Sermons   David Wilkerson Today, Daily Devotions

JUST A SHEPHERD BOY

by Nicky Cruz | November 15, 2014

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David was just a young shepherd boy, tending his father’s sheep, when God picked him to become the king of Israel. God had rejected Saul as king because of his wickedness and instead sent his prophet Samuel to seek out David—a mere shepherd boy. “[David] was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, ‘Rise and anoint him; he is the one.’ So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power” (1Samuel 16:12-13).

Try to imagine what David must have felt at the time. How could he possibly have imagined becoming king of Israel? Did he even comprehend what was going on? He was just a boy tending sheep, probably grooming himself to take over his father’s business someday. The job of shepherd was the lowliest job a person could have. As the youngest son of Jesse, David was sent to the fields each day to tend to the flocks; his brothers handled the “more important” jobs. Even his own father couldn’t see the greatness inside David’s heart.

But God changed all that! God saw David’s heart and stepped in to create a covenant for him—a grand and glorious future far better than David could have dreamed for himself.

At the time David was content just spending time in the fields alone with God. He would run through the grass and sing before the Lord, worshiping and praying and taking in the beautiful mountain air. Early in the morning he would find a spot on a tall rock and watch the majestic sunrise, breathing in the colors as they changed from moment to moment. Each morning he suckled on the northern wind, strengthening his bones by drinking in the freedom of the open space.

It was here in the fields that David first connected with God—that he learned to talk to Him as a friend. That’s why the psalms of David are so beautiful and inspiring. In the psalms he takes us back to the days when it was just him and God, dancing in the fields together, tending to the sheep, growing in love and friendship.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. . . . In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat” (Psalm 19:1-2, 4-6).

As a shepherd David loved God with a passion. And God took notice.

 

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.
 

CORRECTLY HEARING THE VOICE OF GOD

by David Wilkerson | November 14, 2014

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When the voice of God is not heard, men run and labor for Him without a mandate—they are on their own. I have been there: doing good things, taking on challenges, believing fully that I was standing up against the worker of iniquity. And I wound up thousands of dollars in debt, weary and disillusioned, crying for help at every turn. I had not been sent by God but I didn’t understand. I was broken, burdened, willing to give up so much; it was not born out of prayer—it was human compassion.

But then I said, “No more, Lord! Not a step more unless You command it. Not a move until Your voice is heard!” And whatever money was needed was there because God supports what He originates. It is joy with no burden, peace with no begging. The begging in ministries today is a result of men doing good things without being sent by God’s voice. Their own desires are being mistaken for God’s bidding.

Jesus would not make a move unless He heard from heaven. “I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him. . . . I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me” (John 8:26, 28). “The Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. . . . Whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak” (John 12:49-50).

Here are four safeguards for correctly hearing the voice of God:

  1. His voice always brings you to Jesus and exposes all sin and lust. John heard His voice and said, “When I saw him, I fell at his feet” (Revelation 1:17).
  2. His presence (or countenance) always accompanies His voice. You will be overwhelmed and overjoyed by the glory of His presence.
  3. His voice will give you scriptural assurance. The Holy Spirit will lead you to confirmation in His Word. Everything God speaks must line up with Scripture at every point.
  4. Whatever He speaks will stand before the judgment seat of Christ in its purity and selflessness.

THE SOUND OF HIS VOICE

by David Wilkerson | November 13, 2014

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God’s desire for His people is that their greatest joy be the sound of His voice.

“He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled” (John 3:29). Our greatest joy should be, “I heard His voice! I stood alone, waiting, and I heard Him speak to me!” In the Song of Solomon, we can hear a last-days bridal love duet. The bridegroom beckons His betrothed to hide away secretly with Him: “O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice” (Song of Solomon 2:14). Then later in the Song, she responds, “It is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me . . . my love, my dove” (5:2).

To those whose hearts have grown cold, who can no longer hear His voice, God has promised to give a new and tender heart if they repent and turn to Him in faith. A hard heart is not terminal—that is, if you want to change! It is not something God did to you; rather, you did it to yourself by shutting out God’s Word. Here is your promise: “And they shall come thither, and they shall take away all the detestable things thereof and all the abominations thereof from thence. And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: that they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God” (Ezekiel 11:18-20).

And, “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you; and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them” (Ezekiel 36:25-27).
 

HIS LOVING ARMS

by David Wilkerson | November 12, 2014

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“I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears” (Psalm 6:6).

This giant killer, this mighty warrior of whom they sang, “David hath killed his ten thousands,” this poet who wrote so much about trusting God and casting all care upon Him, this same man of God, cried out, “Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak: O Lord, heal me; for my bones are vexed” (Psalm 6:2). David had sinned grievously, confessing, “For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me. My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness. I am troubled: I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long” (Psalm 38:4-6).

David is expressing exactly what some of you may be going through right now: a feeling of being overwhelmed by sin, like unexpected ocean waves sweeping over your soul. You can’t understand why you are swamped again. You cry, “God, it is too much for me! I can’t handle it anymore.” You are wounded and you know that you stink inwardly from sin. You know you have been foolish and stupid. You feel the spiritual corruption and are so sick in your mind that it affects your body. Your failure, your lack of victory, has actually made you go “mourning all the day” in depression and fear. You are troubled—bowed down—disturbed in your soul.

David had a sense that he was suffering from the sins he had committed. He was not saying that God was not just in chastising him, but he wanted to be corrected in love: “O Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak” (Psalm 6:1-2). The cry from David is this: “Lord, my own foolishness, my own besetting sin, has brought much of my suffering upon me! I know You have a right to correct and chastise me. But please remember that I am still Your child! Pour out Your wrath on those who don’t want You. I have sinned, but I still love You. Correct me in love. Be merciful.”

If you feel God’s arrows in your soul because of past and present sin, yet you have a repentant heart and want to turn from your sin, you can call for His chastening love. You will be corrected, but in great mercy and compassion, just as a caring father spanks his child because of love. You will not feel His wrath as do the heathen, but with His rod you will feel His loving, outstretched arms.
 

A TIME TO BE REFRESHED

by David Wilkerson | November 11, 2014

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The Word of God is full of accounts of great men of God who came to the end of their rope, having lost all strength. I preach a message entitled “The Making of a Man of God” which discusses three things Jesus faced in the Garden of Gethsemane: a cup of pain, an hour of confusion, and a night of isolation. All men and women of God have gone through this.

Perhaps your present suffering has been self-inflicted. How many wives suffer now because they married men God warned them not to marry? How many children are breaking the hearts of their parents, bringing them to the end of their rope? So many despair from AIDS and other diseases because of past sins. But it is now time to move on from what caused your trouble and into brokenness, repentance, and faith. It is time to receive a new infusion of Holy Ghost strength and be renewed and refreshed!

If your heart feels godly sorrow and you love Him, you may be down, but He won’t let you go out. When walking by faith in repentance, David said: “For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall. As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. For who is God save the Lord? Or who is a rock save our God? It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places. He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms. Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath held me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great. Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip. . . . For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me” (Psalms 18:28-36, 39).

God promises strength to His anointed: “Blessed be the Lord, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. The Lord is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed. Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up forever” (Psalm 28:6-9).

If you will cry out, He will pour His strength into you: “In the day when I cried thou answered me, and strengthened me with strength in my soul. . . . Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me” (Psalm 138:3, 7).
 

THE BANK OF HEAVEN

by Gary Wilkerson | November 10, 2014

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Lately I haven’t been able to shake a certain image from my mind. It’s of a heavenly bank, where God’s people come to transact business. This bank is always open so that we can make deposits, passing to the teller all our sins, anxieties, worries and cares. Of course, the vault where those deposits are taken is the throne room of God’s grace.

We can also make withdrawals from this heavenly bank. At the teller window sits the Holy Spirit, ready to dispense any and every resource of heaven. When we step up to that window, we have the ability to withdraw endless reserves of God’s grace, power, faith and hope.

As I envision this bank, I realize many of us in the church make a lot of deposits, but we don’t make nearly as many withdrawals. Instead, when we step up to the window we ask for a pittance. “Lord, I don’t want to bother You,” we stammer, “but I need a little extra grace to get me through this present problem. If You can just get me going, I can handle the rest.”

I’ve got news for you: God doesn’t want us to “handle the rest.” He wants us to deposit everything to Him: all our anxieties, struggles, sins and heartaches. And He wants us to draw on His infinite resources, which are stored up for us in His vaults. He wants us to say, “Lord, I’m through asking for ten dollars’ worth of faith to get me through a problem. I need Your grace in denominations of thousands. And I want it not only to solve my problem, but to see Your glory established in the earth. From now on, every time I come to this window, I’ll ask for a greater outpouring of Your Spirit. I need more of Your life, Your breath, Your movement within me!”

“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16, ESV).
 

A PIERCING MESSAGE

by Jim Cymbala | November 8, 2014

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The apostles never tried to finesse people when they were presenting the gospel. Their communication was not supposed to be “cool” or soothing. They aimed for a piercing of the heart, for conviction of sin. They had not the faintest intention of asking, “What do people want to hear? How can we draw more people to church on Sunday?” That was the last thing on their minds. Such an approach would have been foreign to them.

Instead of trying to bring men and women to Christ in the biblical way, we are consumed with the unbiblical concept of “church growth.” The Bible does not say we should aim at numbers but rather urges us to proclaim God’s message in the boldness of the Holy Spirit. This will build God’s church God’s way.

Unfortunately, some churches now continually monitor how pleased people are with the services and ask what else they would like. We have no permission whatsoever to adjust the message of the gospel! Whether it seems popular or not, whether it is “hip” to the times, we must faithfully and boldly proclaim that sin is real but Jesus forgives those who confess.

Nowhere does God ask anyone to have a large church. He only calls us to do His work, proclaiming His Word to people He loves under the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit to produce results that only He can bring about. The glory then goes to Him alone—not any denomination, local church, local pastor, or church growth consultant. This is God’s only plan, and anything else is a deviation from the teaching of the New Testament.

Today we have an anti-authority spirit in America that says, “Nobody can tell me I need to change. Don’t you dare.”

Both in the pulpit and in pastoral counseling we have too often given in to this mentality and are afraid to speak the truth about sin. We keep appealing to Paul’s line about becoming “all things to all men” (1 Corinthians 9:22), not noticing that in the very next paragraph he says, “Run in such a way as to get the prize” (verse 24). Adapting our style to get a hearing is one thing, but the message can never change without leaving us empty-handed before the Lord.

 

Jim Cymbala began 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 and a frequent speaker at the Expect Church Leadership Conferences sponsored by World Challenge throughout the world.
 

THE SCHOOL OF THE HOLY GHOST

by David Wilkerson | November 7, 2014

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Why did things go wrong for David? Because he was in the school of the Holy Ghost! God was producing character in him—and only trouble can bring it forth. There were to be no more Sauls, undisciplined and untrained by a lack of trials. Saul started out right but soon wilted because he was never tested. God now sought a man He could trust, a man with whom He could build an enduring house.

There was never a moment the Holy Spirit was not with David. God could have sent angels; He could have spoken a word; He could have sent a heavenly host to keep David out of trouble. Instead, He permitted it all so that David would come to the end of himself and throw himself completely on the Lord. We would have had none of those great psalms of trust and faith had David not been tested.

Some of you are at Ziklag with David—or you are headed there! In 1 Samuel chapter 30, the story is told of how the Amalekites had overtaken God’s people, devastating lives and property. David was in great distress, as his own people spoke of stoning him because they blamed him for the disaster. “But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God” (1 Samuel 30:6). As he turned to the Lord (verse 8), he was assured that all that was lost would be restored to him. In verse 19, we see the final outcome: “David recovered all.”

David got back his family and his goods, but there was so much more that was restored to him. Most important was that he regained his confidence in God, his assurance that God was still with him. The power of his anointing was renewed, along with a new hatred for the enemy. On that day David got his diploma! He had learned to inquire of the Lord and to encourage himself in the Lord. From that day on, he grew stronger and stronger—and prevailed.
 

WHEN YOU DO RIGHT AND THINGS STILL GO WRONG

by David Wilkerson | November 6, 2014

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David is an example of a man who had a heart for God, a type of one who did right (except for the sin of Bathsheba and Uriah). “David did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, and turned not aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite” (1 Kings 15:5). From the moment Samuel poured oil over him, anointing him king over Israel, “the spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward” (1 Samuel 16:13). It is said, “Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with him. . . . David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the Lord was with him. . . . And Saul saw and knew that the Lord was with David” (1 Samuel 18:12, 14, 28).

So what does David get for all this goodness? Trouble on all sides! But remember, God was still with him.

Think back to when this same godly man stood fearlessly before the giant Goliath. Think of the crowds cheering, “David has slain his ten thousands.” Now he shrinks in fear and his best friend has been alienated from him. He is so gripped by panic that he pretends to be mad in order to save his skin. He ends up hiding out in the cave Adullam with four hundred discontented has-beens gathered to him. David said, “I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines” (1 Samuel 27:1). David was now torn by many fears. He must have thought back to the day of his anointing as a big mistake, thinking, “Lord, You can’t be with me; I can’t be Your anointed one. Everything is going wrong. It’s no use. Evidently You are mad at me.” Have you ever said anything like that?

But God had not forsaken David—not for a moment. For we know “the spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward” (1 Samuel 16:13). So it is with you and me. The day God’s Spirit brought us to Jesus and anointed us, He came to stay, to abide. In your trial, in your discomfort, He is your comforter. Things may seem to be going wrong, but for you who trust, God has everything under control.
 

RESTING IN THE LORD’S TIMING

by David Wilkerson | November 5, 2014

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If you do not believe in Holy Ghost timing, you will never understand why prayers seem to be delayed. Every promise of God will rise up to test you—unless you rest in the Lord’s timing! It is written of Joseph, who helplessly lay prison: “Until the time that his word came: the word of the Lord tried him” (Psalm 105:19). This verse on Holy Ghost timing is sandwiched between these two statements: (1) “Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron” (verse 18) and (2) “The king sent and loosed him . . . and let him go free” (verse 20).

Joseph’s trial of waiting broke his heart. Listen to his pathetic plea to the cupbearer, after Joseph revealed to him that he would be restored and released from prison: “But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house . . . I [have] done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon” (Genesis 40:14-15).

Some would ask where Joseph’s faith was. He was so close to God that he could interpret dreams and mysteries. God spoke to him, so why didn't he just rest and trust in God to get him out? Why such a pitiful plea to the cupbearer to talk to Pharaoh? He was being tried by the Word! You can read it, pray it, preach it, but until it is tested in you, it will not produce life. Some of you are being severely tried by the Word right now. You have seen God answer many prayers, but right now you are looking at a longstanding unanswered prayer. Your crying, your shouting, your uplifted hands, your travail all seem to go unheard with no evidence of an answer anywhere.

Let me tell you what it is going to take to overcome in these last days. We must stand on every promise and pray in faith, effectually, fervently, without doubt, and then wait and rest, trusting the Lord to do what is right, in His time and His way. Few Christians today wait with patience for God to work in His time. The more it is delayed, the angrier some get. Some finally give up, thinking God doesn’t answer.

Say with Habakkuk, “I might rest (wait quietly) in the day of trouble. . . . Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines . . . and the fields shall yield no meat . . . and there be no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength . . . and he will make me to walk upon mine high places” (Habakkuk 3:16-19).
 

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