Archive for June, 2014

And After That What’s Next To Do?

June 10th, 2014

. . . seek, and you will find . . . —Luke 11:9

Seek if you have not found. “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss . . .” (James 4:3). If you ask for things from life instead of from God, “you ask amiss”; that is, you ask out of your desire for self-fulfillment. The more you fulfill yourself the less you will seek God. “. . . seek, and you will find . . . .” Get to work— narrow your focus and interests to this one thing. Have you ever sought God with your whole heart, or have you simply given Him a feeble cry after some emotionally painful experience? “. . . seek, [focus,] and you will find . . . .”

“Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters. . .” (Isaiah 55:1). Are you thirsty, or complacent and indifferent— so satisfied with your own experience that you want nothing more of God? Experience is a doorway, not a final goal. Beware of building your faith on experience, or your life will not ring true and will only sound the note of a critical spirit. Remember that you can never give another person what you have found, but you can cause him to have a desire for it.

“. . . knock, and it will be opened to you” (Luke 11:9). “Draw near to God . . .” (James 4:8). Knock— the door is closed, and your heartbeat races as you knock. “Cleanse your hands . . .” (James 4:8). Knock a bit louder— you begin to find that you are dirty. “. . . purify your hearts . . .” (James 4:8). It is becoming even more personal— you are desperate and serious now— you will do anything. “Lament . . . ” (James 4:9). Have you ever lamented, expressing your sorrow before God for the condition of your inner life? There is no thread of self-pity left, only the heart-rending difficulty and amazement which comes from seeing what kind of person you really are. “Humble yourselves . . . ” (James 4:10). It is a humbling experience to knock at God’s door— you have to knock with the crucified thief. “. . . to him who knocks it will be opened” (Luke 11:10).



Journal DJR
Good morning Lord, Knock, Knock, Knock. I find some things easy to come knocking for on your door and other things not so much. Some things I’ve knocked and knocked and I think I may have just gotten tired…? At least there is a lack of the desperation that is mentioned in the message today. I dont have to dig too much deeper to find unclean heart and hands and lack of faith. It’s a good exercise. Getting humble like the thief on the cross, both so that I can hear better and also believe better and obey better.

That’s good analysis. But good analysis won’t solve your problems. It’s like getting a correct diagnosis of cancer. It’s good to know … but you still have cancer.

OK, then what does one do? In the correctly diagnosed cancer metaphor, there are then treatment options. When we get a lack of faith, or unclean heart diagnosis … are there treatment options?

Accessing my power and life is the cure. But there are different ways that it will be accessed and applied. Remember that there is no cookbook with recipes where one size fits all. That is why you must come knocking and listening to me to get your custom prescription for your lack of faith or unclean heart. There is no 4 step program for you and you cannot prescribe a 4 step program for anyone else. I customize solutions for all of my children.

Lord, help me this day to come knocking with the right heart … and then to be quickly obedient when I hear or see something that is from you. I love you. Thank you for your love.

Then What’s Next To Do?

June 9th, 2014

Everyone who asks receives . . . —Luke 11:10

“Hope Can Change Everthing”. Song by Bart Millard, Francesca Battistelli, Jamie Grace, Jeremy Camp, Matt Maher & Sidewalk Prophets. Lyric Video made by SMN

Ask if you have not received. There is nothing more difficult than asking. We will have yearnings and desires for certain things, and even suffer as a result of their going unfulfilled, but not until we are at the limit of desperation will we ask. It is the sense of not being spiritually real that causes us to ask. Have you ever asked out of the depths of your total insufficiency and poverty?
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God . . . ” (James 1:5), but be sure that you do lack wisdom before you ask. You cannot bring yourself to the point of spiritual reality anytime you choose. The best thing to do, once you realize you are not spiritually real, is to ask God for the Holy Spirit, basing your request on the promise of Jesus Christ (see Luke 11:13). The Holy Spirit is the one who makes everything that Jesus did for you real in your life.“Everyone who asks receives . . . .”
This does not mean that you will not get if you do not ask, but it means that until you come to the point of asking, you will not receive from God (seeMatthew 5:45). To be able to receive means that you have to come into the relationship of a child of God, and then you comprehend and appreciate mentally, morally, and with spiritual understanding, that these things come from God.“If any of you lacks wisdom . . . .”
If you realize that you are lacking, it is because you have come in contact with spiritual reality— do not put the blinders of reason on again. The word ask actually means “beg.” Some people are poor enough to be interested in their poverty, and some of us are poor enough spiritually to show our interest. Yet we will never receive if we ask with a certain result in mind, because we are asking out of our lust, not out of our poverty. A pauper does not ask out of any reason other than the completely hopeless and painful condition of his poverty. He is not ashamed to beg— blessed are the paupers in spirit (see Matthew 5:3).

June 9, 2014

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, this has been the lesson over the past several weeks, look to You for everything.  However, when Chambers says that only when we ask out of our poverty, are we asking out of our need. When we are not in need we are asking out of our lust? Is that accurate?  I thought we were learning to trust You at every level, for everything.  I thought You were teaching us to understand  that we are to be connected to You for everything.

And God says…”When Oswald says “out of your poverty” he is saying out of your desperation. You can be desperate about the everyday things of life as well…knowing that when you allow Me to live through you at every level, you can live connected, and at peace regardless of your lack or abundance.   Acknowledge me in all your ways, in all your actions, hopes, thoughts and dreams and I will make your paths straight. You can be desperate in your love and yearning for Me…and when you are desperate, by circumstance or through the pattern and development of your faith, you put your trust in Me. That is how to live. Delight yourself in Me and I will give you the desires of your heart.”

The Greatest Source of Power

June 7th, 2014

Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do . . . —John 14:13

Am I fulfilling this ministry of intercession deep within the hidden recesses of my life? There is no trap nor any danger at all of being deceived or of showing pride in true intercession. It is a hidden ministry that brings forth fruit through which the Father is glorified. Am I allowing my spiritual life to waste away, or am I focused, bringing everything to one central point— the atonement of my Lord? Is Jesus Christ more and more dominating every interest of my life? If the central point, or the most powerful influence, of my life is the atonement of the Lord, then every aspect of my life will bear fruit for Him.

However, I must take the time to realize what this central point of power is. Am I willing to give one minute out of every hour to concentrate on it? “If you abide in Me . . . “— that is, if you continue to act, and think, and work from that central point— “you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7). Am I abiding? Am I taking the time to abide? What is the greatest source of power in my life? Is it my work, service, and sacrifice for others, or is it my striving to work for God? It should be none of these— what ought to exert the greatest power in my life is the atonement of the Lord. It is not on what we spend the greatest amount of time that molds us the most, but whatever exerts the most power over us. We must make a determination to limit and concentrate our desires and interests on the atonement by the Cross of Christ.

“Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do . . . .” The disciple who abides in Jesus is the will of God, and what appears to be his free choices are actually God’s foreordained decrees. Is this mysterious? Does it appear to contradict sound logic or seem totally absurd? Yes, but what a glorious truth it is to a saint of God.

Journal DJR
Good Morning Lord,
This causes me to question, Why do I do what I do? Why am I passionate about what I’m passionate about? Is it you and your atonement and your plans? Sometimes it doesn’t seem so.

You are in process. Sometimes you are seeking me purely. Sometimes it’s a mix. I’m in the mix but not central. Sometimes you’re just running on your own steam. Those times dont work out too well. You call it running amuck. When you look back you can see some of all of these cases.

Yes, I can. It’s good to see when I’ve been connected and heard your voice and done your will. But on all that other time when it seems like I’m running on my own power … I feel so bad about that, but dont seem to be able to wrest my mind over to focus on your atonement as Oswald describes today.

You can try to do that in a mechanical way. It won’t work very well long term.

Yes, I have tried that. Set my watch to ding every hour and try to focus. It didn’t seem to work.

You will have better success at simply starting each day spending time with me and a prayer to keep a focus on our relationship thru the day. Then go do the day. Keep looking for me in all the circumstances. If you have asked me lead you and guide you, dont you think that I’ll be happy to answer that prayer? Realize also that just as you stay curious and watch and see what Father is doing in a situation … I also am curious to see what you will do with situations. I will not make you a robot. I am curious to see how much of me and my kingdom you will absorb and make your own. It starts off that my thoughts are not your thoughts. But as time goes on and you immerse yourself more and more in me and my ways and my thoughts … you will start thinking like me. It is then that these verses will make sense.

Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do . . . —John 14:13

“If you abide in Me . . . you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7)

“Work Out” What God “Works in” You

June 6th, 2014

. . . work out your own salvation . . . for it is God who works in you . . . —Philippians 2:12-13

Your will agrees with God, but in your flesh there is a nature that renders you powerless to do what you know you ought to do. When the Lord initially comes in contact with our conscience, the first thing our conscience does is awaken our will, and our will always agrees with God. Yet you say, “But I don’t know if my will is in agreement with God.” Look to Jesus and you will find that your will and your conscience are in agreement with Him every time. What causes you to say “I will not obey” is something less deep and penetrating than your will. It is perversity or stubbornness, and they are never in agreement with God. The most profound thing in a person is his will, not sin.

The will is the essential element in God’s creation of human beings— sin is a perverse nature which entered into people. In someone who has been born again, the source of the will is Almighty God. “. . . for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” With focused attention and great care, you have to “work out” what God “works in” you— not work to accomplish or earn “your own salvation,” but work it out so you will exhibit the evidence of a life based with determined, unshakable faith on the complete and perfect redemption of the Lord. As you do this, you do not bring an opposing will up against God’s will— God’s will is your will. Your natural choices will be in accordance with God’s will, and living this life will be as natural as breathing. Stubbornness is an unintelligent barrier, refusing enlightenment and blocking its flow. The only thing to do with this barrier of stubbornness is to blow it up with “dynamite,” and the “dynamite” is obedience to the Holy Spirit.

Do I believe that Almighty God is the Source of my will? God not only expects me to do His will, but He is in me to do it.

Journal DJR
Good Morning Lord,
You have shown us wonderful things about your love and grace. And how connection with you is the key. You’ve amplified Jn 5:19 for us … you only did what you saw and heard from Father, and encouraged us to live the same way. You’ve shown us to live expectantly and curious to see what you’re doing next. We understand in our minds that all these are parts of kingdom living, a better way to live,…… But we’ve been frustrated that we sometimes fail to implement all these good ideas. And we pray every day to improve the transfer of the things we understand to the ways that we walk them out in our daily lives.
The message of today, Work out our salvation by what you’ve worked into us, and blow up the resistance with the dynamite of Obedience speaks clearly to me. This is normally a “day off” for me. But as I awoke the thought was in my mind, “What are you going to do first? Check your email or spend time with me?” I sensed that although checking email is not a sin, for me, it would set the tone for my day. Set it toward the cares of the world. For me, it would be an indicator of what comes first in my life. So here I am. The Action Point is summed up in the title of the song. I Choose Now.
I was going to close with a prayer to still help me implement the concepts you’ve taught us. You’re showing me that there is a time when prayer is not the most important thing. Choosing is the most important thing. Choosing, Deciding and Obeying. When I’ve gone past a point of choosing to obey without actually implementing the obedience, i.e. when I’m in disobedience, it is fruitless and frustrating to pray. It’s like I’ve skipped first base. Rather I need to always tag all the bases. The building block you’re showing today is to Choose Now and blow up the resistance by Obedience to your Holy Spirit.

God’s Assurance

June 5th, 2014

He Himself has said . . . . So we may boldly say . . . —Hebrews 13:5-6

My assurance is to be built upon God’s assurance to me. God says, “I will never leave you,” so that then I “may boldly say, ’The Lord is my helper; I will not fear’ ” (Hebrews 13:5-6). In other words, I will not be obsessed with apprehension. This does not mean that I will not be tempted to fear, but I will remember God’s words of assurance. I will be full of courage, like a child who strives to reach the standard his father has set for him. The faith of many people begins to falter when apprehensions enter their thinking, and they forget the meaning of God’s assurance— they forget to take a deep spiritual breath. The only way to remove the fear from our lives is to listen to God’s assurance to us.

What are you fearing? Whatever it may be, you are not a coward about it— you are determined to face it, yet you still have a feeling of fear. When it seems that there is nothing and no one to help you, say to yourself, “But ’The Lord is my helper’ this very moment, even in my present circumstance.” Are you learning to listen to God before you speak, or are you saying things and then trying to make God’s Word fit what you have said? Take hold of the Father’s assurance, and then say with strong courage, “I will not fear.” It does not matter what evil or wrong may be in our way, because “He Himself has said, ’I will never leave you . . . .’ ”

Human frailty is another thing that gets between God’s words of assurance and our own words and thoughts. When we realize how feeble we are in facing difficulties, the difficulties become like giants, we become like grasshoppers, and God seems to be nonexistent. But remember God’s assurance to us— “I will never. . . forsake you.” Have we learned to sing after hearing God’s keynote? Are we continually filled with enough courage to say, “The Lord is my helper,” or are we yielding to fear?

Journal DJR

Good morning Lord,
This lesson is right down to the practical aspects of where I live. It was stressful like this right before I came here to meet you and JD this morning … and as I begin to think about what’s next, I can see that it can be more of the same. With me trying to solve my problems and stressing out about it. I get it (in my head) that you will never leave me or forsake me. But I’m like that guy who said, ” Lord, I believe, Help my unbelief”

That was a pretty good prayer. Acknowledged his shortcomings and continued coming to the source. Also remember yesterday’s message and the last few days. I will even dwell in your common sense as you keep coming to me.

What about when I pray for an answer and it looks like it doesn’t come or it sure is the opposite of what I prayed for?

You will have stress if you specify what your answer is to look like. The verse said I would not leave you or forsake you. It didn’t say I would deliver up all your requests in the time frame and exact manner that you expected. Realize that I have not left you or forsaken you … even if it seems your prayer didn’t get answered. Hang on to that. Meet me there. And as you stay connected and curious and expectant, you will feel your stress drain away.

The Never-forsaking God

June 4th, 2014

He Himself has said, ’I will never leave you nor forsake you’ —Hebrews 13:5

What line of thinking do my thoughts take? Do I turn to what God says or to my own fears? Am I simply repeating what God says, or am I learning to truly hear Him and then to respond after I have heard what He says? “For He Himself has said, ’I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ’The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’ ” (Hebrews 13:5-6).“I will never leave you . . .”— not for any reason; not my sin, selfishness, stubbornness, nor waywardness. Have I really let God say to me that He will never leave me? If I have not truly heard this assurance of God, then let me listen again.

“I will never . . . forsake you.” Sometimes it is not the difficulty of life but the drudgery of it that makes me think God will forsake me. When there is no major difficulty to overcome, no vision from God, nothing wonderful or beautiful— just the everyday activities of life— do I hear God’s assurance even in these?

We have the idea that God is going to do some exceptional thing— that He is preparing and equipping us for some extraordinary work in the future. But as we grow in His grace we find that God is glorifying Himself here and now, at this very moment. If we have God’s assurance behind us, the most amazing strength becomes ours, and we learn to sing, glorifying Him even in the ordinary days and ways of life.



June 4, 2014

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, this lesson; hearing and living in assurance in the everyday, mundane activities of life, is a lesson You have been giving us for some time now. It is one thing to look to You when the roadblocks and trials are too overwhelming, and we know that we MUST turn to You; it is quite another to look to You in the day to day minute by minute activities of a normal standard day, even in the activities we know we can handle on our own, and choose not to…because You said to acknowledge You in all our activities and do not rely on our own abilities, understanding or experiences.

And God says…”This is one of the most difficult lessons for many; especially those that are driven to “get things done”. Those that know how to get things done, how to plan, organize and execute on ideas, have no problem recognizing patterns in day to day work and activities and then simply applying themselves to the issues and opportunities of day to day work. However, I want you to acknowledge Me in everything you do, before you take any action, even and especially those things you know you can handle with ease.”

“This will help you build a pattern of looking to Me and remaining curious about how I will answer your prayer, guide your work, find new opportunities, relationships and solutions. Remember, God is not your co-pilot, like the title of some 40s or 50s movie, I am the pilot, co-pilot, and attendant all together. Simply surrender and be the curious passenger. Trust me in all your ways and I will make your paths straight. I know the plans I have for you, plans for good and for a future. Seek first the kingdom of God, and leave everything else to Me.”




“The Secret of the Lord”

June 3rd, 2014

The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him . . . —Psalm 25:14

What is the sign of a friend? Is it that he tells you his secret sorrows? No, it is that he tells you his secret joys. Many people will confide their secret sorrows to you, but the final mark of intimacy is when they share their secret joys with you. Have we ever let God tell us any of His joys? Or are we continually telling God our secrets, leaving Him no time to talk to us? At the beginning of our Christian life we are full of requests to God. But then we find that God wants to get us into an intimate relationship with Himself— to get us in touch with His purposes. Are we so intimately united to Jesus Christ’s idea of prayer— “Your will be done” (Matthew 6:10)— that we catch the secrets of God? What makes God so dear to us is not so much His big blessings to us, but the tiny things, because they show His amazing intimacy with us— He knows every detail of each of our individual lives.

“Him shall He teach in the way He chooses” (Psalm 25:12). At first, we want the awareness of being guided by God. But then as we grow spiritually, we live so fully aware of God that we do not even need to ask what His will is, because the thought of choosing another way will never occur to us. If we are saved and sanctified, God guides us by our everyday choices. And if we are about to choose what He does not want, He will give us a sense of doubt or restraint, which we must heed. Whenever there is doubt, stop at once. Never try to reason it out, saying, “I wonder why I shouldn’t do this?” God instructs us in what we choose; that is, He actually guides our common sense. And when we yield to His teachings and guidance, we no longer hinder His Spirit by continually asking, “Now, Lord, what is Your will?”



June 3, 2014

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, it has seldom occurred to me to think about Your joy; or what makes You happy. I seem to always be focused on how I can be a better Christian, or simply a better man, father, businessman,  brother, son or friend. Or how can I avail myself of Your provision and or blessings; how can I increase my faith and live a more fulfilled life?  I want to live in Your will Lord, but then it occurs to me that sometimes my giving up on my wants and needs with a “Whatever is in Your will” has simply been my way of giving up on being curious and expectant about how You will answer my prayers. Lord, please help me stay connected to You, Your joy and to remain curious about how you will guide me in all that I do this day.


And God says…”My joy is an intimate relationship with you. My joy is demonstrating my love for you. I am joyful when you trust and obey and I am joyful when you cannot trust and obey and must rely on my grace, love and the forgiveness provided by the sacrifice of Jesus. I am joyful when you expect Me to act on your behalf, when you are curious about how I will respond to your needs. “

“Nothing can separate you from My love; nothing. Trust in Me with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding or actions, and I will make your paths straight. Seek Me first, and I will provide all that you need to live this day. And focus on this day; this daily manna. Our connection, your surrender and curiosity about how and what I shall do to make all your paths straight. I find My joy in our relationship; our love and your surrender, trusting Me to be God while you let go of rational ideas about how and when I will choose to work in your life and the lives of those you love. “

Are You Obsessed by Something?

June 2nd, 2014

Who is the man that fears the Lord? —Psalm 25:12

Are you obsessed by something? You will probably say, “No, by nothing,” but all of us are obsessed by something— usually by ourselves, or, if we are Christians, by our own experience of the Christian life. But the psalmist says that we are to be obsessed by God. The abiding awareness of the Christian life is to be God Himself, not just thoughts about Him. The total being of our life inside and out is to be absolutely obsessed by the presence of God. A child’s awareness is so absorbed in his mother that although he is not consciously thinking of her, when a problem arises, the abiding relationship is that with the mother. In that same way, we are to “live and move and have our being” in God (Acts 17:28), looking at everything in relation to Him, because our abiding awareness of Him continually pushes itself to the forefront of our lives.If we are obsessed by God, nothing else can get into our lives— not concerns, nor tribulation, nor worries. And now we understand why our Lord so emphasized the sin of worrying. How can we dare to be so absolutely unbelieving when God totally surrounds us? To be obsessed by God is to have an effective barricade against all the assaults of the enemy.

“He himself shall dwell in prosperity . . .” (Psalm 25:13). God will cause us to “dwell in prosperity,” keeping us at ease, even in the midst of tribulation, misunderstanding, and slander, if our “life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). We rob ourselves of the miraculous, revealed truth of this abiding companionship with God. “God is our refuge . . .” (Psalm 46:1). Nothing can break through His shelter of protection.


June 2, 2014

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord is obsession the same as being totally surrendered and connected with Jesus?  When Chambers writes about how you provide and protect us, it comes alive in the same way as has the teaching about being connected……”He himself shall dwell in prosperity . . .” (Psalm 25:13). God will cause us to “dwell in prosperity,” keeping us at ease, even in the midst of tribulation, misunderstanding, and slander, if our “life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). Lord thank you again for the reminder and reinforcement about the benefits of our lives being hidden with Christ.  But I wonder…how can I stay connected more and more? How can I go to checking my connection and getting close to You and Your love, power and grace  instead of moving quickly on to my own ideas and actions?

And God says…”It is much like you have learned any and everything when guided by Me. Simply trust in Me; start with Me before any new or changing relationship, project, action or endeavor. Start and end with Me; just like you start your day with this devotional and fresh commitment.  Trust in Me with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding, and I will make your paths straight. For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

“Delight yourself in the Lord and I will give you the desires of your heart.  And when you find you are not able to completely trust Me because of your fear, lack of faith or thoughts of your unworthiness, give those thoughts and feelings to Me as well, and I will give you the peace the passes understanding. If I gave you My Son, would I not give you every other thing that is good for you?”