Walking Daily with God

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

The first book of scripture tells us of a man who should inspire our walk with God. “So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him” (Genesis 5:23-24, NKJV). Our brother Enoch had no Bible, no songbook, no fellow members, no teacher, no indwelling Holy Spirit, no rent veil with access to the Holy of Holies, but he knew God! 

“But without faith it is impossible to please him, for he who comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). How do we know that Enoch believed God was a rewarder? Because we know that is the only faith that pleases God, and we know that Enoch pleased him. God is a remunerator, one who pays well for faithfulness. How does the Lord reward his diligent ones?

There are three important rewards that come by believing God and walking with him in faith.

  1. 1. God’s control of our lives. When we neglect the Lord, we soon spin out of control as the devil moves in and takes over. If only we would fall in love with Jesus! God would soon show us that Satan has no real dominion over us, and we would quickly allow Christ to control us.

  2. 2. Having a “pure light.” When we walk with the Lord, we are rewarded with light, direction, discernment and revelation — a certain “knowing” that God gives us — that will guide us through life. 

  3. 3. Protection from all our enemies. Scripture promises, “No weapon formed against you shall prosper” (Isaiah 54:17). In the original Hebrew, this verse is translated as “No plan, no instrument of destruction, no satanic artillery shall push you or run over you, but it will be done away with.”

Enoch learned to walk pleasingly before God in the midst of a wicked society. He was an ordinary man with all the same problems and burdens we carry. Each day as he walked with the Lord, though, he became less attached to the things below. When we live this way, we obey Christ’s command, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23).

God’s Purposes in Overcoming Enemies

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

In 2 Kings, we read about the Syrian army besieging the city of Samaria. The Syrians simply camped outside the city, waiting for the Samaritans to starve. Conditions grew so desperate that women were offering their children to be boiled for food. It was sheer insanity (see 2 Kings 6:24-33).

Four lepers who were living by the city gates finally said to themselves, “Why are we sitting here until we die?...Now therefore, come, let us surrender to the army of the Syrians. If they keep us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall only die” (2 Kings 7:3–4, NKJV). There was such despair. They saw no way through this trial. They didn’t believe God’s word that he would save them, so they were ready to surrender themselves to their enemies.

When they arrived in the Syrian camp, everything was deathly still. They searched every tent, but everyone was gone. Scripture explains, “For the Lord had caused the army of the Syrians to hear the noise of chariots and the noise of horses—the noise of a great army….Therefore they arose and fled at twilight, and left the camp intact—their tents, their horses, and their donkeys—and they fled for their lives” (2 Kings 7:6–7).

When the lepers realized this, they went throughout the camp eating and drinking and then they started hiding the great treasures God had provided.

“Then they said to one another, ‘We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, and we remain silent. If we wait until morning light, some punishment will come upon us…’ So they went and called the gatekeepers of the city…” (2 Kings 7:9-10). The Lord had turned the whole situation around and had given resources to restore and refresh his people. It was an enormous victory, but it wasn’t meant to touch only a few people. These blessings were meant to be shared.

Those who are the Lord’s people are promised glorious victory over the enemy, but God’s work on our behalf isn’t meant to stop with us. God wants you to know, “I am going to make you more than an overcomer. I’m working out an even greater purpose in you for my kingdom. You are intended to bring my blessings to countless people who are under the shadow of despair and death. You will bring them good news!”

The Spoils of Spiritual Warfare

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

Many Christians think that once they’re saved, their struggles are over, that life will be smooth sailing. Nothing could be further from the truth. God not only allows our battles, but he has a glorious purpose for them in our lives.

What are “spoils of warfare”? Spoils are plunder or goods taken in battle by the victors. David had a reverent attitude toward spoils taken in warfare. We see it in a decree he set forth toward the end of his life. He gathered the nation’s leaders together to set up a divine order for sustaining God’s house. What resources would they use for this holy work? “Some of the spoils won in battles they dedicated to maintain the house of the Lord” (1 Chronicles 26:27, ESV).

After every military victory, David took back spoils of gold, silver, brass, timber, money too vast to count, and he stockpiled them with one purpose in mind: to use these spoils as resources for building the temple.

When scripture speaks of maintaining the temple, the original Hebrew means “to repair the house, to strengthen and consolidate what was built.” These resources were meant to create and maintain the temple’s splendor.

Where is God’s temple today? It’s made up of his people: you, me and his church worldwide. According to Paul, our bodies are temples of the Holy Ghost (see 1 Corinthians 6:19). Like ancient Israel, our Lord still maintains his temple through spoils gained in battle. That’s why our trials are meant for more than just survival. Through every battle, God is laying aside resources and wealth for us. Those spoils are dedicated to building up and maintaining his body, the church of Jesus Christ.

Here is the principle God wants us to lay hold of: Our Lord is interested in much more than simply making us victors. We’re to emerge from battle with wagonloads of resources. This is what Paul refers to when he says, “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).

We find this principle of “supply through battle” throughout God’s Word. God’s house remained vibrant and alive because his people have emerged from every conflict not just victorious but rich in resources.

A Different Type of Disciple

Gary Wilkerson

Paul wrote to Timothy, “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:6-7, ESV).

Two chapters later, Paul says “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty” (2 Timothy 3:1). The King James Bible says “perilous” even; it’s probably a stronger word. In the last days, there will be perilous times coming on the face of the earth.

What does discipleship look like in times of turmoil and oppression? When Paul wrote to this young man in 2 Timothy, he was in prison and he was warning that perilous times were about to be unleashed not only around the world but in Ephesus.

Paul’s prediction came true for Timothy; it wasn’t long after that that Emperor Domitian set up his capital in Ephesus, and he required that all who came to Ephesus to burn incense to him. They had to put a little bit of ash on their arm and forehead afterward to say, “I just burned incense to King Domitian.” Then they would go into the marketplace where they bought food, clothes to keep warm and coal for cooking meals for their children and families. Unless these people had sacrificed to Domitian and put the mark on their foreheads or hands, they couldn’t enter the market where all of these vital supplies for everyday living were sold.

In the last days, there are going to be difficult, perilous times, and you have to stay pure. You have to stay holy, but it’s going to cost you. You can’t sacrifice your life to idols or to the lords of this world. Paul was asking Timothy to have a fearless spirit in the midst of a perilous time. He was telling him, “You are to be a different type of disciple.”

“As for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it…. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:14, 16-17).

God has promised to equip us through his Word. Once we put on a spirit not of fear but of power and once we are trained in righteousness, we will be ready to face the days of evil and oppression.

Laying Down a Straight Stick

Jim Cymbala

The great preacher Charles Spurgeon once said in his sermon Smoking Flax, “You and I will best put down error by preaching truth. If we preach up Christ, the devil goes down. If a crooked stick is before you, you need not explain how crooked it is: lay a straight one down by the side of it, and the work is well done. Preach the truth, and error will stand abashed in its presence.”

God didn’t call us to critique everyone. God called us to bear good fruit. Jesus tells the religious leaders of his day, “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8, ESV), and then he tells his disciples “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15), essentially to bear fruit in this practical way.

All kinds of people have become skilled at doing church or reading books or doing praise and worship, but to see a soul converted — that’s another whole thing, isn’t it? How many of you genuinely want to see more souls get saved through your church? You’ve got to get to the place where you won’t accept being unfruitful. No person can make this happen in you. If you’re content just to go to church and live your life, I’m not going to argue with you.

But everyone whom God ever used got to a point of desperation and said, “I’d rather not live, if I can’t see fruit.” No man or woman who was mightily used by God didn’t first come to a crisis and then break through into fruitfulness.

We can all give our opinions on the future of the church or the mark of the beast. We can go off into Christian fantasy and faith talk, into positional theology to the point of no relationships with experience. So who’s going to get the guy smoking weed off of drugs? Who’s going to see Jesus change the immoral person, regardless of whether they’re straight or gay? This is why we still talk about Wesley and D. L. Moody, not because of their interesting theological positions but because they bore fruit.

God has used different kinds of people from all kinds of backgrounds to further his kingdom because they’re obedient to God’s call to bear good fruit. So let’s start truly living out the gospel today.

Jim Cymbala began the Brooklyn Tabernacle with less than twenty members in a small, rundown building in a difficult part of the city. A native of Brooklyn, he is a longtime friend of both David and Gary Wilkerson.