the idea of immediately acting on a revelation … that’s something that is more “bite sized” and not overwhelming. I still dont have it down perfectly, but it’s something that I can see progress in and gives me hope. You’re showing me now that doing the bite sized item that I can do … moves me along the continuum toward the thing that I can’t do. But you can.
So thanks, and thanks for your grace and non-condemnation

Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,

The Failure To Pay Close Attention

April 15th, 2013

The high places were not removed from Israel. Nevertheless the heart of Asa was loyal all his days —2 Chronicles 15:17


Asa was not completely obedient in the outward, visible areas of his life. He was obedient in what he considered the most important areas, but he was not entirely right. Beware of ever thinking, “Oh, that thing in my life doesn’t matter much.” The fact that it doesn’t matter much to you may mean that it matters a great deal to God. Nothing should be considered a trivial matter by a child of God. How much longer are we going to prevent God from teaching us even one thing? But He keeps trying to teach us and He never loses patience. You say, “I know I am right with God”— yet the “high places” still remain in your life. There is still an area of disobedience. Do you protest that your heart is right with God, and yet there is something in your life He causes you to doubt? Whenever God causes a doubt about something, stop it immediately, no matter what it may be. Nothing in our lives is a mere insignificant detail to God.

Are there some things regarding your physical or intellectual life to which you have been paying no attention at all? If so, you may think you are all correct in the important areas, but you are careless— you are failing to concentrate or to focus properly. You no more need a day off from spiritual concentration on matters in your life than your heart needs a day off from beating. As you cannot take a day off morally and remain moral, neither can you take a day off spiritually and remain spiritual. God wants you to be entirely His, and it requires paying close attention to keep yourself fit. It also takes a tremendous amount of time. Yet some of us expect to rise above all of our problems, going from one mountaintop experience to another, with only a few minutes’ effort.




Journal Entry for Today-JDV

April 15, 2013

Lord, one more time Chambers hits me right where I feel most vulnerable; in my ability to stay connected to You all the time. When I slip and fall it feels like I have fallen so far from You. And when I read a devotional like this one, I realize just how far I am from You. Please help me stay connected this and every day Lord. Help me to turn from myself, my circumstances, and my  failures into You.

And God says…”You cannot fall too far from Me. You are not judged by your ability to stay connected, were that true there would be no need of my all-consuming love and grace.  In fact you are not judged at all, ever. You have been covered by the life and sacrifice of Jesus, which is always sufficient even though you are not. When I look at you, I see Jesus. Look to Me and you will grasp this fact of life.”

Complete and Effective Decision About Sin

April 10th, 2013

. . . our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin —Romans 6:6

Co-Crucifixion. Have you made the following decision about sin—that it must be completely killed in you? It takes a long time to come to the point of making this complete and effective decision about sin. It is, however, the greatest moment in your life once you decide that sin must die in you-not simply be restrained, suppressed, or counteracted, but crucified—just as Jesus Christ died for the sin of the world. No one can bring anyone else to this decision. We may be mentally and spiritually convinced, but what we need to do is actually make the decision that Paul urged us to do in this passage.

Pull yourself up, take some time alone with God, and make this important decision, saying, “Lord, identify me with Your death until I know that sin is dead in me.” Make the moral decision that sin in you must be put to death.

This was not some divine future expectation on the part of Paul, but was a very radical and definite experience in his life. Are you prepared to let the Spirit of God search you until you know what the level and nature of sin is in your life— to see the very things that struggle against God’s Spirit in you? If so, will you then agree with God’s verdict on the nature of sin— that it should be identified with the death of Jesus? You cannot “reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin” (Romans 6:11) unless you have radically dealt with the issue of your will before God.

Have you entered into the glorious privilege of being crucified with Christ, until all that remains in your flesh and blood is His life? “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me . . .” (Galatians 2:20).

Have You Seen Jesus?

April 9th, 2013

After that, He appeared in another form to two of them . . . —Mark 16:12


Being saved and seeing Jesus are not the same thing. Many people who have never seen Jesus have received and share in God’s grace. But once you have seen Him, you can never be the same. Other things will not have the appeal they did before.

You should always recognize the difference between what you see Jesus to be and what He has done for you. If you see only what He has done for you, your God is not big enough. But if you have had a vision, seeing Jesus as He really is, experiences can come and go, yet you will endure “as seeing Him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27). The man who was blind from birth did not know who Jesus was until Christ appeared and revealed Himself to him (see John 9). Jesus appears to those for whom He has done something, but we cannot order or predict when He will come. He may appear suddenly, at any turn. Then you can exclaim, “Now I see Him!” (see John 9:25).

Jesus must appear to you and to your friend individually; no one can see Jesus with your eyes. And division takes place when one has seen Him and the other has not. You cannot bring your friend to the point of seeing; God must do it. Have you seen Jesus? If so, you will want others to see Him too. “And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either” (Mark 16:13). When you see Him, you must tell, even if they don’t believe.

O could I tell, you surely would believe it! O could I only say what I have seen! How should I tell or how can you receive it, How, till He bringeth you where I have been?


April, 9, 2013

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Jesus, when I have looked for You inside of certain kinds of blessings or events, it seems I am disappointed. When I expect to see you I do not. But it seems when I look for you in everything and every event, You are there. I cannot explain it.

And God says…”You cannot put God into a place or time, and pull Him out when you are in need or have time for worship. Seek first the Kingdom of God, which is Jesus. When you look for Me in all things, all day, every day, I am there. Seek Me first, delight yourself in Me and I am there. I am there because you put Me first and want to see Me in all things, not just some religious times, or times when it occurs to you. Acknowledge Me in all your ways and I will make your paths straight.”

His Resurrection Destiny

April 8th, 2013

Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory? —Luke 24:26

Our Lord’s Cross is the gateway into His life. His resurrection means that He has the power to convey His life to me. When I was born again, I received the very life of the risen Lord from Jesus Himself.

Christ’s resurrection destiny— His foreordained purpose— was to bring “many sons to glory” (Hebrews 2:10). The fulfilling of His destiny gives Him the right to make us sons and daughters of God. We never have exactly the same relationship to God that the Son of God has, but we are brought by the Son into the relation of sonship. When our Lord rose from the dead, He rose to an absolutely new life— a life He had never lived before He was God Incarnate. He rose to a life that had never been before. And what His resurrection means for us is that we are raised to His risen life, not to our old life. One day we will have a body like His glorious body, but we can know here and now the power and effectiveness of His resurrection and can “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). Paul’s determined purpose was to “know Him and the power of His resurrection” (Philippians 3:10).

Jesus prayed, “. . . as You have given Him authority over all flesh that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him” (John 17:2 . The term Holy Spirit is actually another name for the experience of eternal life working in human beings here and now. The Holy Spirit is the deity of God who continues to apply the power of the atonement by the Cross of Christ to our lives. Thank God for the glorious and majestic truth that His Spirit can work the very nature of Jesus into us, if we will only obey Him.

Journal DJR
Good Morning Lord.
It is a mystery how you can put your perfection into this imperfect vessel. It seems like it I do anything at all to try to improve or hurry the process … that I mess it up and prove my imperfection once again.

When humans try to do my job in their lives, it never works. It makes religious systems and religious pride but it wont create the life in you that I will create if you just totally release yourself to me and let me show you the things I have prepared for you … this side of heaven … and you cant even conceive of what I’ve got for you on that side. Here and now you can walk in awesomeness and wonder and power. But not if you keep trying to walk in awesomeness and wonder and power. I know you’ve heard it before but you really must Let Go and Let God. Not that there is nothing for you to do … Your job is to stay connected and hear and see and then obey. When you obey quickly … then you see and hear more. If you dont obey what you see, then you will see less.

Help me today Lord, to stay connected, to see and hear what you are doing and to quickly obey.