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David Wilkerson Devotional
- Tue, 11 Mar 2014 08:00:00 +0000: LORD, HEAR MY VOICE - DAVID WILKERSON DEVOTIONS
“Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord. Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared” (Psalm 130:1-4).
David anguished over the scandal he had caused in Israel. His sin had been exposed, and the whole world knew about it. His grief over the shame he had caused was so overwhelming, he begged God, “Make me not the reproach of the foolish” (Psalm 39:8).
I know a number of Christians who are just like David. They are lovers of Jesus, yet they have sinned horribly against the light they have been given. They have heard many righteous sermons, read the Bible daily for years, spent countless hours in prayer. Yet they have sinned against all of God’s blessings. How? Because they have a besetting sin they have never dealt with!
Over time, their sin has shut off their communion with Jesus and now the Holy Spirit has fingered their habit, holding it up before them. He is warning them, “No more—this sin must go! I won’t wink at the way you keep indulging it. From now on, you’re under a deadline. I’ve exposed your sin to you but soon it may be exposed to the world!”
Whenever they enter God’s house now, they cannot even lift their heads. And they cry as David did, “My sins are too numerous to count! My iniquity has so taken hold of me, I can’t even lift my face to heaven!”
They have lost all the joy, cheer and freedom they once enjoyed. They are not able to pray or sing with any life or power. And they carry around a great sense of failure. They have become weak, soul-sick, bowed down, ready to faint. And they know it is all because their sin has cut off their communion with God!
Does this describe your soul’s condition at the moment? If so, thank God for His mercy. He is implanting in you a holy fear of the Lord!
- Mon, 10 Mar 2014 08:00:00 +0000: CAN THESE BONES LIVE? by Gary Wilkerson - DAVID WILKERSON DEVOTIONS
God asked Ezekiel, “Son of man, can these bones live?” (Ezekiel 37:3).
What a penetrating question. God asks the same of us today: “Can the dry bones in your situation come to life? Can your rebellious child be revived? Can your unsaved loved ones be brought to Christ?”
It is a question of faith: “Do you believe this can happen?” It is also a question of desire: “Do you want this to happen? Are you grieved by the dry bones in your life?” If your answer is no, that’s a sign of dryness—a lack of spiritual unction (passion) over the dark condition of the world.
Here was Ezekiel’s answer: “O Lord God, you know” (37:3). This was a response of trust: “Lord, only You know these things. You have given me a vision of horrific death. Are You suggesting these bones can live? Is it really possible?” The very question had roused Ezekiel’s faith. It was what God was waiting to hear, and He does the same with us to stimulate our faith.
“Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy over these dry bones’” (37:4). Once our faith is engaged—once we have waited on God and He has stirred our faith—He calls us to action. He asks us to “prophesy”—that is, to address our dry bones situation in faith. We are to speak life into our families, believing that God empowers our words. We are to speak life on our jobs, knowing that He holds us in His hand no matter how dark the environment. To do this, God must breathe His life into our being: “I will . . . put breath in you, and you shall live” (37:6).
God did just that for Ezekiel. The prophet testifies, “So I prophesied as I was commanded” (37:7). Can you say this about your walk with God? “I spoke blessings and peace into people’s lives. I also said difficult things. I said everything the Lord wanted me to say, and through it all I knew He was with me.” That is the power of the proclamation of the gospel.
What happened when Ezekiel prophesied in faith? “There was a sound, and behold, a rattling” (37:7). The word “sound” here echoes Acts 2, when the Holy Spirit breathed new life into the disciples at Pentecost. Ezekiel witnessed something similar, as suddenly all the dry bones on the valley floor were animated, filled with life. They came together to form living bodies: “I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord” (37:6).
- Sat, 08 Mar 2014 09:00:00 +0000: CONTAGIOUS FAITH by Claude Houde - DAVID WILKERSON DEVOTIONS
For far too long in many evangelical churches, a pathetic and syrupy attitude of false humility excused, justified and encouraged Christians to say, “Don't look at me! Don't look to man, look to God alone!” Let me make myself clear. It is right, healthy and scriptural to keep our focus, our devotion and ultimate trust, in God and God alone. Men will always be fallible and imperfect; they can disappoint and wound us. The apostle Paul reminds us that the eternal and perfect treasures of God’s Kingdom are carried and lived out in vessels of clay, humanity and human frailty and imperfections (see 2 Corinthians 4:7).
However, the time of ignoring and turning our back on our responsibility and supreme biblical calling to communicate faith, love, forgiveness, purity, generosity and a passionate heart for God and His house to our children and loved ones must come to an end. Without arrogance or pretension, but rather by possessing an inner and acute spiritual sense of dependence on God, the apostle Paul passionately invited young believers who surrounded him, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1, ESV). Paul later said to Timothy, “What you have heard from me . . . entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2, ESV).
We must begin to see ourselves this way. When we realize and come to grips with the significance of our lives, the immeasurable possibility of influence that we all carry in us, a cry rises from the depth of our souls toward our God: “O Lord, increase our faith!” Dear reader, let me say it to you this way: Every one of us is to be contagious!
Let me ask you this question: What do your values, passions and priorities communicate to those who are watching you walk and talk in your everyday life? Let me ask you straight up, if I hang around with you, learn from you and imitate you, what will I “catch”? You know as well as I do that some men’s and women’s faith, love, joy and passion is communicative. To be near them does us good, inspires us, heals us and reconciles us with the human race! We love being around them and thank God for their faith that produces hope and propels us toward new heights of desires, commitments and possibilities in God.
Claude Houde, lead pastor of Eglise Nouvelle Vie (New Life Church) in Montreal, Canada, is a frequent speaker at the Expect Church Leadership Conferences conducted by World Challenge throughout the world. Under his leadership New Life Church has grown from a handful of people to more than 3500 in a part of Canada with few successful Protestant churches.
- Fri, 07 Mar 2014 09:00:00 +0000: REMOVING THE CANDLESTICK - DAVID WILKERSON DEVOTIONS
In Revelation 2:5, Christ gives us a word that lets us know we had better take heed. He says, “Repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick.”
Jesus is saying here that unless we repent, He is going to remove all the spiritual authority we have been given. This includes our impact on our city, our community, our neighborhood, those anywhere in our sphere of influence. Every bit of influence we have will be taken from us.
Right now, churches across the world are shutting their doors. Their lights are literally being turned out because that is the judgment they incur for refusing to repent. God said they would lose their discernment, their spiritual blessings, their finances, His very presence. Now they are dead, lifeless, with only memories of His past blessings.
I preached in many such churches thirty years ago. At that time they were packed with zealous believers while today barely a few dozen people sit in their pews. Soon they will dwindle to nothing and their doors will shut for good. God has written “Ichabod” over their doors, which means, “The Spirit of the Lord has departed!”
Yet, beloved, God gives this same message to every Christian individually. He says, “If you refuse to repent—if you remain in your apathy—I will remove your lampstand. You will no longer have any influence over your family, your coworkers—or anyone!”
Even as we read these words, we are not to fear. Jesus ends His admonition to us this way: “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7). Dear saint, Jesus is that tree! He is telling us, “If you will repent, I will give you constant life from My very being. And as long as you continue to love Me, I will provide a flow of supernatural life in you. This life will be revealed in your discernment, your love for people, your good works for My kingdom!” This is the trait that distinguishes every Christian who is truly in love with Jesus.
Jesus promises that your godly sorrow, your repentant heart and your renewed love for Him will lead you to life. So, pray to Him right now: “Lord, give me a truly repentant heart. Take me back to who I was when I was first in love with You. Yet, this time take me deeper in You than I have ever been before.”
As you repent, God’s Spirit will begin to produce in you a new revelation of the glory of Christ and He will make it known to everyone around you!
- Thu, 06 Mar 2014 09:00:00 +0000: THE EPHESIAN CHURCH - DAVID WILKERSON DEVOTIONS
You may remember the seven churches that John mentions in Revelation 2. Among them is the church of Ephesus, a congregation Jesus commends very highly.
I like to think of our church in Times Square as being like the Ephesian church. That body of believers labored in one of the world's most populous cities, never fainting in the midst of vile wickedness. The people lived sacrificially, hated sin and refused to accept false doctrines. They stood strong in faith, loving God with all their heart no matter what temptations Satan threw at them.
Yet Christ knew something was amiss among these people. He so loved this church—it was such a bright lamp to the nations—that He wasn’t about to sit idly by and let it die. So He told the Ephesians, “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love” (Revelation 2:4).
Jesus was saying, “Your fire is going out! The love for Me that once motivated your faithfulness is waning. You once bore My burden for the lost but now you are satisfied merely to sit and listen to sermons. You have become totally engrossed in your own personal concerns while ignoring Mine. You have fallen far from where you once stood!”
Jesus then tells them, “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen” (verse 5). He is saying, “Think back! You used to yearn to come to My house, to be with My saints, to bear My burden. But now an hour on Sunday morning is plenty for you!”
So, dear Christian, are you still on fire for Jesus? Are you in love with Him as passionately as when you first got saved? Or have you lost interest in His concerns, forsaking all ministry? Do you have too much else going on in your life? If so, the Lord says to you, “I have something against you—you have left your first love!”
Listen to what Jesus says to us at this point: “Repent, and do the first works” (verse 5). He is saying, “Mourn over your growing apathy. Be contrite and take it seriously. Then let your grief lead you back to where you were when you first loved Me!”
- Wed, 05 Mar 2014 09:00:00 +0000: “DEEP PLOUGHING” - DAVID WILKERSON DEVOTIONS
“Despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” (Romans 2:4)
I do not agree with all of the Puritan writers’ doctrine, but I love their emphasis on holiness. These godly preachers called their sermons “deep ploughing.” They believed they could not sow true seeds of faith until the soil of their listeners’ hearts had been deeply plowed.
The Puritans made sure their preaching went deep, cracking all the fallow ground of their listeners’ souls. Their sermons produced genuine repentance in their congregations and, in turn, over the years this produced strong, mature, faithful Christians.
Today, however, most preaching is all sowing with no plowing. I hear very few sermons nowadays that dig deeper than the topsoil. Deep plowing does not just address the disease of sin; it digs down to the very cause of the disease. Much of the preaching we hear today focuses on the remedy while ignoring the disease. It offers a prescription without providing surgery!
Sadly, we cause people to think they have been healed of sin when they never knew they were sick. We put robes of righteousness on them when they never knew they were naked. We urge them to trust in Christ when they don’t even realize their need to trust. Such people end up thinking, “It can’t hurt to add Jesus to my life.”
C. H. Spurgeon, the powerful English preacher, said the following about the need for repentance:
“I trust that sorrowful penitence does still exist, though I have not heard much about it lately. People seem to jump into faith very quickly nowadays. . . . I hope my old friend repentance is not dead. I am desperately in love with repentance; it seems to be the twin sister of faith.
“I do not myself understand much about dry-eyed faith; I know that I came to Christ by the way of weeping-cross. . . . When I came to Calvary by faith, it was with great weeping and supplication, confessing my transgressions, and desiring to find salvation in Jesus, and in Jesus only.”
- Tue, 04 Mar 2014 09:00:00 +0000: THE GOSPEL OF REPENTANCE - DAVID WILKERSON DEVOTIONS
“Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation” (2 Corinthians 7:10). As I read this passage, I find myself examining my own ministry and asking, "Have I cut short the gospel Jesus preached, the gospel of repentance? Have I essentially taken scissors to my Bible and removed the higher cost of following Christ? Have I lowered His standard by telling people to just believe and be saved?"
Have we cut short genuine conviction for sins? Have we jumped in and offered salvation to those who have not actually repented, who haven’t sorrowed over their trespasses, who have sought faith so they could merely hide their lusts behind it?
We constantly hear exaggerations about the numbers of people who come to Jesus through various ministries. Christians report that scores of people were saved as they preached in prisons, schools, and other venues. They say, “Everybody in the place gave his heart to Jesus. When I finished preaching, they all came forward for salvation.”
All too often, what actually happens is that everyone simply repeats a prayer. They merely pray what they’re told to pray and many do not grasp what they’re saying. Then most go back to their heathen ways!
Such people never experience a deep work of the Holy Spirit. As a result, they never repent, never sorrow over their sins—and never truly believe. Tragically, we have offered them something Jesus Himself never offered—salvation without repentance.
I believe the church has even taken the feeling out of conviction. Think about it—you hardly ever see tears on the cheeks of those who are being saved anymore. Of course, I know tears don’t save anyone, but God made us all human, with very real feelings. And any hell-bound sinner who has been moved upon by the Holy Spirit naturally feels a profound sorrow over the ways he has grieved the Lord.
The apostle Peter felt this kind of godly sorrow when he denied knowing Jesus. Suddenly, he was flooded with the memory of what Jesus had told him: “Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept” (Mark 14:72).