Sermons   David Wilkerson Today, Daily Devotions

SPEAK UNTO US SMOOTH THINGS

by David Wilkerson | April 9, 2014

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A man recently wrote the following to our ministry: “I don’t know who put me on your mailing list, but please remove my name immediately. I can’t stand your gloomy gospel and your hammering against sin. None of us is perfect, not even you. I’ve had it with your King James gospel of doom.”

Isaiah spoke of this kind of response: “This is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord: which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: Get you out of the way” (Isaiah 30:9-11).

The word “smooth” in this verse means “nice, flattery.” The people of Israel were saying, in short, “Don't tell us any more bad stuff. Describe how we’re going to prosper, how great things lie ahead of us. If not, then get out of our faces.”

No believer who hides sin in his heart ever wants to hear a holy, sin-exposing word. That person will always flee the Holy Spirit’s voice of truth. And he’ll turn to some preacher who is soft on sin, offering smooth talk and flattering prophecies.

So, you ask, what hard message did God’s voice deliver to His people on Mount Sinai? He said simply this: “I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. Thou shalt have none other gods before me. Thou shalt not make thee any graven image. . . . Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them” (Deuteronomy 5:6-9).

Here was the pure, unadulterated word of the Lord, coming directly from His mouth. It should have sent the people flying to their tents to smash their graven images. It should have stirred their hearts and brought them to their knees. But instead they cried, “No more thunder, fire, shaking. No more audible voice speaking to us. Give us a spokesman who is like us, and let him speak to us. Then we’ll hear and obey.”
 

WE NEED A SOFTER MESSAGE

by David Wilkerson | April 8, 2014

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“Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not” (Exodus 20:20).

“Ye shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess” (Deuteronomy 5:33).

Moses said, in essence, “God isn’t mad at you. That’s not what this majestic experience is all about. No—He wants to empower you with His awesome fear. He is trying to build into you a powerful weapon and He’s doing it so that you can live victoriously all the days of your life.”

Then came some of the strangest logic in the Bible. These leaders said to Moses, “We have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth. Now therefore why should we die? For this great fire will consume us: if we hear the voice of the Lord our God any more, then we shall die. For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?” (Deuteronomy 5:24-26). They told Moses, “We know we can hear God speak out of the fire, and survive. Yet, if we have to sit under His direct, pure, holy voice, we will be consumed. Why should we die? Of all people in the world, we’re the ones who’ve heard God’s voice and lived.”

The Lord then gives us a clue about what was really happening: “O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children forever” (verse 29).

They were giving God honor with their lips but their hearts were far from Him. To quote Isaiah, “This people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but [they] have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men” (Isaiah 29:13).

The Israelites were so devoted to their little golden images that nothing could keep them from idolatrous worship. They finally even ignored the audible voice of God, in all its holiness and majesty.

When Israel’s elders said, “We need a softer message, otherwise we’ll die,” how right they were. Anytime you sit under Holy Ghost preaching—hearing God’s anointed, convicting word—you’re surely going to die. That is, you will die to your sins.

 

TRUSTING GOD TO DEMONSTRATE HIS POWER

by Gary Wilkerson | April 7, 2014

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David never said, “My dad asked me to be a shepherd, so I was a good one. I fought off lions and bears and never lost a sheep.” That would have been a good testimony—but it did not give glory to God. Actually, David’s boast was, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:37, ESV).

As a butler in Babylon, Nehemiah risked his life as a wine taster for the king. But Nehemiah’s boast in God was: “I rebuilt a city to restore honor to God’s name.” With God’s name mocked in Jerusalem’s streets, Nehemiah felt a fire in his belly—and he set about rebuilding the walls.

Moses’ testimony was not, “I lived in Pharaoh’s palace and had great authority.” His boast was, “God spoke to me from a burning bush—and I confronted Pharaoh, saying, ‘Let my people go.’” His boast was heard at the Red Sea: “Egypt’s army has drowned in the sea!”

New Testament believers had the same boast. Stephen was a deacon who distributed food to widows—a good testimony in itself—but his boast-worthy testimony came when he preached to an unbelieving crowd. His anointed sermon so provoked the people that they took up stones to kill him. Stephen’s testimony was twofold: He was the first martyr of the Church, and his faithful sacrifice would later impact a Jewish zealot named Saul.

I have yet to meet a Christian who has not wondered, “Isn’t there something more to this life in Christ? When will we see God’s power made manifest in this generation?” Maybe you are facing something that requires God’s intervention. This is no time to say, “I’ll go to church more.” It’s time to say, “I trust God to demonstrate His power in my life. He is going to save my marriage, rescue my kids, impact my coworkers. He’ll give me a boast-worthy testimony.”

This message is not meant to be a guilt trip. It is meant to stir a passion in our hearts—a passion too often repressed by fear and doubt. Some have set aside their faith for so long they no longer believe they can have a boast-worthy testimony—but God’s Word says differently.

 

 

FAITH IS NOT ONLY TAUGHT, IT IS CAUGHT

by Claude Houde | April 5, 2014

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I want to challenge you by faith to receive a vision for yourself. Whether you are a teenager, a parent, a student, a housewife, or a young person launching a career, you can communicate your faith to someone. You can inspire somebody—a friend, a mom or dad, son, daughter, fellow believer—to love, pray, forgive, repent, serve and do something beautiful and noble! Please allow your spirit to hear that God is seeking a man or a woman whose heart will beat with the vision that without faith, it is impossible to produce a victorious people.

Faith is not only taught, it is caught! The truth and spiritual reality is that as a dad, my children can walk in the footsteps I will leave for them. Please allow me to illustrate this with a simple tale from my childhood growing up in the low-income housing projects in Montreal.

It was a cold winter night as a father walked to the local bar yet again. It was Friday night and he had just cashed in his paycheck. The money burned in his pocket, and as he did every single week, he was about to drink it away. In this insane and incomprehensible moment, everything else vanished. He was unable to think of the money he would need to feed his children, and pay the rent and heating bills. The promises he had made to his wife, over and over, disappeared each time, choked by the blinding habit and the all-encompassing thirst to forget that which both disgusted and enslaved him. This man hated himself, but the voices inside always won: “It's my business; I am not hurting anybody; it's my choice; it's only a few drinks.” Suddenly, he heard a rustling sound in the silence of the cold night—the sound of soft steps in the snow. He turned around and what he saw hit him like an iron fist in the gut, taking his breath away. His son was following him and making his best effort, giving it his all, trying to put his little feet, step by step, in the imprints his daddy had left in the snow. He was walking in his dad’s footsteps.

Dear reader, each one of us is leading somebody somewhere. Some boys and girls are learning to lie, blame others, cheat, criticize, be arrogant and always look for shortcuts. But our sons and daughters can also watch us and learn to love, pray, work, worship, serve, forgive and believe. They can learn from us to speak the truth, respect people, judge people on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin, and to be honest, respectful to their elders, and a friend of the poor.

 

 

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.
 

HIDDEN SIN

by David Wilkerson | April 4, 2014

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When Israel camped at Mount Sinai, they were suddenly engulfed by thick darkness and an incredible, blazing fire. Out of the midst of these awesome elements, God spoke: “These words the Lord spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice” (Deuteronomy 5:22).

While all this was happening, the Israelites stood frozen with fear. They were convinced they would die before the voice of the Lord stopped speaking. Finally, the voice stilled; the lightning stopped; the quaking ended; and before long, the sun began to shine. As the people looked around, they saw everyone was still alive. They had heard the actual, audible voice of God and lived!

Evidently, as soon as this incredible manifestation ended, Israel’s elders and tribal heads called a meeting. You would expect this to be the greatest praise meeting in the history of humankind. Yet this meeting was not one of praise—not at all. Incredibly, the elders told Moses, “We can’t handle this kind of experience. We don’t want to hear God’s awesome voice anymore. If He speaks to us this way again, we’ll die. From now on, we want to hear His words through a man’s voice.”

Their response is absolutely puzzling. Why would anyone react this way to such a glorious miracle of God? I can tell you why: It was because the Israelites had hidden sin in their hearts. They were secret idol worshipers.

Unbelievably, these people still clung to the small golden idols they had brought with them from Egypt. The apostle Stephen said these idols were “figures which ye made to worship” (Acts 7:43). The Israelites had carved them in the likeness of the giant golden calves the Egyptians worshiped. They cried, “You delivered us from Egypt. You are our God.” And now, in the desert, they still had not let go of their horrible idolatry.

Stephen called this people “the church in the wilderness” (verse 38). He was amazed that even after the Lord had spoken to them audibly, their hearts were still back in idolatrous Egypt. He said of them, “Our fathers would not obey . . . and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt” (verse 39).

You can see why God’s voice made these people quake. The reason they thought they would die was because they were in the presence of a holy, powerful God—not some lifeless, carved idol. His Spirit had gripped their souls, and their consciences were convicting them.
 

HELPING TOGETHER IN PRAYER

by David Wilkerson | April 3, 2014

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A pastor’s wife left a pitiful message on our ministry’s answering service. She said in very slurred speech, “Brother Dave, thousands of preachers’ wives drink in secret to cover their pain. That’s what I do. I drink to dull the ache.” Other ministers’ wives write of their failing marriage or their husband’s addiction to pornography.

Beloved, these are the people I am now helping in prayer. I pray for ministers and their families, because I know they need it. I have learned firsthand that helping prayer works. Scripture says that when the apostle Peter was bound in jail, “prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him” (Acts 12:5). And God delivered Peter with a miracle!

Paul not only asked for prayer helpers, but he was a helper himself. He knew it was part of his calling as a minister of the gospel. He wrote to the Philippians, “To all the saints . . . with the bishops and deacons . . . I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy . . . because I have you in my heart” (Philippians 1:1, 3, 4, 7).

Are you aware of a brother or sister whose marriage is in turmoil? If so, what do you do about it? Do you merely tell others what a shame it is that they are about to break up? Or do you bring up their names to the Lord and strive for them in prayer?

Do you desire this ministry of being a helper in prayer? If you don’t know anyone with a need, start by praying for all Christian marriages and all of God’s saints. Your prayers do not have to be long. Simply state your request, and trust God to hear you.

This was illustrated for me once when I was sick in bed. One of my grandsons came in and announced, “Papa, I’m going to pray for you.” My little helper laid his hand on my head and prayed, “Jesus, make him all better.” I smiled and thanked him but he just kept looking at me. Finally, he said, “You’re healed. Get up!” So I did get up—and I was healed! His prayer of faith brought me to my feet.

Mighty deliverances take place when God’s saints seek Him diligently with childlike faith for the needs of their brothers and sisters.
 

IN THE MIDST OF TROUBLES, PAUL LEARNED GREAT LESSONS

by David Wilkerson | April 2, 2014

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The most significant lesson Paul learned in his anguish was that he had to turn to the Lord and His covenant promises. He knew he could no longer trust in his own flesh, abilities or willpower. He writes, “We had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:9).

Paul’s trial had brought him to the end of his endurance. He knew he did not have any strength left to fight the powers of darkness so he sentenced his own flesh to death. And God marvelously delivered him: “Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us” (verse 10).

How was Paul delivered? Several things were involved: First, he was a mighty man of prayer and second, he had great confidence in the Lord. Paul knew God would uphold His covenant promises. He could say, “Just as the Lord has delivered me in the past, He is at work delivering me from this present trial. From now until the day I die, I’ll be living under His delivering power.”

Like Paul, we also are allowed to endure troubled times, so that we will die to our reliance on human ability. The Lord permits us to be crushed, made helpless and weak, in an effort to convince us we cannot defeat the enemy by any fleshly efforts.

As we compare our lives to Paul’s, we may be tempted to think, “I’ll never experience the kind of deliverance this man enjoyed. He was well-educated in the Scriptures and he received great revelations from the Lord about Jesus, the gospel, the New Covenant.

“And Paul ministered in the power and demonstration of the Holy Ghost. He single-handedly shook cities and nations. He couldn’t be killed by the devil, even after stonings, mob attacks, three shipwrecks. God even used him to raise the dead. This man was one of God’s most anointed servants in all of history. He had it together spiritually.”

Not so, according to Paul. The apostle makes it clear that there was one other important factor in his deliverance: the powerful intercession of praying helpers. “Ye also helping together by prayer for us” (verse 11). Paul was saying, “I’m confident God will deliver me. And you’re helping that come to pass by praying.”
 

DELIVERED THROUGH THE PRAYERS OF "HELPERS"

by David Wilkerson | April 1, 2014

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“We would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life” (2 Corinthians 1:8). The Greek word for pressed in this passage means “heavily burdened, grievously crushed.” Paul was telling these saints, “Our crisis was so serious that it almost crushed me. I thought it was the end for me.”

When Paul says he was so burdened down that he despaired of life, we can know he truly was at rock bottom. In other passages, he downplays his sufferings. You may recall how he simply shook off a poisonous snake that had attached itself to his hand. He was shipwrecked three times yet he mentions this fact only in passing, to make a point. Paul was beaten, robbed, stoned, jailed—yet through it all he never complained.

In this passage, however, the apostle was at a point of total exhaustion. I believe this “trouble” he endured was mental anguish. We cannot know exactly what Paul's trouble was but 2 Corinthians 7:5 gives us a hint: “When we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears.”

I believe Paul was referring to pain caused by the sheep he ministered to. False teachers had risen up in Corinth and had tried to turn the people against him. Now Paul feared his flock would reject his message and follow men who did not have their interest at heart.

He was consoled when Titus arrived, bringing him good news about his “beloved children” in Corinth. Paul writes, “Nevertheless God . . . comforted us by the coming of Titus; and not by his coming only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the more” (verses 6-7).

I have felt this kind of anguish in my life. At times, the words of people I have loved and helped have felt like knives in my back. I can say with David, “The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords” (Psalm 55:21). In such troubled times, I have most needed “helping prayers.”
 

A BOAST-WORTHY TESTIMONY

by Gary Wilkerson | March 31, 2014

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We live in a time when biblical predictions have become visible realities. Paul wrote that in the last days perilous times would come upon the earth (see 2 Timothy 3:1). Right now things are taking place we could not have imagined a few years ago.

Jesus predicted that men would become lovers of themselves, lovers of money, hateful and arrogant. Today our nation’s leaders cannot agree on the most basic common principles. If someone has the nerve to mention sin, he is called a bigot and made an outcast. As God’s Word is moved to the sidelines of the culture, sin becomes more and more prevalent.

Pastors feel the spiritual bombardment. Week after week, I learn that another marriage may be falling apart. Kids cut their own skin out of self- hatred. Drugs are more widespread than ever. And there are fewer voices of help, as each month 1,500 pastors leave the ministry.

As Christ’s Body, we cannot be asleep to these things. The Old Testament speaks of the sons of Issachar, a group that had a knowledge of the times and skill in dealing with the world (see 1 Chronicles 12:32). Can the same be said of Christ’s Body today? If we discern the times, we know this is not a moment for half measures. The only way for us to “deal with the world” is not to let church be business as usual. Jesus said of certain demonic spirits, “This kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:21, NKJV). In these times, our prayers must be fervent—because without spiritual change, things look too bleak.

In the midst of darkness, Jesus calls us to be light. And here is our message for such a time: “Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4, KJV). God has done awesome works in the lives of His people and each one of us is called to proclaim His glory through a boast-worthy testimony.

What does a boast-worthy testimony look like? Here is the kind of boasting I am referring to: “As the Scriptures say, ‘If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord’” (2 Corinthians 10:17, NLT). To do the kind of boasting Paul describes, we have to have a boast worthy of God’s glory.

 

 

HELPERS IN PRAYER

by David Wilkerson | March 28, 2014

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Paul was so conscious of his need for the prayers of the saints that he pleaded for “prayer helpers” everywhere. He begged the Romans, “Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me; that I may be delivered” (Romans 15:30-31). And he asked the Thessalonians, “Brethren, pray for us” (1 Thessalonians 5:25).

In Greek, the word for strive here means to “struggle with me as a partner in prayer; wrestle for me in prayer.” Paul was not asking for a quick mention to the throne. He was pleading, “Fight for me in prayer. Do spiritual battle, both for my sake and the sake of the gospel.”

When Paul was in prison, ready to lay down his life, he urged the Philippians to pray for him: “I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:19). Paul knew he was a marked man, that Satan’s hordes were bent on destroying him. And so it is with every true minister of the gospel. Every pastor, preacher and evangelist needs helpers in prayer who will intercede for him continually.

I can assure you, I would not be writing to you if not for the helpers in prayer who have stood with me over the years. I was reminded of this recently while I was in Europe to conduct ministers’ conferences and nightly crusades. The entire time, God’s Spirit made me aware I was being carried by the prayers of a multitude of people.

In Nice, France, Americans are not well-liked, particularly American evangelists. Everyone worried about that night’s crusade, wondering, “Can it be done?” France is rampant with skepticism, atheism, agnosticism, unbelief. And the kind of meeting we planned to hold had never been attempted.

When the time came, however, thousands gathered. Yet that is when I began to feel helpless. I didn’t know what to preach because no message I had outlined seemed to fit. My interpreter and I had reviewed some notes beforehand, but I wasn’t sure they were right for the meeting. I warned him, “I'm not sure what I’m going to say.”

When I stepped up to the podium, however, the Spirit fell on me powerfully. I sensed the prayers of thousands of saints supporting me and as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost filled my mouth. I preached for forty minutes, and the entire time you could hear a pin drop. When I finished, I simply said, “If you need Jesus, please come forward”—and hundreds of people leapt to their feet in response.
 

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