Archive for September, 2014

The Assigning of the Call

September 30th, 2014

I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church . . . —Colossians 1:24

We take our own spiritual consecration and try to make it into a call of God, but when we get right with Him He brushes all this aside. Then He gives us a tremendous, riveting pain to fasten our attention on something that we never even dreamed could be His call for us. And for one radiant, flashing moment we see His purpose, and we say, “Here am I! Send me” (Isaiah 6:8).

This call has nothing to do with personal sanctification, but with being made broken bread and poured-out wine. Yet God can never make us into wine if we object to the fingers He chooses to use to crush us. We say, “If God would only use His own fingers, and make me broken bread and poured-out wine in a special way, then I wouldn’t object!” But when He uses someone we dislike, or some set of circumstances to which we said we would never submit, to crush us, then we object. Yet we must never try to choose the place of our own martyrdom. If we are ever going to be made into wine, we will have to be crushed—you cannot drink grapes. Grapes become wine only when they have been squeezed.

I wonder what finger and thumb God has been using to squeeze you? Have you been as hard as a marble and escaped? If you are not ripe yet, and if God had squeezed you anyway, the wine produced would have been remarkably bitter. To be a holy person means that the elements of our natural life experience the very presence of God as they are providentially broken in His service. We have to be placed into God and brought into agreement with Him before we can be broken bread in His hands. Stay right with God and let Him do as He likes, and you will find that He is producing the kind of bread and wine that will benefit His other children.


September 30, 2014

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, this devotional feels like Chambers is lecturing his students on how to accept the pain and martyrdom of being believers and disciples. However, there is another way to view this is there not? Is it a condition of being a follower of Christ that we become martyrs, and that we be broken and poured out for others?

And God says…”If you want life and life more abundantly, it is necessary that you give up your own ideas, your own will and surrender. And often it will feel like you are giving up “being crushed in your own spirit and will” as you discover that your will and your very brightest ideas do not work for you anymore. You may not become a martyr in the truest sense of the word, but you do, after being connected to Me, become aware that you are to leave your old notions and ideas behind. Acknowledge Me in all our ways, and do not rely on our own ways and means, and I will make your paths straight.  My ways are higher than your ways. For I know the plans I have for you, they are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Seek first the kingdom of God, which is Jesus, and everything else you require, including the shaping of your heart, mind and soul, will be provided just when it is required. And when you fail to hear Me because your own voice speaks too loudly, do not worry; my grace and mercy is sufficient for that time. Delight yourself in the Lord and I will give you the desires of your heart.”

« Previous Day

The Awareness of the Call

September 29th, 2014

. . . for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel! —1 Corinthians 9:16

We are inclined to forget the deeply spiritual and supernatural touch of God. If you are able to tell exactly where you were when you received the call of God and can explain all about it, I question whether you have truly been called. The call of God does not come like that; it is much more supernatural. The realization of the call in a person’s life may come like a clap of thunder or it may dawn gradually. But however quickly or slowly this awareness comes, it is always accompanied with an undercurrent of the supernatural—something that is inexpressible and produces a “glow.” At any moment the sudden awareness of this incalculable, supernatural, surprising call that has taken hold of your life may break through—”I chose you . . .” (John 15:16). The call of God has nothing to do with salvation and sanctification. You are not called to preach the gospel because you are sanctified; the call to preach the gospel is infinitely different. Paul describes it as a compulsion that was placed upon him.If you have ignored, and thereby removed, the great supernatural call of God in your life, take a review of your circumstances. See where you have put your own ideas of service or your particular abilities ahead of the call of God. Paul said, “. . . woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!” He had become aware of the call of God, and his compulsion to “preach the gospel” was so strong that nothing else was any longer even a competitor for his strength.If a man or woman is called of God, it doesn’t matter how difficult the circumstances may be. God orchestrates every force at work for His purpose in the end. If you will agree with God’s purpose, He will bring not only your conscious level but also all the deeper levels of your life, which you yourself cannot reach, into perfect harmony.________________________________________________________September 29, 2014

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, thank you for this devotional about preaching the Gospel. It appears that when a person is called by You, the power is supernatural, and the call undeniable.  Chambers also seems to be saying that when we have been called, it is both unavoidable and unexplainable. The call from You is unmistakable. However, we cannot put it into words. How are we to respond to your guiding us in this area? It seems powerful and yet overwhelming.

And God says…”Everything about our relationship can be overwhelming if you try to figure it out, understand it, or make it make sense within your natural mind. When I reach out to you I reach out to the Holy Spirit living inside of you.  You cannot, in your natural mind, understand or even recognize my voice or direction. However, the Spirit of God living within you does hear my voice; and by the power of that Spirit of God, you do understand and can respond to Me. My sheep know my voice.  So we are back to where we always start; be connected to Jesus, allow Jesus to live through your surrender and remain curious and expectant about how I will use you.  And when you hear My voice, be obedient.  Sometimes I may call on you to preach the Gospel and occasionally use words.  Trust in the Lord in all your ways, do not rely on your own devices and I will make your paths straight.  You can do nothing apart from Me.  But when we are connected, and you have surrendered yourself to Me, you can do anything.”

The “Go” of Relationship

September 25th, 2014

Whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two—Matthew 5:41

Our Lord’s teaching can be summed up in this: the relationship that He demands for us is an impossible one unless He has done a super-natural work in us. Jesus Christ demands that His disciple does not allow even the slightest trace of resentment in his heart when faced with tyranny and injustice. No amount of enthusiasm will ever stand up to the strain that Jesus Christ will put upon His servant. Only one thing will bear the strain, and that is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ Himself— a relationship that has been examined, purified, and tested until only one purpose remains and I can truly say, “I am here for God to send me where He will.” Everything else may become blurred, but this relationship with Jesus Christ must never be.

The Sermon on the Mount is not some unattainable goal; it is a statement of what will happen in me when Jesus Christ has changed my nature by putting His own nature in me. Jesus Christ is the only One who can fulfill the Sermon on the Mount.

If we are to be disciples of Jesus, we must be made disciples supernaturally. And as long as we consciously maintain the determined purpose to be His disciples, we can be sure that we are not disciples. Jesus says, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you. . .” (John 15:16). That is the way the grace of God begins. It is a constraint we can never escape; we can disobey it, but we can never start it or produce it ourselves. We are drawn to God by a work of His supernatural grace, and we can never trace back to find where the work began. Our Lord’s making of a disciple is supernatural. He does not build on any natural capacity of ours at all. God does not ask us to do the things that are naturally easy for us— He only asks us to do the things that we are perfectly fit to do through His grace, and that is where the cross we must bear will always come.

The “Go” of Preparation

September 24th, 2014

If you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift—Matthew 5:23-24

It is easy for us to imagine that we will suddenly come to a point in our lives where we are fully prepared, but preparation is not suddenly accomplished. In fact, it is a process that must be steadily maintained. It is dangerous to become settled and complacent in our present level of experience. The Christian life requires preparation and more preparation.

The sense of sacrifice in the Christian life is readily appealing to a new Christian. From a human standpoint, the one thing that attracts us to Jesus Christ is our sense of the heroic, and a close examination of us by our Lord’s words suddenly puts this tide of enthusiasm to the test. “. . . go your way. First be reconciled to your brother. . . .” The “go” of preparation is to allow the Word of God to examine you closely. Your sense of heroic sacrifice is not good enough. The thing the Holy Spirit will detect in you is your nature that can never work in His service. And no one but God can detect that nature in you. Do you have anything to hide from God? If you do, then let God search you with His light. If there is sin in your life, don’t just admit it— confess it. Are you willing to obey your Lord and Master, whatever the humiliation to your right to yourself may be?

Never disregard a conviction that the Holy Spirit brings to you. If it is important enough for the Spirit of God to bring it to your mind, it is the very thing He is detecting in you. You were looking for some big thing to give up, while God is telling you of some tiny thing that must go. But behind that tiny thing lies the stronghold of obstinacy, and you say, “I will not give up my right to myself”— the very thing that God intends you to give up if you are to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.

The Missionary’s Goal

September 23rd, 2014

He . . . said to them, ’Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem . . . ’ —Luke 18:31

In our natural life our ambitions change as we grow, but in the Christian life the goal is given at the very beginning, and the beginning and the end are exactly the same, namely, our Lord Himself. We start with Christ and we end with Him—”. . . till we all come . . . to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ . . .” (Ephesians 4:13), not simply to our own idea of what the Christian life should be. The goal of the missionary is to do God’s will, not to be useful or to win the lost. A missionary is useful and he does win the lost, but that is not his goal. His goal is to do the will of his Lord.In our Lord’s life, Jerusalem was the place where He reached the culmination of His Father’s will upon the cross, and unless we go there with Jesus we will have no friendship or fellowship with Him. Nothing ever diverted our Lord on His way to Jerusalem. He never hurried through certain villages where He was persecuted, or lingered in others where He was blessed. Neither gratitude nor ingratitude turned our Lord even the slightest degree away from His purpose to go “up to Jerusalem.”“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master” (Matthew 10:24). In other words, the same things that happened to our Lord will happen to us on our way to our “Jerusalem.” There will be works of God exhibited through us, people will get blessed, and one or two will show gratitude while the rest will show total ingratitude, but nothing must divert us from going “up to [our] Jerusalem.”

“. . . there they crucified Him . . .” (Luke 23:33). That is what happened when our Lord reached Jerusalem, and that event is the doorway to our salvation. The saints, however, do not end in crucifixion; by the Lord’s grace they end in glory. In the meantime our watchword should be summed up by each of us saying, “I too go ’up to Jerusalem.’ “




September 23 2014

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, thank you for reminding me that it is a “glorious unfolding” ….your promises including following You into Jerusalem. Thank You for the song that reminds me that You are God and the highs and lows of this life including very difficult circumstances cannot change the fact that You are God and all things work for my good; including Jerusalem. But Lord, how can I keep your promises in mind when the circumstances can often seem so overwhelming?

And God says…”You can remember to trust Me and My promises more than you trust your senses. This is not an easy path to follow, and you can accomplish this not out of your strength, but only out of your weakness and surrender.   Surrender your life, actions, discipline, strengths, and weaknesses to Me, and let Me carry you to and through Jerusalem, out to your own glorious unfolding.  Seek first the kingdom of God and everything else you need will be provided, including your own path into and through Jerusalem with Me.  Acknowledge Me in all your ways and I will make your paths straight. Know and believe that I love you so much; I have provided a glorious unfolding in in the face of Jerusalem and other apparent difficulties and defeat.  But like My Jerusalem, yours too will result in overwhelming victory. See Me, be connected to Me, and everything else including your glorious unfoldings will follow.”


The Missionary’s Master and Teacher

September 22nd, 2014

You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am . . . . I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master . . .—John 13:13, 16

To have a master and teacher is not the same thing as being mastered and taught. Having a master and teacher means that there is someone who knows me better than I know myself, who is closer than a friend, and who understands the remotest depths of my heart and is able to satisfy them fully. It means having someone who has made me secure in the knowledge that he has met and solved all the doubts, uncertainties, and problems in my mind. To have a master and teacher is this and nothing less— “. . . for One is your Teacher, the Christ . . .” (Matthew 23:8).Our Lord never takes measures to make me do what He wants. Sometimes I wish God would master and control me to make me do what He wants, but He will not. And at other times I wish He would leave me alone, and He does not.“You call Me Teacher and Lord . . .”— but is He? Teacher, Master, and Lord have little place in our vocabulary. We prefer the words Savior, Sanctifier, and Healer. The only word that truly describes the experience of being mastered is love, and we know little about love as God reveals it in His Word. The way we use the word obey is proof of this. In the Bible, obedience is based on a relationship between equals; for example, that of a son with his father. Our Lord was not simply God’s servant— He was His Son. “. . . though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience. . .” (Hebrews 5:8). If we are consciously aware that we are being mastered, that idea itself is proof that we have no master. If that is our attitude toward Jesus, we are far away from having the relationship He wants with us. He wants us in a relationship where He is so easily our Master and Teacher that we have no conscious awareness of it—a relationship where all we know is that we are His to obey.



September 22, 2014

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, this devotional is also a prayer that we pray at every opportunity; that we be conformed to the image of Jesus, daily. We know that we do not measure up on many occasions, and know that your grace and mercy fills in the gaps. Thank You for reminding us to surrender every day at every opportunity so that You can be our Teacher, Master, and Lord.

And God says…”If you want Me to be your Teacher, Master and Lord, all you need to do is surrender yourself to Me. There is no requirement for you to be perfect, completely obedient all the time. There is no quid pro quo. Nor are you required to act or behave like a religious or “Christian person”. Do not worry about the optics (what it looks like). How do you surrender? Simply offer up to Me your life, decisions, and activities for this day. Close your eyes and in your mind’s eye place them at the foot of the cross, and leave them there. Go on about your day knowing that I will meet all your needs according to My riches in heaven. Remember that  we are connected one day, one hour, one minute at a time, and the manna I provide is for this day, hour and minute. Do not worry about anything, pray about everything and the peace that passes all understanding will be yours.”



Are You Going on With Jesus?

September 19th, 2014

You are those who have continued with Me in My trials —Luke 22:28

It is true that Jesus Christ is with us through our temptations, but are we going on with Him through His temptations? Many of us turn back from going on with Jesus from the very moment we have an experience of what He can do. Watch when God changes your circumstances to see whether you are going on with Jesus, or siding with the world, the flesh, and the devil. We wear His name, but are we going on with Him? “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more” (John 6:66).The temptations of Jesus continued throughout His earthly life, and they will continue throughout the life of the Son of God in us. Are we going on with Jesus in the life we are living right now?

We have the idea that we ought to shield ourselves from some of the things God brings around us. May it never be! It is God who engineers our circumstances, and whatever they may be we must see that we face them while continually abiding with Him in His temptations. They are His temptations, not temptations to us, but temptations to the life of the Son of God in us. Jesus Christ’s honor is at stake in our bodily lives. Are we remaining faithful to the Son of God in everything that attacks His life in us?

Are you going on with Jesus? The way goes through Gethsemane, through the city gate, and on “outside the camp” (Hebrews 13:13). The way is lonely and goes on until there is no longer even a trace of a footprint to follow— but only the voice saying, “Follow Me” (Matthew 4:19).


September 19, 2014

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Thank you Lord for not giving me a preview of future circumstances. When I look back, I know that I would run away kicking and screaming if I had known some of my future unforeseen circumstances. It is interesting how we worry and worry about “what will happen” and when it occurs and we are connected and engaged with You, it is not frightening. It just seems so natural to let You deal with the issues and circumstances of life.

And God says…”I came to give you life and life more abundantly. Acknowledge Me in all your ways and I will make your paths straight. Seek first the Kingdom of God, which is Jesus, and everything else you need will be provided. I do not give you a view of the future, of “what will or could happen” because I give you only enough manna for the current day.  When you trust Me to provide all that you need, to be all that you need, you cannot be anxious. Worry about nothing but pray about everything and you will experience the peace that passes all understanding. Live one day at a time in connection with Me, being curious about how I will meet your needs and those needs of others; expect Me to respond, as you are obedient. And when you are unable to be connected, and cannot find the faith the size of a mustard seed to trust Me, know that I will provide the faith and trust along with the grace and mercy to see you through.”

Praying to God in Secret

September 16th, 2014

When you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place . . . —Matthew 6:6

The primary thought in the area of religion is— keep your eyes on God, not on people. Your motivation should not be the desire to be known as a praying person. Find an inner room in which to pray where no one even knows you are praying, shut the door, and talk to God in secret. Have no motivation other than to know your Father in heaven. It is impossible to carry on your life as a disciple without definite times of secret prayer.

“When you pray, do not use vain repetitions . . .” (Matthew 6:7). God does not hear us because we pray earnestly— He hears us solely on the basis of redemption. God is never impressed by our earnestness. Prayer is not simply getting things from God— that is only the most elementary kind of prayer. Prayer is coming into perfect fellowship and oneness with God. If the Son of God has been formed in us through regeneration (see Galatians 4:19), then He will continue to press on beyond our common sense and will change our attitude about the things for which we pray.

“Everyone who asks receives . . .” (Matthew 7:8). We pray religious nonsense without even involving our will, and then we say that God did not answer— but in reality we have never asked for anything. Jesus said, “. . . you will ask what you desire. . .” (John 15:7). Asking means that our will must be involved. Whenever Jesus talked about prayer, He spoke with wonderful childlike simplicity. Then we respond with our critical attitude, saying, “Yes, but even Jesus said that we must ask.” But remember that we have to ask things of God that are in keeping with the God whom Jesus Christ revealed.


Journal DJR
Good Morning Lord,
Chambers says we must ask for the right things in order to benefit from Matthew 7:8 Everyone who asks receives. So in the many times that I’ve asked and not received, (at least not how I wanted to receive) I assume that I did not ask correctly, or that I had not connected with you and received your heart and your will on the subject before asking. Sometimes I wonder if I’m just making up excuses for you … or for me. Sometimes I just back away and dont deal with some of this stuff that I dont understand and use this as the answer. Then, there’s Isaiah 55:8-9

8 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

I agree, my thoughts are nothing like your thoughts and your ways are beyond my imagination. But I try. Try to think your thoughts, See what you see, and do things as you would do …. Basically try to be like you and live like you as in John 5:19

Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.

Since it hasn’t worked out too well, I must be missing something????

Whenever you “try” to do something in your own willpower, you are doomed to less than the best results. Oh, you can get results, but if you do it my way you won’t be stressed out and the the results will be better. Actually all you should concern yourself with is staying in the process … leaving the results to me. The only thing you should strive to do is maintain connection with me. Seeing and hearing in my realm. Everything else can flow out of that.

Back to the key verse today, “go in your room and pray….” The whole purpose of that is to calibrate you, not to motivate me. It is true, that bumper sticker that you have … Prayer changes things. The main thing it changes is you. From that changed place, you have a different view of your circumstances. When you are successful at merging your heart and eyes and ears with mine you will then pray with great effect and all your prayers will be answered. That is the only thing to strive for. People will say you are  awesome. You are not. You will have just connected with an awesome God and that makes you an awesome warrior in my Army.

What To Renounce

September 15th, 2014

We have renounced the hidden things of shame . . .  —2 Corinthians 4:2

Have you “renounced the hidden things of shame” in your life—the things that your sense of honor or pride will not allow to come into the light? You can easily hide them. Is there a thought in your heart about anyone that you would not like to be brought into the light? Then renounce it as soon as it comes to mind—renounce everything in its entirety until there is no hidden dishonesty or craftiness about you at all. Envy, jealousy, and strife don’t necessarily arise from your old nature of sin, but from the flesh which was used for these kinds of things in the past (see Romans 6:19 and 1 Peter 4:1-3). You must maintain continual watchfulness so that nothing arises in your life that would cause you shame.“. . . not walking in craftiness. . .” (2 Corinthians 4:2). This means not resorting to something simply to make your own point. This is a terrible trap. You know that God will allow you to work in only one way—the way of truth. Then be careful never to catch people through the other way—the way of deceit. If you act deceitfully, God’s blight and ruin will be upon you. What may be craftiness for you, may not be for others—God has called you to a higher standard. Never dull your sense of being your utmost for His highest—your best for His glory. For you, doing certain things would mean craftiness coming into your life for a purpose other than what is the highest and best, and it would dull the motivation that God has given you. Many people have turned back because they are afraid to look at things from God’s perspective. The greatest spiritual crisis comes when a person has to move a little farther on in his faith than the beliefs he has already accepted.

September 15, 2014

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, this devotional by Chambers tells me that in no way should I operate on my own; in my own craftiness, with my own designs. How do we do that Lord? How do we really let go of our natural inclinations to be “right”, or appear to be right? Am I crafty? Indeed. I have a tendency to want to prove my points, make myself heard, and to send messages that tell others I am a “good person”. How can I live out this devotional?

And God says…”I know it sounds redundant, but you can only live out this devotional by surrendering yourself to Me. When you “try” to be a better person, with more personal discipline, study, and prayer, you will, and have, grown significantly. However the place to start each day and your real growth is in surrendering yourself to Jesus. Because you cannot “will” or “discipline” yourself to the point of being 100 percent acceptable to Me or even yourself.”

“When you have surrendered and are connected, Jesus lives through you, and there is no need to “appear to be right”.  You are not compelled to be something you are not; being right or wrong, is the last thing on our mind. Being connected is the primary issue for you. As the scripture and song says, the One living inside of you is greater that he that is in the world. And know that when I see you, I do not see your need for shame, or correction. I see only Jesus.”

Missionary Weapons (2)

September 11th, 2014

If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet —John 13:14

Ministering in Everyday Opportunities. Ministering in everyday opportunities that surround us does not mean that we select our own surroundings— it means being God’s very special choice to be available for use in any of the seemingly random surroundings which He has engineered for us. The very character we exhibit in our present surroundings is an indication of what we will be like in other surroundings.The things Jesus did were the most menial of everyday tasks, and this is an indication that it takes all of God’s power in me to accomplish even the most common tasks in His way. Can I use a towel as He did? Towels, dishes, sandals, and all the other ordinary things in our lives reveal what we are made of more quickly than anything else. It takes God Almighty Incarnate in us to do the most menial duty as it ought to be done.Jesus said, “I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (13:15). Notice the kind of people that God brings around you, and you will be humiliated once you realize that this is actually His way of revealing to you the kind of person you have been to Him. Now He says we should exhibit to those around us exactly what He has exhibited to us.Do you find yourself responding by saying, “Oh, I will do all that once I’m out on the mission field”? Talking in this way is like trying to produce the weapons of war while in the trenches of the battlefield–you will be killed while trying to do it.We have to go the “second mile” with God (see Matthew 5:41). Yet some of us become worn out in the first ten steps. Then we say, “Well, I’ll just wait until I get closer to the next big crisis in my life.” But if we do not steadily minister in everyday opportunities, we will do nothing when the crisis comes.________________________________________________________________

September 11, 2014

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, whenever I look to Jesus as an example of how I should (there goes that word “should” loaded with obligation and responsibilities) act, behave, minister, I simply feel “less than”.  I never seem to measure up, and so I wonder why I should even try. Using Jesus as my measuring point seems to just bring me down. Where is the life and life more abundantly in that?

And God says…”You are not to use Jesus as just your measuring point, or as an example about how you should minister and care for people. That will discourage you.  In your most disciplined and obedient self, you are not able to do what Jesus does 100% of the time.  He is your point of reference, but you can only “do what Jesus does” when you are connected to Him and it is Jesus that is doing the actual work though you.”

” Just be reminded that Jesus can and will work through you when you simply surrender. Seeing the futility of trying to be like Jesus can move you to the place where you surrender your own strength and discipline and surrender to Jesus. Let Him living through you (once you let go of your own efforts) minister to others. Let Jesus in you make the choices you cannot and do not make. Let Jesus in you give you life and life abundantly. Your role is to be; connected to Jesus, curious about what and how He will work it out for you. You can then remain expectant (expecting Him to work it out in you), as you are obedient.”