Follow the Road

by Lori Altebaumer @Lori_Altebaumer

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” Psalm 32:8 NIV

I have never understood why the very first thing my vehicle’s navigation system feels compelled to tell me is “Follow the road.” Is it worried I might drive through the neighbor’s front yard instead? I think perhaps my GPS has control issues. And if you know me, you know how I feel about control issues.

Of course, there is a time to admit our weaknesses and seek dependable guidance.

Recently I found myself driving home from a writing conference in Oklahoma City on Labor Day. Since the trip would take me through the holiday weekend traffic of Fort Worth, I decided to program my navigation to direct me home by a different route through the country. A friend recommended an app for my phone that would not only direct me but warn me of things like cars parked on the side of the road or dangerous debris in my lane. This app told me everything—to the point of being annoying.

I reached the last major turn I was unfamiliar with and knew it was a straight shot down to the next town about thirty miles away. From there I easily knew my way home. Finally, I felt confident in turning off the pesky voice that kept interrupting my music. What could possibly go wrong?

Well let’s review a few things that could possibly go wrong. For starters, I have terrible night vision, and it was almost dark. And while I was currently on the correct road, I failed to notice that there were two highways joined here. The one I needed to continue taking would split off in a few miles. And we can’t leave out the fact that I have a terrible sense of direction.

To make a long story short, I made a long trip even longer. I missed my turn and ended up driving in the exact opposite direction I needed to go. I was headed right toward the place I had gone out of my way to avoid.

I now had plenty of driving time to consider the error of my ways. I thought about all the times I do this with God. He is my perfect guide. He alone knows the path I’m meant to take and what lies ahead.

But sometimes I let a few miles of smooth travel make me overconfident. This directly impacts my decisions. Maybe it’s a situation I’ve faced many times before. I think I’ve got it handled—no need to pray about it this time.

How about when I am reading a devotion or Bible study and I skim over or even skip reading the Scripture because I already know that one, and, well…I’m in a hurry? In my overconfidence, I stop listening to the only voice that sees the path before me and can guide me safely home.

Before I know it, suddenly I’ve missed a turn and find myself careening into trouble that could have been avoided.

Thankfully when this happens, if I seek His leading, God will always guide me back to the right path. First, I repent—I stop going in the direction I’m headed. Then I turn the GPS—God Positioning System—back on through prayer and Bible reading.

God’s Word isn’t meant to bore us with trivial observations or repetitions. If He says it, then it is significant.

There is no way we can go, no path so familiar, that God’s direction isn’t still needed. He alone knows what lies ahead.

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Lori AltebaumerAbout the author: Lori Altebaumer is a writer and editor who only half-jokingly tells others she lives with one foot in a parallel universe. She is a wandering soul with a home-keeping heart and a love of words and story. Lori loves sharing the joys of living a Christ-centered life with others through her writing. Now that her nest is empty, Lori enjoys traveling with her husband and visiting her adult children where she can rummage through their refrigerators and food pantries while complaining there’s nothing good to eat here (payback!). She blogs regularly from her website at www.lorialtebaumer.com, and can also be reached on her Facebook page @lorialtebaumerwrites.

Join the conversation: What is the best “direction” you have received from the Lord lately?

Following God’s “Eye”

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

God has said, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye” (Psalm 32:8 NKJV). How does that guidance work?

I loved playing point guard on defense. In the years I played basketball, my job was to stop the forward momentum of the other team’s leader. I could anticipate which direction she would pass the ball by which way her face pointed—where her eyes were looking.

It’s the same with God. Although we can’t physically see Him, we can anticipate which way His face is pointed by what His Word says.

“For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil.” 1 Peter 3:12 NKJV

God loves righteousness—the right way of thinking, feeling, and acting. Jesus is our best example of what righteous living looks like. He faced every temptation and won (Hebrews 4:15). He faithfully carried out the Father’s will (Philippians 2:6-8). We can look to His example and teaching to know how God wants us to live, and how He wants us to walk in this life—what paths and pitfalls to avoid, and the paths He wants us to take.

To have God’s guidance in specific situations, we have to stay close to Him. We won’t know which way our Father is looking if we are off doing our own thing. Too many times when I have found a new project to tackle, I want to rush into it without asking God for guidance. When we draw near to God, He draws near to us (James 4:8), and as we purify our minds and hearts, we will be able to receive His direction better. We will know what He has for our lives and our ministries.

To follow God’s eye, we have to know what He loves and what He hates. He hates pride, lies, and taking innocent life (Proverbs 6:16-17). He hates disobedience, unforgiveness, and brutality (2 Timothy 3:2-3). He loves mercy, kindness, and humility (Colossians 3:12). He cherishes love, light, and wisdom (Ephesians 5:2, 8, 15).

Where is God’s eye pointing you this week? Remember that He cares about what you’re going through and how you are serving Him. He has a plan for victory, strengthening, and effectiveness. Let’s celebrate that our great God who is perfect in wisdom, love, and power is willing to direct us. Then let’s follow Him. I’m ready. Are you?

The eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope for His lovingkindness. Psalm 33:18 NASB

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Following God’s “Eye” – insight from @KatyKauffman28 on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

headshot_katykauffmanAbout the author: Katy Kauffman is a Bible study author, an editor of Refresh Bible Study Magazine, and a co-founder of Lighthouse Bible Studies. Her writing tends to focus on winning life’s spiritual battles, and she loves connecting with writers and creating compilations such as Breaking the Chains: Strategies for Overcoming Spiritual Bondage. Katy makes her home in a cozy suburb of Atlanta, Georgia.

Her latest book, Heart Renovation: A Construction Guide to Godly Character explores the questions: How does God make our character more like Christ’s? What is His part, and what is ours? This Bible study compilation is a construction guide to building godly character and overcoming the hidden problems that sabotage us. It explores how God works in our lives and gives us wisdom to handle real-life issues.  

Join the conversation: Have you ever felt the relief or peace that comes with being certain of God’s will? How did you receive His direction and guidance?

Message In The Clouds

by Sheri Schofield

I’m a cloud girl. I love watching clouds and looking for designs that remind me of something familiar down here on planet earth. Montana has some of the most unusual cloud patterns I’ve ever seen. We have days when clouds look like UFOs or elephants chasing geese, stripes or puffballs. One day I saw angels flying across the sky! I find the constantly changing cloud formations fascinating.

But yesterday I saw something unlike anything I’d seen before. The clouds were unexciting, plodding across the sky toward another destination. But across one cloud I saw a perfect, human eye shape, complete with eyelids sketched against the dull background. It was startling, and I wondered how it got there!

Psalm 32:8 flashed across my mind: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” (

God knows I am a cloud girl. I sensed that he put that eye in the clouds just for me, to remind me that he is watching my efforts to reach the children of my town for Jesus – that he has a plan and the power to do this work. He will guide me, open doors for me, bring others of like mind to me. He will energize and organize this effort.

I do not have that kind of influence. But God does! As I walk in obedience to the instructions God gives, I can trust him to orchestrate everything, to bring me into contact with people whose goal is the same as mine.

Will this happen overnight? Probably not. The only thing I know is that he expects me to be faithful in my efforts to reach these children for Jesus, for as long as I am here.

Ministry here on earth can feel daunting at times. Each believer has his or her own work to do, and sometimes the trials and resistance of earth cause us to feel like our work does not matter . . . that it is pointless. But that is not God’s message to us! The devil would love us to think that way. He would prefer that we give up. But God is with us! Jesus’ very name in prophecy – Emmanuel – means “God with us”.

God did not mean for any of us to minister alone, either. He intends for us to be part of a body of believers who will support us in prayer and words of encouragement. We need the church, the Body of Christ.

Paul talks about spiritual gifts given to people when they give their hearts to Christ. He speaks of these gifts as being parts of a body. One gift could be compared to a head, another could be like a hand, and so forth. He emphasizes how we must function together. “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’ . . . Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” (1 Corinthians 12:21 & 27, NIV)

God did not call any of us to be Lone Rangers. We are to serve him together, loving one another, upholding one another and praying earnestly for one another. As we do, the assignments God has given to us will grow easier because of the mutual support.

Not a bad train of thoughts while I had my head in the clouds! God still speaks through His creation. Thank you, Father!

The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; Their voice is not heard.  Psalm 19:1-3 NASB

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Message in the clouds – by Sheri Schofield on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

sheri schofieldAbout the author: Sheri Schofield, an award-winning children’s author-illustrator and children’s ministry veteran of 40 years, has just released her new book, The Prince And The Plan, to help parents lead their children into a saving knowledge of Jesus. Sheri was named Writer of the Year for 2018 at 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, http://www.sherischofield.com. Questions welcomed!

Join the Conversation: What inspiring thing have you seen in creation lately?

Noticing When God Says “I Love You”

by Sheri Schofield

Life has been challenging lately. First, my children’s picture books were misprinted in black and white. “Oh, Noooooo!” I told the Lord. I wandered around the house for about twenty-four hours in a state of anxious prayer. The usual method of dealing with misprinted books is to destroy and replace them. But these were books on the plan of salvation. The black and white pictures were still nice, though not saleable. “What should I do?” I asked.

Gradually, the Lord showed me his answer: I was to give those books to the pastors ministering on our Montana Native American reservations – for the children – where unemployment is 80%. Jesus was clear: This misprint was NOT a mistake! He had planned it!

My thoughts went to the printer, who would take a loss over the misprints. Surely Jesus would not let her suffer if HE was behind this! I asked the printer what she would need to recover her losses. She said she would need $4,180, money we didn’t have. I told the Lord, “If you will provide the funds to salvage those books, I will give all two thousand books away.” God is now providing the funds as the requests from those pastors pour in.

The stress from that incident may be over, but more stress is on the horizon.  I keep giving it to Jesus. My new books have arrived, and the boxes weigh much more than I can lift. I wondered how I would ever get them into Walmart for my book launching party. I could just picture myself grunting and groaning, trying to manhandle those boxes! What should I do? I have a book carrier on wheels, but it was insufficient for a two-hour Walmart launch party.

For those who live in the cities, this may not seem like a big problem. But I live in the wilds of Montana! The stores rarely carry this type of thing. I talked with God about it. He showed me a picture of the Goodwill store, the right-hand aisle at the back of the store, the merchandise on the left-hand side of that aisle. I sensed His voice: “Sheri, that is where you will find what you need.”

Wow! Pretty specific, eh? So I hopped in the car, drove down the mountain, over the meadow, and through the woods to Goodwill. I went into the store and walked to the place God had shown me, wondering if there was a book carrier in that place. There was not.

“Where is it, God?” I asked. I walked around the backside of the aisle and returned to the same location.

“Look harder,” he said. And there it was, tucked away behind some other things: a light-weight, collapsible dolly. That, along with smaller boxes for the books, will provide a more professional way to move them, a way that will not hurt my back.

Isaiah 64:24 (NASB) says, “It will also come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.” I’ve always looked to the Lord for guidance and provision, but lately I feel as though I were on a sailboat being blown across the water by the Holy Spirit’s breath. It is such an awesome place to be! God is saying, “How I love you! Let Me count the ways! Listen to My voice! I will stand at your shoulder and tell you what to do if you will stay close to Me. In this way, you will feel My love poured out on you.”

Could there possibly be a more peaceful place to be? Listen for his voice! He will take you to some incredible places . . . and not just Goodwill!

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go. I will counsel you with My eye upon you.” Psalm 32:8, NASB

sheri schofieldAbout the author: Children’s ministry veteran Sheri Schofield was unexpectedly called on to save her husband’s life, a battle that took her to the Pentagon, Congress, National Security and the President of the United States. At her website, www.SheriSchofield.com, she shares this journey in her book One Step Ahead of the Devil. Sheri’s new book, The Prince And The Plan, will be launched June 1. It is designed to help parents lead their children into a saving relationship with Jesus.

Join the conversation: Have you heard from God lately?

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Hear and Obey

by Joy Schneider

I sat on a large rock on the overlook in Arad, Israel.  What lay before me was vast desert landscape with a view of the southern edge of the Dead Sea below me in the distance. My friends and I were nearing the end of our visit to Israel. This day was one of the last times I would be able to sit alone and seek to hear from God. My husband of 42 years had passed away seven months earlier and I needed guidance. Where better to meet with the Lord than in the Holy Land?

As I gazed over the desert terrain of rocks, hills and valleys sparsely strewn with shrubs, I imagined the patriarch Abraham coming to sit next to me. “You know, it looked a lot like this when I was here,” he would have said. I recalled how Abraham had walked by faith as he entered this very land.

Eventually God impressed a clear message into my heart: “Hear and obey.” I was a little disappointed because that was the same message I had received before leaving home. I thought, “Lord, I was hoping for something more specific.”  My inner yearning was to see a plan and a path.

The Lord and I have our humorous times together. I could almost see the twinkle in His eye and sense His comical chide. “You know if I were to tell you the whole plan, you would say, ‘Okay, I got it.  I can take it from here.’” He was right. I probably would have jumped right into list-making mode, planning my next move. I had to laugh. How wise He is.

I know that we can get ourselves into trouble when we try to do things our way.  His Word tells us that He has plans for His people. But He knows our propensity to depend on our own resources, strengths, and ways. So He chooses to reveal a little at a time, just the next thing. He wants us to come to Him for wisdom, knowledge and understanding (Proverbs 2:6; 9:10).  He wants us never to forget how much we need Him and that without Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5).

When God called Abraham to Canaan, He did not provide a blueprint of what would happen next. What Abraham was given were long-term promises: many descendants and the land as his inheritance. Genesis tells us Abraham believed God and his trust was credited to him as righteousness. (Genesis 15:6) He would live his life according to that plan one day at a time. A walk of faith.

I have a number of paintings at my house that show a path but reveal no destination.  Perhaps the road fades at a bend in the road or trees obscure the pathway ahead. One of the pictures displays a continual reminder, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go.  I will counsel you with my loving eye on you” (Psalm 32:8 NIV). He will reveal His plan step by step.

He promises to show the way when we come to Him for direction.  We not only need to hear but we also need faith to obey. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17 NASB). We are in good hands because the One who holds the future holds us. We need not fear the unknown paths that stretch out beyond our gaze.  Our unknown is known by our faithful Lord. We will receive His best when we hear and obey. And I can testify from experience that in the future, we can fully expect to have fun along the way!

“If you seek [wisdom] as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will discern the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God.” Proverbs 2:5 NASB

joy SchneiderAbout the author: Joy Schneider is an author, speaker, teacher and encourager to those who are engaged in the battle between the kingdoms. Her desire is to see people receive Jesus Christ and to help them step into the fullness of their destiny.

Joy has authored Identifying the Hierarchy of Satan: A Handbook for Wrestling to Win? and How to Keep Grief from Stealing Your Destiny, the first in her Battle Over the Anointing Series. She also works with ministry to Israel. She is a member of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association’s Board of Directors and Christian Small Publishers Association. A Colorado native, Joy has two dynamic daughters and sons-in-law and loves being grandma to eight wonderful grandchildren. You can visit her website at:  wateroflifeunlimited.com

Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random number generator to pick a winnerhow to keep grief from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Joy’s book,  How to Keep Grief from Stealing Your Destiny,  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 experiences have you had in being led by God?