Building on the Rock

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

Beloved, you are not building on the rock if you need a preacher to thunder at you to obey God, if you need a set of do’s and don’ts. You don’t need a book of rules; you need a passionate love for Jesus. You need to be so in love with him that you know what pleases him.

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock” (Matthew 7:24, NKJV).

The more you love him, the easier it is to serve and obey him. You will no longer care what the world says about you. You can answer, “I’ve heard from my Father, and I’m doing the good pleasure of his heart.” When your heart is enraptured with Jesus, such obedience naturally flows out. You won’t have to constantly go before the Lord, crying, “Oh, God, break the power of the devil over me!” All those chains will begin to fall off as you get to know his heart.

Are you in love with Jesus? If your answer is yes, I have several questions for you. How can you go throughout the week without spending time in his Word? How can you not yearn to get alone with him in prayer? How can you not have a time of love-talk with your Father, praising and worshiping him, seeking to learn what pleases him? These are foundational to obedience.

Jesus tells us, “He who has my commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him” (John 14:21). What an incredible promise, all based on an obedience of love.

Search the gospels and get to know Jesus’s words as recorded in Matthew 5-7, beginning with the Sermon on the Mount. As you learn his words, do them! God’s commandments are not grievous; they are not a heavy burden laid upon us. On the contrary, obeying them becomes easier the more you grow to love him.

That is building your house upon the rock. When the storm comes, you can stand unafraid. Nothing will move you because you are walking in loving, pleasing obedience to the Father.

Arriving at God’s Victory

Gary Wilkerson

Judges 7:1 tells us that Gideon and his 32,000 men were about to go to war with the Midianites who had well over 100,000 soldiers. Those are not good odds.

God said to Gideon and his men, “If any of you are weary or distraught or discouraged or fearful or timid, I want you to go home” (see Judges 7:3).

We see that 22,000 left and 10,000 remained, and the Lord said to Gideon, “The people are still too many. Take them down to the water, and I will test them for you there, and anyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ shall go with you, and anyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ shall not go” (Judges 7:4, ESV).

At that point, God reduced Gideon’s army to 300 against 100,000!

“And Gideon came to the Jordan and crossed over, he and the 300 men who were with him, exhausted yet pursuing” (Judges 8:4). Late at night with only 300 soldiers left, Gideon went to the camp of the Midianites and overheard two Midianite soldiers talking. One soldier said to the other, “‘Behold, I dreamed a dream, and behold, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian and came to the tent and struck it so that it fell and turned it upside down, so that the tent lay flat.’ And his comrade answered, ‘This is no other than the sword of Gideon…’” (Judges 7:13-14).

What he heard brought such an encouragement to the soul of Gideon that he began to believe that he could win this battle. What is his response? “As soon as Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, he worshiped” (Judges 7:15).

Gideon began to worship! God’s goal in bringing us to a place of victory in the midst of our struggle, in the midst of our pain, is to cause us to exalt and worship Jesus Christ. God is not after just the victory in your life, helping you in your finances, helping you find a job, helping with your marriage. He will help you with all those things, of course, but what God really wants is a people who worship him.

Overcome Evil with Good

John Bailey

The deeper the relationship, the more important your testimony becomes. What I mean by testimony here isn’t your conversion story; it’s the way you walk through life. 

If I was sharing the gospel with somebody at a gas station, I wouldn’t have time to go into how I live in a way that matches up with what God commands in the Bible, that I have integrity at work and in my home. The deeper the connection that you have with a person, though, the more important it is that Christ lives through your life rather than just your words. This becomes so important to remember when we’re gathering with friends and family who don’t know God but know us very well. They’ve had years to watch how we respond to little inconveniences like someone hitting our car with a shopping cart and big losses like a loved one suddenly dying.

How do we live in front of people whose perspective on God might be their view of us?

As a pastor, I've found that some people come to me and say, “I just tell my kids something about Jesus all the time, and they just don’t want to hear it.” The more I talk to them, though, the more I realize that they act pretty judgmental and harsh. I can’t really blame their kids for not wanting to hear about Jesus from them. 

When you engage and interact with people, let the life of Jesus come out. When you're ready to share the Word—God opens those opportunities—it will be so much more powerful. 

In our culture in America, people have heard and seen the religious people. What they need to see instead is an authentic godly life. The more that you can capture that new life that God gives his people, the more your words will have power when you begin to talk about salvation or knowing Christ.

“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. …Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:9-11,21). 

John Bailey is the Vice President of World Challenge Inc. and the Founding Pastor of The Springs Church in Jacksonville, Florida. John has been serving the Lord in pastoral ministry for 35 years, ministering the gospel in over 50 nations, particularly as a pastor and evangelist in Cork, Ireland.

The Finished Wall

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

Often Satan will attack you to stop a great work for God. He will put enemies in league together to hinder your labors. They will come against you in unison, trying to discount the minister in order to stop the ministry. 

Nehemiah was called by God to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. The work was progressing wonderfully, with the walls going up steadily. Suddenly, Satan stirred up a hornet’s nest to hinder it all. Four prominent leaders joined in a plot against Nehemiah: “But they thought to do me harm” (Nehemiah 6:2, NKJV). 

These leaders set a trap four times. They called out to Nehemiah, “Come down off your wall. We want to have a conference with you. We insist you talk to us.” Four times, Nehemiah answered, “I’m not coming down off these walls! I have work to do here because God has ordained me to do it” (see Nehemiah 6:3).

Beloved, you cannot get involved in arguing with people just because they want to argue. It’s all meant to be a distraction. You must go on with God’s work.

The reason Satan comes against your prayer life, your consecration to God, and your walk with him isn’t just to bring you down. He also wants to ruin the ministry God has given you. He wants to destroy anything you are doing that brings glory to God!

These four VIPs started a rash of rumors against Nehemiah. They claimed, “You’re doing this for yourself, not for God!” One of them, Tobiah, sent slanderous letters to other leaders in Israel. All the slander, plotting and snares were designed to put fear into Nehemiah’s heart in hopes that he would get discouraged and run. Nehemiah sums up the scheme in verse 13: “For this reason he was hired, that I should be afraid...that they might have cause for an evil report, that they might reproach me.”

None of those snares could stop God’s work. Scripture states, “So the wall was completed… When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God” (Nehemiah 6:15-16, NIV).

Proclaiming the Victory

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

What does God expect of us once we are sprinkled with the blood of Jesus? Are we obligated in any way by this sprinkling? Yes, we certainly are! 

If we have been sprinkled with Jesus’s blood, we are first commanded to go in peace and not doubt anymore. When Moses sprinkled blood on the sinning Israelites, they never once doubted that they were pardoned and accepted by God. They trusted in that sprinkling. 

Today, the blood sprinkled on us is not that of bulls, goats, or sheep but of Christ, the Lamb of God. Yet we have more doubt, more fear than those Israelites. 

Martin Luther said it is blasphemy to take back to ourselves all the sins that were laid on Christ, and I agree with him. It is absolute sacrilege to go about in fear, guilt and condemnation. We are not to say, “The Bible says that by faith I am cleansed, justified, and protected from Satan’s power, yet I cannot believe such a glorious thing is possible.” 

Secondly, we are to praise God with a thankful heart, never doubting. We are commanded to thank God for the precious blood of Jesus with high praises. 

• “We also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation” (Romans 5:11, NKJV).

• “Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!” (Psalm 32:11). 

• “Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound!” (Psalm 89:15).

• “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:10).

Proclaim the victory of Jesus’s blood in your life and begin praising him now for the promise of that great day of redemption to come.