Fuel Up Your Soul with Bear Grylls

Day 1 of 7 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Author Note From Bear Grylls: 

"I often don't feel very strong. Life can be a battle. We all feel that from time to time. But any strength I do have seems to come in the quiet moments at the start of my day. It comes when I am on my own, on my knees. It comes from taking time to be still with God. . . . So for me, starting my day like this really helps. It is like food. Like good fuel for the soul."

SOMETIMES PEOPLE ASK ME about stuff I’ve done. They’ll mention my reaching the top of Everest or  surviving a jungle or crossing an ocean— things that they think are successes. But to me these are the least interesting part of my story. And the truth is that behind every summit, every award or achievement that makes it into a neat headline, there is a string of failures. My life is much more of a collection of struggles, doubts, and fears, some of which I overcome, some I don’t.

A more relevant question might be, where does my strength come from? The honest answer is that I often don’t feel very strong. Life can be a battle. We all feel that from time to time. But any strength I do have seems to come in the quiet moments at the start of my day. It comes when I am on my own, on my knees. It comes from taking time to be still with God.

God. For many of us, that’s a difficult word. So might be the words church or Father. To some they might even be painful or negative. But let’s try to see beyond the words to the force behind them. That force is love. Let’s remember that if our Creator really is who He says He is, then He is good. He is calling us home in a way that is powerfully unique to each of us. He’s on our side, your side. He is holding out a hand, no matter how far we think we’ve fallen.

So God is love? I think so. I mean, that is all that Jesus ever wanted to share, isn’t it? Love. The force He brought was goodness personified. This love is there to hold us, guide us, strengthen us and rescue us. It’s a power that I know I can turn to, however far away I feel.

I don’t turn to God to be religious. In fact, I really battle with religion as such. It seems so divisive and full of rules. Both those things turn me off. Church often portrays itself as so neat and perfect. Life is neither of those things. I kneel simply because it is where I find strength. This devotional plan will start to reveal that. The whole notion of strength through weakness, connection through honesty, and power through humility is a journey, and I am not very far along the road. But I stay on it, as best I can, because my heart feels it is good.

Even with a lifetime of faith behind me, I find the journey hard. I often mess up. I find myself teetering on the edge more often than you would imagine. So for me, starting my day with God really helps. It is like food. Like good fuel for the soul.

That’s what Soul Fuel is about. It’s the chance to share with you the kind of fuel I rely on every day to try to keep my life on track. Like a firesteel or a length of good rope, my faith is another essential in my arsenal for survival. But it is so much more. It’s my backbone, the heart of it all—the greatest source of any strength I have.

There are intentionally no formal dates on the entries in this book and no reading plan for you to struggle to follow. Soul Fuel is simply 360 separate devotionals, grouped around the twelve themes that I find myself returning to again and again—hope, purpose, determination, relationships, vision, wisdom, faithfulness, courage, forgiveness, freedom, and risk. And while this book no doubt has flaws, and there’s so much more to say, it’s a start. I really hope it can encourage you to stand strong and tackle life with courage and kindness, secure in the knowledge that you are truly loved and set free in Christ.

Soul Fuel is here only to help you, and there is no condemnation in this plan. We are all in the gutter more than we imagine, but we are also looking up at the Star. And He is good.

What matters most is that we find the courage to reach out and take the hand that’s stretching toward us. That we keep on moving toward the light, inch by inch. And that we never give up. 

Faith is a journey, and like all great journeys it is made up of small, faithful steps taken every day.

This devotional plan has fuel for your journey in its pages. Don’t underestimate the power of the words of the Bible. So often they have been light to a dark path for me and strength to a failing body. Immanuel Kant said, “The Bible is an inexhaustible fountain of all truths. The existence of the Bible is the greatest blessing which humanity ever experienced.”

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. (Psalm 119:105)

I truly hope this devotional plan blesses, enriches, and empowers you every day.

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DAY 1: FRIEND INDEED

DOES GOD NEED US to be strong? No. Does He need us to be impressive? Definitely not. God is not wowed by our abilities. He goes where He is welcome and needed. He’s looking for people who say a quiet yes to Him in their hearts. Those who understand that alone we are so limited. When we are empty, He can fill us and work through us. 

When we think we have it all in hand ourselves, there is no room in our hearts for Him to work His miracles. 

Jesus said, “You are my friends. . . . I no longer call you servants. . . . I have called you friends” (John 15:14–15). 

There is nothing more empowering—and no greater privilege in life—than to be called a friend of the Almighty. We are loved regardless, forgiven, restored, and befriended.