Purposeful Faith

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On Secret Sins and the Secret Place

Secret Sins

Post by Karina

Sin. It’s a tricky thin, isn’t it? Those of us in Christ don’t want to participate in it, but somehow we easily fall prey to it. We all know there is no hierarchy when it comes to sin. Lust is just as wrong as adultery. Anger is just as wrong as murder. It all quenches the Holy Spirit and it all breaks the Father’s heart.

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” Romans 7:15

Recently, I had 3 consecutive weekends of attending 3 ridiculously dynamic women’s conferences. I was literally on the highest of highs. It was amazing! I am very much still processing all that God spoke to me and all that He did during those 3 weeks. He marked me beyond words.

After all of that spiritual activity, the enemy hit me hard. I don’t normally attribute much to him, but this was nothing but him. He was waging war for my soul in the worst way. He attacked my mind with no holds barred.

I don’t tend to deal with outward sins as much as I do with inward ones. You know the ones I’m talking about…envy, comparison, anger, bitterness, apathy, etc… The list really could go on and on. If you’re anything like me, those inward sins can bring more shame and guilt than the outward ones. It’s quite easy to hide these sins from the world. Honestly, the shame and guilt came very close to knocking me out for the count. I felt as though I was spiraling out of control. The past few weeks of battle came out of nowhere. I had been beautifully walking out my calling. God had been opening many doors of connection and I had experienced some of the sweetest times of prayer and worship.

One of the events I attended was Beth Moore’s conference called LIT. It was geared to women in their 20s and 30s. Christy Nockels led Heaven touching worship. And Beth, along with Jennie Allen, Priscilla Shirer, Christine Caine and Melissa Moore all shared about this call to communicate. Everyone spoke to the fact that it is a weighty call and there is a cost to it. In order to fulfill this call, we need to first be filled. This filling ONLY comes from time spent in the secret place of God and us. This time with God is not reserved for those who may minister from a public platform. It is for EVERY believer because we all minister and share Christ in some way. We all have a measure of influence.

I’ve been contemplating how such a door was opened in my life for the enemy to slip in could have occurred. I know I’m a flawed human, but I never want that to be an excuse for me to be comfortable living in sin.

Realize the enemy will attack who God has created you to be.

A week ago, I heard a sermon about how the enemy will specifically come for us in direct opposition to who we are. I hadn’t ever thought of that before. If we are a person of faith, He will bring doubt. If we are pure in heart, he will bring corrupt thoughts. If we have the gift of healing, he will bring illness. He sees our potential. He wants to destroy that potential by whatever means necessary. He wants to destroy the impact that God wants to accomplish through us.

The key to fighting this is to pray against him breaking any strongholds he is using to keep us bound. And then, we replace those thoughts with Scriptures that call out our identity and God’s desire for us.

Don’t let the enemy bring dissension.

I am all about community, but over the past few months, the enemy has been working overtime to create division among several friends and me. He has authored confusion and offense and all manner of hurt feelings. In those times, we are to pursue unity despite our emotions. Our emotions say isolate. The enemy wants us to isolate. But the Lord’s heart is for us to be in fellowship.

We must have brave, hard communication. We speak truth in love and always share our hearts in grace.

Camp out in the secret place.

Everything flows out of the secret place. Everything we do. Everything we say. All that we are flows from this place. Anything done in our own strength will falter and fail. The Holy Spirit must be our strength. He is the only source of power in our lives. Much of that power is harnessed when we allow Him to renew our minds in His promises. This power can only be accessed when we have spent time alone with Him in prayer, worship and studying His Word.

This time is non-negotiable. If we forgo it, we forgo everything. We forfeit the word He wants to speak to our hearts. We forfeit all of the good works He prepared for us. We forfeit the ministry that would touch the lives of others so that they may come to know Him. This time in the secret place is how we overcome and walk in victory.

I want to live in such a way where I am aware of the enemy’s schemes and where He doesn’t have such easy access to me. I don’t ever want him to think he can easily deter me from my calling and purpose.

Let us live in the overflow of the secret place…

Overwhelmed by His presence
Over our heads in His Word
Overcome by His wonder

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

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

Are you in Trouble?

in trouble

The sitter said he had an earache, but I had no idea it was this bad. No idea. Not the kind of bad where the kid shrieks like a wild coyote. If I’d known I would have been home earlier.

I rushed the five-year-old to urgent care. Of course, one step in that germ-laden place and I realized we were bathing in a pool of flu.

Time passed….Ahchoo!
More time passed…cough, cough!
More time passed…nose blowing!
Nothing. Germs grew legs and seemed to walk right on us.

With a crying kid in my arms, I felt like crying too. Apparently, some people had been waiting over an hour and a half. We were getting nowhere and son was getting ansy…

“Get me in there, mommeeeee….it hurts so bad…”

All I could think was, “Mommy bear. Must. Save. Baby. Cub.”

I rushed the desk, but the desk soldiers appeared unimpressed with my strategies. Perhaps, to appease me – or to get rid of me – they sent me upstairs to the soon-to-be-opening unit.  “There, you may have better luck,” they said.

Once upstairs, I saw my opportunity – the nurses, fresh meat, waiting to start their job, waiting for the onslaught of sickness to hit… I approached them and explained son’s pain, his tears and us not wanting to be exposed to the flu. I told them we REALLY, REALLY, REALLY (wink! wink!) were excited to see them. We, then, sat down.

Before not too long, elevators pushed open and the other sicklings walked in.

Now, I wish I could tell you I’d been more compassionate. In retrospect, it would have been delightful if son and I had prayed for them. It would have been extraordinary if we reached out in their time of need. It would have been a great story if we smiled and changed their day, but, nope – that’s a devotional for a different day. All I could see was – son.

And, all God can see is us.

You know, parents go to any lengths to take care of kids in trouble.

I went to – whining, pleading and strategizing lengths – to get my son through that waiting room door. And guess what? It worked.

Those nurses I sweet-talked got us in that office ASAP. My efforts counted.

Are you in trouble?

Do you believe you have a parent pleading on your behalf? Fighting for you?

You know, my son, as he sat in that waiting room, he kept asking,”Why don’t you fix things, Mommy? Why can’t I get where I want to go?”

We’re just like him.

We think God has left us in a waiting room, with infected people and a whole gamut of issues that will never be resolved. He hasn’t. He’s working on things. There is a process. There will be a cure forthcoming. We need only hold tight.

While we are silent, God is fighting for us (Ex. 14:14). While we wait, the Spirit is pleading for us (Ro. 8:26). While we don’t know the way, God is unfolding it (Prov. 16:9).

Know today, your ailment is a grand appointment to meet with a good, good God.

5 Ways to Be Led By Holy Spirit, Not Flesh

holy spirit

Meanie: Dropped the ball and never answered me when I emailed her.
Selfish & silent: Promised me something and then didn’t follow through.
High-priced: Charged me an arm and a leg, ran away and left me standing with a huge bill.
Go-Getter: Hurt me.
Liar: Rejected me with a bold-faced lie I can’t seem to get past.
Forgetter: Didn’t invest in my heart; she dissed it.
Abandoner: Walked away not following through on a promise.
Hater: Ignored me and grabbed hands with the popular folk.
Condemner: Tore my good intentions apart.

The story is titled: They’ll all reject you.

The cast is nefarious.

The plot goes like this: I’m a speck of dust. Everyone knows I am forgettable, invaluable and pretty much unseen within the grand story called their life, their plans and their needs. I’m disposable.

Bah-humbug! 

The enemies appear to be everyone. That’s a problem. That’s a big problem. I recognize it.

Because, in reality, the enemy isn’t these enemies, the enemy is the enemy. He’s thriving when he contriving. He’s jumping for joy, when he’s ruined ours. He’s grinding up love into tiny grounds that spread hate. The longer he let’s them brew the more bitter it tastes. When we drink, and we get poisoned, not with eyes to see God, but with eyes of anger and vile.

What has been brewing in your heart – is it peace and God’s presence or is a list of people who’ve hurt you?

For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. Romans 8:13-14

My flesh wants to teach these people a lesson. My Spirit knows people are hurting, just like me. My Spirit knows, you can’t read the motives on one’s heart. My Spirit knows, people need love, not condemnation.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Gal. 5:22

If I am in the Spirit, I shine Spirit. But, how do I move back to peace-calming Spirit rather than anger-brewing flesh?

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

5 Ways to Be Led By the Holy Spirit, Not Your Flesh

  1. Ask God to fill you with all joy and peace.
  2. Ask God to help you trust him more.
  3. Move into a place of continual worship, praise and thanksgiving.
  4. Dwell only on what is good, true and excellent.
  5. Be open to how God is teaching or leading you in a given moment.

As I practice my heart through the continual cycle of this list, I find my heart is no longer being wrung through the ringer. It softens. It sees others pain. It knows, God has a plan, even in my pain.

The Spirit confirms, I am His child and the love he surrounds me with, is more than enough to fill every hole of damage.

Don’t miss taking part in the 4 Days to Fearless Challenge. Or, order my book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears, today!

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On My Going Dark + 4 Solutions to Bad Enemy Assaults

Enemy Assaults

We all have Bonnie Tilley to thank for this post. She said she wanted to hear the story. Here goes: Sometimes you get doing something so big with God, the one who is anti-God doesn’t like it so much.

We normally don’t even realize this is the case. Why?

Because we figure:

  1. Loving someone isn’t big enough for Satan to oppose.
  2. Praying for someone can’t really be that valuable.
  3. Deciding to finally be repentant and obedient doesn’t add up to too much.

But, oh no, friends, this kind of dedicated obedience to God is just what is opposed. It is just what the enemy wants to squelch before it takes off and down the track. He wants to see it go up in flames, because when you move where God is – and he doesn’t want you to meet each other. He’s against that.

So, I was opposed. I know it’s so. I have this book coming out, Fear Fighting. Savior God used it to save me. Writing it, with him, released my soul from the war-torn barracks of fear. This book somehow became a peace pilgrimage with God; it saved my heart and medevacked me out of the heart throbbing places of tension, turmoil and tumultuous living. It’s no joke.

This is why I know you – not getting my daily emails for 2 days – was a mission of the enemy. This is why I know the other problems bubbling up in the last two days are also his approach. This is why I know, today, the foggy head and throbbing headache was more than a random occurrence. This is why I know my site going down was intentional. This is why I know I must be making some spiritual progress.

There is always more than meets the eye.  Let this fact meet your eye, right now.

Behind the scenes of your problems, is often – the problem-maker. You can’t see him. But, he’s working.

What are you up against?
What is trying to get you to move away from God and into a self-focused, self-preservation attitude?

Consider it for a moment.

You see, I was standing firm on Jesus. I was sure. Sure, doubly sure, the Lord, My God, was going to free hearts through this book. Sure, he would get all the glory. Sure,  beyond a shadow of a doubt, He had great plans for me. Satan hates people “sure” about Jesus. If you get “sure” about Jesus, Satan will surely send something to throw you off.

4 Ways the Enemy Attacks:

  1. Out of left field. If you’ve learned a new way to stand firm on Jesus, He’ll aim to hit you from a new direction, you’d never expect. What are we to do?

SOLUTION: We’re to expect the unexpected and then get protected with the armor of God.

2. Through the words of a person. I can’t tell you how many times a friend has spoken an unfriendly word that has lived on in the echo-chamber of my mind. It resounds as the ultimate form of discouragement.

SOLUTION: The only way to combat it is to take God’s truth and to wield it with reckless abandon.

3. Through our own fleshly desires.
“Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Jesus turned and said 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.”  (Matthew 16:21-23)

SOLUTION:  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (Col. 3:2)
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. Ro. 12:2

4. Via Blocked Plans. 
For we wanted to come to you–certainly I, Paul, did, again and again–but Satan blocked our way. (1 Thess. 2:18)

SOLUTION: Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you. Ps. 37:5

So, here I am today, very much still well. I am as well as I always was. I am as joyful as I always was. Because, when you realize who is for you – it doesn’t so much matter what is coming against you.

I have the conqueror, the victor and the King on my side. So do you. Dumb little gnat-like issues won’t get me down. Don’t let them get you down either. By his love, abounding in you, you are on to something…

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you that you are greater, higher and mightier than anything that comes against me. I will rest in you, I will trust in you and I will follow you. Keep me keenly aware of what is coming against me, so that when it does I can find my strength in you, once again. Amen.

More Reading:

Finding Renewal in Christ
When Your Picture Is Not Pretty
When Prayer Goes Unanswered

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