- Mon, 24 Oct 2016 08:00:00 +0000: PURSUING GOD by Gary Wilkerson - DAVID WILKERSON DEVOTIONS
Even after the Lord blessed them powerfully, the Israelites turned to idols. While Moses was communing with God in the mountains, the people melted down their jewelry and made a golden calf. We cannot relate to this kind of thing today but the upshot is this: When you pursue God’s blessings without seeking God Himself, you end up in idolatry — because the focus of your pursuit is something earthen. As Paul says:
“They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:25, ESV).
WHAT ARE OUR IDOLS?
Thankfully, today most of us don’t have to plead for water or bread. We can just turn on the tap or go to the grocery store. But we have golden idols of our own, things we seek apart from God: job success, financial security, material comfort. Those aren’t bad things but if we want them more than we want God — if they become the focus of our life’s pursuit — we have built an idol. And God will say to us, “Go ahead, pursue that. Enjoy it. But you won’t find Me present in it.”
I love Moses’ response: “God, kill me in the desert before you lead me to someplace where You aren’t.”
I pray that this becomes the church’s cry as well: “Lord, my life has been so blessed that I’ve let myself get misdirected. My eyes have been on Your unlimited favor, the blessings You give. I want something different. Let my life be defined by Your ultimate favor—to know You for who You are.”
IS GOD ENOUGH?
I want to ask you: Is God enough for you? Does knowing Him satisfy you? Does anything keep you from Him, an idol you’ve put before Him? His first commandment is, “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3).
- Sat, 22 Oct 2016 08:00:00 +0000: HEROES, WAKE UP! by Claude Houde - DAVID WILKERSON DEVOTIONS
“Proclaim it amongst the nations, wake up the heroes! Let them come near and let the weak say: ‘I am strong!’ Let My people wake up and come together in the valley of decision” (see Joel 3:9-12).
I plead with you to pray with me, “Lord, increase our faith,” but also I challenge you to make the decision to be a hero for God. I deliberately use the expression “plead” because I believe it is appropriate and proportional to our cause and the seriousness of the times.
A BLAZING PASSION FOR GOD
The apostle Paul had a fire burning in him. He told the Corinthians, “The love of God constrains [presses] me” (see 2 Corinthians 5:14). The eternal kingdom issues at stake were so real and pressing to him that he let out a cry with an intensity that flies like an arrow straight to our hearts, transcending centuries and cultures.
“I plead with you, in the name of Christ, to be reconciled with God” (see 2 Corinthians 5:20). 7
The blazing reality of this passion burns within me today. I beg you, be reconciled with the desires and purposes God has prepared for you.
There is a faith that reawakens and revives the heroes. I have often thought that if, for even a fraction of a second, heaven could open to unveil the scope of the immensity and intensity of God’s desires, love and intention for humanity, monotonous Christian living would have to be put away. We could not continue to just sit in another church service, absent-minded and disinterested, between all the movie rentals and pointless reality shows on TV.
Dear reader, God’s voice is being heard in the hearts of millions of believers around the world: “Reawaken and revive the heroes!”
Claude Houde is the lead pastor of Eglise Nouvelle Vie (New Life Church) in Montreal, Canada. 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, 21 Oct 2016 08:00:00 +0000: GOD DEFENDS HIS PEOPLE - DAVID WILKERSON DEVOTIONS
Scripture says King Hezekiah was God-fearing: “He clave [held fast] to the Lord” (2 Kings 18:6).
During Hezekiah’s reign, Jerusalem was besieged by the Assyrians, the great world power of the day. This vast army had already captured Samaria and the cities of Judah, and now they surrounded Jerusalem. Their captain loudly taunted, “We have overpowered the gods of all nations. How do you expect your God to deliver you?”
GOD ON TRIAL
Here we see the Lord Himself on trial. His faithfulness was being questioned before the whole empire, before Israel’s enemies, even before His own people. What if He didn’t act?
As the crisis mounted, Isaiah stood by, watching it all. He had received a word from the Lord and he trusted in it fully. Now he committed God to that word, putting the Lord’s reputation on the line. He prayed, in essence, “God, my honor doesn’t matter. If You don’t deliver, I can always hide in the wilderness. It’s Your honor that is at stake.”
With that, Isaiah calmly spoke to Hezekiah regarding the Assyrian captain:
“He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor cast a bank against it. By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the Lord. For I will defend this city, to save it, for mine own sake” (2 Kings 19:32–34, my italics).
God will never let His trusting people be put to shame, and that night He delivered a powerful miracle. Scripture says 185,000 Assyrian soldiers died mysteriously, causing a huge panic, and the mighty army fled. Once again, God defended His people for His own sake.
- Thu, 20 Oct 2016 08:00:00 +0000: THE FIRE COULDN’T HURT THEM - DAVID WILKERSON DEVOTIONS
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, often referred to as “the three Hebrew children,” refused to bow in worship before Nebuchadnezzar’s ninety-foot golden idol. They stood resolute even when condemned to die in a fiery furnace. As the wicked king taunted, “Who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?” (Daniel 3:15), the young men committed the Lord to His promises.
“O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee [we don’t hesitate in our response] in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace. . . . But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up” (3:16–18).
TOTAL CONFIDENCE IN GOD
These young men were so confident God would honor His name that they willingly faced certain death.
Prominent leaders from throughout the land gathered for the execution: princes, governors, judges, rulers from surrounding provinces. And Nebuchadnezzar ordered the fire stoked seven times hotter than usual, a heat so fierce it killed the servants tending the furnace.
The crowds were aghast, exclaiming, “These men can’t survive! They’ll drop dead before they get near that furnace. No God can deliver from this kind of fate.”
WALKING OUT OF THE FIRE
Again, the Lord’s name was on the line. If He didn’t intervene, His name would be defamed throughout the nations.
But the Lord never puts to shame those who fully trust Him! Scripture says Jesus Himself showed up in that furnace to protect and comfort His servants. And out of the fire walked the men, without even a whiff of smoke on them.
- Wed, 19 Oct 2016 08:00:00 +0000: THE FAITHFULNESS OF GOD - DAVID WILKERSON DEVOTIONS
There are times when it looks as if God hasn’t shown up — when His people are left in shame and despair — but the full story hasn’t been told. (The cross was one of those times.) What we don’t realize in the midst of our crisis is that God’s own honor is at stake.
Throughout the Bible He had a people whose flint-like faith proved His faithfulness in the most difficult times. These servants unashamedly committed the Lord to act, putting His honor at stake while trusting Him to deliver.
KEEP MOVING FORWARD!
Consider Moses’ example at the Red Sea, a humanly impossible situation. Israel was on the run from the Egyptian army, hemmed in on one side by the sea and on the other by mountains. Moses had already prophesied that God would lead Israel into the Promised Land and now the Lord’s reputation was at stake for all to see.
What was Moses’ reaction to this crisis? Facing the vast sea before him, he cried, “Move forward!” Moses so believed in God’s care, trusting His word to lead Israel into His promise, that he declared, “I know the Lord is faithful. And I’m going to act on His word.”
WILLING TO BE THOUGHT A FOOL
Think about the consequences of such faith. If the Red Sea didn’t open up miraculously, Moses would be thought a fool. The Israelites would go back into bondage, and God would never again be trusted. Yet we all know what happened: As Moses stretched out his hand, the waters divided, and the people walked across on dry ground. I tell you, no one who fully trusts in God will ever be put to shame. God will deliver on His promise for His own name’s sake.
“O Lord God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto thee? Or to thy faithfulness round about thee?” (Psalm 89:8).
- Tue, 18 Oct 2016 08:00:00 +0000: GOD KEEPS HIS WORD - DAVID WILKERSON DEVOTIONS
“The Lord upholdeth the righteous. . . . They shall not be ashamed in the evil time [the time of calamity]” (Psalm 37:17, 19, my italics).
You may ask, “What does this mean exactly?” It means simply this: God is faithful not just in His recompense of woes, but also in His promises. David is saying, in effect, “Look around you and see how God keeps His Word. His warnings are now being manifested in our headlines, His actions all over our media. Will not God also keep His Word to preserve His chosen ones?”
Think of it: No matter what happens in the world — no matter how fearful the news becomes; how severely the world shakes; how closely economies teeter toward collapse — God’s people will not be left ashamed. Indeed, the Lord will act on our faith to fulfill His Word to us. We may suffer, but He will come through for all who fully trust in Him. The world will never be able to say, “Your God didn’t keep His Word.”
TESTIMONIES TO A NUMB WORLD
Make no mistake, we are going to face impossibilities in the days ahead. But our Lord says He is God of the impossible, providing miracles when there is no human answer. In fact, He willingly puts His reputation in the hands of His people, calling us to commit Him to His Word. You may think, “But God can defend His own name. He doesn’t need me.” Not so! God has chosen His people to be His testimony to a numb, unmoved world. And He is calling us to openly commit Him to do what He promises.
- Mon, 17 Oct 2016 15:55:00 +0000: ULTIMATE FAVOR by Gary Wilkerson - DAVID WILKERSON DEVOTIONS
“If your presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here” (Exodus 33:15).
Moses knew something of God that exceeds His blessings, even His supernatural works. He knew that beyond God’s unlimited favor is His ultimate favor, favor that isn’t found in the things He does but only in Who He is.
A HEAVEN WITHOUT GOD’S PRESENCE
A famous Christian writer posed this question, “What if heaven were a place where you could have everything you wanted — all your dreams come true and every desire is made a reality—but God isn’t there? Would you want to go?” It’s a legitimate question for any Christian. Do we desire God’s blessings apart from knowing Him, the Giver of all good things? Or, like Moses, would we prefer to have every blessing stripped away rather than lose God’s presence?
I don’t take God’s blessings lightly — and neither does His Word. There is hardly a book in the Bible that doesn’t mention God’s concern for the poor. Poverty affects every area of life, and we are to give food to the hungry, hope to the downcast, healing to the brokenhearted. But for those of us who know God’s abundant blessings, Moses conveys something important: Even daily bread pales in comparison to knowing God.
WITHOUT JESUS WE HAVE NOTHING
It’s not that Christians today aren’t grateful for God’s blessings. Our problem is that we stop there. We say, “Lord, Your unlimited favor is enough for me.” But it isn’t enough. We can have the most vibrant marriage, the most beautiful home, the most fulfilling job, and the greatest kids — but if Jesus isn’t in the midst of them, we have nothing.
Are we willing to declare with Moses, “Lord, if You’re not there, I won’t go”? If we are, God will answer us the way He did Moses: “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest” (Exodus 33:14).