Purposeful Faith

Category - attack

Take Courage

Take Courage

Post by: Karina Allen

We live in a beautiful world. But, we live in a scary world that appears to be becoming increasingly so. To be honest, it has been a bit difficult to navigate but I must. We must. We cannot rely on our emotions or even our perceptions of what is going on around us. We cannot allow that to dictate our lives/behavior. We are only to rely on the God who never changes and whose Word is a sure foundation.

The world we live in and actually my very city is in a state of pain and anger and frustration. I don’t have any answers or advice to offer but I do know that I am not to fear. I am to rise up and stand strong in the midst of confusion. I am to be a light in the midst of darkness.

How we do this is simple, not easy, but simple. We look to God. It sounds cliche but really, it’s not. Jesus is the solution to EVERY problem.

He is our anchor.

He is our hope.

He is our truth.

The key to not living in fear is to remember the truth of who the Lord is in spite of circumstances that surround us.

Trust the nature of God.

John 4:8 says that God is love. Ephesians 2:4 says that God is merciful. Ephesians 2:8-9 says that God is gracious. And Psalm 136:1  says that God is good. The nature of God never wavers or falters. He cannot be anything other than Himself. I love that! He doesn’t change according to circumstances or moods. He is not a man that He should lie. He is who He is and that’s all there is to it. He is peace in the middle of our storms. He is our rock when all around us is shaking.

Trust the faithfulness of God.

“But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.” 2 Thessalonians 3:3

There are countless verses about the Lord’s faithfulness but this is one of my favorites! I live in Baton Rouge and as you’ve probably seen on every media outlet, the atmosphere here has been tense and angry and hostile at times. I need to remember this. Our enemy is not flesh and blood but Satan. It is God who works within His children and gives us strength and causes us to stand strong in the face of any opposition. He never leaves us to fight battles alone. He encamps us on all sides.

Trust the sovereignty of God.

“I declare the end from the beginning, and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: My plan will take place, and I will do all My will.” Isaiah 46:10

This one of those verses that blows my mind! God knows the end from the beginning. He’s knows everything that would ever happen before even the foundations of the world. I don’t know about you, but that can be trusted. Nothing in our lives or in the world around us comes as a surprise to Him. He is faithful to make a way when there is no way. Often times, our pain and struggles and hardships catch us off guard and we wander around dazed and confused. The Father isn’t. He knows every detail inside and out, upside down and right side up. He never causes tragedy, but He does sometimes allow it. I’m not sure we’ll ever know why but I am willing to live in that mystery knowing that He will bring about the outcome that brings Him the most glory and is for our good.

He is our anchor.

He is our hope.

He is our truth.

He is our very present help in our time of need. Let’s praise Him! And let’s stand up boldly and take courage…not in our our own strength, but in the strength of the one who placed it inside of us.

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


Karina AllenKarina
is a devoted follower of Jesus from New Orleans, Louisiana, but has made her home in Baton Rouge for the past 15 years. She spends much of her time leading worship at church, writing, reading, dancing and mentoring the next generation. She has a huge heart for serving and missions. She is an advocate for the local church especially the one that she attends, Healing Place Church. She also enjoys working out, traveling, photography and going to concerts/conferences.

Karina believes that every woman has a God-sized dream on the inside of them and it is up to an encouraging community to help nurture that dream. Her goal in writing is to see women get a revelation of God’s Word and discover how to apply it to their lives in order to walk in freedom and live the life that God intended. But the most important thing to her is to live out the call of Isaiah 26:8…For His Name and His Renown are the desire of our souls! You can connect with her at “For His Name and His Renown.”

Are you Fooling Yourself Faithless?

Fooling Yourself

Bang! The thunder sounded like a shot in the night, except it was morning. Either way, the shrieks that ensued caught us all off guard. “Quick, get under the blankie! Let’s hide,” Madison shouted at her toddler brother.

They tumbled down like miniature-wrestlers, grabbing the comforter and maneuvering it over their heads.

They felt safe. But, what I could see from the height of my vantage point went beyond two sets of covered heads – to the 3 feet of remaining limbs laying uncovered. These soft legs, arms and hearts were still vulnerable – vulnerable to thunder, destruction and all the fierce consequences of lightening.

Fooling Yourself

All I could think was, “Those cute little fools aren’t safe. They’re hardly covered.”

In the same way, I act like a fool.

Do you?

Do you take cover with defensiveness, escape and busyness to escape the danger of reality?

Are you afraid to deal with mounting problems and the excruciating weight of your own emotions?

Do you figure Jesus won’t be able to handle the likes of you?fooling yourself

It’s embarrassing, ugly even, to admit, but I cover. I grab a leaf and pretend it will hide the ugliness of my nakedness. Yet, what didn’t work for Eve, still doesn’t work for me. 

These thoughts…
“If I can’t see my problems, my problems can’t see me…”
“If I pretend it isn’t there, maybe it will go away…”
“If I can fight back with strength, I won’t be so weak…”
…these thoughts, leave me vulnerable, exposed and aimless – running like a rabid dog in hunt of life. 

Even worse, my tricks go bust, because no one is tricked. My family sees my limbs flailing about. My God sees everything. And, my insides see a hole too deep to climb out from.

The tension mounts, my heart asks:
How can I deal with my feelings without fleeing?

An answer settles: What pain we give God an opportunity to see, he’ll free.

Because God is a God of clear vision…
From heaven the Lord looks down
and sees all mankind;
from his dwelling place he watches
all who live on earth— he who forms the hearts of all…(Ps. 33:13-14)

…who cares.
who considers everything they do…. (Ps. 33:13-14)

And He sees deliverance and delivers deliverance to those who desperately hope in him.
But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine. ( Ps. 33:18-19)

His tender mercy wants to approach us (Lu. 1:78). It doesn’t look like a hand raised. It doesn’t squint with eyes furrowed. It doesn’t pontificate with a red face. No. It is a cupped hand that holds you tenderly, as if you were a shell about to break into his glory.

Unfailing love wants to heal you. He wants to heal me too.

Will we let Deliverer deliver us from fear to faith?

We don’t need to hide from tender mercy. For it is, after all, what we most crave, isn’t it?

So today, gather your courage, put it in a line, get it ready to launch, and pray with me: “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts (Ps. 139:23), make them plain to my eyes, Lord. Help me be able to handle them. Show me the way to go. Teach me. I am open.”

Then prepare your heart to be flooded by He who is – LOVE. He will lead your way through the muck and yuck. Through thick and thin. Through tears and healing.

fooling yourself

He won’t let you down, as you look up.

It may not always feel easy or safe, but, every time, his ways are (Mt. 11:3o).

So, let’s no longer pull the comforter over our eyes, for the Spirit is comforter (Jo. 14:26) and his vision will see us through.

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

 Loading InLinkz ...

A Hidden Stressor: That is Likely Stressing You Out

Life Stressor

I watch the evening news. And, I’m convinced they shouldn’t no longer call it evening news, friends, they should call it: The Anxiety Hour.

Do you watch it too? Do you feel it crawl all over you?

The Anxiety Hour is the time of day where a day’s work is done and you are looking for a little reprieve. In these 60 minutes, you  grab your treat, you exhale, you grab the remote and then you plop down, thinking, “Time to tune out.” Except you don’t, you can’t – because up there, on this little rectangle, mounted like a trophy in the heart of your house, mayhem, mania and madness pop off.

You see the tears.
You see the evil.
You see the injustice.
You see the pain.
You see the prognosis.
You see no answers.

You feel helpless.

If you could do something to change anything, you would. But, you feel small, unable. You assure yourself, even your loudest call would ring hallow and uncared for, in this echo-chamber called the world.

The decks are stacked, so why bother?
“What does a man gain for all his efforts 
that he labors at under the sun?” Ec. 1:3

Absolute futility. Everything is futile.” Ec. 1:1

Plus, you know things aren’t going to end well. Talking heads can talk, but you have to figure out a way to stay safe – or sane for that matter.

There is an undercurrent of fear. The tensions under the surface of forced calmness are like riptides. They are rising. We all see them. We want to turn away. Pretend. Run. Hide. Shiver. Shake.

Yet, is this what Jesus called us to?

Self-preservation and dread?

Worry and anxiety?

Might we consider: The news is not evil,
but how our heart distrusts God easily could be?

Finally, brothers and sisters, 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

If we fill our mind with the grim, we can hardly keep our mind set on Him.

We can’t see if we are blinded by the anger that boils over in our heart. We get distracted and what emerges doesn’t look like love. It doesn’t look like Jesus. And what hits me is this: Jesus never called us hone in on what’s wrong with everything, he called us to remember God is in control – of everything. This is peace.

Am I believing Jesus reigns over everything?

5 Verses to Reclaim Calm when the World makes you Nervous:

  1. Christ Jesus who died–more than that, who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Ro. 8:34
  2. The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?  The LORD is with me; he is my helper. Ps. 118:6-7

  3. …for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Ro. 13:1
  4. …in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. Col. 2:10
  5.  And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Mi. 6:8

Prayer:
Dear God, I am prone to worry. I let the happenings of the world, the elections and the economy sit heavy on me. I need to find your peace. I invite you to restructure my thinking. May my hope be you. May my peace be you. May you help love flow out from me. Give me clarity. May I change what I am able to change and release what I can’t. May I know that the greatest joy is staying where you are. God, thank you that you have the whole world in your hands. I need not fear because you are the best manager, orchestrator and caretaker. You made it all. I believe in your plan. Amen.

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

 

8 Ways To Prepare to Win Against the Devil

Win Against the Devil

The devil loves us weak.
God loves it when we renew our S.T.R.E.N.G.T.H.

Do you know what this looks like?

“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Is. 4:31

Can you imagine not growing weary or faint?  Do you soar?
Or has the devil  kept a toe-hold on your coattails, preventing you from ever flying?

It’s easy to let that happen. To stay down.

Just this morning I was driving and a little bug kept hitting my car. I started to get frustrated, “Why is he tailing me? He’s making a mess of my window,” I thought. What I failed to realize was that only 2 minutes before, I had been worshipping. This little pest stole the moment.

win against the devil

We all have pests chasing us. They try to steal God’s place of glory in our heart. These little nuisances are often what the devil uses to drive our hearts away from God. We usually allow it.

What tends to be hard for us to accept is that straight up bible knowledge won’t always save us. Why? The devil doesn’t care how much scripture you know. He doesn’t even care if you have the whole bible memorized. He doesn’t care if you have a PhD in Christian Apologetics. He’s never worried about the mind, the devil is always worried about the heart.

My warning to the church? Let’s not get so enthralled with our mind, that we lose our heart in the process. Some churches, I believe, are allowing this.

This horrifies me. I don’t want to live my life as a bible-toting mouthpiece, but as a woman wielding Jesus’ power in the world. 

What about you? Might it be time to fortify your heart, the inner place? So the inner radically changes your outer world?

8 Tangible Tips to Renew S.T.R.E.N.G.T.H.
and Win the War against the devil:

war against the devil

1. Scripture list: Hunt the bible and dig out the best verses. Carry these on a sheet with you, post them on your morning mirror or hold them in your wallet. No matter what, rely on these words as if they are your crutches and you have no legs.

2. Train your mind to immediately notice the taunts of doubt, discouragement, devastation and despair. How? Take inventory of your feelings. When you hear those stinkers hit you, refer back to #1.

3. Respond with truth. The devil takes ridiculous statements and massages them to sound plausible in your mind. If you answer back with a hard-lined, get-out-of-here, truth-filled comeback – he will not as easily want to come back.

Example:

Devil: “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. It is written…” Mt. 4:6
Jesus: ‘It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ Mt. 4:7

After 3 attempts and 3 successful comebacks, Jesus won his wildnerness encounter with the devil. Keep on fighting the fight and the fight will subside.

Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. Mt. 4:11

4. Engage your mind with holy and you will find yourself committed to peace.

“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

5. Need Jesus all the time. All the time. Not a little bit of the time, but every time. Just think, if you are always calling on Jesus, how can the devil be calling you astray? 

“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Lu. 19:10

This means, call out, when you feel unsure. Call out when you feel heavy. Call out when you feel hungry. Call out when you feel tired. Call out when you need wisdom. Call out when you hit boredom. Call out when life gets futile.

6. Glorify God, out loud. Speak proud. Speak with the full strength of Jesus Christ behind you. Speak like one whose team, every time ends up as overcomer.

It sounds like this:

You reign and rule Jesus. You will win. Every time.
You are holy and mighty to save Christ. You will bring me through.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Period.

7. Thank God. If you are saying thank you, the devil can’t as easily put a bag over your head and plumage your mind with the idea that you are being stolen, ruined and left in some far off land where God can’t see you. Instead, you will rise up in wonder at all the riches God is raining down on you. Thankfulness is like a rainbow on a dark and rainy day. 

8. Hope. Endlessly believe in the power of God.

This is what it sounds like when put in action:

God is greater than my problem.
God will win in the end.
My light and momentary affliction is creating for me an eternal glory that far outweighs the here and now. 2 Cor. 4:17
Jesus stripes healed me once and they will do it again and again. He is healer
It may look like a windstorm today, but God is pushing into me his image and I will stand firm.
The Lord is doing an inner work; it transcends my vision. 
God will always be faithful. I can walk in complete assurance of this. 

war against the devil
Soar.
Grab hope.
Fly high.
Glide.
Find new heights of faithfulness,
God will be your strength.

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

A Pep Rally For Those in a Bad Mood

Bad Mood

Hey you, things not going well?

Hey you, struggling again?

Hey you, people driving you batty?

bad mood

I am so sorry it feels everything is working against you, I know how that is. I really do. It’s tiring. It’s hard. This world has rough edges. It is not gentle with them either.

I also want to say, “God is for you.” I can almost hear your response, “Ya, ya, ya, Kelly, we’ve heard that one before. It sounds nice in theory.” 

Let me tell you something – you can know it – and not live it. But, when you live it – you more and more start to know it.

What takes voice is not vile or vitriol but, love, grace and hope; it heals.

It may look something like this:

Screamers in the car? “God is for me. God wants this to work out. God will equip me with patience.”
Waiting around for something to happen? “God is readying all the players, so his game can be won.”
Enduring a trial that won’t quit trying you? “God is training me. He molding me and making me more like Christ.”
Deathly tired? “Today is #anightmare, tomorrow is #newmercies.”

What if rather than seeing how life is fixin to ruin me
I sought to see how God is renewing me?

To let the weight of God’s love sit heavy, is to not allow worry to break your back.

What if we saw things differently?bad mood

Sure, it may feel we are on our last leg, about to tumble over. Sure, we may feel tired. Sure,we may feel like our emotions are a hot mess. But, what if we chose to give a little hat nod to all that and then determined to fix our eyes somewhere else?

When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. (Psalm 94:18-19)

Notice this, it says: “My foot is slipping.”
Notice the fell-swoop rescue: “Your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.”

Daddy-bird protects his young; God lifts us from our injury through the power of love. 

Notice this: “When anxiety was great…
Notice this: “Your consolation brought me joy.”

Anxiety was plentiful, but joy was available.

What does joy in distress look like?

5 Little Glimmers of Joy against Distress

1. It looks like, “Thank You.” God, thank you that you love me. God, thank you that you are with me. God, thank you that in every single moment, you are singularly focused on helping me. Thank you that Jesus proves it isn’t always easy, but you are always faithful. Thank you that there is life beyond this wretched life.

2. It looks like, “Worship.” God, you are mighty. You are strong. You are capable. Where I cannot, you can. You will redeem, because that is who you are. You are Redeemer. Faithful and true. High and lofty. Holy and worthy. Greater and stronger. I am small, you are big and, because of this, you can do the impossible. I see a mountain, you just see a molehill.

3. It looks like, “I trust you anyway.”  God, let the chips fall where they may, because where they fall is just where you want them to land. And, when they do, it will be your jackpot that rings out. For what you are working, is greater than what I am seeing. And where we are going, is greater than where I feel my emotions stand today.

4. It looks like, “Help me.” God, I need you. Restore my joy. Hear my cry. Answer my call. I need you.

5. It looks like, “I will go with you.” God, I choose to see you in my day. I choose to see the little gifts of joy – the smiles on my kid’s faces, the butterfly passing by, the river that rolls on steady, the sun that is ever at my back. I choose to let you in, when darkness abounds. You are there. I will search you – and then, find you.

bad mood

Bad Mood Prayer:
I don’t have to, God – for you will. I don’t need to God, for you are. It is okay that I feel down. It is okay to struggle. It is okay to have a hard day. God, you can handle my worst day. You will be faithful to me. Restore me, bring me back to the place of love, of consolation – for that is all I need. Amen.

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

5 Personal Vulnerability Points That the Devil Attacks

Devil Attacks

I didn’t know where the thought came from. Like an unwelcomed visitor, it showed up unannounced. It just pushed its way in – and sat down.  Holy had to leave. It doesn’t do well with things vile, deplorable and downright not from God. Worship left the air too. All eyes were on the house warming gift of worry in the middle of everything; it was tied up with the bow of anxiety. It’s a horrible gift.

In me, what felt like a temple, now felt tainted.

 Devil Attacks

Certainly, I let in a monster that wasn’t supposed to be around, but I wasn’t sure what to do about it. When you let this kind of thought in, they don’t leave – they are rude like that.

So rude, that sometimes they keep you up all night as you try to wrangle them like untamed and bucking broncos. They rise and let you know how tall they are. They contort around you spelling out the word D.O.O.M.

I hate them, usually.

Knowing this, I come to these very important question…

How do I block the random attacks of the enemy that arrive like arrows in the night?

And, are there certain conditions that make me more vulnerable?

I think there are. Paul lets us know that we should be wise to their schemes (2 Cor. 2:11).

If we want to stand firm, we have to keep up our defenses up and our knees down to the ground.

You see, to be aware is to stand active in prayer.

So that your heart does not pursue an enemy affair.

 Devil Attacks

Prayer is our best defense. God is our best offense.

Beyond this, if we know when the devil is prone to attack us, we can raise up our requests and calls for protection during these times. In essence, we can F.I.G.H.T back!

5 Times the Devil Loves To Attack Christ Followers…When they are:

  1. Famished.
    If you are hungry for life and not filling up on God, you are prime meat.
    If you are hungry for food and are feeling a little off kilter, you are a tasty choice.
    If you are head in iPhone, not soaking in the love of God, you are often – toast.
  2. Irritable.
    If you are off-footed and nearly falling, even more the devil knows his punch will knock you out.
    If you are in a bad mood, he knows you will open the door to his negativity.
  3. Gullible.
    If you are open to lies, he will feed them to you.
    If you are willing to listen to pride, he will lure you to it.
    If you are up for misunderstanding God, he will distort him to you.
  4. Hurt.
    If you are discouraged, he will lure you to quick-fixes.
    If you are beaten in relationships, he will feed you bad words about the another person.
    If you aren’t seeking God, the devil will seek you and make you wonder if God is really good.
  5. Tired.
    If your mind is confused, he will confuse it some more.
    If your will is weary, he will wear it down to its breaking point.
    If people get testy, he will test your limits.

We can’t blame everything on the devil. Nope. That would miss this thing called flesh (Gal. 5:16) that works in its own self-serving way. But, when the devil is at play, the fertile ground described above is primed soil ready for insecticide-ridden hands.

Yet, when left protected and guarded, God grows something new –  it is called perseverance and determination.

 Devil Attacks

F.I.G.H.T.!!!

Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. Psalm 144:1

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

 

When Jesus Puts You On the Blacklist

Decimate Shame

She and I? “We’ve known each other practically forever, so, I wondered, “Why is she hurting me so much?”

She stood far, whispering deep thoughts to others. All I knew, was – I was getting the cold shoulder and, clearly, I was now bumped right out of her ring of friends.  When she finally did speak to me, hardly two words escaped her mouth. I wasn’t sure what I had done wrong, except for I had been a vocal about sharing different perspectives. I had given words to a different path than her; I guess she didn’t like it.

As Christians, there is a risk to sharing the light of faith. You can get burned.

And, even worse, sometimes afterwards, you leave with the heavy weight you did it:
A. At the wrong time.
B. In the wrong way.
C. With the wrong words.
D. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

Often, when the sting of embarrassment sets in, 
we more want to run from Christ, than reflect him again.

Ever noticed?

It makes it nearly impossible to be Christ to the least of these,
when we feel like the least of these.

To walk full of love,
when dragging a bag of shame and uncertainty.

To think about caring,
when all you’re doing is caring about yourself.

A mind going bonkers, like this:
“I didn’t show Christ.”
“She hates me.”
“I looked like an imbecile.”
“I should have connected better.”
“I am now the talking point of the game ‘Telephone'”

Doesn’t as easily dwell on thoughts like this:
I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. (Psalm 34:4-5)

It is easy to let what you didn’t do, become the focus of who you are, unless you let the Word of God redefine it…

Romans 8. It did it for me.

It is a stirring chapter; you can apply it to nearly any circumstance where you feel:
1.) Off Track
2.) Self-Consumed
3.) Unclear about how to proceed.
4.) Busted and left for ruin.

Do you feel any of these in your life?

Check it out. Let’s Pray Romans 8:

Thank you God that there is “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)

There is no erasing that, through Jesus, and the Spirit, I have life and am set free from sin and death. (Romans 8:2) With this, I need not fear what I have done wrong or what I am prone to do wrong. I will fail, but Jesus never can. This is my hope and this is my future. This a change-maker in me and through me.

Lord, help me to live according to the Spirit, not according to the flesh, so that I can have my mind set on what the Spirit desires (Romans 8:5).

Shift my thinking your way.
Shift my attitude your way.
Shift my love your way.
Shift my plans your way.
Shift my heart your way.
Keep my mind stayed on Spirit.

If my mind is on Spirit, and in Spirit, I will naturally shift towards life and peace (Romans 6:8). Keep me there. If I think anything else, besides, life and peace, help me wake up to the idea that I am driven by flesh. I don’t want to be hostile to God or have a mindset which you, God, clearly say cannot please you (Romans 8:7,8).

Help me shift, Lord.

Let me not forget, God, the power that is in me. There is incredible power that I can access and rely on, when only I seek and submit to it, “the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit.” (Romans 8:11) What is in me, has the ability to make hug the rude.

Thank you Lord, that the those who are led by the Spirit are children of God (Romans 8:14). Through this, I am not a slave, bowing down to fears, but I am a daughter of the most high King. He will take care of me, he will fight for me, he will love me and he will endure for me. I can cry “Abba, Father,” by the Spirit and with full knowledge that I am okay (Romans 8:15).

God, help me endure sufferings, because your promise was not that we wouldn’t hit them, it was just that you would bring us through them (Romans 8:17), and even more, you say those who share in sufferings, share in your glory. Give me your eyes to see this perspective and lead me. Teach me. Help me. May I submit to Spirit. May I pray continually and may I seek to love and lay down my life as Christ has. Amen.

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

From Angry & Ruined to Renewed

to Renewed

“Those women seem against me,”I thought. Surely, they don’t want to be friends. Not when they leave me out this way. They couldn’t possibly like me, or be for me, for that matter. And, you all know how the old saying goes, “You are either for me – or against.” I think I knew where they stood.

They even seem to enjoy leaving me out. Worst of all, they don’t even realize how it hurt me.

Isn’t that the worst, when the offense is so blatant? I wanted to know why they got to walk right into their own little Promised Land of joy full of milk and honey, while I was left sucking tainted water? It hurt.

My heart yearned to know.

To seek and pray deeply, is the only way to give a victim mentality,
take a fresh does of Christ reality – that heals…

The taken advantaged one.
The hurt one.
The burnt one.
The one of the past.
The one that was counted out of sports, while the other girls made the team.
The girl who sat on the sidelines, as others jumped on the blacktop.
The one whose work was negated, as others was promoted.
The one who looked ugly, while everyone else looked pretty.

What kind of eye glasses have I been looking from?


What perspective have they been revealing?
Fuzzy ones? Hazy ones?
These glasses are making me look all wrong.

Here’s how you can tell what kind of glasses you see from…

1. Do you see earthly poverty or spiritual abundance?

2. Do you solely live by the pain of the cross or by the hope and freedom of the resurrection?

3. Do you live expecting failure or trusting in God’s victory?

I am seeing it is time for a perspective-shift. Are you?

The truth is, I am not stuck on an island. Jesus is my way, my hope, my rescue, my strong-hold. He shows and leads me to a new place. A place of peace.

The question is – will I go. Will I choose to leave what has defined me – trusting that the living water will help me live anew in him? Or will I remain parched and hungry for all I don’t and never will have (even though it has been entirely granted to me)?

I am ready to go somewhere new.

Are you?

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:
The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Cor. 5:17

Maybe it isn’t so much that I am not new, or that we are not new, but that we haven’t believed in “new.” Perhaps it is a matter of taking off these glasses of old to see a clear view of his new.

Perhaps then, we will see his land of milk and honey verses my land of depravity and negativity.  Perhaps then we will “see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” (Ps. 27:13)

I want to see what God sees everyday in my land of living.

Isn’t it time to move on? To see fresh?

Let’s go.

To a place of milk and honey, where we aren’t abandoned we are resurrected in Christ Jesus.

Walk by still waters and to lay on green pastures (Ps. 23:2) – resting in his ways.

Find shelter under the wing of an eagle (Ps. 91:4) – not trying to fly, but being content to abide.

To peace. To fullness. To life. No matter how people are living or hurting around us. It is ours for the taking; so let’s take it and go – with God!

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

Kicking the Voice of What Ifs In the Teeth

the Voice of What Ifs

All was good and dandy, until my mind started it’s endless twirling. I know you all have experienced it. It’s when you come face-to-face with that mean, burly voice that deeply grunts out, “What if?”

What if things don’t work out?
What if you get taken advantage of?
What if God doesn’t take care of you?

When we listen to that voice of misreason,
He almost always convinces us we’re moving into a bad season.

But, when we shut down that voice at first grunt,
we start to believe God is in front of us.


Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you.

He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.
Deut. 31:8

I am beginning to realize it comes down to a split-second decision. If you can quickly identify the voice that beckons you into the darkness, you can choose to stay in the light. If you don’t realize who he is, you are bound to get lured in like a kid following sweet candy.

 

Will we listen for the voice of God or continually debate the antagonizer’s?

 

I know friends, it is not easy. Making the decision to hear and only hear the right voice is a battle. It is one where we have to grab the mindset and the determined will power to believe rightly about God’s righteousness.

But, it is possible. It looks like getting pro-active. It looks like getting smart about who God is. It looks like pledging allegiance to a King.

It goes like this:

I declare God is with me. He is Immanuel (Mt. 1:23).
I know he is Wonderful Counselor. He is consoling me (Is. 9:6).
I envision Mighty God – the one able to do the impossible (Is. 9:6).
I have the Prince of Peace by my side. He will calm me as I turn into him (Is. 9:6).
I know God saved me. I will rest there (Lu. 2:11).
I trust the bread of life will feed me when I need to be fed (Jo. 6:35).
I pledge my heart to the one and only light of the world (Jo. 8:12).
I profess the good shepherd stands next to me and tends to my heart (Jo. 10:14)
I reassert my heart to the great deliverer – the one who delivers again and again (Ro. 11:26)
I know the way, the truth and the life, for I know Jesus (Jo. 14:6)

An amazing thing that happens when one’s mind carries these names on little notecards; they stand on them during the horrid and horrific moments. They stand on them as if they were tall walls moving them above the fray. And in a way they do.

On paper, they are just words, but when they are stood upon in a heart, they become fortresses of unbeatable power.

The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
The righteous run to it and are safe.
Prov. 18:10

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

10 Most Common Misthoughts About God

Misthoughts About God

Things didn’t work out. They went south. They broke down.

Isn’t it funny how when things break,
what also breaks in our mind
is how God views us –
and how we view God?

We tend to think like this:

1. God is punishing me.
2. God is showing me how wrong I handled this.
3. God is taking this away because I don’t deserve it.
4. God is angry at me.
5. God doesn’t really want me to be happy.
6. God doesn’t hear me.
7. God doesn’t care about my feelings.
8. God isn’t tapped into what I need right now.
9. God’s plans don’t work well for people.
10. God forgot about me. He has many more to worry about.

*Bonus: I stink – and God knows it.

What we think about God, tends to define how we feel through life.

What do you tend to think about God?

A heart becomes unsettled when,
rather than seeing problems as windows, letting in the air of new faith,
we see them as things God uses to slam us.

I do it all the time. Somehow I figure God has gone moody again and is well-done-and-over with my shenanigans. With this mindset, the swirling winds of conflict, complications or conditions unfavorable are bound to erase feelings of peace and comfort.

Does this happen to you too?
Do you tend to lose the image of a good God?

God is good (Ps. 136:1). Whether I believe it or not, God still stays exactly the same.

6 Ways God is Good:

1. He works alongside those who wait for him.
No eye has seen a God besides you, who works for those who wait for him.”  Is. 64:4

2. Like a daddy caring for a sick child, he doesn’t sleep, but watches non-stop.
He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Ps. 121:3

3. He needs nothing, but can give everything.
God is not served by human hands as though he needed anything, but he himself gives life and breath and everything. Acts 17:25

4. He shows himself strong for those who persevere in trust.
The eyes of the LORD run through the earth, to show himself strong for those who trust him. 2 Chron. 16:9

5. He delivers us so we can glorify him.
If I were hungry, I wouldn’t tell you. Call on me, I will deliver you. You will glorify me.  Ps. 50:15 

6. He meets our needs according to his stockpiles of overflowing treasure.
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:19

What I am coming to terms with is – the alarm of sinking feelings sounds in order to awaken us to the reality of faith-stampeding lies.  Finding the lie means finding truth. Finding truth means we can look at it and decide if we’ll continue to hold it or decide to stomp it down.

Will we believe that God is for us, not against us?

Not in words, but via our heart and in action?

The difference is tangible.
The results are palpable.

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

Tomorrow, we will venture through the little notecards of truths that you can pull out of your pocket when your mind goes haywire. Hope you can join me!

Bloggers, join the Cheerleaders for Christ Facebook Page.

 Loading InLinkz ...

 

 

 

/* ]]> */