Tested by Our Falls and Failing
David Wilkerson (1931-2011)
Our failures constantly test us. I do not mean that Christians who fall back into old sins and turn back to the world are being tested. No, those believers face a shipwreck of faith. I am talking about believers who are growing in holiness and are set on following the Lord. Peter gave them a warning: “You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked” (2 Peter 3:17 NKJV).
Some of you may have taken a fall in spite of all the progress you’ve made with the Lord. For example, maybe you’ve had a family disagreement. You may say, “It was a fit of anger. I was provoked by my own family, and I blew up. I can’t understand it. I thought I was becoming a little sweeter, a little more like Jesus, but somebody pushed the wrong button, and I lost it. I’m only human.”
It doesn’t matter that you were provoked or even that you were in the right. The provoking simply proved you need deliverance. Scripture says, “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice” (Ephesians 4:31).
God is going to keep testing you until you say, “I’ve got a spirit in me that’s got to go.” You will see no growth in Christ, no peace at home or on the job, until you can say, “You’re right, Lord. Take it out!”
If you’re being tested in this area or any other area for that matter, you may be thinking, “I feel so unworthy. How much ground have I lost? Does the Lord still love me?”
Friend, if you have truly repented, you haven’t lost any ground whatsoever. God puts his loving arms around you and says, “I allowed that to happen so you would see what is in your heart, but be assured that you’re making progress. You have said you want to walk with me, and I am teaching you. I know what is inside of you and will allow you to be provoked until you are free.”
Are you being tested? If so, pray, “Lord, you have put your finger on some areas in me that need to change. Help me make those changes and encourage me that I’m not going backward. I’m going forward with you!”
A Faith that Ventures Forth
David Wilkerson (1931-2011)
Nothing honors God more than trusting him in the face of difficulties. How quickly we forget the miracles and past blessings. In Psalm 106, Israel testified about the incredible miracle as the Red Sea caved in upon the Egyptian army, drowning every soldier. “The waters covered their enemies; there was not one of them left. Then they believed his words; they sang his praise” (Psalm 106:11-12, NKJV). Sadly, the next words that follow are “They soon forgot his works; they did not wait for his counsel” (Psalm 106:13).
We cannot trust our faith to past experiences; we are too forgetful, and recall is too fragile. It is the wise person who knows that past experience alone will not be enough to strengthen them in present difficulties. We need fresh faith that is anchored in a daily supply of the Word of God.
Giving God your will and your worries requires a “venturing” faith that is a commitment of all things into his caring hands. It necessitates our going out of our comfort zone and relinquishing control to him. Each time, we must launch out into the deep and cast every care upon him.
You don’t have to read far in the Word to find inspiring examples of venturing faith. Hannah, childless and despondent, prayed daily for a child (see 1 Samuel 1:1-20). She persisted with God through her hopelessness and was rewarded with a son named Samuel, the great prophet who anointed King David. Hebrews 11 gives us a long list of those who walked by faith. Their mind-boggling stories remind us that our struggle is not a solitary one, which should both humble and uplift us. “And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises…escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens” (Hebrews 11:32-34). Such radical faith!
Every day brings opportunities to venture farther in our walk with God and develop fresh faith for the journey. Make it your daily priority to lean on him when you’re in trouble. His utter sufficiency and strength will sustain you without fail. You can count on it.
Shame: A Blessing and a Curse
Shame is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety.” Feeling ashamed can take us in one of two directions: restitution and redemption or perpetual defeat. It can be a force for good that leads to healthy living, or it can knock you down and keep you there.
Let’s consider today how guilt and shame can work together to become a strength that propels us forward. For example, we see King David who, at the height of his power, blew it in a spectacular way. Married himself, he seduced Bathsheba, wife of the mighty military leader Uriah the Hittite. When Bathsheba became pregnant, David sent Uriah into battle to be killed so he could marry Bathsheba and cover up his sin. The beloved psalmist, shepherd and now King fell far and fast, doing incalculable damage to his family.
God’s response to this sordid drama was to send the prophet Nathan to confront David, and confront he did. As recounted in 2 Samuel 12, Nathan bluntly conveyed the Lord’s displeasure and harsh judgment: the child would die.
This is where things could have ended badly. David could have waved Nathan away and hardened his heart against God, but he instead owned his guilt. He bowed his head in shame and repented, “I have sinned against the Lord” (2 Samuel 12:13, NKJV). The boy who had communed with God in the Judean hills knew that God cherishes a repentant heart. As we read in Psalm 51, after his meeting with Nathan he poured out his soul in repentance and thanksgiving. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart – these, O God, you will not despise” (Psalm 51:17). This is our perfect model for approaching God when we have sinned.
Redemptive shame carries us through failure into restoration. Its hallmark is an understanding that God views us with kindness and mercy, and that he always has our good in mind. His passion is always to draw us back into intimacy with him. Our contrition freely given is the catalyst for that restored relationship and for genuine, long-term, healthy change.
Coming Off the Mountaintop
After the mountaintop experience of the transfiguration, Jesus came down the mountain and was immediately met by a man who was in trouble (see Matthew 17:1-21).
I often have to gently let new believers know that they may be feeling on top of the world, only to get home and be assailed by unwanted thoughts or doubts about their salvation. Many times when we have enjoyed a tremendous spiritual victory, Satan is just around the corner. You go on a wonderful Christian retreat and experience the movement of the Holy Spirit, only to come home to a problem or a disaster.
Jesus came down the mountain and was met not only by a troubled father but by the demons of hell. Jesus responded, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to me” (Mark 9:19, NKJV). When you first read this verse, you assume Jesus is talking to the father. However, he could be addressing the disciples or the religious leaders who were in the crowd as well. They had all failed to help the father and his son.
There’s a type of religion in the world that has no bearing on what God is able to do. It can talk about God, just as the disciples at the bottom of the mountain could do; but without faith and the power of God, it cannot make a difference in somebody’s life. The sad reality is that you can have religion and mountaintop experiences, but if you don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ, it will get you nowhere! You’ll come to the bottom of the mountain, and an attack will knock your feet out from under you.
When we know Jesus personally, we will find that prayer is our lifeline; it’s our method of communication and our vehicle to hear from God as well. If we ignore prayer, we will find our relationship with Christ subpar, a weakened and listless faith that does not bear fruit or transform the world around us. Prayer, combined with the Word of God, is what draws us close to the Lord and builds our faith. This is how James could later write, “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16).
Carter Conlon joined the pastoral staff of Times Square Church in 1994 and was appointed Senior Pastor in 2001. In May of 2020 he transitioned into a continuing role as General Overseer of Times Square Church, Inc.
An Anchor in the Storm
David Wilkerson (1931-2011)
“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil” (Hebrews 6:19, NKJV).
The anchor referred to in this passage of scripture is hope. It is not the hope of this wicked world but rather the hope founded on God’s oath to keep, bless and govern those who trust him. It is a hope that moves us past the veil, which represents our shallow faith, into walking confidently in Christ.
This hope alone is our anchor in the storm falling on the earth at this present time. The writer of Hebrews admonished, “Do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Hebrews 6:12).
God made an oath to the “heirs of promise,” all who are in Christ. He vowed to end all strife, all doubts, so that “…we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us” (Hebrews 6:18). God has sworn to fulfill his promises, and it is impossible for him to lie. He kept his word to Abraham; he will keep his word to you as you trust him.
We need strong consolation in these times. Sometimes a pat on the back or a platitude aren’t enough. God knew that there would be moments when we needed to feel his firm hand holding ours, pulling us back from the brink of unbelief and despair. This chapter in Hebrews holds us fast and anchors us to God’s promises.
After all is said and done and all the sermons on hope have been preached, it comes down to this: Are we willing to commit everything into his hands, rest in his Word and stand without wavering in the love of God? Are you fully convinced his promises will be fulfilled?
You can take that kind of faith beyond the veil into the holy of holies!
A devotion is a quiet time that you spend praying, reading God's word, and reflecting on your relationship with Him. You might also choose to sing hymns, meditate, or write in a journal during your devotion time.What does it mean to do devotions? ›
A devotion is a quiet time that you spend praying, reading God's word, and reflecting on your relationship with Him. You might also choose to sing hymns, meditate, or write in a journal during your devotion time.What is the short devotion prayer? ›
Lord, help me trust in you for the best in everything I do because I know you have the best in stock for me and never disappoint me. You promised to take care of everything, and we should not worry; you care about me. So please, dear Lord, Take care of everything today. Amen.What are devotional activities? ›
- Listen to Christian music. Great music can really help you focus on God and His work in your life. ...
- Watch Christian music videos. ...
- Journal. ...
- Write your prayers. ...
- Memorize Scripture. ...
- Listen to Scripture. ...
- Listen to sermons. ...
- Read a devotional book.
- Jesus Calling Morning and Evening by Sarah Young.
- The Case for Christ Daily Moment of Truth by Lee Strobel.
- Quiet Times With God Devotional by Joyce Meyer.
- Prayers for Men by Chartwell Books.
- Live in Grace, Walk in Love by Bob Goff.
- Praying Through It by William Murphy.
- Choose a devotional. Using a devotional is a great way to get started and stay on track with doing daily devotions. ...
- Find a good time. In order to do devotions well, you need time to focus, read, and reflect on your study. ...
- Sit down and read carefully. ...
- Make it a habit.
Common examples of Catholic devotions include the Rosary, the Stations of the Cross, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Holy Face of Jesus, the various scapulars, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Seven Sorrows of Mary, novenas to various saints, pilgrimages and devotions to the Blessed Sacrament, and ...What is an easy verse for devotion? ›
- 1. " Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." - ...
- 2. " Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!" - ...
- 3. " Rejoice always" - 1 Thessalonians 5:16.
- 4. " Pray continually." - ...
- 5. " When I am afraid, I put my trust in you." - ...
- 6. " ...
- 7. "
Observant Jews recite the Amidah at each of three daily prayer services in a typical weekday: morning (Shacharit), afternoon (Mincha), and evening (Ma'ariv).What are the 5 basic prayer? ›
We've defined the primary types of prayer: supplication, thanksgiving, adoration, confession, and intercession.
Father, I thank you for the friends you have brought into my life. Help us to continue building our relationship, and help me be a good friend. I pray that I can learn from my friendships and from your Word how to build a closer relationship with you. In Jesus' name . . .What are the 5 items of devotional service? ›
- sādhu-saṅga, nāma-kīrtana, bhāgavata-śravaṇa.
- mathurā-vāsa, śrī-mūrtira śraddhāya sevana.
- In this verse from Chaitanya Caritamrta (Madhya Lila 22.128), Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is instructing Srila Santana Goswami about the process of devotional service.
- Hearing (sravanam)
- Chanting (kirtanam)
- Remembering (visnhu smaranam)
- Serving the Lords lotus feet (pada sevanam)
- Deity Worship (arcanam)
- Praying (vandanam)
- Carrying out the orders of the Lord (dasyam)
- Becoming friends with Him (sakhyam)
- Write down Bible verses or phrases that stick out to you. Whether you choose to read Scripture or a daily devotional (such as Today), find words that capture your attention and write them down. ...
- Reflect, write, and apply. ...
- Write a prayer. ...
- Set spiritual goals. ...
- Get creative. ...
- Keep up with it.
1. Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence. This devotional is filled with uniquely inspired treasures from heaven for every day of the year.How do I start a daily Bible devotion? ›
- 1) Pick a time of day. Start your daily devotional habit during a time when you won't be distracted. ...
- 2) Pick a place. ...
- 3) Pick a book. ...
- 4) Look for some Scripture. ...
- 5) Settle in community. ...
- 6) Keep it up. ...
- 7) Give thanks.
Devotionals are usually short. In written form, on average, they may be anywhere from 150–450 words. Be specific yet precise with your writing. Make every word count.What are the three forms of devotion? ›
Atma-Bhakti: devotion to the one's atma (Supreme Self) Ishvara-Bhakti: devotion to a formless being (God, Cosmic Lord) Ishta Devata-Bhakti: devotion to a personal God or goddess.What are the nine steps of devotion? ›
These are, shravana, kirtana, smarana, pada-sevana, archana, vandana, dasya, sakhya and atma-nivedana.What are the 2 types of devotion? ›
Devotion is of two types, conditional and unconditional.
- Pick A Place. Lying in bed with the lights off is not the best place as failure is inevitable. ...
- Pick A Time. ...
- Pick A Time Frame. ...
- Spend Time In Prayer. ...
- Spend Time in Worship. ...
- Writing in a Journal or Notebook. ...
- IMPORTANT: Make Your Daily Devotion Time a Priority. ...
- Be Flexible With Your Plan.
When Christians refer to doing their “daily devotions” or “devos” or “quiet time,” they are referencing their daily time allotted for reading the Bible and praying. Some also include in their daily devotional time: journaling, meditating, and or listening to, playing, or singing worship music.What are 3 easy scriptures? ›
- Matthew 28:6 – He is not here, he is risen!
- Romans 3:23 – for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
- Acts 5:29 – We must obey God rather than men.
- Psalm 46:10 – Be still, and know that I am God.
- Ecclesiastes 12:13 – Fear God and keep his commandments.
a. God shall likewise destroy you forever: Because the goodness of God endures continually (Psalm 52:1), Doeg and his kind would be destroyed forever. He will not always allow this kind of destructive lie to rule the day.How do I pick a Bible verse for my devotion? ›
- Write Down Your Favorite Bible Verses. Start a list of options for your personal Bible verse. ...
- Reflect on the Scripture. Read these verses aloud. ...
- Narrow Down Your Choices. ...
- Take Your Time in His Word. ...
- Ask God for His Guidance.
Help me to keep my heart pure and undivided. Protect me from my own careless thoughts, words, and actions. And keep me from being distracted by my wants, my desires, my thoughts on how things should be. Help me to embrace what comes my way as an opportunity, rather than a personal inconvenience.What 3 things to say 33 times after prayer? ›
"Allahu Akbar", "Al-hamdulillah" and "SubhanAllah" are recited 33 times each.What is the most common prayer to God? ›
The most common prayer among Christians is the "Lord's Prayer", which according to the gospel accounts (e.g. Matthew 6:9-13) is how Jesus taught his disciples to pray.What is the simplest prayer? ›
“Lord, save me” is a simple prayer, but it communicates the immensity of the needs of humanity calling out to the only power able to effect change. You as a nurse can pray this prayer for patients or clients; pray it silently, or with their permission, aloud.What is the powerful three word prayer to the Holy Spirit? ›
Lord, create in me a clean heart and a right spirit before You. Give me a new, positive, joyful, loving, and forgiving attitude toward others. Where there is anything that needs to change in me, I pray You would enable that change to happen. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Prayer for a New Day
Dear Lord, This morning as I contemplate a new day, I ask you to help me. I want to be aware of your spirit—leading me in the decisions I take, the conversations I have, and the work I do. I want to be more like you, Jesus, as I relate to the people I meet today—friends or strangers.
Short Morning Prayer: Lord, strengthen me this morning, and surround me with your favor and kindness. Thank you that during times of difficulty and distress, you will uplift me and sustain me. Thank you for being my light and salvation. Amen.What is the most powerful prayer in the Bible? ›
The Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13): “'Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.What are the 7 most powerful prayers? ›
- 1) I surrender. Jesus said, “Whoever comes to me I will never cast out” (John 6:37, ESV). ...
- 2) Bring Your kingdom; have Your way. ...
- 3) Forgive me. ...
- 4) Lead me. ...
- 5) Draw them to You. ...
- 6) Use me. ...
- 7) Make me like You.
Popular devotions are a powerful and authentic expression of the prayer life of the Church. It is appropriate to suggest perennial values that devotions have and that should continue in future forms of prayer intended for ordinary people in the Church.What are the 6 stages of devotional practice? ›
- hearing the name and glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
- chanting His glories.
- remembering the Lord.
- serving the Lord's feet.
- worshiping the Deity.
- offering obeisances unto the Lord.
- acting as the Lord's servant.
- making friends with the Lord.
Many devotionals have Scriptures in them and also the author's explanation of the passage or spiritual encouragement. Many of them last a full year and can be repeated many times over. Some build on each other, but many you can hop in at any day and still have the same impact.Is a devotional a prayer? ›
A daily devotional ends with a prayer that relates to the scripture and the reflection. The general purpose of a devotional is to encourage spiritual growth. Not all spiritual journeys are the same, so different devotionals serve different purposes.How do you start a devotion prayer? ›
A Simple Opening Prayer
Father God, we gather here today under your care and protection. Thank you for your lovingkindness that never fails us. We thank you for those with us, that you would guide our thoughts and actions to bring you glory. Strengthen us and fill us with your peace.
stands for Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer. It is a way of getting more out of your time in God's Word. The S.O.A.P method of Bible Study (for individuals or small groups) does not require a theology degree or special leadership skills.
First15 is a daily devotional that seeks to provide believers of all backgrounds with a unique experience with God in the first 15 minutes of their day. First15 is designed to help readers have an encounter with God that leads them to a sincere search to love God and others.How do you do a devotion every morning? ›
Devotions are about inviting God's presence into your day. You might sit quietly, with a steaming cup of coffee, to watch the sunrise, sharing the experience with God. Perhaps you choose to wake up by reading a spiritually evocative book. If so, ask God to join in and enlighten you.What is numbers 32 devotional? ›
In Numbers 32, the Reubenites and Gadites were comfortable where they were and did not want to cross the Jordan River into the promised land. Moses reminded the two tribes that to not help their countrymen take the land would be to disobey what God had clearly told them to do (Numbers 32:6-13).What book in the Bible should I read first for devotion? ›
The promises that are fulfilled in the rest of the Bible are first given in Genesis. In fact, just the first 11 chapters of Genesis are quoted from over 100 times in the New Testament! Reading Genesis will lay in your mind the foundation for a biblical worldview, and thus help orient you to life in general.What is the biblical meaning of devotion? ›
DEVOTION . Religious devotion is ardent affection, zealous attachment, piety, dedication, reverence, faithfulness, respect, awe, attentiveness, loyalty, fidelity, or love for, or to, some object, person, spirit, or deity deemed sacred, holy, or venerable.What does the Bible say about devotions? ›
Personal devotions help us grow in spiritual maturity. God promises that if we seek him with all our heart and soul, we will find him (Deuteronomy 4:29). And Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28 NIV).What does it mean to pray with devotion? ›
It means to continually and steadfastly pray without ceasing. We need more than a prayer list we need a prayer life! We must take prayer seriously and not casually. Paul gives us four marks of devoted prayer.What is an example of devotion prayer? ›
Dear God, please teach me how to offer you honest sacrifice. Let my efforts and sacrifice of praise come with an open mind. Do not let me hold back, but let me use my resources to honor you liberally, so that I can be qualified to obtain your favor always. For in the name of Jesus Christ I pray.What does devotion mean spiritually? ›
de·vo·tion di-ˈvō-shən. : strong religious feeling. : a religious exercise or practice other than the regular worship of a congregation. : the act of devoting or the quality of being devoted. : strong love, affection, or dedication.How do you show devotion to God? ›
- Start Your Day With Him. ...
- Pray Intentionally. ...
- Write Down Things You Are Thankful For. ...
- Notice Your Complaints and Turn Them Into Praise. ...
- Enjoy God's Creation. ...
- Love Others. ...
- Love Yourself.
These short daily devotions help us remember the important truths of what being followers of Jesus is all about. It's a designated opportunity for everyone in the building to stop and reset their minds. This dedication of time set aside for personal reflection becomes habit-forming for students and teachers.What is true devotion to God? ›
True devotion lies in worshipping without placing any demand before Him. Like a mother feeding her child without the child asking, He who is more than a mother will give what is needed to us.What are the signs of devotion? ›
- Asking if your partner is OK.
- Saying 'I love you' daily.
- Making time for intimacy.
- Saying they look nice.
- holding hands.
- Taking the mickey.
- Never going to bed on an argument.
- Surprise gifts.
These are, shravana, kirtana, smarana, pada-sevana, archana, vandana, dasya, sakhya and atma-nivedana.Is devotion for God or to God? ›
To be devoted means to cling to Jesus and steadfastly persevere with Him. Out of love and gratitude, we express our dedication to Him through three things: a passion to obey, a spirit of humility, and a servant's heart.What prayer should I say everyday? ›
Help me to keep my heart pure and undivided. Protect me from my own careless thoughts, words, and actions. And keep me from being distracted by my wants, my desires, my thoughts on how things should be. Help me to embrace what comes my way as an opportunity, rather than a personal inconvenience.