Trust without Reservation

by Dagny Darnell

Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV

I’ve never been a good swimmer. So when I attempted to save my four-year-old son after he’d come barreling down a slide into the deep end of a friend’s pool, it’s a miracle we both didn’t drown. In truth, we might have, if my friend hadn’t seen my peril and come to our rescue.

But what really sticks out to me about that whole harrowing adventure was my son’s reaction to it all. As we went under and came up, and I beat the water furiously with one arm, gasping and sputtering only to go under again and again, my son was completely relaxed. He never struggled or cried, only held onto my neck as he might have if we were walking in a park. Unlike me, he had absolutely no fear. It was as if he had never doubted for one minute that I, his faithful mother, would bring him safely to the pool’s edge.

Jesus said, “You will never get into God’s kingdom unless you enter it like a child” (Luke 18:17 CEV). Jesus is talking about humility here, but I also believe there is something else at play. The childlikeness God desires also speaks of trusting him from the heart, having total confidence that he will do what he said regardless of what circumstances arise.

It is all well and good to trust God when everyone is healthy, when all the bills are paid, and when the path ahead is strewn with sunshine and roses. But what happens when the promised trials come our way? What do we do at a layoff or a divorce or a child’s death? Do we cling to a faithful Father, or do we kick and scream in panic? Do we flounder out there in the middle of a turbulent ocean, or do we trust him to bring us to the other side? I’ve done both, and I can tell you, trusting is definitely the better route.

This heart-trust is already in every believer (don’t our hearts cry Abba, Father?). It’s called faith. When we yield to our faith, the holy, mighty God of the universe is well able to bring us across, above, and through anything that comes our way.

One wise minister said, “Faith is not belief without proof, but trust without reservation”—holding onto our Father’s neck instead of flailing in our own strength. When we invest our heart-trust in him, he will bring us safely to the other side come hell or high water.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Dagny Darnell is privileged to share God’s hope and peace with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women as a minister, musician, and mentor. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her family. Currently, she has one children’s picture book about spreading the love of the gospel called Shine, which is also available on Amazon.

Join the conversation: What is a characteristic of God that helps you to trust him with anything?


It Isn’t Over Yet

by Delores Liesner

I probably should have just admitted defeat, but now I am glad I didn’t.

I made a promise to fill a need for someone based on anticipated help from others. Then one by one, the others faded into the woodwork. I confided to hubby that I was losing confidence that God was going to bring all the pieces together and work it out.  But really, God hadn’t refused to show up – just some people did.

So now there was a choice – give up and hope another time, another place, and yep, another person would be called, or step into the “Red Sea circumstance” and see what God would do.

It wasn’t over yet. It reminded me of Habakkuk, whose situation was far more dire than ours when he wrote: “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail, and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord. I will take joy in the God of my salvation” (Habakkuk 3:17 ESV).

So we started rejoicing over what God was going to do with this project.

Yet it seemed the harder we tried, the more obstacles popped up, and the smaller our team became. God, we wondered, are you trying to tell us something?

God’s soldier Gideon was feeling pretty inferior in his situation too. God reduced his team until they were greatly outnumbered. Then God told Gideon to leave his provisions and only take what God provided.

Similarly, God allowed our team, our provisions, our resources, and our confidence in ourselves and our original plan to shrink until HE was our team. Then He multiplied our resources and provision, once again increasing our confidence…IN HIM.

Is God teaching you a similar lesson? Has your team or your provision or your confidence been reduced? Yet, when you consider what God has done for you in the past, have you found something for which you can rejoice?

Lord, may I recognize, like Habakkuk and Gideon did, that whatever my circumstances may be there is always something for which to rejoice and give thanks. Open my eyes, Lord, that I may see you in my circumstance.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Delores Liesner loves to reveal the dynamic hope and confidence found in the heritage of our personal God. She writes from Racine, WI., is a CLASS graduate, 21st Century Grandma and Life Tales columnist. She has published hundreds of stories and articles. Check out her Amazon Author page!

Delores’ book, Be the Miracle, will deepen your walk with God, help you to notice others’ needs, and give you practice hearing and answering His call.

Join the conversation: How has God overcome a challenging situation for you?

Note from Heaven

by Janet Holm McHenry @LookingUpFirst

Yesterday I was so frustrated.

No, it wasn’t teenagers. They’re long gone. No, it wasn’t my dear rancher husband. He’s working from 6 a.m. to close to 10 p.m. right now.

Yes, it was technology. And I started bashing myself, as I typically do. I’m not smart enough. I can’t figure this out. I’m too old for this stuff.

And then, as I turned a page on the yellow pad I was using to take notes for an online conference, a tattered little note fluttered out. It said in familiar handwriting, “Nothing can shake [You] . . . and me.”

I remembered. My friend June had written that little note to me at our favorite writers conference many years ago and slipped it to me just when I needed it. My dear friend June . . . who has been gone from this earth now for many years.

And there it was slipped to me again, seemingly from the skies, this time from God, to give me assurance, a bit of tears, a lot of smiles, and much joy.

June’s little quote on the note comes from Psalm 16:8 (GNT), which says, “I am always aware of the LORD’s presence; he is near, and nothing can shake me.” Though David was anointed king of Israel, his life consisted of one battle after another, even from his own son. It was his relationship with God, though, that saw him through the many challenges of his life, and he wrote many psalms out of his struggles and pain as worship songs.

When we are in the midst of a difficult circumstance, it can seem as though God is far away. Sometimes I allow myself to dwell in pity as though someone or something has done something to me. Sometimes I resort to self-blame because I feel inadequate. Neither place is a good spot to hang out, and neither spot reflects the truth of the situation.

The truth is three-fold. First, God is near me. He is as close as his Word or the earshot of my prayers to him. He cares, he sees me in my struggles, and he invites my running to him with my problems.

Also, my difficulty is really not too difficult. If God has set a challenge before me, he can equip me for that very task. If I do not have the particular skill to accomplish something, I could ask God for wisdom, I could research my options, and I could ask someone for help. Nelson Mandela said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” My negativity about situation I think is impossible will only be an impediment. A looking up posture gets me geared for the possible.

And lastly, knowing that God will help me one way or the other means that I need not be shaken or rattled. I can approach him with confidence that he will guide me and then approach the task with confidence that the impossible will be done.

May our great God slip you a note of love today . . . and perhaps this is actually it: you are loved!

 I am always aware of the LORD’s presence; he is near, and nothing can shake me.” –Psalm 16:8

Note from Heaven – encouragement from Janet McHenry, @LookingUpFirst on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Janet McHenry

About the author: Janet McHenry is a national speaker and the author of 24 books, including the best-selling PrayerWalk, which has encouraged tens of thousands to pray for their communities while they walk. Her business name is Looking Up! because she encourages others to seek the Problem Solver, who can do the impossible. She would love to connect with you :

Join the conversation: Has God slipped you a note of love lately?

Resting in God Our Rock

by Jennifer Slattery @JenSlattery

“I love You, O Lord, my strength.” The Lord is my Rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.                                                                                                          Psalm 18:1-2 NASB

In 2006, my husband Steve stepped into an ugly power struggle that nearly cost him his job. Dishonest and unethical practices had trickled down from the top, infecting all the staff. As a result, when Steve continually made a right, hard choice, he was attacked and slandered by evil, power-hungry men.

The union representative in particular made it his mission to get Steve fired, which included sending a letter to the CEO telling him how “terrible” he was. Then, he printed and prominently displayed the slanderous letter at the shop.

With every attack against Steve, my anxiety climbed. What if the union representative succeeded and Steve’s company let him go? Where would he work? How would we pay our bills? What if we lost our home?

Our world felt out of control, our security only as sure as my husband’s next paycheck. But then we remembered our sure foundation, the immovable Rock upon which we stood.

Psalm says, “I love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer” (Psalm 18:1-2a NASB).

This was written by ancient Israel’s second king, a mighty warrior who’d single-handedly defeated a tyrannical giant. Yet, this warrior found strength not in himself and his military prowess, but instead in His sovereign, all-powerful God. No matter how strong or skilled in battle, apart from God he was vulnerable and insufficient. In the crags of God’s love, however, he was amply protected, untouchable.

Towering rocks or bluffs dotted the landscape of ancient Palestine, providing places of refuge, of protection, for all who scampered upon them. These elevated geological edifices were difficult to reach and offered shelter within their caverns. They were places of safety in times of danger.

Fortresses offered similar protection. The people built heavily-fortified cities high upon a cliff, where they could see enemies approach for miles. Then, they erected stone towers at the highest point in the city.

Can you sense the layers of protection revealed in the Psalm 18 passage? In Christ, we stand high upon an immovable rock of power and grace, further hidden within the clefts of His love. His strength is greater than anything or anyone that comes against us. We are triply protected within His steadfast embrace. He is our sure and constant deliverer, the rock beneath our feet, and the fortress surrounding us.

As attacks continued to barrage my husband and our family, we hid ourselves deeply in God. When anxiety arose, we reminded ourselves of where our true security lay, and all we knew to be true about Him. He was faithful, loving and attentive—unconquerable. He was our ever-present provider, the only One with the power to sustain us.

That year, He proved Himself to be all those things and more. I’m confident He’ll do the same for you. Whatever you’re facing, whatever is coming against you, rest in this: God’s got you. He’s standing beside you, within you, and is camped around you. He is your refuge, your rock, and your strong, fortified tower.

You don’t have to be strong or know all the answers—that secret that will somehow whisk you to safety—because in Christ, you’re already safe.

Let’s talk about this! When has God proven Himself to be your rock and your fortress? How might remembering this time help you when future problems hit?

If you’re facing a difficult, uncertain period, how might it help to shift your thoughts off your ever-changing circumstances and onto your immovable Savior?

Resting in God Our Rock – encouragement from @JenSlattery on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Jennifer Slattery Jennifer Slattery is a writer and speaker who’s addressed women’s groups, church groups, Bible studies, and writers across the nation. She’s the author of Hometown Healing and numerous other titles and maintains a devotional blog at As the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, she and her team love to help women discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. Visit her online to find out more about her speaking or to book her for your next women’s eventLogo image for Faith Over Fear

In her 12-part podcast series titled Faith Over Fear, she helps listeners battle many of the anxieties and fears that often assault us, sharing practical tools and timeless truths that, when applied, can help us live our Christ-won place of victory.

He’s Always Been There

by Cindi McMenamin @CindiMcMenamin

Do you know what it’s like to have the perfect friend?

Chances are, you would say your best friend is someone who has shared your past, shared a meaningful experience with you, or just someone who has “been there” for you.

Jesus is One who has always “been there” for me throughout my life.

I was fortunate enough to be introduced to Jesus as a young child. So, I remember Him being there—as my best friend—on the first day of kindergarten when I would’ve otherwise felt lost and alone. I remember Him giving me courage when I started to be afraid after accidentally locking myself in my grandmother’s bathroom at the age of seven. I remember His powerful presence by my bed, where I lay for three weeks with scarlet fever at the age of nine.

My Best Friend was still by my side to comfort me when I, as a teenager, learned of my grandmother’s death in a car accident and helped my mother deal with the loss.

During my adult years, Jesus ministered to me every morning when I was on my knees praying for my brother’s safety as a soldier on the front lines of a ground war in the Middle East. When no one else knew what to say to give me strength and faith during that time, God’s words (in His Word) were there every morning, every evening, holding me up, keeping me strong and hopeful.

And Jesus stayed with me – when I would have otherwise been alone – for three days in the cancer ward of a children’s hospital as I watched my 18-month-old daughter undergo a series of tests to determine if she had cancer or leukemia. He listened to my questions, understood my anxiety, filled me with His peace, embraced me in His arms, and held my hand during the night when I couldn’t sleep.

From fearful days as a child to uncertain times as a parent, I’ve never seen the Lord let me down. He was always there to comfort me when no one else was. He rushed to my side when no one else could. He knew what to say when no one else did. That is a true friend.

Proverbs 18:24 (HCSB) says, “A man with many friends may be harmed, but there is a friend who stays closer than a brother.” Jesus said, “No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13 HCSB). That’s the kind of friend Jesus has been. He has proved Himself to me over and over again.

Lord, thank You for being the Perfect Friend who sticks closer to me than anyone else, and who has always been there for me and always will.

He’s Always Been There – insight from @CindiMcMenamin on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

View More: the author: Cindi McMenamin is an award-winning writer and national speaker who helps women strengthen their relationship with God and others. She is the author of 17 books including her best-selling When Women Walk Alone (more than 130,000 copies sold), God’s Whispers to a Woman’s Heart, and Drama Free: Finding Peace When Emotions Overwhelm You. For more on her books and resources to strengthen your soul, marriage, and parenting, or for more information on her coaching services to help you write the book on your heart, see her website:

What Readers are Saying about Drama Free: It was a book I didn’t want to put down. It was packed with Scripture, biblical truth, and helpful resources on how to diffuse drama that we all face in life.

Join the conversation: How has Jesus proved Himself to be a faithful friend to you in the past?

Sunflower Love

by Sheri Schofield

Warm summer breezes sweep the ripened grass in the meadows, and all along the roads, sunflowers gently nod. The cheerful golden manes around the brown faces dot the landscape when most other wildflowers are done for the season. From first light until dusk, the sunflowers face the sun, following its orbit across the sky, never wavering in their devotion to its warmth.

King Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, reminds me of the sunflowers. He was at home in Jerusalem minding his own business when a messenger came to him with troubling news. The kings of Moab, Ammon and Edom were marching on Jehoshaphat’s kingdom of Judah. Three nations! How could Judah withstand such an onslaught?

Jehoshaphat was alarmed by this news, and his immediate response was to turn his face to God for guidance. He sent out orders to all his people that they should fast. When the people heard the news, they left their towns and rushed to Jerusalem to seek the Lord together. King Jehoshaphat, who met them in front of the Temple of the Lord, led them in prayer.

“Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you . . . If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague, or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us. . . We have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you” (2 Chronicles 20:6, 9, 12, NIV).

The Lord answered Jehoshaphat immediately. The Spirit of the Lord came on Jahaziel, a man from the priestly tribe of Levi. He said, “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow march down against them . . . You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions, stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.” (2 Chronicles 20:15-17 NIV).

The next morning, Jehoshaphat chose some good singers and told them to march in front of the army singing praises to God declaring his unfailing love. Now that is confidence!

As they neared the enemy encampment, the choir began to sing. At the first notes of  praise, the Lord caused the invaders to start attacking each other! By the time the choir, the army, and the king arrived, not one enemy could be found alive. God had saved all Judah in a spectacular manner.

Have the cares of this life surrounded you? Do you feel overwhelmed? Then look toward Jesus. Cry out to him, “Lord! I do not know what to do, but my eyes are on you!” Like the sunflower watches the sun above, keep your eyes on the Son of God. All deliverance and freedom is in him. He will come to your rescue!

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked our for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:1- 2 NIV).

Sunflower Love – insight on #GodsLove from Sheri Schofield on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

sheri schofieldAbout the author: Sheri Schofield is an award-winning children’s author-illustrator and children’s ministry veteran of 40 years. Sheri was named Writer of the Year in 2018 at the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Her ministry, Faithwind 4 Kids, can be followed on her blog at her website, Questions welcomed!

Sheri’s new book, The Prince And The Plan, is a beautifully illustrated, interactive picture book, written for children ages 4-8, that helps parents lead their children into a lasting, saving relationship with Jesus. It explains abstract concepts through words and interactive, multi-sensory activities. Useful for children’s ministry as well.

Join the Conversation: How do you keep your eyes focused on Him?

Bring Them Here to Me

Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.

 “Bring them here to me,” he said.  And he directed the people to sit down on the grass.                                                                                                                      Matthew 14:16-19 NIV

“I’m a pastor in northern Wisconsin and just read your article and found it to be refreshing and inspiring. Next week, I am preaching a sermon on getting unstuck spiritually — and that is how I stumbled across your writing.”

This is an email from a stranger who had just read an article of mine. Nothing makes my heart more joyful than hearing how my words (whether written or spoken) have been used by God to impact others. But what if I hadn’t been obedient to write it? What if I had allowed fear or pride to keep me from putting it out there? What if I believed my words were not good enough to be read?

In this story from Matthew, a large crowd gathers in the hope that Jesus will heal their diseases. Jesus tells the disciples to feed the crowds with what they have on hand. The disciples complain there isn’t enough. Jesus miraculously provides for everyone, multiplying the few loaves and fishes they have.

But there is a sentence that is often overlooked: “Bring them here to me.” When we bring Jesus what little we have, He uses it for His glory.

We may think, as the disciples did, that we don’t have much to offer. When we compare ourselves to others, we find ourselves lacking. Why would God want what I can give? Surely He can find someone better. But God wants us to be willing to give what we have, even if it seems insignificant in our eyes.

This story of the feeding of 5,000 leads us to three powerful truths:

 If we don’t put our words out there, we’ll never know how God will choose to use them. I’m convinced that part of the joy we will receive in heaven will be from people that come up to us who say things like, “Thanks for writing that article on sexual harassment. Because of it I was inspired to speak up against the harassment I was experiencing at work.” Or “Thanks for that blog post on the dangers of giving your kids cell phones at a young age. It kept me from bowing to the pressure of giving my child a cell phone like the rest of his friends. He now enjoys more social activities because of that.”

We need to be thankful for the gifts He gives us. In John 5:19 Jesus says, “The son can do nothing himself, he can do only what He sees His father doing…” (NIV) Jesus knew that only with His Father could He can multiply those loaves and fishes. He could not do anything apart from his Father. Neither can we. When we keep this perspective and enlist our Heavenly Father for help, He will multiply what we have to give in ways we may never know or see on earth.

Even though God can do what needs to be done Himself, He enlists our help. Jesus could have passed out the newly multiplied bounty, but instead he chose to ask the disciples to do it for him. It is a way He blesses His children. When we are willing to do what God is calling us to do, He is faithful to put that message into the ears and hearts of those who need it.

In our limited perspectives, we may worry we have little to contribute to the Kingdom. But God wants our obedience, for us to willing give our resources, time, and energy to the Him. And when we bring what little we have to him, He multiplies it in ways we could never imagine.

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think…”                                                                                                                    Ephesians 3:20 NASB

michelle lazurekAbout the author: Michelle S. Lazurek is an award-winning author, national speaker, pastor’s wife and mother. A member of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, she loves to help people encounter God and engage with the world around them. When not writing, you can find her enjoying a Starbucks latte and collecting vintage records. For more info, please visit her website at

Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random numberrighteous and lost generator to pick a winner from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Michelle’s book, Righteous and Lost: Finding Hope for the Pharisee Within,  please comment below.  By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win!  If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.

Join the conversation: 1 Corinthians 12: 7 tells us “to each one  is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” (NASB) What has God give you that He wants to use in the life of others?

Photo by Bryan Burgos on Unsplash



Trust and Obey, Then Get Out of the Way

by Twila Belk

God blesses those who obey him; happy the man who puts his trust in the Lord.
Proverbs 16:20 TLB

Sometimes God asks us to do crazy, scary things. While he hasn’t called me to build an ark or to lead a country, he’s challenged me over the years with some pretty intimidating requests.

I was on the faculty of a writers conference and had arrived at my hotel just in time to freshen up before the pre-event meet-and-greet with other faculty members and conferees. The heavily promoted keynote speaker that year was the fabulous Chonda Pierce, an especially popular stand-up comedian. I had big plans to become best friends with her.

As I ironed my clothes, the phone rang. I picked it up, said hello, and the pleasant voice on the other end began talking. “Hi, Twila. This is Barbara Wells. I’m the director of the conference. We haven’t met, and I don’t know much about you, but we need your help. Chonda had to cancel because of a family emergency. We’d like you to do the three keynotes.” She went on to tell me that the first one would be the next morning. “Oh, and by the way, we’ve invited the community to tomorrow night’s session.”

I listened to Barbara, but had a side conversation going with God at the same time. “You want me to do what, Lord? Are you kidding me? Do you know who Chonda Pierce is? Do you know that everyone coming to the conference is expecting her? You know it’s impossible to fill her shoes, don’t you?”

Then Barbara said, “I’m confident you can do it. I’ve been to your website.”

After a few seconds in stunned silence, I asked, “Can I pray about it?”

“How long?”

Very funny, Lord.

She continued, “When I asked God what we should do, I heard a voice in my spirit that said, ‘Twila Belk is here.’”

At that point she had me—I knew it was a God thing—so I told her I’d do it, but she had to promise prayer covering. Minutes after that conversation, I went to the meet-and-greet. I couldn’t tell anyone about the new development. They’d all find out the next morning when I was introduced as Chonda’s substitute.

Wow. Just wow.

What did I do? I called home and asked my husband to send an urgent request down our church’s prayer chain. I paced and prayed and prayed and paced. I rehearsed the many sermons I give to others, reminded myself of God’s bigness, and remembered his track record in my life.

Then I showed up the next morning with less than two hours sleep, stood on that stage, and delivered the first keynote. My mouth moved. God’s message came out. And nobody booed. In fact, the audience gave God a standing ovation at the end. I survived, and God assured me that he knew what he was doing. Now, five years later, I’ve been asked to return to the conference as the publicized keynoter.

It’s amazing what God can do when we trust and obey, then get out of the way.

Lord, as I think about the crazy things you ask me to do, I can’t help but smile because I’ve seen how you work. The things you ask usually aren’t normal or easy, and most of the time they’re scary. They challenge me to trust you. But that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it, Lord? You want to keep reinforcing who you are and how big you are. You want to keep reminding me that anything you call me to do will have your equipping, power, and presence involved. Thank you for teaching me that when I trust and obey, then get out of the way, you always show up and show off. May you receive all honor, glory, and praise.

(This devotion is an excerpt from The Power to Be, (c) 2018 Twila Belk. Used by permission of BroadStreet Publishing.)

twila belkAbout the Author: Also known as the Gotta Tell Somebody Gal, Twila Belk  loves braggin’ on God. Whether she’s writing, speaking, or teaching, she offers hope and encouragement for people to fix their eyes on him. Twila is the author of The Power to Be: Be Still, Be Grateful, Be Strong, Be Courageous and Raindrops from Heaven: Gentle Reminders of God’s Power, Presence, and Purpose as well as five other books. Mom to three grown children and Grandma to three precious little boys, Twila lives with her husband in Iowa, not far from the Mississippi River and the home of American Pickers, John Deere tractors, and Whitey’s ice cream.

Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random number generator to pick a winner 51veIj1tu+L._SX344_BO1,204,203,200_from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Twila’s new devotional book,  The Power to Be, please comment below.  By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win!  If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.

Join the conversation: Has God ever given you a crazy, scary assignment? What was it? How did you respond? What did you learn about God at that time, and how does it encourage you to trust him more today?



Get Your Eyes Off Yourself

by Twila Belk

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” And God said, “I will be with you.”  Exodus 3:11–12 NIV

The story in Exodus 3 and 4 is fascinating. Moses, tending his sheep in the desert, sees a burning bush, but the bush isn’t consumed. He goes closer to check it out and hears a voice. “Moses! Moses!” It’s God. Realizing he’s standing on holy ground, Moses removes his sandals.

Then God reveals his great plan: “I’ve seen the misery of the Israelites. I’ve heard them crying because of their slave drivers, and I’m concerned about their suffering. It’s time to rescue them from the hands of the Egyptians and lead them to a land flowing with milk and honey. Good news, Moses! I’ve chosen you to make this happen.”

If Moses hadn’t been barefoot, he’d be shaking in his boots. “Wait a minute, God. You’re sending me? Who am I to do a job like that? I’m just a grownup basket case. I can’t do it. Can’t you ple-e-e-e-e-a-se send someone else?”

God’s response? “I will be with you. It doesn’t matter who you are, Moses. It matters who I am.”

Once Moses took his eyes off himself, he accomplished amazing things for God.

I’ve had many “Moses moments” in my life. When asked years ago to play piano for Bible Study Fellowship, I questioned why God didn’t choose a better musician to do it. “I’m a scriptural pianist, Lord. My left hand doesn’t know what my right hand is doing.” God reminded me that he didn’t call someone else; he called me.

When God made it clear he wanted me to write, I said, “Lord, how am I supposed to write? I can’t even talk without problems.” God reminded me to trust him.

When God wanted me to become a speaker, I protested. “But Lord, don’t you remember the excuse I gave for not writing? You know how I get tongue-tied.” God reminded me of the time he used a donkey to get his message across.

Each time I’ve feared my inadequacies, my underlying thought process was: “What if I fail or look like a fool?” And God reminds me that it’s not about me; it’s about him. If it’s about him and for him and by him, doesn’t it just make sense that he will help me do his work?

God doesn’t need our help. He can get the job done with us or without us, but he chooses us to carry out particular works so we might be blessed and bless others. We can take courage in the fact that God never gives us a job without equipping us for it. He doesn’t want our competence. He wants our obedience. And if we walk forward, hand in hand with him, he will come through for us every time. Guaranteed.

God, I have big problems when my eyes are on myself instead of on you. I see my insecurities, my weaknesses, and my shortcomings, and I forget that it doesn’t matter who I am. It matters who you are. You don’t want my competence, and you certainly don’t want my excuses. You want my willingness to do what you ask. So rather than questioning, “Who am I?” like Moses did, would you help me to say, “Look who God is”? Lord, I want to accomplish big things for you. The only way for me to do that is to step out in obedience and to trust you for the results.

(This devotion is an excerpt from The Power to Be, (c) 2018 Twila Belk. Used by permission of BroadStreet Publishing.)

twila belkAbout the Author: Also known as the Gotta Tell Somebody Gal, Twila Belk  loves braggin’ on God. Whether she’s writing, speaking, or teaching, she offers hope and encouragement for people to fix their eyes on him. Twila is the author of The Power to Be: Be Still, Be Grateful, Be Strong, Be Courageous and Raindrops from Heaven: Gentle Reminders of God’s Power, Presence, and Purpose as well as five other books. Mom to three grown children and Grandma to three precious little boys, Twila lives with her husband in Iowa, not far from the Mississippi River and the home of American Pickers, John Deere tractors, and Whitey’s ice cream.

Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random number generator to pick a winner 51veIj1tu+L._SX344_BO1,204,203,200_from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Twila’s new devotional book,  The Power to Be, please comment below.  By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win!  If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.

Join the conversation: Has God ever asked you to do a particular task that was scary, or that you didn’t feel competent to do? What was it? How did you answer God and how did it work out? What is he calling you to do right now?

Leave Your Parachute at Home

by Edie Melson

 “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.” Ephesians 3:20

Sometimes, actually more often than not, I get caught up in the process of life. The details grow large and overwhelming and I lose sight of the bigger picture. It happens because I’m an analytical sort of person, and definitely a planner. With every project I tackle, I map out what’s ahead, trying to anticipate any possible potholes and pitfalls. I build timelines and set expectations.

I should probably mention that I’m also a recovering perfectionist.

For years I didn’t acknowledge that fact. Partly out of ignorance and partly out of denial. My perfectionism shows itself in strange ways. In the past it has kept me from trying anything I thought I couldn’t succeed at. Because I set such high expectations for my own performance, fear of failure kept me in a box of what I knew I could achieve. That kept me from pursuing my dreams.

In the past I’ve gone to great lengths to build in safeguards that keep failure at bay when I tackle a difficult project. I always thought of these things as packing a parachute. They’d be a built-in safety net that would keep me from crashing and burning if I hadn’t covered all the possibilities.

But the biggest turning point came one day as I had my devotion time. I came up with the idea that following God was like getting ready to skydive. I began to record comparisons between packing a parachute and all that skydiving entailed in my journal—certain I’d hit on a wonderful metaphor for life.

Until I felt a metaphoric tap on my shoulder from the Holy Spirit. He whispered a question I’ve never forgotten.

Are you skydiving or flying?

God reminded me that He is in the business of helping us to fly. He’s not interested in skydiving, and He has no need of parachutes. Parachutes are the baggage of those who are trying to do things apart from him.

I won’t argue that there are things we need to do to get ready to fly, but packing a parachute isn’t one of them. God wants us to fly free, chasing the dreams He’s placed in our hearts. His plan doesn’t include the encumbrances of safety nets and parachute. When He’s in control, they’re just extra baggage that can keep us from soaring high. So whatever dream God has planted, go for it. And leave the parachute at home.

Edie-MelsonAbout the author: Find your voice, live your story…is the foundation of Edie Melson’s message, whether she’s addressing parents, military families, readers of fiction or writers. As an author, blogger, and speaker, she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her latest book, While My Child is Away; Prayers for While Were Apart is available at local retailers and online. Connect with her further at and on Facebook and Twitter.

Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random number generator to pick a winner from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Edie’s book, While My Child is Away,  please comment below.  By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win!  If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.

Join the conversation: What fears are you carrying around that might keep you from flying?