Sermons   David Wilkerson Today, Daily Devotions

FAVOR FOR A LIFETIME

by Gary Wilkerson | January 28, 2013

    PDF     TXT   Print  Print

Does God give favor, bless abundantly and lavish His grace on hungry, waiting hearts? The answer is yes—and we find this illustrated in the first chapter of Luke.

An angel appeared to Mary to announce the amazing events about to take place in her life: “The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!’ But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be” (Luke 1:26-29, ESV, emphasis mine).

Bible scholars say Mary was very young, probably a teenager. Imagine how strange this encounter had to be for her. Here was a simple girl from an obscure village and family, and an angel stood before her: “The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus’” (Luke 1:30-31, ESV, emphasis mine).

Mary seemed uncertain about what she was hearing, which is easy to understand. Living in a male-dominated culture, she had little influence and probably few expectations for her life. She would have all the privileges of being a good wife and mother but nothing beyond.

A lot of us are like Mary. We would like to see our circumstances transformed. We want to see our sick relative healed. We long for our troubled child to find purpose in Christ or our tense marriage to be restored to its former joy. Like Mary, we think, “Lord, my life doesn’t reflect Your favor at all. I need You to bring Your light into it.” How would we feel if we heard a voice from heaven telling us, “You have God’s favor”?

Be encouraged! God is actually looking to favor you—especially if you will cry out with Mary: “Lord, I want to see You glorified in my life!”
 

DO NOT RELAX YOUR PRAYER VIGIL

by David Wilkerson | January 25, 2013

    PDF     TXT   Print  Print

God wants to make sure your heart is set on persevering, no matter how long His answer takes. Jesus gave us a parable to prove that He waits on us to determine not to give up. It is the parable of the distressed widow who kept coming to the judge and requesting justice (see Luke 18:2-8). The judge finally granted the widow’s request only because he did not want to be worn down by her constant pleading. "Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me" (verse 5). Jesus added, "And 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" (verses 7-8).

You say, “But doesn't Jesus seem to be speaking a paradox in this passage? First He says God ‘bears long with us’ and then He says He ‘will avenge us speedily.’”

Most of us misinterpret the passage completely. Jesus isn't speaking of delaying a long time—not at all! He says God wants to speedily answer us but God is "bearing something" that calls for patience on His part. He is saying, “I will put up with this thing I see in your heart. I will bear with you until you are willing to lay hold as you should for the answer.”

As I look back at some of the things I have persevered in prayer for, I see the Lord saying, "I'm holding up the request to you, like a mirror. And through this, I am going to show you what is deep in your heart."

I have seen doubt . . . fear . . . unbelief . . . things that have made me throw myself at Jesus' feet and cry, "Oh, Lord, I'm not interested in the answers anymore, but only in getting this spirit out of me. I don't want to doubt You."

The hardest part of faith is the last half hour. When it looks as if God will not answer, we give up and go on to something else. We think we are surrendering to God's providence, depending on His sovereign will. We say, "Well, God, You must not have wanted it after all."

No! That is not what God intended. When you are praying the obvious will of God—salvation of family, for instance—you have every right to hold on and never give up until Jesus answers.
 

YOU ARE BEING TESTED

by David Wilkerson | January 24, 2013

    PDF     TXT   Print  Print

Rest assured that if you are trying to walk righteously before the Lord, you are being tested. In fact, the deeper your walk with Christ, the more intense your testing will be. Scripture makes this clear:

"The people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. . . . Now when they shall fall, they shall be [helped] with a little help. . . . And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed" (Daniel 11:32-35).

A great time of testing is coming upon "those of understanding." Just who are these who will be tested? They are the righteous, those who do exploits for the Lord, who walk with God and have the wisdom of Christ.

Right now, you may be asking, "Why am I being tested? Why is this happening to me?"

Remember your school days? When a test in school was given, it revealed how much you had actually learned of what you had been taught. Yet Paul spoke of a different school, one where we are "learning Christ" and are "being taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus" (see Ephesians 4:20-21). If you belong to Jesus, you are in His school. You may have thought you had graduated, but that will not happen until you are in glory.

When I was in school, I hated "pop quizzes," unannounced tests. Yet the Lord has told us to be ready to be tested at any time, and these tests will continue until Jesus returns. All who love the Lord are going to go through fiery trials and be purged of all that is not like Christ, in preparation for the wedding of the Lamb.

David often spoke of being tested and tried: "I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness" (1 Chronicles 29:17). "Thou has proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou hast tried me, and shalt find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress" (Psalm 17:3).
 

RIGHT ON TIME!

by David Wilkerson | January 23, 2013

    PDF     TXT   Print  Print

Years ago, after walking the streets of New York City—worn out, tired in soul and body—I developed mononucleosis. I ended up in the hospital for six weeks and developed a growth in my throat. I could not swallow and sometimes I couldn't even catch my breath. My weight soon fell to less than 115 pounds. Since I could not travel, all the income to the ministry quickly dried up and it looked like the end of Teen Challenge!

I remember the night I cried out in desperation, "Lord, I give up! Teen Challenge is all Yours. I am just going to trust You. If You want the ministry’s doors to close, that's Your business. But, please, God, get this thing out of my throat!" Within an hour I coughed up a fleshy growth the size of a large walnut.

I left the hospital in a day or two and soon got my strength back. And I discovered that while I was away, Teen Challenge had survived! I do not know how the Lord did it, but while I was ill, the staff began to trust the Lord instead of looking to me. And that's what God was trying to accomplish!

Beloved, your troubles are not unforeseen accidents. No matter what you are going through, no matter how deep your hurt, God is right on target and right on time.

You may think the devil came in and interrupted God's plan for your life, saying, "Let me at him." But no, that is not the case. It does not matter if you did something stupid or careless. If you have repented, the Lord can harness everything meant for evil and turn it around for good.

Don't focus on your past mistakes—get your eyes off the monsters. God promised to restore to you all the years the cankerworm has eaten. Encourage yourself with these words and let them become your life and hope: "My God can do anything. He has not forgotten me. No one can change His plans. No matter how bad things look, He has everything under control!"
 

IT RAINS ON THE JUST AND THE UNJUST

by David Wilkerson | January 22, 2013

    PDF     TXT   Print  Print

I would be lying if I told you that Christians will observe sorrow, trouble, unemployment and depression on all sides while they themselves remain safe within a cozy cocoon of health and wealth. The Bible says God causes the rain to fall on both the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45). Job was holy—yet he suffered! But just as God brought Job out of his affliction, so He will bring us out even though we, too, will go through the fire.

Hundreds of ministers are meeting to pray in different cities, and the same confession is heard: "Never have so many been so deeply tested. Satan has come like a flood, with trouble, hardship, deep sorrow and pain befalling the godly."

Satan was Job's troubler and he is your troubler. Could it be that he has stood again before God and issued a great accusation against the last-days church? He might have challenged God, "It is the last hour, but You have no true church. You have no spotless bride. There are no wise virgins; in fact, most of them are asleep. Look at them—materialistic, self-centered, grasping for riches and the good life. Listen to their teachers telling them they need not suffer, that all things are theirs for the asking.

"Take down Your wall of protection, God! Let me put them to the test. You won't even have a holy remnant left. I'll take away their employment. I'll smite them with sorrows. I'll pour out a spirit of fear and despondency, and flood them with temptations. You will see this last, pampered generation fold. There are no Jobs in this church. They are spiritual wimps!"

Beloved, this is why the Scripture says, "Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time" (Revelation 12:12).

In the midst of your trial, some of you already have adopted the despairing language of Job. Your heart cries out, "God, what did I do wrong? I don't understand why this calamity has fallen on me when I loved You most, my walk was holy, my heart pure, and my spirit was longing after You. It seems like the closer I draw to You, the deeper I fall into trouble and the more sorrows come.”

We do not realize how important it is to God that we trust Him through all the floods of trouble that come upon us from hell. You see, the devil cannot touch you or test you unless God first lets down the wall and allows it.
 

IS THIS THE GENERATION?

by David Wilkerson | January 21, 2013

    PDF     TXT   Print  Print

The whole world is frightened, perplexed and confused. Even the saintliest Christian must be wondering about all the prophetic events rapidly unfolding. I know that believers all over the world are asking themselves a question that I, too, am pondering: Are we in the last decade of human history? I do not know, but one thing is sure: We have seen an acceleration of world events. Suddenly, without warning, the Iron Curtain fell. Almost overnight, Eastern Europe was free. Seemingly in a flash, the Soviet Empire—once threatening the United States—was brought to the brink of disintegration and utter turmoil.

Could it be that in the same sudden manner, the antichrist world leader will be revealed? Could it also be that God has come to the end of His patience with the sins of North America, as happened with Sodom and Gomorrah?

Frightening bankruptcies in our savings and loan organizations, mounting national debt, diseases and nationwide plagues—are these all signs that our country is entering the corridor of a divine curse as outlined in Deuteronomy 28? Read what God does to the nations that sin against the light. You can see it happening right now!

Are we already in the early stages of the biggest depression in our history? The Great Depression of the 1930s has been regarded as the worst ever, but many economists believe we are on the brink of a depression that will make our worst look tame by comparison.

Is God even now beginning to cut off our supply of bread? Is He bringing ruin upon us, as He did upon Jerusalem and Judah because of their sins? In Isaiah 3:1-6, you will find that God does cut off bread and massive unemployment results. When judgment fell in Zion, "there was no hire for man, nor any hire for beast" (Zachariah 8:10). Will there be massive unemployment as God judges America's sins?

There is a sense of danger in the air; every situation seems volatile. There is a feeling that the world is on a course from which there is no turning back. There is talk of wars, race wars, holy wars. Israel is feverishly preparing for war as never before, gearing up for a final conflict.

Is this the day that Jesus predicted when men's hearts will fail from overwhelming fear as they behold the frightening things happening on the earth? Could it be we really are the generation that will behold the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ? Have we come to such a point in human history that it can now be said, "This generation shall not pass away till all these things come to pass"? Will it indeed happen in our time?
 

LAYING DOWN YOUR BURDENS

by David Wilkerson | January 18, 2013

    PDF     TXT   Print  Print

Laying down your burdens requires a powerful act of determination and a kind of spiritual surgery that only the Holy Spirit can perform.

We see this illustrated in the book of Nehemiah. At the time, the Israelites had faithfully and diligently rebuilt Jerusalem's gates. But once the gates were back in place, the people completely overlooked the Sabbath observance. Every week, long lines of laden-down animals passed through Jerusalem's gates, going to and from the city market bearing merchandise.

Nehemiah was angered when he saw all this activity on the Sabbath (see Nehemiah 13:15). He warned the people to lay down all their burdens and honor God's Sabbath, but when they would not listen, he stepped up the level of his appeal: "Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day?" (verse 17). He was saying, "I chided them, preached to them, warned them. But nothing worked."

Finally, Nehemiah had had enough so he took drastic action: "And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day" (verse 19).

Nehemiah put sentries at the gates. But even then the burden-bearing people would not be deterred. They camped out all night long, carrying their burdens around as they waited for the gates to open (see verse 20).

Beloved, your burdens will always be camping outside your mind, waiting for an opportunity to jump right back in. You may lay them down at night, but in the morning, there they'll be, the same old worries and concerns waiting for you to pick them back up.

So, what did Nehemiah do to stop all the burden-carrying? He said, "Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? If ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the sabbath" (verse 21).

When Nehemiah came to end of his endurance, he threatened force. And, beloved, that is just what we are to do to keep all burdens outside the gates of our minds. Like Nehemiah, we are to cry out from our soul, "This isn't God's way! I live in the day of Sabbath rest yet my soul is anything but at rest. All my cares and worries come and go as they please. I must take dominion over these burdens, at any cost!"
 

NOT EASILY PROVOKED

by David Wilkerson | January 17, 2013

    PDF     TXT   Print  Print

The clearest evidence that Christ resides in you is if you possess this fruit: "Charity . . . is not easily provoked" (1 Corinthians 13:4-5).

The Greek word for provoked is "paraxuno," which comes from a root word meaning "acid" and "quick or sudden." It also has an additional root meaning of "one close by." Put together, these meanings become very significant: To be provoked is to fly off the handle with acid remarks, to have a temper tantrum—and to aim it at someone who is close to you.

In short, the Bible is saying, "If you are in Christ, loving unconditionally, you will no longer be easily provoked. And your greatest tests will come from those closest to you: your spouse, your children, your friends."

I ask you: Do you have a short fuse? How easily does your temper flare? If you are in Christ, a voice will rise up in you when you're angry, crying out, "Lord, help me! Holy Spirit, calm me down!"

Just a few days before I wrote this message, I had to practice what I am preaching. My wife, Gwen, said something that unwittingly pushed a button inside me. She didn't mean it as a putdown but I took it that way, and it set me off. I quickly got hot under the collar and out of my mouth spewed a stream of acid remarks, heated, angry words, each one a putdown.

Gwen tried to apologize (for something she hadn't even done) but I turned my back on her and went to my study. I sat for an hour in the dark, complaining to the Lord: "God, she hit me where I'm sensitive and it hurt. I had to respond!"

Yet as I tried to pray, the heavens were as brass. The next morning, as I took out my Bible to begin my daily study, the pages fell open to 1 Corinthians and my eyes fell on this verse: "Charity . . . is not easily provoked”

Suddenly, I was looking into the mirror of God's Word and I saw the face of a preacher who was easily provoked! My heart was smitten, and I cried out, "Oh, Lord, that's me. God, forgive me!"

Immediately I called out to Gwen to come into my office. When she entered, somewhat bewildered, I could only point to the passage and say, "Honey, read this. It describes me, doesn't it? I'm too easily provoked. Gwen, please forgive me!"

LONGING FOR THE COMING OF THE LORD

by David Wilkerson | January 16, 2013

    PDF     TXT   Print  Print

Have you been longing and yearning for the coming of the Lord? Do you yearn for the day when He will appear?

"Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13). "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing" (2 Timothy 4:8).

This world is not our home. But I ask you: Are you putting down roots or are you pulling up roots, praying that Jesus will keep your heart awake?

Have God's enemies become your enemies? Are you engaged in the battle against those who oppose God? Have you taken up His fight against the flesh, the world and the devil?

Yes, Jesus said we are to love our enemies but what about His enemies, those who hate Him, refuse His grace and mercy, and defame His name and drag it through filth? We are not to hate men but we are to hate the sin that is in their hearts and the demonic powers that rule them. We are to hate the wickedness that is in the world!

Have you made a habit of forsaking the house of God? "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching" (Hebrews 10:25).

It is no accident that the very next verse in this passage refers to "willful sinning" after the truth has been revealed. “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins” (Hebrews 10:26).

It is a proven historical fact: People become most careless and neglectful just prior to judgment and calamity.

If you have judged yourself and come up short, then from your heart pray this: “Jesus, I need to be forgiven. I confess all my sin. I’ve neglected You, Lord. I have not put You first but from this day forward I make You my life—my everything!”
 

JOY AND CONFIDENCE ON THE DAY OF JUDGMENT

by David Wilkerson | January 15, 2013

    PDF     TXT   Print  Print

"And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matthew 25:32-34).

On the day of judgment the first thing on the Judge's agenda will be to separate His sheep from the goats. He will not allow His righteous ones to be numbered with the transgressors.

The Bible is very clear that those who have been abiding in Christ and looking for His appearing will have boldness and confidence on that day:

"And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming" (I John 2:28). "Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world" (1 John 4:17).

How can you have such boldness—such joy and confidence—on the day of judgment? It comes only through knowing the Judge as your friend, brother, redeemer-kinsman, high priest, advocate, intercessor, Lord, the love of your heart—your very life!

If you know in your heart you are not ready to stand before Jesus—and that time is coming very soon—then you have to answer for what I have written here. This one message is enough to damn you to eternal hell if you reject it. It will stand as a witness on judgment day.

Have your interests—your work, your possessions or even your ministry—become more important to you than the Lord's interests? Have you neglected your family? Are you satisfied because you go to church on Sunday and say, "I've done my part for God"? God's Word to you is clear: It is not enough!

If you have judged yourself and come up short, then pray this from your heart:

"Jesus, I need You. I need to be forgiven and loved by You. I confess all my sin and stubbornness. I've neglected You, Lord. I've not put You first and from this day on, I make You my life, my everything.

  Back to Top