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Devotions

Determined to Trust God

Gary WilkersonOctober 7, 2019

“Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright” (Psalm 20:6-8).

Total trust in the Lord can change your life! It takes faith to believe that God is always at work on your behalf. Yet, the Word says that even the demons believe (see James 2:19) but their belief is mere mental agreement, not a genuine saving faith. Satan and his underlings are more aware of God’s reality than most people, yet the demons are certainly not saved. The kind of faith that saves us is the kind that changes us.

As we walk with the Lord, we can be full of questions; we can even have doubts. Why does God allow suffering? Why do bad things happen to good families? Why does it seem to take so long for God to answer our prayers? God longs to do a deeper work in us. He wants to take us beyond just a set of beliefs (traditions, doctrinal issues) and fill our hearts with a complete and total trust in him.

When we are tempted to doubt, we can say, “Help my unbelief, Lord. But until my belief becomes full, I choose to trust you.” We may doubt certain things at times, but the Lord always takes care of that. He reveals the truth, shows the way, and confirms the truth. In the midst of our struggle, during our greatest doubt, God puts something in our hearts. He lets us know that he is good all the time and always trustworthy. We can trust his holiness, his splendor, his grandeur, his majesty, his love.

I urge you to resolve your issue of trust today. Your faith may be shaken, but your Rock is still there. Say to your Father, “God, no matter what comes, I have determined that I will trust in you.”

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Inviting the Holy Spirit into Your Life

Jim CymbalaOctober 5, 2019

Jesus said, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

The Holy Spirit is God’s agent on earth, yet he is the least understood, least preached about, and least discussed member of the Trinity. And that is sad because without him, our spiritual lives will become a dry, mechanical struggle. There is nothing that will change your prayer life, your study of God’s Word, and your experience during worship in church more than inviting the Spirit to join you in a new way.

Examples of the Holy Spirit’s work often appear in accounts of the early church. Unfortunately, today many of us have gotten used to doing without the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit working in our lives and churches. Consider these honest questions:

  • How many Christians suffer from a spiritual life that is dry and mechanical?
  • How many serve a Jesus they know about from the Bible, but not a living reality in their experience?
  • Do we ever wonder why Holy Spirit interventions are so rare in our congregations?
  • Could we be missing out on wonderful blessings planned for our lives because we are not properly acquainted with the person and work of God the Holy Spirit?

There is only one thing more powerful than seeing the Spirit work in someone else’s life, and that is seeing him work in yours. If you want power, confidence, joy, peace, and more love in your life, ask the Spirit to come and do something new in you.

Everything we read about the church in the New Testament centered on the power of the Holy Spirit working in the hearts of Christian believers. They believed in Christ’s word, they expected the Spirit to do great things, and he came through as promised. And the good news is: he will do the same for you today!

Jim Cymbala began the Brooklyn Tabernacle with less than twenty members in a small, rundown building in a difficult part of the city. A native of Brooklyn, he is a longtime friend of both David and Gary Wilkerson.

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A God Who Restores Wasted Years

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)October 4, 2019

“So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten” (Joel 2:25).

Did you waste years before you repented and surrendered all to Jesus? You may think, “I could have been so much deeper in Christ. I could have brought so much joy to his heart. I can never make up all those wasted years.”

We all want to make up to God our lost years, to make amends and repay him. But he says, “I will make it up to you! You can’t repay me for a single wasted hour, so walk before me in righteousness and turn from your sins. I will make up all the losses, regardless of whether they are yours, your family’s or others.”

To repentant sinners, the Lord declares, “Fear not … be glad and rejoice, for the Lord has done marvelous things!” (Joel 2:21).          

You do not need to be ashamed of your wasted years. You were born for his eternal purposes. He planned for you a life of satisfaction, joy and usefulness in his kingdom, but God’s plan for your life was interrupted by the devourer.

But now, in Christ, all is new! The Lord goes back to the day the locust came and he starts counting again from the moment you repented. All those blessings you missed were stored up, and all the joy and peace you thought gone forever were actually kept by the Lord.

Paul said, “Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).

You may feel pangs of remorse for your wasted time, and memories will keep you humble, but in God’s eyes, your past is a dead issue. Your loving Father says, “Forget the past and press on to what I have promised you.”

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Defended and Delivered

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)October 3, 2019

In the Old Testament, we read the story of Hezekiah, king of Judah, who received a letter from the devil. Sennacherib, king of Assyria signed it, but it was directly from hell. Sennacherib means “man of sin” and he represents Satan, the god of this world.

In contrast, Hezekiah was a godly man; “[Hezekiah] trusted in the Lord God of Israel … The Lord was with him; he prospered wherever he went. And he rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him” (2 Kings 18:5, 7). The “man of sin” was out to destroy Hezekiah because he would not serve him — and that is the very reason Satan will attack you. When you put your life wholly in the hands of the Lord, watch out!

Are you in a mess right now — in really deep trouble? Has the devil told you God is not going to rescue you, that your faith is too weak or too little, and you are as good as dead? You hear the devil laughing, “In spite of all your love for Jesus, in spite of doing the right things and trusting in God, you are destined to fail.”

The devil’s slickest trick is to make you believe God has forsaken you and turned you over to trouble and sorrow. He wants you to think all your problems are the result of God’s punishment for your past sins — but don’t believe it! Satan is out to destroy you, but our Lord is a deliverer, a fortress. Isaiah says that he is sent “to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified” (Isaiah 61:3).

You are not going down! You are simply under attack and being barraged by the enemy’s lies because you have set your heart to trust in the Lord. Satan wants to destroy your faith in God. But the Lord is set to defend and deliver you. Let this sink deep into your heart. “The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them” (Psalm 34:7).

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Teetering on Hopelessness

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)October 2, 2019

Over and over, David testified, “In the Lord I put my trust” (Psalm 11:1). The Hebrew root-word for trust suggests “to fling oneself off a precipice." That is, to be like a child who hears his father say, “Jump!” and who confidently obeys, throwing himself off the edge and into his father’s arms.

That is one aspect of trust. In fact, you may be in that place even now — on the edge, teetering, wanting to fling yourself off into the arms of Jesus. You may have resigned yourself to your situation and called it trust, but that is no more than numbness. Trust is much more than passive resignation. It is active belief.

Many of us limit our trust to a rescue operation as if to say to the Lord, “I trust you to come and put out all my fires, save me from all my troubles, and deliver me out of all my trials. I know you will be there, Lord, when I need you.” In doing this, we think our faith is stretched and pleasing to God. We don’t realize that we are crediting the devil with being the causer and the Lord as the reactor. This viewpoint makes God seem like he simply reacts to all the devil’s well-laid plans. But our God never reacts — he initiates!

The trusting heart says, “All my steps are ordered by the Lord, and he is my loving Father. He permits suffering, temptation and trial but never more than I can bear, for he always makes a way of escape. He has an eternal plan and purpose for me. He has numbered every hair on my head. He knows when I sit, stand or lie down. I am the apple of his eye! He is my Lord — not only of my life, but over every event and situation touching my life.”

Dearly beloved, that is trust! Look to him today with a trusting heart and be assured that — without a doubt — God has everything under control.

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