Purposeful Faith

Category - Contentment

Finding true contentment

Do you Still Love Me?

I had a really hard talk with a friend. I told her some things that needed to be said. Her face looked sad.

I didn’t want to say all these things, but I felt God wanted me to. The words were supposed to be encouraging. I tried to do this the best I could, but sensed I was failing. She listened. She nodded and soaked it all in.

We understood each other. It was all good.

But after she left, I felt crushed.

Does she still love me? What if she leaves me?

Does the idea of confrontation ever make you want to cover up because you fear you’ll be left unwanted?

I’ve noticed that in the past I left people before they left me, in order not to get hurt.

God help me. I don’t want to do that again. 

Frankly, I often don’t realize what my flesh is doing until my Spirit realizes it’s too late. But is it? Is it ever too late to return to love? It can sure feel like it. It can feel like it when memories of relationships are severed. Or the way you approached something can’t be taken back. It can feel you’ve gone down a one-way road leading to continually hurt feelings inside you.

I always mess up.

Are you there today? Do you feel you’ve ruined a relationship in a way that can’t be fixed?

5 Truths when Relationships Appear Broken

1. We are not perfect, nor will we ever be. On earth, we are moving from one glory to another. This means we start at a lesser glory, learn through a trial about God’s glory, and grow up into His greater glory. Life = Learning. We are learners.

2. God’s love is steady and sure. We may do what God wants, but man may still leave us. This doesn’t mean we didn’t: Do what God wanted us to, love well, and handle things correctly. It means that life gets sticky and sometimes people need time to process.

3. Our God is a God of new beginnings. Just as Jesus found new life after He gave up his own life at the cross, sometimes we must give up our pride to find new life in a relationship. This looks like humbling ourselves, saying sorry, and moving into the new thing God has for us.

4.  We all want to be loved. While we look at our stack of mess-ups, reasons we’re right or issues surrounding the relationship, others are doing the same thing. They want healing too. They want restored connectedness also. Understanding others’ perspectives always comes before judging them. This posture lets us kneel instead of cowering before others. Whose heart doesn’t open up when you see someone kneeling before you?

5. We get grace. Lots of it. It is abundant. Magnificent. Restorative. Full of opportunities to start over. Take it, in full-measure. God loves us. We are covered by the blood of Jesus. This means that by turning back to God and letting him take what we’ve done wrong, we get a covering, a protection and a start-over that our soul longs for. Things may not be perfect with others, but we look perfectly blameless in the sight of our God.

 

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I Can’t Do This All

One way to succeed at life is to take inventory of what sets you off.

Ask: What makes your chest well up with discomfort? What makes your stomach turn in rolling knots of nervousness? What makes your hands sweat?

There’s some very good news coming to you soon. With this, I’ve had to do some very hard work to see it through. Hard work makes me feel under much pressure. And being under pressure makes me feel I must perform.

Performances steal the presence of God.

It becomes all show and no rest. Performances are about: doing, striving, working stuff up, making things happen, generating results and presenting a good face.

They’re about getting somewhere. Meanwhile, God just wants to be with us.

Maybe you are there. Maybe you are saying to yourself, “I try so hard, but get nowhere. I don’t know how I’ll do it all. I am stressed out. I am overwhelmed. I am burdened.”

Right now, I believe God has an invitation for you and for me.

As I see it, I believe it reads like this…

Dear (your name),

I invite you to step away from the soul-crushing burdens of all you feel you “must” manage. I will manage those things as you trust in me. I can do far more than you can think or imagine when you trust me. I can accomplish in one minute what it takes you 5000 to conceptualize. Will you trust me? Will you let me take lead? Will you hand to me what you’re death-gripping and mishandling? Will you let go of those unruly emotions and trace them for promised lands of peace? I promise to take good care of what is most important to your soul. I won’t leave you behind. I am always true to my word.

“Defeat does not come to those who trust (in God).” Ps. 23:5 GNT

“(God) is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Heb. 11:6 NKJV

Above all, please know: I am with you. I am on your side. I am helping you. My hope is to give you the deep desires of your heart. (Ps. 37:4)

Love,

God

 

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When You Don’t Know What to Do

Have you ever asked these questions?

God, where are you?
God, why haven’t you shown up by now?
God, don’t you have a better plan – than this?
God, you need to come through for me. What do I need to do?

I’ve asked this a lot. After all the battles I’ve gone through (health, mental, financial and emotional), I’ve asked this time and time again. In fact, I’ve fretted and tried to figure out why God isn’t doing what I want him to.

He usually answers back with something like this:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,
As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Is. 55:8-9)

As if He is saying, “Daughter, lay down your demands for predictability and safety to come, follow me.”

Jesus is always inviting us somewhere. The question is – will we go?

You know, we don’t make just one decision to follow Jesus and throw in the towel. We do it again-and-again, day-after-day, minute-by-minute. We do it everytime we choose to disagree with the mayhem we see, in order to believe the truth of God’s Word within our mind.

This is following Jesus. This is being Battle Ready.

Being Battle Ready is getting to this question: “God, how in the world do I leave it all behind, to follow you, yet again?”
Then, listening
Being willing to accept a new plan.
Moving forward with it.
Fighting enemies attacks.
Pushing back against lies.
Seizing truth in our heart, through practical ways.
Giving love out to the world.

When we do this faith comes easy. Believing the God-0f-miracles happens more seamlessly.

I wrote my upcoming book, Battle Ready: Train your Mind to Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt and Live Victoriously, because I wanted a clear-cut plan to know what to do – when my mind went ballistic because it “didn’t know what to do”. Why? Because, I’ve gone through battle after battle, relationship problem after relationship problem, health concern after health concern. You name it, I’ve probably faced it.

I wanted strategy on how to stay close, strong, confident and steadfast. I wanted to get pro-active rather than reactive. I wanted to learn how to really allow God’s truth, promises and scripture to dwell in my mind.

While writing this book, God laid out scriptural plans, bible verses, how-to steps, habit-changing tips. I discovered how to create a personalized Battle Plan. You’ll create your-own Battle Plan too.

Want the insiders track to progress? Want to get all my exclusive freebies, devotionals, scripture on battle, little insights, live prayer meetings, plus join a band of women on-fire for Jesus?

Consider joining my launch team (Yes, YOU!!! All are welcome!).

Get the inside scoop on the book.  Printables. Video devotionals. Live prayer with Kelly. My arsenal of Battle-scripture. Group-support. All the Pre-order bonuses. Weekly accountability. A physical thought-changing gift. A Mini-Prayer Journal.

You’ll do little things, like:

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

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

Bonus for bloggers, authors, women’s ministers and leaders: Also get my whole Platform Writing and Speaking Coaching Series for free in the group. This is 15+ expert coaching videos that will help you build an audience and speak to them in ways that move their hearts.

Pre-order! And sign up for the launch team today.

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What if Jesus Drove Your Life?

Him: “Mom, I want to ride my bike with you on a major highway.”
Me: “Hmm… No.”
Him: “Mom, I want to ride my bike to a far-off neighborhood I’ve never been to before. I want to go far and get somewhere.”
Me: “You know, son? I care far less about our destination and far more about just being with you.”

As soon as I said it, the words hit me like self-reversing bullets at brute force speed. God cares far less about my destination than He does about just being with me.

I say: “God, I want to do things for you.”
He says: “Come and sit at my feet. Be not worried about many things.”
I say: “God, I want to do things for you.”
He says: “It appears being first is the right way, but sit with me and you’ll find being last is your true joy.”
I say: “God, I don’t know if I’m doing enough for you.”
He says: “People look at the outward appearance, but (I) look at the heart.” (1 Sam. 16:7)

In all my going, am I missing the fullness of God? In pushing fast, am I really pushing God away?

God is the driver; I am the passenger. God knows where I’m going; I stay near to Him. God has the heavenly GPS; I pay attention to where He wants me to go.

Can a passenger ever go anywhere if she isn’t seated next to the driver? If she’s off in her own land, trying to drive her own pretend car to her own Never Neverland…can she ever arrive?

Surrender is to allow God to be the driver. It means you become a sitter at the feet of Jesus. It means allowing your heart to become in awe of Him and His every word. It is to humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, knowing at the proper time: He’ll do the exalting. (1 Pet. 5:6) It is peace. It is joy. It is our portion. It is our calling. It is our ultimate destination.

Why? Because the destination that is Jesus always leads to a destination of vision. We find out who we are in the boundless nature of His love. Here, He reveals the “go” we always wanted to find.

Another note: My new book Battle Ready: Train your Mind to Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt and Live Victoriously is available for Pre-order. This summer, I want you to read the book with me. We’ll be going through the book (200 people get a copy) in my private launch team group. I’ll also be providing free support materials, printables, scriptures, prayer time together and fun stuff from me. If you want to learn to abandon discouragement, doubt, and disappointment, come join me on the launch team. Just pre-order a book on Amazon, then sign up here.

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

Where Did God Go?

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

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

I love you all. Now here is the post:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Same tricks. Different day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This course:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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God Fights Our Battles

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

We all are.

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

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

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

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

God does the same for us.

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

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

Almighty God has a mighty eye on us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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How to Love Like Jesus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus never permitted cynicism to rule,

even though He most certainly could have.

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

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

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

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

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

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What Surrender Looks Like

What does surrender look like?

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

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

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

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

Your what?

Your walker?

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

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

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

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

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

This is surrender.

 

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How to Prevent Yourself from Stumbling

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

What is a stumbling block?

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

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

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

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

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

Wise people receive wise words from others.

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

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

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

Here, we can:

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

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

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