Daniel’s Penitent Heart

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

Daniel, a righteous man, had such devotion that you would not expect to find him repenting. Daniel’s heart, however, was sensitive to sin, and also he identified with the people’s sins.

“We have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from your precepts and your judgments. Neither have we heeded your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings and our princes, to our fathers and all the people of the land. …O Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against you” (Daniel 9:5-6,8, NKJV). Daniel repeatedly used the words “we,” “us,” “our.” He was saying, in essence, “Every one of us is affected.”

The key to it all is found in this verse: “Now while I was speaking, praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God…” (Daniel 9:20).

Daniel said, “God, deal with me while you are dealing with your people. If there is any iniquity in my heart, bring it out.”

Daniel was given new lips that had been touched by God’s purging hand. “Suddenly, one having the likeness of the sons of men touched my lips; then I opened my mouth and spoke…” (Daniel 10:16). Whenever Daniel spoke, he spoke as unto the Lord.

The prophet Isaiah was a godly man who had issued mighty prophecies, but when he stood before the Lord in all his holiness, this prophet could only say, “I am a man of unclean lips…” (Isaiah 6:5). God took coals of fire from the altar, put the tongs on Isaiah’s lips, and burned out all self and flesh, everything that was unlike him; then he gave Isaiah a new pair of lips. I believe the prophet never again had to have his lips purged. 

God does this for every person who repents! Once your tongue and lips are purged, you will never again want to speak anything that is unlike Jesus. The words that flow from you will be pure.

Removal of Fear

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

“Suddenly, a hand touched me… And he said to me, ‘O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright…’ Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words” (Daniel 10:10-12, NKJV).

Show me a Christian who refuses to acknowledge his sin and who says, “My hands are clean”, and I will show you someone with a false piety. Such a person puts on a big smile, has a confident walk and boasts that all is well. It’s all a facade! The Bible makes it clear that if anyone hides his sin, he will not prosper. God lifts his Spirit from him, and his unrepentant heart is full of fear and restlessness.

Show me a repentant Christian who is sensitive to sin, willing to be searched, crying out, “I’m guilty, God!”, and I will show you one who soon will walk without any trace of fear. God will reach his mighty hand into that believer’s heart and pluck out all roots of fear so that he will know the immeasurable favor and blessing of God.

Beloved, let God examine your heart; ask the Holy Spirit to reveal everything you have said or done that is grievous to him. Think of anyone you have slandered or gossiped about, and admit how sinful it was. Go to that person, and seek forgiveness.

I promise that if you make things right, you will release in your life favor from God as you have never known before. The Lord will open your eyes, ears and understanding. 

“For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter” (2 Corinthians 7:10-11). 

Crossing the Jordan

Gary Wilkerson

We all have a high calling from the Lord. At some stage of our lives, he sets before us a preordained plan we are to fulfill. God promises that if we act in faith, he will bring that plan to completion.

However, this is not always easy. As everyone who has walked with Jesus for any length of time knows, following his calling means we will encounter obstacles. One of the most common obstacles is the skeptic’s voice. As we seek to cross the Jordan River into the Promised Land, we will hear every kind of voice telling us not to go.

Joshua heard these voices as God stirred him to lead Israel to cross over the Jordan. The crossing held all the promise of God’s future glory for his people on the earth. You can be sure there was no way they would make that crossing without hearing the shrill voices of skeptics trying to dissuade them.

Our God wants to obliterate every skeptical voice that would keep us from obeying his direction. Whenever he asks us to take a step of faith, he is leading us to “cross over” to a measure of trust in him we have never had before.

When the priests carrying the ark stepped into the rushing river, God supernaturally parted the water. After that, every evil thing the skeptics had predicted was turned into good for God’s people. When the people came to a great fortified city occupied by their enemy, they marched around it, and the impenetrable walls came tumbling down.

Are you willing to step into the river? God may be saying, “If you’ll just commit to putting your toe in, you will see me part the water for you. I will carry you across to the other side. I have already laid out my plans for you, and I will see them through to fulfillment.”

I urge you to trust God to lead you across your Jordan. Let him silence the voice of the skeptic. His plan for you won’t be defeated. He is faithful!

Walking in the Light

Joshua West

In the book of 1 John, the apostle was writing to a church that had been shaken by a mass departure of people who had been lured away by false teachers. They had lost friends whom they served alongside in church to gnostic teachers who believed that there was secret knowledge that some could obtain about God. 

John was writing this letter to encourage the believers who remained but also to rebuke the false teaching that had permeated the church. Isn’t it interesting that almost every letter in the New Testament was written in response to false teaching? Both Peter and Paul wrote about false teachers, the latter noting, “I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you…and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them” (Acts 20:29-30, ESV).

To combat this, John wrote, “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:5-7).  

One of the greatest differences between true teachers of the Word and false teachers is that the true believers will draw people to God; false believers will draw people to themselves and their own ideas. True teachers will only point to God’s Word; they won’t invent or add anything to God’s truth. 

Walking in the light, as John talked about, is evidence that we are walking in the truth. The term ‘walking’ is referring to our manner of living. We cannot live in God’s ways without living in the truth. 

This doesn’t mean that we’re living in certain ways to prove something to other people. Hypocrites do that. No, it means that our decisions are informed by the truth revealed in scripture and that lives in us through the conviction of the Holy Spirit. As a result, we will only point to the Bible as our authority, not our own ‘clever’ ideas. People who let scripture inform all their decisions will be the ones who point past themselves to God.

Joshua West serves as the Church Leadership Network Director at World Challenge helping equip and empower pastors all over the world. Joshua’s desire is to raise up ministers who will correctly and boldly preach the word with passion and integrity. The point of all his work and writings is to preach the gospel, glorify God and to teach sound doctrine.

The Joy of Repentance

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

“And he said, ‘O man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be to you; be strong, yes, be strong!’ So when he spoke to me I was strengthened, and said, ‘Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.’” (Daniel 10:19, NKJV).

Daniel’s soul was in agony. He had been mourning for sin—praying, fasting, weeping—and it left him flat on his face, totally drained. He moaned, “O my lord…my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength” (Daniel 10:16).

Jesus came to him and touched his body, and Daniel was suddenly flooded with peace and strength. Christ said to him, “‘O man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be to you; be strong, yes, be strong!’ So when he spoke to me I was strengthened…” (Daniel 10:19).

Jesus was essentially telling Daniel, “Daniel, I love you, and I want to give you my peace. Now, stand up and be strong.” Daniel received the word of the Lord and was filled with God’s strength. He stood up, completely free from fear.

The repentant Christian can be downcast, totally wiped out, overwhelmed by sorrow and weariness. However, the Lord always comes to touch his body, to give him renewed peace and strength.

Do you have a repentant heart? Do you want one? Fall on your knees today and cry out in confession for yourself, your family, your loved ones, your church. You will receive an incredible revelation of the Lord, and you will begin to speak from pure lips. You will know peace and strength from God’s mighty hand so that you will no longer live in fear of any kind.

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise him. The Lord is their strength, and he is the saving refuge of his anointed” (Psalm 28:7-8).

Best of all, each of these marvelous benefits will be “loaded” upon you daily: “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation! Selah” (Psalm 68:19). That is when you will know the joy of walking in repentance.