An On-the-Go Devotional
by Lydia Brownback
Lydia Brownback wears many hats, author, speaker, editor and blogger. Her most recent project is a devotional series for women entitled, “On-the-Go Devotionals.” Each book is designed to fit a busy woman’s lifestyle. She can take a few moments to read first thing in the morning, or she can pack one of these books into her purse or diaper bag and read an entry or two while waiting somewhere. The first in the series, Trust: A Godly Woman’s Adornment, consists of 50 short, but insightful, devotions which focus on overcoming fear with believing God.
Brownback operates from the firm conviction that our sovereign God is good and He can be trusted, regardless of what our senses may tell us. Trust begins with an introduction from Ms. Brownback in which she unpacks why women are fearful, what is the root of that fear, and what is the biblical prescription for overcoming fear. The organization of the devotions follows a similar progression. The first several devotions discuss fear in a general sense before moving on to more specific scenarios in which women tend to be fearful, such as relationships, circumstances, anxiety and worry, trials, pain and suffering. Without actually listing questions to consider, Brownback writes in such a way that the reader is led to evaluate her heart and consider what it is that has the power to make her anxious. She also addresses the issues of fear and unbelief as they relate to sin, salvation, acceptance, assurance, and security in Christ. Using short studies of various characters in scripture, she shows how faith or unbelief manifest themselves in our decisions and behavior. The final eight or nine devotions emphasize the goodness and love of God to show that He is worthy of all our trust, which is the only means by which we can be free from the sin of unbelief.
In this season of my life, my favorite entries were the ones regarding faith in Christ’s finished work on my behalf. Like many women, I can begin to think that my performance influences God’s attitude toward me. Brownback writes how wrong that way of thinking is, in “No Ifs.”
“What is the basis for our security with God? How do we know that he listens to our prayers and forgives our sins and takes care of us each day?…We get fearful and anxious because our default thought pattern is that God will do his part if we do ours. The reality is, however, that there is no if. God has already done his part by sending his Son, and in so doing he completed forever our eternal security and adoption into his family. God hates our attempts to earn his favor, not only because they deny the finished work of Jesus, but also because those attempts keep us from enjoying his fellowship.
Attempting to earn God’s favor will always lead to weariness in the Christian life, or to fear, because no matter what we do, we will never measure up. Nothing we do is up to God’s standards. That’s why Christ not only died for us — he lived a perfect life for us as well. Do you know what that means? It means that when we fail to measure up, God looks at how Jesus measured up, and he applies that to us. It means that God exchanges the perfect choices Jesus made in his earthly relationships for our bad choices. The intimate fellowship Jesus had with the Father while he walked this earth is exchanged for our halfhearted quiet times. It means that Jesus’ resistance to temptation covers our failures to resist. There are no ifs; Jesus took care of all that.”
I do not normally enjoy devotional material for women. Most tend to emphasize my emotions over truth. Brownback’s devotional, however, is well-crafted, with each entry serving the purpose of presenting the truth and respectfully demanding a response. Though the entries can be read in five to ten minutes, each one proves relevant and insightful. Because the entries are short, each sentence counts. Brownback doesn’t waste any words.
I enjoyed the content, but I also liked being able to carry this book around without a separate bag. I am sure most women will benefit from this book and I am happy to recommend it.