Tattooed on the Palm of His Hand

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

This is one of my favorite scriptures: “Sing, O heavens! Be joyful, O earth! And break out in singing, O mountains! For the Lord has comforted his people, and will have mercy on his afflicted. But Zion said, ‘The Lord has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me.’ Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me” (Isaiah 49:13-16, NKJV).

God says I am engraved in the very palm of his hand! The Hebrew word for “tattooed” means indelible, inerasable. He cannot stretch out his hand without being reminded of me! I believe with all my heart that I am a royal crown, a diadem in his hand, a delight to his soul. He is not mad at me; he delights in me!

Dearly beloved, I want to assure you with these words. You may go through trials and sufferings. You may be far from what you wish to be in the Lord. However, you can know one thing more than anything else, that you too are a delight to him.

Listen to this wonderful promise. “I will be glad and rejoice in your mercy, for you have considered my trouble; you have known my soul in adversities, and have not shut me up into the hand of the enemy; you have set my feet in a wide place… Oh, how great is your goodness, which you have laid up for those who fear you, which you have prepared for those who trust in you in the presence of the sons of men!” (Psalm 31:7-8, 19).

God has given you all you need to be free and victorious. He sees your condition, and he cares. He cuddles you as you call on him, and he is ready to come forth to help you any moment of the day.

We Have Absolute Access

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

Every four years in January, America inaugurates a president to what is called “the most powerful office on earth.” His signature turns bills into law. He commands the world’s most powerful army. He can simply push a button and bring destruction upon nations. The power he holds is nothing compared to the power Jesus has given to you and me!

We have absolute access to the very presence of the living God. “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way…let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith” (Hebrews 10:19-22, NKJV).

That access came only after Jesus was crucified, died and was resurrected. It came at the moment the veil in the temple was rent in two. When that happened, it meant that man could go in, and God would come out. We could now meet with him face to face!

The word “boldness” in this verse means “with open, undisguised publicity.” Beloved, that “publicity” is for the devil’s sake. It means we can say to every demon, “I have a right by the blood of Jesus Christ to walk into the presence of God and talk to him and he with me.”

Do you believe that God is willing to come out and meet you? Let us draw near to him with a heart full of the assurance of faith. We do not come by the blood of animals but by the blood of our Lord Jesus. “Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood he entered the Most Holy Place once and for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:12-14).

Nothing thrills the heart of God more than when his children come to him in boldness, without timidity. He wants us to come, saying, “I have a right to be here. Even if my heart condemns me, God is greater than my heart! (see 1 John 3:20).

God Wants to Speak with You

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

God desires to speak to you as if you were sitting down to dinner with him. He wants to converse with you, heart to heart, on any and all matters. The Bible says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20, NKJV).

This verse often has been used when speaking to the unsaved. We speak of Jesus standing at the door of the sinner’s heart, seeking entrance. But, no! The context shows that Christ is speaking to the believer, those who are clothed in white apparel (righteousness), who have bought gold tried in the fire, whose eyes are anointed (opened), who are loved, reproved and humbled (see Revelation 3:15-19). These are repentant, holy people who want to know the voice of God.

As I read verse 20 in this passage, three words leap out at me: “Open the door. Open the door!” The Spirit of God spoke clearly to my heart, “David, the reason you haven’t heard me as I want to be heard is because your spirit is not wholly open to hear.”

As I see it, this door represents a commitment, one that many Christians have not yet fully made. Most believers pray, “Lord, all I need is a little advice, a few words of direction, a quick reminder that you love me. Just let me know whether I’m doing right or wrong. Please go before me and open the doors.”

However, Jesus answers us, “If all you want from me is direction, I can send you a prophet or a preacher. The problem is that you are missing me.”

Jesus wants your closeness, your deepest emotions, your locked-up room. He wants to sit down with you, to share all that is in his heart and to talk with you face to face. Revelation 3 is a wonderful picture of this. It speaks of love and intimacy, of sharing secrets, of tender voices.

When Jesus comes in, he brings food and bread, in other words, himself. When you feed on him, you will be wholly satisfied.

Hotspot: Dealing with the Unseen

Gary Wilkerson

The word “hotspot” has many definitions. It can denote a trendy club, a location of internet availability or even a place of high activity in a war zone.  Superheated hotspots under the earth’s crust have created volcanic chains on the earth’s surface. The Hawaiian Islands, recently so devastated by wildfires, form a hotspot chain.

In a forest fire, hotspots are a threat. Live embers, unseen and buried under scorched vegetation, can reignite and cause a new blaze if not extinguished. According to fire fighters, hotspots that appear in sequences of two to three days have a high potential of becoming full-blown forest fires. Crews use methods like hot spotting, cold trailing and mop-up to stamp them out. They are thorough, trekking through steep canyons and high mountains, going over and over areas of potential flare-up.

People have hotspots, too, problems we hide away and leave to smolder. Sometimes we block them out or give them a passing glance, but often we only try to treat the most obvious symptom: the smoke. Some use moralism or legalism to try to address the outer indicators. Many use nutrition, rest, medication and other remedies to sweep away the signs, thinking, “There. That took care of it.” However, the issues that keep flaring up deserve another look because they’ll ignite time and time again if not tackled.

Have you noticed a pattern of being angry or critical? Maybe it’s anxiety or unforgiveness. How about people-pleasing, overspending, substance abuse or overworking to the detriment of your family? Recurrences of these things are warnings that more is going on. They are our cue to go to the cross.

We begin by presenting a whole and open heart to God, warts and all. The intentional act of giving him control allows the Holy Spirt to do its powerful work. Our Creator sees what we, in our finite humanity, cannot. As David said, “Who can discern his errors?” (Psalm 19:12, ESV). Only God can discern and heal them on a spiritual level.

As he does his work, we participate. We may need to make amends, become more accountable or make a fundamental lifestyle change. Whatever is needed, don’t give up! “Let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:4). Be assured that God will be there to help you extinguish your hotspots and move ahead in wholeness and health.

The Joy and Strength of the Lord

Carter Conlon

One night after preaching, I couldn’t sleep. A very strange feeling came over me. I’d start to drift off and suddenly feel as if I were falling off the end of the bed even though I wasn’t. I returned home to my family and went out to play with my church hockey team. I loved playing hockey, but all of a sudden I couldn’t catch my breath. I was a very fit thirty-seven-year-old man, so this was very strange for me.

When I went into church on Sunday to preach, my head felt as if it were splitting open. I was still short of breath, and I had no energy. Sunday after Sunday, the massive headaches continued. It took me a long time to realize that I was having a physical breakdown.

When I felt I couldn’t take it anymore, I went out onto a country road and threw my head back. “Is this how you reward those who serve you?” I screamed. I railed against the Lord until it was all out. If God had said to me in that moment, “I’m going to turn you to ashes,” I would have said, “Go ahead.”

Instead, I heard God say softly, “I love you.”

That wasn’t what I expected. “What do you want me to do?” I exhaled.

“Carter,” the Lord said to me, “I only want you to do what I ask you to do. You’ve done many, many things that I didn’t ask you to do.”

It was as if a thirteen-year burden was lifted from my shoulders. I recall one man in our church who was up and down, up and down, sober, drunk, sober, drunk. I used to grab him by the shirt and get in his face, saying, “I stopped drinking; you can stop drinking.” He would cry that he couldn’t do it, and I would insist that he could. About three weeks after God set me free from my own zealousness, though, that man came up to me and said, “Pastor, I feel so much hope in your preaching now.” He was sensing that I had turned my striving over to God.

The psalmist’s words had come true for me: “The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him” (Psalm 28:7, ESV).

Carter Conlon joined the pastoral staff of Times Square Church in 1994 and was appointed Senior Pastor in 2001. In May of 2020 he transitioned into a continuing role as General Overseer of Times Square Church, Inc.