So you need to choose wisely.
With her first devotional book, Priscilla Shirer makes your choice easy. For even though she’s written multiple best-selling books and Bible studies, including the 2016 ECPA “Christian Book of the Year” (Fervent), even though she regularly speaks to thousands at conference venues and churches around the world, even though she was the lead actress in a #1 box-office feature film (War Room) . . . It all starts for Priscilla where it all starts for you.
Alone with God. Alone with His Word. Eager to hear His voice. Prepared to humbly and obediently respond. She hopes, more than anything else, that the daily insights you receive in these pages will challenge, encourage, and strengthen you in every way.
These ninety devotions from the heart of a mom, wife, encourager, and friend will Awaken you each day with fresh insights gleaned from the Spirit of God. Ready to help you mine the treasures of Scripture and fortify you for the day ahead.
This devotional is . . . a good choice.
|Publisher:||B&H Publishing Group|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||3 MB|
|Age Range:||3 Months to 18 Years|
About the Author
Priscilla Shirer is a Bible teacher and conference speaker with a Master’s degree in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. Also a popular author, her books include the New York Times Best-Seller, The Resolution for Women, One in a Million, and Life Interrupted. She is also the lead character in the War Room movie. Priscilla is married to Jerry with whom she founded Going Beyond Ministries. They have three sons and live in Dallas, Texas.
Read an Excerpt
— Day 1 —
They gathered it morning by morning, every man as much as he should eat; but when the sun grew hot, it would melt.
There's something about what happens once the sun warms up. The heat of the day's trials. The energy-stealing blaze of its pressures and events. Worries can intervene in those afternoon hours, when time is racing past so quickly, when we're certain we can't handle them within the amount of daylight that's left to us. Sometimes such stresses can be overwhelming and brazen enough to melt us in our tracks, causing the strength and resolve of our hearts to weaken and disappear.
And while this reality is as current and relevant as the day you're living right now, it's also as old as an entire generation of Old Testament Israelites. They emerged from their tents at first light each morning, eager to gather God's gift of manna that He had strewn across the ground overnight. This was a critical part of their day. An appointed activity. For they knew, once the sun ascended toward its towering position in the sky, this bread from heaven would melt away. Yes, the collection in their bowl would be more than ample for the day's requirements. They would be able to serve their families and be assured of God's provision, based on the abundant measure of what He'd given them. But they would need to wait until next morning before they'd find it new again, ready for another day's work.
Perhaps this ancient illustration depicts for us the reason why our hearts so often stir for a fresh word from God — fresh bread — early in the morning, before the heat of the day has set in.
I realize not everyone is a morning person. I realize, too, depending on your stage of life and your weekly schedule, your "morning" may occur at various, uncustomary hours of the day. But I'm convinced that morning is a principle, not merely a time of day. It signifies a position of priority, a place of preeminence.
Perhaps you tend to devote your first sparks of attention each day to the newscast or your email, to the various trends and updates you missed while you were sleeping. But those moments are always more valuably invested in waiting before God, feeding on His Word, listening to what He whispers to your spirit ... while your heart is most open and refreshed and able to assimilate truth.
So as you move ahead into each new devotional journey, continue giving Him your first waking thought, turned upward like a breakfast bowl, ready to receive the manna He is always so faithful to supply. A fresh word and fresh mercies. Remember the "morning" principle, and prioritize the gathering of manna He offers you. Start each day and each decision with an immediate declaration of complete dependence on Him.
Because the sun's coming up soon.
Your manna is on the way.
The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.
— He Speaks to Me —
How might this "morning" principle apply in your life right now? What can you do to be sure you're keeping God a first-place priority in every day you live and in every decision you make?
Give us each day our daily bread.
In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice; in the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.
— Day 2 —
What Do You Have?
Elisha asked her, "What can I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?" 2 Kings 4:2 csb
A common link nearly always exists between our needs and God's answers — a thread woven into the fabric of our relationship with the Father that, if overlooked, can cost us the most intimate and majestic experience with Him possible on this side of eternity. And in 2 Kings 4, this critical strand is clearly marked for all of us to see.
A woman, bereft of husband and financial stability, came to the prophet Elisha requesting help. Creditors were demanding payment for the debts she owed, threatening even to take her children away as part of the bargain. She was desperate. Crying out. Unable to pay.
Unable to do much at all.
The man of God graciously listened to her plight. He asked how she thought he could assist her. But before even waiting for her response to that question, he posed another, more vital one: "What do you have?" he asked. "In the house?" What resources are already available to you?
How easily we point to our lack. How specifically we highlight our deficiency. How quickly we become consumed with the glaring evidence of all that's working against us, the hardships that are pressing us into such desperate straits. We are far less inclined to accentuate the gifts and blessings that remain.
But Elisha, in refocusing the widow's attention on the meager pot of oil sitting there amid all her difficulty and hardship, forever changed the way she would look at her most heart-wrenching need. It can change the way we look at ours too. Like a glint of sunshine passing through ominous clouds on a dreary day, hope pierced through the darkness in her home. The foundation for a miracle was right under her nose ... if only she would take the time and energy required to go and look. If only she would become as invested in expecting God's answers as she'd been invested in lodging her complaints.
"What do you have in the house?" In your house? Within your reach? Sometimes we wait impatiently on God when He is patiently waiting on us, waiting for us to recognize what He's already given as part of the answer to our problem. What little pot of oil have you neglected to notice? What little shred of possibility have you chosen to ignore? What little patch of time have you disparaged? What little hints of blessing have you criticized as insufficient? What little, humble beginnings have you shoved to the back shelf, considering them unworthy of being the basis for God's miraculous intentions?
Maybe the answer you've been praying for is already there — a plainas-day response from God to your plea, immediately ready to be applied to this situation.
God will always be faithful to help you through the desperate challenges you face. Some things, obviously, only He can do. But take a good look around to see what's already at your disposal. That little jar of oil may well be the beginnings of the most spectacular move of God you've ever seen.
Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
— He Speaks to Me —
What are some of the "jars of oil" you might be overlooking right now that He's already provided? Make a list and keep it handy for future gratitude and reflection.
His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
2 Peter 1:3 csb
Honor the Lord with your possessions and with the first produce of your entire harvest; then your barns will be completely filled, and your vats will overflow with new wine.
Proverbs 3:9–10 csb
— Day 3 —
Come and Rest
He said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while."
Rest is becoming a lost art in our modern culture. We've exchanged its old-fashioned value for a hectic, fast-paced, breakneck speed of life, which has slowly disintegrated our fervor and passion while simultaneously elevating our blood pressure. Packed within each twenty-four-hour time span is an unsustainable number of tasks we've placed upon ourselves, as well as demands we've allowed others to deem urgent enough to place upon us as well.
And based on our fatigue and frustration, we'd give anything to offload the burden.
But rest doesn't seem like a viable option anymore. Have we forever passed up any kind of reality that dares to include rest as part of a typical day? Or week? Or ... month? (Or ... year?)
When Jesus sent His disciples off on a specific ministry assignment in Mark 6:7–11, He didn't shield them from the fact that their journey would not be particularly easy. People would refuse to listen to them, much less give them hospitality. Any cause for excitement would be counterbalanced by any number of legitimate reasons for quitting and discouragement. They would be empowered to preach, heal, and spread the news of the kingdom, yes, but would also be exhausted on every front — physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And even after finally coming back home from their tiring journey, people would still be "coming and going," enough that the disciples "did not even have time to eat" (v. 31).
So as their first order of business upon returning, Jesus greeted them with clear instructions: "Come ... rest a while."
It wasn't a request. It wasn't a friendly suggestion. It was Jesus' command. Here's what you're going to do, guys. They'd been through a lot. And much more remained to be done. But for now ... rest ... come and rest. At least for a little while.
Do you ever feel guilty for taking time away to regroup and recharge? Are you saddled with a sense of wasted opportunity if every space on your calendar is not filled? Are you afraid your world would stop turning if you disengaged for even a few moments? Are you concerned about losing your competitive advantage if you're not converting every moment into maximum achievement and efficiency?
Then hear the voice of your Savior welcoming you into a place where grace flows, where the Spirit refuels, and where mercy fixes what's been strained and stressed by the accumulation of life's pressures. This is the space where priorities and relationships that have been pushed out of alignment and are in need of repair get patched up and recalibrated.
Quiet time is not an excuse for the lazy but a wise investment for the diligent. It is for those who are committed to being active servants and followers of Jesus Christ instead of slaves to the tyranny of urgent busyness and activity. By prioritizing rest for ourselves and those we love, we may just rediscover the joy we thought had been lost forever.
My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.
— He Speaks to Me —
What would a time of deliberate rest look like for you today? This month? This year? Who are the people you can enlist to keep you accountable?
Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
In vain you get up early and stay up late, working hard to have enough food — yes, he gives sleep to the one he loves.
Psalm 127:2 csb
— Day 4 —
Run to Win
If anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.
2 Timothy 2:5
Any athlete worth her salt knows the rigorous training that goes into achieving victory. Success doesn't come by happenstance or magic. Her preparation must be methodical and systematic. Early mornings. Scheduled sacrifice. Any dreams of taking home a title are unlikely, if not impossible, without honing her craft to near perfection through painstaking commitment and diligence. She must build muscle, expand her stamina, and streamline her mechanics until performing them fluidly comes as natural to her as breathing.
No one accidentally backs in to athletic achievement at the highest level. Nobody.
Which is why it's always a shame when a well-trained athlete, having dedicated her life and limb to the pursuit, ends up throwing it away by refusing to follow the regulations of her sport. How sad to see all that practice go to waste, all that potential underutilized, all that sweat and effort amount to nothing except disqualification and disgrace because of ethical or chemical or operational shortcuts to success.
"Run in such a way that you may win" (1 Cor. 9:24). Read it again and see: the winning is not just in the running. It's in the way the race is run.
As believers, of course, our right standing before God has not been earned through our own spiritual exertion. The grace we've received is nothing other than "the gift of God, not a result of works" (Eph. 2:8–9 esv). Hallelujah! Through Christ's sacrifice alone we have "been released from the Law" (Rom. 7:6) and from its binding effects on us for our salvation. And yet the Bible clearly marks the pathway that leads to a thriving life of Christian victory and blessing. It's really not much of a secret. God has made known the lines of demarcation within which you can experience success in all the events you've entered in life — as a parent, a wife, a friend, a leader — all the places where you're determined to excel in serving Him.
Don't forfeit the opportunity through rebellion or illegitimate shortcuts or spiritual indolence. Don't throw away the things you've been called, equipped, and prepared to become by refusing to run within the divine boundaries of obedience the Lord has set up for your benefit. Run the race not only with endurance and diligence, but also with careful, watchful submission to His Word. When you're tempted to put yourself in a better position by bending a biblical principle, stay anchored to the right path. When the Spirit alerts you to a ground rule (which feels in the moment to be unnecessary and inconvenient), don't recoil in rebellion. Deny yourself and follow Him. Run to win. Trust your Father to keep you on the winning trajectory, the one that leads to hearing "well done" and enjoying the long-lasting satisfaction of eternal accomplishments — the only achievements that really matter anyway.
Continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them.
2 Timothy 3:14
— He Speaks to Me —
What are some basic, biblical guidelines you've gotten away from prioritizing? Ask the Lord to bring them to mind.
Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
James 1:22 CSB
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
Excerpted from "Awaken"
Copyright © 2017 Priscilla Shirer.
Excerpted by permission of B&H Publishing Group.
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