Purposeful Faith

Category - attack

You’re Loved

Late at night, I inched open the door and looked at my kids. Staring at them, I thought something like this, I’ll love them always, no matter what. Nothing will ever change, I will always love my babies. . . 

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession. (1 Pet. 2:9)

If God has chosen you; you cannot be ‘unwanted’.
If He declares you royal, He gives you enough worth to receive love, to display love, and to accept love from Him.
If you’re holy,  the mistake from last week cannot mark you ‘a bad Christian’.
If God owns you, a special possession, He doesn’t return you back — like an unwanted good.

You are not who man says you are…nor are you who you ‘feel’ you are…or who you ‘thought you were’. You are who Christ says you are. You are wanted and in His love.  Like a treasure, you sit on His hand. No one can steal treasure from a King’s palace, and certainly not from — His hand.

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (Jo. 10:28)

There you sit. Loved. Wanted. Chosen. Holy. Righteous — because of HIM.

No matter how the wind blows — good day or bad — you remain — loved as a daughter. No matter how the conversation ended — there you are — still His. No matter how much you need mounds and mounds of forgiveness — there He goes again — loving you, dusting you off, helping you up and teaching you how to walk again.

You can walk any distance, but you cannot walk out of His love.

Because of Jesus we are holy. Because of God’s goodness we are kept. Because God so loved the world that He sent His one and only son — we are always wanted. This is love.

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 Jo. 4:10)

Love is not that we proved our self perfect or pretty or pious one day. But, it is simply because one man proved everything, then defiantly busted out of the grave. With this, we get a new life and a new perspective on life.

It doesn’t matter what your history says about you… What appearances made of you… What people think of you… What that person did to you… What you ‘figure’ about you… What condemnation is saying to you… What is happening to you… What you wish was happening to you…

It is finished. Love is here. Love is always. Love helps you to change and grow.

You are: Chosen. Wanted. Holy. Pure in God’s eyes.

Praise be to the unblemished lamb that was slain! He has completely changed everything for you and for me.

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

 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


When God Takes Away

god takes away

Are you in a ‘taking-away’ season?

This season, the enemy attempted to ‘take away’ some much hoped-for stuff from me, for sure. . . It feels like a season of stripping. Hopes of doing big things with people Ioved slowly evaporated from my eyes. Dreams of aligning with certain people to see love come forth in powerful ways got halted. A project I worked so hard on, just went kaputz in the natural.

The enemy takes away, but so does God.

The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. (Job. 1:21)

We cannot completely blame on the enemy, what praise is due to God.

Are you in a stripping season? One where you feel like you are losing material items, dreams, things, relationships you counted on, more of what you wanted, expectations, your plans?

Listen, I get it. But, what I also get is that when you have nothing left to rely on, you still have everything.

Stripping-seasons remove so much flesh, we’re left blazing Holy Spirit.

We begin to speak things like:

I expect nothing, but trust God for everything.
There is nothing I want, but Him.
There is no other rescuer, than my King.
I have no plan anymore, but His.
Nothing can restrict me when everything has been removed.
Nothing now can lure me, more than ‘My God’.
Nothing controls me, but the Holy Spirit.
Every opportunity is available to me, as I rely on Him, and Him alone.

Stripping-periods are humbling, no doubt, but they’re also giving periods.  When a parent takes something away from a child, they almost undoubtedly do it with the hopes of giving them back something better. Take away the candy — to give better health. Say no to the toy — so they appreciate the plenty they’re about to get on their birthday. Say no to TV — so their mind can grow smarter through play-time learning.

When God says no, He also has a better yes.

The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. (Job. 1:21)

Blessed be His name.

I wanted __, He gives character.

I demanded __, He comes back and delivers wisdom.

I thought __, He has increase — given in a way that I carry with humility.

I expected ___, He brings me a strengthening that helps me run my race to the end.

I thought ___, He offers me fresh gratitude.

I believed ___, He gives me eyes to see past the great thing to His greater thing.

Prayer: I resolve, today, to trust you, God. You have the best plan for me, Daddy. I don’t have to see to believe that your end is good for me. I lay down ‘what was’ for ‘what will be’ in accordance with your heart’s desire. You know what you’re doing. My feelings may send me left and right, but your love endures forever. I can rest in that place and you work out good. I love you, God. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


What’s in it for me?

We are all busy. Moving. Doing this and that. Answering emails to stay on top of things. Attending to the car that needs an oil change. Driving here and then there. Addressing the infinite immediate needs — but how often do we see beyond all this — to the heart of Jesus?

Recently, I had a project. Much of it was about organizing and recruiting people. In a sense, I had to show people the worth of their involvement in it. Some people said, “Yes, I want to be included.” Others, said, “No.”

But, what I figured was underneath it all, many were asking themselves, “What’s in it for me?”

What do I get?
Will it advance my cause?
How does it work out for me?

That is — until one woman’s reply broke the power of my over-generalizing words, when she wrote, “Yes, and, please let me know how I can help you.”

What?!!! She wants to — help me?  You mean she is not looking at this — from what is in it for her?

Wow. While I’d probably asked a hundred people the same question, only one returned to say — and how can I help you?

It reminded me of this story.

One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.

Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” (Lu. 17:15-19)

10 were healed.
1 came back.

Who are we in this story?

Are we the one who looks to take the good stuff from God — only to go ahead with our own agenda? Or, do we come back and say, “Oh, my God! Thank you so much for what you are giving and doing! You’re amazing.”

Are we the one who says, “This story is all about me.” Or, are we the one who turns to the person next to us and says, “What’s your story and how can I help you today?”

Are we the one who keeps talking without considering the person’s desire to talk or share? Or, do we make room for their voice within the conversation?

Are we the one who sees God answer a prayer, only to consider the 501 other things that should be better by now, God? Or, are we the one who falls down and says, “Thank you, Father, you’re doing it! Thank you. I can’t see the rest, but I trust you!”

I’ve been both at times. When I was like the nine, I felt rushed, anxious and tense. Overwhelmed by the next thing I had to do and accomplish. When I became the 1, I rejoiced in how: Jesus saw me, showed up for me, and how I got to hold His hand in the celebration of His goodness. I somehow grabbed a deeper hold of Jesus.

Friends, often our thanks, when done by faith, makes us well. How do you need to turn back to Jesus today to say, “Thank you”? Maybe it is not only done by word, but through action.

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

Busting The Enemy’s Plan

I pray often. Why?
Because I expect God to answer. I’ve seen him answer countless prayers. I know He has show-up and show-off power so divine — it can change anything and everything, in a split-second. I rely on prayer like breakfast.
“And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (Jo. 14:13)
Anyway, my husband and I have recently talked about how people — people we don’t even know — are likely praying for us. We just got the sense that God was putting us on people’s heart.

Today, I saw this come to reality. I clicked into my hidden Facebook messages (the ones I hardly ever check) and there were messages. Two said things like, “Kelly, you are on my heart. I am praying for you today.”

Bam! God knows. He sends workers out to help us harvest His fields. Often, we can’t even see them at work, we don’t even know what they are doing or how they are praying with us. You never know who has your back. Some faithful friend, I pray, has you covered.

Anyway, later, I saw another message come in my Facebook inbox. I anticipated that it was, once again, was God and more answered prayers. I immediately went to open it. No. It was not God. It was porn. In motion, playing right before my very eyes.
I clicked out of that thing as quick as my fingers could move and then I thought, “Isn’t this how the enemy works? What seed God is planting the enemy comes to steal with a message that disturbs the mind. That distracts. That pulls away what God is doing in order to replace it with shame.”
“Catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love, for the grapevines are blossoming!” (SOS 2:15)
What, in your life, is God blooming, where the enemy is working at stealing? What seed of prayer have you planted that the opposer wants to rip up through doubt?
Just because you see the image, hear the accusation, come under the attack, sit with the pain, feel the calling to sin, doesn’t mean you have to submit to it, to indulge in it or to give mind to it.
Greater is He who is in you, than He who is in the world. Shut down the attack. Move back to glory. Jesus is writing your story. The grapevines that ARE blossoming. Don’t pay due attention to what glory is not due to the enemy.
Prayer: God, thank you that you are greater than every obstacle. You are more powerful than any injury. You are more present than the people around us. You are alive and well, moving and healing, answering our prayer and then answering it once again. You ARE faithful. You WILL show up. For many people reading this blog, you will show up today, in awe-inspiring ways. Let them see you. Let them perceive you. Let them know you. Including me, God. Break into our lives, and break-out peace so divine it touches the world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

3 Ways to Speak Life Into Others

“What’s wrong with you?”
“Why can’t you be better?”
“Why do you always?”

If you are a mom or dad, you’ve probably spoken a statement you’ve regretted. We’ve all been there.

I’m not one to critique; I’ve said some pretty horrible things to my husband, like:

“You always. . . ”
“Why don’t you ever. . . ”
Plus, some unmentionable statements spoken under my breath (which I won’t get into).

I’m not proud of this. Why? Because words reflect one’s heart.

“But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.” (Mt. 15:18)

My words don’t only damage others, they damage me. Untimed and uncontrolled words cause arguments, frustration, anger, irritation, bitterness, strife, worry, restlessness, anxiety, divorce, job loss, court losses. . . (the list goes on).

Plus, when I go about . . . complaining, whining, insulting, attacking, gossiping or faulting someone. . . I never feel good inside. Do you?

I regret my words. But, the hard part is knowing — how to “not say” what I know I “shouldn’t say”. Sometimes my words get out of my mouth before my mind catches up with them.

What is a fast-speaker to do?

THREE VERSES THAT GIVE WISDOM:

ONE: “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Col. 4:6

Reflect before responding. Consider: How might Jesus respond? What might God want this person to know? How can I speak truth full of overflowing love (you have to really check your motives on this one)?

TWO: “The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.” Prov. 15:4

Our words make or break people. They give life or steal life. Before you speak, ask yourself: Is what I am going to say life-adding or depleting? Will it produce blessing or increase fear? Not every story needs to be told. Not every detail needs to be divulged.

THREE: “Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.” (Prov. 21:23)

It is a matter of a wise woman to pause before she speaks. If it is not holy, righteous, of good report, worthy or true, shut-eth the trap-eth.  Ask God what He wants you to say. Then, respond-eth accordingly.

Along the way, extend yourself grace. Remember, if you spew some horrible-blahness on someone and you didn’t mean to — thanks to Jesus, your mistakes become investments in learning. Be sure to learn from the lesson and develop a plan to speak more wisely next time. If you change your words, you will change other’s lives. Be an encourager, a blesser, a visionary, a hope-filled friend, a source of life and someone people can trust in. Test it out and let me know how it goes.

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

The Assault of Distraction

“Get that (insert curse word) thing away from me!”

The man screamed at me with all his might. Not only did he scream, but rage filled him, his face became red and he appeared to want to beat me up. Very scared, I walked away. He caught up to me with his bike next to him. Fully aware he was there, I didn’t look his way. I just prayed with all my heart that he wouldn’t hit me and I kept walking. God answered my prayers. He passed by.

Now, that morning, I never set out to get verbally assaulted, but I suppose it was my fault. . .

I decided to go to the beach for a walk with God. My goal was to pray, connect with God and to listen to some worship music. I was in the zone. I was loving talking to Jesus. So, as I approached a beautiful scenic boardwalk that ended with the ocean in sight, I opened up my camera app; I wanted to remember the moment. I did see the far-off man a little to the right side of my picture frame, but he made the shot look even better, so I snapped the photo anyway.

And, that’s where my problem began. In retrospect, I didn’t consider that he may not have wanted a photo taken of him. I started to get angry at myself. I made a mistake. I should have been more thoughtful. I ruined my time with God.

It was as if, after this event, my connection to God was — gone.

And, here, it occurred to me that this whole encounter was symbolic of a greater issue: distraction.

If the enemy can’t keep us away from God, he’ll try to distract us away from Him.

How often does a to-do in your mind occur to you right when you start to meet with God?

How often does a text message come in right when you are praying?

How often do house-needs seem to demand you take care of them first?

In my case, a raging man wanted to steal away my time with God, but similarly, silent or quiet demands pull me away in the same way. Power comes when we recognize them for what they are and stay with God anyway.

If your mind gets distracted, just choose to return back to the last thought you can remember you had with God. He waits.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jer. 29:13)

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

How We Unknowingly Block God’s Plan

If anyone had the right to be bitter, it was Jesus…

“What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked them.

“Crucify him!” they shouted.

“Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.

But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him! 

Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified. (Mk. 15:12-14)

Jesus did nothing wrong. Jesus stated the truth. Jesus was coming to do good. To help the people who wanted to hurt him. He had the best intentions. A pure heart.

Yet, he was completely misunderstood. Maybe you feel the same way today.

Maybe someone has accused you of something you didn’t do, or they’ve name-called you in the past, put you down, embarrassed you in front of other, charged you with something that you don’t deserve, criticized you in front of man, chosen someone else to get something better than you. . .

Maybe you feel like Jesus, unduly prosecuted by man.

I’ve noticed a couple of things along Jesus’ journey as it pertains to addressing hurts like these:

  • Saying less is saying more.

So again Pilate asked him, “Aren’t you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of.” But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed. (Mark 4:5)

To lay down your defense is to find God’s. The King of Glory moves in (see Psalm 48 for more on this defense).

  • Giving up is not losing.

In worldly terms, a person who “surrendered” in war is the loser. They wave the white flag and they’re out. They lost. They gave up. Well, Jesus “gave up” too — “and when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit (Mt. 27:50)”.

By giving up, Jesus gained everything: our salvation, eternity and a complete shut-out of the eternal power of the forces of hell. Things are not as they look. If you give up to God the offenses you’ve been carrying, you’ll assuredly gain new life too.

  • Bitterness has to go to accomplish God’s plan.

Jesus was mocked, scorned, abandoned, rejected, mutilated, embarrassed, shunned, laughed at. . . If anyone had any right to feel bitter, it was Jesus. How did He fight this?

Notice these words that He spoke on the cross right before he “gave up his spirit”, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Lu. 23:34)

Jesus allowed no bitterness. He realized that we may not have realized what we were doing. Then, he forgave us. Who do you need to forgive?

Bitterness can be the biggest stopper to God’s plan in your life. Let it go.

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

 Loading InLinkz ...

 

 

How To Stop a Spiritual Attack in Its Tracks

While reading the final chapter of the final book in the bible, I felt horrified. This line froze me, solid: “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars–their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

Oh my goodness. “All the liars” — will go . . . into the fiery lake . . .of burning sulfer. That’s me. . . “

The immensity of fear suddenly gripped my chest.  I am a liar. I lie when I don’t mean to. I get defensive, thinking I am telling the truth, only to realize later my husband was right. I cover up my real emotions when people ask how I am. I don’t like to look weak even though, there are many times when I am. I am a pretender. I am a liar.

God throws people like me away — into burning sulfur.

Thinking hardly anything about wonderful Jesus, and a whole lot about horrible me, I decided: I am not enough, I may not make it “in” and how I may be fooled and not be saved.

I was under a massive spiritual attack. Friends, a spiritual attack is anytime the power of you speaks louder than the sacrifice of Jesus. It’s when your issues look massive and Jesus becomes a passive figurine. It is when faith flees and your failures and future looks abysmal. It is when your feelings get so enlarged, truth can’t squeeze in.

To stop a spiritual attack, return to the gospel. Come back to scripture and truths like these:

-It is all about Jesus.

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!'” (Jo. 1:29)

-It is all about the price He paid.

“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s trespasses against them.” (2 Cor. 5:18-19)

-Jesus accomplished everything, even when I can’t seem to fix anything.

“For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!” (Romans 5:17)

-Grace will change me.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Eph. 2:8)

The provision of grace means the revision of me. Rather than hiding myself away from God, in fear that I am not enough, I can come to Him with an unveiled face, as He helps me realize that I am enough in Christ — and that He will change me.

The same goes for you. . . All of Christ is more than enough to save all of you, no matter how far off you perceive yourself to be.

Then, give thanks and worship God. By doing this, you’ll rub mud in the face of the enemy.

 

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

When I lost a Little Faith in God

It’s a horrible thing to lose something. I hate it when I can’t find my phone. My husband will be waiting in the car, with the kids buckled in behind him, while I have to “run back in” to find it. I always put my phone in the oddest spot: a shelf to the left, under the covers on my bed or on the corner of a bathroom counter.

To be at a loss of a very important thing is super frustrating. Even more frustrating, the powerless feeling that you don’t know how to go about putting things back together again.

For a bit, I felt like I misplaced faith. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe in God or anything like that. It’s just I didn’t really believe He had good stuff for me or that I could trust in His goodness to pull through. After a series of disappointments where I expected Him to show up one way, I guess, I became upset when He showed up a different way.

So, I stopped being as tender to Him. I let a little bit of calloused skin cover my heart. I met with God, but only let Him approach me — so-deep.

Wondering what happened to my wild-belief and strong-faith, where anything is possible. I dove back into Hebrews 11 this morning to see if God wanted to bring something back to life.

“Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that there is a God…”

Yep. I got that covered. I believe there is a God.

“…and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him.” (Heb. 11:6)

I “must” believe He rewards me?

To believe God “rewards me” feels indulgent, selfish and it induces guilt in me. Isn’t faith supposed to be about all I give Him – what I do, how I love Him, reading the bible with Him and loving others on His behalf?

Yet, God hones in on this— “Kelly, I want you to believe when you sincerely seek me out — I am going to reward you.”

Faith is not only coming to God, or doing His work, receiving and expecting His reward too. We are not old rag dolls, who God uses to take advantage of to get His way or to use up and then throw out. We are children, daughters, of a Father who loves us and wants to take care of us. His heart, when we meet Him, when we trust Him, when we long for Him, when we find Him — is to reward us. It is to give — to renew, replenish, restore and reinvigorate.

When we seek Him, we’ll find Him and He’ll reward us.

Something about this idea — speaks so deeply to my heart that: God is good.

 

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

Why Remorse

Just now, as I took a walk, I saw a twisted piece of plastic on a telephone line. Oddly, it was mangled and wrapped around the phone line in a way that seemed to make no sense.

This is how my mind is when I make a mistake. Remorse wreaks havoc in my mind, until I’m in a twisted mess of: I’ll never be good enough. I always make mistakes. I can’t get anything right. I’ll always offend God.

God doesn’t intend for us to live mangled; Jesus came so we could live untangled from shame.
So, what’s the problem with me?
The story of Judas, the betrayer of Jesus, has a little to say on this subject matter.
When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse…and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders.
 
“Remorse gripped Judas and he returned the money.” (Mt. 27:3)
 
Isn’t it amazing that he returned the money and was remorseful? Amazingly, this wasn’t enough.
 
Then, Judas said, “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” (Mt. 27:4)

He even realized his sin.
 
The priests replied, “What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.” (Mt. 27:4)

I only wish He’d talked to Jesus. 
 
“…Then he went away and hanged himself.” (Mt. 27:5)
 
Remorse without repentance kills us internally. It leaves us in a balled up mess of self-condemnation, ridicule, embarrassment and shame. It kills our insides and has even been known to take a life.

What do you need to repent of? What do you need to release to God? What do you need to finally get over, so it doesn’t destroy you? The price Jesus paid is enough to cover over any mistake you’ve made. There’s nothing His grace won’t cover. Isn’t it about time you finally receive that grace and forgiveness too?

“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Heb. 8:12)

“Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into the place of highest privilege where we now stand and confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.” (Ro. 5:1-2)