Advice on Daily Devotions
By Leighann McCoy
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. ~ Psalm 119:105
Most often God speaks to me through His Word. The other day my heart was struggling with a situation that seems desperate. By desperate, I mean that the plans being considered now – the ones that are set in motion – seem to be moving some people I love in the opposite direction of God’s best for their lives. I was talking to God about my fears, and I was sharing with Him the hurt my heart feels when I try to imagine what all might be about to transpire. (Anytime we use the words imagine or imagination in our vocabulary in relationship to fear, anxiety, or dread, we need to be sure to reel those vain imaginations in.)
Before I share more of the particular instance of God speaking to me, first let me tell you this: your Bible wants you to write in it! Bible verses are made to be highlighted and underlined; your Bible is made to be jotted in and marked in many other ways. I would not have heard God’s voice so clearly last week had the passage of Scripture that God used not been underlined. On the day that I was struggling, I was leafing through the pages of my Bible looking for a verse to use during the message I deliver on Wednesday nights at church. In the middle of my search, I found a passage of Scripture that was written specifically for me – not for Wednesday night’s message but in response to Tuesday morning’s prayer.
Several years ago, during another crisis, God had showed a friend a passage of Scripture in Jeremiah that seemed to be God’s Word to me, so she shared it with me. How do I know? In the margin beside the underlined verses, I had written, ‘Kaleigh pointed me here on [date].” Here I was almost two years later flipping through the pages of Jeremiah, and the verses I’d underlined then were unbelievably specific to the cry of my heart that I lifted that morning. God spoke to me through His Word.
A Love Story
In order for God to speak to you through His Word, you must read it. You’ve got to read God’s Word on a daily basis. His Word speaks best when you read it consistently. God’s Word speaks best the more familiar you are with it. I encourage you to read God’s Word from beginning to end. Read all of it. Sure there are parts that are not as inspirational as others, but as you grow more familiar with the Word of God, you will learn His language. It’s a language of love, and it is woven throughout all of Scripture. (Don’t be afraid to use tools to help you make sense of the Bible. Commentaries, Bible studies, books – all of these are great resources to help you understand God’s Word. Just be careful not to let the tools take the place of the Book itself.)
When you are struggling to hear God’s voice, camp out in the Psalms. I’m especially fond of Psalm 143. The Psalms are full of reassurance that you are not alone if you are crying out and you sense that God is not giving you His full attention. You can transform many great Psalms into prayers of your own. I do this often in my quiet time. I take the psalmist’s prayer and make it my own.
Here’s what I did with David’s Psalm 23 just a few weeks ago:
You are my shepherd – I will never be lacking.
This IS fact. Any lack you sense is there because
Satan wants you to live in the shadow of doubt –
Doubting God’s provision for you.
A good shepherd puts you in the best
Places. Sometimes you’d rather be somewhere
else. But He is keeping you here.
Oh God, thank You for restoring my
soul! I have no fear of evil because You
are with me. Your rod and staff (tools of
discipline) they comfort me. I rest because I
know that You will keep my Enemy away and
You will keep me from going astray.
Right in front of my Enemy You invite
Me to a feast where I am provided for – and
blessed. And You pour Your love over me.
Thank You, Lord. Thank Your for Your
Goodness and Your mercy.
God speaks through His Word. This is the primary way that He communicates with us.
Lord, I believe Your Word is true. Speak to me through it today. I want to hear from You. I will respond to whatever You tell me today with a solid “yes” and “amen.”
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