In my life, I have owned probably a dozen or so devotionals, of sorts. It’s what we do, right? We read a little, have our quiet time, move on with our day.
It has never really worked for me. Sad, but true.
I’ve tried. I don’t read devotionals daily, I lose interest, and they sit on a dusty bookshelf until they go to a friend or the thrift store. They become Books That I Never Finish, just like Augustine’s Confessions and Don Quixote, and I feel like a quitter.
There’s a special one, though, that was loaned to me years ago and I still read it.
(Did you notice that? I’m usually safe to loan books to. I did ask permission to keep this one a little longer – after I’d already had it for a year or two – and my dear friend said to just keep it. And she smiled [!] and meant it nicely…because she’s wonderful like that. Thank you, dear friend…)
It’s this one.
And I don’t read it every day, either. But I have read through it (on the right days, the wrong days, whenever) more than once.
God Calling was edited by A.J. Russell, but written by two women in the 30’s who anonymously called themselves The Two Listeners.
He speaks; He has always spoken to those who would wait and listen. We have scripture, yes. But He also speaks directly to us…because He is God with us.
I’ve heard amazing things about Jesus Calling – which, due to my devotional deficiencies listed above, I confess I have not read, other than snippets here and there that were marvelous. But if you are familiar with Jesus Calling (and you probably are because I’m sure you’re much better at this devotional thing than I am), then God Calling will likely seem familiar to you also.
In any case…a devotional is only as good as its ability to help you listen for His voice on your own, rather than using it as a lecturing podium that spoon-feeds teaching.
To the individual reader, it should be a living book versus a textbook. It should ignite a light in us that burns and grows, versus a flashlight that shines mechanically…and eventually dims.
I looked back at the first post in this series, and remembered writing the numbers all the way down to 31. It was a long, empty list. Somehow, each number was going to have a title next to it and the list would be filled, but I had no idea how that was going to happen.
That list of posts is now almost completely full, and I am so overwhelmed with His faithfulness.
And I think, Jesus! You showed up, every single time. Even when I didn’t want to.
I’m persistent like that, He says.
I am always waiting here for you.
There’s one empty place left, and I’ll fill it in a few minutes. I’m still not even sure what the title is going to be yet. But He knows…He has known all along.
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.
And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him.
– 1 John 5:13-15
This is the last post in this little series, but there’s so much more. His very nature is abundant. I hope you want more about the life of waiting, listening and hearing Him.
I pray you are ignited, filled, and flowing out as a conduit in all the lives around you. I have loved hearing stories of how He’s spoken to you over the last 31 days. I hope you’ll tell me how He continues to speak to you, because there’s so much more ahead.
One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
– Philippians 3:13b-14
We’ll resume our regular programming next week, still with open hands, empty paper. A brighter fire…and more strong coffee.
*This is day thirty-one of the Wait and Listen series. The other posts are here.