|by David Wilkerson | June 5, 2012|
Understanding how God justifies His people is not for babies, it is a truth for full-grown believers. Yet many Christians are still babies, drinking milk and refusing to go on to the meat of the Word of righteousness. All they understand is forgiveness of their sins.
"For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" (Hebrews 5:13-14).
Milk is for babies — and babies need constant attention. They feel good only when their mother is in the room, and when she leaves, they cry out with fear. They have to be able to see her, feel her, touch her in order to feel secure.
Likewise, the believer who remains on milk lives in constant dread of his salvation. He is never at ease with the heavenly Father. Instead, he's always uptight, thinking God is ready to send him to hell every time he fails. He does not know or understand his position in Christ and therefore he never knows the peace of God. He cannot believe that God is fully committed to save and keep him.
Paul says in the Word that there is meat available to us, food that will cause us to grow into maturity, to become men and women in Christ and develop into full stature as believers. Beloved, this meat is the truth concerning Christ's perfect righteousness. Understanding it allows you to remain secure in your salvation. You don't have to fear that God will forsake you every time you slip and fall. No — you will have victory!
If you do not have this truth, the devil will play havoc with your feelings. He'll lie to you and push you around. Unless you have this truth as a foundation under everything you believe, nothing will be right in your doctrine, your theology, your life. You can't even obey God until you understand it.
You have to be convinced that nothing you can ever do will produce an acceptable righteousness before God. It has to come from another source. When I stand at the judgment seat, I have no other plea but the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
|by Gary Wilkerson | June 4, 2012|
What do you do when you’re overwhelmed? What do you do when it seems the odds are against you or you don’t have enough resources?
Do you go home at night and just continue being stressed, full of anxiety and fear? If you want to get to the place where you see victory in your life, you will have to fight for it — and in the fight God will supply the strength. He will supply the resources that you need and you will come out of the fight as a worshiper of Jesus Christ.
Three years ago my father, David Wilkerson, turned the leadership of World Challenge over to me. Dad was still here to support and encourage me and if I ever got in the midst of a battle that I wasn’t quite sure how to handle, I’d call Dad. In April of 2011 he passed away in an auto accident and I find myself without that particular resource in my life to help lead World Challenge. Sometimes when challenging things happen, I feel a little bit of fear come in. What if I don’t have what it takes? What if I don’t handle this situation well?
One day as I was thinking these things, the Holy Spirit came over me and confidence dropped into my heart. I realized that if God was leading me, if He was saying, “This is the way you should go,” then all I had to do was trust Him. I don’t have to look at the black line or the red line and see where the finances are; I have to look to heaven and see what He says for me to do. And that is what we are doing. We are going to go harder than ever before; we are going to reach more people than ever before; we are going to touch more children’s lives than ever before — all because we are not going to let the enemy cause fear to come into our lives.
Some of you are in a battle right now. It might not be financial. It could be relational — even problems with your own children. Whatever the battle is, I have a good word for you — don’t give up in the battle! Don’t give up interceding! Don’t let limited resources cause you to think that somehow God is limited in power.
Don’t give up!
|by David Wilkerson | June 1, 2012|
In my younger years, I compared myself to certain others who appeared to be holy. These people seemed to be aglow — always upbeat, smiling, seeming much more Christlike than I. I never thought I measured up to their holiness, so I prayed, "Lord, make me righteous like Brother So-and-so. How wonderful it must be to live that way for You."
How wrong I was! These people were not who I thought they were. Indeed, I have learned that nothing is as it appears; no one is quite as evil or quite as good as he may seem. Rather, there is only One who is truly righteous — Jesus Christ our Lord — and His righteousness is perfect.
If we are in Christ, we have His righteousness and it is not attributed to us by degrees. No one receives more or less of it — rather, by faith we receive it in its fullness.
We are to measure ourselves by His righteousness alone and not by anyone else's supposed righteousness. "But they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. . . . According to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you" (2 Corinthians 10:12-13).
Paul is saying here, "There's a rule you can use to measure yourself. It is this: Everyone who truly repents and believes in the perfect righteousness of Christ — who comes to Him in faith, believing in His work on the cross — is made perfectly righteous in the sight of God. You may not have everything worked out yet. There is still a daily work of sanctification through the power of the Holy Spirit. But you are accepted in the beloved, imputed with the very righteousness of Christ."
Dearly beloved, it is time you stopped putting yourself either up or down as measured against others. God has imputed to you the full measure of the perfect righteousness of Christ: "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" (Ephesians 4:13).
|by David Wilkerson | May 31, 2012|
By Adam's sin, we all were made sinners and by Jesus' sacrifice, we are made righteous. Jesus ransomed us, paid the price, so that the devil would have no claim on those who repent and trust in Christ and His completed work.
All along God knew that man could not keep or fulfill His divine law. He had instituted the law to bring order to the human race, lest we destroy ourselves. The law was for our own protection; it was to make us realize that in our own strength and righteousness, we could not stand before a holy God. The law was a mirror God held up to us, saying, "Let me show you what I expect, what My justice requires. Here is My law and here is where you've failed, where you're living in sin. You have failed at this point . . . this point . . . and this point. No one is righteous enough to fulfill My law!"
The Pharisees tried to fulfill the law. They observed more than 600 regulations, from the washing of hands and pots to refusing to touch a Gentile. They tried to keep all the law, believing that one day they could stand before God and say, "I kept all Your laws. I did this, this and this. Now You are obligated to save me."
But no one can expect his good works to merit justification. God's Word answers, "If you've failed just one point of the law, you've failed the whole law!" If you expect God to accept you for your good behavior, forget it! You'll never be able to keep the whole law.
Because we couldn't meet justice's demands to fulfill God's law, Jesus came to earth and perfectly fulfilled the law of God. He never failed one point of it and He did it all out of pure motives of love. "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil" (Matthew 5:17).
When Jesus ascended to the Father, His perfect obedience had fulfilled all the demands of the law and His blood was presented in full payment for our sin. Here stood a Man in the presence of God whose righteousness was perfect and therefore acceptable to the Father.
|by David Wilkerson | May 30, 2012|
When Elijah went up to heaven, he left Elisha his cloak (2 Kings 2:13). Likewise, when Jesus went up to the Father, He left us His own garment — His perfect righteousness. He cast it upon us, as surely as Elijah cast his garment upon Elisha. The prophet's action was a type and shadow of what was going to happen when Jesus was translated to the Father. Indeed, we are heirs to a wonderful garment of righteousness that covers us completely, making us acceptable in God's holy presence!
This garment is our inheritance and God expects us to value it. He expects us to seek after it, to be willing heirs to His legacy. You may remember what happened when King Ahab came against Naboth, coveting his vineyard. Naboth valued his vineyard so much, he rejected Ahab's offer to buy it, saying, "The Lord forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee" (1 Kings 21:3). He was saying, "God forbid that anyone should take my inheritance from me. It's mine!"
I believe the most important thing you can seek from God is the understanding that this inheritance is yours and it is waiting to be claimed. The knowledge of the perfect righteousness of Jesus will put you on a rock that is unshakable. It will end all your useless struggles and put you in God's presence justified and accepted.
If God has provided you with an inheritance whereby you can stand before Him with perfect righteousness in Jesus Christ, then you should want it. It should be an inheritance nobody can take from you. No lie of the devil should be able to remove it from your spirit, no man should be able to steal it from you, and no emotion should drain you of it.
Because God said it, you must lay hold of it! You need to seek it, go after it, allow your soul no rest until you get your hands on it. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33).
|by David Wilkerson | May 29, 2012|
God accepts only one kind of righteousness — perfect righteousness. Nothing else will stand in His presence on Judgment Day. Unless our righteousness is absolutely perfect, He cannot save us, justify us, recognize or accept us. This perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ our Lord can be had only by faith.
The writer of Hebrews introduces us to the truth that this righteousness is the inheritance of all true believers. It is something Jesus has left for us, something that belongs to us, a legacy: "By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith" (Hebrews 11:7).
Noah became an heir not by building an ark, but by what he believed and preached. He grasped this knowledge of righteousness which God had revealed to him — a righteousness that is by faith — and he became an heir of a perfect righteousness!
Beloved, you and I were given a great inheritance when Christ departed the earth. He left us a title and deed to His very own perfect righteousness. Of course, Jesus lived in absolute poverty while on this earth; He owned no land, had no money. But He left us riches greater than the diamond mines of South Africa; greater than the oil fields in the Middle East; greater than the gold and silver buried under America's mountains. Jesus gave us an inheritance that can make us far richer than any person on the face of the earth. It is an inheritance to a perfect righteousness that allows us to stand before God without condemnation.
Once you understand this inheritance, you can stand against every devil in hell. Satan will not be able to accuse you before the Father, before your brethren, before your own conscience, because you are an heir to the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ!
|by Gary Wilkerson | May 28, 2012|
“And Gideon came to the Jordan and crossed over, he and the 300 men who were with him, exhausted yet pursuing” (Judges 8:4, ESV).
Judges 7:1 tells us that Gideon and his 32,000 men were about to go to war with the Midianites who had well over 100,000 soldiers. Those are not good odds.
God said to Gideon and his men, “If any of you are weary or distraught or discouraged or fearful or timid, I want you to go home” (see Judges 7:3).
We see that 22,000 left and 10,000 remained and the Lord said to Gideon, “The people are still too many. Take them down to the water, and I will test them for you there, and anyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ shall go with you, and anyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ shall not go” (Judges 7:4, ESV).
So now it’s 300 against 100,000!
Late at night with only 300 soldiers left, Gideon went to the camp of the Midianites and heard two Midianite soldiers talking. One soldier said to the other, “I had a dream. It was like a piece of tumbleweed was blowing around and when it blew through our camp it knocked all of our tents and armory down.” The other soldier answered, “That is Gideon and his soldiers tearing down our camp” (7:13-14).
What he heard brought such an encouragement to the soul of Gideon that he began to believe that he could win this battle. What is his response?
“As soon as Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, he worshiped” (7:15).
Gideon began to worship! God’s goal in bringing us to a place of victory in the midst of our struggle, in the midst of our pain, is to cause us to exalt and worship Jesus Christ.
God is not after just the victory in your life — helping you in your finances, helping you find a job, helping with your marriage. He will help you with all those things, of course, but what God really wants is a people who worship Him.
|by David Wilkerson | May 25, 2012|
I believe I am speaking to a number of godly people who love Jesus with all their heart and who are at a point of deep despair.
What is the way to victory?
1. Dive into God's Word. Lay hold of your special promise, take it into the secret prayer closet, and hold God to it. I present my favorite promises to God whenever I cry out to Him:
- "What man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" (Matthew 7:9-11).
Ask the Lord for good things for He is waiting to give them to you. Ask Him to set you free, to take away all your shame, to remove all the stain of sin. He longs to do it for you.
- "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen" (Ephesians 3:20-21).
Take this promise to God every day, saying, "Father, You said You would do well above everything I ask so today I'm asking You to over-answer my prayer." God is pleased by such faith!
2. Trust the Holy Spirit. The Father has sent His Spirit to reside in your heart but you must acknowledge that He is within you to answer. God doesn't have to send an angel to speak to you; He has already put His resources within you — the Holy Spirit Himself.
Say to Him, "Holy Spirit, You know the way out of this mess. I don't. It's completely beyond me. So I'm resigning right now and I give direction of my life to You. I know that what I'm going through is not uncommon to believers and I am going to hold the Lord to His great and precious promises. And then I will trust You to do the rest because You know the very mind of God!"
Dearly beloved, if you make this simple confession, you will know times of refreshing from the Lord. Even when you are ready to give up, He remains faithful to deliver you.
|by David Wilkerson | May 24, 2012|
Perhaps like Paul, you are being pressed beyond measure, tested beyond your endurance. Your strength is nearly gone, and you are on the brink of giving up. You want to run, but there is no place to go. Now you say with Paul, "This is above my strength!"
So, what is the way to victory? All I can tell you is how God continues to bring me out. Here are two important truths He has given me:
1. Don't think you are experiencing some strange, unique battle. On the contrary, you are in good company. Recall Job, Jeremiah, Elijah, David, Paul — even me. What you are going through is common to believers throughout the centuries.
"Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy" (1 Peter 4:12-13).
2. When you think you can't go on another hour — when everything looks absolutely hopeless — cry out to God with all that is in you, "Lord, help!" Consider the counsel of the psalmist in the following verses:
- "As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice. He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me" (Psalm 55:16-18).
- "I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. . . . In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears" (18:1-2, 6).
- "O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me. O Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit" (30:2-3).
Here is a key verse: "For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper" (72:12). Jesus has sent the Holy Spirit to be your helper and He will not turn a deaf ear to your cry for help!
|by David Wilkerson | May 23, 2012|
“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock” (Matthew 7:24).
Beloved, you are not building on the rock if you need a preacher to thunder at you to obey God — if you need a set of do's and don'ts. You don't need a book of rules, you need a passionate love for Jesus. You need to be so in love with Him that you know what pleases Him.
The more you love Him, the easier it is to serve and obey Him. You will no longer care what the world says about you. You can answer, "I've heard from my Father and I'm doing the good pleasure of His heart!"
When your heart is enraptured with Jesus, such obedience naturally flows out. You won't have to constantly go before the Lord, crying, "Oh, God, break the power of the devil over me!" All those chains will begin to fall off as you get to know His heart!
Are you in love with Jesus? If your answer is yes, then I have several questions for you: How can you go throughout the week without spending time in His Word? How can you not yearn to get alone with Him in prayer? How can you not have a time of love talk with your Father, praising and worshiping Him, seeking to learn what pleases Him? These are foundational to obedience.
Jesus tells us, "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him" (John 14:21). What an incredible promise — all based on an obedience of love.
Search the gospels and get to know Jesus' words as recorded in Matthew 5-7, beginning with the Sermon on the Mount. As you learn His words, do them! God's commandments are not grievous; they are not a heavy burden laid upon us. On the contrary, obeying them becomes easier the more you grow to love Him.
That is building your house upon the rock! Then, when the storm comes, you can stand unafraid. Nothing will move you because you are walking in loving, pleasing obedience to the Father.