Purposeful Faith

Category - doubt

Enjoying the Process

Do we yell at our kids because they’re learning?

For instance, when a son arrives home from school, do we come down on him because he had go to school? Do we say, “You should already know this stuff.”

Or, when a kid says, “Why is the world not flat?”, do we berate them for not knowing.

Or, when they make a mistake, like blurting out a comment, do we hold it against them for a lifetime?

No. We know children:

  • are learning.
  • are growing.
  • need grace.

“…For the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these (children).” Mt. 19:21

Likewise,we are children.

We:

  • are learning.
  • are growing.
  • need grace.

I don’t think God disdains the process of growing and learning as much as we do. He knows we are “becoming” like Christ.

We “are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Cor. 3:18)

This means we don’t already know everything. We will make mistakes. We take off one layer of the onion of __, only to 6 months experience a deeper layer God wants to remove. We find a more complete understanding of God’s Word that sets us free one year, and then it happens to a greater degree 2 years later.

God isn’t angry at us that we had things to learn. That we aren’t perfect. Or, that “only now, are we just getting it”. Or that “we’re so slow.” On the contrary, His process is our progress.

We are becoming, transforming and becoming liberated into the image of Christ. May we not despise the process. May we not run from the crafting work of the Master Creator. May we not think it is because we are ‘bad’ or not good enough. May we not disdain the fact that, like a child, we need Him. That He is helping us understand.

Going to school with God doesn’t mean that you are failing, it means He is growing you, renewing you and readying you for all that He has ahead.

Like a child, be okay with being in school.

“Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding. . .” (Prov. 3:13)

 

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God Will Not Abandon You

There are times in our life when it feels no one understands. In these places, we may communicate our heart along with every word from Alpha to Omega in conversation, and still be met with blank eyes. Alternately, we may try a new action and see it through, yet still find the person responds – “not as expected”. Or, we may open up and convey our insides only to feel utterly rejected because the “listener” changes the subject or looks the other way.

There are times in life when our insides are almost 100% certain we are: alone.  Are you there today?

Do you feel abandoned by those who are supposed to love you? Broken because you are trying your hardest and it still is not working out?

Don’t lose hope.  I believe, in certain seasons of life, there are things in our heart — only God understands.

“Lord, you have seen what is in my heart. You know all about me.  You know when I sit down and when I get up. You know what I’m thinking even though you are far away.  You know when I go out to work and when I come back home. You know exactly how I live.  Lord, even before I speak a word, you know all about it.” (Psalm 139:1-4)

Even when they want to, man can’t fully discern from the outside what God sees in our insides. The motives, intentions, will, spirit, history, thought processes and motivations to man — are hidden, but to God — are seen.  Only God has X-Ray vision.

Why is it this way?  This makes us run to Him. Call on Him.  Accept His consolation.  Over time, we build an inside-joke like relationship with the King of Kings. “Only He understands… Only God knows… Only He saves me…”

This doesn’t mean we write people off, expect them to never understand or decide not to share our heart. It means we stop hitting our head against the wall, trying to get everyone to understand every detail of our “backstory”.  Instead, we trust God is rewriting a better story. We call out to Him and permit Him to hear our pain. We wait by faith, not by sight.

The endless explaining of “all our reasons” and “why we did what we did” discussions take a backseat to God’s words. We may even find that He wants us to recognize that we are entering a new season. Here, we may need to make some personal changes or set some new boundaries.

This most easily happens when we become less focused on “changing-them” and more intentionally focused on “changing-me”.

Or we can decide to NOT do this.

The hard truth is: We either partner with God as He takes us where He is going or we fight Him tooth and nail and we go our own way.  Woe be it to the child who engages in hand-to-hand combat against the Lord Almighty.

In some ways, I think I’ve done this lately because I don’t want things to change. But the kind-of funny reality is they’re changing anyway. Whether I like it or not. God always wins.

His plans are good too. It’s usually in retrospect we come to this.

Either way, wisdom is — at some point before “retrospect”  — stopping to throw your hands up and refuse to do what you’ve been doing.  Why? Because carnal breakthrough aside from Jesus is insanity.

Real change is saying: “I don’t know how Jesus, but give me the grace anyway to do what it is your heart most wants.”

Then, by faith, you lean into Him and agree to take a new path. Even if it is completely uncharted territory.

“You are all around me. You are behind me and in front of me. You hold me in your power.” (Ps. 139:5)

 

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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.

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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.

How to Trust In The Lord

Many of us say to God, “Father, I can’t see where you are taking me or what you are doing. How do I trust, when I don’t know? What instruction do you have for me?”

I believe that wisdom wants to speak to you today, saying:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
    and he will show you which path to take.

Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.
    Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
Then you will have healing for your body
    and strength for your bones.

Honor the Lord with your wealth
and with the best part of everything you produce.
Then he will fill your barns with grain,
and your vats will overflow with good wine.” (Prov. 3:5-10)

God encourages our heart, by reminding us: Just trust me.

“Trust in the Lord and do good.
    Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.

Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you your heart’s desires.

Commit everything you do to the Lord.
    Trust him, and he will help you.

HE WILL make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
    and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.” (Ps. 37:3-6)

You will be brought to the land, as you trust. You will be given your heart’s desires as you – take delight. You will be helped as you commit. It all goes hand-in-hand. But, the keywords are: HE WILL DO IT. All this is done by God and through God.

Prayer: God, will you increase my faith? Will you help me trust you, follow you, and take delight in you? I, today, commit my every way, every thought and everything to you. I place it all under your love, care, direction, and authority. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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When You Crave Things

When I was in college, I remember sitting in the car dealership, asking my dad, “Please dad, please! Can I get this car???”

The amazing thing was — my dad wasn’t buying it for me. Somehow, though, I needed his permission. Yet, I was the one walking out of the dealership with a title and a $500 monthly payment on a vehicle. It didn’t matter, I was enthralled. It seemed my whole life was about to change.

The car was a convertible. For the first week, I was internally on-fire every time I drove that car. I wondered if people were looking at me. I wondered if I could feel better than I did when I sat in those fire-red leather seats.

Then, the buzz wore off.

It wasn’t long until it became an ordinary car. It didn’t feel as special. It didn’t look as shiny. The rear window cracked a little. The monthly payments were taking a big chunk of my monthly paycheck.

“I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law. . . ” (Phil. 3:7-9 NLT)

Ten thousand times, I thought all these things were valuable, until. . .

One: They didn’t taste as good as Jesus.
Two:  Their joy ran out.
Three: I got bored with them.
Four: They actually became slavery.
Five: I wanted something else better.

What have you thought “was life”, only to find out– in the end –it wasn’t? A new car? A house? A better wardrobe? A new husband? A perfect job?

Everything pales in comparison when laid up against the One Thing, Jesus, who is everything. Treasures are trinkets once you get a taste Jesus’ love.

My heart, these days, wants to invest — less in goods — and more in love. What about you? What are you searching for? What do you believe will fulfill your greatest hopes, dreams, desires, and wishes?

“I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.  I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead.” (Phil. 3:9-10)

So, today, more than ever, I invest in faith.

Faith is to believe God, despite what you see; to trust God more than you know; to rest on God more than makes sense for your running mind to comprehend. Because it is faith that gets to know Christ and to experience His mighty power that, astoundingly, raised Him from the dead.

Prayer: God, today, I ask for a transfusion of faith to happen. I ask that every reader of this post would be filled with fresh faith that we would all feel on-fire for you. I ask that lesser things fade away and that you as the One Thing come into pre-eminent position. We want you. We need you. We trust you. Fill us with your love, power, and goodness. We ask to know you more. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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On that Day we Meet Jesus

The other night, I had an odd dream. In it, I accidentally stepped into an area of water next to my house. Like quicksand, the water and mud pulled me under. I was dying.

I know, it sounds morbid, but stick with me. . .

When I was dying, I called out to God, “God, I only hope I was good enough for you.”

When I awoke, I was not only startled by the dream but also shocked at the words I spoke.

It really made me think of my heart, what I think about God, and how it will be to die – to meet Jesus. I have to admit, I was a little shocked to hear myself call out, “I hope I was “enough” for you, Jesus.”

The reality of the gospel is not that ‘I am enough’, but He is enough. In this, I don’t have to – on my final day or today – fear that I am bad, not good, didn’t do things I should have or that I could have done more.

The blessing of Jesus and the price that He paid is that – all His righteousness got put on me. I only need to receive it.

“I am overwhelmed with the joy in the Lord my God! For he has dressed me with clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness.” (Is. 61:10)

He wants me!
He chose me!
He saved me!
It is done.
Finished.
Completed.

When I meet Jesus and Jesus looks at me – I believe, Jesus’ main goal won’t be to search out the worst in me. He’ll be seeing me dressed in salvation, draped in righteousness, full of Christ Jesus. He’ll know me because He knows himself.

Praise be to the lamb who was slain. All glory, honor, power, and strength belongs to you!!!

In this, today, I receive afresh the fact that Jesus saved me, 100% apart from anything I’ve done or anything I will do. In an act of sheer sacrifice, Jesus paid it all for me, so that I could be free of me. I no longer have to worry if I am enough. I’ll never be enough to reach the standard of God, but Jesus is enough for me to reach heaven. Praise God! Jesus is enough! More than enough! He fills in my every gap and then some. He calls me His own. Father calls me daughter. I am adopted. I am free in His love. I am known and in His care. I am saved and kept eternally, forever.

So on that sweet day, when I go, I will — without fear (with God’s help) — run into Jesus’ arms, knowing HE is good enough and that He did enough to save me. Praise God.

How sweet it is to be loved by Jesus. How sweet to be saved. How sweet to let all else fade away and to feel yourself in his glory-filled arms, on that special day.

Prayer: Until then, God, will you give us an intimate knowledge of how much we are saved, loved and enough, in you, so that we can run into your arms on that glorious day, without shame? Will you let us know how much it is all about you, and so little about us? We need your grace, love, and peace to understand. Thank you, Father.

 

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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.

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Making Room for People’s Faults

Whenever she does something – it’s off.

There’s one particular friend who can’t seem to do things exactly right. It’s as though when she buys me a gift, it’s the one color I dislike. When she says she’ll see me soon, she forgets because she “had to run more errands” and shows up 30 minutes late. When she’s trying to be thoughtful, it’s awkward.

Now, issues like this would be fine as an isolated incident, but she always and repeatedly acts this way.

I know her heart, but she lets me down  – even though her intentions are good.

It is easy for me to judge her. And, I have. Her wrong timing. Her wrong words. Her wrong ways.

But, recently, I’ve been wondering if I’ve been wrong?

God says: “Bear with each other . . . ” (Col. 3:13 NIV)

Where God wants us to bear with one other, the enemy wants to tear us apart.

Recently, I started noticing my 7-year old son’s tendency for ungratefulness. I’ll buy him the world and he acts as though I owe it to him. I go out of my way to reverse my car so he can see one particular person that looks like his teacher and he gets upset I didn’t do it fast enough. I make him a special dinner and he hardly notices. He tells me he wanted something different.

I’m like my son. I get ungrateful. I don’t see the good. I want things to cater to me at times.

I repent of this. The reality is, this friend is not perfect, but she’s pursuing relationship as best she can. She has many outstanding characteristics about her. She is giving. She makes time to show up. She goes out of her way to be thoughtful.

I’ve been hard on her. I’ve made a mistake.

I am sorry God. Father, will you help me to see the good in others, before critiquing the bad? Will you help me give thanks for the beauty you’ve created in them, even when it is hard to see?

“Make allowance for each other’s faults . . . ” (Col. 3:13 NLT)

May I make allowance so I can draw closer rather than giving enemy room to drive us apart. Thank you for your help, Father God.

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Be a Blessing

I am delighted to have a dear friend, a prayer warrior, and a true lover of Jesus join me today. Adrienne Young, welcome! It is a pure honor to feature you today on Purposeful Faith. I know your words will be a blessing…

Post by: Adrienne Young

“Don’t make me miss my blessing.”

That’s an odd thing to hear while standing in line at Goodwill, but I ignored the cashier and kept going through my cart to see what items “sparked joy” and what would I discard.

As I got closer to the register, she lit up and said through her smile, “I’m so glad you didn’t get in the other line when it opened up. You are my blessing! I know you don’t come in here often, but every time you do, people gravitate toward you, and you always bless me by asking how my day is going.” Wow! I asked her for her name and how I could pray for her.

Darlene told me she was going through a custody battle and knew the enemy was attacking her but she trusted God. She came from behind the counter to hug me as I prayed for her.

This one trip to do what I love to do, what I wrote a book about doing, and what I thought was a normal 8 PM quick trip turned into thrifting with a purpose. . .

You see I had planned to go to my local store just minutes away, but the Holy Spirit led me to this one. What if I decided not to go that night and ignore His voice? What if I would have been so consumed with the purchases that I missed the purpose in going?

My sister, what if we decided to ask God to use us in our everyday life to bless those we come into contact with? What if we took God at His word according to Romans 12:1 MSG?

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.

Prayer: Father, with your help, we will take our everyday ordinary life – our sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around-life, and place it before you as an offering. Help us to recognize how we can be a blessing to those who come into contact with, even when we are enjoying our hobbies. Use us for your glory and help us obey the voice of the Holy Spirit so that we can join in where He is working. In Jesus name, Amen.

About Adrienne Young

Adrienne Young’s mission is to love, live and lead on purpose with a purpose in every area of her life.  She is 100% committed to helping women of faith do the same in their lives and businesses.

Sought out by Fortune 500 companies for professional development, Adrienne combines her John C. Maxwell leadership training with 16 years in education to take organizations from start-up to implementation via her company Adrienne Young Ministries, LLC.

She is the founder of Remnant Warriors Global, Inc., Women Who War, and is the author of the best selling book Don’t Go Thrifting Without Me. Adrienne serves in ministry with her husband Edward. They have two sons, Emmanuel and Elisha, love football, and reside in Fort Mill, SC.

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