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Devotions

COMING OUT ON THE VICTORY SIDE

Gary WilkersonJune 20, 2016

Here’s the really good news! Jesus wants to put in you the same Spirit that lives in Him — the same Spirit that gave Him the power to pass right through the enemy’s plans to cast Him off the edge of the cliff (see Luke 4:29-30).

Perhaps addiction has crushed you; the habits of sin have led you to failure; fear and anxiety have caused you to fall into despair. But when Jesus puts “the same Spirit” within you, you can pass right through and declare, “This thing won’t touch me. I might be in a fire but I won’t be burned. I’m coming out alive. I’m coming out on the victory side. I’m not going to be pushed off into things that God doesn’t have for me. I’m going to stay in the firm place where He has set me.”  

You may feel pressure all over you but the Lord has given me a word to give to you. And attached to it is a prophetic promise. I said to the Lord, “I’m going to be very cautious about this because sometimes false prophecies come forth that say everything is going to be rosy and bright.” So I’m not saying that to you. There will be difficulties and pressure. There may be plans formed against you, pushing you toward the cliff, toward the edge, but I have an assuring word for you.  

If you trust in Jesus, if you wait upon the Lord, if you will hear His message and not listen to the enemy’s voice, you will pass right through the storm in complete victory. You will pass right through the fire. You will pass through every pressure, everything that comes against you — in the name of Jesus.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you” (Isaiah 43:2, ESV).

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BELIEVING GOD

Nicky CruzJune 18, 2016

God’s covenantal promises are as real and secure as any truth we can imagine. When God makes a promise to us, it is not only certain but irrevocable. And He loves making covenants with His children.

But God’s promises demand action on our part. He doesn’t make covenants with idle, double-minded people. He wants people who will trust Him, obey Him, engage with Him on a daily basis. God wants to speak with us, and He wants us to speak back. To listen, to ask questions, and to answer when He speaks. God isn’t passive, and He doesn’t want passive followers!

If we listen we can hear God talking, trying to engage us. Trying to get a message through and a response back. But so often we miss it. Either we are not hearing, or we don’t believe that God is really interested in talking with us.

When God speaks, He wants us to respond. To do something. To acknowledge His voice and speak back.

And He only speaks to people who are willing to listen.

Too often we spend our days in lifeless, passionless pursuits. We live day to day, aimlessly waiting for God to give us some direction, some guidance, some word of prophecy. We want to follow God, but we have no idea where He is leading us.

I see this every day—in people, in churches, in businesses, in ministries, in every area of life. So many long to hear God and to engage with Him in a covenantal relationship, but nothing ever happens. God’s voice never comes. His leading never becomes clear.

We serve a God of passion—a God of action. A God who longs for servants obsessed with obedience, preoccupied with discovering His will, completely enamored with the thought of living and dying in God’s holy presence!

That’s what God is looking for. And when He finds it, He always takes notice!

 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13, NIV).

 

Nicky Cruz, internationally known evangelist and prolific author, turned to Jesus Christ from a life of violence and crime after meeting David Wilkerson in New York City in 1958. The story of his dramatic conversion was told first in The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson and then later in his own best-selling book Run, Baby, Run

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UNDER GOD’S CONTROL

David WilkersonJune 17, 2016

In these last days, the Lord’s eye is not fixed on world powers but on the church of Jesus Christ. God is not focused on the economy, on the rise of world religions, on the roaring of the heathen. According to Isaiah, the nations are to God “as a drop of a bucket” (Isaiah 40:15). They are all under His sovereign rule and reign.

God knows all about terrorist threats, wars and rumors of wars. His Word warns that the heathen will rage, secular powers will try to outlaw Christianity, and fast-growing, anti-Christ movements will boast they’ll rule the world and destroy Jesus’ followers. The Bible says this about it all:

“The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us” (Psalm 2:2–3). In short, “Let’s cast away all moral hindrances, all moral landmarks of the past.”

Here is God’s reaction to these earthly powers and demon-influenced men: “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision” (2:4). No matter how desperate things look, everything remains under God’s full control.

I’m thankful for this word from the Psalms. More and more, we hear reports of secularism wiping out the evangelical church in Europe; of Islam being the fastest growing religion in the world; of homosexuals hijacking entire denominations; of Christ’s church growing so weak it no longer has any impact on society. Yet God’s Word declares, “On Christ the Rock God will build His church.”

“The gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). Nothing from the bowels of hell can hope to destroy Christ’s church. His eye is always on His people, and through everything He warns Satan and his hordes, “Do not touch the apple of My eye.”

“Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake” (Isaiah 54:15). Do you see what God is saying here? “The devil is going to come at you. Enemies out of hell will gather together against you. But Satan will not succeed.”

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WHAT IS AHEAD FOR THE CHURCH?

David WilkersonJune 16, 2016

What is ahead for the church of Jesus Christ? This is a question of great concern to believers worldwide. As cataclysmic events take place all over the globe, many are wondering, “Is the Holy Spirit going to revive the Church before Jesus returns? Will Christ’s Body leave this world with a whimper or with a shout?”

The New Testament is filled with predictions of a last-days falling away. False prophets will rise up and lead many astray. Wolves will come in sheep’s clothing, bringing powerful deceptions to “deceive, if possible, even the elect of God.” Wickedness will abound, causing once-hot believers to lose their first love. With the flood of iniquity to come, the love of many will grow cold.

Jesus prophesied these very things and His warnings were meant to challenge our faith. As overwhelming iniquity floods the earth, He asks: “When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8).

Christ knew everything we would be witnessing today: horrifying school shootings; the rise of militant homosexuality; terrorist acts taking place throughout the world. In the midst of these things, He asks us, “Will you continue to believe, though things wax worse? Will you faint in your confidence when things don’t happen as you thought they would? Or, will you continue to trust in Me?”

Despite the rise in iniquity and the occurrence of great calamities, Jesus knew there would be a great last-days revival. The Holy Spirit inspired Isaiah’s prophecies, and He knew full well about the prediction of a revival as the end draws near.

Isaiah said there would be a great, worldwide awakening just prior to Christ’s return. This prophecy is found in Isaiah 54 and is summed up in these verses: “Thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited” (54:3).

I believe with a number of Bible scholars that Isaiah’s prophecy has a dual application. It speaks not only about natural Israel after captivity in Babylon, but also about the spiritual Israel that was to come: the Body of Jesus Christ, the Church of the New Jerusalem. Paul quotes from Isaiah 54 when he refers to the “Jerusalem which is above . . . the mother of us all” (Galatians 4:26). Paul saw Isaiah’s prophecy as directed “to the children of promise,” those in Christ by faith.

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ARE YOU READY?

David WilkersonJune 15, 2016

What did Jesus mean in Matthew 24:49 when He spoke about the evil servant who would “drink with the drunken”? Jesus isn’t just talking about alcohol here. The Bible mentions many ways of being drunk: with fury, with bitterness, with bloodthirstiness. The main alcohol in our society—the sedative that most people drink from today—is prosperity. And Christians indulge freely in this drink.

Jesus is warning us, “What happens to you once prosperity grips you? Your heart gets wrapped up in material goods. Suddenly, you lose your awareness of My coming. Your life spins out of control, because you no longer have a moral compass. And you begin doing anything you can to get what you want. You become a drunkard, stoned on prosperity.”

Note the judgment Jesus describes for such hypocrites. “The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (24:50–51).

Are you ready? Have you begun to love the thought of Christ’s appearing? Paul says, “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8, my italics). James urges us likewise: “Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh” (James 5:8). “Unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Hebrews 9:28).

Finally, Paul writes, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority” (Titus 2:11–15).

I pray to become the kind of shepherd Paul describes. Yes, I’m looking for my Master’s return. And, like the apostle, I can say with confidence, “I’ve got a crown waiting for me, because I love His appearing. I am ready. Come, Lord Jesus!”

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