|by David Wilkerson | March 28, 2012|
“Praying through" is a term coined by the early Pentecostals. To some it meant simply staying on your knees until you were assured you had an answer from God. To others it meant continually coming back to the Lord until you had the answer in hand. (This was also called "persevering in prayer.")
As a young boy in those early camp meetings, I heard people testify, "I'm going to lay hold of the horns of the altar and I won't let go until God answers!" Yet I don't believe that is the truest meaning of "praying through."
You can be shut in with the Lord, delighting in His presence. You can spend quality hours, even days, with Him, glorying in sweet communion. You can have all your needs met and your heart can be totally satisfied. His presence can heal you, lift you, empower you and strengthen you.
But what happens when you leave that hallowed place of intimate communion? You may rise up from your knees only to go back to a crushing situation that has not changed. You can see the devil waiting there for you, ready to throw the same problems and emptiness at you. I ask you: What good is it to get the glory on the mountain if it won't see you through your battle?
I believe "praying through" means simply this: The strength, power and encouragement you receive from the Lord while shut in with Him must see you through the trials ahead. The victory you get in the secret closet has to give you victory on the battlefield.
What exactly do you get from your time of prayer if not something that can see you through the battle? "Praying through" means waiting for the total completion of your prayer. Many Christians see only half-answered prayers because they do not allow what they received from the Lord in prayer to carry them through their trial.
Beloved, prayer is not finished—it is not "completed prayer"—until it sees you through to the other side of your trial. We have not "prayed it through" until we have "lived it through" our trials by the strength we received in God's presence.
|by David Wilkerson | March 27, 2012|
The Holy Spirit directed me to the book of Nehemiah and as I read chapter 2, I saw something I had not seen before. This chapter contains an encouraging story for all who come to the Lord with a heavy heart.
Nehemiah was a cupbearer to King Artaxerxes. He tasted the wines before they were brought to the king's table to make sure they weren't poisoned. Over time, Nehemiah became a trusted servant to the king.
Nehemiah received a report from his brother that Jerusalem was in ruins. The population had been decimated, the people were in terrible straits, and conditions were worsening daily. This tore at Nehemiah's heart. He loved Judah and Jerusalem and a sorrow began to grip him.
Scripture says: "And it came to pass . . . I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence. Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? This is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid" (Nehemiah 2:1-2).
Understand that people were forbidden to come into the king's presence with sadness, especially if they were court employees. Nehemiah knew that having a gloomy countenance could cost him his head and he was terribly fearful.
When the king saw Nehemiah’s grief, he was moved with compassion. Scripture tells us he gave his downcast servant a leave of absence. He also gave him a letter of credit, opening the royal treasury to him. And then Nehemiah received from the king the desire of his heart—permission to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple and the city walls!
Here is my point: If Nehemiah could go into the presence of a pagan king with a sad countenance and yet find favor and blessings beyond imagination, how much more will King Jesus show compassion to each of us, His children, in our sadness. He is eager to lift our burden and supply our needs.
|by Gary Wilkerson | March 26, 2012|
Elisha inherited from Elijah the role of prophet in the land. In 2 Kings 4, Elisha encountered one of his first big tests when he was approached by a Shunammite woman whose son had just died. In desperation, she told Elisha, “I’ve prayed and fasted, wept and pled but I have received nothing from the Lord. With my son gone, I don’t have the strength to go on. I just don’t understand what God is doing. This is more than I can bear.”
Elisha responded by doing something unusual. “He said to Gehazi [his servant], ‘Tie up your garment.’” In other words, “Gird up you loins.” Then he continued, “Take my staff in your hand and go. If you meet anyone, do not greet him, and if anyone greets you, do not reply. And lay my staff on the face of the child” (2 Kings 4:29, ESV).
Heeding Elisha’s instruction, Gehazi went to the family’s home and laid his staff on the face of the dead child. There was no sign of life so Gehazi returned to Elisha saying, “The child has not awakened” (v. 31).
Here is my question to you: What do you do when everything you try brings no result? Where do you turn when every effort you put forth does not accomplish its purpose?
There comes a time when we have no resource but Jesus alone. In this story, Elisha is a type of Christ. He went to that Shunammite family and stretched himself out over the body of the dead boy. When he was face to face, foot to foot, hand to hand over the child, he breathed into him.
What happened then? Scripture says the boy sneezed seven times (v. 35). He was alive!
What brought about this life? Jesus Himself breathed into the situation. When we have no hope, no resources, no ability, Christ breathes His supernatural life into our circumstances.
Make this your prayer: “Lord, I have nothing but You have everything and I need You now. If you do not breathe into my problem, I won’t make it. I can’t do it, but you can, Lord!”
|by David Wilkerson | March 23, 2012|
Perhaps prayer is a burden to you. Is prayer boring to you? Is it more of a duty than a pleasure?
So few Christians enter God's presence with delight, simply for the pleasure of His company. Some think of it only as "work." Yet, when we commune with a dearly loved one here on earth, do we think of it as work? No, it is a pleasure to us! If you are happily married, you don't think of your times of intimacy with your spouse as "work."
Christ likens His relationship with His people to that of a husband and wife and the Bible says Jesus delights in us! The fact is, a husband's pleasure in enjoying intimacy is not simply the satisfaction of his own needs. No, his real pleasure is in the joy of knowing his wife shares his delight. He says in his heart, "She really wants to be with me. I'm first in her heart—I'm everything to her!"
We know the Lord delights in His people. David said, "He delivered me, because he delighted in me" (Psalm 18:19). The Scripture gives us a picture of the Lord and His exuberant delight in us.
Yet, do we delight in Him? The Bible tells us: "Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart" (Psalm 37:4). Delighting in the Lord does not mean simply being happy in His presence. I asked the Lord what the word "delight" means and He answered:
"David, delighting in Me means simply being able to say: ‘I would rather be with Jesus than with anyone else on earth. I prefer His company to that of my spouse, my family, my friends. I prefer Him over all celebrities, world leaders, even great men and women of God. He is my delight!’”
It also means being able to say, “I long to be shut in with Jesus because He is the only One who can satisfy me. All others leave me empty and unfulfilled. No one but Jesus can touch my deepest needs and I rush to Him as often as I can.”
|by David Wilkerson | March 22, 2012|
I believe the kind of prayer that most pleases God is very simple and easy to understand. It is so simple that a little child can pray in a way that pleases Him.
The disciples said to Jesus, "Lord, teach us to pray" (Luke 11:1). They would not have asked unless they had wanted to learn. I believe that most who are reading this message would love to be faithful in prayer, but they do not know how. They simply do not understand the purpose of prayer and until they grasp this vital purpose, they will never be able to maintain a fulfilled, meaningful life of prayer.
Many Christians pray only out of a sense of obligation. They think of prayer as something they are "supposed" to do. Others pray only when tragedy strikes or when a crisis befalls them and then they do not pray again until the next difficulty comes along.
Prayer is not just for our benefit, but for the delight of our God! We are not just to intercede for things we need, but to ask for the things He desires. Unless these two elements go together, we do not have a foundation upon which to build a prayer life. Whereas we seek relief and help from the Lord, He desires fellowship with us—intimacy and communion.
"Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on” (Matthew 6:25).
"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take no thought for the morrow. . . ." (6:33-34).
"For your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him" (6:8).
God is saying to us: "When you come into My presence, focus your attention on fellowship with Me, on getting to know Me. Don't let your focus be on material things. I know what your needs are so you don't even have to ask. I willl take care of them all. Just seek Me. Let us enjoy sweet communion!"
|by David Wilkerson | March 21, 2012|
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.
"O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee. . . . We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled. . . . Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land" (Daniel 9:8, 5-6).
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: "And whiles I was speaking, and 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: "And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake" (Daniel 10:16). Whenever Daniel spoke, he spoke "as unto the Lord."
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. And 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!
|by David Wilkerson | March 20, 2012|
The longer I walk with Jesus, the more I am convinced that repentance is not just for sinners, but also for believers. It is not simply a one-time thing, but something God's people are called to do until Jesus returns.
Every Christian who maintains a repentant attitude brings upon his life God's special attention. Indeed, repentance opens up something to us that nothing else can. If we walk before the Lord with a repentant heart, we will be inundated with incredible blessings!
A repentant heart is soft, tender and pliable, and is easily molded by the Holy Spirit. It responds to and acts upon godly reproof.
The number-one characteristic of a repentant heart is a readiness to acknowledge guilt. It is a willingness to accept blame for wrongdoing, to say, "I am the one, Lord. I have sinned!"
If there is no admitting to sin, there can be no repentance: "For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of" (2 Corinthians 7:10). If you are not willing to acknowledge you are wrong, you are saying you don't need to repent.
Before Pilate released Jesus into the hands of murderous priests and elders, he wanted the world to know it wasn't his fault. He called for a basin of water, dipped his hands into it and declared himself innocent of Christ's blood before the angry mob:
"When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it" (Matthew 27:24).
The phrase, "See ye to it" here means, “Make sure you all know my hands are clean. I have done nothing wrong and I am clean from all guilt."
Pilate's hands were not clean, of course; he was about to hand over the Son of God to murderers. This kind of thinking shuts a person off from any possibility of repentance. Had a prophet approached Pilate the next day, preaching, "Repent or perish!" the ruler would have been aghast. "Who, me?" he would have asked. "I've done nothing wrong. How can I repent when I haven't sinned?"
John writes: "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. . . . If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us" (1 John 1:8, 10).
|by Gary Wilkerson | March 19, 2012|
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.
Yet 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: 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!
|by David Wilkerson | March 16, 2012|
“And, behold, an hand touched me. . . . And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright. . . . Then he said unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words" (Daniel 10:10-12).
Show me a Christian who refuses to acknowledge his sin—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. But 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!
But show me a repentant Christian—one 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 and you will be given a revelation of things to come: "[You will] understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days" (Daniel 10:14).
|by David Wilkerson | March 15, 2012|
"And [He] said . . . Fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me" (Daniel 10:19).
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).
Then Jesus came to him and touched his body and suddenly Daniel was flooded with peace and strength. "O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened" (Daniel 10:19).
Jesus told 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. Then 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!
I ask you: 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.
Best of all, each of these marvelous benefits will be "loaded" upon you daily: "Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation" (Psalm 68:19).
That is when you will know the joy of walking in repentance.