Body

Devotions

Longing for Our Heavenly Home

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

I confess to you that there is one thing I fear more than any other thing in my life: the sin of covetousness, a love for the things of this world, a lust for more and better material possessions.

Covetousness has enslaved the hearts of many Christians. People can’t seem to get enough, and their debt is piling up. They think our nation’s prosperity will never end.  Americans have gone mad with acquisitiveness. We are now on a spending spree that has baffled experts.

Jesus warned us to hold lightly to the things of this world. We are to give thanks to him for his blessings and to give generously to the needs of the poor, but we are never to let anything of this world steal our hearts.

Recently, I prayed with a dear sister in the Lord who is dying of cancer; she has been in great pain for many weeks, but what a beautiful testimony she is to all who know her. There is no complaining, no sorrow, no questioning of the Lord’s greatness and faithfulness. She told me she feels a magnetic pull toward Jesus, and that she is now “there with Christ” more than here on earth. She blessed me with her rejoicing hope and rest in the Lord.

I once heard a very righteous minister say, “I just want to finish my work and get out of here.” Some who heard him say this thought he was being unthankful for the gift of life, but the apostle Paul declared virtually the same thing. He wrote, “If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account” (Philippians 1:22-24, NKJV).

God does not want us to feel guilty for his blessings upon us, as long as we keep it all at arm’s length. According to Paul, heaven — being in the Lord’s presence for all eternity — is something we are to desire with all our hearts.

Living Out the Gospel

Gary Wilkerson

Here’s one of the most frustrating passages of scripture for me: “Behold, a man from the crowd cried out, ‘Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child. And behold, a spirit seizes him…. And I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.’ Jesus answered, ‘O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.’ While he was coming, the demon threw him to the ground and convulsed him. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. And all were astonished at the majesty of God” (Luke 9:38-43, ESV).

When I read that passage, I feel it in my heart. The words “they could not” resonate with me. I see a person in need of real intercessory prayer, and I sometimes feel like I can’t help them with prayer because the doubtful question “What happens if it doesn’t work?” comes to me along with fear, unbelief and all kinds of things in my heart. I wrestle with this.

I wanted to tell you because this mentality, this fear, is something we all have to contend with in prayer. I hope that you’re not content to leave that fear unchallenged, that you won’t be satisfied with dry religion and tradition. We should want to live differently in a way that really makes us depend on God and trust him, and that means living out the gospel. This means believing and acting as if the Bible isn’t just a book to read, study and get sermons from or a self-help guide.

We want to press into heaven and believe scripture when it says, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death” (Revelation 12:10-11).

There’s power in the blood of Jesus! There is power in the Word of God.

Don’t Go Without Full Instructions

Tim Dilena

Let’s go to Exodus 4. Moses has seen this burning bush and talked with God. Shoes have come off; he’s standing on holy ground; he’s seen two miracles. Now God gives him an assignment to go back to Egypt, and now the 80-year-old senior citizen is about to go into the journey of his life and enter the annuls of Christian history.

Now what’s interesting to me is that the moment that he leaves that mountain, Moses begins to do everything right. Let me read this to you. “Moses went back to Jethro his father-in-law and said to him, ‘Please let me go back to my brothers in Egypt to see whether they are still alive.’ And Jethro said to Moses, ‘Go in peace.’ And the Lord said to Moses in Midian, ‘Go back to Egypt, for all the men who were seeking your life are dead.’” (Exodus 4:18-19, ESV).

I think this passage is significant. Think about this: Moses talks to God personally. He hears the voice of God. There’s no doubt about this; he’s seen the miracles of God take place in the wilderness before he even sees the Ten Plagues take place in Egypt. Even after hearing from God, he still presents it to his leadership. Moses still goes to Jethro and says, “Would you approve this for me to go?” Jethro puts his stamp of approval on this call. Notice what happens here. Once Moses did this, the Lord spoke more instruction to him.

Think about that for a moment. Many of us have heard less, thought less, and we go on our own and never get any confirmation from the people whom God has put over your life. The reason why that’s difficult is that we are so easily moved to go do something without any accountability. So many people today went but were never sent. Most people go without full instruction because they won’t submit it to leadership.

This is why scripture says, “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account” (Hebrews 13:17) and “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise….submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:15,21).

After pastoring an inner-city congregation in Detroit for thirty years, Pastor Tim served at Brooklyn Tabernacle in NYC for five years and pastored in Lafayette, Louisiana, for five years. He became Senior Pastor of Times Square Church in May of 2020.

Grace and Peace to You

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

I believe that prayer mixed with faith is the answer to everything. Paul said, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6, NKJV).

“In everything” means “Pray about everything, and give thanks that your requests will be heard and answered.” We are told to pray as our first option, not after we have tried everything else in vain. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

So many Christians today are being plundered by Satan. Their homes are in turmoil; they are plagued with fear and guilt; they face trouble on all sides. The problems our ministry reads about in letters from Christians are overwhelming.

To be truthful, though, few believers who are facing difficulties turn to the Lord in fervent prayer. Few today have consistent, quality time alone with God in prayer. Despair sets in because they do not go to the secret place, to unburden their souls and cry out their sorrows to the Lord. Instead, they tell all of their problems to friends, pastors, counselors; and they neglect the Lord who waits to have them all alone. We pray as a last resort.

Could God be grieved with this generation the same way he was with Israel? He said of them, “My people have forgotten me days without number” (Jeremiah 2:32).

God is pleased when we run to him first, when we make special time to be alone with him, pouring out our innermost feelings and laying our petitions before him. We have no right to say we love the Lord if we don’t spend time with him on a regular basis. He will hear your prayers and answer, but he needs you alone so he can speak to you in a quiet moment.

As I go into the Lord’s holy presence each day, my most consistent petition is that the Holy Spirit will open God’s Word to me so I can be a true oracle of him. May you make quality time for him, trusting him with your petitions.

Four Promises from God

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

There are four expectations believers should have because they are based on absolute promises the Lord has made to us. Our God is a promise-maker and a promise-keeper!

Expect to be rewarded as you diligently seek the Lord. “Without faith it is impossible to please him, for he who comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6, NKJV). You can ask in faith for a token from the Lord to encourage and rekindle your confidence. Expect him to keep his promise to reward you now when you are in greatest need. God has said he rewards those who diligently seek him, so seek him daily.

Expect to see evidence of a progressive miracle in your life. “With God all things are possible” (Mark 10:27). I have written about instantaneous miracles and progressive miracles. Progressive miracles start in unseen, quiet ways and unfold little by little, one small mercy at a time. Expect to see God working in mysterious ways, unseen to the human eye. You can say, “I don’t know how it will come to pass, but I believe God set into motion an answer to my prayers the very first hour I asked.”

Expect to enter into God’s promised place of rest. “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God…. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience” (Hebrews 4:9, 11). The recent year has been one of the most stressful for many believers. God never intended for his children to live in fear and despair. We need a reckless faith, a trust in him in the face of fear and trouble. Now is the time to lay it all on Jesus.

Expect the Holy Spirit to be always in his temple. “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19). The Holy Spirit abides in the heart of every believer. He is omnipresent throughout the world and universe. He desires that you expect him to make his presence manifest to you, and more so each passing day.

Believe these promises. Lay hold of these four expectations, and you will see marvelous things in your life.