Archive for November, 2013

The Consecration of Spiritual Power

November 27th, 2013

. . . by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world —Galatians 6:14

If I dwell on the Cross of Christ, I do not simply become inwardly devout and solely interested in my own holiness— I become strongly focused on Jesus Christ’s interests. Our Lord was not a recluse nor a fanatical holy man practicing self-denial. He did not physically cut Himself off from society, but He was inwardly disconnected all the time. He was not aloof, but He lived in another world. In fact, He was so much in the common everyday world that the religious people of His day accused Him of being a glutton and a drunkard. Yet our Lord never allowed anything to interfere with His consecration of spiritual power.

It is not genuine consecration to think that we can refuse to be used of God now in order to store up our spiritual power for later use. That is a hopeless mistake. The Spirit of God has set a great many people free from their sin, yet they are experiencing no fullness in their lives— no true sense of freedom. The kind of religious life we see around the world today is entirely different from the vigorous holiness of the life of Jesus Christ. “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one” (John 17:15). We are to be in the world but not of it— to be separated internally, not externally (seeJohn 17:16).

We must never allow anything to interfere with the consecration of our spiritual power. Consecration (being dedicated to God’s service) is our part; sanctification (being set apart from sin and being made holy) is God’s part. We must make a deliberate determination to be interested only in what God is interested. The way to make that determination, when faced with a perplexing problem, is to ask yourself, “Is this the kind of thing in which Jesus Christ is interested, or is it something in which the spirit that is diametrically opposed to Jesus is interested?”



November 27, 2013

Thank you Lord, for all you have provided, and for the ongoing opportunity to look to You for life and life more abundantly. Thank you for the guiding me to the place where I look to You first and foremost this morning and most mornings. And I am especially thankful for Your grace that envelopes me when I do not look to You first.

And God says…”You are transformed as you continue to look to Jesus, and your transformation continues as a byproduct of His sacrifice, even when you are not thinking of Him at all. My grace finds you because of Jesus, because of His sacrifice.  Seek first the Kingdom of God, which is Jesus, and everything you need for a rich and abundant life will be provided; food shelter, hope, love, and the people to share them with. Delight yourself in the Lord and I will give you the desires of your heart. “

The Focal Point of Spiritual Power

November 26th, 2013

. . . except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . —Galatians 6:14

If you want to know the power of God (that is, the resurrection life of Jesus) in your human flesh, you must dwell on the tragedy of God. Break away from your personal concern over your own spiritual condition, and with a completely open spirit consider the tragedy of God. Instantly the power of God will be in you. “Look to Me. . .” (Isaiah 45:22). Pay attention to the external Source and the internal power will be there. We lose power because we don’t focus on the right thing. The effect of the Cross is salvation, sanctification, healing, etc., but we are not to preach any of these. We are to preach “Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). The proclaiming of Jesus will do its own work. Concentrate on God’s focal point in your preaching, and even if your listeners seem to pay it no attention, they will never be the same again. If I share my own words, they are of no more importance than your words are to me. But if we share the truth of God with one another, we will encounter it again and again. We have to focus on the great point of spiritual power— the Cross. If we stay in contact with that center of power, its energy is released in our lives. In holiness movements and spiritual experience meetings, the focus tends to be put not on the Cross of Christ but on the effects of the Cross.

The feebleness of the church is being criticized today, and the criticism is justified. One reason for the feebleness is that there has not been this focus on the true center of spiritual power. We have not dwelt enough on the tragedy of Calvary or on the meaning of redemption.

The Secret of Spiritual Consistency

November 25th, 2013

God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . —Galatians 6:14

When a person is newly born again, he seems inconsistent due to his unrelated emotions and the state of the external things or circumstances in his life. The apostle Paul had a strong and steady underlying consistency in his life. Consequently, he could let his external life change without internal distress because he was rooted and grounded in God. Most of us are not consistent spiritually because we are more concerned about being consistent externally. In the external expression of things, Paul lived in the basement, while his critics lived on the upper level. And these two levels do not begin to touch each other. But Paul’s consistency was down deep in the fundamentals. The great basis of his consistency was the agony of God in the redemption of the world, namely, the Cross of Christ.

State your beliefs to yourself again. Get back to the foundation of the Cross of Christ, doing away with any belief not based on it. In secular history the Cross is an infinitesimally small thing, but from the biblical perspective it is of more importance than all the empires of the world. If we get away from dwelling on the tragedy of God on the Cross in our preaching, our preaching produces nothing. It will not transmit the energy of God to man; it may be interesting, but it will have no power. However, when we preach the Cross, the energy of God is released. “. . . it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. . . . we preach Christ crucified . . .” (1 Corinthians 1:21, 23).



Journal Entry for Today-JDV

November 25, 2013

Good morning Lord and thank you for the reminder to look to the cross for consistency; a consistency that only You have and always provide me. It is true that when I look to the cross, and see You, it all becomes clear even though I do not understand. Then it occurs to me that I do not need to understand, I simply need to see You and allow You to live in my surrendered life.  And I know I must surrender my life, because I have enough experience to realize I am unable to live a life of love, peace, understanding, hope and thanksgiving without You living through me.  I know I can live an abundant life, in every area of my life, when I allow You to live through me. Thank You Lord.

And God says…”Left to your own devices, you chase the things that you think will make you happy and they do not. Left to your own devices, you can and will pursue noble and not so noble endeavors that you believe I have commissioned, and I have not. Left to your own understanding and you make choices that bring short term answers that do not hold up in the cold light of day. When you simply trust Me, and allow Me to live through you, you can do all things. You will rise above day to day chaos, complexity and trials. When you simply trust me, you can get out of the boat and walk on water, you will run and not get tired, and you will love without bounds. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding and I will make your paths straight. Delight yourself in the Lord and I will give you the desires of your heart.”


Shallow and Profound

November 22nd, 2013

Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God —1 Corinthians 10:31


Beware of allowing yourself to think that the shallow aspects of life are not ordained by God; they are ordained by Him equally as much as the profound. We sometimes refuse to be shallow, not out of our deep devotion to God but because we wish to impress other people with the fact that we are not shallow. This is a sure sign of spiritual pride. We must be careful, for this is how contempt for others is produced in our lives. And it causes us to be a walking rebuke to other people because they are more shallow than we are. Beware of posing as a profound person— God became a baby.To be shallow is not a sign of being sinful, nor is shallowness an indication that there is no depth to your life at all— the ocean has a shore. Even the shallow things of life, such as eating and drinking, walking and talking, are ordained by God. These are all things our Lord did. He did them as the Son of God, and He said, “A disciple is not above his teacher . . .” (Matthew 10:24).We are safeguarded by the shallow things of life. We have to live the surface, commonsense life in a commonsense way. Then when God gives us the deeper things, they are obviously separated from the shallow concerns. Never show the depth of your life to anyone but God. We are so nauseatingly serious, so desperately interested in our own character and reputation, we refuse to behave like Christians in the shallow concerns of life.Make a determination to take no one seriously except God. You may find that the first person you must be the most critical with, as being the greatest fraud you have ever known, is yourself.


November 22, 2013

Journal Entry JDV

Father God, I would like to do everything to your glory, but I am afraid that a great deal of the time; I do every little thing to simply try to get what I want out of life right then and there or to try and avoid pain.  When I look at the way I am energized, it seems that I am energized and highly motivated to try and reach goals and or capture the people, things, and places I believe will make me happy or reduce the chance for my unhappiness. I would like to say I do everything for Your honor and glory, but that is simply not the case. But I do believe that if I seek You first, You will provide me with all I need for an abundant life. I believe, please help me live it out.

And God says…”Whenever you take over your life, I take my hands off of your life. If you want to pursue your own ideas of happiness, and opportunity and exclude me, you can do that.  And remember, ours is not a partnership where you decide what you want out of life then reach out to me for my blessing. Seek first the kingdom of God, which is Jesus, and everything else you need for this life; food, shelter, family, friends, feelings of worth, hopes and dreams and people to share them with will be provided. I can help you live out this life when you surrender to Me, and let go of all your own notions about what it is that you want and need. And you reach this conclusion when you look around and notice how little real happiness, joy and peace your own pursuits have provided…AND when you consider the magnitude of My sacrifice to bring us together. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

“When He Has Come”

November 19th, 2013

When He has come, He will convict the world of sin . . . —John 16:8

Very few of us know anything about conviction of sin. We know the experience of being disturbed because we have done wrong things. But conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit blots out every relationship on earth and makes us aware of only one— “Against You, You only, have I sinned . . .” (Psalm 51:4). When a person is convicted of sin in this way, he knows with every bit of his conscience that God would not dare to forgive him. If God did forgive him, then this person would have a stronger sense of justice than God. God does forgive, but it cost the breaking of His heart with grief in the death of Christ to enable Him to do so. The great miracle of the grace of God is that He forgives sin, and it is the death of Jesus Christ alone that enables the divine nature to forgive and to remain true to itself in doing so. It is shallow nonsense to say that God forgives us because He is love. Once we have been convicted of sin, we will never say this again. The love of God means Calvary— nothing less! The love of God is spelled out on the Cross and nowhere else. The only basis for which God can forgive me is the Cross of Christ. It is there that His conscience is satisfied.

Forgiveness doesn’t merely mean that I am saved from hell and have been made ready for heaven (no one would accept forgiveness on that level). Forgiveness means that I am forgiven into a newly created relationship which identifies me with God in Christ. The miracle of redemption is that God turns me, the unholy one, into the standard of Himself, the Holy One. He does this by putting into me a new nature, the nature of Jesus Christ.

Journal DJR

Good morning Lord,
I really like the conclusion of this thinking … “The miracle of redemption is that God turns me, the unholy one, into the standard of Himself, the Holy One. He does this by putting into me a new nature, the nature of Jesus Christ.” I get it. I love it. Thank you for it. But the way this conclusion is arrived at is … troubling, messy, hard to understand and somehow still causes some resistance in me. Perhaps in the yet uncrucified part of my mind. There is still that thinking that “there must have been some other way” …. And “Why did He set it up that way?” I know these thoughts are way above my pay grade … but they are there. What to do with them?

You have those thoughts in the yet unredeemed part of your mind. All humans have thoughts like that because they think and love with human love. You will have them less and less as you focus more and more on me and spend time with me. It’s automatic. Dont try to get rid of those thoughts, Just focus on me and let my thinking and my nature come into you and replace them. Getting stirred up about your old unredeemed parts won’t help the process … it will slow it down. Relax. I do love you. Know that and appropriate what I died for. Take it in and live the new life that I have for you.

Winning into Freedom

November 18th, 2013

If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed —John 8:36

If there is even a trace of individual self-satisfaction left in us, it always says, “I can’t surrender,” or “I can’t be free.” But the spiritual part of our being never says “I can’t”; it simply soaks up everything around it. Our spirit hungers for more and more. It is the way we are built. We are designed with a great capacity for God, but sin, our own individuality, and wrong thinking keep us from getting to Him. God delivers us from sin— we have to deliver ourselves from our individuality. This means offering our natural life to God and sacrificing it to Him, so He may transform it into spiritual life through our obedience.

God pays no attention to our natural individuality in the development of our spiritual life. His plan runs right through our natural life. We must see to it that we aid and assist God, and not stand against Him by saying, “I can’t do that.” God will not discipline us; we must discipline ourselves. God will not bring our “arguments . . . and every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5)— we have to do it. Don’t say, “Oh, Lord, I suffer from wandering thoughts.” Don’t suffer from wandering thoughts. Stop listening to the tyranny of your individual natural life and win freedom into the spiritual life.

“If the Son makes you free . . . .” Do not substitute Savior for Son in this passage. The Savior has set us free from sin, but this is the freedom that comes from being set free from myself by the Son. It is what Paul meant in Galatians 2:20  when he said, “I have been crucified with Christ . . . .” His individuality had been broken and his spirit had been united with his Lord; not just merged into Him, but made one with Him. “. . . you shall be free indeed”— free to the very core of your being; free from the inside to the outside. We tend to rely on our own energy, instead of being energized by the power that comes from identification with Jesus.


November 18, 2013

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, when I read one of these “just pull yourself up from your own bootstraps” kind of devotionals it points out to me just how much I need you.  I cannot remember being successful at just gritting my teeth and forcing myself to control and discipline myself just because I know I should be a better Christian. It has not worked that way for me.

And God says…”It does not work that way for anyone. The apostle Paul, perhaps the most focused and disciplined explained his dilemma …”I want to do right but then I do not. Who is to save me from this….Thanks be to God I have been saved already by Jesus Christ”. You have been redeemed; you have been saved from the power of the natural. Now you can choose to live in the supernatural by simply surrendering to Me. Let Me provide the way, your truth and the light for your daily living. Seek Jesus first and everything else becomes clear and your choices are easily made by the power of Jesus.”

What Is That to You?”

November 15th, 2013

 Peter . . . said to Jesus, ’But Lord, what about this man?’ Jesus said to him, ’. . . what is that to you? You follow Me’John 21:21-22


One of the hardest lessons to learn comes from our stubborn refusal to refrain from interfering in other people’s lives. It takes a long time to realize the danger of being an amateur providence, that is, interfering with God’s plan for others. You see someone suffering and say, “He will not suffer, and I will make sure that he doesn’t.” You put your hand right in front of God’s permissive will to stop it, and then God says, “What is that to you?” Is there stagnation in your spiritual life? Don’t allow it to continue, but get into God’s presence and find out the reason for it. You will possibly find it is because you have been interfering in the life of another— proposing things you had no right to propose, or advising when you had no right to advise. When you do have to give advice to another person, God will advise through you with the direct understanding of His Spirit. Your part is to maintain the right relationship with God so that His discernment can come through you continually for the purpose of blessing someone else.

Most of us live only within the level of consciousness— consciously serving and consciously devoted to God. This shows immaturity and the fact that we’re not yet living the real Christian life. Maturity is produced in the life of a child of God on the unconscious level, until we become so totally surrendered to God that we are not even aware of being used by Him. When we are consciously aware of being used as broken bread and poured-out wine, we have yet another level to reach— a level where all awareness of ourselves and of what God is doing through us is completely eliminated. A saint is never consciously a saint— a saint is consciously dependent on God.




November 15, 2013

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, I do understand that I am not to interfere with Your will but I also understand that You came to give us abundant life. How can I know which person to help and which to leave alone to the circumstances You allowed? How can I know when to reach out to help someone in need and when to leave them to Your divine circumstances?

And God says…”The same lesson, day by day is the answer to your question; you become aware of when to reach out and when to allow Me to work in another’s life, when you first surrender to Me and allow Me to work through you …”From the inside Out”.  You cannot determine who to help and who to leave for my shaping. You can only be available and open to My leading. Let Me be the lamp that lights your way a step or day at a time. Trust in Me with all your heart, and not your own ideas and understanding, and I will make your paths straight.  Seek Me first every day, and look for Me in every circumstance, and I will lead you from the inside out.”

Discovering Divine Design

November 14th, 2013

As for me, being on the way, the Lord led me . . . —Genesis 24:27


We should be so one with God that we don’t need to ask continually for guidance. Sanctification means that we are made the children of God. A child’s life is normally obedient, until he chooses disobedience. But as soon as he chooses to disobey, an inherent inner conflict is produced. On the spiritual level, inner conflict is the warning of the Spirit of God. When He warns us in this way, we must stop at once and be renewed in the spirit of our mind to discern God’s will (see Romans 12:2). If we are born again by the Spirit of God, our devotion to Him is hindered, or even stopped, by continually asking Him to guide us here and there. “. . . the Lord led me . . .” and on looking back we see the presence of an amazing design. If we are born of God we will see His guiding hand and give Him the credit.

We can all see God in exceptional things, but it requires the growth of spiritual discipline to see God in every detail. Never believe that the so-called random events of life are anything less than God’s appointed order. Be ready to discover His divine designs anywhere and everywhere.

Beware of being obsessed with consistency to your own convictions instead of being devoted to God. If you are a saint and say, “I will never do this or that,” in all probability this will be exactly what God will require of you. There was never a more inconsistent being on this earth than our Lord, but He was never inconsistent with His Father. The important consistency in a saint is not to a principle but to the divine life. It is the divine life that continually makes more and more discoveries about the divine mind. It is easier to be an excessive fanatic than it is to be consistently faithful, because God causes an amazing humbling of our religious conceit when we are faithful to Him.


November 14, 2013

Journal for Today-JDV

Lord, this part of the devotional spoke to my heart…”Never believe that the so-called random events of life are anything less than God’s appointed order. Be ready to discover His divine designs anywhere and everywhere.” And if You cause all things to work together for my good, as You say in Romans 8:28, then I must believe that there are no random events.  You are orchestrating the circumstances of this life for my good….regardless of my current reality.  When I consider the notion of Your overwhelming love for me, I begin to see things differently.

And God says…”You can experience the overwhelming nature of My love when you simply consider the magnitude of My sacrifice. I want an intimate and loving relationship with you, based on love, faith, trust and surrender. Trust in Me with all your heart, and do not rely on your understanding , and I will give you the directions for your life, day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute. When you live in the present with Me in a surrendered state, you can live a life of curiosity, observing the world around you and asking yourself, …”I wonder how God is going to work this out for my good and His honor and glory?” Delight yourself in the Lord and you will receive the desires of your heart. I know the plans I have for you, plans for good, for a wonderful future.  Trust Me to be God, and work all things for your good.”



Faith or Experience?

November 13th, 2013

. . . the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me —Galatians 2:20


We should battle through our moods, feelings, and emotions into absolute devotion to the Lord Jesus. We must break out of our own little world of experience into abandoned devotion to Him. Think who the New Testament says Jesus Christ is, and then think of the despicable meagerness of the miserable faith we exhibit by saying, “I haven’t had this experience or that experience”! Think what faith in Jesus Christ claims and provides— He can present us faultless before the throne of God, inexpressibly pure, absolutely righteous, and profoundly justified. Stand in absolute adoring faith “in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God— and righteousness and sanctification and redemption . . .” (1 Corinthians 1:30). How dare we talk of making a sacrifice for the Son of God! We are saved from hell and total destruction, and then we talk about making sacrifices!

We must continually focus and firmly place our faith in Jesus Christ— not a “prayer meeting” Jesus Christ, or a “book” Jesus Christ, but the New Testament Jesus Christ, who is God Incarnate, and who ought to strike us dead at His feet. Our faith must be in the One from whom our salvation springs. Jesus Christ wants our absolute, unrestrained devotion to Himself. We can never experience Jesus Christ, or selfishly bind Him in the confines of our own hearts. Our faith must be built on strong determined confidence in Him.

It is because of our trusting in experience that we see the steadfast impatience of the Holy Spirit against unbelief. All of our fears are sinful, and we create our own fears by refusing to nourish ourselves in our faith. How can anyone who is identified with Jesus Christ suffer from doubt or fear! Our lives should be an absolute hymn of praise resulting from perfect, irrepressible, triumphant belief.



November 13, 2013-

Journal Entry- JDV

Lord, this devotional reminded me of one of those “hellfire and brimstone” sermons I would hear (and that chased me away from church) years ago.  When Chambers writes that all of our fears are sinful, and we need to just pull ourselves up by our faith bootstraps, and have solid and confident faith; well it doesn’t seem to work that way for me Lord. I am a great deal like the father of the girl that told Jesus, “I believe, help me in my unbelief”. I would like to have more confidence, more faith, more discipline, but how much less than 100% is acceptable? Lord, please help me understand how much more confident in my faith need I be to be acceptable?

And God says…”You are always and completely acceptable to Me because I see Jesus when I look at you. When you surrender and identify with Jesus, you are not required to grow and sustain your own faith. I will provide your growth and sustenance. You are not required to think or behave or even believe in things a certain way.  You simply trust in Jesus and give up your rights to your own notions of spirituality. You must even question the notions and ideas of preachers and teachers, as they preach and teach their ideas of faith. Simply trust in Me. “

The way to step out in confidence in an uncertain and demanding world, to live a life in confident faith, is to know that I love you beyond all you can imagine, and my love has nothing to do with your work or worthiness.  My love is because of what Jesus did and what He is for you. Seek first the kingdom of God, which is Jesus, and all you need, or hope will be provided. Delight yourself in Jesus and I will give you the desires of your heart.”

The Supreme Climb

November 11th, 2013

He said, ’Take now your son . . .’ —Genesis 22:2


God’s command is, “Take now,” not later. It is incredible how we debate! We know something is right, but we try to find excuses for not doing it immediately. If we are to climb to the height God reveals, it can never be done later— it must be done now. And the sacrifice must be worked through our will before we actually perform it.

“So Abraham rose early in the morning . . . and went to the place of which God had told him” (Genesis 22:3). Oh, the wonderful simplicity of Abraham! When God spoke, he did not “confer with flesh and blood” (Galatians 1:16). Beware when you want to “confer with flesh and blood” or even your own thoughts, insights, or understandings— anything that is not based on your personal relationship with God. These are all things that compete with and hinder obedience to God.

Abraham did not choose what the sacrifice would be. Always guard against self-chosen service for God. Self-sacrifice may be a disease that impairs your service. If God has made your cup sweet, drink it with grace; or even if He has made it bitter, drink it in communion with Him. If the providential will of God means a hard and difficult time for you, go through it. But never decide the place of your own martyrdom, as if to say, “I will only go to there, but no farther.” God chose the test for Abraham, and Abraham neither delayed nor protested, but steadily obeyed. If you are not living in touch with God, it is easy to blame Him or pass judgment on Him. You must go through the trial before you have any right to pronounce a verdict, because by going through the trial you learn to know God better. God is working in us to reach His highest goals until His purpose and our purpose become one.


November 11, 2013-JDV


God, whenever I hear or read about someone that hears your voice, and responds…or not; I think…”If I just knew it was God talking to me, I would respond.” I would do exactly what You want me to do God, if I only knew it was your voice.  But oftentimes I am uncertain about the still small voice inside my head. Is it You, is it my own voice or the voice of my parents, church or???  If I just knew it was You Lord.

And God says…” When you are connected, truly connected to Me, you know it is Me. When you have abandoned your own methods and devices, you know it is Me. You are uncertain about My voice only because you are not surrendered and connected. When you abandon your own notions, the notions of others, even the notions of the church and church leaders, and listen for Me, you will hear My voice. My sheep know My voice. And when you respond to Me you will hear Me even more clearly as  your next steps, become clear, one step at a time.  You then can respond to the church, and the voices that confirm I am God and I gave My Son for you. You can respond to the understanding that your first step is to be loved by Me. Surrender, and listen for and to Me, and you will hear My voice and know it is your God.  Seek first the Kingdom of God, which is Jesus, and everything you need will be provided.”