I've seen it happen so many times before... women desperate to meet with God daily. Women whose Bibles sit dusty on the nightstand while they slosh through the daily busyness that makes up all of life... college classes, a full-time job, dinners to make, diapers to change, financial burdens, home repairs. And yet a voice at the back of their minds says, "You need me. Meet with me. Find me first, before you face the challenges of this day."
And these women are not unfaithful. They hear the voice of the Spirit and they try to figure out a solution to their lack of intimacy with the Lord. This often comes out in the form of a question. A question I've been asked many times before, "What should I read? Do you have a good devotional you would recommend?"
And the answer is... no, I don't. I don't think there is any devotional or theological book in the world that I would recommend to you.
And here's why. If you haven't made room in your life to read the Bible every single day, then you are wasting your time with books and devotionals. Devotionals are good, but they are not the best. And I sincerely, desperately want you to have the best.
I see these devotionals all the time on Instagram and Facebook. Jesus Calling has been the trendy devotional for women for a few years now. And I have nothing against Jesus Calling. I know it's theologically sound and very encouraging. But here's the thing... it's not the Bible. There is truth in it, but it's not infallible. It's encouraging, but it's not guaranteed to change your life. It might convict you, but it doesn't directly command you how to live a godly life. It might remind you of God's goodness, but it doesn't show you His exact promises etched in ink waiting to be fulfilled.
Only the Bible is infallible. It was written by God. The Bible is alive, and it's active like yeast in dough when it gets into our hearts. God promises that when we read His Word, He will change us from the inside out. We don't have to wonder and stress about discerning God's commands, because when we open Scripture they are spelled out on the page. We don't have to battle hopelessness and doubt, because when we open the Word we can see God's character and read the promises He makes for us... promises that He is working for the good of those who love Him always and forever.
Maybe your devotional book begins with a verse each day. And that verse is precious. If I were given the choice between a verse and nothing, I'd choose the verse every day of my life. But why settle for a drop of water, when there is a whole well of Living Water to quench your thirsty mouth?
My friend, Jesus IS calling you. Every day He is beckoning you to come to His Word, to open the pages, and drink deeply the waters of hope, encouragement, grace, and truth found there. Why should a verse satisfy when you can read a whole chapter? Why should a devotional suffice when you have thousands of pages written for you by a God who loves you so very much?
Don't throw away your devotionals by any means; they too are a gift. They are God's grace to you. God has likely called the authors of your favorite books to write hopeful and truthful words to glorify His name. But don't go there first. Don't put your trust in words written by mere men and women. And certainly don't build your life or start your day on a devotional. Turn first to the Bible... cherish it, love it, study it, memorize it, and obey it. Jesus is calling you... and on His pages He will show you His infinite love, grace, and wisdom, and change you and mold you in the process. Can you hear Him?