Purposeful Faith

Author - purposefulfaith

Where Did God Go?

I believe some of you counted yourself not valuable or unable to make a difference. It’s not true. This is why I want to invite you, again, to join my launch team.

Friends, every bit helps – how you share Battle Ready with a friend in need, or do a post on Facebook, or encourage me along the way, or share it in your small group, or bring unique excitement to the team. Don’t discount yourself.  You all mean something to me; I want you to be a part of the launch team.  I want you to do this with me. Big or small, whether you feel important or meaningless, join me as we gain new confidence, seize new thoughts and spread Jesus’ liberating truth far and wide.  Pre-order a book on Amazon, then join the team here (and get a ton of video devotionals, scriptures, accountability, team support, prayer with me and little gifts from me: www.iambattleready.com/launch 

I love you all. Now here is the post:

Consider a random picture frame in your house. See it? When you wake up the next morning, do you know where it is? Are you confident it is there? Think of another one. When you walk into that room, are you sure you will see it?

What about the frame of your bed? How sure are you that when you return to your room, you’ll find it? Pretty confident, right?

The permanence of these objects is obvious. Yet, why doesn’t it feel this way with God?

It’s like God’s with us one moment and gone the next. We’re full of God one night, but down the next day. Trusting fully, then stuck in swirling ruminations the next hour.

We go from God with us to God is gone. God is here to God, are you really here?

Why does eternal God seem less real than the passing world around us?

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Cor. 4:8

Because there’s a re-framer in our house.

The enemy constantly attempts to steal our view and reframe it with his. He takes our pictures of God’s nearness, assaults them with doubt and tries to move them out of our line of sight.  We say, “God’s good and gone.”

Same tricks. Different day.

Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Gen. 3:1

Suddenly, Adam and Eve bit the fruit and were standing stark naked, ashamed in front of a far-off God.

What has the enemy reframed in your life? What has he subtly led you away from? What has he put between you and the God of closeness and fullness?

Remove it. Remove it fast and get with God. Do this repeatedly. All the time. God IS with you. He is. He will never leave your side.

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The Mind + Exciting News + You’re Invited: Do it With Me!

Our mind is a garden. We either take time to water it, or it wilts due to worry, distress and stress. We either remove the weeds or they crowd-out fruit.

God cares greatly about our gardens. Why? Becuase what we think on, we act on. What we dwell on, drives us. What untruths we believe, shape our instincts, emotions, and impulses.

Our mind is not meant to just memorize scripture, it’s to be compelled by the mind of Christ, always. “We have the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor. 2:16)

As we pluck what’s not of Christ, He seems to grow in us.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” (Ro. 12:2) 

Nutrient-dense soil grows faith.
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
(Phil. 4:8)  

Without weeds, Christ rules our thoughts.
“We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
(2 Cor. 10:5)

Is Christ’s truth, promises, and love ruling your thoughts? Or are you stressed out and stunted by problems, pessimism, and pain?

What if, you began to think differently, like Christ? What if you could face your problems proactively, verses reactively? How would your whole world change?

I wrote the book Battle Ready: Train your Mind to Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt and Live Victoriously after suffering through an eating disorder, depression, health issues, relationship problems, financial struggles and so much more. This book is not only a hands-on manual, where you can explore-your-story, but it is also a battle plan for your mind. With how-tos, practical and biblical wisdom, verses and truths it will help you stand strong. It will surely change your thoughts, change your habits and then change your life.

Want the inside scoop on the book?  Printables? Video devotionals? Live prayer with Kelly? My arsenal of Battle-scripture? Group-support? Weekly accountability? A physical thought-changing gift? A Mini-Prayer Journal?

****SPECIAL INVITATION: Join me on my launch team and you’ll get all the above and far more.

You don’t have to do a ton, you’ll just get behind the book in the little ways that seem natural to you. Such as:

Sharing the book with your small group or women’s minister
Spreading the word about it on social media.
Writing an Amazon review (which is so helpful).
Encouraging my heart.
Sharing it with your people (if you are a blogger)

Just pre-order a book today, then join the group here. Don’t delay.  200 also get a free book sent to them. Join the launch team.

Are you a seasoned- or veteran blogger, women’s minister, leader or speaker?

I’m offering an unprecedented launch opportunity. I am taking the Platform Mastermind Course – the one I’ll be releasing in the Fall for $500+ dollars – and I am literally giving it to my launch members for free. FREE.

This course:

  • Boils down all the marketing mumbo-jumbo into clear and concise how-tos so you can steward and grow your audience.
  • Reduces hours of learning, flight-times to conferences, time away from your family, and money spent trying to figure out what to do or not do.
  • Gets industry experts to share what is working right now on social media, in speaking and online so that you don’t have to endlessly search to figure everything out.
  • Presents the information in easy-to-consume and take-action videos that are short, and chock-full of wisdom. Plus, you can watch it all from the comfort of your home.

What are some of the 15+ courses experts in each field will share?

Video sessions include topics like:
– The 5 Biggest Speaking No-Nos (and 5 Things You must do)!
– “Crushing it on Facebook/Instagram Stories Video”
– The 7 Best Blogging Tips, Ever
– Making Facebook Work For You
– 3 Tips Publishers Won’t Tell You, But You Need to Know
– Why You Need an Agent and How to Get one
– Start a Blog: Get Up and Running in No Time
– Thriving in Ministry and Motherhood
– How to Boss Your Time Around
– How to Build an Email List, Fast
– “Rock it” on Instagram
– 5 Tips to Heart Connecting Writing/Speaking
– Find and Book Speaking Gigs
– The Social Media Strategies that ARE Working
– Learn Kelly’s Groundbreaking Tips in Bonus Video Content
– Creating awesome photos and visuals that attract people
+ much more…

How to join:
1. Pre-order a book on Amazon to help me.
2. Join the launch team here.
3. Fill out the form (do it now, limited space available).

I expect this launch team to be not only mind-changing but also life-changing and platform ground-breaking.

Share this on social media (and be entered to win a free book): Join Kelly Balarie’s Battle Ready Launch Team! You’ll get 15+Platform-Building Expert Coaching Videos for Free. (Include the link to this page)

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God Fights Our Battles

My son is at a new school.
He’s still getting used to making friends.
He’s not on the basketball court during recess.
He’s a little shy.
He’s pretty small for his age.
I’m quite sure he’s desperately wanting to be liked, approved and wanted.

We all are.

At his school relay race I hoisted him on my back. As I did, the little guy bent down towards my ear and said, “Mommy, run as hard as you can.” Something took over me. I was going to do this run for him. I’d carry him so well, so proud, so fast – he could finally have a moment to feel proud.

And I did just that. At “Go!” I exploded. Fast. Focused. Almost wild-like.

A mom told me, “Kelly, you ran so fast. I was a little worried, but you made it.”

The reality is: I wanted to redeem my son’s story. I wanted to give him a moment to be proud of. I wanted him to understand his mommy would always carry him.

God does the same for us.

We aren’t struggling alone. We aren’t stuck in some environment where no one sees us.

“When I called, you answered me; you greatly emboldened me.” Ps. 138:3 NIV

Almighty God has a mighty eye on us.

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” Ps. 32:8

All-knowing God understands what we’re going through.

“This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” 2 Chron. 20:15 NIV

All-powerful God is working on our behalf even when we don’t think he is.

“Do not be afraid of them; the LORD your God himself will fight for you.” Deut. 3:22 NIV

All-loving God would do anything to see our breakthrough.

“Blessed be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle.” Ps. 144:1 NIV

Already-two-steps-ahead Father has a good plan in motion.

“I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.” Is. 45:2 NIV

Altruistic Daddy would carry us, knight-in-shining-armor style out of any predicament.

“‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.” Zech. 4:6 NIV

Always, we are not alone, not left behind, not destroyed, not ruined, not the laughing stock, not forgotten, not ignored, not destroyed, not crushed, not left to rot. Always, we are helped, loved, carried and guided.

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Cor. 15:57 NIV

Oh yes. I thank God for this today. What about you?

 

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How to Love Like Jesus

Once inside the trolley, I realized it was not a tourist ride. It was a public transportation trip through the inner ghettos.  As people poured in, I noticed them. I noticed the torn up pants. The week-old dirt. I noticed the tattoos. The Narcotics Anonymous recovery backpacks. I noticed the teeth grill of gold and the huge smile at me. The family community feel. The waves hello. The guy exiting the bus saying, “Be blessed you all! Keep faith today.”

I also noticed I had love. For them. I could see the reality of their life. Instead of being stuck in my own world, avoiding others’ hardships, I was struck face-to-face with people’s real pain, history, tears, hopes, dreams and difficulties of escaping poverty.

How was I ever so oblivious? Oblivious not only to poverty, but to emotional hardships, to anger, to marital issues, to health concerns, to people needing help…to loving ones who feel like lesser people because no one sees them?

Jesus saw the lesser man and raised him up to be a greater man. May I do the same.

To see the reality of mankind, we must enter into their reality. We must confront what we avoid confronting. It’s the only way.

So, I’ve asked God, what does it look to really love?

To love we:
– Seek to understand the reality of the hardship
– Allow ourselves to feel their feelings for a moment
– Remember how we ourselves felt those painful feelings at one time or another
– Pray for understanding on how to fill gaps of pain
– Let God do the saving
– Submit to His leading
– Fill the gap by seeing through His small call to step out

No person is too far gone. No pain is too far beyond God’s ability. No soul is one He doesn’t care for. No child is left behind.

What would it look like for you to begin seeing what you avoid seeing, feeling, or relating to? What does it look like for you to step out of the world you live in and into the one you’re cynical of, apathetic to and uninvolved in?

That’s what Jesus did. He went to the Samarians. He touched the plagued. He loved the untouchables.

Jesus never permitted cynicism to rule,

even though He most certainly could have.

Jesus knew it is love heals;
Love is the complete fulfillment of all He came for.

And as Jesus puts it:
Love is our one cause and our only cause.
May we never forgo love.

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Pet. 4:8

Love goes. Heals. Speaks. Breaks divides. Understands. Sacrifices time and treasure. Calls people somewhere new. Lays down old stereotypes. Leans not on its own understanding or inclinations. Cares not if people see it work. Is governed by a mind of the Spirit. Brings life. Always. Continually. Eternally.

What would it look like for you to step out in love today? Ask God. Write it your answer here: ___________

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What Surrender Looks Like

What does surrender look like?

On a steamy track, the coach ran after my heels screaming with her timer, “Go, go, go!”  No one talked. It didn’t matter how we felt. Sprints gave way to more sprints. Tiredness ended up sprinting. So did exhaustion. Near-death feelings were supposed to somehow push us harder.

With that little glint of belief in her eye, the coach non-verbally pressured us that there was “more in us”. So we somehow found it and kept going.

During tryouts the coaches hovered over me, trying to figure out where I fit in on the track field. Would I be a long distance runner? A shot-putter? A sprinter? A hurdle-runner?

As she assigned everyone to his or her spot, I imagined all the potential of one person: me. I imagined myself running fast and with intensity along with all these other pre-Olympian superstars. But when she looked at me with beads of sweat on her face and in her hair, she said, “You’re my race-walker.”

Your what?

Your walker?

The loser. The one who looks all weird with her hips swaggering from side to side? 

I wanted to quit. While everyone else was something, I was nothing. The embarrassment.

Have you ever felt like the things you dream of are blocked? Like you can’t access what you’re supposed to be?

That day, I stood on that field shell-shocked. Then, I started walking. I walked so hard and fast, a year or so later, I made it to the Junior Olympics and got a bronze medal. Oddly, this moment is one of the greatest joys and the greatest gifts of my life. That track team had heart and taught me heart. I learned it is not what you think you should do that matters, but what God has for you that fills your heart.

What if what you’re made for looks different than you think? Will you accept His best in belief that it will one day become yours?

This is surrender.

 

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How to Prevent Yourself from Stumbling

Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This (suffering, pain death) shall never happen to you!” (Lu. 16:22)
Jesus replies to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” (Mt. 16:23)

What is a stumbling block?

It is anyone or anything that tries to stumble you as you move on God’s road. Like Peter, people may have good intentions. Their words may even be comfortable, harmless, or normal, but if they’re stumbling you, they’re worth investigating.

Stumbling blocks often make us say, “Wait, was I really meant for all this? Will God really pull through for me? Is He really that good? Is his Word really true?” 

When I consider stumbling block words, they tend to: question God’s plan, doubt his ability to show up, discourage what He is imprinting on a heart.

They speak fear instead of life and doubt instead of faith.

Will God really…?
How is that possible…?
Are you sure you want to…?

Wise people receive wise words from others.

But like Jesus, we are wise to rebuke voices contrary to the clear moves of God happening in our heart. Indeed, Satan often uses people to do his worst handiwork.

However, we can recognize his schemes. They tend to deter us from…

  1. Holiness
  2. God’s clear call for our life
  3. Loving people as God is calling us to

Here, we can:

  1. Rebuke the enemy within our mind, and ask God to give us fresh courage to see things through.
  2. Forgive others if their words hurt us.
  3. Pray and ask God what he wants us to learn through this situation.

Just because someone said something, doesn’t mean we have to own it. And just because we don’t own something, doesn’t mean we ignore what others have said. Perhaps they have a good point. Wisdom knows to sift it through God’s Word and prayer before deciding to accept or reject it.

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Undoing The Need to Be Perfect

What do you when you find your 6-year-old son’s drawing of a long-haired woman with a mean, massive frown?

You consider it’s you, of course. You consider you’re a cruddy boar, a horrible attempt at a caring, loving, and generous momma. And you wonder if underneath his smiles and bedtime hugs he might hate you.

Could this be possible?

You think of all the times he’s repeated, “Mommy, didn’t I tell you that already,” “You don’t listen,” and “You don’t cuddle with me.”

You recount that you do indeed cuddle, but you also think of how at the end of your day you’re very tired and this cheek-to-cheek (or as he does, it cheekbone on top of cheekbone) business can’t go on forever.

But still, the thought persists like a gnat.

What if, you’re not good enoughAnd worst of all, what if he’s busted you for it? 

Ever felt this way?

…Like no matter what you say to your spouse, he’s really thinking you don’t match up to the wife he wanted?

…Like no matter how hard you try at work, your boss still isn’t happy?

…Like despite your encouraging words to the woman, she still is cold with you?

…Like you can’t escape being the little girl who let people down?

…Like no matter how hard you try, you can’t win?

Of course, I understand. But what I also understand is this: The goal to perfectly “win” all the time is a warped one. It’s not only warped, but impossible. It’s like keeping a sparkly, gold trophy shiny. The second you clean it, fingerprints arrive again and you’re back wiping again. The only problem is that you can never step back and enjoy the prize, because all you’re doing is keeping up facades. Every flaw sucks you into yourself, and you miss the whole point.

I’ve been there. I am there.

Yet, I suppose I see a little better after writing all this: I can’t love my son when I’m fearing him. Nor can I enjoy him when I’m critiquing myself. Nor can I connect well with him when I’m not setting boundaries.

In the space of accepting my imperfections, he’ll learn to accept his own. In the space of seeing me growing with Christ, he’ll discover how he can grow with Christ. There’s some sort of non-speaking, God-testifying wisdom that will speak here.

What about you? What over-emphasized flaws have stolen the feelings of joy in your moments? What grace have you not afforded yourself? What over-trying attitude is stealing your peace? What new approach could you take to conquer these annoying feeling of self-doubt?

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Your Faith Isn’t Up to Them

You need to know this: It’s not up to them – the pastors, the teachers and the ones who stand on big platforms. It is up to you. Seriously. You are a royal priesthood. You are a saint. You are chosen.

Sometimes, I look at all the people who are doing big things. Then, I think my stuff is small. I think my work is unworthy. I believe it’s them doing the stuff God wants, but not me.

Lies. Lies. Lies. Pit of Hell lies.

The truth is: your stuff is not small. I get the messages from you all. You have just as much fabulous insight, wisdom, and lessons to teach as I do. You have things to say. You have stories to tell. You have people to love. You have lives to change. You are being used by God and He IS doing mighty things in you and through you.

Believe it. Do not despise small beginnings. And do not negate God in you.

Do you want to be used? Then ask God to be used. It is almost always as simple as “an ask.”

Ask, “God, will you use me today?”

Then, ready yourself to be used. Look for the woman who can’t handle all her bags at the grocery store. Listen and discern God’s heart for the woman dumping out her heart on your couch. Believe God has things He wants to do, say and release through you. You are not inconsequential.

Stop disqualifying yourself. You are mighty, because the same Spirit who raised Christ from the dead is in you.

Hello?! Can you even believe that?

It is true.

When we stop believing we are weak, we start seeing we are strong, in Christ. You don’t have to see yourself as weak anymore. Sure, see yourself as a servant to Jesus and to others through love, but don’t look at that as weak. Don’t say, “Woe is me, I can’t do anything of value…” That is not Christ’s call or lot for you.

Jesus never lessened himself to appear to man as being super-humble. Neither should we. Jesus did the works God called Him to. He always stepped out no matter how it looked to others.

The world needs us. Let’s step out.
The hungry need to be fed. We know the Bread of Life.
The angry need to find peace. We are well-acquainted with the Prince of Peace.
The depressed need to know joy. We have found it, more than ever, through Jesus.
The isolated need to know they are not alone. We are the body.
The world needs answers. We know The Way.

Be in Christ and be used. Be prayerful and be discerning. Be strong and loving. Be bold and vocal. Be free and bring that freedom to others. This is our call.

Prayer: Father, thank you that you have put passions inside each one of us. I ask that we would walk them out with you. I ask that you would unleash us in our purpose. Help us to do all things, in love and with your love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Am I Really Saved?

Sometimes when I get really doubtful, I ask myself, “Am I really a Christian? Does Jesus really live inside my heart? What if I think I believe, but don’t believe enough?”

I get afraid that I am not saved.

Do you ever feel this way? That you might be an inch short of His saving glory and power? That you are outside of his love?

When I feel this way, I do three things:

1. I observe: If I question whether I’m saved, it’s a very good sign that I am. One who loves God wants every confirmation that they get to be with Him. All they desire is to know they are His and He is theirs. This is a good sign.

But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father–Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. (1 Jo. 2:1)

2. Remember that Jesus advocates for me. I don’t have to defend my faith and prove I am faithful enough. I simply trust Jesus to advocate for me in heaven. He is the jury and his defense is solid; it is the blood poured out on the cross. It even covers my doubts.

3. I do a fruit-finding activity.

Jesus said, they will know us by our fruits. (Mt. 7:16)

I ask myself, “What are my fruits, since I’ve found Jesus?”

Fruit: I have greater love inside my heart for others.
Fruit: I am more patient with myself as I grow in Christ.
Fruit: I find increasingly more joy in spending time with God.
Fruit: I desire to pray often. By doing so, I am dying to myself and coming alive to Christ.
Fruit: I am kinder to others and not as quick to judge.
Fruit: I would do anything for Jesus.

What about you?

Fill in your fruits here:

Fruit: __

Fruit: __

Fruit: __

Celebrate how you are: in Christ.

And if you can’t come up with fruit, then invite Jesus to live in your heart today. Tell Him:

Jesus, I abandon everything to be with you and to live for you. Thank you for suffering and dying on my behalf. I want your life to be my life. I want you to fill me with your Spirit. I want to be wholeheartedly united with you and to surrender my whole life to you today. 

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Stop Saying You’re The Worst

Post by Anne Watson

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)

My teenage son recently got in trouble for a bad grade. To be clear, he’s a really good kid who struggles a bit with staying organized. Of course, as the queen of organization, I felt it was my duty to help him learn the art of a place for everything and everything in its place. I would quote things like, “Every test is a reading test,” and encourage, cajole, and mollycoddle if I’m honest. Still, the bad grade happened, and I was forced to become the mean mom who grounds her kid from important things like video games.

My son is sensitive (which I love), and he was deeply concerned about having let me down. He tried to convince me he was a bad son. Up until that moment, I had been nice about the whole thing. However, the second he assigned his struggle as a character flaw, I got mad. We had a little come-to-Jesus about it.

You see, I grew up in a highly critical environment that included a lot of peer bullying. Something inside me knew these comments were lies, but a stronger part of me reasoned they must be true because why else would people say those things? I spent years people pleasing and adjusting myself to quiet the critical voices, but the real outcome was a lot of self-loathing and frustration. It wasn’t until years later that I met Jesus and began to understand how who he says I am is different from what I had been led to believe.

I’ve had to learn how to recognize my defeating thoughts and take them captive by rewriting them. For example, “I’m too emotional,” became, “God made me sensitive and compassionate through my emotions, and he will use them to help others.” It’s taken years to develop this new habit, and there are some days when it simply doesn’t work, and I have to binge on Netflix for a few hours. Overall though, there has been a vast improvement. Now when I see or hear other people believing some lie about themselves, I feel righteous anger!

Thoughts become beliefs and beliefs shape everything we do. If we only believe the bad stuff, how will we ever become or do all God has planned for us? The bad stuff is often easier to believe; I’ll give that to you. But doing the work of choosing to believe the good, even when you don’t feel like it, leads to the rewards of grace, freedom, and a purposeful, meaningful life. I’d say it’s worth it.

Father, thank you for giving us your word to contradict the lies and critics of this world. Help us to remember we are who we believe. Strengthen our ability to take our thoughts captive and give us the courage to believe the best. In your name, Amen.

About Anne

Anne is a former sleep in on Sunday’s girl who didn’t meet Jesus until way later in life. She recently quit trying to be holy, however, after spending an inordinate amount of time trying to shuck her unholy habits to fit into the Christian world. As a bullying survivor, Anne knows first hand the pressure to belong and why changing yourself doesn’t work. She now spends her time fiercely encouraging women to be badass for Jesus by being who God created them to be…themselves. She is a writer, a speaker, and a podcast host for the Declare Conference. She and her husband are raising three hysterical kiddos and are also in the process of going broke while paying for college. You can find more from Anne on her blog, GodDots.com.

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