Sermons   David Wilkerson Today, Daily Devotions


by Gary Wilkerson | September 28, 2015

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In illustrating for us the rich, satisfying life He has for us, Jesus uses the image of a sheep pen. “I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures” (John 10:9). In the pen, His sheep are safe from all enemies. They feed on the “good pastures” of God’s kingdom, enjoying health, peace and freedom.

It is this blessed life that our enemy, the devil, seeks to steal from us. Satan is bent on destroying our precious faith, and Jesus describes him as a thief who sneaks into the pen: “Anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber. . . . The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy” (10:1, 10).

If there is anything Satan wants to steal from us, it is the life God has designed for us. He does this by seeking to remove us from the “good pasture” (i.e., crucial spiritual food) that Jesus has given us. Immature Christians are most susceptible, as long as they remain on a diet of “milk,” never advancing to the meat of God’s Word. They are especially subject to Satan’s wiles in times of crisis. They spiral into a panic, filled with fear and worry, thinking, “I don’t know how to make a decision. Where are You, God?”

I saw this happen a lot when I was on the pastoral staff of Times Square Church in New York City. The teaching that people fed on there was deep and meaty, drawn from the dedicated study of God’s Word. Imagine my shock whenever parishioners told me they had skipped services to go hear a known charlatan whose only focus was money. How could they do that after a steady diet of solid, biblical food?

This brings up a second hindrance every Christian faces: the alluring gospel of a false teacher. Jesus teaches, “[My sheep] won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice” (10:5). Such “strangers” look, sound and dress like any good pastor. But the gospel they preach gradually leads people away from Christ’s rich, satisfying “good pasture” to the destruction of their souls.

It is absolute necessary that we learn the voice of our Good Shepherd and be able to distinguish it from the voices of false shepherds. How do we do this? By feeding on the meat our Shepherd has so generously provided: “So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ” (Romans 10:17). The only way to detect a counterfeit is to know the original intimately. Only by immersing ourselves in God’s pure Word will we become intimate with the look, sound, scent and taste of that which comes from heaven.


by Claude Houde | September 26, 2015

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Abraham built an altar of obedience and trust when he didn’t know where he was to go. There are moments in each of our lives when we ask, with anguish in our hearts, “Where, Lord?” We have a decision to make with no clear direction. The believer’s “where” can be related to his career, his studies, where to go to school, whether to move, where to go to church, where to go after tragedy or sickness. In all these “where’s” we must build an altar of confidence and trust where we release everything into His hands. Faith that builds an altar when we don’t know where to go will never be disappointed. God will bless, provide and protect as we grow in our trust and confidence in Him. Abraham also built an altar of faith when he didn’t know God’s “what, how, or why.”

 “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country. . . . Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore” (Hebrews 11:8-9 and 12, NKJV).

There is so much substance and spiritual weight in these few verses. Abraham’s test was in the waiting—He didn’t know God’s “when.” The fulfillment always seemed to be delayed and the promise appeared to be vanishing little by little, the doubts becoming a “Mount Everest” of unbelief. He came to a place where he had absolutely no idea how God could possibly accomplish what He had promised. In these passages of the book of Hebrews the author makes reference to God’s promise to Abraham that he would have a son. For Sarah and Abraham it had always been difficult, so hard to believe, but now they were staring at an endless ocean of impossibility as far as the eye could see. It was a situation in which the only resource was faith to “rebuild” an altar in order to receive.

Abraham had faced this war with unbelief his whole life. Just as you and I, many times he found himself deep in these fierce battles of faith with the adversary and he was torn up with pangs of anguish from this endless questioning that is common to all believers: When? How? Why? Where, God?


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.



by David Wilkerson | September 25, 2015

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The Israelites went ahead of God by organizing an army, planning a strategy, and striking out on their own. But when the enemy saw them, they chased the Israelite soldiers “as bees do” and destroyed them (see Deuteronomy 1:44).

I have seen horrible cases of believers who have never entered into God’s rest. The Lord brought them to a place of severe testing—a family crisis, a financial struggle, a marriage problem—but they did not wait for God to act. Instead, they accused Him of neglect and tried to solve their crises on their own. Today, those believers have no rest, no peace, no sense of God’s presence, and they live in constant doubt. They seem to go from one crisis to another and all they can talk about is their latest problem. Yet every bit of their confusion is caused by one thing: unbelief.

The Psalmist says, “We spend our years as a tale that is told” (Psalm 90:9). This psalm is speaking of unbelievers. What is the title of their tale? It is These All Lived and Died in Vain. It’s the same story we hear people tell of unbelieving grandparents: “They lived all their years in gloom. They did nothing but murmur and complain and they died alone and forgotten.”

This is the dread of unbelief. It cuts off your spiritual history, so that all that’s remembered of you is a wasted life. When Israel’s young generation asked about what happened to Grandma and Grandpa, they were told, “They murmured and complained all the time. They had nothing to live for, so they just sat around waiting to die.”

True believers are determined to trust God even if their prayer isn’t answered. It doesn’t matter if all their goods are taken away, or even if they face death. They desire to enter God’s rest. What is the evidence of such a life? They have “ceased from [their] own works” (see Hebrews 4:10). They no longer lie awake at night trying to solve their problems in their own wisdom and skill. Instead, they turn everything over to Jesus. It doesn’t matter whether they end up in gain or loss. Their only focus is that God has a plan, and that He is working it out in their lives.


by David Wilkerson | September 24, 2015

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“The hand of the Lord was against them, to destroy them . . . until all the generation of the men . . . were wasted out from among the host” (Deuteronomy 2:15, 14). Here is some of the strongest language in all the Bible regarding unbelief.

You may say, “But that isn’t the language of grace. God doesn’t deal that severely with unbelief today.” Not true. The Bible says that today, under grace, “without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

This sin of unbelief cannot be isolated to a single issue in our lives. It spills over into everything, tainting and defiling every detail of our walk.

Israel’s doubt wasn’t just limited to God’s ability to slay their enemies. Their doubt spilled over into their trust for daily provisions. They doubted God’s ability to protect their children. They doubted whether He would lead them into the Promised Land. They doubted that He was even with them. That’s why God told them, “Turn you, and take your journey into the wilderness . . . for I am not among you” (Deuteronomy 1:40, 42).

If we have unbelief in one area, it spreads into every area, defiling our whole heart. We may trust God in certain matters, such as believing He saves us by faith, that He’s all powerful, that His Spirit abides in us. But do we trust Him for our future? Do we believe Him to provide for our health and finances, to give us victory over sin?

Unbelief leads to the sin of presumption. To presume is to dare to think we know what’s right. It’s an arrogance that says, “I know the way,” and then acts on its own.

Here is yet another sin that Israel committed in its unbelief. When God told them to turn back to the wilderness, they didn’t want to obey. Instead, they came to Moses and said, “Okay, we sinned. But we’ve got it figured out now. We’re ready to obey God’s command to go up against the enemy.” And they took matters into their own hands.

Many doubting believers make a tragic mistake in a significant way: When they fail in a matter of faith, they turn to the flesh. They do what they think must be done, but they proceed in their own wisdom and skill. Faith always resists acting in fear and waits for God to work. Faith is never willing to make something happen by going ahead of God.


by David Wilkerson | September 23, 2015

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Jesus came as a prophet and a miracle worker to His own house, Israel. Yet, “He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief” (Matthew 13:58). What an incredible statement. Unbelief limited even Christ’s power to work.

We see other tragic results of unbelief throughout the New Testament. The disciples couldn’t cast out a demon from a small child because of their unbelief—and Jesus rebuked them for it (see Matthew 17:14-21). After the resurrection, Christ was shocked again by their unbelief: “[He] upbraided (rebuked) them with their unbelief and hardness of heart” (Mark 16:14). Moreover, Paul says of the Jews, “Because of unbelief they were broken off” (Romans 11:20).

Why is God’s judgment of unbelief so severe in the New Testament? It’s because believers today have been given something that Old Testament saints could only dream of. God has blessed us with the gift of His Holy Spirit. Under the Old Covenant, believers were only occasionally visited by God’s Spirit; they had to go to the temple to experience the Lord’s presence. But today God makes His dwelling place in His people. We are His temple, and His presence abides in every believer.

In the Old Testament, Abraham was occasionally visited by an angel or given a word from God. He trusted that God was able to do all He pledged and “staggered not at the promise of God” (Romans 4:20). Yet, today, Jesus is available to us at any hour of the day. We have the ability to call on Him our entire lifetime, and we know He’ll respond. He invites us to come boldly to His throne room and make our petitions known. And He gives us comfort and guidance through the Holy Spirit.

Yet, in spite of these blessings, we still doubt God in our times of extreme testing. Jesus rebukes such unbelief, saying, “Shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:7-8). If Christ were to return today, would He find faith in you?


by David Wilkerson | September 22, 2015

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God’s word wasn’t enough for the Israelites. The Lord had given them incredible promises, yet in the midst of their crises, Israel never trusted Him. In spite of every promise, they rendered His word useless. How? By never mixing it with faith. “The word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it” (Hebrews 4:2).

Instead, the people always demanded a new word from God. In other words: “We need to know whether God is with us in this present crisis, not just our last one. We must have a new revelation from Him for this situation.” I ask you, how could anyone forget so quickly all that God had done for them? Israel had forgotten every instance of God’s deliverance and had not allowed His past supernatural works to build up their faith in Him.

Yet, in spite of their accusations against Him, God spoke another word to Israel. He instructed Moses to tell them, “Dread not, neither be afraid of [your enemies]. The Lord your God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes” (Deuteronomy 1:29-30).

Now, this wasn’t a new promise. God was simply restating what He had already told His people: “The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace” (Exodus 14:14).

Over and over God had told them, “I am with you. I’m going to fight for you so lay hold of this promise and don’t forget it.” Yet, here they were, trembling before their enemies and focusing on their own weakness. Finally, they reasoned, “We’re not able to go up against them.” This was blatant doubt—doubt of God’s call on their lives, doubt that He had sent them, doubt of His presence in their midst.

You may think you would never react this way, yet so many Christians today say similar things: “Lord, are You really with me? I know what You promised me, but is it really true? Can I trust what You’ve said? I need a fresh word. Please, give me some more assurance.”

We end up trembling before the enemy of our souls and it is all because we don’t believe what God has promised us. We act as if He has never said a word to us and we begin to “tempt” Him. Even though He has proven Himself to us again and again, we continually ask Him to prove His faithfulness anew, to send us yet another faith-building word. But God will speak only one word: “Believe what I have said to you. Trust Me.”


by Gary Wilkerson | September 21, 2015

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“The one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. . . . The sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out” (John 10:2-3, NLT).

We all need guidance for decisions in life. Yet, in a world as chaotic as ours, getting good guidance isn’t always simple or easy. Jesus says it is different for Christians. He makes it clear in the above passage that His followers—“His own sheep”—know His voice and “come to Him.” The picture is of a Good Shepherd providing His sheep with all the oversight and care they need.

Does that suffice for the hard decisions we all have to make? Each of us has serious matters to decide: “Whom do I marry? What vocation should I pursue? What is my purpose in life?” These decisions can be fraught with tension, especially if we regret poor decisions made in the past. My life has been immensely blessed by God, but I don’t want my children or grandchildren to make the mistakes I’ve made. Like any parent, I want to be able to give them the best guidance possible.

The good news is that we have a Shepherd who is a faithful guide to us in all things, no matter how faulty our decisions. He has the authority to guide us into an amazingly blessed life, regardless of our failures. Indeed, He says that is His purpose in guiding our lives: “My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life” (John 10:10, NLT).

We all know it is important to follow a quality guide. Think about the big life decisions you’ve made: Who was guiding you? What was their experience? What skill and knowledge did they use in getting you to where you wanted to go?

Some guides in life have the knowledge to get us through some troubling dilemmas. But do they also have the knowledge to carry us to the abundant life Jesus promises? As our Lord, Jesus is up to more than just guidance—He is forming a relationship. He wants us to know more than just when and where to go. He wants us to have the rich blessing of knowing Him personally in every area of life. So while we’re busy looking for an instruction manual, He’s saying very simply, “Follow Me.”


by Nicky Cruz | September 19, 2015

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So many people think that my passion for Jesus comes from years of study and prayer and ministry, but they are wrong. It comes from seeing God come through for me during those times when life has left me completely exposed and alone. It comes from feeling God’s presence during moments of my greatest confusion and despair. It comes from seeing God’s hand before me, time and time again in the face of unimaginable danger.

Every time I stand face to face with a hardened, teenage gangbanger, I see David Wilkerson fearlessly preaching on the corner of my street. Every time I walk into the middle of a crime-ridden, drug-infested neighborhood, I feel the same strength that drove Wilkerson to the streets of New York so many years ago. Every time I hold a lost and hurting soul in my arms, I feel God’s power and presence.

I depend only on God. God has used the pain of my past to take me to a deeper level, to bring me closer to Him. What Satan intended for evil, God has used for His glory. Any joy I receive in life pales in comparison to the ecstasy of seeing God accomplish the impossible, watching how He reaches into a dark heart and brings light, how He spreads His mercy like butter across the sins of those who need forgiveness.

It’s so easy to intellectualize God, to acknowledge His power without ever experiencing it, to believe in His supremacy without ever calling on Him to do mighty things in our presence. We see Him with our minds but not our hearts. We never embrace the power that we preach to be true. We never call on God to move mightily in our presence—to take our ounce of faith and use it to lift a mountain off of its pedestal and hurl it to the bottom of the sea!

Naked faith demands that we somehow learn to marry the mind and the spirit. That we put away our pride and doubt and fear and stand before God, empty and broken, with nothing but a raw and unquenchable trust.


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.



by David Wilkerson | September 18, 2015

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Kadesh-Barnea is a place of in-your-face impossibility. The name itself comes from a Hebrew root word meaning “fugitive, vagabond, wanderer.” In short, if you make the wrong choice here, you’ll end up wandering through a wilderness all your life.

Many Christians are in this very place right now. God has given them His covenant promises. He has given them a wonderful history with Him, providing miracle after miracle of deliverance. But the devil has come to them with lies, telling them they’re not going to make it. He has convinced them they’re not good enough, that God is still mad at them for their past sins, and that He will never forgive them.

Tell me: Have you begun to accept such lies? Do you think God is going to fail you in your crisis? If so, then at some point in your walk you stopped taking God at His Word. You didn’t act on His command and what was true for Israel is also true for you: The test you face at Kadesh-Barnea will determine the course of your remaining years.

Like Israel, you’ve been carried by God through an awful wilderness. As you look back, you can recall the terrible testings you faced, the painful failures you endured. You went through trials you never thought you’d come out of. But God was faithful to you in every one. Each time, He mercifully reached down and picked you up. And now you can say, “God has never failed me. I stand here today by His grace. It’s true, God bore me in His arms, the way a father carries his child.”

Moreover, God brought you out in order to bring you in. There is a promised land ahead for you, just as there was for Israel: “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9). The Lord saved you to bring you into a place of rest. What is this rest? It’s a place of unshakable faith and confidence in the Lord. It’s a place of trust in His promises, a trust that will see you through your most difficult times.

But to get to this place of rest, you must first pass through Kadesh-Barnea. When you’re there, you come face to face with a battle that is extremely intense, beyond anything you have experienced. There are enemies, giants, high walls, things that look utterly impossible. And you have to place your absolute trust in God to bring you through.


by David Wilkerson | September 17, 2015

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Moses described the tragic mistake Israel made at Kadesh-Barnea (see Numbers 13-14). It happened shortly after the Red Sea crossing. God had commanded Israel to go boldly into Canaan and He had given them this powerful word of assurance:

“The Lord thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged. . . . Dread not, neither be afraid of them. The Lord our God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes” (Deuteronomy 1:21, 29-30). What an incredible promise. None of their enemies would be able to stand up to them (see 7:24).

But Israel staggered at God’s promise. Instead of taking Him at His Word, they insisted on sending spies into Canaan. And those spies brought back an “evil report,” full of unbelief. They spoke of giant men and high, walled cities, and the people believed their report: “Ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 1:26). Now Moses is telling the younger generation, “They should have moved instantly on God’s Word to them. The Lord had said He would fight for them—but they rebelled.”

Can you see what happened to the older generation? Sending those spies into Canaan was an act of unbelief. And while the spies were there, they were influenced by Satan. They were subject to the enemy’s lies, because they had not believed God.

After hearing the evil report, the people shook their fists at God, accusing, “You’ve abandoned us, God. You brought us here to die.” Just months before, these same people had been set apart by God, made special in His eyes, and miraculously delivered. But now the whole camp was in confusion. They wondered aloud to each other, “Is God even with us anymore?” Soon they were weeping over their children, crying, “Our kids will starve to death in this wilderness. God hates us!”

Moses reminded the younger Israelites of their parents’ accusations: “Ye murmured in your tents, and said, Because the Lord hated us, he hath brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us” (1:27).

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