Purposeful Faith

When You Feel Unlovable (Linkup)

When You Feel Unlovable

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Every time my son does something bad, he looks up at me with fear-filled eyes and asks, “Do you still love me?” He asks it over and over again – as if every bit of who he is depends the response.

In those little fear-filled, tear-filled eyes, I know he’s asking:

Am I am enough?

Do you still want me? Care about me?

Have I pushed you over the edge? Over the point of no return?

In his pleading, he’s asking if everything has changed.
Wondering if he has finally crossed the threshold of abandonment.
Pondering if he is worthy of my love. My care. My heart.
Deciding if he is good enough as he is.

He is begging to be accepted.

And, how often am I am just like my little son?

How often do I look up at God with pleading puppy dog eyes and ask, “God, do you still love me?”

It’s on days when I mess up. When I fall down. When I scrape a knee. It’s on these days where I wonder if God still sees me, still loves me and still wants me.

It’s on these days where I feel unworthy, unlovable and undeserving. It’s on these days where I think God is disappointed.

Because, really, who wants to be around someone who is always offending? Always a mess up? A consistent failure?

People tend to run from these type of people.

I understand my son – and his questions.
We can’t get things right.
We drop the ball.

But, is God really a “Love me, love me not” type of God?  And, can he really ever stop loving us?

Because it is by grace that we have been saved. It’s through faith and not by our own works. It is a gift. An undeserved, non-reciprocal and free gift. (Eph. 2:8).

So if it really is a gift – from him –
then why am I always trying to wrap up my own gifts – for him?

Why am I so often the powered gifter, instead of the humbled receiver?

In this, I miss the gift. I miss the heart. I miss the grace. I miss his power.

I miss the point – and, as a result, I feel distanced from God. Apart from his love. Deprived of his grace. I look up at him and plead, because I know I am not good enough and never can be.

I have made it all about me.

If I do well, like a balloon, I inflate with pride. If I don’t, I deflate with self-condemnation.  Either way, I stand ready to lose all my air, all my reliance on him and all my ability to fly to new heights. It’s a no win. And, perhaps this is why God did not base faith on works.

Yes, God calls us to love him and obey him. But, even more, he calls us to live covered by his blood and by his free gift of grace. Because, it’s here that we can truly love God and love others.

The wages of our sin is death; but the wages of his death is freedom.

Freedom in a love that is permanent.
Freedom in a death that secures.
Freedom in a life that makes us worthy.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

So, the next time I look up to God, ready to ask, do you still love me, I will remember:
Christ’s love never ends.
His love never failed – or will fail.
His love makes me worthy.
His grace makes me whole.
The Spirit comforts me.
Not based on my output, but based on his indwelling.
I am secure.
Safe.
Worthy.
Significant.
Clean.
Renewed.
Saved.
Free.

It’s all given to me, by the one who can never stop loving me. He gives it to you too. Like a locket that holds an image of a loved one, will you choose to receive – and lock his image? Will you choose to remember that this necklace is engraved around your heart? Locked in your soul? It’s love is always held within.  Will you choose remember this image of unchanging love, unmerited grace and unbelievable power?

No matter how you may feel, Christ is right there, with you in your moment, loving your soul beyond any embrace you could ever fathom.

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Do I Need to Forgive?

Do I need to forgive?

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I wasn’t aware I had unforgiveness in my heart.

But, I wondered, “Do I need to forgive?”

So, I sat before the Lord and asked the Spirit to reveal to me if there was anyone I needed to forgive. Someone did come to mind. Someone rather unexpected.

This person had hurt me again and again.
They had stepped on my toes.
They had left me annoyed.
They had let me down.

I had forgiven them in the past, but new offenses had taken the place of their forgiven place.

I thought, in my mind I thought, “This person – again? How many times do I have to go back to this person?”

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times? “Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” (Mt. 18:21-22)

Jesus doesn’t call us to forgive and be done. He knew that one who is forgiven once, likely needs to be forgiven and forgiven again and again. He doesn’t call to a blanket statement forgiveness system, but a system of ever-flowing, ever-aware and ever-outpouring forgiveness.

How many times does Jesus forgive me?

He calls us to seek out the unknown pits of resentment  we hide- in us –
to uncover the known depth of love that he stands ready to outstretch – through us.

A moment of prayer highlighted my black tar within. I never would have realized it if I hadn’t asked. I had forgiven this person so many times, I thought they were covered. I thought I had forgiven.

Jesus knows that people hurters (like you and me) are likely to hurt again and he calls us to forgive them again. Why? Because we are called to something greater – agape love. Not love that says, “I love this day, I love your hair, I love that shirt. I love this place.” Not a shallow, convenient or useful love, instead we are called to the hard depths of real love. We are called to a love like Christ loved.

To love with a love that says, “Despite what you did to me (Example: nailing me to a cross):

I see who God made you to be.
I offer unconditional benevolence towards you.
Nothing can hold me back from offering deep goodness to you.
Christ shows me how to turn the other cheek.
Nothing can conquer the deep heart I have for you.

“…The greatest of these is love.” (1 Cor. 13:13)

“As the Father loved me, so have I loved you, now remain in my love.” (John 15:9)

Does a bag of unforgiveness weigh you down? Have you been carrying around load of unneeded junk?

I noticed, the only back unforgiveness was breaking was mine.

It didn’t cause pain to the person that hurt me.
It didn’t teach them a lesson.
It didn’t make them change.
But, my shoulders slumped, my heart felt a little more heavy and my walk with God was burdened.

Yet, as I sought God; he revealed to me new view that changed my perception on forgiveness.

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,” (Acts 3:19)

“Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. (Mt 18:18)

When we forgive and we remove junk out of our purse,
the Lord doesn’t leave us with an empty hole.

He doesn’t leave that space unoccupied.

When we forgive the Lord comes back in to fill us up again.

You see, forgiveness is an exchange of our weighted junk for his refreshment.

Refreshment that offers wave after wave of grace, mountain after mountain of joy, an eternal hope of glory, solid-rock security, never ending significance and a waterfall of constant renewal.

Will we accept all that he has for us?
Will we reach out and grab it?
Becuase he holds this refreshment out to us.
The question is – will we seek to forgive?

Let’s ask God who to forgive.

Then he will remove the weight of unforgiveness that ties us down to resentment, so we can run our race unencumbered.

As we humble ourselves in love, God fills our bag. He fills it so high it brims with his goodness. 

We let go of the stronghold we have on the straps, we realize we are strongly held by him. He removes the weight of our straps and lightens our load in his love – to love.

The power of forgiveness is immense. Love transforms, lightens and lifts. Don’t miss the chance to ask God who you need to forgive today. He will pack your bag so full, you will finally see that what he offers is far greater than that ugly bag of junk you have carried around so long.

“…Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Luke 7:47-48 


Do You Have Eyes to See?

Do you have eyes to see?

I remember when I was young, I went to the PGA US Open when it was held near my town.

Amidst the thousands of people,
amidst my sister who turned into a lunatic,
amidst people pushing and shoving,
I remember tottering on my tippy toes just to see.

I just wanted to see the world famous Tiger Woods.

I knew that I wouldn’t really get a hello from him or a handshake – there were too many people and he was too famous. I was too average and he was too important.

But I just wanted to grab a look.

Wasn’t it similar for Zacchaeus?

And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. (Luke 19:3-4)

He just wanted to see.
He knew he was small.
He knew he was guilty.
He knew he was unworthy.
But, he just wanted to see the man who had power.

He wanted to cast his eyes on the one who could entirely change the game. So much so, that little Zacchaeus went to new heights – in a tree- to see new depths – in the an unforseen King.

Jesus rewarded this “go-to-any-lengths-mentality.”
Jesus rewarded this heart that wants to view his glory.
Jesus rewarded this will to see from a new view.

Jesus rewards a simple desire to see.

Jesus responds in such a different way than any earthly celebrity would.

He is less concerned about his destination (Lu. 19:1), and more concerned about salvation.

He halts all his plans, just to to see one man everyone probably hates – and he turns it into a opportunity to heal.

Can you imagine for a moment how it is being in a crowd of people? Jesus would not be able to see ahead or behind him, but Jesus knew the only way he needed to be looking – was up.

He never had the need for speed, but instead had a deep desire to fill an aching need. He stopped, he saw and then he went the extra distance and met the man in the most intimate of places – his home.

Jesus saw the one who truly needed eyes to see.
He put his plans on pause, for a greater cause.
He saw the need of the moment, rather than the plan of the hour.

He saw what no one else wanted to see – “the sinner”. (Lu. 19:7)

Zacchaeus had eyes to see.
Jesus had eyes to see.

Do we?

Do we seek to see Jesus from new perspectives?
Do we give all our heart to find him?
Do we risk climbing difficult trees to seek him?

And, what do we see in the midst of the hustle and bustle?
What do we see in the spaces between our to-do list action items?
What do we see in the faces of those we love?

Because, when we stop to see, what we often end up with is a great visit
by the great Comforter –
who never ceases to leave us unchanged.  

He knows our needs and ministers to our hearts.

Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today. (Lu. 19:5)

I want Jesus to visit me in my house, don’t you?

Because a visit from Jesus, changes our hearts, our minds and our lives as nothing else can.

And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Lu. 19:9)

What does Jesus stand ready to give you when you only seek to see?

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Surviving the Worst Storms of Life

Surviving the Worst Storms of Life

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God leads.
I follow.

God sets a destination before me.
I trust in him to bring me there.

God goes silent.
I start to panic.

I question his plan,
doubt his cause,
and fear his promptings.

I wonder, where did my Lord go?

Have you ever been in these shoes?
Sure of where you are going – only to question, shortly thereafter, if God has fallen asleep on you?

You are not alone.

Jesus’ closest friends felt exactly how you felt.

You see they had a destination. Jesus said to the disciples, after a time of deep and meaningful life instruction, “Let us go across to the other side (of the sea).” (Mk. 4:35)

They knew where they were headed; they had a destination and Jesus was going to take them there.

But plans were changed as a storm threatened their boat.
Despite their effort to move, to go and to make progress something stood against.
It not only seemed their journey a lost cause, but they probably felt that way too.

How often are we like the disciples?

We scream out in our storms, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” (Mt. 8:25)
“Where are you Lord? I am drowning here.”
“Lord, didn’t you tell me – to go?”

And, sometimes he answers.
And, other times – it seems – he doesn’t.

When he doesn’t, we wonder:

1. What did I do wrong?
2. How did I go wrong?
3. What is Jesus doing wrong?

We almost want to grab him and say, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’  (Mk. 4:38)

We are here Lord, we are in this rocky, turbulent boat called life, Lord!  Do you see us? Do you care? Where are you? How come you are not directing us to our destination like you planned?

We try to shake him.
We try to wake him.
We know we only need his touch – because it will do so much.

So, we bawl and we call.
And, he sees our squall.
Not to let us fall. He comes to our rescue as our all-in-all.

But, only then do his words brush up against our heart saying, “Dear one, why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” (Mk. 4:40). Or, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ (Mt. 8:26)

And, in this moment, we realize, he was with us the whole time.
We already had the touch that we desired so much.
But, we missed his saving power.
We lost sight of him.

What if we actually believed -through the storm, rather than fearing – in the storm? 
What sort of miracle would Jesus do? 
What would we behold?

A deep sense that “we missed it” floods over us.

Because, while we thought he was sleeping and dreaming of things other than us, he was always planning to bring us through – according to his ways.

He was always in our turbulent boat, right there next to us.

We saw the storm raging, and felt alone, but he was right there – in the midst of it – not leaving our side.

While we feared waters would cover us and we would never reach the promised land, the Lord always had a hand of protection over us – even though we couldn’t see it.

Jesus calls us to grab hold of faith in storms that appear to prevent us from charting the course he set before us.

Faith that he won’t leave us.
That he is with us.
That he can be silent and working at the same time.
That he has a plan despite the circumstances around us.
That he is greater than our best efforts to calm any storm.
That prayer and joy and an eager expectancy of his rescue is the only way to go.
That he is greater than the nature of the world that surrounds us.

Jesus didn’t fall asleep on the cross. He knew where he was going.
He never lost his touch.
He is always touching.
He has already conquered all storms, all sin and all sadness.
He knows our destination and his destination for us. Nothing will come against.
Jesus always saves.

I wonder if the disciples wondered if Jesus had fallen asleep – and forgotten them – for 3 days after his death?

Or, did they remember this little boat in a big sea, that tossed like leaf in a windstorm, that threatened their destination and that made them fear?  Did they remember that Jesus was always near? That despite how things seemed, the Lord has a greater dream for them.

I wonder.

Perhaps, when the Lord greeted them this time, in heaven, he looked at them and said, “You of great faith, oh, how you have pleased me!”

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I am delighted to be joining Suzie Eller for #LiveFreeThursday!


Let Go and Let God

Let Go and Let God

I needed this time; I needed a way to release the little kinks from my aching back, a time to find refreshment and a time to let go.

So when my husband gave me the opportunity to get a massage, I jumped at the idea. I saw it as the opportune time to just “be” – to let go.

Although, as I lay on that table, I couldn’t quite accomplish the “let go” part. I couldn’t relax.  It was almost like I felt afraid to let myself be at the will of someone else.

Even the masseuse could tell.

She looked at me and said, “Kelly, if you want me to really work, then you’ve got to let go so I can release the tension and the pain. Trust me to do my work. You will be better off in the long run if you relax and trust me.  When you do, I can get into the deep issues and handle the stress.”

Wow.  This really got me to thinking.

There is power in the ability to let go.

If I can just breathe, exhale and let myself rest as she does her work, the result will be amazing.

Isn’t this true with God too?  

If we can just let go of our ways, our tension, our plans, won’t he be faithful to work out all the kinks?  

Won’t he leave us better off than we ever could have imagined?

Won’t he find a way to release our life stresses better than we ever could
– as we trust him with all things, in all ways?

But, why is control so hard to let go?  

Why is it so hard to be completely open and malleable to another’s work?

Why?

Because “Control” lures us in, and says:

With me, you have charge over your life.  No one can hold you back. You reign.
With me, you have the advantage, so that others don’t take advantage of you.
With me, you don’t have to worry about the unknown, because you can fight to make it known.
With me, you can make others do what you need them to do.
With me, you are working towards something, not wasting time waiting.
With me, you have a well-known friend -we have always walked together.

With control, we want all that God has to offer us, but we demand it by our own merits.
With control, we feel we deserve control.
With control, we miss God’s voice.

Oh, how control lies to us. We exchange God’s ultimate control with self-seeking control in our lives.  Our controlling ways are a counterfeit for God’s charge.

A counterfeit that is not from God…

The Devil loves life-sucking counterfeit replacements for God’s life giving solutions. We don’t want to be tricked.  We don’t want to give the devil a foothold. (Eph. 4:27)

The Counterfeit for God’s Sovereign Control:

– Tells us we can rule on high, instead of God.
– Continually makes us work to achieve good things.
– Fosters pride.
– Makes us fearful of the unknown.
– Consumes us with our work.
– Encourages us to rule over people, instead of being under the rule of our master.
– Discourages and demotivates us when things don’t go our way.
– Builds feelings of anger and bitterness in those we try to control.
– Fosters a distrust of God, as we never get a chance to see Gods’ work when we control.

Does this sound like God at work?  Does this sound like healing, rebuilding and restorative work?

I don’t want this.  I don’t want to lay it all out on the table and not be able to let go of things. I don’t want to hold on to life with a death grip.  I don’t want to miss God’s healing power in my life, in my circumstances and in my trials because I am so tightly spun that I can’t see his hand.

What a waste.

I know God has so much more in store for me – and he has so much more in store for you.  He wants us to lay down at the foot of the cross and to trust him.  He wants us to breathe in grace and to exhale peace.  He wants us to let him work, to let him knead the deep aches, hurts and tensions. He wants to work those out.

Oh how badly he wants to repair us.  He wants to heal us.  Will we let him?

We have to be open, willing and ready vessels.

Because when we stop working, stop controlling and start letting go – we find Him.

When we stop achieving and start receiving, we find life.

Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved. (Psalm 55:22)

When we surrender our ways, when we lay it all down before him, he will be faithful to restore us.

I am ready to let go and let God. Are you?

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When the Work is Hard (Linkup)

Today I am delighted to have Katy McCown post and host the linkup. Katy is a super-mom of 6 and a NFL wife. She is also an inspiration to us all.

In Isaiah 43, God’s people prepared for a journey.

A long journey. A challenging journey.

One sure to present danger and hardships. A journey much like the one we face every day. Our destination is a heavenly home with no pain or sadness or hurt … but we’re not there yet. Today, we travel.

But now, O Jacob, listen to the LORD who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, ‘Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.”’ Isaiah 43:1 (NLT)

I think there’s something special about making God’s words personal. Every night one of my boys requests we sing the familiar words of “Jesus loves me” before he shuts his eyes, except even at his young age, he won’t settle for a blanket promise. He asks, instead, “Will you sing Jesus loves Isaiah?” I smile and sing replacing every “me” with his own, unique name. And he smiles knowing God’s promises are true for him.

Click here to read more and join the link-up!

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When You Feel Stuck

When you feel stuck

Do you ever feel stagnant? Like you are trying to accelerate, but going nowhere? What do you do when you feel stuck?

I know I can sometimes feel this way, I wonder, “Am I making a difference? Serving a purpose? Changing lives? Impacting the world? Is my life adding up to anything meaningful?”

Normally it’s when I have been rejected and I feel dejected,
or when I am down and start looking around,
or when I see the progress of man and start feeling like a scam.

It’s these times that I feel like a car just spinning it’s wheels – spinning round and round – but getting nowhere. I push and I push – but somehow I still stay stuck. No matter how hard I slam that gas pedal, I still have no idea where I am headed.

It’s aggravating. Frustrating. Demoralizing.

It doesn’t matter if I steer in the right direction, because the only direction I feel I am headed is – nowhere.

For much of my life, I sludged around in the mud. I worked in jobs that never satisfied. I arrived with a smile – and left with a frown. I felt purposeless. Passionless. And, disappointed in myself.

During this time, I realized:

To live without cause, is to feel like a fraud.
To not make a difference, is to become indifferent.

To fake like you’re okay is to put on a good play.
To not see results, is a personal insult.

But, this is not how God intends us to live. God desires us to be authentic, patient and enduring. 

Yet, so many days, I return to this place of “stuck”. I may want bigger progress.  More lives changed. I may want to do better spiritually. Or to be a better mom. Or to have deeper relationships. Or I want to feel closer to God.

Often, I just feel stuck.

But, God’s best sermons aren’t delivered at church they are delivered during these moments – these moments of “stuck”.

It is here where we are forced to wait and be still.
It is here where we can focus – on Him.

It’s in these places of “wait” where God’s work really gets started. This muddy ground is his best working ground. It is here, where he transforms us and molds us – growing us in patience, endurance and perseverance.

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Romans 5:3-4)

It’s here we grow and sow. As we grow in patience we sow faith. As we let go of fear (often the fear of mediocrity), true purpose surfaces. It is here we find – our calling.  

The bottom line of any true calling is pleasing and serving the Lord.

The second we let go of fear and indifference – we start making a difference.

We start to understand that he is at work –
in us – instead of us demanding to have him work – through us.  

Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. (John 15:4)

God is training you for greatness.
He is sovereign over all.
He is working his plan from beginning to end even when you can’t see it.
He is always at work.
Just because you can’t see doesn’t mean he can’t.
He decides the proper time to exalt us.

We can wait on him. Even if that time of exaltation is at heavens door, we can still trust in his plan.

Let’s not miss the moment. Because the most important calling for our lives is not the one we dream of – but the one that he has already placed in front of us for this exact moment. 

Let’s call out to the Lord. He will help us. His words will guide us.

Because when we stop focusing on us, and our circumstances – and we start focusing on him and his glory – this is when we see things through a new light.

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)

Our wheels will stop spinning, our gas pedal finally gets a brake and our lives start moving forward, because God is at work to move us to destinations we never expected.

 


Be The Right Kind of Warrior

Be the right kind of warrior

Instinctively, I am one who loves to fight back.

I resurrect walls to keep others from hurting me.
I walk with a shield to keep things from getting past me.
I respond with defensiveness to make sure the fortress stays secure.
I grab my weapons so others know that I am a well-protected woman.

Bottom line, I am a fighter. I am a regular defender of my own causes.

But, God is calling me to surrender.
He is calling me to wave my white flag.
To lay it all down.

It’s not so much that he doesn’t want me to be a warrior, but it is that I have been going about it the wrong way.

While I have thought, arm up, he says, “Lay it down.”
While I have thought, keep safe, he says, “Go risky.”
While I have thought, protect, he says, “Let me be the protector.

He requests one position of me that is the ultimate military gambit.  It is one condition that changes the whole battlefield. He calls me to it.

Will I lay down my plans? My armors to make this change?

Because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before the LORD when you heard what I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants that they should become a desolation and a curse, and you have torn your clothes and wept before Me, I truly have heard you,” declares the LORD. (2 Kings 22:19)

What is this condition the Lord desires?

It is an open, vulnerable, humbled and receptive heart.

It is a heart where walls are down, where weapons are abandoned
and doors lay wide open so the Lord can enter in and best do his work.

It is a heart where God teaches us the moves
and the tactics that will change our lives.

It is a heart where our arms learn to embrace
the Father like we never have before.

In this, we no longer need to wage war on our own because the ultimate Warrior is directing us. Why do you need yourself, when you have someone far greater than you leading you? What use are your weapons when you now have his?

We can trust that this ultimate General knows the best way for us and can take care of us better than we could ever take care of our selves.

“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Ex. 14:14)

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I am delighted to linkup today with Suzanne Eller’s #LiveFreeThursday and Five Minute Friday.

 


Just Do It Scared

Post by: Christy Mobley

And without faith it’s impossible to please God.” Hebrews 11:6

I stood at the bottom my friend’s staircase as we discussed what to do. Give it away or keep it? Give it away or keep it?

I said, “Just do it. Give it away.”

With some hesitation she relinquished her excuses and then boldly stated, “I’m going to do it.  I’m going to give it away.” And then sheepishly added, ” But not today.”

She needed to get rid of some old clothes that were cluttering her house and driving her crazy. I guess her struggle was not so much in the giving away, but in the fear of giving away. Fear of the doing.

Fear forbids us to move forward.
It keeps us from doing what we know we should.

Her situation seemed easy enough to me. Cut and dry.  I’m a throw away girl. I can’t stand clutter, so it’s easy for me to get rid of extra stuff. Give it away, or throw it away. I don’t fear I’ll need it later.

Like NIKE, I can just do it.

Ah, but I’m not that way with everything.

As a matter of fact, recently I felt God tugging at me to make a couple of phone calls but I had a hard time picking up the phone.

I was paralyzed with fear.

It’s wasn’t like God was asking me to do anything so dramatic as when He asked Mark Batterson to kneel down in the middle of an airport like Batterson recounts in his book, Draw the Circle or brush some old man’s long gray hair, like Beth Moore talks about in one of her videos. (I think that was in an airport too.) It was just a couple of phone calls for heaven’s sake.  No, these phones calls weren’t dramatic, for me they were traumatic. Somewhere I had drummed up an irrational fear.  But everyone has their own “hang up’s” right?

Fear takes hold when our perception of reality gets skewed.

On this particular day the devil had planted an irrational fear in me and the more I dwelled on it, the more skewed my reality became.

When something like this happens how do we walk through it, and just do it?

I shared my feelings with my friend Danya, and she told me something she heard Anne Graham Lotz (Billy Graham’s daughter) say. “If you’re feeling God leading you to act and you feel fearful… do it anyway.  Do it scared.”

Most people think doubt is the opposite of faith, but it’s not. Fear is.

Fear stands on the opposite side of faith.

The devil wants us full of fear.
God desires us to be full of faith.

The devil wants to keep us trapped.
God wants to set us free.

Fear traps us.
Faith frees us.

The reality is, God stands by us in our fear and in us as we step into our faith.

When we just do it scared, we cross over the boundary that separates our faith from fear.

Hebrews 11:6 tells us that without faith, it’s impossible to please God. But dear friends, God is gracious and gives each one of us our own measure of faith, (Romans 12:3) and we are expected to use it.

I’m not sure if my friend ever got rid of those clothes cluttering her house, but because of the encouragement I received, I made two very important phone calls. And when I did my anxiety was squelched. It was freeing.

And, I bet God smiled. ( :

Is God prompting you to step out in faith today but you feel a tinge of fear?

If so, let me challenge you to just do it. Do it scared.

Put a smile on God’s face by stepping over the fear and into your faith.

 

Purposeful Faith Contributor

Christy is a wife, mother, writer, mentor, and Life Purpose Coach. She is passionate about encouraging women to move forward, and press on through their struggles, seeking God’s presence in every bump and turn in the road. You can catch up with Christy at Joying in the Journey


When You Keep Messing Up

When you Keep Messing up

I messed up again.

I had planned to act a certain way and then I did the exact opposite in the moment.

Has this ever happened to you?

It’s frustrating, irritating – and it kind of feels demoralizing. I want to act better, do better and be better. But I try, and fail.

Sometimes I look at myself and start to say, “Get it together girl.  You aren’t doing anything right.”

But, as I see my reflection, I start to see a different reflection – the reflection of the image of Christ. A reflection of a girl that he proclaims is fearfully and wonderfully made.

I see one who he created just as he wanted her to be. I see me.

And, I realize that when he looks at me, he doesn’t think about me the way I do. He doesn’t say the things I say to myself.

He does not look down on me and say, “Get it together, girl.”
He doesn’t say, “There you go – messing up again.”
He doesn’t say, “You’re always dropping the ball.”
He doesn’t say, “You can’t do anything right…”

This is not the heart of Jesus.

Instead, his heart says:

“Seek me and I will handle the rest.”
“Trust me, I have a plan.”
“When you are weak, I am strong.”
“I use sinners to accomplish my plans.”
“I don’t call the perfect, I call the imperfect to go in my perfect way.”
“You are more than a conqueror through me.”
“Today you are weak, but it is exactly your weakness that will grow you.”
“I knew your weaknesses when I called you and I still wanted you.”
“I see your failings and I still love you.”
“You are only one ‘I’m sorry’ away from my forgiveness.”
“Shame may read on the last line, but the book is closed upon my forgiveness.”
“Nothing you do can separate you from my love.”

God doesn’t see the reflection of a bad girl who can’t do right;
he sees the reflection of his love.

A love he is prepared to send forth through an imperfect broken vessel. Because, it is through the broken pieces that we seek him and need him to put us back together again.  In this pursuit, we find his glory, his majesty and his sanctifying power.

Our weaknesses don’t hold back his work.

The bottom line is I am loved. I am always in his love. I will mess up, but Jesus has risen up so that I can rise up with him as I lay it all down for him.

so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. (1 Cor. 2:5)

I can lay down my shame, my regret, my fears, my condemnation. I don’t need those things with Jesus. He paid for those things already.

I praise his glorious name! I give him all glory. Let us bow down to the one who has high and lifted as the greatest sacrifice – in the name of love. He effectively casts out all fear.

My weaknesses simply become points where his glory may be radiantly displayed – as he transforms me. In that, I can walk proud.

…I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. (2 Cor. 12:5)


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