Editor’s Note: Bob Goff’s first two books,Love Does and Everybody, Always, became runaway bestsellers thanks to their unique combination of entertaining, witty storytelling, and challenging, surprising perspectives. Now Bob has created his first devotional, Live in Grace, Walk in Love: A 365-Day Journey. It’s a full year’s worth of meditations on how we can step out in love and confidence in every aspect of our lives. Enjoy two devotions from the book today and be inspired to not just talk about love… but walk in love.
Quit Waiting for a Plan; Just Go Love Everybody
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
— 1 John 4:7
Have you noticed a surge in the number of workout programs out there? It seems like every time I pick up a magazine, a new study says the key to weight loss is to avoid carbs, or only eat carbs, or eat only free-range llama eggs. I’m still looking for the workout plan that pushes popsicles, cake pops, and Pop-Tarts as the key to getting ripped. It would seem the only thing we love more than dieting is talking about dieting.
I’m not one for diets or workout plans, but I do know what it’s like to spend too much time coming up with a plan instead of just doing the plan. The same holds true with our personal plans. It’s tempting to sit around dreaming about what we would do if only we had the money or the time or the unique opportunity. But all that planning for the future takes us away from the one thing all of us can do right now: love the people around us.
God isn’t dazzled when we go across an ocean. He delights when we go across the street.
It’s great to map out a plan to use your gifts to make the world a little more beautiful or functional, but try not to forget that you’re already where you are. Go change the world from where you are, while you’re moving toward where you wish you were. Changing the world turns out to be easier and harder than we tend to make it: it’s easier because it doesn’t take as much money or time as we think it will, but it’s harder because, like the workouts we avoid, it takes courage, commitment, and sacrifice in the moment.
If you’re a planner, terrific. Go do loads of planning. If you were wired to be spontaneous, do plenty of that. By all means, keep scheming up plans, but don’t forget there’s a big difference between always preparing and actually being ready to start.
What is it that you’ve been planning without starting? You don’t have to take all the steps—just the next one.
God Uses Uncertainty to Chase Us Out into the Open Where We Can Find Him All Over Again
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
— 1 Peter 1:6–7
When we pray, it’s easy to get a little tongue-tied. We don’t always know what to say or how to do it “right.” But when there’s a crisis, sometimes we turn into world-class orators when we pray. We know exactly what we want, right? Whether you’re driving through a hailstorm with your kids in the back seat or going through an unwanted career change with no opportunities on the horizon, difficult things can make us feel small. They make us feel so needy. They help us realize our absolute need for God to help us. These are the moments we find ourselves whispering panicked prayers as if our lives depended on them—because, in fact, they sometimes do.
It would be great if we could recognize how dependent we are on God in the high times, too, when we’re healthy or have a little extra in our savings account. But the discomfort brought by fear and uncertainty in our lives can become blessings. Here’s the reason why: comfortable people don’t need Jesus; desperate people do.
I heard the other day that a lot of the buttons we have to push don’t actually do anything. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but we’ve all had our suspicions. Like the button to change the traffic light so you can walk across the street or the one to make an elevator door close faster. They put those buttons there so we feel like we have some control over our lives, when we actually don’t. We might think we’ve got everything in hand, but the reality is that it’s only an illusion. Here’s the thing: we encounter God all over again every time we’re desperate enough to realize we’re not actually in charge.
Fear and uncertainty launch us toward God, and He’s always there to receive us when we arrive. When all signs tell us there’s no way out, we find God in the uncertainty, and He always makes a way. Take confidence in this. Realize you’re terribly needy. It’s a good thing.
What are you feeling uncertain about that you can bring to God in prayer?
Excerpted with permission from Live in Grace, Walk in Love: A 365-Day Journey by Bob Goff, copyright Bob Goff, 2019.
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What next step can you take today to walk in love right where you are? And how can you lean into your uncertainties and neediness and bring those to God? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!