Trained in Spiritual Warfare (Gary Wilkerson)

When you met Jesus, you became a new creation with a new spirit, a new mind, a new heart. However, even though you became a follower of Jesus and your whole world changed, the spirit of the world around you did not change. In fact, the powers of darkness became aligned against you.

We see in 1 Samuel 17:1 that “the Philistines gathered their armies together to battle, and were gathered at Socoh.” Every believer knows that the forces of darkness are arrayed against the followers of Jesus. The powers of the enemy gather around those who walk in the authority of the Holy Spirit and they begin to encounter difficulties in a new dimension. You see, the enemy is determined that you will fail in your new relationship with Jesus and every demon in hell has been given an assignment to attack you.

These attacks may manifest as depression or discouragement or overwhelming fear. Some of you may begin to experience new tensions in your marriage or increased financial difficulties. If your battle comes on you unexpectedly, you may wonder, “What’s happening? Does God love me? Will I survive?”

I am happy to give you good news! When you experience the elevation of the powers of darkness against you, be assured that God is allowing it temporarily so that he can train you in spiritual warfare. When you recognize that your human efforts cannot defeat the enemy, God steps in when you cry out to him. This is exactly what happened with David when he triumphed over the giant Goliath. “For the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands” (1 Samuel 17:47).

David was anointed and prevailed over a formidable foe, just as you will when you seek God’s help. When Jesus moves forward and conquers the giant in your life, you will be filled with power, courage and strength from the Lord.

Gary Wiklerson

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A Genuine Desire to Please God (David Wilkerson)

“I do nothing of myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him” (John 8:28-29).

Jesus did everything out of pleasure for his heavenly Father. It is important to understand the motive out of which our obedience springs, because if our heart is not pure, everything will be polluted.

Consider the father of a teenage son who has to correct his child. The scenario may be tense as the father confronts his son about bad companions, bad behavior, careless choices. And then the father issues an ultimatum: either change your behavior or find another place to live. The son responds in one of two ways: he submits to the correction with a contrite spirit and changes his behavior willingly or he begrudgingly changes his behavior in order to avoid the punishment.

The obedience of a disgruntled child is not satisfying because his compliance stems from a fear of his father’s wrath. There is no pleasure or love in the action; on the contrary, he is angry and frustrated because he perceives that his father is infringing upon his freedom and trying to cramp his lifestyle.

The sad truth is, many Christians in these last days obey God only because they are afraid they will go to hell if they don’t. They fear the Father’s wrath and their obedience to him is “legal” only. They have no genuine desire to please him.

Jesus’ desire to please his Father came out of his relationship with him. He shut himself up in prayer and his one great prayer was, “Father, what do you want? What will bring you pleasure? What can I do to fulfill the desire of your heart?”

That is the attitude of the person who has the Spirit of Christ!

David Wilkerson
(1931-2011)

Whom Have You Blessed Lately? (David Wilkerson)

The surest evidence that the Lord’s hand of blessing is on you is that others are being blessed through you. God said to Abraham, “[In] blessing I will bless you … In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 22:17-18). In other words, “The reason I am blessing you, Abraham, is that you can bless all the nations.”

Few of us are called to bless entire nations, of course, but each of us has a circle of family, friends and colleagues. How many in your circle are being blessed by what the Lord is doing in you? Is the glory of your relationship with Jesus overflowing to those around you? Are your friends and family being blessed by Christ in you? Whom have you blessed lately?

When you begin to bless others in the midst of your trials, you will know that God’s hand of blessing is on you. This is what happened with David. When his enemies showed him no mercy, he testified, “Let them curse, but You bless; when they arise, let them be ashamed, but let Your servant rejoice” (Psalm 109:28). David cried out to God for help and blessing as his enemies cursed him.

Jesus commands us, “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). If you can keep this word, you are surely blessed of the Lord.

Another sure sign that you are being blessed is that you are being drawn closer to the Lord. God never blessed anyone without drawing that person closer to himself. If you look around and find yourself lacking in certain gifts that you see in others, you can rest assured that as you draw near to him, he will bless you with many spiritual blessings. Come to him in faith. He delights in blessing you!

David Wilkerson
(1931-2011)

Jesus is Praying for You (David Wilkerson)

Jesus prayed constantly. He went to the mountains to pray; he sought places of solitude for prayer. He prayed in the morning and in the evening. In fact, Jesus said he did nothing without hearing it first from his Father — in prayer.

John 17 is all about Jesus’ prayer for his disciples and his people — all who followed him and believed in him. Yet, Jesus prayed not only for his followers, but “for those who will believe in Me through their [the disciples’] word” (verse 20). What a powerful truth. The phrase “those who will believe in Me” includes you and me!

Beloved, Jesus was praying for us when he walked this earth in the flesh but this prayer did not vanish into thin air. It has been burning on God’s altar all this time and God has accepted his Son’s prayer for each of us. Centuries ago we were on his mind; he even recorded this prayer in his Word, knowing we would be reading it.

Right now Jesus is praying for transgressors who have not yet turned to him. Scripture says he can save to the uttermost — “to the end of time” — all who will ever come to him.

Throughout my years of ministry I have seen many addicts gloriously saved and each time, I think to myself, “This one had to have had a praying mother or an interceding grandmother, and God is answering the prayers of those holy warriors.” But now I understand something even better than that. Jesus was praying for them all along! “I pray … for those who will believe in Me through their word” (John 17:9, 20).

If you have been running from the Lord, you will never get away from his prayers. The Father answers his Son and all who resist him, continuing in their sinful ways, are hardening their hearts to the prayers of Christ — who prayed for them on earth, and is praying for them still.

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

Waning Fervor for God (Gary Wilkerson)

In writing to the Corinthian church, the apostle Paul shares his perception that their fervor for God is waning. Some of their ambition is shifting, moving off-center, and their focus is not clear, so he sends them a letter of strong correction.

“Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! … We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things. I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children” (1 Corinthians 4:8, 10-14).

Scholars tell us that the Corinthian church was probably the wealthiest of all the New Testament churches. Their location afforded them many opportunities for great wealth from the shipping industry. Paul was pointing out to them that they seemed to be too much like the society around them; while they had all these great things going for them, something was missing. Even with all their outward success, inside something was wrong.

What was going on in this church? Paul was not admonishing them for being prosperous or implying that being impoverished was somehow superior. No! He was pointing out that their focus was all wrong. They were trying to fulfill their hearts’ desires with the things of this world rather than pursuing God first. In other words, they were looking for love in all the wrong places. And because of this, their lives lacked impact for his kingdom. Likewise, today, we must be careful not to become distracted by pursuits that take us away from a clear vision of Jesus!

Gary Wilkerson

The True Message of Grace

The heart of the true message of grace is not a permissive gospel but one that teaches holiness!

“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, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:11-13).

According to Paul, we are not walking in grace until we have broken from worldly corruptions. Unless we are endeavoring through the power of the Holy Spirit to lead godly and righteous lives, looking for the Lord’s coming in our every waking moment, then we do not know God’s grace.

Too many Christians want forgiveness — but that’s all. They do not want to be delivered from this present world because they love it. They are attached to their sins and do not want to give up the pleasures of this world. So they cling to a doctrine that says, “I can live as I please — as long as I say that I believe.” Sadly, these Christians do not want to hear about obedience, repentance or self-denial. They would rather live in this world without restraint.

Paul writes, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2). We are to break from this world completely and be conformed to Christ alone!

Jesus justifies us through faith for a purpose — to embolden and empower us to resist the devil and overcome the world, in the power of God’s Spirit. Yes, Jesus died for us so that we could have eternal life but he also died so that we could enjoy deliverance in and from this present evil world.

“[Jesus Christ] gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father’ (Galatians 1:4)

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)