Purposeful Faith

Category - Regular Contributor

Ask with Boldness, Walk with Wisdom

pray bold and unedited prayers quote by Katie M. Reid for Kelly Balarie's Purposeful Faith blog

Post By: Katie M. Reid

For a long time, I censored my prayers because I didn’t want to be disappointed if they were not answered in the way I hoped. But through a friend’s encouragement, I stopped editing my prayers and started boldly asking God for my heart’s desire. I knew that God would answer according to His will.

Praying uninhibited helped strengthen my faith as I declared that God could do the impossible and then waited to see how things would unfold.

King Solomon is an example of someone in the Bible who prayed with boldness and walked in wisdom. I want to do the same.

1 Kings 3:9 says: So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?

As a new king, Solomon had the honorable yet daunting task of governing God’s chosen people. Although his earthly father was far from perfect, Solomon had big sandals to fill as he reigned on the heels of his dad, revered King David.

In 1 Kings 3:5, God appeared to Solomon in a dream and said: Ask for whatever you want me to give you.

This almost seems like a genie in a bottle kind of moment, but it’s more like a loving father placing his hands on his child’s shoulders, “What is it that you want? Is there something I can do to help you?”

Solomon responded to God’s question by asking for a discerning heart to distinguish between right and wrong. He asked for this so he could rule well and honor God in the process.

Solomon could have asked God for long life, wealth, victory over his enemies (or the latest, greatest model of chariot) but instead, he demonstrated humility and wisdom by asking for a discerning heart. Solomon was keenly aware that he had been called to a position that required more strength and insight than he currently possessed, so he asked God to provide what was needed for the task at hand.

Solomon’s prayer for wisdom pleased God and God gladly provided what was requested.

As we see in 1 Kings 3:3, Solomon was imperfect yet God still blessed him by answering his heartfelt plea.

Not long after Solomon received this gift of wisdom, he was presented with a perplexing situation of two harlots disputing over who was the rightful mother of a baby. Solomon’s verdict on this sticky situation caused all of Israel to be in awe as they observed the divine wisdom God gave their king to administer justice (1 Kings 3:28).

Solomon’s bold and unedited prayer for a discerning heart not only benefited himself but a whole nation.

Solomon did not just walk around saying, “Hey, I’m a wise guy,” he actually applied that wisdom to situations that arose, as we see demonstrated in the account of the two harlots (1 Kings 3:16-28).

As you face your own challenges, remember this faith-filled moment from King Solomon’s life: Ask boldly for what you need and act wisely as God leads.

Dear God, help me pray boldly and unedited like Solomon—asking for the very thing I desperately need. Help me to act wisely, according to Your Truth, knowing that you have my best interest in mind and deeply care for those around me. May I be a good steward of what You have entrusted to me and depend on Your insight to guide me. Thank You that You delight in answering my prayers and are able to help me navigate the trials I face. In Jesus’ name, amen.

What is a bold and unedited prayer you have?

Katie M. Reid Author and Speaker

Katie M. Reid is an author and speaker who encourages you to find grace in the unraveling of life (look for her first book coming out next July with WaterBrook!). She inspires you to embrace your identity in Christ and live out your God-given purpose. Katie delights in her hubby, five children, and their life in the Midwest. She is a fan of cut-to-the-chase conversation over hot or iced tea. Katie and her husband host the popular Facebook Live show, “Stop! Hammock Time” (which airs Wednesdays, 9pm EST). Join in the fun and unwind in this vibrant community.

Connect with Katie at katiemreid.com and on Facebook and Twitter.

Exchanging Labels and Lies for His Truth

Blog Post by Abby McDonald

I went to the N.A. meeting with one goal. To get in and get out. The last thing I expected was for someone to give me a new label. I had too many of those already.

Sure, I wanted to support my loved one. I wanted him to get healthy, find release and healing. But I hoped by staying quiet and not making direct eye contact with the group leader, I could make my exit as soon as the meeting was over.

My strategy didn’t exactly work out as planned. The leader saw me right away, as it’s hard not to notice someone new when you’re sitting in a huge circle.

Once he learned who I was, he asked a series of questions. I didn’t know where he was leading and tried to be as vague as possible with my answers. Later, I learned he was trying to see if I met all the criteria for a term commonly used to describe the loved ones of addicts: codependent.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure what the word meant. I had an idea, but I was nineteen years old at the time. Things like this didn’t enter my vocabulary. So, like any good college student, I did some research.

Codependency: (n) a type of dysfunctional helping relationship where one person supports or enables another person’s drug addiction, alcoholism, gambling addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement.

I wasn’t willing to admit it out loud, but I knew I was a classic case. And without even realizing it, I took this label and added it to the list of other ones I allowed to define me through my college and early work years. Codependent, quiet one, underachiever, shy girl.

What’s ironic is that I hated stereotypes. When others tossed them around, I tried my best to avoid them.

“You can’t put me in a box,” I thought to myself.

What I didn’t see is that even though I wasn’t saying them aloud, I was listening. I was allowing these titles to limit me and hold me back.

When I had the opportunity to read my poetry aloud at the coffee shop, I quietly declined. When my professor told me I should enter a writing piece into the tribune, I let fear hold me back.

Staying in the shadows felt safe.

But by never venturing out and taking risks, I slowly lost little pieces of myself. I watched opportunities pass by and wondered why it was so hard for me to step out and be brave.

Years later, after graduating and acquiring my first couple of post-college jobs, I sat in a sanctuary trembling as the labels I’d adopted fell, one by one. I had new ones, and they weren’t names the world could give or take away.

Chosen. Worthy. Daughter. Beloved.

It took me years of searching and asking questions. Lord knows, I can be pretty hard-headed at times. But what I finally saw is that if I let the world define me with a finite label, I would never know who I was as an eternal being.

The world gives us labels based on appearance, but Jesus gives us names that stick.

Once we realize this, we can walk in freedom because we know that when he calls us to do something, it is his name we represent. Not our own.

So if he if he calls us to speak or share or move, what do we have to lose? Nothing but chains, dear daughters. Nothing but chains.

“My beloved spoke and said to me, “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me.” Song of Solomon 2:10 ESV

 

Abby McDonald is the mom of three, a wife and writer whose hope is show readers their identity is found in Christ alone, not the noise of the world. When she’s not chasing their two boys or cuddling their newest sweet girl, you can find her drinking copious amounts of coffee while writing about her adventures on her blog. Abby would love to connect with you on her blog and her growing Facebook community.

God Can, But Will He?

God Can, But Will He quote by Katie M. Reid for Kelly Balarie's Purposeful Faith blog

Post by: Katie M. Reid

This man with leprosy believed that Jesus could make him clean, if He was willing.

Luke 5:12-13 “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean. Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man, ‘I am willing’, he said. ‘Be clean!’ And immediately the leprosy left him.”

Lord, if You are willing You can make me clean. 

Shadrach, Meschach and Abed-nego faced a fiery furnace. They knew that God was able to save them from it, but even if He did not they refused to bow down to another (see Daniel 3:16-18).

Lord, if You are willing You can save us from the fire. 

Jesus can do anything. He can do the impossible (see Matthew 19:26 & Luke 1:37).

Do you believe that?

He can rescue us from the fiery trials that we face. He can heal any kind of disease. He can restore broken marriages. He can free us from addictions. He can bring the dead to life.

Nothing is too difficult for Him (see Genesis 18:14 & Jeremiah 32:27).

Sometimes He doesn’t rescue, heal, restore, free or resurrect on this side of heaven, but that doesn’t mean that He is unable to. 

What does it mean then?

The night before Jesus faced the fiercest trial of his life, he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39).

Why was the Father not willing to let this cup pass from Jesus, His beloved child?

Was it because He was displeased with the one praying? Was God angry at him, ignoring him or apathetic towards him?

Not at all.

Jesus was His Son, the beloved of the Father. So why was He not willing to deliver His Son from the horrific, grave circumstances that He was facing?

It was love.

Not just love for Jesus but undying love for all of us. God allowed this suffering because He knew the end result would greatly impact the world forever; providing the way to a restored relationship with the Father and life everlasting with Him.

We have the privilege of knowing the rest of the story, but what if we were there in the Garden with Jesus or there at the foot of the cross as He hung upon it? Would we question God’s Sovereignty? Would we wonder why He wasn’t willing to save His Son?

Faith is being sure of what we do not see (see Hebrews 11:1) We choose to believe even when what we see seems contradictory to our beliefs. God is who He says He is or He is not.

I’m not trying to explain away your pain. I just know that sometimes our finite minds are limited and our eyes are short-sighted.

If God is not willing to let the cup pass in your life, I believe that it is for a greater purpose than what we can see at present.

God is Sovereign. Trust that He is Loving. Rest assured that He is Just.

You can take shelter in His Sovereignty and rest in His ability to cover you and keep you underneath the shelter of His wings. He cares deeply for you- so much so that He was unwilling to let the cup of His wrath pass from Jesus. He was willing to let His Son die so that you could live.

You are precious in His sight and loved beyond comprehension. You can be confident as you rest under the umbrella of His will, because He is faithful.

He is able to do anything. He is willing to make you clean through Jesus. He loves you that much. He did everything for you at the cross with arms spread wide open in love for you, that you may be saved.

I’ll leave you with a song declaring His power and His ability to do the impossible.

Nothing is impossible with God

Nothing is too hard for Him

He is able, more than able, to do anything.

He is Sovereign, He is Wise, He is Great, has limitless strength.

He’s the God who sees, the God who knows, the God Everlasting, the God of me.

Daniel 3:17-18 “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

Katie M. Reid Author and Speaker
Katie M. Reid is an author and speaker who encourages you to find grace in the unraveling of life (look for her first book coming out next July with Waterbrook!). She inspires you to embrace your identity in Christ and live out your God-given purpose. Katie delights in her hubby, five children, and their life in the Midwest. She is a fan of cut-to-the-chase conversation over hot or iced tea. Katie and her husband host the popular Facebook Live show, “Stop! Hammock Time” (which airs Wednesdays, 9pm EST). Join in the fun and unwind in this vibrant community.

Connect with Katie at katiemreid.com and on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Encouragement When You Feel Like You’re Failing

no more striving it's already been done quote by katie m. reid for purposeful faith blog

Post by: Katie M. Reid

Dear Daughter:

I see you there…my try-hard girl, my striving for the “A” daughter—the one who handles it all.

You are My creation—painted with the brushstrokes of grace upon breathtaking landscape.

I know how hard you work…rising early, staying up late, constantly stirring thoughts around like stew, looking for the perfect blend to make it all right.

You are not an orphan, but an heir—privy to the inheritance that I died to give you.

Through each season, you strive to keep it all together—polished, shiny, bright. You do not like the idea of failing.

You strive to measure up. You scurry to keep up. You fear messing up. You dread fessing up.

Can I let you in on a little secret? You don’t have to be flawless.

It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.” –Psalm 18:32

Can I reassure and encourage you, this day? You don’t have to earn that which has been freely given.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 6:23

I AM perfect, so you don’t have to be. I AM enough, so you don’t have to do more.

The easy A is yours. That which you are striving for has already been done.

Head over to Katie’s site, for the rest of this post and for the #RaRaLinkup…

 

Making Lists About God Will Change You

Post By: Angela Parlin

I read the Bible, looking for what it said about me.

Specifically, what did I need to DO—or not do? These are the things I wrote down. These are the things I prayed about and thought about. Then I wandered off to live my life each day. But I missed so much of the great, big, beautiful point of Scripture. The LORD.

I missed knowing Him more and growing in relationship with Him.

In a lot of ways, I was just doing religion.

It makes sense, because I’ve always wanted to get it all right. I don’t ever want to find myself in trouble. Getting in trouble never made sense to me. Just tell me all the rules and standards and expectations, and I’ll go to great lengths to follow them.

So I read the Bible like a rulebook. A guide for getting my life right. A tool to keep me from anyone’s disappointment.

By trying to avoid mistakes, I missed the glory and majesty of God Almighty.

But for several years now, I approach God and His Word in a different way, and it has changed me.

One day I realized I’d been reading the Bible as if it was a book about me–rather than a book about God. The light went on, and I started to come to these pages with a different mindset.

In her book, Women of the Word, Jen Wilkin says, “The Bible is a book that boldly and clearly reveals who God is on every page.” (Page 23)

The Bible is a book about God. We all know that, but do we come to it, looking for God? I mean looking just for HIM, not for what we need from Him. Not for answers. Not for Do’s and Don’ts or explanations about ourselves. We find those there, but we find so much more if we come to the Bible looking for the Lord.

So now I make lists about God.

As I read through any book of the Bible, I write down each day what the text tells me about Him. When I pray, most days I start by telling God who His Word says He is. I often refer back to my lists. I worship Him with the ancient words of Scripture, ascribing to Him the glory due His name.

In worshiping God this way, I also benefit from reminding myself again and again who God is. Somehow, I no longer need to be told so often who I am.

Making lists about God {from Scripture} will change you.

It will change the way you think of God, the way you see Him, and how you relate to Him. It will change the way you think of yourself.

More than anything, it will fill your mind and heart with the truth about God. You won’t want to miss another opportunity to see Him.

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!” Isaiah 6:3b, NLT

Angela Parlin is a wife and mom to 3 rowdy boys and 1 sweet girl. In addition to spending time with friends and family, she loves to read and write, spend days at the beach, watch romantic comedies, and organize closets. But most of all, she loves Jesus and writes to call attention to the beauty of life in Christ, even when that life collaborates with chaos. Join her at www.angelaparlin.com, So Much Beauty In All This Chaos.

For the Days When Your Soul Aches and You Feel Lonely

Seven Bible verses to help you when you're lonely and your soul aches

Post by: Katie M. Reid

The stale air of the subway felt like her closest companion. She was surrounded by people yet no one seemed to notice her. Some passengers looked straight ahead, others seemed to look through her, and most were on their phone. A few, very few, were engaged in conversation.

I’m hungry. She cried out.

And the passengers were unaware…or unmoved.

I’m hungry! She called out again.

I heard the cry. Not just from the mouth of this fellow passenger, but deep within my soul.

I have known hunger too: soul hunger.

And I wonder how many of us join in this refrain? I’m hungry. I’m hungry!

On the days when there’s nothing left in the cupboard. For the times when the house (or inbox) is devoid of life. In the aftermath of unexpected storms that barrel through. There is one who hears, who sees, who understands. One who has experienced loneliness (and hunger) in ways we can’t even imagine.

He answers our cries with Himself: the Bread of Heaven broken for us.

He doesn’t look through us, He lives in us. He invites us to feast as He provides soul manna that never runs out. He never runs out on us. Jesus. Not a trite answer but THEE answer for our deep soul ache.

Tried and true, tested and proven, His Love saturates lonely, aching places.

Here for us; always. When others ignore, when they overlook, or when they inadvertently hurry by…He remains.

Here are 7 verses to feast on when you’re feeling lonely:

  • Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty (John 6:35).
  • Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me (Revelation 3:20).
  • Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? (1 Corinthians 3:16).
  • Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand (Isaiah 41:10, NLT).
  • Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast (Psalm 139: 7-10).
  • For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).
  • Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20, NLT).

There is a verse here for each day of the week. May you be comforted as you cry out to God and bring your loneliness to Him. Oh how He cares for you and is more than able to provide for the hunger of your soul.

Katie M. Reid Author and Speaker

Katie M. Reid is an author and speaker who encourages you to find grace in the unraveling of life (look for her first book coming out next summer with Waterbrook!). She inspires you to embrace your identity in Christ and live out your God-given purpose. Katie delights in her hubby, five children, and their life in the Midwest. She is a fan of cut-to-the-chase conversation over hot or iced tea. Katie and her husband host the popular Facebook Live show, “Stop! Hammock Time” (which airs Wednesdays, 9pm EST). Join in the fun and unwind in this vibrant community.

Connect with Katie at katiemreid.com and on Facebook and Twitter.

When Storms Come In Like Wrecking Balls

Post By: Angela Parlin

It was Jesus’ idea to row to the other side.

With His disciples, He left the crowd behind, and traveled by boat to a new place on the far side of the lake. A furious storm suddenly raged. Waves crashed over the boat, and they nearly drowned.

Meanwhile, Jesus slept on a cushion in the stern.

If you think about what he had been doing before this little boat ride, his deep sleep makes perfect sense. At least from my introverted (and sometimes-exhausted Mom) perspective. He had been teaching crowds of people, eating meals with people, and traveling about talking with them and healing them.

Mark 4 tells us the disciples took Jesus along in the boat, “just as He was.” And what He was, was completely exhausted. Fully human…

Head to Angela’s Blog to read the rest of this post! Also, LINKUP your own encouraging post there for the #RaRaLinkup this week.

The Problem With Hiding Our Struggles

Blog Post by Abby McDonald

“Mama, the monsters are coming at me,” my son said.

He stood by the bed with his face inches from mine, hands animated. My mid-REM cycle brain lingered between sleep and reality.

“What?” I asked. I saw that my son was disturbed by something. After realizing I was going to have to get out of bed, I stumbled to his room. I gave the bunk a full examination before telling him to get back in.

Five minutes later, he reappeared. The monsters were still there.

For some reason, the miracle of a flashlight never occurred to me. Thank God for my husband who came to the rescue with not just a flashlight, but a headlamp. Under the pillow it went.

Sweet, uninterrupted sleep followed. The next morning, I realized this tool I took for granted revealed the truth: the “monsters” were in fact shadows. There were no creepy things waiting to grab him in the night. He was safe.

It’s amazing what a little light can do.

Even in the darkest place, a flicker of it can go a long way.

Recently, I needed some light of my own. But for months, I didn’t tell anyone. I went through a dark season where I listened to one lie after another. Lies telling me I wasn’t enough. Lies telling me I should do better as a mother, wife, writer and friend. Lies telling me I wasn’t going to make it.

I thought, “If I can just make it through today, things will get better.”

Good days came and went and when the darkness hit again, I thought, “I’m just having a bad day.”

Somehow, bringing my struggle out into the open seemed threatening. I convinced myself if I could carry it a little longer, it would go away. I thought telling someone would make it my reality.

But in truth, it already was.

One day I sat in church operating the media projector while the worship band played Healing Is Here by The Deluge. My eyes were wet with tears as I mouthed the words.

Sickness can’t stay any longer

Your perfect love is casting out fear

You are the God of all power

And it is your will that my life is healed

Did I believe that? Did I believe God wanted me to be whole, complete, and fully secure in his love?

As I sat there asking myself this question, a miracle took place. The pastor called a sister forward to pray over the offering, but the Spirit had something else for us that day. A rescue. A release.

“There’s someone here who’s suffering from depression,” she stated without hesitation. She said God wanted that person to know his healing power was for her.

The tears ran freely down my cheeks. But still, my butt remained glue to my seat. In the next half hour, our church literally became what Jesus referred to in Matthew as “A House of Prayer.” Service stopped. The sermon was postponed.

This woman’s husband stood up and extended a second invitation, and I knew I had to go forward. And as a stood there at the front of the sanctuary with my head bowed, her hand reached through the crowd and grabbed mine.

Music played in the background while this sister prayed over me, naming lie after lie that I’d listened to for months. It was a God-ordained moment.

And what I realized was this: Even when no one else saw my pain, God did.

“…for your Father knows what you need before you even ask him.” Matthew 6:8b NIV

I finally understood that hiding our struggles does not diminish their power. It increases it.

But when I gave my problem a name, I was able to take the first step toward healing. I said, “I’m not going to let this rule me anymore.”

When we bring our darkness into his Light, he shows us truth.

Like my son with his headlamp, we can see the shadows aren’t able to defeat us. Though they lurk, they can never stand a chance against his perfect love.

Friend, no matter what you’re going through today, know this: God sees. Bring your fears, your problems and your sickness into his Light today. Tell someone you trust. Take a step forward.

His healing power begins when we reach for his hand.

 

Abby McDonald is the mom of three, a wife and writer whose hope is show readers their identity is found in Christ alone, not the noise of the world. When she’s not chasing their two boys or cuddling their newest sweet girl, you can find her drinking copious amounts of coffee while writing about her adventures on her blog. Abby would love to connect with you on her blog and her growing Facebook community.

 

When You Feel Too Small to Make a Difference

Blog Post by Abby McDonald

Several months ago, my husband and firstborn were almost hit by a car.

They walked toward our vehicle after a baseball game, and a woman backing up didn’t see them. My husband picked up our son, moving him out of the car’s path, and braced himself for impact.

Thankfully, the woman saw them at the last second. She jumped out of her car, hysterical and apologizing. My husband remained calm and told her they were okay, not wanting to add to her already panicked state.

They drove away from that night safe, but my son was never the same.

“Dadda, that car was going to hit you,” he said.

“Yes. It was. And whose job is it to protect you?”

“Yours,” he said, reflecting on what happened.

He’d heard it over and over. But that evening in early spring, he saw it. The words became real to him. And he knew his dad wasn’t tossing out some clichéd phrase or trying to soothe his fears with empty promises.

He meant it. He took ownership of those words in a moment where his life was at stake.

When we see love in action, it changes us.

It propels us. We see glimpses of a Creator who displayed the ultimate act of love in his death. But often, we get distracted. I’ll be the first to admit I’m guilty.

We live in a world where we are bombarded with countless alerts, news feeds and opinions. When someone expresses her deepest grief, we can respond without even typing words. A simple click-hold and we can choose from a range of five emotions. What more do we need right?

Every time I open my laptop, I am reminded how much apathy consumes our world. When I dwell on it, my mind goes to a dark place.

But do you know what God whispers to me when I’m sitting in the quiet? When I don’t feel big enough to make a difference or loud enough to be heard, he whispers two short words.

Show up.

When your friend receives the diagnosis and you don’t know what to say, show up.

When you don’t see your widowed, disabled neighbor for days, show up.

When your son breaks down in tears at the bus stop, show up.

I know the power of showing up because I’ve been on the receiving end of it. A few months before our first son arrived, a new acquaintance gave me her phone number and told me to call if I needed anything. I was in a new town, over two thousand miles from family, and I only knew a few people. But after giving birth I went through a dark season. I struggled to make it to bedtime.

In the midst of depression, lack of sleep and long days in an empty house, I forgot the promise of friendship.

I didn’t think to call because I was simply trying to survive.

Until she showed up. Uninvited, at my front door, with treats in hand and her kids on each side of her. I was in my PJs and it was after noon, but she didn’t care. What she cared about was me.

Like my son who saw his dad become a superhero, I saw love in action that day. I saw a person who wasn’t throwing out empty words, but was willing to be a friend. Even when it was uncomfortable. Even when it felt as though I didn’t have anything to offer.

I want to be that person. I want to be the one who sticks around even when everyone else leaves. I want to put skin in the game and love like I mean it. Will you join me?

When we do, lives are changed.

When we take off the blinders of the everyday and see what’s in the peripheral, love becomes real.

 

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God…” 2 Corinthians 2:14-15

 

Abby McDonald is the mom of three, a wife and writer whose hope is show readers their identity is found in Christ alone, not the noise of the world. When she’s not chasing their two boys or cuddling their newest sweet girl, you can find her drinking copious amounts of coffee while writing about her adventures on her blog. Abby would love to connect with you on her blog and her growing Facebook community.

Drawing Near Will Make You Want Him

draw near God heart

Post By: Angela Parlin

Long ago, our kids asked for a dog. A puppy is a lot of work, I said. So we gave them fish. But nobody can cuddle a fish, and next we appeased them with a guinea pig. That’s a long, smelly story for another day.

Soon we were back on the puppy train. The dachshund train, because I grew up with this sweet breed. I don’t know if you’ve encountered many dachshund owners, but there are no other dogs in the world, once you’ve loved a doxxie. My husband simply humors me.

The day came to choose a dog, and we picked Blaze. If we had known about his issues—how he would chew through shoes, bag straps, blue jeans, and even mess with the legs of our kitchen table—we might have named him Marley. 🙂   But we only knew his sweet baby eyes, that tiny whimper, and the way he snuggled into our necks and stopped crying when we sang to him.

Eight months later, the little guy’s quirks and offenses are clear, but so is the laughter he inspires.

Blaze lays at my feet nearly every day when I’m making dinner. He sits down and places one little paw over my foot. As I move about the kitchen, he follows me. While I know he wants to be near the food I drop, he also wants to be close to me.

No matter what I’m doing or where, if his eyes are open—they’re usually on me. He wants to be near me, all the time, no matter what.

It’s had me thinking about the way I long to be near God, and the times I’ve been too busy to be with Him.

God loved the world so much, that He sent Jesus to pay for our sins—not to condemn us, but to save us.

When we believe in Him, we are given the privilege–the blessing–of being in His presence.

We are able to talk with God and listen to Him. To come to Him for all the help we need. To go to Him boldly and with confidence as His beloveds, without any fear.

Jesus came near to us, so that we might move toward God.

And when we come to Him, we find incredible joy, blessing, and goodness. He fills us, He satisfies us, until we echo the psalmist’s words, His nearness is my good. There are many benefits of drawing close to God, but these can only be understood by experiencing Him. When we draw near to God, we experience His love, and we want more.

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:22, NIV

Have you moved toward God with a true heart and full assurance of faith? If not, will you call on the Lord in a prayer of belief today? Will you seek out someone who knows the Lord, to show you the way?

Those who believe—think about your heart. Are you drawing near with a true heart? Let us lay at His feet, longing for more than the food He drops, longing to be close to Him.

Angela Parlin is a wife and mom to 3 rowdy boys and 1 sweet girl. In addition to spending time with friends and family, she loves to read and write, spend days at the beach, watch romantic comedies, and organize closets. But most of all, she loves Jesus and writes to call attention to the beauty of life in Christ, even when that life collaborates with chaos. Join her at www.angelaparlin.com, So Much Beauty In All This Chaos.