Purposeful Faith

Category - Contentment

Finding true contentment

God’s Soil is Life

You all should know by now that I love taking walks. I go outside and just enjoy the air. Usually, I look at trees and all around. But the other day, a singular flower caught my eye. All by itself, it poked out of a massive pile of leaves within a wooded area. But, there it was. It stood bright.

Then, my kids and I approached our house after a day-out, and right in the middle of the mulch was another one. A flower. It popped up out of nowhere right in our mulch. Amazingly, there are not other flowers of its kind. But, there it was. Bright as day.

This morning, I walked through a grassy area and — guess what caught my eye? A purple flower shooting up. There weren’t any around it. Just an isolated flower.

Something woke up in me: God’s full-ability to turn any wilderness-wasteland into beauty. He specializes in this.

You see, what we see as ‘a nothing area’ or a ‘blah area’ is actually fertile ground for God’s growth. It doesn’t matter how we perceive it; it matters how God sees it.

God can do anything, anywhere. He makes beauty for ashes in the middle of the most war-torn marriage. He springs up the oil of gladness rather than mourning, even in the greatest loss. He rebuilds ancient ruins,  from nothing, even if the foundations are cracked. He proclaims freedom to the captives in the most torturous of locations.

God is God; He is mighty to save?

What area of desolation are you facing?

Jesus came to. . .
“..bind up the brokenhearted,
proclaim freedom for the captives
release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God,
…to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion…
..to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
…the oil of joy instead of mourning. . .” and the list goes on (See Is. 61).

This scripture has been fulfilled through Christ.  Whatever desolate area you face, know that Christ has all-ability to spring life. Ask Him to do it; He is faithful.

Jesus said, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” (Lu. 4:20)

Stop Getting Hit

This morning I walked my son to school. Unfortunately, there is a part of our walk that has no sidewalk. We usually carefully walk on the curb or tread through the dew-wet grass.

This morning, as we walked, my son looked at me and said, “Mom, what would happen if I hopped down in front of a car and said, ‘Stop!'”

Half-way mortified at the idea, I said, “You’d die.”

Then I added, “You have no authority to tell those cars to stop, so they wouldn’t listen to you. If you were a cop, they may stop, but a kid. . . one can only hope. . .”

When you have no authority, you have no power to make things obey. Likewise, when you have authority, you can make change. You have abilities. Things listen to you.

Jesus said, “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”  (Lu. 10:19 NIV)

Note, Jesus did not say I’ve given you authority to overcome “some” of the power of the enemy, but He said, “I have given you authority…to overcome ALL the power of the enemy.”

Are you an overcomer or are you getting hit, continuously, by things coming against?

Rise up. The Lord has given you things: You don’t wear a ‘hit me’ sign. You wear the armor of God. You don’t wear a defeatist attitude, you wear “Faith”, like a shield. You don’t wear a beaten and bruised face from attack-after-attack. You wear and wield prayer and truth like a sword. You don’t wear an old identity. Christ has given you a new identity. Tell yourself about it.

Take authority over the lies and make mistruths bow to Jesus. You have been given authority. Use it.

In so many ways, you can stop the undue spiritual traffic that is coming against you.

Prayer: God, I ask for you to make known to every daughter her spiritual authority, through Christ Jesus. May she become aware that she is an Overcomer. May she know that you have fought the ultimate battle –and won. May she rest in your victory and come alive through your Word. May she stand taller than what comes against to powerfully move forward through prayer. I ask that every defeatist attitude be gone in Jesus’ name. Where the Spirit of the Lord is — there is freedom!!!  I pray that your freedom brings liberty and life to those who feel dull and down, today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Keep Asking

Remember this story?

We traveled to a new state, secured a new home, then headed back home — a hundred of miles and a dozen-hours . . . only to find out the owner of the house changed her mind. Only to find out that she wasn’t going to move after all. And that we had no home.

I want to give all of you an update. . .

Weeks went on and I kept searching for a new place. I found one house: way too small. Another: way too big. Something popped up the next day: too far.

Nothing was working. We were down to the wire.

So much so, one day, I burst out in tears, saying, “God, I am upset we don’t have a home. I don’t know what to do. We are moving in a few days. We need your help.”  Then, I prayed a bold prayer, “God bring back that first house. Let her call me. Make it still work out.”

It wasn’t but a couple hours later that my phone rang. It was the original owner; she changed her mind. Within days we settled in.

“In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought.  And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think,  yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’” (Lu. 18:2-5)

Do not give up on prayer. Sometimes, it is not the first prayer that is answered, but the 5th. Sometimes, it is your raw heart that touches God. Sometimes, it is the relentless nature of you pursuing what you know is right. Sometimes, it is just asking — that changes everything.

 

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It’s for Your Protection

Three times.

I am not even kidding with you all. Three times, my car got hit by people.

The first-time was a hit-and-run. My husband parked the car in a mall parking lot and when he returned to the parking garage there was a huge dent in the back.

The second time we were at the outlets. I got my daughter a little dress there and, when we got back, a huge football-sized dent was now a part of it.

The third time, my husband and kids were out. A guy reversed and put a hole right into the front bumper.

I drive around now with a triple-dented vehicle.

I’m not really sure how or why this is happening.  I’m kind of wondering about it. .  .

Are you in a situation where you are saying, “Why, God, why?”

Why am I here?
Why am I not out of this hole?
How come this is happening; it is not my fault?

For our family, we have to pay a lot of money to get the majority of these costs fixed.

Why, God?

1 Thess. 5: 18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances.”

All? All things? How you give thanks when life is acting on you? When you feel like you’re the victim? When everything is deteriorating before your very eyes?

I couldn’t stop getting frustrated at the dents (and now the sunroof and trunk weren’t working too -grr…). That is. . . until my husband stopped me, as he said, “Kelly, you just don’t see it. What you see as demolition, is really God’s protection.”

Huh? It is?

He went on, “All of those hits could have been huge accidents. Our kids could have been hospitalized. The car could have been demolished. People could be in the hospital. But none of this happened. Sure, there were hit-and-runs and fender-benders — but, we are fine.”

He is right: We are fine. And, I realized: I’ve been acting wrong.

God has been protecting me all along. I just didn’t have eyes to see it. Sometimes it is easy to get so caught up in our misfortunes, we miss the picture of His greater protection.

How has God been protecting you? Where might you need to stop, and say, “Thank you, God”?

Prayer:

Father, it is easy to see what is coming against. Often, it is hurtful, painful or costly. We know when it hits. But, at the same time, will you help us see you in all things? So we can give thanks in all things? So many times you are keeping and protecting; helping and guiding; leading and loving us — even in the worst of times. Give us eyes to see you and a heart to understand what you are doing. Forgive us for all the thanks we have failed to rightfully give to you — the things we could not perceive. I thank you, although it is so hard, for my trials. In many ways, it is teaching me to rightly come to you, rely on you and find all my hope in you. This is good. You are good. I trust in you. I trust your plan. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

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It Begins with your Tongue

Is there something about yourself that you want to change?

Perhaps you want to drink more water, or lose weight or stop talking to your husband a certain way? You need more self-control. The ability to change by changing your habit.

I’ve been there. Many times in my life, I’ve wanted to do something new — even to the point of making my bed.

This morning, I nearly stopped in my tracks as I read this bible verse: “We all make mistakes, but those who control their tongues, can also control themselves in every other way.” (James 3:2 NLT)

I couldn’t believe it. God says if we control our tongue, then we can control ourselves in EVERY other way.

Every way. To be self-controlled in tongue is to then to gain control with every other thing you hope to gain self-control over.

I can see how this plays out.

We stop saying, “I can’t.”
We end our complaining that “we’ll never change”.
We start to speak God’s ability to change anything and everything.
We hope all things, believe all things and trust God in all things — through our tongue.

Suddenly, rather than living in defeat we realize that God has the power to help us even in the little things.

Where are you looking to have more self-control? Have you ever considered that it begins with your tongue?

 

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On Silence & Meeting God

At night I put on white noise. I first started this practice for the kids. This way, if friends were over or the TV was on —  the kids wouldn’t wake up. But then, I came to like white noise. Now, loud trucks don’t wake me. My husband’s sound as he rolls over doesn’t bother me. Rain is soothing, or at least normally. . .

. . . except for the other night. The other night, the white noise cut off, completely. It felt soul-shocking.

I don’t know if it was because I was half-asleep, groggy, or in a dream, but it almost seemed as if the world as I knew it — shut off. . .

As if the white noise of this world’s hustle, bustle, busy, urgent, voices, words, conflict, people, interruptions, life, needs, habits, requests, and my internal voice — shut off. . .leaving quietness. Nothing. Me.

Before Jesus.

Will this be what it sounds like when I meet Him? Whereas once my mind ran 1000 minutes/second, it will all cease. And there He will be. Standing. In quietness. Fullness. Looking at me.

I felt bare. Me and Him. Him and me.

Jesus, am I enough for you. Jesus, am I good enough? Will you accept me?

No good theology ever attacks at midnight hours. I’m convinced of this. Come daylight. With this thought on my heart, I randomly flipped open my bible. Landing open, I placed my eyes down and read, “Therefore since we have been made right by God’s sight in faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.” (Romans. 5:1-2)

It was Christ who died for me and faith that saved me, due to no work of my own. It is Christ that loves me and Christ that wants me, based on no acts of service I accumulate. It is Christ that died for me and it is Christ that will take me home. It is Christ that loves me and Christ that gives me highest privilege to live with peace and joy.

I am more secure in Christ than I ever have been in anything in my entire life (because He did the work and the work is complete).

So on my last breath, when everything shuts off and this world ends, I will rest. Jesus paid it all. . . all to Him I owe.

The same holds true for you, dear child of God. Jesus did everything for you.

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The God who Supplies

We were late to the stores to buy school supplies. Now, the Target shelves looked like desert wastelands, empty and void of everything I needed. The mom’s had picked them over.

The kids and I got in the car and drove to more stores, miles across town. I nearly crawled behind a shelf to grab the last box of dusty pencils. I circled the stores a few times, trying to figure out where I could get the exact things they needed.

I would get my kids what supplies they needed to succeed.

God does the same. He is intent about supplying us what we need to succeed (to grow, to learn, to become, to move ahead, to become like Him, to draw near to Him, to

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:19)

The supplying work does not belong to kids; it belongs to the parent.

Father God shall supply your needs.

Father God is your daddy. He sees what you need. He has your list.  He cares about supplying you. He does not lie. He’s not late about it, either.

You have all you need according to HIS riches. Can you believe that? According to His riches. Not according to lack, a meager portion, a preserved ration. No, according to riches in His glory.

Open your hands. Open your eyes. Open your heart. Acknowledge His vast supply. He is there. You have what you need. He is doing it. He is greater than you, stronger than you, mightier than you, more able than you — and He desires to work through you.

Look up. You have all you need.

 

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Facing A Storm?

Many of us are facing a storm. You may feel: left outside with a flapping shirt and no rain jacket, afraid that the winds of change will tumult you, overwhelmed by the force of all you cannot handle coming at you, convinced you will not weather the storm in your marriage or certain that you will ‘make it’.

I assure you, you will — make it. You must know — with God, you WILL make it.

Psalm 57 is a place of safety for your storm-torn heart. Let’s take a look at it:

Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me,
for in you I take refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
until the disaster has passed.

I cry out to God Most High,
to God, who vindicates me.

He sends from heaven and saves me,
rebuking those who hotly pursue me—
God sends forth his love and his faithfulness.

I am in the midst of lions;
I am forced to dwell among ravenous beasts—
men whose teeth are spears and arrows,
whose tongues are sharp swords.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let your glory be over all the earth.

They spread a net for my feet—
I was bowed down in distress.
They dug a pit in my path—
but they have fallen into it themselves.

My heart, O God, is steadfast,
my heart is steadfast;
I will sing and make music.

Awake, my soul!
Awake, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn.

I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
I will sing of you among the peoples.

For great is your love, reaching to the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the skies.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let your glory be over all the earth.

Notice, in Psalm 57, we need mercy and help — God gives refuge.
We cry out — He sends forth love and faithfulness.
We are in the midst of lions — but, we can still praise.
We praise — our heart becomes steadfast.
We become steadfast — our certainty of his love and faithfulness carries us.

Steadfast your heart today.

The rain is here in the morning but gone mid-day. The lightning strikes for a second then passes by. The hail hits hard yet passes on.

You may be in a storm, but Jesus is above it, not asleep. Exalt God, then watch everything become a speck in comparison to His splendor and majesty! Lift Him higher and begin to trust Him.

My prayer for you: God, revive hearts today. Lift up the weary soul. Encourage those who are losing faith. Call back those who are distant from you. Make way for your glory. May we bow low so that we can see you come in from high places with power and strength. Everything is by you, from you and for you. You have good plans. We trust you today. Please equip us with fresh faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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What is Happening, God?

I made a trip to a new state to investigate a new home to live in. While we were in town, we found the house! I was delighted. Yet, as soon as we got back home the owner called; she changed her mind.

What do we do now? Get a place, without even seeing it?

Thanks to online images, from afar, we found another decent place. Sight-unseen we put in a bid. After some time passed, they called me back, saying, “Sorry, someone else got it before you.”

More time passed. Days were flying off the calendar. My heart was beating faster. Minutes were evaporating. My kids needed to be in school in days. Plus, I have a mega-project needing to be completed, in almost no time. And, we have no home.

I reached out to yet another house. The realtor called back to say, “I think the owner mostly wants to sell the house. You will need to wait and see.”

But, I can’t wait. . . and see. . . 

Have you ever been in a powerless place? One where you don’t know where you’re going or how you’ll get to where you think you should be?

Listen, I understand. I understand what it is not to know the future, not to have all the answers, not to stand on solid ground, not to know how it will all happen. . .

I know these feelings, but I also know my God. My God doesn’t change. Natural circumstances sway and rock, but His nature stays the same. We can’t name our future, but His Name is constant.

Our God is Provider. Faithful. Healer. The God Who Hears. Daddy. Help in a Time of Trouble. Alpha of Everything. Omega to the Groundbreaking Solution that is about to come. The God of all Knowledge of What-to-do. The God Who Sees Every Detail. The Creator of Everything I Need. The Banner over Me, Called Love. The Hope that Delivers Hope. The Way of Life I Desperately Need.

No “bad” circumstance can block the power of all of Him.

Never. Ever. No way. No how.

Today, God is providing for me. He is blessing me. Yes, the house is somewhat not-as-I-thought, but, you know what?

I trust Him. I serve the God who does exceedingly more than I can ask or imagine. If I haven’t seen Him do “it” once, I’ve seen Him do “it” a hundred times. What about you?

So, today, I trust Him to make lemonade out of my little “not-as-expected” lemons in due time. My God is faithful. Radically faithful. And, so is your God.

Be encouraged.

 

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When People Accuse You

There is almost nothing worse than being misunderstood.

To bear your heart to someone…to approach things carefully and thoughtfully…to pour out your best…to attempt to do things the right way…and then to be accused of having motives that are entirely different? That hurts.

In the past, when people did this — it infuriated me. They’d say what I did wrong. I’d cross my arms and close my heart. I’d block out what they were saying, thinking, “I know what I did. They’re wrong. I am right.”

Then, after they were done slinging stuff at me, I’d tell them all the reasons they were wrong. I’d make a whole case as to why I had ‘good motives’ in what I did.

Yesterday, a friend, approached me in a similar manner. She guessed the motives of my heart. She was wrong.

But, this time? I just listened to all she had to say. I heard it. I accepted her words. I did not reply with a personal discourse of defense. Silently, I decided, that if Jesus did not reply when face-to-face with accusers, why should I? There is no burden to.

“But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge–to the great amazement of the governor.” (Mt. 27:14)

Instead, I listened. Why? Because sometimes we can be blind to what we think we know about ourselves. Because sometimes, there may be a grain of truth hidden within a sea of false accusations.

I wanted to go home and pray. I wanted to hear God’s heart about it.  My goal is not to prove anything to her. I don’t have to say anything. I stand before God.

In my silence, God fights for me. He fights for you too.

“The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” (Ex. 14:14 ESV)

 

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