Sermons   David Wilkerson Today, Daily Devotions

DOUBTING GOD’S FAITHFULNESS

by David Wilkerson | June 25, 2015

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Of all the sins we can commit, doubt is the one most hated by God. According to both Old and New Testaments, our doubting grieves the Lord, provokes Him, causes Him much pain. We see a prime example of this in ancient Israel after God had delivered His people from the hands of Pharaoh.

The Psalmist laments, "We have sinned with our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly. Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies; but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red Sea" (Psalm 106:6-7).

The writer is making a confession here. What was the wicked sin that Israel had committed? It was their doubt that God would further deliver them, even after He had performed an incredible miracle for them at the Red Sea.

The psalmist is asking us to imagine God's people as they stood rejoicing on the victory side of the sea. The Lord had just performed one of the greatest miracles in the history of humankind, delivering Israel from the mighty Egyptians. Yet, how did these same people react as they faced hardship afterward? They doubted God's faithfulness.

The writer is saying, essentially, "Can you believe it? Our Lord had moved supernaturally on our behalf, delivering us from the enemy. Yet, even after this incredible miracle, we mistrusted Him. How could we ever provoke God that way?"

It was a different story altogether when Israel stood on the victory side of the sea. They sang and danced as they watched the mighty Egyptian army sink to destruction: "He rebuked the Red Sea also, and it was dried up: so he led them through the depths, as through the wilderness. And he saved them from the hand of him that hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy. And the waters covered their enemies: there was not one of them left. Then believed they his words; they sang his praise" (Psalm 106:9-12).

The Israelites sang the right song—a song of praise to almighty God—but they sang it on the wrong side of the sea. Anyone can sing and rejoice after they have the victory. But Israel had failed miserably on the testing side of the Red Sea. There they hadn't trusted God at all.

REAL SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY

by David Wilkerson | June 24, 2015

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Most of us equate power with something visible, flashy, earthshaking. Yet this doesn't hold true with spiritual authority. Peter says God entrusts spiritual authority to “the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit" (1 Peter 3:4).

The Greek word that Peter uses for meekness means gentleness. And the word used for quietness means assured, undisturbed. Peter is speaking of a heart that is always at peace with its position in Christ. Such a heart possesses real spiritual authority.

Of course, this flies in the face of all secular philosophies about power and authority. The world tells us, "Assert yourself! Use power through intimidation. Make eye contact, use body language, stare others down. Put your own needs first." We see this attitude reflected on the album covers of today's music groups. Band members scowl, menace, "get in your face." They equate such posture with having authority.

Our attitude as believers is completely different. We pursue power and authority for one purpose only: to put Satan to flight. We want to be able to stand up to his attacks on our lives, our churches, our families. And we must acknowledge that without a spirit of meekness and quietness in our hidden man, we have no real power.

David writes, "Thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great" (Psalm 18:35). The phrase "made me great" here means "abundantly increased my mercy for others." David is stating, "Lord, your gentleness toward me has increased my own capacity for mercy."

Think about what David is saying here. This king had doubted God's faithfulness to Israel. He had committed adultery and then even murdered a man to cover up his own sin. Yet the Lord showed David incredible mercy and forgiveness.

David was overwhelmed by how gentle and loving God was toward him during this terrible period. And now he said, "The Lord has been so tender in dealing with me. How could I ever be hard on anybody who goes through what I endured? God's grace toward me has enlarged my heart so now I want to show tenderness toward others—to my spouse, my children, everyone."

THE INNER MAN

by David Wilkerson | June 23, 2015

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Paul speaks of our having an inward man (see Romans 7:22). To the Corinthian church Paul said, "Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day" (2 Corinthians 4:16). Indeed, there are two such selves in all of us. There is both an outward man and an inner, hidden man. The outward man is always on display before others but the hidden man is known only by God. This inner man doesn't display himself conspicuously. He resides where nobody else can see the work being done in him. And the Holy Ghost is constantly at work in him, strengthening and preparing him to receive true spiritual authority.

Peter illustrates this duality in us by giving us the example of a certain woman. This woman is decked out in finery, wearing the latest hairstyle and all manner of jewelry, rings, bracelets, chains. She's a living, breathing example of flesh appealing to flesh.

“Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price” (1 Peter 3:3-4).

It's clear that Peter is speaking here of the backslidden church. This church operates in the flesh, basing everything on outward appearances. It has no inner holiness and therefore no real authority. Tragically, many Christians are attracted to this kind of church. They're impressed by flashy services that possess nothing of God's true glory.

Please don't misunderstand: Peter isn't asking any Christian woman to throw away her makeup kit. Rather, he's saying, "If you want to move in spiritual authority, then stop trying to impress others by how you look or act. Instead, focus on the hidden person. That's the only way to obtain Christ's authority."

GOD IS SUFFICIENT

by Gary Wilkerson | June 22, 2015

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Over a hundred years ago, a French inventor came up with a marvelous innovation called motion pictures. He learned that by organizing a sequence of photographs and moving them quickly in front of a bright light, it gave the impression of real life being lived before his eyes.

This inventor knew he was onto something special, so he scheduled a premiere for what would be one of the most famous public showings of a movie ever. Expectations were high as dignitaries and guests filled the auditorium. The film, “Arrival of a Train at a Station,” was only fifty seconds long, but it had a powerful impact—too powerful, in fact. It showed a train chugging directly toward the camera, and some historians state that when the people saw it, they panicked. With no context for their experience, they thought an actual train was about to run over them!

Yet it was all an illusion! The people were convinced their lives were in danger when in reality what they experienced was mere smoke and mirrors.

This is the trick Satan plays on us whenever our faith is challenged. At such times, our needs seem to outweigh our resources. It looks like our God-given dream will be destroyed by a runaway train. That’s when the devil tells us, “It’s over. This is too much for you.” But the “reality” that Satan presents is superficial. The truth is, Jesus is greater than any hardship we face. He holds our reality in His hands, and that reality is victory.

When all seems lost in the face of an oncoming problem, Jesus tells us not to flee but to “sit down” (see John 6:10).

As Jesus faced a large, hungering crowd, “He himself knew what he would do” (John 6:6). Christ’s confidence was based on His sense of God’s reality behind every situation. And so He instructed the disciples, “Have the people sit down, because the Father is about to meet this need. It’s time to trust Him to provide all that this situation requires.”

Friend, God is sufficient for every circumstance we may face.

SOLD OUT TO HIS KINDNESS

by Nicky Cruz | June 20, 2015

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From the moment I gave my heart to Jesus, I have known how little I was capable of bringing to our relationship. There are so many people more talented than me, more eloquent in the pulpit, smoother in their delivery, more knowledgeable in theology. People with greater gifts to lay at the feet of Jesus. But what I do bring is a heart that is completely and wholly sold out to His kindness! I’m so in love with Jesus that at times I feel as if my chest will burst from my body. My bones aren’t large enough to contain my adoration. My vocabulary can’t express the depth of my worship! My words can never do justice to the love and devotion I feel in my heart. There are times when I cry in agony because I can’t fully express my love!

When I read the psalms of David, I feel such a kinship. I wish I had his ability to communicate his feelings for God with such eloquence and grace. I wish I could write as he does. Play the harp as he could play. I can’t say that I share his talent, but I do think I share his heart. I know what he was going through. I understand what he must have felt, sitting alone in his cold, dark palace, longing for simpler days. Longing for God’s nearness and favor.

And that’s why God loved him so. That’s why God called David a man after His own heart.

Can you imagine a greater compliment? Can you think of something God could possible say about someone to bring more weight? God loved David’s heart. He connected with him. The two were one in the most intimate and powerful way possible. God related to David, not because of his looks or deeds or strength, but because of the state of his heart. The love in his spirit.
Is there a higher level of communion with our Creator? Can a person get any closer to God than to share the intimacy and thoughts of his heart? Don’t we all long to have God say to us, “I love your heart”?

 

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.
 

THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF FAITH

by David Wilkerson | June 19, 2015

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David declared, "I will fear no evil" (Psalm 23:4). David's hidden man remained unmoved, undisturbed in heart, no matter what Satan threw at him. Why? Because he was fully at rest in God's faithfulness to perform His Word.

David was able to say, "I've had a revelation of my Father's love and patience toward me. Therefore, I will accept no more lies from the devil. I know better than to listen to him anymore, because the Holy Ghost has educated me. Let storms of trouble come, let demons rage, let enemies rise up on all sides. Let sickness and even death stare me in the face. My heart is at rest, because I know all things are in my Father's hands. And He's working everything for my good."

By contrast, hand-wringing Christians have no authority. All they can think is, "Why would God allow this to happen? What am I going to do?" Their lives are full of chaos, fear and murmuring, because they've forfeited all resources. They've neglected to hide God's Word in their hearts, so they aren't able to turn to it in times of crisis.

The only righteousness that frightens Satan away is the righteousness of faith. "The work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever" (Isaiah 32:17). You can't stand against the devil simply because you don't drink or use drugs anymore. You may live by an entire catalog of do's and don'ts, but those aren't the essence of God's righteousness. Righteousness is believing that what God says is true, and committing your life to it. It's that simple.

When Isaiah says, "The effect of righteousness [is] quietness and assurance forever," the Hebrew word used for assurance means confidence. Simply put, faith in God's promise of forgiveness produces an unshakable confidence in us. We may still be sorely tempted, but we know Jesus is at work in us.

In short, spiritual authority is this: I walk in full assurance of the reliability of God's Word. I do what it says, submitting to every command. And my faith in His Word to me puts my heart at rest. Satan can no longer linger in my presence. I need merely to say, "The Lord rebuke you, Satan," and he will flee.
 

GAINING SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY

by David Wilkerson | June 18, 2015

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When the disciples were helpless against the enemy, Jesus told them that power over Satan came only by praying and fasting. Why is this so? I believe it's because the Lord wants time to work on our inner man. He wants our heart completely attuned to Him. We simply cannot obtain any authority without having habitual communion with Him.

How can we expect to chase Satan out of our churches, our homes, our troubled children, if we don't pray? How can parents expect God to impart spiritual power to them when they argue, fight and gossip in front of their kids? How can they expect to possess authority when they go out drinking, and then fly into a rage when they learn their kids smoke pot?

Jesus could boldly say, "The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me" (John 14:30). If you can't say this too, you'll remain powerless. And Satan will run rampant through your household.

Peter gives us a key to spiritual authority when he writes, "Ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives" (1 Peter 3:1). The word for conversation here signifies lifestyles or behavior. I believe Peter is talking about the Bride of Christ. And the image here is of a wife who possesses true spiritual authority.

This woman submits to her husband because the Bible commands it. And because she allows herself to be governed by God's Word, her “hidden man” is being conformed to His divine image. Peter says that such a woman doesn't need to chide, harangue or preach at her husband. She'll be able to win him to Christ without saying a single word. How? Her witness is in the silent eloquence and power of her godly walk.

This woman's husband may be obnoxious and overbearing. She may have to bite her tongue time after time. But because she is in submission—to God's Word and, in turn, to her husband—she is gaining spiritual authority day by day. A mighty power is being released in her that increases her authority over the enemy's hold on her husband.
 

POWER FOR TODAY

by David Wilkerson | June 17, 2015

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The apostle Peter was made of flesh and blood, just like the rest of us. Yet he wielded spiritual authority over the devil. He said to the lame man at the temple gate, "In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk" (Acts 3:6), and the man was healed. The religious leaders of the day recognized this power in Peter and asked him, "By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?" (4:7).

Nowhere does the Bible suggest that this same power isn't meant for us today. When did the Lord ever say to His Church, "I've helped you so far. Now you're on your own"? What kind of God would empower His people in the wilderness when they needed it—would empower Israel's kings, prophets like Elijah, the crowds at Pentecost—and then withhold it from his last-days Church, when we need it more than any generation?

According to Scripture, Satan's power has increased in our day: "The devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time" (Revelation 12:12). Why would God permit Satan to attack a weak, powerless church that has no defense? His people have never lost access to His divine power.

Unfortunately, a number of Christians have a skewed idea of spiritual authority. This is especially true in charismatic circles. I know of a series of "power" conventions, where preachers lay hands on people to endow them with an anointing of spiritual authority. Yet, when the recipients return home, their efforts against the devil still fail miserably. They end up asking the same question the disciples asked Jesus: "Why couldn't we cast out these spirits?"

You can't obtain supernatural power simply by having someone lay hands on you. It isn't a gift, it's a way of life, of walking with Jesus. And not everyone who asks for such authority will suddenly be changed into a spiritual powerhouse. The fact is, God entrusts His divine authority only to what Peter calls the "hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible" (1 Peter 3:4).
 

OVER ALL THE POWER OF THE ENEMY

by David Wilkerson | June 16, 2015

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I believe the Church today is in a full-blown crisis over its lack of spiritual authority. I regularly receive calls from pastors and parents who are panicked about their children. They plead, "I just discovered my child is a drug addict and I don't know what to do."

My heart goes out to these parents. They're brokenhearted, desperate to find true spiritual authority that will lead to real help. Yet, I have to wonder: Where is the spiritual authority in their home? In my opinion, many such parents think they're helpless when they're not. Somebody in the family has to have power to chase the devil out—out of their child and out of their house. I say to every suffering parent: You must lay hold of spiritual authority yourself. Even if your child shuts you out, you still can attain power in your secret closet of prayer.

You may protest, "But I'm not Jesus. He came to earth with divine authority." The fact is, Jesus, though God in flesh, faced the devil as a man, a Spirit-empowered man. He didn't fight Satan on any other grounds. Likewise, Satan always approached Christ as a man, even though he knew He was God's Son. The demon acknowledged as much, saying, "Let us alone . . . thou Jesus of Nazareth" (Mark 1:24). They addressed Jesus as a human being, born in a particular town in Israel. Yet, even though Christ was a flesh-and-blood man, He wielded full spiritual authority over every demonic power.

You may also think, "If only I had that kind of power over the enemy. But I don't possess the type of authority to make Satan flee." That just isn't true. Jesus' disciples had this very power: "When he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease" (Matthew 10:1). "I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy" (Luke 10:19).
 

DO I HAVE WHAT IT TAKES?

by Gary Wilkerson | June 15, 2015

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Early in his ministry, Jesus’ reputation for healings and wonders attracted huge crowds. “Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. . . . Lifting up his eyes . . . a large crowd was coming toward him” (John 6:3, 5, ESV).

Bible scholars estimate this crowd as being between 10,000 and 15,000 people. The sight of the vast throng must have encouraged the disciples. It confirmed that they were following the right Man and that more great things were going to happen. And it must have delighted Jesus to see their joy because they were learning to anticipate great things from Him.

Yet, as the crowd gathered, the disciples faced an impossible dilemma: “Jesus said to Philip, ‘Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?’” (6:5). No sooner had a dream been realized than hard reality set in.

Is this scenario familiar to you? Think back to the first great job you had. You were excited because it seemed like the first step in fulfilling your calling. But after a few days you learned your boss wasn’t who he appeared to be and you had to work with a colleague who seemed to resent you. The demands on your time were far greater than you were told, causing you to miss precious time with your family. You realized, “I had no idea it would be this difficult.”

That’s how I imagine Philip felt at that moment. Bewildered, he answered Jesus, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little” (6:7). That was a huge amount of money. In short, even if they had the means and ability to provide food, it still wouldn’t be enough to feed the crowd.

As I read Philip’s response, a phrase leaps out at me: “Would not be enough.” How often does this thought arise in our minds when we face obstacles? How often do we wonder, “I’m not sure I have what it takes. I don’t have the resources, and I doubt I have the ability. Am I strong enough in Christ? Do I have enough of the Holy Spirit? Lord, am I about to derail?”

We can know this for sure: Jesus had called Philip to a great victory that day but Philip just couldn’t see it yet. The same is true for us: God has called us to expect great things in our walk with Him. So, what happens when our situation requires faith? Do we believe Him for the miracle needed? Or are we derailed by our limitations? Jesus’ challenge here had a purpose: “He said this to test [Philip], for he himself knew what he would do” (6:6).
 

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