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Devotions

Held by Christ’s Prayer

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)September 27, 2019

“The Lord said, ‘Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail’” (Luke 22:31-32).

Jesus had foreseen the sifting that was coming to Peter and he would not stop it because the process was necessary. But Jesus quickly added, “I have prayed for you.” “I have prayed for you” not “I will pray for you.” He had probably already spent hours with the Father talking about Peter — how he loved him, how needed he was in God’s kingdom, how he valued him as a friend. When Jesus said he was praying for him, he was speaking not only to Peter, but to all the disciples — and to us today.

Jesus knew all too well the fierceness of the powers of evil and how Satan sifts the Lord’s followers. None of us can understand the great conflict raging right now in the spirit realm against saints who have fixed their hearts firmly on going all the way with Christ.

In your Christian walk, there comes a moment you cross the line into a life of obedience and dependence on Jesus, determined in your heart never to go back. When this happens, you become a threat to the kingdom of darkness and, thus, a target of principalities and powers. The testimony of every believer who turns to the Lord with all his heart, hungering after holiness and a deeper walk with Jesus, includes the sudden breaking forth of intense trials!

“Jesus … lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said … ‘I pray for them … Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me … I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one’” (John 17:9, 11, 15).

If you are sold out for God — reading his Word, spending time with him, loving lost souls —  no matter what you’re going through or what lies ahead of you, Jesus is praying for you. What a wonderful comfort this is to every child of God.

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What Does Loving Jesus Look Like?

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)September 26, 2019

“My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18).

Ask any Christian, “Do you love Jesus?” and he will answer, “Absolutely — yes!” But words alone will not stand in the holy light of God’s Word. Jesus said two distinct things will reveal your love for him and if these are not shown in your life, your love for Jesus is in word alone instead of “in deed and in truth.” Those two evidences are: (1) obedience to Jesus’ every command and (2) a manifestation of his presence in your life.

“He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me … and I will love him and manifest Myself to him” (John 14:21). “Manifest” means to “shine or break forth.” In other words, to become an instrument or channel that radiates Christ’s presence.

So often we hear, “Oh, Lord, send your presence among us. Fall upon us and move by your Holy Spirit.” But God’s presence does not suddenly fall and surprise or overwhelm the congregation. He does not “come down” like an invisible smoke that God sprays into the atmosphere, somewhat like the Old Testament cloud of glory that so filled the temple that the priests could not stand to minister (see 2 Chronicles 5:14).

Our bodies are the temple of God, and if his glory comes, it must appear in our hearts and fill our bodies. Christ does not inhabit buildings or a certain atmosphere; in fact, the very heavens cannot contain him! Rather, he manifests through our obedient, sanctified bodies — his temples: “For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people’” (2 Corinthians 6:16).

If you have forsaken all sin and desire to know him, you carry Christ’s glory and presence with you. His life flows through you at all times!

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Guarding Your Heart’s Door

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)September 25, 2019

“By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, ‘and was not found, because God had taken him’; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:5-6).

One of the great tragedies of this generation — and one of God’ greatest griefs — is that so few Christians are truly happy. They put on a good front of singing, clapping, smiling, but lurking just beneath the surface is misery, loneliness and sadness. Yet, is this what Christ died for? Paul warns of Christians who need to “come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:26). This verse describes many Christians perfectly. Satan moves in and out of their lives at his own will and they have no power or authority to stop him at their heart’s door. He flaunts his hold over them: “You have no power of Christ in you to stop me. You will do as I say.”

Perhaps you’re one of those caught in the devil’s snare, but you can recognize the trap and seek to be released. If you have been serving the Lord for more than a few months, you should be growing daily in the grace and knowledge of Jesus. Your spiritual victories should be sweet, and you should be assured of his constant presence. By now, Satan should be running from you!

 “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Colossians 1:13, KJV). Firmly set your heart on walking with God. In doing so, you will be assured that the Lord will deliver you from the devil’s dominion.  

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Abounding in Hope

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)September 24, 2019

We serve a God of hope! The Greek word for hope is elpo, which means “to look forward to with pleasurable confidence and expectation.” The apostle Paul wrote to the Romans, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).

Paul introduces an incredible concept — “that you may abound in hope.” He implies that you may have enough hope to spare; a supply that is “overflowing, excessive, beyond measure.” To anyone who is in a state of despair, this may sound like a cruel joke. But, beloved, God’s Word is true! He is a God of hope, a hope that is beyond measure. Paul’s prayer for the people of God was that they would be filled with “joy and peace in believing.”

This should be the normal state for all Christians, not just for well-adjusted, happy believers. God is not mocking his hurting children today; he truly is a God of hope. Paul said, “For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance” (Romans 8:24-25). In spite of this promise, we often respond by demanding to see a change in our situation: “Well, I could have hope if I could see just a little movement, a small piece of evidence that God is working. How can I have hope when months go by and things only get worse?”

“To abound in hope” also means to have great patience — more than enough patience to “wait for it.” You see, the joy and peace come when you know God has everything under control.

 Christ will turn your feelings of hopelessness into rejoicing and clothe you with gladness if you will release your faith to him. “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness” (Psalm 30:11). Rejoice in the God of hope — and live!

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By the Grace of God Alone

Gary WilkersonSeptember 23, 2019

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:4-7). 

Paul was writing to the Ephesians from prison in Rome. The young Timothy had become pastor of the church at Ephesus, which was growing exponentially and enjoying bountiful blessings. The church was eager to hear what Paul had to say to them. He begins the letter by speaking about the glories and splendor of Christ and then reminds them of where they came from. They had been dead in their trespasses and were now made alive and seated in the heavenly places in Christ. Not only were their sins washed away, but they had moved into a realm that far surpassed the glory of anything they had ever experienced. All because they had been saved by grace through faith!

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (2:10). God’s presence will create for you all kinds of opportunities that are not birthed out of your own works. He has something planned for you that you can walk into. Not only does he save you and give you faith, but he also calls you out and gives you a life of glory, power and grace!

Christ does not simply take the evil out of you; he puts all the kingdom of the glory of Christ Jesus into you. His blood does not only wash you from sin, but it begins to be imputed into your life so that the righteousness of God in Christ dwells in you. Because of this, you can walk in victory with your head held high.

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