Today cannot be a time of blessing, can it? After all, we are social distancing, staying 6-feet away and looking at others like walking-viruses, ready to attack.
God, what do you have for me, here, in this weird place? This is an important question to ask.
I believe there are blessings available for those who ask. A blessing, not a cursing — for those with eyes to see. A bounty, not a backbreaking burden — for those at home.
Is that you? Or, do you feel it is unbiblical to be blessed? To seek a blessing?
You know, my friends and family…
for a long time, I could not receive a blessing. Nor, would I ask God for one. It felt self-indulgent to say, “Lord, will you bless me?” It felt unbiblical to say, “God, I want your blessings.” There are so many people who need so much more than I do. Who am I to ask. I should be a servant, not a seeker for myself…
Yet, a Psalm, written by David, a man after God’s own heart — set me straight. Within it David says:
“With all my heartI want your blessings.” Ps. 119:58
If David wanted a blessing, and God inspired these very words in His Word, who am I to disagree? I can ask for a blessing, with my whole heart, without shame!
“God, I want your blessings. With all my heart, I want your blessings. In a time of Coronavirus I want your blessings!”
The fact of the matter is — I need God’s blessings — His unmerited favor, right now, in my time of trouble, more than ever. Anything less than me needing God’s blessing is likely pride in-action.
To think I can do it without God’s help and generous giving is probably self-work or pious self-proving.
Thanks to God’s wisdom on this, during this season, I have received His blessing. This is why this time of “social distancing” has become a different time. Rather than “social distancing”, it is a time of “family gathering”. I have gotten closer to my kids and husband. I have laughed more. I have played more. I have gotten to know fun without big price tags.
I am blessed! What is simple has trumped what is complex and the peace of the Lord is here — in my house.
Because of this, I give him thanks. All glory to Him; I am blessed.
Might you ask God for a risky thing: to be blessed today…?
Prayer: Father God? I ask you for more, today. More blessings! More of you! More of what you have for me! I ask without shame! I ask expecting to receive. I ask ready to give all thanks and glory back to you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
I was amazed. My daughter didn’t fall once; she fell two times, nearly unscathed. In both instances, she rounded a turn on her bike and skidded out. Her wheels flipped over and her body hit the ground, with force. Tears welled up in her eyes.
She had been riding fast. Her helmet flew off her head. But, when I asked her where she was hurt, she didn’t know. There was only but the smallest scrape on her. She escaped, nearly untouched…
“For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
and set me high upon a rock.” (Ps. 27:5)
For in the day of trouble, in the hour of trouble, in the moment of trouble…God is here. Emanuel. God with us.
“God with us” sends His angels to guard us. His power to keep us. His wisdom to guide us. He is over all and in all.
We don’t know every detail of how He protects us. Or, why He doesn’t protect others. We don’t fear what has come upon other men. We don’t fear the plague that may befall us. Don’t get entrapped with another man’s story. God deals with each of us as He chooses.
“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.” (Prov. 29:25)
Keep your eyes on your own lane. Keep your attention on your own family. Keep your words headed up to heaven. Trust God’s provision and protection to fall down on you. He has you covered. Choose to stay under the protection of his wing and not to wander elsewhere.
Prayer:Father, thank you that you are above all. You are over all. You are ruling all. We declare you as Lord over everything we face and see. We are not wavered by the news, by people or by fear. We stand under the shadow of your wing. We choose to place ourselves under your loving-care and put ourselves under your protection. You have us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
You are a blessing, brothers and sisters in Christ. I love you, beyond measure. My hope is that I can bring much of His treasure, back to you… XOXO!
A friend looked at me and said, “With God, the bad is good.”
Hmm…she had my wheels turning now…
I wonder, how many of us can see the truth in her statement?
The bad boyfriend that we, at one time, thought was good for us? We can see now, it is darn good that we didn’t marry him.
The bad health scare that we figured would kill us? Well, it is good that we are still alive and, not only that but, we now have more faith than ever.
The bad news that we lost our job?
It is good that God repositioned us. We hated every minute of that job and now God has us on unique-assignment, impacting specific people.
What bad has become good, in light of your prayers and God’s grace? Think back. Recount. Reflect. Remember. Restore your countenance.
What looks bad, becomes good, with God.
“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through Him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” (2 Cor. 2:20-22)
With God, through Christ, it is: “Yes!” It is good. It is God’s promises, delivered. It is God’s grace, right here and now. It is what looks bad, coming into the light of Christ. It is what hope we cannot see, becoming manifest.
See beyond your natural eye and you will see again. See beyond circumstances and issues to hope in Christ, once again. See beyond panic and you will see The Prince of Peace. See beyond what everyone else is doing and you will see Him. By the natural eye, we are blind, but by the Spirit-eye, we see: God’s promises are yes and amen. Jesus is greater. Jesus has conquered. The war is done. We are safe, forever. God is the Pre-eminent Ruler of The World. And, we are His children.
There is goodness waiting for you — right here, right now. Bad becomes good in light of God’s mercy and grace.
Glory to God!
Friends, during this time that can feel scary, panicked or stressful, I am doing more videos on Facebook and on Instagram. Come join me there, as I pray and share God’s Word to encourage your heart.
It’s as if God sat me down, to say, “Kelly, you, sit and wait. Wait for me, for your breakthrough. Wait for me, for your answers. Wait for me, and I will do it.”
Many of us are seated this way, waiting. Be it for a job, an answer, a child that needs saving, a financial saving, a mental-healing or whatever, God has us sitting down. Sitting there and — waiting.
You may be saying, “For what? For what God am I waiting?” You may feel like you are twiddling your thumbs or counting dust particles in the sky. Or, that you are being a bad child for not moving. Or, that there is some sort of sin-problem you have.
On the contrary, God does not shame waiters, He blesses them.
“Surely none who wait for You will be put to shame…” (Ps. 25:3)
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Is. 40:31 KJV)
God has for those who wait-well, new strength. He has for those who believe in His calling to trust, new heights. He has for those who are searching, a new walk. A running into what is ahead.
Boring-ole waiting and hoping is strength-renewing, when we see how it is all part and process of God’s faith-building and doing.
You are not wasting away in waiting, you are becoming a warrior, a special vessel who knows how to trust in the Lord, even in the hardest of times. Stay encouraged. Stay near to God’s heart. Stay active in His Word.
Waiting is not doing nothing; it is staying activated in Christ Jesus. It is believing He has a good plan, anyway. It is loving others, on full-throttle, knowing: God will do it! Jesus will come! God has your way! If not today, on the very best day — He will certainly come!
I was afraid. The second I saw the picture of my kids, fear climbed up my arm. Undoubtedly, it wanted to go straight into my heart.
They did what!? They know I hate it when they wear public hats.
Friends, I admit: I fear my kids getting lice. I know what it entails. Growing up the oldest of 6 kids meant we got lice more than a time or two. I remember the itching. I remember the endless washing and boiling of brushes and laundry. I remember covering of furniture and the constant search up the nape of my neck.
Frankly, to return home from a weekend trip to see my kids pictured with the hat that every-kid-at-the-city-museum put on– did. not. bring. me. comfort. Instead, I was — provoked to nervousness.
The more I stared at the photograph, the more I knew: I stood at a crossroad. What would I do? Where would I head?
I could worry, and wander from God.
Or, I could cast my care on Him, allow Him to care forme and discover — how He cares for me.
“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” (Phil. 4:6-7 MSG)
Far too often, I worry away God’s wonderful care. But, when I pray I get to stay under God’s providential care. I find His help.
With the hair-issue, to fend off worry, I made a decisive choice to:
ONE. Not panic. I remembered God’s truth.
TWO. Pray over both my kid’s heads.
THREE. Stop looking at that photograph.
FOUR. Return to prayer anytime my mind wanted to return to the issue.
FIVE. To (physically and emotionally) let this issue go, into God’s hands.
You can do the same. Just because fear announces, “I am here”, doesn’t mean you have to pay attention to it. Just because Corona Virus is all-up in your face, doesn’t mean you have to live shackled to the news, or your hand-sanitizer. Just because you figure horrible is going to happen, doesn’t mean that it is. God is greater. Nothing halts His care.
God is up to wonderful things. Give Him a space and a place to work, clear your table of worry and begin to behold His wonder.
I let it that photograph — go. Later that night, I hugged my kids with their hair all tangled up in mine. I laid down on what could have been “infected” pillows, without concern. I spent time with God, without wandering off to a hat or a kid’s head of hair in my mind. I stayed with God.
The social media image said, “You get what you tolerate.”
I paused from scrolling for a second to ask myself questions: What have I been tolerating? Putting up with? Grinning, and bearing?
Scripture doesn’t say, “Tolerate the enemy.” It says, submit to God. Resist the enemy and he’ll flee. (Ja. 4:7)
Never once, did Jesus meet a person and say, “Oh, so you are struggling with sin? That’s okay. Not a big deal; grin and bear it.” Neither did He say, “So, you are feeling attacked? Just keep going, pretend that what you’re facing is not there and hang out with it for a while.”
No. We DO NOT tolerate attacks, bondage, lies or defeat. We do not give room for lesser things to overrule God’s great truth. We shut annoyances up and shut them down. Immediately, in the name of Jesus!!!
Never, ever, should we permit lesser lies to overrule our prominent position in Christ Jesus. We are dead to sin and alive to Christ! We do walk with a new nature! Nothing can take away what Christ has done for us…unless we allow our mind to agree with falsehoods. Or, we decide to ignorantly walk in sin.
With this, we must allow nothing to steal our identity in Christ Jesus.
Instead, we can choose to adamantly, radically, and furiously block lies, attacks, offenses, unforgiveness, bitterness, rejection and self-pity from redefining who we are. From morphing us into something or someone we are not.
To do this, we must disallow anything from putting separation between us and our first love.
“Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.” (1 Jo. 5:21)
Because we are children of God.
Because we are eternally loved.
Because we are chosen.
Because we are called.
Because we are wanted.
Forever. And ever. And ever. And ever, more.
We are not slaves to fear. We are not defeated foes. We are not forgotten. We are not working to gain back ground. Or, trying to work around an angry father. We are not made to shirk or shrink back. We are not defined by the past. Or the sum of what others have said about us.
We are children. We have a dad who loves us. Who chose us. Who wants us. We have a Savior who died for us. A great path ahead of us. Nothing can stop us, in Christ Jesus.
Cast off whatever is entangling you. The enemy is a liar.
They were little lights, with huge impact. My son pointed them out as we drove my mom to the airport. Lined, all the way down the road were little matchstick lights strategically placed so airplanes wouldn’t mistake our road for a runway.
“Mommy.” He said, “But, how will airplanes ever see them?”
“Oh, they will,” I said. “Even the smallest light shines in the darkness.”
The catastrophic is thwarted by light. The airplanes will know their way because of this light. The light will give way to sight that will set people on the right-path.
Just a small light that many passer-byers don’t even notice.
Light in the darkness is massive. And, the light of Christ is here, today. It is effective to save, to heal and to empower. It is greater than anything you face. It doesn’t have to be a spotlight to be life-changing, it may look small, worn or faltering.
This doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter how dim your family looks, how dire the world around you appears, how desolate your heart feels today, how dark your outlook has become. He who knows no darkness, casts out darkness as you trust His light to save. No power of hell, no scheme of man, no work of an enemy, no condition or malady that can stop the strength of light from going out to accomplishing its saving work.
What do you face today?
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5
What mindset tries to tell you that your future will stay dark?
“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” John 12:46
What thing have you been trying to fix on your own?
“For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness.” Psalm 18:28
Flesh is darkness; Spirit brings light, and life.
Today, I ask the Light of the World, to open your eyes up to His wondrous light, to His glorious plan and to His incredible breakthrough power. I ask that you would walk by faith and not by sight, as you trust His light to open a path before you. I ask that you rest in the arms of your, Savior. Your light has come. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
I saw the other author from afar. Sure, conference attendees were blocking her, but I knew it was her, so I approached to say ‘Hi’.
Sitting down right next to her, I smiled. She stared back tentatively. I waited for her to recognize me (we are after all in a similar circle with similar friends). Yet, her face was blank.
“Hey there, it’s so great to see you,” I proclaimed. She muttered back a one-word answer.
Perplexed, I asked her, “Hey ___, don’t you know me? I’m Kelly Balarie. I am an author too.”
She answered, “Nope, I don’t know you. I’ve never heard your name.”
She what?!!! Bricks hit my chest. My chest hit the floor. I sat like an exposed duck full of embarrassment.
What a fool I am to think I’d be “known”.
I’m so full of pride. I should have known better to think someone would “know my name”. It was so arrogant of me pre-suppose I’d be recognized.
Here, it was as if every childhood diss hit me afresh. Me – the girl sitting alone on the curb at recess. Me – the one made fun of because of my big nose. Me – the one the cool girls walked away from. Kelly? Huh? Who is she? We don’t know her name.
I want to blame all them. As if they’re the reason I want to be wanted and I need to be needed.
They’re why I cry out for attention.
But are they?
Growing up, I was the oldest of six kids, a mom on some days, a daytime babysitter on others, a back-up disciplinarian, a school-supply checker, a number amongst other important numbers…but, at the center of all this – I always wanted to be seen, known, wanted, valuable.
Is this wrong?
To want to be wanted? Do you feel this way too? Perhaps you want your husband to talk to you more. Perhaps you want that boss to finally give you the promotion you deserve. Or you want to be recognized for the friend you really are. Or as the sister who is super patient and forgiving
I don’t think God hates our desire to be seen, as much as we detach from it and call it “icky pride”. I don’t think He’s as embarrassed by our desire to be wanted as we are. I don’t think He shames us because we want to be known.
Because God fulfills each and every one of these desires – in us.
The question is are we looking to Him or to man for this infilling?
For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. (Gal. 1:10)
7 Truths that Show How Much God Sees & Knows You:
God “Knows the plans He has for us.” (Jer. 29:11)
He calls us “children of God; and so we are.” (1 Jo. 3:1)
He creates us as His “worksmanship”, a beautiful work reflecting His glory. (Eph. 2:10)
God looks at us and sees Christ in us. (Ro. 8:10)
God wants us; He gave his most precious possession for us. (Jo. 3:16)
Our names are written on the palm of His hands, our hairs are counted and our words are known before they’re even spoken. (Is. 49:16, Lu. 12:7, Ps. 139:4)
He loves us first – before ever loved Him. (1 Jo. 4:19)
Do you feel alone? Disappointed? Are you struggling? It is not too late to get the Journey Together All Access Pass, full of 40+ how-to videos from authors and women’s ministers – click here for more information: www.journeytogethersummit.com
I am sending this out right now because I felt, after prayer, that someone needs these prayers to help them where they are right now. Someone is in a struggle and does not know what to do. Someone can’t see from here to where they hope God will take them. Someone is crying. Someone has hands in their head right now. Someone doesn’t believe they can make it through.
Let me assure you of some things:
Every prayer you pray counts.
Every prayer you pray is heard.
Every prayer you pray is powerful.
Every prayer you pray is handled by God.
Every prayer you pray moves the needle in your life.
Do not doubt. Believe and pray. God has something special for you in this day. This is why this email is going out at a random hour on a random day. Receive this message from Him to you. Circle the prayers that will help you.
Rescuing God is coming to rescue some of you right now. Some big prayers will be answered. I trust Him to save you.
Here are 12 Power-Prayers Sourced from Paul:
“God, I thank you for others. Even when I can’t understand them, I want to love them. Help me be uniter not a divider.“
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:3–6)
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you. (Romans 1:8–10)
For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. (Eph. 1:15)
We have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord. (Col. 1: 9-10)
We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 1:2–3)
We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing. Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. . . . (2 Thessalonians 1:3)
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:5-6)
May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus. (2 Timothy 1:16-18)
2. “God, may all come into a loving, knowing and abiding relationship with you.”
Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. (Romans 10:1)
I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints. (Philemon 5–7)
3. “God, fill me with your goodness. Through this, may your name be glorified.”
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:12)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:6-7)
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. (Ephesians 215–23)
For this reason, I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-21)
May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones. (1 Thess. 3:13)
With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thess. 1:11-12)
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. (2 Thessalonians 3:16)
4. “May the power of Jesus Christ continually fill me with joy, grace, peace and hope, in believing, by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. (1 Corinthians 16:23)
We have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. [Colossians 1:9–14]
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)
5. “May my heart continually pursue you. May I hear, understand and uncover all you have to say to me through your Word and in prayer. Give me the words and wisdom I so desperatly need.”
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. (Colossians 4:2-4)
I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. Pray that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea and that my service in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints there, so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and together with you be refreshed. The God of peace be with you all. Amen. (Romans 15:30-33)
Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. (Ephesians 6:19-20)
6. “God, you are the fullness of all I desire, want, hope for and need. Come and be my everything.”
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. (2 Corinthians 1:3-7)
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. . . . (Ephesians 1:3)
7. “I lack no good thing, Father God. Thank you for everything.”
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task? (2 Corinthians 2:14-16)
I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way— in all your speaking and in all your knowledge—because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful. (1 Corinthians 1:4-9)
This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has give you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:12-15)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:6-7)
8. “God, as Healer, please heal me. I trust you will complete the good work you’ve begun.”
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take (thorn in flesh) away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12: 8-9)
9. Father, mold me, make me and fashion me into your likeness. May I not hate the process you have, but delight in the journey of doing it with you.”
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. [Philippians 1:9–11
Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong. Not that people will see that we have stood the test but that you will do what is right even though we may seem to have failed. For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong; and our prayer is for your perfection. [2 Corinthians 13:7–9]
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it. [1 Thessalonians 5:23–24]
10. “God, may I come to know, trust and understand what your grace is.”
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. [Galatians 6:18]
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen. [Philippians 4:23]
11. “May you protect me and those I love. Strengthen us too.”
And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith. But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command. May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance. [2 Thessalonians 3:2–5]
12. “God, you are the giver and all you give to me is good. I thank you.“
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. [1 Timothy 1:12]
What if your power to move ahead, was in stepping back? What is not pressing ahead, but sitting out?
I recently heard a story that captured me. A group of All-star basketball players went to meet an elite coach. His instruction was that they step back; he wanted to re-structure their basketball shot. The mechanics and technique of their shooting arm needed to be entirely reworked to take them to the pro level. For this change to happen, they’d have to go back to the drawing board for 3 months. They’d need to essentially sit it out on the sidelines as they learned a new way.
The sad part was many of the players couldn’t, or wouldn’t do this. They wouldn’t listen to the coach. They didn’t want to lose thier all-star status.
Yet, what they didn’t realize was to compete on the next big stage, they needed this new skill. The coach knew: refinement was required.
A rich man essentially said to Jesus, “I’ve followed your commands. Now, Jesus, what do I still lack?”
Jesus replied, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Mt. 19:21)
To get ahead, we sometimes have to go back.
To follow, we sometimes have to give away.
To move forward, we must release.
To meet with God, we relinquish other important things even if it appears we will be set back, halted or we will lose out.
I don’t like moving backward. In fact, I believe so much in the message God wrote in the book, Battle Ready, these days, I want to keep working harder to make sure every person in need gets a copy. I believe in the transformation I am seeing happening in people’s lives. I see how mindsets are being renewed. I want to push, push, push…and get Jesus’ message out far and wide.
Yet, still, God whispers: Kelly, rest. Trust me (even if it feels like you are moving backward). Surrender.
To not strive, to not push, to not do anything….feels like I’ll lose what God is giving me. It feels like I’ll fail. It makes me feel nervous.
But, God never leaves us behind. Surrender never counts us “out.”
The truth is we only follow Jesus, when we follow him. We only can go where He is going, when we obey. It’s not easy to follow with the world on our shoulders. Nor can we follow when we clench our history and won’t let go of it. Following doesn’t look like demanding results.
Today, if it looks like you are moving backward, be encouraged. Christ did not bring you this far to drop you on your face, to leave you behind, to fail you, to discourage you or to hurt you. He brought you to this place to love you, to equip you, to ready you, to prepare you and to be with you.
Time spent reworking your life is not a waste. Time spent with kids is not idle. Time spent praying is not inconsequential. Time spent seeking answers is not useless. Time spent sitting at Jesus’ feet is not without merit.
Move backward and see Jesus change the trajectory of everything as you move forward. God is good and He truly does have goodness for you.
Women who are battle ready know this – and live it.
BLOGGERS, 4 Winners will receive (in order of votes):
1. A 15-minute Literary Agent Meeting with Amanda Luedeke from MacGregor Literary. (2 People)
2. A 15-minute Publishing Appointment with Baker Books editor, Rebekah Guzman. (1 Person)
3. A 15-minute blogging, writing, life-coaching or platform consultation with Kelly Balarie (1 Person)