Encouragement for Today Podcast

In today’s episode, you’ll hear a devotion written by Lysa TerKeurst based on Isaiah 30:21, which says, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’” (NIV).

We hope today’s devotion reminds you that when you obey God’s instruction for today, you will develop a keen awareness of His direction for tomorrow.

Related Resources: 
  • For more from Proverbs 31 Ministries, head to our website at proverbs31.org, where you can subscribe to Encouragement for Today Devotions in written format, delivered to your inbox each weekday.
  • Download the free resource mentioned in today’s episode: “5 Barriers Keeping You From Connecting With God.” Click the link, enter your email address, and we’ll send the resource straight to your inbox!
  • Check out the Lysa TerKeurst collection in our bookstore for books and Bible studies by Lysa!
  • Click here to read the transcript for this episode.

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What is Encouragement for Today Podcast?

Life can be so challenging sometimes — we each understand this all too well. It’s not only the big things that seem out of our control, but it's also the little things we face each day. We forget our keys. A friend cancels on us. Our bank card gets declined. We wake up anxious. Negative thoughts fill our mind. It doesn’t take much to leave us feeling hopeless, confused, exhausted or stressed. We wonder what God has to say about what we’re experiencing, but sometimes just getting through the next few hours is hard enough. That’s why Proverbs 31 Ministries created the Encouragement For Today Podcast — a collection of 50 devotions to help you start your day with a biblical perspective you can carry with you no matter what lies ahead.

I have to admit, I rush and miss God’s invitations a lot. I walked by a woman at church the other day. A quick stirring in my heart said, Go say hi. I brushed it off.

When I saw a discarded cup in the parking lot of the restaurant where I had lunch, I knew I was supposed to pick it up and throw it away. I walked right by it.

These were simple acts of obedience I missed. But they weren’t missed because I was unaware. They were missed because I was busy — caught in the rush of endless demands. And the rush makes us rebellious. I knew what to do and blatantly ignored it.

Ignoring God’s leading doesn’t seem like such a big deal in these cases. In the grand scheme of the world, how big a thing is it that I didn’t pick up that cup? After all, how can I be sure it was really God?
A better question would be, How can I be sure it wasn’t God?

As God’s girls, we long for unbroken companionship with Him. The cup was insignificant unless it was me breaking away from obeying His instruction. The one who obeys God’s instruction for today will develop a keen awareness of His direction for tomorrow. I’m always asking God for direction, but I’ll miss it if I constantly ignore His instruction.

It’s in those little breaks in our companionship with God where confusion sets in about what we’re really supposed to do.

Have you ever heard that amazing verse from Isaiah which says, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’” (30:21)?
I love this verse! I want it to be true for me! With every fiber of my being, I want to hear God say, “This is the way; walk in it.”

When I humbly repented for rushing past the opportunities God had given me, He graciously gave me a do-over. Remembering the woman I hurried by at church, I felt a stirring to track her down through a mutual friend and send a simple email. Just a small note. Which I sent. For no other reason than God saying, “This touch is one of your assignments for today. Don’t miss it.”

That email paved the road for me to have coffee with this woman. During that meeting, God gave me an answer to something I’d been begging Him to address. I thought I was going to help her, yet I was the one helped. Obeying God’s instruction led to me being able to discern His direction. I needed that coffee meeting, and it never would have happened had I not stopped the rush of my life and emailed the woman after God’s prompting.

That little act of obedience somehow unplugged my spiritual ears. Not that we can’t hear God otherwise. But hearing Him clearly? I think that might require my soul to acknowledge what all my rushing causes me to miss.

Yes, if we want His direction for our decisions, the great longings of our souls must not only be the big moments of assignment. They must also be the seemingly small instructions in the most ordinary moments when God points His finger, saying, Go there. And in doing that, we are companions of God with
eyes and ears more open, more able, more in tune with Him.

Dear Lord, I confess that I do walk right past Your invitations from time to time. Please forgive me for those times when I have rushed right on by. Help me to stop and follow You. I’m listening. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.