She is going to make me look like a fool. It’s me against her. I have to come out on top.
Deep in me, there lives a competitive beast. One that promotes selfish ambition and untoward conduct. One that looks at other gals and compares them to me.
The beast says:
I need to be super impactful, smart and powerful. Or, I’m disposable.
I can’t let others get ahead of me. No one will pay attention to me anymore.
I should desperately fear being left behind. I’ll be useless without impact.
Competitiveness is a horrible beast to be chained to. It demands we control the uncontrollable. It sets us up to fail.
Does jealousy, fear, selfish ambition or a competitive nature threaten you, like me?
Lately, I’ve become so sick and tired of it’s bullying tactics. I’ve decided – through a deep investigation of scripture – to fight back.
1. I humble myself under the mighty hand of God, knowing at the proper time (and in God’s proper way), He’ll exalt me.
2. I remember Christ rules over everything. He has all authority and every victory belongs to the Lord. If it is my victory, it is an empty one. But if it is God’s, it is fruitful.
3. I ponder the idea that by my strength, I get tired. But by His, I become empowered.
4. I bless those who hurt me, persecute me, laugh at me, talk behind my back and injure me. Why? Because God loves His creation. He is working on them. He is doing something. I don’t need to get my sticky fingers into His artwork. I can trust the masterpiece He is creating without trying to let my bitterness or irritation take control.
5. I wait on God knowing that, nearly half the time, it is by doing nothing I find He’s doing everything. Likewise, I step out when He says it’s go time, no matter how prideful, arrogant or self-serving it may seem to the world. Ultimately, I don’t serve others opinions of me, but Christ’s lordship. I follow it, stay close to it and trust it, no matter how it looks.
The beast dies when we die to our flesh and come alive to Christ. It can’t live when we stay surrendered and in-step with the Spirit. It has no rule when Christ rules. Period. And Amen.
If you were completely confident in God’s unchanging, irrevocable love for you, would it change how you walked? If you knew that no matter how many times you fell, he would be right there to catch you, would it change the way you lived your life?
I believe it would.
Several years ago, God showed me what confidence in a daddy’s grip can do. Our firstborn was six, and he set out to conquer a new set of monkey bars at a state park we were visiting. But after climbing the ladder and surveying the height, fear overtook him. I could tell he wanted to cross, but he convinced himself he wasn’t able to do it.
After spending a few minutes observing our boy, my husband walked over. He spoke words of encouragement and told him he would walk with him, arms out and ready to grab him if he slipped.
Our six-year-old hesitated another moment and then went for it. He made it all the way across without falling, and then there was no stopping him. He immediately went back for more.
The smile on his face spoke for itself, but for the rest of the afternoon he told everyone about his new accomplishment. Our friends. The neighbors. People he met on our hike to the waterfall.
Everyone heard, “Daddy wouldn’t let me fall, so I knew I could do it.”
It’s amazing what that kind of confidence can do for us, isn’t it?
When we know someone is walking with us and cares about every detail of our lives, we can move forward without fear. Even when circumstances look bleak, we can put one foot in front of the other because we know we aren’t doing it alone.
Can I tell you something? You have someone too.
If you’ve surrendered your life to the living God, he goes with you, behind you and before you.
“You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.” Psalm 139:5 NLT
Even if everyone in your life has let you down or abandoned you. Even if your earthly father never gave you the love and assurance you needed.
God’s love is not fickle. It is patient and enduring. It withstands in the places where human loves fails.
This is the type of love that transforms our walk. It’s the type of love that enables us to do things we would never do before, because we know with him standing in the gap with us, we will never be alone.
Claim this truth as your own today. Speak it out loud when the lies of the enemy threaten to overtake your thoughts. I can promise when you do, you will see a change. And the change will be in you.
Abby McDonald is the mom of three, a wife and writer whose hope is show readers their identity is found in Christ alone, not the noise of the world. When she’s not chasing their two boys or cuddling their newest sweet girl, you can find her drinking copious amounts of coffee while writing about her adventures on her blog. Abby would love to connect with you on her blog and her growing Facebook community.
I believe some of you counted yourself not valuable or unable to make a difference. It’s not true. This is why I want to invite you, again, to join my launch team.
Friends, every bit helps – how you share Battle Ready with a friend in need, or do a post on Facebook, or encourage me along the way, or share it in your small group, or bring unique excitement to the team. Don’t discount yourself. You all mean something to me; I want you to be a part of the launch team. I want you to do this with me. Big or small, whether you feel important or meaningless, join me as we gain new confidence, seize new thoughts and spread Jesus’ liberating truth far and wide. Pre-order a book on Amazon, then join the team here (and get a ton of video devotionals, scriptures, accountability, team support, prayer with me and little gifts from me: www.iambattleready.com/launch
I love you all. Now here is the post:
Consider a random picture frame in your house. See it? When you wake up the next morning, do you know where it is? Are you confident it is there? Think of another one. When you walk into that room, are you sure you will see it?
What about the frame of your bed? How sure are you that when you return to your room, you’ll find it? Pretty confident, right?
The permanence of these objects is obvious. Yet, why doesn’t it feel this way with God?
It’s like God’s with us one moment and gone the next. We’re full of God one night, but down the next day. Trusting fully, then stuck in swirling ruminations the next hour.
We go from God with us to God is gone. God is here to God, are you really here?
Why does eternal God seem less real than the passing world around us?
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Cor. 4:8
Because there’s a re-framer in our house.
The enemy constantly attempts to steal our view and reframe it with his. He takes our pictures of God’s nearness, assaults them with doubt and tries to move them out of our line of sight. We say, “God’s good and gone.”
Same tricks. Different day.
“Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Gen. 3:1
Suddenly, Adam and Eve bit the fruit and were standing stark naked, ashamed in front of a far-off God.
What has the enemy reframed in your life? What has he subtly led you away from? What has he put between you and the God of closeness and fullness?
Remove it. Remove it fast and get with God. Do this repeatedly. All the time. God IS with you. He is. He will never leave your side.
Our mind is a garden. We either take time to water it, or it wilts due to worry, distress and stress. We either remove the weeds or they crowd-out fruit.
God cares greatly about our gardens. Why? Becuase what we think on, we act on. What we dwell on, drives us. What untruths we believe, shape our instincts, emotions, and impulses.
Our mind is not meant to just memorize scripture, it’s to be compelled by the mind of Christ, always. “We have the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor. 2:16)
As we pluck what’s not of Christ, He seems to grow in us. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” (Ro. 12:2)
Nutrient-dense soil grows faith.
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” (Phil. 4:8)
Without weeds, Christ rules our thoughts. “We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”(2 Cor. 10:5)
Is Christ’s truth, promises, and love ruling your thoughts? Or are you stressed out and stunted by problems, pessimism, and pain?
What if, you began to think differently, like Christ? What if you could face your problems proactively, verses reactively? How would your whole world change?
I wrote the book Battle Ready: Train your Mind to Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt and Live Victoriously after suffering through an eating disorder, depression, health issues, relationship problems, financial struggles and so much more. This book is not only a hands-on manual, where you can explore-your-story, but it is also a battle plan for your mind. With how-tos, practical and biblical wisdom, verses and truths it will help you stand strong. It will surely change your thoughts, change your habits and then change your life.
Want the inside scoop on the book? Printables? Video devotionals? Live prayer with Kelly? My arsenal of Battle-scripture? Group-support? Weekly accountability? A physical thought-changing gift? A Mini-Prayer Journal?
You don’t have to do a ton, you’ll just get behind the book in the little ways that seem natural to you. Such as:
Sharing the book with your small group or women’s minister
Spreading the word about it on social media.
Writing an Amazon review (which is so helpful).
Encouraging my heart.
Sharing it with your people (if you are a blogger)
Just pre-order a book today, then join the group here. Don’t delay. 200 also get a free book sent to them. Join the launch team.
Are you a seasoned- or veteran blogger, women’s minister, leader or speaker?
I’m offering an unprecedented launch opportunity. I am taking the Platform Mastermind Course – the one I’ll be releasing in the Fall for $500+ dollars – and I am literally giving it to my launch members for free. FREE.
Boils down all the marketing mumbo-jumbo into clear and concise how-tos so you can steward and grow your audience.
Reduces hours of learning, flight-times to conferences, time away from your family, and money spent trying to figure out what to do or not do.
Gets industry experts to share what is working right now on social media, in speaking and online so that you don’t have to endlessly search to figure everything out.
Presents the information in easy-to-consume and take-action videos that are short, and chock-full of wisdom. Plus, you can watch it all from the comfort of your home.
What are some of the 15+ courses experts in each field will share?
Video sessions include topics like: – The 5 Biggest Speaking No-Nos (and 5 Things You must do)!
– “Crushing it on Facebook/Instagram Stories Video”
– The 7 Best Blogging Tips, Ever
– Making Facebook Work For You
– 3 Tips Publishers Won’t Tell You, But You Need to Know
– Why You Need an Agent and How to Get one
– Start a Blog: Get Up and Running in No Time
– Thriving in Ministry and Motherhood
– How to Boss Your Time Around
– How to Build an Email List, Fast
– “Rock it” on Instagram
– 5 Tips to Heart Connecting Writing/Speaking
– Find and Book Speaking Gigs
– The Social Media Strategies that ARE Working
– Learn Kelly’s Groundbreaking Tips in Bonus Video Content
– Creating awesome photos and visuals that attract people
+ much more…
How to join:
1. Pre-order a book on Amazon to help me.
2. Join the launch team here.
3. Fill out the form (do it now, limited space available).
I expect this launch team to be not only mind-changing but also life-changing and platform ground-breaking.
Share this on social media(and be entered to win a free book): Join Kelly Balarie’s Battle Ready Launch Team! You’ll get 15+Platform-Building Expert Coaching Videos for Free. (Include the link to this page)
On a steamy track, the coach ran after my heels screaming with her timer, “Go, go, go!” No one talked. It didn’t matter how we felt. Sprints gave way to more sprints. Tiredness ended up sprinting. So did exhaustion. Near-death feelings were supposed to somehow push us harder.
With that little glint of belief in her eye, the coach non-verbally pressured us that there was “more in us”. So we somehow found it and kept going.
During tryouts the coaches hovered over me, trying to figure out where I fit in on the track field. Would I be a long distance runner? A shot-putter? A sprinter? A hurdle-runner?
As she assigned everyone to his or her spot, I imagined all the potential of one person: me. I imagined myself running fast and with intensity along with all these other pre-Olympian superstars. But when she looked at me with beads of sweat on her face and in her hair, she said, “You’re my race-walker.”
The loser. The one who looks all weird with her hips swaggering from side to side?
I wanted to quit. While everyone else was something, I was nothing. The embarrassment.
Have you ever felt like the things you dream of are blocked? Like you can’t access what you’re supposed to be?
That day, I stood on that field shell-shocked. Then, I started walking. I walked so hard and fast, a year or so later, I made it to the Junior Olympics and got a bronze medal. Oddly, this moment is one of the greatest joys and the greatest gifts of my life. That track team had heart and taught me heart. I learned it is not what you think you should do that matters, but what God has for you that fills your heart.
What if what you’re made for looks different than you think? Will you accept His best in belief that it will one day become yours?
Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This (suffering, pain death) shall never happen to you!” (Lu. 16:22)
Jesus replies 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.” (Mt. 16:23)
What is a stumbling block?
It is anyone or anything that tries to stumble you as you move on God’s road. Like Peter, people may have good intentions. Their words may even be comfortable, harmless, or normal, but if they’re stumbling you, they’re worth investigating.
Stumbling blocks often make us say, “Wait, was I really meant for all this? Will God really pull through for me? Is He really that good? Is his Word really true?”
When I consider stumbling block words, they tend to: question God’s plan, doubt his ability to show up, discourage what He is imprinting on a heart.
They speak fear instead of life and doubt instead of faith.
Will God really…? How is that possible…? Are you sure you want to…?
Wise people receive wise words from others.
But like Jesus, we are wise to rebuke voices contrary to the clear moves of God happening in our heart. Indeed, Satan often uses people to do his worst handiwork.
However, we can recognize his schemes. They tend to deter us from…
God’s clear call for our life
Loving people as God is calling us to
Here, we can:
Rebuke the enemy within our mind, and ask God to give us fresh courage to see things through.
Forgive others if their words hurt us.
Pray and ask God what he wants us to learn through this situation.
Just because someone said something, doesn’t mean we have to own it. And just because we don’t own something, doesn’t mean we ignore what others have said. Perhaps they have a good point. Wisdom knows to sift it through God’s Word and prayer before deciding to accept or reject it.
“Oh you’re fine. It wasn’t even a hard fall. Get up, you’re okay. You fell softly,” the grey-haired lady said repeatedly to the 4-year-old who fell off her seat.
After watching this all play out, I consider her words. How can one “fall softly?” I’ve never heard of such a thing. Second, I have no idea how a warehouse metal floor could be soft.
The little girl threw a fit for the next 10 minutes afterward.
Now, I recognize: I’m eavesdropping at this coffee store. I also recognize: I’m judging. Even more, I recognize: I’ve probably done the same thing to my kids at times.
God help me.
But, there’s a point to all this. When we negate people’s fall, or feelings, we fail to be there for them. When we brush off another person’s reality, we hurt them even more. Thus, this 4-year old girl’s 10-minute tantrum post-fall. No one was there for her.
She threw a fit.
Just because we brush off someone else’s pain, doesn’t mean it disappears. In fact, insensitivity to pain often heightens it. It causes tantrums. Explosions. Depression.
How did Jesus deal with people’s pain?
A “man who had died was being carried out” by his mother.
“And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Lu. 7:13
“And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus[d] gave him to his mother.” Lu. 7:14
Through compassion, Jesus cleared the way for life. Our approach should be the same.
I also love that as I love you, I get a chance to learn who you really are. You send me emails and thank yous and little stories of the giant hurdles you’ve made in life. And yes, even though you call them small, God and I know they’re giant.
You all are great. You make me smile. You make me shed tears. You make me pray. And while I can’t always respond to every email via the computer I always try to respond with God. I ask him for the best for you, for your situations and for your heart. I ask him to show his lavish love in your life.
You are amazing. You gift me a lot more than I gift you. Daily, so many of you give to my heart. Quietly, I know others inwardly offer up thanks. Readily, I know there are prayers going out for the wider community of gals who read these words.
To know we are fighting together, battling through our hang-ups, and sticking to the King of Kings on this road is beyond helpful to my heart.
We rage on – in love.
I once thought this blog was about me “getting my healing.” Now I know it is about all of us “becoming healed” and supporting each other along the way. Thank you for helping me realize I need you just as much as I need God.
You are often a vessel for His voice. A voice of encouragement that pops up via email at just the right time. A prayer note that I needed. A living testimony of what you are reading.
All glory to God! He is working right here. We read and write only holy ground, together. And I love it! I cherish it. I rejoice in the fullness of what He has prepared for such a time as this.
While social media rages with hate, anger and dissension, we pull together in love. We smile and keep on with Jesus. We do our part to do our best to change our little slice of the world one small act of love at a time.
I am grateful for you. I want you all to know that. God has given me so much in this community of lovers. I praise Him for you today.
My prayer for you: Sweet Jesus, thank you for the reader of this post today. Thank you that you see her heart. Thank you that she pursues, loves and follows you. I ask you to open every door unto her, so that she can meet and know you with immense passion. I ask that there would never be a question in her mind as to how much you love her. I ask that there would never be a question in her mind about how immensely loved she is. I ask for an increase of your heart on this very blog that reaches hearts day-in and day-out. I ask for your activating faith to pour out on every reader in profound ways in the coming days. I ask for your will to be done in all ways. We thank you Jesus. Amen.
Do you ever think, “Everything is going so well…I wonder when is God going to pull the carpet out from under me?”
Or, “I don’t deserve good stuff.”
Or, “I feel guilty for accepting…”
I think this way sometimes. As if God’s given me too much and suddenly needs to put me in my place. Or as if I’m spoiled by the fact He is good. Or like He is a killjoy who is out to punish me for my happiness.
Why do I do this?
Recently, I asked God for something. It was small, but I prayed for it to “get better”. Amazingly, I immediately did, to a degree. I saw God move in incredible ways. Then, I wanted to ask him for something else, something more. I almost prayed…but then I heard:
Bad Kelly! You want too much.
Bad Kelly! You think God is there to give you everything.
Bad Kelly! You are selfish.
Bad Kelly! You know there are others who have it much harder than you.
Afraid to take too much from God, I almost missed the opportunity to see how much He really loves me. I almost stopped asking. Why? Because I counted the nature of God equivalent with the nature of man.
God gives abundantly. Many give, but then take for themselves.
God does even more than we ask or imagine. Man does and then expects something in return.
God continually pours out the best of who He is on our behalf. Man halfway gives and then gives up.
When we assign the track record of man to God, we always lose. In fact, we close down the opportunity to see the abundant nature of an abundant God. We essentially hold an arm up to God and say, “You’re a little bit good, but not that good.”
What are you believing about God today? In what ways have you held an abundant God back? How have you let the past hurts of man create a false view of God?
“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Jo. 10:10
“For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” Jo. 6:33