Purposeful Faith

Author - purposefulfaith

Are You Using The Wrong Spiritual Tools?

You would not use a hammer as a tool to get a baby to sleep. Nor would you use a saw to put batteries in a toy. Or a colander to fix a driveway. Specific tools address specific issues.

Are you using the right tool when addressing problems?

This is vital.

Just think, Aaron and Hur knew the battle against the Amelikites would be won through prayer, so they held up Moses’ arms.

Arms up, they were winning.
Arms down, they were losing.

One spiritual tool was their breakthrough: prayer. (see: Exodus 17)

Think, Paul in the prison.

He praised and sang – and prison doors opened. In this scenario, praise broke prison bars.

His spiritual tool was: praise and singing.

Specific spiritual tools address specific physical issues.  What we see in front of us, is often broken by God above us, when we allow Him to work through us, as He wants.

If I try to pray, when I feel tired, worn and weary and I can hardly speak a word – my words may not amount to much. If I try to pray when I’ve lost all hope, my words fall flat. Yet, if I get into God’s Word and let it attend to my soul – it can be mind shifting. It is important for us to identify the season we are in and where God is moving.

Just as the enemy shifts his strategy, we must shift ours. And, we must know where God has traditionally moved in our life, what inspires us, what has broken chains and prison bars in the past. Most of us have a breakthrough point. Most of us have past approach that tends to work when all the chips fall.

Do you know yours? Your battle style?

It is vital we know our battle style. Why? Because we must be in tune to what wins our battles, shuts down our enemies, silences our fear, and pushes the needle. This way, we can win – our war.

This way, when we can’t think in our mind, we have a fallback plan. We have a vision of where God might want us to head. We have a strategy to get up and fight again. We remember what moved the needle before can do it again.

There are a lot of battle-styles. Here, we mentioned a few:

Prayer.

Praise.

God’s Word.

But, do you know the rest? Do you know what to do, when you don’t know what to do? Do your children? Do your friends?

Today, let’s equip not only our own hearts in being prepared to face what hits us, but let’s equip others in the same way. Let’s invite our friends to gain the wisdom and understanding of their own style. Let’s help those going through a hard time to gain new strength.

Learn Your Battle Style for FREE!

Are you curious what your Battle Style is? Download and print the FREE quiz at IAmBattleReady.com.

When you get your results, message a friend your style, and encourage them to take the free quiz. We can’t do this alone. We’re stronger together.

Bloggers, let’s reach our friends in need. Share this on social media: “Are you going through a battle? Take the free Battle Style Quiz for free at www.iambattleready.com. Discover how you best keep connected to God. www.iambattleready.com”

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

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Beware of Being Battle Worn & Weary

He offended me. The fighting words my husband launched hours ago were now causing my entire afternoon to be thrown off.  It wasn’t my fault, or so I thought. But, now, rather than being nice to my kids, I was snappy. Rather than being present, I kept thinking of how he was so wrong. Rather than tidying the house and helping out, I went on a silent protest in my room. Rather than dwelling on love, I wanted to release my own missiles.

In retrospect: His words were an attack sent by the enemy (one point for team-enemy!).

Usually we can recognize attacks. They are:
– issues that pop up out of nowhere.
– people problems that seem completely random (or odd).
– sin that makes you feel so guilty that you are unlovable (this issue starts with us and is leveraged by the enemy).
– past wounds that are intentionally re-hit.
– old tapes that get repeated by people to keep us stuck.

There is wisdom in asking: Is my unconfessed sin or my unrepentant heart holding on to what the enemy will use to his advantage?

Think for a moment. Judas got here…: “So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.” (Mt. 27:5)

…even though He said this: “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” 

Indeed, he was “seized with remorse”, but He failed to go to the Redeemer who could heal him. Sadly, he died by his own hand.

Beware of confessing to others, but not to God. Beware of carrying burdens, only Jesus was meant to carry. Beware of leaving unforgiveness untidy and unruly within your heart. Even the most specially-chosen disciple can fall. 

If someone so close to Jesus could go down, so could we.

Today is the day to let go and let live with Jesus.

Do you need to ask God, “Will you forgive me?”
Do you need to tell God, “I forgive _____?”
Do you need to say to God, “Today, I let go of this (offense).”?

Do it.

The price of holding on to guilt, shame and pain is death. The price Jesus paid to free us from it, becomes our new life.

Be Battle Ready today, by letting go of what pain you cannot manage any longer and putting it into the arms of Jesus. What will come about is restored connection and renewed hope.

Be Battle Ready.

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

“The best time to be strengthened against the Enemy’s tactics of doubt, disappointment, and devastation is before he makes his first move toward us. We all desperately need the biblical guidance and preparation found in Battle Ready!”

Lysa TerKeurstNew York Times bestselling author and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries

Available now wherever books are sold.

Amazon comments:

“This book inspired me to make positive changes in my life!”

“It’s more of a reference tool—a guide, a manual. It’s one of those books you stick on your bedside table and refer to often throughout the ups and downs of life.”

“Finally, someone put together a book containing actual tools to help you face life’s trials and tribulations. 

“It is not meant to be read and put on your bookshelf, it is meant to be a companion to The Bible.”

Be Battle Ready.

When You’re Failing to Be Faithful

Here I am. The girl who is supposed to have it all together. Afterall, I wrote the book, Battle Ready: Train your Mind to Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt and Live Victoriously (Amazon, B&N, ChristianBook.com). I should be as strong as Samson and as obedient as Jesus. No battle should take me down. I should be like a mountain, immovable by every monsoon.

But, I am not; the reality is: I still get shaken, unsure and a little nervous.

It’s embarrassing to say that despite my 90% growth, I still live with 10% lack. Friends, the pride in me, doesn’t want you to see me this way. I want to hide the embarrassing parts of me in my bedroom, shut the door on it, and return to you as strong-and-mighty Kelly. But, that would be a lie.

The reality is: I don’t know it all, my friends. In many ways, I fail. On my own, I fail. By my own strength, I fail. When I control, I fail.

Do you feel like you are failing? Failing those around you? Failing to do faith well? Failing to find answers? Failing to make a way for those you love? Failing to be pure, honest and true to God? Failing to really surrender? Failing. Failing. Failing.

What if…today, you let the weight of your super-sized backpack full of bricks go? What if you began to speak a new word and release new life.

It sounds like this (speak it aloud): “Father God, the enemy accuser is right. I have (controlled, grasped, managed and not let go of the reigns, put your words here). I am sorry; forgive me.”

This is powerful, because rather than trying to defend ourselves against the inner attacks we actually know are true, we release them to God. The second we acknowledge we are wrong, we see how Jesus is 100 % right, righteous and right by our side ready to restore us. He is not undone by what He knows we’ve done, He is coming to release us from the inner turmoil of it.

While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (1 Pet. 5:8)

While you and I sin – Christ comes for us.

Why? What is Jesus’ plan in all this?

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” (1 Pet. 5:10)

He comes to restore us, to make us strong and steadfast. He does not come to shame, to hate or berate us. The path to Jesus always leads to freedom.

Friends, rest assured, whether it is me, Mother Theresa, Billy Graham or you – there is no perfect keeper of God’s law. There is no key to sudden perfection. There is no way to the freedom of life – to grace, either – except Jesus.

He has designed our faith-walk in some ways (or the fall of Adam and Eve has) to be a continual return. We just keep coming home. We just keep coming back. We just keep getting up. We just keep surrounding ourselves with His truth.

Battle Ready women aren’t perfect, they just know Who Is. They have strategies, wisdom, truth, and promises lined up in their fanny-pack like weapons for hard days. They are practiced with thought-patterns of God’s love so that when defeat shows up, they don’t listen to it. They are equipped with little tips on how to change bad habits and how to embrace Godly vision. They know how to fight proactively, rather than responding reactively. They aren’t ruled by the world they inhabit, but ruled by God’s love for them that helps them love the world. They don’t get with God once, but they are so full of desire, they keep coming back to the well of His love. They believe in God’s love for them. They hope and see His best. They walk by faith and not by sight.

They see how far they’ve come. They give thanks for the 90% growth they’ve found because of all the Battle Ready wisdom God has poured out. They leave the other 10% in God’s hands and entrust: He is Faithful and True to His Word. They see the good, yet they don’t run from the bad. They bring it to Jesus.

This is being Battle Ready.

Available now wherever books are sold

 

Here’s what the Battle Ready launch team has been saying:

Battle Ready is really helping understand what I mean to God. I’m beginning to understand I’m very important to Him.”

“How did Kelly manage to read my personal diary? I felt as if she had cracked open my head and started reading my deepest thoughts and fears. Her vulnerability in sharing how her own thinking is in need to redemption makes me realize I am not alone in the struggle.

“I love the practical Scriptural counsel that this book offers. Kelly guides you in how to take the truth and apply it to your every day crazy life. I am sure this is a book I a going to need to re-read often.”

“It’s really been transformational in my mind and business even in a short time period. It’s sad to realize that many are struggling through life when just with these simple daily principles they could be THRIVING.”

“I love it!!”

“Kelly has jam-packed this book with truth.”

“I already feel myself relaxing in that truth and the tension in my heart has already started to loosen…!”

Battle Ready dares me to see my “prayer time as a battleground where wars are lost or won.”

BLOGGER GIVEAWAY: I am feeling a little gifty because of Battle Ready.

Win one of the following:

-One of 3 Bracelets.
– One 20-minute book, blogging or social media consulting session with me!
– One Battle Ready Daily Prayer Journal.

To enter: Either share the #BattleReadyBook Trailer (this Facebook Post) or feature a guest blog by me coming 2 weeks. Note what you did/want in the comments to be entered to win. I will contact you about the blogging details.

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Today’s Your Day, Change Your Life

To some degree, I am a planner. This means if a vacation is coming up, I probably have a list going of what to pack. Can’t forget my charger! I also have semi-folded piles of clothes awaiting the suitcase. A hat is laid out, next to the matching shirt and just the right jeans. I always intend on bringing my big bag, my makeup bag and my carry-on bag. I’ll assure you, I’ve got bags. Plenty of bags for the trip.

Yet, Jesus says, “Don’t take any money or a traveler’s bag, or even an extra pair of sandals.” (Lu. 10:4)

What? I love bags.

Even worse, He says this right after proclaiming, “Go now, and remember that I am sending you out as lambs among wolves.” (Lu. 10:3)

Suddenly, it occurs to me: If we lug along bags of stuff we don’ need, the enemy will rob us. Jesus gives us this word of warning, because He doesn’t want us to get pick-pocketed by the enemy.

We don’t need the bazillion things we think we need, we just need abandon. Abandon is our protection.

I’ve seen this play out in my life. When I try to bring all my good plans, they quickly go sour and I feel angry at God. When I try to carry a complete understanding of all that is going on in the world, I scour the news and feel anxiety. When I take with me good intentions to do a whole lot of stuff, rather than stay connected to God in the moment, I get nervous and overwhelmed. When I decide I need to really need to get a big retirement going, I must take my vitamins every night or I have to be like the other moms, I carry unneeded burdens with me.

Keeping up with the world can be a bag of burdens.  An open target for the enemy to rob. Like little Red Riding Hoods his ambush almost always comes.

Jesus, though, says we can let go of our bags and let our heart freely follow His footsteps. This abandon is our protection.

What bags do you need to let go of today? What is weighing you down more than it is letting you freely adventure with God? Isn’t it time to really start following Jesus today? Isn’t it time to lighten your load?

 

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

I Used to Hate Myself

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I hated how I looked. I hated how I acted. I hated how other people were better than me. I hated that I couldn’t control my family or my future. I hated that no matter how hard I tried, it always felt like it wasn’t enough. I hated how people seemed to do things easily, it was hard for me. I hated how I always had to prove myself. I hated how nothing came naturally to me. I hated how and I never seemed to have enough (money, smarts or looks). I hated how God seemed far and life seemed too tough and I didn’t really know how to get through the hardest times of life…

There was a lot to hate…

Then, I met Jesus. I began to find love.

I started to know He loved me and He wanted me as His daughter.

But I still hated how I was afraid to be me. How I needed to seem not too arrogant to church people. Or, too wild for their liking. Or, too smart in front of the leader of my small group. Or, too Christian in front of my neighborhood friends. I hated how I felt like I was made for more, but couldn’t access it. I hated how I didn’t really know why God created me. I hated that I partially believed God’s truth. Sure I read it in the morning, but I lost it mid-afternoon. I hated that about me. I hated how I tried to do good, but never felt good. I hated all that. I hated how, even though I had Jesus, I still hit hard battles and got emotionally destroyed. With shame, guilt, despair, and fret. Like a bad spiritual hang-over. I hated all that. I hated how I couldn’t really obey God. I hated how, underneath it all – I didn’t trust Him.

Then, I met a moment that changed me. All the circumstances boiled down to this thought: If I let God into my thoughts, won’t He change my life?

I started not to hate myself. Or, God. Or, what I do wrong. I started to invite God into my battles, my problems, and my doubts.

I began to see the ways to cultivate fresh faith, to renew my mind in Christ and to change my outlook on everything that had previously kept me stuck. I began to have: Breakthrough. Today, I can tell you without a doubt, I trust God more than ever. Here I am today, in the heat of a horrible battle (which unfortunately I can’t explain right now) that threatens me – BIG TIME. Yet, I feel at peace. I feel sure. I feel steadfast. I feel the purpose behind it. I am not freaking out.

This is huge. Now, I am far less afraid, doubt-full and stuck.

The lessons God has taught me within my mind – have changed my mind. I’ve discovered strategies, tips, truths and scriptural wisdom that has not left me the same. My life is a testimony. There’s nothing more real than that. It surprises me, but it also gives me so much hope for you. You really can change your thoughts, then change your life. You really can get past your doubts.

You really can be Battle Ready. Today, I feel unstoppable, strong and I live with a purpose.

****Will you share this trailer with your friends? So many are in need. So many need love. So many silently suffer from what I wrote above? Won’t you be the light in the midst of darkness? You never know, it could save someone’s life.

For 3 random sharers of this video, I’ll bless them with a: Battle Ready T-Shirt, a bracelet and a book.

Let’s help others in their pursuit of God, His love and hope.

About Battle Ready

In my new book Battle Ready (Amazon, B&N) I discuss a hands-on scriptural plan that teaches you twelve easy-to-implement, confidence-building mind-sets designed to transform your thoughts and, therefore, your life. Also if you pre-order the book between now and July 3, you’ll receive FREE bonuses including a 7-day printable journal.

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How To Fire Your To-Do List

let go

Post By: Anne Watson

I’m going to fire my to-do list. As my assistant, she does an excellent job of keeping me organized, but lately, she’s too good. Every single thought that pops into my brain is ending up on the list which sounds efficient but in reality, means that I am perpetually behind, unable to cross enough off to feel accomplished. My list thinks she is the boss of me and it’s got to stop.

Have you ever felt this way? I love being organized, and I’m almost famous for my lists and color-coded calendars, but I confess that lately all the joy has been sucked out of it. Rather than having items that help me remember the most important things, my lists have lists and all I feel is stress. Ironically, part of me things I am managing the tension by writing everything down. The thing is, I know better. I’ve bitten off more than I can chew on more than one occasion so why haven’t I learned? Why haven’t you?

When I’m feeling this much pressure, I am far from being my best self. I feel anxious, tired, and unmotivated. I lose the will to eat vegetables. I pick fights with people I love. I break out like a teenager. I have a stress twitch under my eye, and I struggle to laugh at jokes. I don’t even enjoy a good Netflix binge, which is when you know things have gone really off course! This is not some mamby pamby issue. Too much pressure and not enough joy is a toxic cocktail for the soul. When we aren’t functioning at our best, we fall out of God’s best for us.

Here is what I do when I need to prison-break out of the to-do list rut. I realize this is another list but go with me for a minute. Start by putting the list away. Then…

1.    Do something you think is entirely frivolous. Watch a movie in the middle of the afternoon. Bake a cake you don’t need. Buy a new purse in a bright color. Read a romance novel. Learn the words to an upbeat song and then sing!

2.    Change your scenery. Meet a friend or ten for lunch, a Broadway show, or just chips & salsa. Physically remove yourself from your stuck place.

3.    Loosen your death grip on control. I promise the world will keep turning if you take a permanent marker and cross all non-essential things off your list. Yes, something will probably fall through the cracks, but when you take care of you, then you can take care of it.

I’ve learned to recognize the signs that indicate when my pressure and stress have reached an unhealthy level. I’m even getting better at noticing it before someone I love has to tell me (grin.) For me, the practice of being frivolous, changing scenery, and loosening control have all helped me move back to center. And that’s just better for everyone.

I’m not going to fire my to-do list today, I’ve decided. I’m merely going to give her a vacation. We both need it.

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” 3 John 1:2

Hey Mama at the Supermarket, You Started A War & Don’t Even Know It!

You may be wondering what a grocery store has to do with being Battle Ready? But let me tell you I had a straight up WAR in my mind. In my mind. That’s the key. I almost didn’t include the following story in the book because it’s EMBARRASSING. But it’s the truth. Here’s a little excerpt from the introduction of Battle Ready (Amazon, B&N) …


Life’s greatest fight is within the mind. I decided this at the supermarket not too long ago as I watched a lady survey the meat counter. Said lady? She appeared nice enough. The only issue was that she was beautiful and the exact opposite of how I’d been feeling lately. . .

Lately, I’d been trying to oil-slick all of my wild strands into a contained mass of frizzless order. Lately, I’d been trying to cover my gray roots. Lately, I’d been trying to triple-foundation-cover redness on my cheeks that wouldn’t relent. Lately, I’d been trying to yank-button my shorts to hide an ever-bulging waistline. Lately, I’d been scouring online reviews for wrinkle creams that actually work (without success, I might add). So when I saw her, I hated me even more. Her. In all her tight-fit body glory, walking around in those little spandex pants and bra-like workout shirt . . . she silently mocked me. Her body laughed at mine. Her unsaid words critiqued me. Her confidence attacked mine. That show off!!!

So I did what any violently threatened woman would do—I fought back. Right there, while holding the hand of my little toddler and a bag of chips, I envisioned myself approaching her, tapping her on the shoulder, and saying, “Excuse me, dear, I just want to let you know . . . your outfit sure is cute. So cute, in fact, I don’t think anyone would ever notice the bulges of back fat you probably never noticed when you looked in the mirror this morning.”

Bam! I’d hit her. Then I’d offer her a wink and be on my way. I’d march off with the military precision of a girl who just won the war! She’d stand there, mouth agape I’m sure . . . and I’d forget about how all those pretty girls back in third grade once made me feel. All this? My imaginary emotional uplift? This little break from my own faults?

It felt so good in the moment . . . so right. Until the regret came and I realized I had just done the unthinkable, what I’d pledged within my heart not to do: criticize, tear down, and rip apart another person. Why do I always do what I don’t want to do? Not too long after, my son and I checked out at the counter.

The cashier passed us a little red contest ticket. You get it for bringing your own bag. A chance to win $25 at the store by dropping that little red ticket in its own special box. I pointed out the box about twenty feet away and told my son to drop it in as I finished paying. The problem was, once there, my son couldn’t reach it. Jumping didn’t help either. Neither did my encouragement from afar. To make matters worse, she came. Said-lady rolled her pristine self and bagged-up cart right next to him. I believe I pretended not to look, but I certainly heard her voice, sweet like honey, say, “Hi, cutie, can I help you, little darling?” Workout Barbie then looked over and yelled to me, “He’s so cute!” She lifted him just right so he fit his little ticket in the box and affectionately dropped him down. She smiled big and waved goodbye.

I wanted to hate her. I did. But I couldn’t. Turns out, she was a kind lady with back fat rolls about half the size of mine. A thousand pound weight heaped on my back. I am so bad. I am horribly bad. I will never, ever be good.

 


 

Can you relate? In my new book Battle Ready (Amazon, B&N) I discuss a hands-on scriptural plan that teaches you twelve easy-to-implement, confidence-building mind-sets designed to transform your thoughts and, therefore, your life. Also if you pre-order the book between now and July 3, you’ll receive FREE bonuses including a 7-day printable journal.

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

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“When Faith Doesn’t Take the Pain Away”

POST BY: Kendra Broekhuis

It would have been our daughter’s third birthday. At least, in a perfect world where mothers don’t bury their babies, it would have been.

I laid in bed imagining what our baby might have been like as a three year old. A curly red head like her mom? A brown eyed brunette like her dad? A sassy pants like her older sister? On the third anniversary of her stillbirth, the only thing that streamed as heavily as my imagination were my tears.

Sometimes I think it’s a miracle my faith has remained intact since this devastating loss. I chalk that up to a huge dose of mercy, really. My beliefs about Jesus are no longer phrases I learned to regurgitate in Sunday School, rather truths that anchor my soul:

He is victorious over death. {John 11:25}

He is working all things for my good. {Romans 8:28}

He is close to the brokenhearted. {Psalm 34:18}

But even though faith stuck around, that hasn’t stopped grief from practically bulldozing me over sometimes – like the day our daughter would have turned three. And on those days I learned that the presence of pain doesn’t mean there is an absence of faith.

Our pain simply reminds us that not all is right with the world, that we aren’t dwelling in the perfect garden paradise God first created us to. And therefore, our faith and our pain are forced to coexist. Nancy Guthrie describes this coexistence well:

The day after we buried {our daughter}, my husband said to me, “You know, I think we expected our faith to make this hurt less, but it doesn’t. Our faith gave us an incredible amount of strength and encouragement while we had Hope, and we are comforted by the knowledge that she is in heaven. Our faith keeps us from being swallowed by despair. But I don’t think it makes our loss hurt any less.” {Guthrie, Holding On To Hope}

Before Jesus returns, there will always be tension between our hope in heaven and our current reality living in a broken world. It’s not a matter of either/or, but and. We can have faith in a sovereign, victorious God and admit to Him the heavy pain we are bearing. We will face trials and God will strengthen us through those trials. We will walk through valleys and He will ultimately rescue us. We will grieve and one day He will wipe away all of our tears.

So whatever trials, valleys, or grief you are facing today, let God’s promises both anchor your soul and remind you that He is near, carrying you and tending to your broken heart.

Pray that even when faith doesn’t take the pain away, hope will remain steadfast too.

 

Prayer:

Lord, I pray that in Your great mercy You will strengthen the faith of Your people. Remind Your children in mighty ways that Your promises are true, even when life’s circumstances can take remarkably painful and unexpected turns. And show us through Your miraculous provision that You are mending our broken hearts. Amen.

 

Bio:

Kendra is the author of Here Goes Nothing: An Introvert’s Reckless Attempt to Love Her Neighbor. The book highlights her 30 Day journey to recognize the Lord’s “I love you’s” in her daily life, as well as her somewhat awkward attempts to be the Lord’s “I love you’s” to her neighbors. For her day job, Kendra stays home with two of their children, Jocelyn and Levi. She and her family live in Milwaukee. Kendra’s love language is Dove chocolate.

 

Amazon Link:

https://www.amazon.com/Here-Goes-Nothing-Introverts-Reckless/dp/0718083261/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

Website:

www.kendrabroekhuis.com

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/kendrabroekhuisauthor/

Instagram:

@kendrabroekhuis

I’ve Got to Do Better than Her

She is going to make me look like a fool. It’s me against her. I have to come out on top.

Deep in me, there lives a competitive beast. One that promotes selfish ambition and untoward conduct. One that looks at other gals and compares them to me.

The beast says:

I need to be super impactful, smart and powerful. Or, I’m disposable.
I can’t let others get ahead of me. No one will pay attention to me anymore.
I should desperately fear being left behind. I’ll be useless without impact.

Competitiveness is a horrible beast to be chained to. It demands we control the uncontrollable. It sets us up to fail.

Does jealousy, fear, selfish ambition or a competitive nature threaten you, like me?

Lately, I’ve become so sick and tired of it’s bullying tactics. I’ve decided – through a deep investigation of scripture – to fight back.

Here’s how:

1. I humble myself under the mighty hand of God, knowing at the proper time (and in God’s proper way), He’ll exalt me.

2. I remember Christ rules over everything. He has all authority and every victory belongs to the Lord. If it is my victory, it is an empty one. But if it is God’s, it is fruitful.

3. I ponder the idea that by my strength, I get tired. But by His, I become empowered.

4. I bless those who hurt me, persecute me, laugh at me, talk behind my back and injure me. Why? Because God loves His creation. He is working on them. He is doing something. I don’t need to get my sticky fingers into His artwork. I can trust the masterpiece He is creating without trying to let my bitterness or irritation take control.

5. I wait on God knowing that, nearly half the time, it is by doing nothing I find He’s doing everything. Likewise, I step out when He says it’s go time, no matter how prideful, arrogant or self-serving it may seem to the world. Ultimately, I don’t serve others opinions of me, but Christ’s lordship. I follow it, stay close to it and trust it, no matter how it looks.

The beast dies when we die to our flesh and come alive to Christ. It can’t live when we stay surrendered and in-step with the Spirit. It has no rule when Christ rules. Period. And Amen.

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From “a Bad Hand” to “The Upper Hand”

For a large part of my life, I believed I’d simply been dealt a bad hand. I had thoughts like this: “Things work against me. No one is for me. The world will hurt me. People are out to get me. I can’t trust anybody. I am at risk of being continually injured or stranded. Bad circumstances find me.”

Bad. Hand.

Hurt. Kelly.

Struggling. To. Be. Okay.

Annoyed….Others. Have. It. Better.

Defined. By. My. History.

Have you, like me, allowed internal definitive statements to define your identity? Are you unsure how to climb out of the pit of injustice you’ve found yourself in?

Incredibly, God’s Word shows us the way. God has clear-cut, straightforward instruction for those who have been punched one too many times by the constant onslaught of the world. For those whose stomach feels like it is caving in and they’re about to give up.

Here it is…(notice the two main call-to-action points included within this statement):

“If you… 1.) listen to the commands of the Lord your God and 2.) carefully obey them, (then) the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always have the upper hand.” Deut. 28:13

If you listen and obey…

Then you’ll have – not the bad hand –  but always, the upper hand.

You won’t be the tail that gets stomped all over, but the head that is wise, smart and full of God’s truth.

Jesus, as the head, will get in your head and change the world of hurts you’ve been living in. Give Him a shot. Listen, obey and find yourself ahead.

 

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