Priscilla Shirer is Vyrso’s author of the month. She is an accomplished Bible teacher and well-known conference speaker, and has written many inspiring ebooks, including her new release Fervent.
Right now, get two of Priscilla Shirer’s ebooks, God is Able and One in a Million, bundled together in the Priscilla Shirer Bundle for $3.99!
Below is an excerpt, “Watch Where You’re Going,” from God Is Able, an ebook written to encourage everyone trust God because through him, anything is possible!
“Unto Him.” What valuable words to pocket into your living vocabulary. Perhaps that’s why Paul included it twice in his Ephesians 3 doxology—the most powerful of all prepositional phrases—one time in both verses.
“Unto Him . . .”
“Unto Him . . .”
Twice the chance you’ll never forget it.
Because let’s be honest, we are always turning somewhere.
More often than not, we turn to others—to our friends, our pastor, our family, our prayer group. And that’s fine. That’s helpful. But if that’s all the turning we ever do, we’re just piling on blankets without ever cranking the heat up. We’re putting a Band-Aid on our forehead instead of taking an aspirin for the headache.
The very best our best friends can do is to sympathize with our troubles. They can cry with us, pray with us, keep their ears open for us, put in a good word for us. But they can’t do what God can do. They’re not able the way God is able. Sure, He can use our various support systems to give us a hug, an observation, or a piece of wise counsel, but He alone has the power to invert situations, revert conditions, and overhaul circumstances. He’s the only one who can give us exactly what is best, who can know us all the way to the back wall of our hearts, and who can flow everything that touches us through the ageless wisdom of His will so we are constantly within His loving care and keeping.
Sometimes, on the other hand, we turn to ourselves. After all, that’s what we’re conditioned to do. To dig in and try harder. To do it without anybody’s help. Or maybe we’re just hoping nobody else will see the mess we’ve made until we’ve done our best to fix it. We don’t want them to find out how much struggle goes on behind our smiling faces and our perfect families. But turning inward leaves us fully exposed to pride and confusion, to stilted perspectives and limited resources. We think we’re doing what’s best. We’re trying not to bother anybody. But becoming overly introspective can cause us to slide into an abyss of discouragement as we carefully consider all the ways we don’t seem to measure up.
Christianity was never meant to be so intrinsic. It is extrinsic. It is all about looking outward toward Jesus, not inward at ourselves. [Click to Tweet!]
Our enemy is the one who wants us focused on ourselves—on our humanity, frailty, and need. God, however, wants us focused on Him—on His deity, His ability, and His boundless power. He’s never overwhelmed or put off by our problems. He’s not bothered by us, by the concerns of our hearts or the needs in our lives, no matter how much or how often we turn to Him. In fact, if we don’t turn to Him and lay it all down, we only succeed at resisting His ability to reach in and change this.
To reach in and change us.
So we need to watch our preferred tendency for turning only to others, or turning only to ourselves. But we also need to be careful about turning too easily and exclusively to our junk. To television, to the Internet. To movies, sports, and hobbies. To numbing wastes of time, if not to shameful lacks of self-control. Let’s be honest, sometimes it’s just easier to shop than to deal with our lives. A great pair of shoes or a snazzy new gadget from the (insert common red or green fruit name) store tends to deaden us to our reality, in exchange for a few very expensive moments. We trade our own complicated world for a fantasy world that’s easier to decode, control, and star in. We hope that maybe our problems won’t seem as bad when we come back to them. At least we’ll have had a few hours off— with our new pair of red heels or our shiny new phone.
Who can blame us for that?
But while turning to healthy recreation can be a good part of coping with difficulty, we can’t ask a gripping TV series to minister to the heart of our troubled teen. We can’t eat enough Mexican food to reheat the coolness that’s descended on our marriage. We can’t play enough computer games or follow enough celebrities online to satisfy what’s missing or make up for what we’ve lost.
God alone is able. Turning to Him is the secret to finding wholeness and to seeing our situation reversed in Jesus’ name. [Click to Tweet!]
Nothing really changes when all we do is talk to each other. We just leave the restaurant with ten dollars less than we had when we walked in. We go back to our business and try to remember where we left things off. But when God speaks—listen to me now—worlds come into existence! New things are created! Old things pass away! Now is the time to start doing some turning. Not turning any which way you please, but turning completely and consciously unto Him.
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This is excerpt from God is Able by Priscilla Shirer (B&H Publishing Group) has been used by permission.