Hearts Captive By the Saviour’s Love

“Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles. He will not cry out, nor raise His voice, nor cause His voice to be heard in the street” (Isaiah 42:1-3).

This passage is all about Jesus. The Holy Spirit had moved upon the prophet Isaiah to bring forth a revelation of what Christ would be like when he comes and the image that comes forth from these verses is clear: Christ would not come with a loud clamor or noise. Rather, he would come as a tender, loving Savior.

We read the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy in Matthew 12:14 where we see the Pharisees planning to kill Jesus because he had healed a man on the Sabbath. When Jesus found out about it, he “withdrew from there.” He did not retaliate in anger or try to get revenge, although he could have summoned a legion of angels to deal with his enemies on the spot.

This tender spirit, Matthew says, reveals the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy: “He will not quarrel nor cry out, nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets” (Matthew 12:19). So, what did Jesus do after he quietly withdrew from Jerusalem? The Word says he immediately went outside the city and continued to heal all who crowded in on him: “Great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all” (12:15).

Jesus instructed the people, “Don’t tell anyone about the miracles you see.” Even after healing two blind men, Christ told them to keep it to themselves (Matthew 9:30). You see, Jesus did not want the people following him for his miracles. He wanted their devotion because his tender words had captured their hearts.

Jesus wanted everyone, including every future generation, to know he came into the world as a Savior: “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17). Today, focus on the Savior’s love and his great gift of salvation for all mankind.

David Wilkerson

Ignorant of the Power of God’s Spirit (David Wilkerson)

We can often possess something valuable without fully appreciating its worth or significance. The story is told of a farmer wo worked his small farm his entire life, tilling the rocky soil year after year. At his death, the farm was passed down to his son who continued plowing the ground — but the son found a gold-streaked nugget in the soil. The land was full of gold and he instantly became a wealthy man. Yet that wealth was lost on his father, even though it was on the land his whole life.

So it is with the Holy Spirit. Many of us live in ignorance of what we have, of the power that resides in us. Some Christians live their entire lives thinking they have the Holy Spirit, yet they have not truly received him in fullness and power. He is not accomplishing in them the eternal work he was sent to do.

Some believers seek the Holy Spirit only when they are in trouble and want him to manifest his power. They hope he will come down and sweep away their problems. But Peter says that is not the truth about the Spirit. According to him, we have the treasure within us: “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).

At the Jordan River, John the Baptist told the Pharisees, “I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know” (John 1:26). Those religious leaders saw Jesus in the flesh, and they heard him speak, but they had no understanding of who he was. They did not know about his power and glory. Likewise, Jesus asked his own disciple, Philip, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip?” (John 14:9).

How long have you testified that you have been filled with the Holy Spirit? Has he been with you many years and yet you really don’t know him? He is the One who brings us through hard times with a testimony of joyful endurance. Our greatest witness to the world is being a Christian who has cast his every burden on the Holy Spirit.

David Wilkerson

Is It Right for You to Be Angry? (David Wilkerson)

Carrying around resentment against God is one of the most dangerous things a Christian can do. Yet I am shocked by the number of believers who are peeved at the Lord. They may not admit it, but deep inside, they hold some kind of grudge against him. Why? Because they believe he is not interested in their lives or problems. Because he has not answered a particular prayer or acted in a certain way on their behalf, they are convinced he does not care.

Jonah received a call from God to go to Ninevah and preach the message of judgment: the city would be destroyed in forty days. After faithfully delivering the message, Jonah waited for God to begin the destruction. But forty days passed and nothing happened. Why? Because Ninevah repented and God changed his mind about destroying them.

This angered Jonah and he cried out against God, “You’ve betrayed me! You’ve changed everything without telling me and I look like a false prophet!” Jonah was disappointed because things hadn’t gone as planned. God had changed course and Jonah’s pride was hurt.

God understands our cries of pain and confusion. But a peeved spirit can grow into rage and God will ask us, as he asked Jonah, “Is it right for you be angry?” (Jonah 4:9).

Jonah actually defended his right to be annoyed with God. “I have every right to be angry, even to the day I die” (same verse).

Many Christians are like Jonah — they feel they have a right to be mad at God. “I pray and read my Bible; I obey God’s Word and live right. So why do I still have so many problems?”

Beloved, I encourage you to allow God’s Spirit to heal you of all bitterness, rage, resentment — before it destroys you. You may see only ruin in your life but God sees restoration! He has good things in mind for you because “He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

David Wilkerson

A Dangerous Habit (David Wilkerson)

I once preached a sermon about our need to show love to those closest to us. I spoke about the sinfulness of being easily provoked — and the Holy Spirit convicted me of that very sin in my own life. I have learned that when the Holy Spirit speaks, it pays to listen. I repented immediately and then, after much prayer and seeking God, I was convinced I had victory over that weakness.

I “walked in victory” for about four days when a phone conversation with a close friend unexpectedly ignited anger and indignation in me. I became so bothered that I could hardly stay focused on the Lord and I began to blame the devil for using my friend to hurt me. “God, the devil was using him to provoke me to sin.”

God was not going to let me get away with that attitude and he spoke to me in a still, small voice, “David, you are indulging your flesh. You are letting your past hurts and disappointments control you — and what you are doing is dangerous.”

It hit me that my agitation was not the direct result of that hurtful conversation, it was because I had fallen back into an old habit I thought I had conquered — letting things simmer inside me (See Ephesians 4:26-27). When this realization hit me, I wept before the Lord, “Will I never learn? You gave me this message and I preached it to a large crowd of people, but I haven’t been walking in victory in that area myself.”

I felt like a runner who had fallen in the race and I cried out, “Lord, I want so much to win the prize of being conformed to your likeness (See Romans 8:29). After all these years of walking with you, I still don’t come near the mark. Oh, God, I want to be like Jesus!”

Obey the faithful voice of the Holy Spirit and seek the face of the Lord. You will be amazed at how quickly he will restore you to victory.

David Wilkerson

What Directs Your Life? (David Wilkerson)

Christians today live in a time of great light. The Holy Spirit has revealed to us the powerful meaning of Jesus’ work on the cross, and the incredible blessings this means to our lives. Yet there was a time when Christ’s wonderful work was obscured from the world. That period was known as the Dark Ages because the meaning of the cross was veiled from the eyes of humanity.

Sermons during the Dark Ages focused on God’s wrath and damnation. Popes and priests preached a gospel of works and the people performed a variety of acts to try to find peace with God. People knew nothing of the benefits and blessings available through Christ’s victory at Calvary.

Even today, with all the teaching available on the subject, the majority of Christians still do not understand many important aspects of Christ’s work for us and what it means to be “in Christ.” The fact is, being in Christ is the only foundation upon which true holiness and righteousness can be built. Without this foundation, we will rely on our flesh to try to produce a form of holiness in ourselves. But true holiness is obtained only through knowing the riches of God in Christ Jesus.

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in the present age” (Titus 2:11-12). Only God’s grace can teach us the kind of theology that leads to holiness. And no works can ever produce that!

You are in Christ if you govern your life by the scriptures. Do you revere and fear God’s Word? Do you go daily to the mirror of scripture to be changed by it? “Whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him” (1 John 2:5).

Your Best Work is Ahead of You (David Wilkerson)

Looking back over my life, I am amazed as I recall the sorrows, deep waters, and flaming fires I have endured. Even the memory of some of these experiences is painful. Yet, I can say with assurance, “God’s Word is true. He brought me out of every trial and I praise him!”

I am certain that many of you reading this can describe many troubles in your past and you have a story to tell. What would your story sound like? If you love Jesus with all your heart, your testimony likely would be, “God has always brought me through. I never went completely under and those things are behind me now. I’m still here and I’m still praising the Lord!”

God is not satisfied with merely a heartfelt “thank you” from us, however. He says, “Wait just a moment, my child. I didn’t bring you through all your challenges just to make you a grateful overcomer. No, I have made a big investment in you and I won’t let you waste your experiences. Your best work is ahead of you!”

When Paul was an older man with years of experience, he spoke to his friends from his heart: “The most wonderful thing for me right now would be to go home and be with my Lord. That is my true desire. But I’m a veteran and I know I am needed here. This generation needs to see a sufferer who survives and rejoices in any affliction. Others are going to face all that I have faced and they need to know that God will bring them through. I not only have survived but I have done so with true hope. I rejoice in the Lord for all he has done for me” (see Philippians 1:21-26).

Do not let your sufferings be in vain. Be determined to learn more about God’s love and faithfulness in the midst of this.

David Wilkerson

The Precious Blood of Jesus Christ

Without a doubt, the blood of Jesus Christ is the most precious gift our heavenly Father has given to us. Christians used to sing about the power of the blood in a favorite old song that said, “There is power, power, wonder-working power in the precious blood of the Lamb.”

I fear, however, that we fail to comprehend the great significance of the blood of Jesus. While it is true that through his blood we are made free from the bondage of iniquity — all our sins are covered — there is much more virtue and value in the preciousness of his blood.

Most Christians know that Jesus shed his blood for us. When Christ lifted the cup at the last Passover, he said, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you” (Luke 22:20). We memorialize his sacrifice every time we participate in communion. But in Scripture the blood is spoken of in two ways: bloodshed and blood sprinkled.

A familiar example of the “blood sprinkled” is when the Israelites were commanded to take hyssop, dip it in the blood of a slain lamb, and sprinkle it on the lintel and side-posts of their front door for protection from the death angel. The house with the blood applied was then passed over unharmed (see Exodus 12:22-23). If the blood had simply sat in the basin, it would have had no effect. It had to be applied — sprinkled — in order to achieve efficacy.

This blood in Exodus 12 is a type of the blood of Christ. The blood that flowed at Calvary was not wasted — it did not fall to the ground and disappear. It was collected in a heavenly fountain, ready to be sprinkled on the doorposts of your heart, not only for forgiveness but also for protection against all the destroying powers of Satan. Proclaim the victory of Jesus’ blood in your life and begin praising him in a new way!

David Wilkerson