Purposeful Faith

Tag - wisdom

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.

How to Seek Wisdom For Tough Decisions

Seek Wisdom

A wise old owl lived in an oak
The more he saw the less he spoke
The less he spoke the more he heard.
Why can’t we all be like that wise old bird?

– Edward Hersey Richards

His big, dense, coal eyes looked at me. And, I looked at him.

What does he see – in me?

In him? I saw wisdom: Eyes in no rush to move. A being okay with being. A head made up of regal feathers of grey and white.

He was caged, contained, but still, somehow, he appeared content. Our gaze connected us, yes, but what bothered me was – he seemed to know something. In all his wisdom, was he on to something I could not see?

I walked away from his cage, but in the end, all I wanted to do was return. When I did, his branch was empty and while I peered through the fence for him, he wasn’t so easy to spot.

There he is! The owl of wisdom. He’s in the back of the cage.

But almost as soon as I found him, I realized something I’d missed all along. There was another owl, right next to him. I hadn’t seen him, not even one bit.

I gazed deeper now, wondering if my eyes were still betraying me…

I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. Prov. 8:17

The harder I looked, the more I saw: There was a 3rd owl, right next to the first two.

Blessed are those who listen to me,
watching daily at my doors,
waiting at my doorway.
For those who find me find life
and receive favor from the Lord.
Prov. 8:34-35

Could there be more? Should I keep looking? Search harder? I did: another one, a 4th one was right before my very eyes!

How are my eyes deceiving me?
How much more do I miss in life?

Often wisdom is right before our eyes, but we can’t see it.

We think wisdom is much like everything else in this world. We think it will just show up like a boxed up UPS deliver on our doorstep. But, guess what? It doesn’t work like that.

Wisdom isn’t something we trip over. It’s something we’ll miss if we don’t seek it. It is something we’ll step past if don’t pursue it. It is something we won’t find if we don’t hunt for it.

Wisdom, we must pursue.

Because, often wisdom is camouflaged in our environment, in the environment of the world. Just as I couldn’t see the owls, often we can’t see wisdom because we are: too distracted, too worried, too rushed, too preoccupied, too concerned about people, too critical or too annoyed.

But those who fail to find me harm themselves;
all who hate me love death. Prov. 8:36

And, with this, as far as I can see, I believe we have two paths – a way of wisdom or a way of destruction. We have a way of seeking or a way of delusion. We have a way of wonder or a way of wreckage.

God doesn’t make it hard for us to seek wisdom, to find it under the cover of our world, to glean it out of our places of uncertainty, he simply says to ask him for it…

“If any of you lacks wisdom,
you should ask God,
who gives generously to all without finding fault,
and it will be given to you.” Ja. 1:5

Then: Watch. Seek. Pursue. Wonder. Wait. Marvel. Pray. Ask. Follow. Look. Crouch low. Keep looking.

Kelly’s new book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears has been called A must read, Breathtakingly honest and a Great Toolbox to Overcome Fear. Read it today.

Discover how to flee from fear and fly in faith through 4 Days to Fearless Challenge.

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7 Biblical Benefits: Why You Must Get Quiet

Get Quiet

The majority of the time I can seem to keep quiet.

It is not so much that I am always talking, but it is much more that I am always retorting, rebutting or formulating in my mind.

They should do this…
I wonder if he has considered…
I have to say this next…
I can’t forget to mention…

When talking, it is very hard to be listening.
When planning, it is very hard to be receiving a plan.
When speaking over God, you simply can’t hear him.

Yet, when you allow your selfish ways to create space for his sacred will – God has a stage to show off. When you allow dialogue to give way to deep seeking – direction makes an appearance. When you strangle fear – fear of God lets you breathe again.

7 Biblical Benefits of Getting Quiet Before God

1. When your mouth shuts, you appear wise and discerning to others.

Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues. Prov. 27:28

2. You dwell in the the comfy and cared-for knowledge that God cannot and will not leave or forsake you. Not only this, but you find Godly prosperity and good success.

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.  Josh 1:8

3. The filing cabinet of your mind has room to store fear of the Lord – and all the resulting wisdom that accompanies it.

Only fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you. 1 Sam. 12:24

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Prov. 9:10

4. By listening, considering and blocking the VIP door to your mind, you make space for things that bring peace, life and renewal.

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  What you have learned and  received and heard and seen  in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Phil. 4:8-9

5. The impossible becomes possible by the strength of prayer. You can walk down the painful, but glory-filled, roads you’d normally run from.

And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, (Jesus) departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. Mk. 1:35-36

6. You land at transformed, rather than conformed. With more confidence you head towards what is good, pleasing and perfect in this world.

Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God–what is good and well-pleasing and perfect. Ro. 12:2

7.  You ponder, praise and get passionate about your fist love – and then God delivers you.

The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. Ps. 34:7

Solitude gives way for the magnitude of the gospel to resound.

Rather than God fighting the rush hour of the world, trying to move above fray of a believer’s heart and or squeezing into the small space left for Godly awareness – quiet makes space . In the quiet, God bakes activated love.

We find more than we could ever ask for.
Not by posturing for it, but by seeking him in it.
When we seek him, we find him.
When we find him, we can’t help but share him.
We open our mouths, we speak life. 
We speak life, because we found life.
​Loudly. Confidently. Boldly.

“Quiet” works out loud proclamations of glory.

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Mk. 16:15

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Getting Back to Simple Faith and Joy

Simple Faith

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Heb. 11:1

It is all about simple. Not getting duped by the complex theories, herculean hypotheses and advanced equations of genius conjectures.

It is all about simple. Not joining the madness of consumerism and collectivism.

It is all about simple. Not looking left or right or up or down, trembling, then constructing your own bomb shelter of safety.

It is all about simple. Not getting involved in the wars of deep-seated theology that are bound to leave relational battle-wounds, simply, unrepairable.

It is all about simple. Not counting the pennies of another, while staring at your possibly empty piggy bank.

Simple.

The more simple our faith, the more abundant our life.

The more simple our reliance, the more wisdom we accrue.

For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. (1 Cor. 1:25)

“Simple” is eyes that trust the unseen.
Not seeing the world as its driving force.
But God, as he pushes us, in safe protection, to his known.
It is keeping simple in the face of other’s complex.
Jesus in the forefront of rushing minds.
Following his lead,
the one who is the pure – the untainted apple of truth.
Not biting into fake, fraudulent or bound to fry,
but staying attuned to the basics, the reality, the hope,
despite the grey nuances presented by talking heads.
Despite the exotic languages that come in ones mind – only sent to confuse.

It is where mission bubbles up,
and it is hope that actually – fosters hope.
And strength that has the strength to endure – it endures the fire.
And life that actually brings more life – it creates it.
All join hands to light a spark to boldness,
so one can walk through the fire and come alive on the other side,
believing that will happen is they will emerge refined, shining, glowing,
a pure byproduct of him who is pure.

Themselves, yet all the same one who they always wanted to be.

And this is all that matters. That we follow him. That we listen to his voice. We hear his Word. We love. We listen. We do as he did.

The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. Gal. 5:6

Simple faith.

Simple faith leads to simple love. Simple love is simply what this thing called faith is all about.

Jesus never cared much for the deep insight of man, but he cared far greater that, of him, we are his biggest fan.

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I Lied To You. Getting Serious About Sin.

Serious About Sin

I lied to you all.

Last week, I said I wouldn’t look…I made a pledge, a promise and an oath that I was going to breakaway from a specific sin – and move to breakthrough. Remember? I made a commitment to each of you. I said, I wasn’t going to look at my blog numbers. I said, I would avoid them, so as not to set my heart on them. That is all fine and dandy, except for one thing – I didn’t.

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. Ro. 7:15

Because I hate what I do, I tend to:

1. Blame – “Every time I opened my page to post the numbers were right there on the right hand side and I couldn’t help but take a gander.”
2. Excuse – “It’s no big deal I looked, more than once.”
3. Deny – “Friends, I have been doing great. No issues over here.”
4. Give up – “Ahh..oh well God, guess this one isn’t going to work.”
5. Get guilty – “I can’t believe I couldn’t follow through on this one small thing.”

And yes, absolutely, my friends, there is a grace for a poor soul like me, for a woman who falls down far more often than she stands up. Thank you Jesus for that! But we don’t just chalk up an image of amazing grace and turn our backs, we chalk repentance on the dashboard of our will so we don’t slam into that dang dashboard yet again, bruising and battering our face.

Where do you find your face ends up
bruised and battered from a repeated sin?

Are you walking in spirit and truth,
or are you walking in flesh and failure?

My friends, don’t be like I am, often afraid to consider #1-5 above (and therefore landing in #3). There is no condemnation. There is no shame. That was simply ruled out when Christ ruled on the cross. But, what is not ruled out is the fact that Jesus is not okay with grey areas of sin. 

Be angry, and yet, do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. (Eph. 4:27)

Sin is serious; Jesus said if our hand causes us to sin we gotta get the machete and cut that thing off (well, not literally, but you get the idea). (Mt. 5:30) His point is this process may hurt. It may hurt our insides to change, it may hurt as others deny or reject us and it may hurt normalcy. Jesus never said it wouldn’t hurt, but he boldly said we must get proactive to cut it off.

Failure to do so, is like putting a kid in a candy shop and telling him that he can smell but not bite. It is not happening, fellow sinners! That kid is going to jump in to devour disobedience faster than a gooey gummy bear can slide down his small throat.

What sin we sit around looking at, we will eventually grab, unwrap, salivate over and then eat – hook line full of guilt, sinking us to shame.

You can’t hang around lurking sin and think it won’t attack you. It will.

But, it’s likelihood of entry is far lower if you have set
the alarm system of wisdom to protect you.

Wisdom is foresight that considers what is about to trip.
Wisdom is the intellect that looks at weaknesses, so it can stand strong.
Wisdom is the smarts that stockpiles truth so, when evil arrives, it is prepared.
Wisdom is the brain that sets boundaries and lines around what is most sacred.
Wisdom is the fortitude that seeks to pressure wash it’s temple through prayer.
Wisdom is the mindset that gets active about what it has set its mind on.
Wisdom is the one that knows small things will become big sins in not too long.
Wisdom is the verses that are written all over (whatever) to keep steadfast.
Wisdom is the friend that is a phone call away to help one stay strong.
Wisdom is the stillness established in a day to keep going the right way.
Wisdom is the reliance on the Word that keeps one focused like a champion ping pong player.
Wisdom is the will to have no other will than the will of God.

Wisdom is one who makes a change before sin makes a fool out of them.

It is one who knows that change without pre-set barriers, or safeguards,
is like a bird without wings.

A bird that simply can’t fly towards real spiritual growth.

What boundary do you need to define
so that you don’t end up defined by failure?

I removed my statistics plug-in on my blog. The only way to not look at what you shouldn’t look at, whether alcohol, porn, or online shopping, is to simply cut it off, cut the cord, cut the plug-in or cut whatever – so you don’t get cut. And that is what I decided to do.

You can’t sin if you don’t leave yourself any room to.

Since getting proactive, I haven’t seemingly deactivated my faith by my failure. So, I guess we can consider this a win for Jesus and move on.

What does God want you to move on to as you let go of what holds you back? Consider #1-5 and take flight to new heights of spiritual growth.

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3 Updates for Bloggers.

  1. Thursday, I am announcing a new Purposeful Faith Contributor. Stay tuned here and on Facebook.
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