Purposeful Faith

Category - doubt

On that Day we Meet Jesus

The other night, I had an odd dream. In it, I accidentally stepped into an area of water next to my house. Like quicksand, the water and mud pulled me under. I was dying.

I know, it sounds morbid, but stick with me. . .

When I was dying, I called out to God, “God, I only hope I was good enough for you.”

When I awoke, I was not only startled by the dream but also shocked at the words I spoke.

It really made me think of my heart, what I think about God, and how it will be to die – to meet Jesus. I have to admit, I was a little shocked to hear myself call out, “I hope I was “enough” for you, Jesus.”

The reality of the gospel is not that ‘I am enough’, but He is enough. In this, I don’t have to – on my final day or today – fear that I am bad, not good, didn’t do things I should have or that I could have done more.

The blessing of Jesus and the price that He paid is that – all His righteousness got put on me. I only need to receive it.

“I am overwhelmed with the joy in the Lord my God! For he has dressed me with clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness.” (Is. 61:10)

He wants me!
He chose me!
He saved me!
It is done.
Finished.
Completed.

When I meet Jesus and Jesus looks at me – I believe, Jesus’ main goal won’t be to search out the worst in me. He’ll be seeing me dressed in salvation, draped in righteousness, full of Christ Jesus. He’ll know me because He knows himself.

Praise be to the lamb who was slain. All glory, honor, power, and strength belongs to you!!!

In this, today, I receive afresh the fact that Jesus saved me, 100% apart from anything I’ve done or anything I will do. In an act of sheer sacrifice, Jesus paid it all for me, so that I could be free of me. I no longer have to worry if I am enough. I’ll never be enough to reach the standard of God, but Jesus is enough for me to reach heaven. Praise God! Jesus is enough! More than enough! He fills in my every gap and then some. He calls me His own. Father calls me daughter. I am adopted. I am free in His love. I am known and in His care. I am saved and kept eternally, forever.

So on that sweet day, when I go, I will — without fear (with God’s help) — run into Jesus’ arms, knowing HE is good enough and that He did enough to save me. Praise God.

How sweet it is to be loved by Jesus. How sweet to be saved. How sweet to let all else fade away and to feel yourself in his glory-filled arms, on that special day.

Prayer: Until then, God, will you give us an intimate knowledge of how much we are saved, loved and enough, in you, so that we can run into your arms on that glorious day, without shame? Will you let us know how much it is all about you, and so little about us? We need your grace, love, and peace to understand. Thank you, Father.

 

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

3 Ways to Speak Life Into Others

“What’s wrong with you?”
“Why can’t you be better?”
“Why do you always?”

If you are a mom or dad, you’ve probably spoken a statement you’ve regretted. We’ve all been there.

I’m not one to critique; I’ve said some pretty horrible things to my husband, like:

“You always. . . ”
“Why don’t you ever. . . ”
Plus, some unmentionable statements spoken under my breath (which I won’t get into).

I’m not proud of this. Why? Because words reflect one’s heart.

“But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.” (Mt. 15:18)

My words don’t only damage others, they damage me. Untimed and uncontrolled words cause arguments, frustration, anger, irritation, bitterness, strife, worry, restlessness, anxiety, divorce, job loss, court losses. . . (the list goes on).

Plus, when I go about . . . complaining, whining, insulting, attacking, gossiping or faulting someone. . . I never feel good inside. Do you?

I regret my words. But, the hard part is knowing — how to “not say” what I know I “shouldn’t say”. Sometimes my words get out of my mouth before my mind catches up with them.

What is a fast-speaker to do?

THREE VERSES THAT GIVE WISDOM:

ONE: “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Col. 4:6

Reflect before responding. Consider: How might Jesus respond? What might God want this person to know? How can I speak truth full of overflowing love (you have to really check your motives on this one)?

TWO: “The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.” Prov. 15:4

Our words make or break people. They give life or steal life. Before you speak, ask yourself: Is what I am going to say life-adding or depleting? Will it produce blessing or increase fear? Not every story needs to be told. Not every detail needs to be divulged.

THREE: “Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.” (Prov. 21:23)

It is a matter of a wise woman to pause before she speaks. If it is not holy, righteous, of good report, worthy or true, shut-eth the trap-eth.  Ask God what He wants you to say. Then, respond-eth accordingly.

Along the way, extend yourself grace. Remember, if you spew some horrible-blahness on someone and you didn’t mean to — thanks to Jesus, your mistakes become investments in learning. Be sure to learn from the lesson and develop a plan to speak more wisely next time. If you change your words, you will change other’s lives. Be an encourager, a blesser, a visionary, a hope-filled friend, a source of life and someone people can trust in. Test it out and let me know how it goes.

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

Making Room for People’s Faults

Whenever she does something – it’s off.

There’s one particular friend who can’t seem to do things exactly right. It’s as though when she buys me a gift, it’s the one color I dislike. When she says she’ll see me soon, she forgets because she “had to run more errands” and shows up 30 minutes late. When she’s trying to be thoughtful, it’s awkward.

Now, issues like this would be fine as an isolated incident, but she always and repeatedly acts this way.

I know her heart, but she lets me down  – even though her intentions are good.

It is easy for me to judge her. And, I have. Her wrong timing. Her wrong words. Her wrong ways.

But, recently, I’ve been wondering if I’ve been wrong?

God says: “Bear with each other . . . ” (Col. 3:13 NIV)

Where God wants us to bear with one other, the enemy wants to tear us apart.

Recently, I started noticing my 7-year old son’s tendency for ungratefulness. I’ll buy him the world and he acts as though I owe it to him. I go out of my way to reverse my car so he can see one particular person that looks like his teacher and he gets upset I didn’t do it fast enough. I make him a special dinner and he hardly notices. He tells me he wanted something different.

I’m like my son. I get ungrateful. I don’t see the good. I want things to cater to me at times.

I repent of this. The reality is, this friend is not perfect, but she’s pursuing relationship as best she can. She has many outstanding characteristics about her. She is giving. She makes time to show up. She goes out of her way to be thoughtful.

I’ve been hard on her. I’ve made a mistake.

I am sorry God. Father, will you help me to see the good in others, before critiquing the bad? Will you help me give thanks for the beauty you’ve created in them, even when it is hard to see?

“Make allowance for each other’s faults . . . ” (Col. 3:13 NLT)

May I make allowance so I can draw closer rather than giving enemy room to drive us apart. Thank you for your help, Father God.

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

 Loading InLinkz ...

Be a Blessing

I am delighted to have a dear friend, a prayer warrior, and a true lover of Jesus join me today. Adrienne Young, welcome! It is a pure honor to feature you today on Purposeful Faith. I know your words will be a blessing…

Post by: Adrienne Young

“Don’t make me miss my blessing.”

That’s an odd thing to hear while standing in line at Goodwill, but I ignored the cashier and kept going through my cart to see what items “sparked joy” and what would I discard.

As I got closer to the register, she lit up and said through her smile, “I’m so glad you didn’t get in the other line when it opened up. You are my blessing! I know you don’t come in here often, but every time you do, people gravitate toward you, and you always bless me by asking how my day is going.” Wow! I asked her for her name and how I could pray for her.

Darlene told me she was going through a custody battle and knew the enemy was attacking her but she trusted God. She came from behind the counter to hug me as I prayed for her.

This one trip to do what I love to do, what I wrote a book about doing, and what I thought was a normal 8 PM quick trip turned into thrifting with a purpose. . .

You see I had planned to go to my local store just minutes away, but the Holy Spirit led me to this one. What if I decided not to go that night and ignore His voice? What if I would have been so consumed with the purchases that I missed the purpose in going?

My sister, what if we decided to ask God to use us in our everyday life to bless those we come into contact with? What if we took God at His word according to Romans 12:1 MSG?

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.

Prayer: Father, with your help, we will take our everyday ordinary life – our sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around-life, and place it before you as an offering. Help us to recognize how we can be a blessing to those who come into contact with, even when we are enjoying our hobbies. Use us for your glory and help us obey the voice of the Holy Spirit so that we can join in where He is working. In Jesus name, Amen.

About Adrienne Young

Adrienne Young’s mission is to love, live and lead on purpose with a purpose in every area of her life.  She is 100% committed to helping women of faith do the same in their lives and businesses.

Sought out by Fortune 500 companies for professional development, Adrienne combines her John C. Maxwell leadership training with 16 years in education to take organizations from start-up to implementation via her company Adrienne Young Ministries, LLC.

She is the founder of Remnant Warriors Global, Inc., Women Who War, and is the author of the best selling book Don’t Go Thrifting Without Me. Adrienne serves in ministry with her husband Edward. They have two sons, Emmanuel and Elisha, love football, and reside in Fort Mill, SC.

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

 Loading InLinkz ...

Love Often Feels Awkward

Riding bikes, my 7-year old turned to me and said, “Mommy, I want to go knock on that person’s door and let them know, ‘God loves them.’

Now, I did not know “that person” or how they would react to my son knocking randomly on their door. As I am sure you all know, I’m all about sharing God, but being a door-to-door solicitor for Jesus seemed, well. . . a little beyond me.

All the same, my heart was struck by the thought: If I want Michael to get to know God personally, I have to permit him to personally move towards God. In this, He’ll get to see God show up.

So, I gave him permission. My son parked his bike and I circled in the cul-de-sac with my daughter, trailer-in-tow.

Heart-pumping – while wondering if my child was about to be abducted – I carefully watched from the street. Yet, the more I watched the more I couldn’t believe it – both my son and the lady who he was now talking to were smiling and laughing. Then, the lady handed my son – what?!!! – cash. Yes, money. Her son took out cash and passed it to my son too.

What is going on?

I approached.

After introductions, the blonde lady with a son said, “You know, today at church it was amazing. Instead of taking a tithe, the pastor gave out cash – $10 to each person sitting in the aisles. He said, ‘Give it to someone who has impacted your relationship with God.’ I didn’t know what to do with the money. Earlier today, after church, I told my husband, ‘I have no idea who to give the money to.’ My husband told me, ‘Don’t worry, you’ll know.”

She went on, “And, here you are. You just showed up today. Right on time.”

We all laughed at the goodness of God. At how God sent Michael to this very house out of the dozens we’d bicycled by. . . At how God just “knows. . . ”

Her son said, “I don’t know, mom? This doesn’t really seem believable…”

And, so it is with God. When we submit to him, He does the unbelievable.

And, here, as I reflect back on this whole amazing set-up that God orchestrated, and my sons’ courage, I can’t help but think: It’s often risk-taking that lets us walk into God’s most amazing things. It is when we do things that are out-of-the-ordinary that we get to see God’s extraordinary moves. It is when we put ourselves “out there”, in love, that we feel God’s deep love making its way back into our hearts. It almost always feels comfortable.

I thank my little 7-year old for this “beyond-me” lesson on love.

With this, I wonder, how can you love extraordinarily today? How can you let someone know, “God loves them”, even if it makes you feel weird?

On Earth, you may never know the impact of your love, but I assure you, your love will never fail . . . ” (1 Cor. 3:18)

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

How To Stop a Spiritual Attack in Its Tracks

While reading the final chapter of the final book in the bible, I felt horrified. This line froze me, solid: “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars–their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

Oh my goodness. “All the liars” — will go . . . into the fiery lake . . .of burning sulfer. That’s me. . . “

The immensity of fear suddenly gripped my chest.  I am a liar. I lie when I don’t mean to. I get defensive, thinking I am telling the truth, only to realize later my husband was right. I cover up my real emotions when people ask how I am. I don’t like to look weak even though, there are many times when I am. I am a pretender. I am a liar.

God throws people like me away — into burning sulfur.

Thinking hardly anything about wonderful Jesus, and a whole lot about horrible me, I decided: I am not enough, I may not make it “in” and how I may be fooled and not be saved.

I was under a massive spiritual attack. Friends, a spiritual attack is anytime the power of you speaks louder than the sacrifice of Jesus. It’s when your issues look massive and Jesus becomes a passive figurine. It is when faith flees and your failures and future looks abysmal. It is when your feelings get so enlarged, truth can’t squeeze in.

To stop a spiritual attack, return to the gospel. Come back to scripture and truths like these:

-It is all about Jesus.

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!'” (Jo. 1:29)

-It is all about the price He paid.

“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s trespasses against them.” (2 Cor. 5:18-19)

-Jesus accomplished everything, even when I can’t seem to fix anything.

“For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!” (Romans 5:17)

-Grace will change me.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Eph. 2:8)

The provision of grace means the revision of me. Rather than hiding myself away from God, in fear that I am not enough, I can come to Him with an unveiled face, as He helps me realize that I am enough in Christ — and that He will change me.

The same goes for you. . . All of Christ is more than enough to save all of you, no matter how far off you perceive yourself to be.

Then, give thanks and worship God. By doing this, you’ll rub mud in the face of the enemy.

 

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

God will Put Everything “Right”

“I don’t know, I don’t have a crystal ball.” I’ve noticed this is a catch-phrase for financial analysts when on TV.  They love it. They’re point being, they have no idea what the market will do. No one knows. But, much like us, everyone wants to know…

I want to know what God is doing. I want to know why things have happened the way they have: I want to know the reason a family member passed away, why I am still stuck in different areas in my life and how God is going to show up in the future. I want to demand answers from God on many a day.

Tell me! I need to know.  Like Eve, I say, let me “know”, God!  ASAP!

Knowing is not always beneficial.

I keep Christmas gifts a surprise to my kids. Why? Because there is nothing better than seeing the joy written all over their faces when they open up that morning-surprise. I don’t tell them all the details about the “birds-and-the-bees” yet. Why? Because there is a right time for that message. I don’t let my son see what’s on those late-night cable channels. Why? Because wisdom says, “He doesn’t need to see that — ever.”

Have we ever considered? Not knowing makes us fortunate.

“David confirms this way of looking at it, saying that the one who trusts God to do the putting-everything-right without insisting on having a say in it is one fortunate man…” (Romans 4:8 MSG)

You don’t have to know the whys.

Or, understand the whens.

Or, get answers to every question you have.

God will put-everything-right.

Blessed is the man who trusts God to put-everything-right, without knowing-every-nitty-gritty-detail regarding how.

Our knowledge doesn’t make things right, God’s good work does. It handles all those things we most fear.

“…Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (Jo. 20:29)

When we believe anyway, we are blessed. When we trust, we are fortunate.

Where do you need to let go of any unresolved pain, bitterness, grief, misunderstanding, anger or worry? Where do you need to let God off-the-hook for the answers, in order to find peace? Where do you need to bask in the fortunate you’ve obtained; the fact that, for you, God no longer “keeps score” of your sin? (Ro. 4:7 MSG) Today is the day. Ask God to forgive you for carrying around these burdensome demands; let His help come in and rescue you.

God will put-everything-right.

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

 Loading InLinkz ...

Learn more about Kelly’s new book, Battle Ready: Train your Mind to Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt and Live Victoriously.

Mom, You’re Fat

She said (with all the wisdom that 5-years brings a girl): “Mom, how come other moms have bodies that go straight-down? And, you’ve got a body that goes out on the sides? Your back side is big too.”

I said: “Hmm…Madison, that’s true. Some moms do have bodies that go straight down.”

She said: “Mommy, you’re fat.”

I said: “Oh really?”

I fretted: Maybe I really am – fat?

Yes. My sides are bigger. My hips are larger. My silhouette is more pear-shaped than stick-shaped. She’s right about that. In this moment, I almost wanted to rush to the mirror to check myself out. Maybe I’d become disillusioned about own figure? Perhaps I was a whole lot bigger than I’d realized. I do see myself every day. Those kinds of things can inch-up on a woman.

She said: “Mommy, what made you fat?”

How does one answer this…?

I made me – fat?
God made me – look fat?
I am not – fat?

Here, I thought back to how she didn’t want me to hug her in class the other day. She pushed me away. Was it because — I’m fat? Maybe I need to go on a workout plan. Maybe I need to stop those afternoon ice-cream digs for peanut butter cups. Maybe I need to walk some more…

And then reality hit me, much like her words: God could care less about fat. Indeed, He wants me to love His temple, but, where man looks at our outsides; God looks at our heart.

“For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Sam. 16:7)

“Madison,” I said. “God made us all shapes and sizes. He loves all of us the same. It is not how we look that makes us lovable, better or more valuable, but Christ inside of us that makes us special.”

Who knows if I got through to her. It’s a scary thing to send a girl out in this raging pressure-filled world. But, perhaps, I can get through to you and me today…

Here are my thoughts about this:

  1. We’re not a product of our pants-size, but the product of God’s love dwelling inside.
  2. We’re not conformed to the image of this world, but we’re being transformed into the beautiful likeness of Christ.
  3. Grace abounds.  If we need help, He who IS help has more than enough help to help us.
  4. Internal or external insults can’t stick to us when we’re covered by the full acceptance, love, and approval of Jesus.
  5. Jesus is not in the business of weighing us, He’s in the business of pouring out the full weight of His love on us.

In God’s love, even if there’s an extra 5 or 50 pounds we need to shed, we remain: wanted, love, kept, desired, approved of, accepted, valuable and full of Jesus.  God looks at us with love; He doesn’t spend one ounce of time hating our outsides. And, if He doesn’t, why should we?

You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you. (Song of Solomon 4:7)

Is weight a battle for you? Or, are you going through a different kind of battle in your life? A battle of discouragement, disappointment, frustration, loneliness, fear, worry or doubt? You may be interested in reading my latest book, “Battle Ready: Train your Mind to Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt and Live Victoriously.” Many women have found liberation, restoration, renewal and life-change from its pages. I believe, God will do a mighty work as you read it. XOXO!  Check it out today!

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

 Loading InLinkz ...

When Feelings are Overwhelming

Feelings can be frightening, overwhelming a heart to the point of desperation and misery. Or prisons, entrapping one to past experiences, traumas or memories.  Often they become future proclamations, declaring over us, “What was, always will be. You’ll never escape this emotion.” Feelings, on the other hand, can be amazing, liberating and soul-rejuvenating. Just think of the best day of your life!

What do we do with them?

Up, down and all around – they move like the wind. Like a hurricane or an underground rocking that shakes the foundation of who you are. I get all this. I know how anger has made me act, in days of old. I remember getting all up into my sisters face. And the feelings of self-annoyance I perpetually lived with. The depression that made me feel like there was no good way out of life.

Feelings can be fun, or no fun. They can be old and then haunt us again.

Yet, just because they show up on our doorstep doesn’t mean we have to answer the door so they stay forever. We are not obligated to say, “Come on in and make yourself at home.”

I fear some of you have done this. Sadly, now old feelings are cramping your good style. They’ve spread out all over the space of your soul, heart and mind, stealing your attention on God, negating God’s good plan for your life and telling you that there’s no way you can be enough.

People ask me what to do with “feelings”?

Well, I think when we see them at our doorstep, we peep out the side window and first acknowledge them. We allow them and we even bring them to God. There he is again, “Mr. Disappointment” I see him there, trying to get in. God, what do you think about this? What does your word say about hanging out with this emotion for too long?

Then, with wisdom, we decide whether or not they can sit in our house for long periods of time.

We can do this by asking ourselves a few questions:

1. Are these feelings going to cause me to dwell on what is “true, noble, right, pure, lovely,  admirable, excellent, praiseworthy” or lesser things? (Phil. 4:8)  Are they leading me to life or death?

2. Are they reinforcing God’s truth or are they backed by lies?

Example: If God says he is “for us”, we would not be wise to dwell in hopelessness that believes, “God is not for me.”

3. Are they helping me to love God (and others) with all my heart or do they cause me to pull away from this?

If we’re called to do all things in love, anything contending against it should be heart-checked.

Friends, we don’t have to declare our initial feelings as “bad”,  ignore them or hate ourselves for them. However, we do need to see them for what they are, quickly, and make moves to let Godly-facts take precedence over wavering-feelings.

Why? Because sadness soon turns into isolation. Rejection soon turns into depression. Anger soon turns into a division. Loneliness soon turns a bottle. You get the picture.

Don’t make a long-term resident of a feeling that should only be seen as a passing-by door-to-door salesman. Yep, Kelly sees you there wanting to sell a whole bunch of stuff, but God’s got a better word than you. She’s listening to truth, over feelings. And letting that be her guide…

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

 Loading InLinkz ...

Why Remorse

Just now, as I took a walk, I saw a twisted piece of plastic on a telephone line. Oddly, it was mangled and wrapped around the phone line in a way that seemed to make no sense.

This is how my mind is when I make a mistake. Remorse wreaks havoc in my mind, until I’m in a twisted mess of: I’ll never be good enough. I always make mistakes. I can’t get anything right. I’ll always offend God.

God doesn’t intend for us to live mangled; Jesus came so we could live untangled from shame.
So, what’s the problem with me?
The story of Judas, the betrayer of Jesus, has a little to say on this subject matter.
When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse…and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders.
 
“Remorse gripped Judas and he returned the money.” (Mt. 27:3)
 
Isn’t it amazing that he returned the money and was remorseful? Amazingly, this wasn’t enough.
 
Then, Judas said, “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” (Mt. 27:4)

He even realized his sin.
 
The priests replied, “What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.” (Mt. 27:4)

I only wish He’d talked to Jesus. 
 
“…Then he went away and hanged himself.” (Mt. 27:5)
 
Remorse without repentance kills us internally. It leaves us in a balled up mess of self-condemnation, ridicule, embarrassment and shame. It kills our insides and has even been known to take a life.

What do you need to repent of? What do you need to release to God? What do you need to finally get over, so it doesn’t destroy you? The price Jesus paid is enough to cover over any mistake you’ve made. There’s nothing His grace won’t cover. Isn’t it about time you finally receive that grace and forgiveness too?

“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Heb. 8:12)

“Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into the place of highest privilege where we now stand and confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.” (Ro. 5:1-2)