Archive for May, 2013

Put God First

May 31st, 2013

Jesus did not commit Himself to them . . .for He knew what was in man —John 2:24-25


Put Trust in God First. Our Lord never put His trust in any person. Yet He was never suspicious, never bitter, and never lost hope for anyone, because He put His trust in God first. He trusted absolutely in what God’s grace could do for others. If I put my trust in human beings first, the end result will be my despair and hopelessness toward everyone. I will become bitter because I have insisted that people be what no person can ever be— absolutely perfect and right. Never trust anything in yourself or in anyone else, except the grace of God.

Put God’s Will First. “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God” (Hebrews 10:9).

A person’s obedience is to what he sees to be a need— our Lord’s obedience was to the will of His Father. The rallying cry today is, “We must get to work! The heathen are dying without God. We must go and tell them about Him.” But we must first make sure that God’s “needs” and His will in us personally are being met. Jesus said, “. . . tarry . . . until you are endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). The purpose of our Christian training is to get us into the right relationship to the “needs” of God and His will. Once God’s “needs” in us have been met, He will open the way for us to accomplish His will, meeting His “needs” elsewhere.

Put God’s Son First. “Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me” (Matthew 18:5).

God came as a baby, giving and entrusting Himself to me. He expects my personal life to be a “Bethlehem.” Am I allowing my natural life to be slowly transformed by the indwelling life of the Son of God? God’s ultimate purpose is that His Son might be exhibited in me.


May 31, 2013

Lord, thank you once again for the reminder and reassurance. The reminder that You have answered all my questions and uncertainties. And if I will only trust You instead of myself, and other imperfect people just like me,  I can live a life of hope, truth and fullness. Help me trust You completely this day. And Lord, You know my weaknesses. You know how I can go off chasing my own ideas of what I want and need. Help me to surrender my will and myself to You and let You lead.

And God says…”Remember  when I look at you My child, I can only see Jesus. I can only see your perfection. I knew your strengths and weaknesses before I even breathed life into you. Why do you think my plan for our reconciliation is wrapped in love, trust, faith and grace? Did you think I would leave our reconciliation to humans to complete? Do you think I did not know of your ongoing imperfection? However; your perfection is complete in Jesus.  I trust Jesus to live through you; you do the same this day. Live this day in eager anticipation; waiting on Jesus to lead you into life and life more abundantly.”

“Yes— But . . .!”

May 30th, 2013

Lord, I will follow You, but . . . —Luke 9:61


Suppose God tells you to do something that is an enormous test of your common sense, totally going against it. What will you do? Will you hold back? If you get into the habit of doing something physically, you will do it every time you are tested until you break the habit through sheer determination. And the same is true spiritually. Again and again you will come right up to what Jesus wants, but every time you will turn back at the true point of testing, until you are determined to abandon yourself to God in total surrender. Yet we tend to say, “Yes, but— suppose I do obey God in this matter, what about . . . ?” Or we say, “Yes, I will obey God if what He asks of me doesn’t go against my common sense, but don’t ask me to take a step in the dark.”

Jesus Christ demands the same unrestrained, adventurous spirit in those who have placed their trust in Him that the natural man exhibits. If a person is ever going to do anything worthwhile, there will be times when he must risk everything by his leap in the dark. In the spiritual realm, Jesus Christ demands that you risk everything you hold on to or believe through common sense, and leap by faith into what He says. Once you obey, you will immediately find that what He says is as solidly consistent as common sense.

By the test of common sense, Jesus Christ’s statements may seem mad, but when you test them by the trial of faith, your findings will fill your spirit with the awesome fact that they are the very words of God. Trust completely in God, and when He brings you to a new opportunity of adventure, offering it to you, see that you take it. We act like pagans in a crisis— only one out of an entire crowd is daring enough to invest his faith in the character of God.


May 30, 2013

Lord I would like to believe that when and if I am certain it is You speaking to me, giving me direction, that I will listen and obey. In fact I am certain I will follow you when I know it is You speaking to me. The difficulty I have is not knowing if it is You speaking to me or am I hearing something else entirely.

And God says…”When you are closely connected to me and walking with Me, you can hear my voice as clear as a bell. When you are in pain and find that you must trust Me, you hear Me as if I am speaking through a megaphone. If you say you do not hear Me clearly it is because you are not listening closely. I am speaking to you all the time. The Holy Spirit within you communicates with Me all the time. If you are uncertain that it is My voice it is because we are not tightly connected and you are not surrendered to Me. Simply be still; close your eyes and listen for me right now….tell me you are surrendered or want to be surrendered…and then listen for Me.”

Untroubled Relationship

May 29th, 2013

In that day you will ask in My name . . . for the Father Himself loves you . . . —John 16:26-27


In that day you will ask in My name . . . ,” that is, in My nature. Not “You will use My name as some magic word,” but—”You will be so intimate with Me that you will be one with Me.” “That day” is not a day in the next life, but a day meant for here and now. “. . . for the Father Himself loves you . . .”— the Father’s love is evidence that our union with Jesus is complete and absolute. Our Lord does not mean that our lives will be free from external difficulties and uncertainties, but that just as He knew the Father’s heart and mind, we too can be lifted by Him into heavenly places through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, so that He can reveal the teachings of God to us.

“. . . whatever you ask the Father in My name . . .” (John 16:23). “That day” is a day of peace and an untroubled relationship between God and His saint. Just as Jesus stood unblemished and pure in the presence of His Father, we too by the mighty power and effectiveness of the baptism of the Holy Spirit can be lifted into that relationship—”. . . that they may be one just as We are one . . .” (John 17:22).

“. . . He will give you” (John 16:23). Jesus said that because of His name God will recognize and respond to our prayers. What a great challenge and invitation—to pray in His name! Through the resurrection and ascension power of Jesus, and through the Holy Spirit He has sent, we can be lifted into such a relationship. Once in that wonderful position, having been placed there by Jesus Christ, we can pray to God in Jesus’ name—in His nature. This is a gift granted to us through the Holy Spirit, and Jesus said, “. . . whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.” The sovereign character of Jesus Christ is tested and proved by His own statements.

Unquestion Revelation

May 28th, 2013

In that day you will ask Me nothing —John 16:23
When is “that day”? It is when the ascended Lord makes you one with the Father. “In that day” you will be one with the Father just as Jesus is, and He said, “In that day you will ask Me nothing.” Until the resurrection life of Jesus is fully exhibited in you, you have questions about many things. Then after a while you find that all your questions are gone— you don’t seem to have any left to ask. You have come to the point of total reliance on the resurrection life of Jesus, which brings you into complete oneness with the purpose of God. Are you living that life now? If not, why aren’t you?

“In that day” there may be any number of things still hidden to your understanding, but they will not come between your heart and God. “In that day you will ask Me nothing”— you will not need to ask, because you will be certain that God will reveal things in accordance with His will. The faith and peace of John 14:1 has become the real attitude of your heart, and there are no more questions to be asked. If anything is a mystery to you and is coming between you and God, never look for the explanation in your mind, but look for it in your spirit, your true inner nature— that is where the problem is. Once your inner spiritual nature is willing to submit to the life of Jesus, your understanding will be perfectly clear, and you will come to the place where there is no distance between the Father and you, His child, because the Lord has made you one. “In that day you will ask Me nothing.”

Journal DJR
Good Morning Lord,
Clarity about this verse comes here for me … “In that day” there may be any number of things still hidden to your understanding, but they will not come between your heart and God. “In that day you will ask Me nothing”— you will not need to ask, because you will be certain that God will reveal things in accordance with His will.”
So, once again we see that connection with You is the answer. For the Christian, it is the answer to all the questions. Actually it puts our questions in the proper perspective. We still will have un answered questions but they dont come between us.
Help us this day to live so tightly connected with You that our unanswered questions and things we would stress about can just be brought to you and left there. Knowing that you you have a plan for us that we can rest in.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)
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.

Our Careful Unbelief

May 23rd, 2013

. . . do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on —Matthew 6:25

Jesus summed up commonsense carefulness in the life of a disciple as unbelief. If we have received the Spirit of God, He will squeeze right through our lives, as if to ask, “Now where do I come into this relationship, this vacation you have planned, or these new books you want to read?” And He always presses the point until we learn to make Him our first consideration. Whenever we put other things first, there is confusion.

“. . . do not worry about your life . . . .” Don’t take the pressure of your provision upon yourself. It is not only wrong to worry, it is unbelief; worrying means we do not believe that God can look after the practical details of our lives, and it is never anything but those details that worry us. Have you ever noticed what Jesus said would choke the Word He puts in us? Is it the devil? No— “the cares of this world” (MatthewMatthew 13:22). It is always our little worries. We say, “I will not trust when I cannot see”— and that is where unbelief begins. The only cure for unbelief is obedience to the Spirit.

The greatest word of Jesus to His disciples is abandon.


May 23, 2013

Thank you Lord for the reminder that the troubles of this life are to be expected and I should expect them to come at me day after day after day… Just as I can expect You to allow these troubles to work for my good and Your glory.

And God says…”Do not resist the difficulties that come your way.  They are simply the steps to growth, blessings, maturity and connection. You can trust Me to take care of all your day to day needs, be they physical, emotional, financial or spiritual. Trust Me, rely on Me, not on what you can see, or discern. Trust in Me with all your heart, and I will make your paths straight. Delight yourself in the Lord and I will give you the desires of your heart. You will have difficulties, but they can be viewed as your opportunities for trusting Me. All things work for the good of those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.”

The Explanation For Our Difficulties

May 22nd, 2013

. . . that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us . . . —John 17:21

If you are going through a time of isolation, seemingly all alone, read John 17 . It will explain exactly why you are where you are— because Jesus has prayed that you “may be one” with the Father as He is. Are you helping God to answer that prayer, or do you have some other goal for your life? Since you became a disciple, you cannot be as independent as you used to be.

God reveals in John 17 that His purpose is not just to answer our prayers, but that through prayer we might come to discern His mind. Yet there is one prayer which God must answer, and that is the prayer of Jesus— “. . . that they may be one just as We are one . . .” (John 17:22). Are we as close to Jesus Christ as that?

God is not concerned about our plans; He doesn’t ask, “Do you want to go through this loss of a loved one, this difficulty, or this defeat?” No, He allows these things for His own purpose. The things we are going through are either making us sweeter, better, and nobler men and women, or they are making us more critical and fault-finding, and more insistent on our own way. The things that happen either make us evil, or they make us more saintly, depending entirely on our relationship with God and its level of intimacy. If we will pray, regarding our own lives, “Your will be done” (Matthew 26:42), then we will be encouraged and comforted by John 17, knowing that our Father is working according to His own wisdom, accomplishing what is best. When we understand God’s purpose, we will not become small-minded and cynical. Jesus prayed nothing less for us than absolute oneness with Himself, just as He was one with the Father. Some of us are far from this oneness; yet God will not leave us alone until we are one with Him— because Jesus prayed, “. . . that they all may be one . . . .”

Journal DJR
Good Morning Lord,
It is a hard thing. Answering the question from a hurting friend, “Why would God allow this __________ fill in the blank. These scriptures, John 17 and Matt 26:42 are probably the best answers … but if delivered “raw” they can come across religious and pious and not very helpful.

That is why I treasure my veteran servants who have been thru hard times. Those are the ones who can deliver my message and my intent with accuracy and love. Know that when you go thru a trial, that you have become more One with me and my Father and that we will use your experience to expand our Kingdom. You dont have to preach it or go looking for a target. The place to share it will show up without your searching for it. And when it does, you will be ready. No one can be expert in all things. But when you have been thru a trial, treasure that, and be ready to share. I will send you someone to encourage.

Having God’s “Unreasonable” Faith

May 21st, 2013

Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you —Matthew 6:33

When we look at these words of Jesus, we immediately find them to be the most revolutionary that human ears have ever heard. “. . . seek first the kingdom of God . . . .” Even the most spiritually-minded of us argue the exact opposite, saying, “But I must live; I must make a certain amount of money; I must be clothed; I must be fed.” The great concern of our lives is not the kingdom of God but how we are going to take care of ourselves to live. Jesus reversed the order by telling us to get the right relationship with God first, maintaining it as the primary concern of our lives, and never to place our concern on taking care of the other things of life.

“. . . do not worry about your life. . .” (Matthew 6:25). Our Lord pointed out that from His standpoint it is absolutely unreasonable for us to be anxious, worrying about how we will live. Jesus did not say that the person who takes no thought for anything in his life is blessed— no, that person is a fool. But Jesus did teach that His disciple must make his relationship with God the dominating focus of his life, and to be cautiously carefree about everything else in comparison to that. In essence, Jesus was saying, “Don’t make food and drink the controlling factor of your life, but be focused absolutely on God.” Some people are careless about what they eat and drink, and they suffer for it; they are careless about what they wear, having no business looking the way they do; they are careless with their earthly matters, and God holds them responsible. Jesus is saying that the greatest concern of life is to place our relationship with God first, and everything else second.

It is one of the most difficult, yet critical, disciplines of the Christian life to allow the Holy Spirit to bring us into absolute harmony with the teaching of Jesus in these verses.

Taking Possession of Our Own Soul

May 20th, 2013

By your patience possess your souls —Luke 21:19

When a person is born again, there is a period of time when he does not have the same vitality in his thinking or reasoning that he previously had. We must learn to express this new life within us, which comes by forming the mind of Christ (see Philippians 2:5). Luke 21:19 means that we take possession of our souls through patience. But many of us prefer to stay at the entrance to the Christian life, instead of going on to create and build our soul in accordance with the new life God has placed within us. We fail because we are ignorant of the way God has made us, and we blame things on the devil that are actually the result of our own undisciplined natures. Just think what we could be when we are awakened to the truth!

There are certain things in life that we need not pray about— moods, for instance. We will never get rid of moodiness by praying, but we will by kicking it out of our lives. Moods nearly always are rooted in some physical circumstance, not in our true inner self. It is a continual struggle not to listen to the moods which arise as a result of our physical condition, but we must never submit to them for a second. We have to pick ourselves up by the back of the neck and shake ourselves; then we will find that we can do what we believed we were unable to do. The problem that most of us are cursed with is simply that we won’t. The Christian life is one of spiritual courage and determination lived out in our flesh.


May 20, 2013

Lord, thank you for the message and music today. Today my goal is to let go and let You have my day. You gave me your love and grace and I know that you’re not leaving. I will not try so hard this day. I will simply trust and rest in You.

And God says…”Remember the old hymn that says…”Jesus paid it all?”  Just recall that verse. Your debt; past, present and future has been paid. It is for you to simply trust and rest in Me. And like this new song says, don’t try so hard. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, don’t rely on your own devices, and I will make your paths straight. Delight yourself in the Lord and I will give you the desires of your heart…, rest and be connected this day….and remember, Don’t try so hard”.

The Habit of Recognizing God’s Provision

May 16th, 2013

. . . you may be partakers of the divine nature . . . —2 Peter 1:4

We are made “partakers of the divine nature,” receiving and sharing God’s own nature through His promises. Then we have to work that divine nature into our human nature by developing godly habits. The first habit to develop is the habit of recognizing God’s provision for us. We say, however, “Oh, I can’t afford it.” One of the worst lies is wrapped up in that statement. We talk as if our heavenly Father has cut us off without a penny! We think it is a sign of true humility to say at the end of the day, “Well, I just barely got by today, but it was a severe struggle.” And yet all of Almighty God is ours in the Lord Jesus! And He will reach to the last grain of sand and the remotest star to bless us if we will only obey Him. Does it really matter that our circumstances are difficult? Why shouldn’t they be! If we give way to self-pity and indulge in the luxury of misery, we remove God’s riches from our lives and hinder others from entering into His provision. No sin is worse than the sin of self-pity, because it removes God from the throne of our lives, replacing Him with our own self-interests. It causes us to open our mouths only to complain, and we simply become spiritual sponges— always absorbing, never giving, and never being satisfied. And there is nothing lovely or generous about our lives.

Before God becomes satisfied with us, He will take everything of our so-called wealth, until we learn that He is our Source; as the psalmist said, “All my springs are in You” (Psalm 87:7). If the majesty, grace, and power of God are not being exhibited in us, God holds us responsible. “God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you . . . may have an abundance . . .” (2 Corinthians 9:8)— then learn to lavish the grace of God on others, generously giving of yourself. Be marked and identified with God’s nature, and His blessing will flow through you all the time.

Journal DJR
Good Morning Lord
Recognizing your provision for us … in everything. That is the first step. I love it when I am able to recognize your provision in a seemingly difficult situation. It makes it so much easier to find you and your purpose when I am living in expectancy and gratitude and curiosity. When I am not in that kind of mindset, and some circumstance jumps up … I tend to fight it and try to conquer it naturally. And it’s really hard to get supernatural results with natural methods. So I wind up stressed out and causing pain for myself and others…… Not a good plan. Well, it’s not planned. That’s the point. Those pesky circumstances just sneak up and jump on me. It seems my best plan is to do my best to stay grateful, expecting, and curious about what You are going to bring next and how you are going to work all these messy circumstances for good (Romans 8:28) Then when a nasty circumstance surprises me, I’ll have the right mental context to allow your supernatural light to shine thru me to the world that is watching. … And if I stumble away from that space … I know it’s the place I need to get back to … and it’s good to know that I am always welcome there.

The Habit of Rising to the Occasion

May 15th, 2013

. . . that you may know what is the hope of His calling . . . —Ephesians 1:18

Remember that you have been saved so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in your body (see 2 Corinthians 4:10). Direct the total energy of your powers so that you may achieve everything your election as a child of God provides; rise every time to whatever occasion may come your way.

You did not do anything to achieve your salvation, but you must do something to exhibit it. You must “work out your own salvation” which God has worked in you already (Philippians 2:12). Are your speech, your thinking, and your emotions evidence that you are working it “out”? If you are still the same miserable, grouchy person, set on having your own way, then it is a lie to say that God has saved and sanctified you.

God is the Master Designer, and He allows adversities into your life to see if you can jump over them properly—”By my God I can leap over a wall” (Psalm 18:29). God will never shield you from the requirements of being His son or daughter. First Peter 4:12  says, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you . . . .” Rise to the occasion—do what the trial demands of you. It does not matter how much it hurts as long as it gives God the opportunity to manifest the life of Jesus in your body.

May God not find complaints in us anymore, but spiritual vitality—a readiness to face anything He brings our way. The only proper goal of life is that we manifest the Son of God; and when this occurs, all of our dictating of our demands to God disappears. Our Lord never dictated demands to His Father, and neither are we to make demands on God. We are here to submit to His will so that He may work through us what He wants. Once we realize this, He will make us broken bread and poured-out wine with which to feed and nourish others.


May 15, 2013

Lord, I want to live like that. And when I read a devotional like this one I am reminded how far I need to grow.  But You also remind me of how far I have traveled. Perhaps I am not the same person I was before.

And God says…”You are being transformed into My likeness, and while you would like that to take place in a flash, and in some ways that has occurred, you are being transformed over time. You are being shaped by trials, circumstance and the sandpaper of daily life. Count it all good as you encounter various trials, knowing that I love you so much I would not allow you to miss being transformed. Rejoice and know I am with you this day. Delight yourself in the Lord, and receive the desires of your heart.”