Video DevotionalsReading Plan
August 2nd - September 10th
There’s something that happens when you set aside a season of your life to seek the face of God. A mountain top or wilderness season where distractions are diminished. Though we cannot live at the top of the mountain or in the quiet of the wilderness, we can journey there for a season. This won’t be easy. The 40 days is not a sprint; it’s a marathon. You can sign up to participate and receive daily video devotionals throughout the 40 days.
Sign Up For Text Updates
Pastor Michael's Quiet time toolbox and tips
Physical over digital
I am a huge advocate for embracing the tools that God has given us in our modern age. Technology is something I personally am a huge fan of. It allows us to be better stewards of our time and streamline countless things. This gift can also be a huge distraction. There is something sacred about carving out time to sit alone without interruption to meet with God. In the early 2000s, I recorded all of my devotionals on Xanga, a digital web-based blogging site. Today I don’t even know if the site is still live, much less what my login is. Upstairs in my home office I have copies of family bibles and hymnals that date back literally hundreds of years. It is incredibly special to hold the very pages that generations before me held and wrote in as they had encounters with the living God. When my time is finished here on this earth, I want to keep this tradition going. I want my great-great-grandchildren to see the faithfulness and move of God through generations.

I recommend reading from the ESV translation of the bible. This is what I read from whenever I preach, and it is what I use to study with as well. While finding a good translation is not the most important thing, reading it is; translations do matter. You want to find an accurate translation and that is readable. While the KJV is a good translation, it includes words that most people never use. This makes that particular translation challenging to read for some. This is why we suggest the ESV. If the ESV is too difficult to understand, the NLT is a great alternative. Getting a study bible can also be a great asset to personal time with the lord. Below are some links to a few bibles I would suggest.
ESV Study Bible Link
NLT Study Bible Link
A Journal
Whenever I head into any important meeting, I want to make sure that I am prepared to record what takes place. I come in with the expectation that what takes place in the meeting will need to be revisited in order to be fully implemented. This is the exact same approach I take when it comes to meeting with God. I want to have my expectations high and be ready to hear from the lord. A $10 investment in a journal can help you record the things that God is depositing in your life. I personally use a life journal that has a reading plan attached to it, but any notebook will do. The important thing is what goes into the notebook, not the notebook itself. A mentor of mine used a cheap composition book and has filled up over 100 of them throughout the years.
Life Journal Link
A Reading Plan
I have always been better with a clear plan. The reading plan is designed to help you stay on track to reach a specific goal. If you log into, you will find a ton of great reading plans for you to choose from. These plans come equipped with mobile reminders, email reminders, and accountability options so that you can stay on track. For 40 forward, we will be following the plan below.
40 Forward Reading Plan Link
An Accountability Partner
Devotional time is designed to be personal but not individual. I know firsthand how lonely something can be. A group of two or three other people of the same gender that serve as your daily and constant accountability partners is a game-changer. They will know your goals and requests during this journey more than anyone else. These people are assigned to help you as you help them.

A Playlist
Music is powerful and impacts the soul. It can take you back in time and shift emotions both consciously and subconsciously. Having a playlist of worship music is a big part of how I focus my mind and soul on Christ.
40 Forward Spotify Link
A Prayer List
An all too common moment in Christian circles is saying “we will pray for you” and never do anything about it. I always keep a list of items I am praying for and record the breakthroughs that are happening. This keeps me organized and on track.
Pro tip - use your journal.
©2021 The Rise Church