The Language of Revolution

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

“There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health” (Proverbs 12:18, NKJV).

With great and swelling words
The revolutionaries speak.
Like the piercing of a sword,
They lash with their tongues
The established order of the day.
An evil man digs up evil
And in his lips there is a burning fire,
The unquenchable fire of hell.
But the wicked man shall be snared
By the transgression of his own lips.
He that keeps his mouth,
Keeps his life,
But he that opens wide his mouth
Shall have destruction.
For righteous men hate lying lips
And lips that have no healing.
The lamp of the wicked shall be put out
And his lips sealed;
For wicked language
Shall be overthrown
And the tongue of the wise
Shall send forth health.

“The tongue of the wise promotes health.” King Solomon knew what he was talking about when he wrote these words; his 40-year reign was an unprecedented time of peace and prosperity. The words don’t sound very revolutionary, but they are more world-changing than you can imagine.

Solomon enjoyed God’s favor because he sought God’s wisdom, not his own. The revolution of peace during his reign was due to the words that flowed from that wisdom, and the people in his vast sphere of influence acted upon them. He had learned this lesson well from his father David, who had prayed, “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips” (Psalm 141:3).

Solomon didn’t just want to be kind and good; he wanted wisdom! He wanted his people to feel the security of truth and justice. He was passionate for them to hear the words of a loving God through his leadership, the words of one who understood the desires of their heart and who cared for them beyond measure. He was intent on teaching his people how to live lives of value and service.

Lord, I seek your wisdom! Reset my thoughts, my heart, my actions to be in harmony with yours. May my words bring peace and order and good health into the lives I influence.

Finding Faith in the Confusion

Gary Wilkerson

“I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate... I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out” (Romans 7:15,18, ESV).

Do you often feel this way? Join the club.

Paul’s Damascene conversion didn’t guarantee a test-free life. In addition to the fires of persecution that sought to destroy his ministry, he was doubtlessly troubled by doubt, confusion and discouragement as he tried to establish the church. The pressure was intense, I’m sure; some days everything must’ve felt upside down. In his writings, he was up front about his frequent inability to align his knowledge of what is right with his behavior.

What an astonishing gift Paul left behind for us! In bluntly laying out the discord within himself, he revealed how our honesty before God and one another is the path to healing. “I’m just going to tell you flat out,” he says, “It’s a daily war in there. You’re going to continually face walls within yourself that you thought you had scaled; attitudes and impulses you were sure had been eradicated; spiritual confusion you thought you had sorted out. You must know that this is the way of the believer! We are redeemed, yet we still work and walk in this world. Our faith will be tested, refined, deepened. These tests will mature you in ways you can’t imagine. You’ll be stretched far out of your comfort zone and taken into spiritual places you didn’t know existed.”

Paul doesn’t stop there. In chapter eight, he continues to encourage an ambitious faith; and, as always, he points us right back to the immutable power of the Holy Spirit. “For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do” (Romans 8:3). He emphasizes how our helplessness is the means by which we walk in power. “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba Father!’” (Romans 8:15).

Don’t let your failures and inner turmoil pull you down! Follow Paul’s example and use each stumble to propel you forward. God delights in our questions and understands our weakness. Let your vulnerability be your comfort and fuel for a robust spiritual journey.

God Who Does the Impossible

Claude Houde

In Quebec, churches are growing at a pace that has never been seen before. What God is doing elsewhere in the world, he is also doing in our nation. We thank the Lord for the revivals in our history and the wonderful testimonies coming from all parts of the world, but we believe that the potential for God to do something new is even greater.

One of our recent church plants took place in the heart of Montreal with Pastor David Pothier and a team of passionate leaders who are fiercely convinced of the exponential potential of the gospel and the church of Christ.

For seven years, Pastor David was the pastor of Impact Jeunesse, the ministry for young adults in New Life Church. There he was bathed in a spiritual atmosphere of “We didn’t know it was impossible, so we did it!”

After preparing for a work of faith with prayer and fasting, Pastor David and several hundred people from our church responded to God's call to found La Chapelle in one of the up-and-coming neighborhoods in Montreal, a city with one of the lowest rates of evangelical Christians in the world. In barely three years, La Chapelle has become the largest French-speaking church in this metropolis. Hundreds have been baptized. The leaders have a multi-site church vision with multiple meetings on different campuses.

From Paul's letters to the early church 2,000 years ago, to the dark and busy streets of Montreal, to you and me today, God's potential is immutable and limitless for those who invite him into their lives. For me, this dynamic is not theoretical but very real. Its transformative impact is tangible and measurable. After more than three decades as a pastor, I have seen men and women of all ages, cultures and backgrounds discovering potential in a new life that was unknown to them before the moment they decided to turn their life to God and realized who he is and who they could become in Jesus Christ. I invite you too on an adventure of faith, discovery, development and destiny. May God do a work on each page of your heart.

“I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6, ESV).

Claude Houde is the lead pastor of Eglise Nouvelle Vie (New Life Church) in Montreal, Canada. Under his leadership New Life Church has grown from a handful of people to more than 3500 in a part of Canada with few successful Protestant churches.

Holy and Acceptable

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

When you set your heart to walk blameless before God and to please him, you will be feared and despised by those who have lost his favor and blessing. Lukewarm or compromised Christians will be absolutely disturbed and repelled by your life.

We see this vividly illustrated in 1 Samuel. “Now Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with him, but had departed from Saul... And David behaved wisely in all his ways, and the Lord was with him. Therefore, when Saul saw that he behaved very wisely, he was afraid of him” (1 Samuel 18:12-15, NKJV).

David’s blameless behavior struck fear in Saul’s heart. Whenever Saul was around David, he remembered when he had enjoyed the favor of God and the high esteem of men. However, disobedience, envy, pride and self-will had cost Saul every bit of power with God; and it had robbed him of the respect of his people.

Saul had come face to face with a younger and less-experienced man who exuded the power and integrity of holiness. He was pure in heart and full of the Holy Spirit, and Saul was afraid of him.

Keep in mind that this was no idolatrous pagan who was afraid of David. No, Saul was a man who had known the power of the Holy Spirit. He had once been God’s anointed, a mighty man with a powerful destiny. Then David appears on the scene. Here was a young man simply living a clean life, and God was pouring out favor upon him. “All Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before them” (1 Samuel 18:16).

This was humiliating for Saul, and he couldn’t stand having David around him. Scripture says, “Therefore Saul removed him from his presence” (1 Samuel 18:13). Sadly, Saul represents the compromised church of today, those Christians who have compromised and lost the anointing of God. He is a type of the believer who was once on fire for God but who has fallen into spiritual ruin through their disobedience, pride and lust.

There is nothing scarier to a compromised Christian than a holy, blameless life. The more your life aligns with the Lord’s will and his holiness, the more repelling you will become to backslidden believers.

Living in the Favor of God

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

God promises his marvelous favor to the blameless believer. “Keep my commands . . . let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man” (Proverbs 3:1-4, NKJV). The Lord is saying if you determine to walk blameless before him you will walk in his favor and be pleasing to him.

That isn’t all! God’s favor also includes power. Paul said, “For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance” (1 Thessalonians 1:5). His favor brings the power of the Holy Spirit to all you say and do. Your words won’t fall to the ground because they will have Holy Spirit power.

Paul said those Holy Spirit-empowered words produce great results: “And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 1:6).

Why were Paul’s words so powerful and effective? Because, he says, “[We] became examples to all . . . who believe” (1 Thessalonians 1:7). It was not Paul’s preaching and praying that won people to the Lord; it was his exemplary life. God had found in Paul a clean heart that he could favor with the power of the Holy Spirit.

God’s divine favor also brings high esteem among men. It is written of David: “David behaved more wisely than all the servants of Saul, so that his name became highly esteemed” (1 Samuel 18:30). The man or woman who protects the name of Jesus by living holy before others will be given a good name before them by God himself!

Some Christians say, “I don’t care about my name. It doesn’t matter what people think of me. I just want to be an unknown, a nobody. Let the Lord have all the glory.” That may sound humble but according to scripture, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold” (Proverbs 22:1). God gives the righteous a good name so they can use it to glorify him in greater measure.