|by David Wilkerson | September 5, 2012|
So, have you been listening to Satan's lies about your walk with Jesus? Have you been thinking you're unworthy, that you cannot worship God until you make everything perfect? I have good news for you. You already know Satan is a liar but I can prove to you that Jesus has made you clean, worthy to stand before Him and serve Him in faithfulness.
How are you made worthy? By Christ's sacrifice on the cross you are given every right to worship and serve the Lord.
"That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins" (Colossians 1:10-14).
The Greek rendering of this passage is: "The Father has made us fit, worthy, qualified in character — good enough to be partakers in the inheritance of the saints of light."
What Jesus did on the cross qualifies you for eternal inheritance. And if God has qualified you for eternal life, then He has made you strong in character. You could "sit down" from ministry for a month, a year, a whole lifetime trying to make yourself qualified for Him, working on your character in an effort to become good enough to be used of God. But you can never meet the criteria on your own.
Even if you were able to win victories over every wrong thing you have done, every wrong thought you have had, you still would not be qualified in God's sight. It is impossible. Why? Because God will not accept any righteousness except that of His own Son, Jesus Christ.
You cannot obtain the righteousness of Christ by working for it. The only way to obtain it is by believing and trusting God for it. It all happens by faith in what Jesus has done!
|by David Wilkerson | September 4, 2012|
Who told you that you are unworthy — no good, useless to God? Who keeps reminding you that you are weak, helpless, a total failure? That you'll never measure up to God's standard?
We all know this voice comes from the devil himself. He is the one who keeps you convinced God is angry with you. You hear his lies all day long and they come straight from the pit of hell.
Who tells choir members they are not worthy to sing praises in God's house? Who tells musicians they are not worthy to play instruments of worship? Who tells elders, ushers, Sunday school teachers, volunteers, people in ministry, people in their pews they are unworthy? Who reminds them of every sin and failure and accuses them of having unclean hands and an impure heart? Who tells them they have no right to touch the holy things of God?
The hounding voice of the devil — the accuser of the brethren — tells you, "God can't use you until you sit down and get this thing figured out. You can't even come into His house until you've made yourself worthy."
The devil has convinced many of you reading this message that you are unworthy ever to be used of God. Perhaps you feel unworthy even to be called a child of the Lord. When you look at your spiritual life all you see is inconsistency. And the enemy keeps lying, constantly reminding you of your failures, always harassing your spirit.
Let me stop here and confess something to you: I have never once, in all my years of ministry, felt worthy of my high calling as a preacher. Throughout my service to the Lord, I have been barraged by accusations that I am unworthy to speak for God — unworthy to preach, to teach others, to be a leader.
I am not worthy to write this message and you are not worthy to raise your hands in praise to God. Nobody is worthy — not in our own human strength and power. But Jesus has told us, “I have made you worthy.”
“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” (Romans 5:19).
|by Gary Wilkerson | September 3, 2012|
The Lord said to Moses, “Tell the people of Israel to turn back and encamp in front of Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, in front of Baal-zephon; you shall encamp facing it, by the sea. For Pharaoh will say of the people of Israel, ‘They are wandering in the land; the wilderness has shut them in’” (Exodus 14:1-3, ESV).
God was telling the children of Israel in Egypt, “I am taking you to a new land.”
If you have been to Israel, you know that the place God was taking them is very rocky — huge boulders on one side and mountains on the other. God led them through this area and then they saw the Red Sea in the distance. As they neared the Red Sea they came to a beach area where they were jammed into a small space. Now there were rocks on one side and water on the other. And this is exactly where God had called them to be.
Pharoah looked at this and declared, “The Israelites are hemmed in with their backs to the wall.”
Have you ever had God call you into what is probably the last place you want to be?
Moses had not been much of a military leader up to this point; in fact, he had not been in many battles. But he was schooled well enough to know, “I’m not sure we’re in the best place for a military defense. Actually, we’re trapped!”
Moses and the children of Israel truly were in a difficult place but God wanted them to be there because He was going to get glory out of it. God will sometimes allow us to be in places that seem difficult but He has a great plan for us. What we think of as being trapped with our back to the wall is God’s way of saying, “This situation is going to bring Me glory.”
Some of you reading this article are in a situation where you feel hemmed in. You do not see a way ahead and your circumstances are so overwhelming that you are wondering, “Is there any hope left for me?”
In those dangerous places you have taken a step of faith and said, “Yes, God, I will obey You no matter the cost and no matter how difficult it is.” When you do that, you find yourself right on the edge of seeing God move mightily.
If you know the rest of this story from Exodus, you know that God caused the Red Sea to part and the children of Israel to march through on dry land — toward a new place.
|by David Wilkerson | August 31, 2012|
Certain elders of Israel came to the prophet Ezekiel seeking guidance from the Lord. These men were not like many of the Israelites, who openly bowed their knees to idols. You would not find them in some idol temple, offering sacrifices to the false gods there. They were leaders of the people and they wanted to appear before everyone as godly men.
Outwardly, these elders had the appearance of men who had a heart for God and wanted to know His word for their lives. That is the manner in which they approached Ezekiel but God revealed to Ezekiel what was in their hearts. He said to the prophet, "Son of man, these men have set up idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face" (Ezekiel 14:3). The Lord was saying, "These men have come to you saying they want to hear a word from Me — that they want to walk in obedience to my commands. But they are lying! They have secret sins in their life."
These elders all had hidden, secret idolatry. Their hearts were in bondage to sins they indulged in behind closed doors. No one could tell this by their appearance. On the contrary, they came across not as pagans or idol worshipers, but as respected men of God going about their ministries.
A stumbling block of iniquity is any evil thing that stands between you and God — any enticement that robs you of a steadfast walk with Him. It is any besetting sin that causes you to waver in your faith; any desire that brings shame to your heart and to the name of Christ; any sin you cling to as you come to the Lord seeking guidance. You can come to God's house, raise your hands, worship Him loudly, and still have a stumbling block of iniquity in your heart.
Only by turning away from your idol in wholehearted repentance can you hear the true word of the Lord and receive clear, divine guidance. When you repent, the first thing that returns to you is your discernment, and the farther behind you leave your sin, the clearer you will see and hear God’s voice. He will become distinct, sure, speaking with the authority of truth.
|by David Wilkerson | August 30, 2012|
Our church spends much time in prayer. We recently concluded a twenty-four-hour-a-day, thirty-day prayer chain. Exactly what were we praying about? What were we looking for?
When I grew up in the church, all my father and grandfather ever talked about was a coming great revival. Evangelists talked about it at camp meetings: "There's a revival coming. God is going to sweep multitudes into the kingdom!"
Yet, at the heart of all this talk of revival was one basic thought: "We won't have to go out into the streets. We can just stay here and pray and the Holy Ghost will draw people in!"
The definition of revival is, "The awakening or resurrection of that which threatens to become a corpse." It means "to wake up the dead church — to revive it, resuscitate it — so that the ungodly will be inclined to enter its doors."
Beloved, the church is not supposed to have to be resurrected from the dead. We should not have to be praying for some great revival. While we have been praying for revival, horrible things have happened in our country.
Our cities are about to burst into flames. The nation is satiated with sex, pleasure, the idolatry of sports. One of every two marriages ends in divorce. We have lost an entire generation of young people to cynicism, hardness, and disillusionment.
The sobbing sounds of hungry, battered children now rise as thunder from our cities. Homosexuals demand marriage rights. Desperate fathers and mothers roam the streets by the hundreds, looking for work.
What should the church be doing about these things? The Bible says that if we are meeting human need — if we are obeying the commandment to be compassionate to the world, and giving ourselves to the needs of others — then we will be a well-watered garden. "If you deal your bread to the hungry . . . if you cover the naked . . . if you do not hide your face from the poor . . . if you draw out your soul to the hungry, and satisfy the suffering soul . . . then the Lord shall guide you continually, satisfying your soul" (see Isaiah 58:5-12). "Thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not" (verse 11).
God wants every one of us to be a part of His compassionate heart to the world.
|by David Wilkerson | August 29, 2012|
We should not have to travel past our own neighborhood to have the greatest kind of revival imaginable. God says that if we will deal our bread to the hungry, bring the poor into our house, cover the naked, and give of our own soul to the starving and suffering, He will guide us and provide for us continually. We will be like a well-watered garden — a spring whose waters never fail (see Isaiah 58:10-11).
God is telling us, "Focus on helping others! Reach out to the poor and hurting, and I will answer you, guide you, and satisfy you. You will be a spring of life to others and your blessings will never fail."
If you are not comfortable with this Old Testament teaching, listen to what Jesus said in the New Testament:
"For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal" (Matthew 25:42-46).
"Whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?" (1 John 3:17).
At this point you may be saying, "I'd like to be compassionate, to help the needy. How can I make a change?"
I can only tell you that God will answer this prayer: "Lord, I see all the human need around me. I know that the only Jesus my city may ever see is the one they will see through me and my church. God, You are going to have to direct me. I'm ready with my wallet, my house, my time, so show me where to go, Lord." Rest assured that God will bring those needs to your doorstep.
|by David Wilkerson | August 28, 2012|
During His time on earth, Jesus was the embodiment of God’s compassion. Scripture frequently tells us that Christ was “moved with compassion” by the suffering of the people (see Mark 6:34, 8:2). If that was the case in the first century, what grief must be in our Lord’s heart now.
I believe it is all God can do to restrain Himself from moving in before the end of time and putting an end to it all. I will never believe He is just some benign spirit who sits in heaven, unmoved by the horrible spirits loose in this world. No — He is a compassionate Father who agonizes over His suffering children.
The Bible tells us: “His compassions fail not” (Lamentations 3:22). “Thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth” (Psalm 86:15).
We read of an incredible scene: "Great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus' feet; and he healed them" (Matthew 15:30).
Can you imagine this scene? All around Jesus, hundreds of afflicted people were sitting and lying on the ground — little children too sick to sit up, people crying aloud for help, groaning in pain, fevered, demon-possessed, diseased, despairing.
Jesus did not turn them away. He performed miracles of healing and deliverance. The dumb spoke, the crippled leaped, the blind saw, the sick and diseased suddenly were made whole. And with every healing, the people pressed in even closer. I imagine the people picking up their sick children and pushing forward — as the disciples struggled to keep order.
These people had been out in the wilderness for three days without food and they were fainting from hunger. That's when Jesus said, "I have compassion on the multitude . . . and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way" (Matthew 15:32).
God wants every one of us to be a part of His compassionate heart to the world. If you are willing to do that, He will send the needs to your doorstep. Present yourself to the Lord to be used and He will open doors to you. Then you will truly know His heart of compassion.
|by Gary Wilkerson | August 27, 2012|
People experience a broad spectrum of fears. Psychologists say that almost everyone has a fear of death; others fear being alone, while many are afraid of being in crowds. Public speaking is another common source of fear.
Some of us miss out on the greatest gifts in life because of fear. God wants to birth certain things in your heart and you miss out on them because you are afraid to risk the faith necessary to get involved in what God has.
A number of years ago my wife and I were living in New York City and working with Times Square Church. The Lord clearly spoke to our hearts about planting a church in London, England. It was a big risk and rather scary. We did not have many resources and knew very few people in England, but we were committed to trusting God.
A place to live in London had been made available to us but just a few weeks before we were due to leave, the plans for that home fell apart. What were we going to do?
We were scheduled to spend two weeks in South Africa leading a group on a short-term missions trip before going on to England to live. While there my wife and I stayed in the home of a South African businessman. One morning the man asked me, “Are you okay?” I responded, “I’m kinda worried about something.” Then I told him about our plan to move to London and shared that we did not have a place to live.
“I love London and, as a matter of fact, I own a house there,” the businessman shared. Then a few days later he said to me, “Here are the keys to my house. It’s yours to use whenever you need it.”
I was concerned that we were going to have to cancel our plans — but God was there! A couple from New York had to go to South Africa to find a home in London. Only God can orchestrate something like that!
I believe God sets us up to do things that seem difficult at the time but wind up being a God-story. After something like that happens, you walk around with confidence and boldness in your heart, knowing that God will provide.
|by David Wilkerson | August 24, 2012|
Compassion is not just pity or sympathy. It is more than being moved to tears or stirred up emotionally. Compassion means pity and mercy accompanied by a desire to help change things. True compassion moves us to do something!
At one point, Jesus departed into the wilderness to pray. When the multitudes discovered His whereabouts, they followed Him by foot and brought Him their lame, their blind, their dying, their demon-possessed ones. The Bible tells us: "And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick" (Matthew 14:14).
Had Jesus been hampered by our modern thinking, He might have gathered His disciples for a committee meeting to analyze the problems and talk about the sins that had brought society to such a place. He would have pointed to the frothing demoniacs and tearfully said, "Look at what sin does to people. Isn't that tragic?"
Or He could have said, like so many sanctimonious people, "Look, I feel your pain. I've worked hard ministering to you but now I'm exhausted, and I need to talk to my Father. Later I’ll call My disciples together for a prayer meeting and we'll pray over your needs. Now, go in peace."
That is modern theology in a nutshell. Everybody is willing to pray — but few are willing to act.
Matthew 9 says of Jesus, "When he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd" (9:36). The phrase "moved with compassion" here means "stirred to action."
So, what did Jesus do? He didn't just talk. His heart was stirred at what He saw and He had a consuming desire to change things. The feelings of pity and sympathy He felt moved Him to action.
"Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people" (verse 35). This was not some vain theology. Jesus did not just get alone with the Father and say, "Lord, send laborers into Your harvest field." No, Jesus went Himself. He got deeply, practically, intimately involved.
|by David Wilkerson | August 23, 2012|
My earthly father lovingly reproved me whenever I misbehaved. Yet, every time he spanked me, he made me hug him afterward. As much as I didn't want to hug him, I will never forget putting my head on his shoulder and spilling out my tears. He always said to me: "I love you, David. God has His hand on you, and I’m not going to let the devil have you."
Likewise, in Paul's second letter to the Corinthians, we hear a loving rebuke from our heavenly Father. He warns: "Get as far away from sin and the world as you can. Run from evil!"
"Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty" (2 Corinthians 6:17-18).
God is telling us here, "I have chosen to be your Father and I will not share my role with the devil. If you are going to mix with the world or hold on to some unclean thing in your life, then our fellowship will not work. If I am going to be your one-and-only Father, then you must forsake the world and its pleasures — lay down your sin. You cannot keep any filthy thing in your life.”
He says further, "I want to lead and guide you. I want to favor you as only I can favor My children. Therefore, I will not permit you to come to Me with hands that have been touching any unclean thing. Separate from all of that and then I will receive you as a son, a daughter. I long to be a Father to you!"
If you want to follow Jesus, don't come to Him halfway. Come all the way out of the world. Your Father says, "If you trust Me as your Father to deliver you, I will send the Holy Ghost and give you power and authority. I will give you hope while you're in the struggle and I will bring you through."