Archive for January, 2016

Look Again and Think

January 27th, 2016

Do not worry about your life… —Matthew 6:25

“I say to you, do not worry about your life….” Our Lord says to be careful only about one thing— our relationship to Him. But our common sense shouts loudly and says, “That is absurd, I must consider how I am going to live, and I must consider what I am going to eat and drink.” Jesus says you must not. Beware of allowing yourself to think that He says this while not understanding your circumstances. Jesus Christ knows our circumstances better than we do, and He says we must not think about these things to the point where they become the primary concern of our life. Whenever there are competing concerns in your life, be sure you always put your relationship to God first.


“Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:34). How much trouble has begun to threaten you today? What kind of mean little demons have been looking into your life and saying, “What are your plans for next month— or next summer?” Jesus tells us not to worry about any of these things. Look again and think. Keep your mind on the “much more” of your heavenly Father (Matthew 6:30).

Look Again and Consecrate

January 26th, 2016

If God so clothes the grass of the field…, will He not much more clothe you…? —Matthew 6:30

A simple statement of Jesus is always a puzzle to us because we will not be simple. How can we maintain the simplicity of Jesus so that we may understand Him? By receiving His Spirit, recognizing and relying on Him, and obeying Him as He brings us the truth of His Word, life will become amazingly simple. Jesus asks us to consider that “if God so clothes the grass of the field…” how “much more” will He clothe you, if you keep your relationship right with Him? Every time we lose ground in our fellowship with God, it is because we have disrespectfully thought that we knew better than Jesus Christ. We have allowed “the cares of this world” to enter in (Matthew 13:22), while forgetting the “much more” of our heavenly Father.

“Look at the birds of the air…” (Matthew 6:26). Their function is to obey the instincts God placed within them, and God watches over them. Jesus said that if you have the right relationship with Him and will obey His Spirit within you, then God will care for your “feathers” too.“Consider the lilies of the field…” (Matthew 6:28). They grow where they are planted. Many of us refuse to grow where God plants us. Therefore, we don’t take root anywhere. Jesus said if we would obey the life of God within us, He would look after all other things. Did Jesus Christ lie to us? Are we experiencing the “much more” He promised? If we are not, it is because we are not obeying the life God has given us and have cluttered our minds with confusing thoughts and worries.
How much time have we wasted asking God senseless questions while we should be absolutely free to concentrate on our service to Him? Consecration is the act of continually separating myself from everything except that which God has appointed me to do. It is not a one-time experience but an ongoing process. Am I continually separating myself and looking to God every day of my life?

Leave Room for God

January 25th, 2016

When it pleased God… —Galatians 1:15

As servants of God, we must learn to make room for Him— to give God “elbow room.” We plan and figure and predict that this or that will happen, but we forget to make room for God to come in as He chooses. Would we be surprised if God came into our meeting or into our preaching in a way we had never expected Him to come? Do not look for God to come in a particular way, but do look for Him. The way to make room for Him is to expect Him to come, but not in a certain way. No matter how well we may know God, the great lesson to learn is that He may break in at any minute. We tend to overlook this element of surprise, yet God never works in any other way. Suddenly—God meets our life “…when it pleased God….”Keep your life so constantly in touch with God that His surprising power can break through at any point. Live in a constant state of expectancy, and leave room for God to come in as He decides.___________________________________________________________January 25 2016

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Good morning God and thank You for this day and this devotional. Thank You for this pattern that has become part of our wake up and get going process over the last several years. Today Chambers exhorts us to allow You room to engage in our lives. But it seems to me that whenever I expect You to engage me, you do. It seems like whenever I look for You, I can find You; in almost everything I see, touch, feel or think. Regular rock and roll music instantly has a spiritual meaning, my relationships seem more spiritual, and work is no longer just work, but an adventure in risk, hope and faith. Whenever You are present, my life seems more robust, fun and full of adventure. Is this my imagination or is this the way it should be Lord?

And God says…”Knock and the door will be open, seek and you shall find. Acknowledge Me in all your ways and I will make your paths straight. Seek first the kingdom of God and I will provide everything else you require, because I came to give you life and life more abundantly. Whenever you surrender and are connected to Me, you give up your right to yourself, and by making this conscious decision you agree to trust Me with all your heart, and not rely on your own understanding, or control. I love you beyond measure, and if you think about the sacrifice of Jesus, you grasp some measure of that depth of love.”  

“It is when you are living in one of the big four; to look good, feel good, be right and or be in control that you feel anxious and fearful. You can use these emotions as dashboard gauges to remind yourself to surrender and let Me live through you. And then you will see Me in every area of life where there was once anxiety, fear and concern.  Living this out, your life can become an adventure.”

Recall What God Remembers

January 21st, 2016

Thus says the Lord: “I remember…the kindness of your youth…” —Jeremiah 2:2

Am I as spontaneously kind to God as I used to be, or am I only expecting God to be kind to me? Does everything in my life fill His heart with gladness, or do I constantly complain because things don’t seem to be going my way? A person who has forgotten what God treasures will not be filled with joy. It is wonderful to remember that Jesus Christ has needs which we can meet— “Give Me a drink” (John 4:7). How much kindness have I shown Him in the past week? Has my life been a good reflection on His reputation?

God is saying to His people, “You are not in love with Me now, but I remember a time when you were.” He says, “I remember…the love of your betrothal…” (Jeremiah 2:2). Am I as filled to overflowing with love for Jesus Christ as I was in the beginning, when I went out of my way to prove my devotion to Him? Does He ever find me pondering the time when I cared only for Him? Is that where I am now, or have I chosen man’s wisdom over true love for Him? Am I so in love with Him that I take no thought for where He might lead me? Or am I watching to see how much respect I get as I measure how much service I should give Him?

As I recall what God remembers about me, I may also begin to realize that He is not what He used to be to me. When this happens, I should allow the shame and humiliation it creates in my life, because it will bring godly sorrow, and “godly sorrow produces repentance…” (2 Corinthians 7:10).


Journal DJR
Good morning Lord,
When Chambers spoke of shame and humiliation in the last paragraph, my first reaction was to recoil away from that as perhaps a manipulative tool used by religion and the enemy of our souls, Satan. But he equated it to “godly sorrow” that leads to repentance, so it appears to be useful in a Christian life …. if used correctly. So how do we handle shame and humiliation? Such that we don’t wallow in it for years? That certainly can’t be your best plan for us?

As a time of separation or disobedience is coming to an end, you may feel shame or humiliation, like the prodigal son did. The question is how long you want to stay in that place. It’s up to you. You can stay in that pain for a long time or you can come out the other end very quickly. The entrance to that place was sin, having your own way, and the exit from that place is repentance and coming home to me and doing life my way. Consider shame and humiliation to be an indicator that something is amiss. Like gauges on the dashboard of your car. Like you do with your peace meter. When you recognize shame and humiliation, you know that is not how I want you to live and that, just like the Father waited with open arms for the Prodigal Son to return, I wait for you to return, with plans for a party. So don’t wait in shame. Repent for whatever the Holy Spirit shows you and run back to me. I have paid for all of your sins, and remember them no more. I want you to live in joy and excitement and peace. Don’t let shame and humiliation keep you from me. Just repent (surrender) and come to me so that we can get on with the party and the adventure.

Luke 15:17-23
17 “When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! 18 I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, 19 and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’

20 “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. 21 His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.[a]’

22 “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. 23 And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, 24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.

Are You Fresh for Everything?

January 20th, 2016


Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” —John 3:3

Sometimes we are fresh and eager to attend a prayer meeting, but do we feel that same freshness for such mundane tasks as polishing shoes?Being born again by the Spirit is an unmistakable work of God, as mysterious as the wind, and as surprising as God Himself. We don’t know where it begins— it is hidden away in the depths of our soul. Being born again from above is an enduring, perpetual, and eternal beginning. It provides a freshness all the time in thinking, talking, and living— a continual surprise of the life of God. Staleness is an indication that something in our lives is out of step with God.
We say to ourselves, “I have to do this thing or it will never get done.” That is the first sign of staleness. Do we feel fresh this very moment or are we stale, frantically searching our minds for something to do? Freshness is not the result of obedience; it comes from the Holy Spirit. Obedience keeps us “in the light as He is in the light…” (1 John 1:7).Jealously guard your relationship with God. Jesus prayed “that they may be one just as We are one” — with nothing in between (John 17:22). Keep your whole life continually open to Jesus Christ.
Don’t pretend to be open with Him. Are you drawing your life from any source other than God Himself? If you are depending on something else as your source of freshness and strength, you will not realize when His power is gone.Being born of the Spirit means much more than we usually think. It gives us new vision and keeps us absolutely fresh for everything through the never-ending supply of the life of God._________________________________________________________

January 20, 2016

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Good morning Lord and thank you for this devotional and the music for today. Based on Your teaching and guiding over the last several months and weeks, David and I are clear about one thing: that regardless of the situation, when we are surrendered and connected, our service will never be mundane. You have brought us to the place where we have begun to understand that when we are surrendered and connected to Jesus, there is no mundane. A simple service like feeding many guests becomes a miracle. Compassion becomes commonplace and love transcends our expectations and boundaries. Is this the lesson Lord?


And God says…”When you are surrendered and connected, and can then let go of your own expectations about how goals, tasks, service and relationships should work, you are able to sense and feel the power of the Holy Spirit. The power of the Holy Spirit will transcend any human notions about mundane, routine service. It is the same power that gives you hope and allows you to be undisturbed inside of disturbing circumstances. It is the same power that energizes you in service when you would normally be tired and worn out. It is the power that allows you to live out the Sermon on the Mount, and or rest in My grace when you cannot. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own feelings, or understanding and I will make your paths straight. Seek first the kingdom of God, and I will provide everything else you require for abundant living. Delight yourself in the Lord and I will give you the desires of your heart.”


Vision and Darkness

January 19th, 2016

When the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him. —Genesis 15:12

Whenever God gives a vision to a Christian, it is as if He puts him in “the shadow of His hand” (Isaiah 49:2). The saint’s duty is to be still and listen. There is a “darkness” that comes from too much light— that is the time to listen. The story of Abram and Hagar in Genesis 16 is an excellent example of listening to so-called good advice during a time of darkness, rather than waiting for God to send the light. When God gives you a vision and darkness follows, wait. God will bring the vision He has given you to reality in your life if you will wait on His timing. Never try to help God fulfill His word. Abram went through thirteen years of silence, but in those years all of his self-sufficiency was destroyed. He grew past the point of relying on his own common sense. Those years of silence were a time of discipline, not a period of God’s displeasure. There is never any need to pretend that your life is filled with joy and confidence; just wait upon God and be grounded in Him (see Isaiah 50:10-11).

Do I trust at all in the flesh? Or have I learned to go beyond all confidence in myself and other people of God? Do I trust in books and prayers or other joys in my life? Or have I placed my confidence in God Himself, not in His blessings? “I am Almighty God…”— El-Shaddai, the All-Powerful God (Genesis 17:1). The reason we are all being disciplined is that we will know God is real. As soon as God becomes real to us, people pale by comparison, becoming shadows of reality. Nothing that other saints do or say can ever upset the one who is built on God.

“It Is the Lord!”

January 18th, 2016

Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” —John 20:28


“Jesus said to her, ‘Give Me a drink’ ” (John 4:7). How many of us are expecting Jesus Christ to quench our thirst when we should be satisfying Him! We should be pouring out our lives, investing our total beings, not drawing on Him to satisfy us. “You shall be witnesses to Me…” (Acts 1:8). That means lives of pure, uncompromising, and unrestrained devotion to the Lord Jesus, which will be satisfying to Him wherever He may send us.
Beware of anything that competes with your loyalty to Jesus Christ. The greatest competitor of true devotion to Jesus is the service we do for Him. It is easier to serve than to pour out our lives completely for Him. The goal of the call of God is His satisfaction, not simply that we should do something for Him. We are not sent to do battle for God, but to be used by God in His battles. Are we more devoted to service than we are to Jesus Christ Himself?

January 18 2016

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Good morning Lord and thank you for this day and this devotional. Lord, I think once again Oswald Chambers has me confused with someone else. Especially when he writes: “We should be pouring out our lives, investing our total beings, not drawing on Him to satisfy us. “You shall be witnesses to Me…” (Acts 1:8). That means lives of pure, uncompromising, and unrestrained devotion to the Lord Jesus, which will be satisfying to Him wherever He may send us.” That is simply not how it works for me Lord. And once again Chambers tells me what I should be doing, ought to be doing, offering up more obligation and guilt because God, as you know, I am easily distracted from my surrender and connection to You.

And God says…”There is no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus. When you say you want to be more devoted, more aware and more committed, have you considered that you are saying that I am not transforming you fast enough? Just because you or someone else tells you that you ought to be more devoted or committed does not make it so. All things work together for good for those that love the Lord.”

“When you surrender and are intimately connected to Me you get a sense of peace. You can be undisturbed in a whirlwind of disturbing circumstances. And you know that you are mine and I am yours. You trust that My ways are not your ways, and suddenly life is less about your “perfection”, it is more about delighting yourself in Me and living an abundant and wonderful adventure. Delight yourself in the Lord and I will give you the desires of our heart. Acknowledge Me in all your ways and I will make your paths straight. Seek first the kingdom of God and I will provide everything else you require, including peace about your growth and standing.”

Called By God

January 14th, 2016

I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” —Isaiah 6:8

God did not direct His call to Isaiah— Isaiah overheard God saying, “…who will go for Us?” The call of God is not just for a select few but for everyone. Whether I hear God’s call or not depends on the condition of my ears, and exactly what I hear depends upon my spiritual attitude. “Many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14). That is, few prove that they are the chosen ones.
The chosen ones are those who have come into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ and have had their spiritual condition changed and their ears opened. Then they hear “the voice of the Lord” continually asking, “…who will go for Us?” However, God doesn’t single out someone and say, “Now, you go.” He did not force His will on Isaiah. Isaiah was in the presence of God, and he overheard the call. His response, performed in complete freedom, could only be to say, “Here am I! Send me.”Remove the thought from your mind of expecting God to come to force you or to plead with you.
When our Lord called His disciples, He did it without irresistible pressure from the outside. The quiet, yet passionate, insistence of His “Follow Me” was spoken to men whose every sense was receptive (Matthew 4:19). If we will allow the Holy Spirit to bring us face to face with God, we too will hear what Isaiah heard— “the voice of the Lord.” In perfect freedom we too will say, “Here am I! Send me.”

Have You Ever Been Alone with God? (2)

January 13th, 2016

When He was alone…the twelve asked Him about the parable. —Mark 4:10


His Solitude with Us. When God gets us alone through suffering, heartbreak, temptation, disappointment, sickness, or by thwarted desires, a broken friendship, or a new friendship— when He gets us absolutely alone, and we are totally speechless, unable to ask even one question, then He begins to teach us.
Notice Jesus Christ’s training of the Twelve. It was the disciples, not the crowd outside, who were confused. His disciples constantly asked Him questions, and He constantly explained things to them, but they didn’t understand until after they received the Holy Spirit (see John 14:26).As you journey with God, the only thing He intends to be clear is the way He deals with your soul. The sorrows and difficulties in the lives of others will be absolutely confusing to you. We think we understand another person’s struggle until God reveals the same shortcomings in our lives.
There are vast areas of stubbornness and ignorance the Holy Spirit has to reveal in each of us, but it can only be done when Jesus gets us alone. Are we alone with Him now? Or are we more concerned with our own ideas, friendships, and cares for our bodies? Jesus cannot teach us anything until we quiet all our intellectual questions and get alone with Him.

January 13 2016

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Good morning God and thank You for this devotional and the daily teaching You provide. This sentence Chambers offers up stopped me cold for a minute; When God gets us alone through suffering, heartbreak, temptation, disappointment, sickness, or by thwarted desires, a broken friendship, or a new friendship— when He gets us absolutely alone, and we are totally speechless, unable to ask even one question, then He begins to teach us. David and I thought the same thing when we read this, isn’t there an easier way Lord? Is there any way for us to avoid these kinds of experiences as prerequisites for Your teaching? Then we recalled that in the Garden at Gethsemane Jesus also asked if there was another way.

And God says…”My ways are not your ways, and I know what it takes for you to come to surrender, connection and curiosity. If you could live in “the big four”: to look good, feel good, be right and be in control that is where you would reside, naturally. It takes heartbreak, temptation, disappointment, sickness, thwarted desires, broken friendships, and new friendships to stop you in your tracks so that you want and need to be alone with Me. Allowing you to live in difficult and trying circumstances is necessary for you to learn surrender. When you come to the end of yourself, where you know you cannot find relief or rescue in your own solutions, or in the solutions of others, is where you surrender. All things work together for the good of those that love the lord and are called according to His purpose. When you seek Me first, know that I will provide everything else you require so that I may teach you. I love you, and will not keep any good thing from you; including the refining fires of difficult circumstances. ”

Have You Ever Been Alone with God? (1)

January 12th, 2016

When they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples. —Mark 4:34

Our Solitude with Him. Jesus doesn’t take us aside and explain things to us all the time; He explains things to us as we are able to understand them. The lives of others are examples for us, but God requires us to examine our own souls. It is slow work— so slow that it takes God all of time and eternity to make a man or woman conform to His purpose. We can only be used by God after we allow Him to show us the deep, hidden areas of our own character. It is astounding how ignorant we are about ourselves! We don’t even recognize the envy, laziness, or pride within us when we see it. But Jesus will reveal to us everything we have held within ourselves before His grace began to work. How many of us have learned to look inwardly with courage?

We have to get rid of the idea that we understand ourselves. That is always the last bit of pride to go. The only One who understands us is God. The greatest curse in our spiritual life is pride. If we have ever had a glimpse of what we are like in the sight of God, we will never say, “Oh, I’m so unworthy.” We will understand that this goes without saying. But as long as there is any doubt that we are unworthy, God will continue to close us in until He gets us alone. Whenever there is any element of pride or conceit remaining, Jesus can’t teach us anything. He will allow us to experience heartbreak or the disappointment we feel when our intellectual pride is wounded. He will reveal numerous misplaced affections or desires— things over which we never thought He would have to get us alone. Many things are shown to us, often without effect. But when God gets us alone over them, they will be clear.

Journal DJR
Good Morning Lord,
I’ve had a few times where it seemed I was perfectly surrendered and connected with you… and then the rest of my life is more or less unsurrendered and disconnected. Not on purpose. It just comes naturally. I love it when surrender and connection are working. I can feel the love and the flow of life between us. It’s so wonderful… You would think I would want to live there all the time. And I do. But it doesn’t seem to work out. The cares and affairs of life seem to suck me into their vortex and before I know it, I’ve left that sweet presence that I was enjoying. What can be done to live in that place of connection more continuously?

Good question. Strive after it. It is the only thing to strive for. And you’ll know you are in that place when you have the peace that passes understanding. When I say strive, you may be called to violence. That may sound foreign to your concept of me but thats part of what I meant when I said,

From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence,[c] and men of violence take it by force. Matt 11:12

When you have a schedule that is too full, … too full for us, too full for me,…it’s time to be a “man of violence” and say “No” to some things that sound good and feel right. But if they rob you of our time together… you must choose. Our time together or the cares of the world and the pride of life.

There is more than just clearing your schedule. But that is a start. Then, when you are in “learning mode” I will teach you. Covet the quantity and quality of our time together like I do.