Purposeful Faith

Where You Can Hide When You’re Afraid

Frankly, all I could muster out of my mouth this time was, “God, be my defender.”

The attack was ferocious. The verbal assault, intense. The end of it, not in sight. There was no place to hide.

My insides cried out… How will I make it? I have no strength. I can’t even muster words to pray.

The only place I could land was a nonverbal statement that somehow became a silent prayer: “Kelly, be still and know that He is God.” (Ps. 46:10)

I took a deep breath and exhaled the battle. God would have to fight it now.

Dear friends, did you know? Sometimes – at the end of ourselves, at the end of our lives, or at the end of our rope – a prayer can be a single scripture, owned. When there are no words, prayer hides out under a scriptural truth until it becomes and overcomes us.

“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)

God’s Word is a place in which we can hide. When no words are left, when all looks impossible, when the battle is raging, when nothing is working – God’s Word always works. When the world is folding in on us, when people are accusing, when the rug is pulled out from under us – there is powerful hiding we can find, in scripture residing in us.

Yet, if we don’t have it there, we can’t hide in that cleft of the rock. God’s Word is not only truth; it is a hiding place for the weary.

Do you have scripture residing in you? You know, if you are not in a battle today, there’s likely one coming at you tomorrow. Are you ready? Prepared to stand firm? Do you have oil prepared and stored?

To memorize the Word is to never lose it – even if physical bibles were someday taken away.

To dive into Jesus’ heart, is to know it – even if everyone else’s heart is turned against.
To become the Word is to know the Word – even if words of hurt surround.

To understand the ways of God, is to know the paths of God – even if confusion mounts on every side.

My friends, now more than ever, we must not only have scripture in our minds, but we must own it in our hearts. For there, it cannot be stolen, but it is greatly seen by God.

“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Sam. 16:7)

God looks upon our heart. How do we connect our heart with God’s? How do we strengthen our heart? How do we love what God loves? How do we keep focus on His Word?

The more we seek Him the more we find Him.

Prayer:
Father, let us seek you and find you. Let us know your Word as our words. Let us be strong in the power of  your might so we can stand any test of these times. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
An Invite for You:

If I know anything, I know the power to persevere, to love God and to keep hope — comes through God’s Word, which is why I want to invite you to my latest workshop: “Understanding and Loving God’s Word”.

Here, you will learn how to:
– Find and make time to read the bible.
–  Learn how to keep focus.
– Connect deeply with Scripture, to understand God’s heart of the matter.
– Activate scriptural truth so it changes you from the inside-out.
– Bring bible stories to life.
– Use scripture to become a powerful prayer warrior.
– Cultivate a hunger for God’s Word.
– Dig deeper into Hebrew and Greek meanings, to gain greater insight.
– Encounter God’s heart for you.

This workshop is $30.*

Join me on Tuesday, June 18 at 6:00 p.m. ET via Zoom (the event will also be recorded).

Bring your bible, a journal, and expect to grow in love with God’s Word. Register today.

Subscribe for all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.
* The charge for this event covers the costs it takes to run this encouraging ministry. If you feel led to donate more to this ministry, please let me know.

The Power of God’s Word

People say, “You can read the Word or you can allow the Word to read you.”

Back in the day, I used to read the Word of God because that’s just what Christians do. I knew Christians should get up and read the bible. I wanted to be a good Christian. So, some days I did my part and was close to God. Other days, I missed out and felt guilty.

Frankly, getting into the Word was hard. I didn’t always connect to the stories. I didn’t always understand. My attention span was not high.

But now I know — the Word of God is more than reading words. To read the Word is to let the Word of God read you (meaning: to let it discern the motives of your heart, the intentions of your will, and the perceptions of your soul). To know the Word is to allow the Word to create newness: new ways of seeing, new habits, new outlooks and new worlds, just as it did in Genesis.

“The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” (Gen. 1:2-3)

God’s Word creates life. Everything is made by Him and through Him.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (Jo. 1:1-3 KJV)

We need the Word of God. Nothing is made without Him and His Word.

“He (Jesus) is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power…” (Heb. 1:3)

The Word of God keeps what it has made. It does so by His power. Without His Word, things are not made (see: Jo. 1:3).

Do you see how powerful the Word, the very words of God are — to form and create newness in our lives?

The Word of God is powerful. It is powerful to effect change. It is the Sword of the Spirit in our pocket. It is the power of God, released!

Yet, not all understand the Word of God. Not all hear what the Spirit is saying. This is why Jesus repeatedly says in Scripture, “Whoever has ears, let them hear.” (Mt. 11:15) There is a hearing of what God is saying, doing and how God is moving.

“He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.” (Rev. 19:13)

Think of this: the world came into existence by His Word, it stays together by His Word and Jesus will come again, as the Word. WOW!

It is more important than ever that we dive into the Word to understand it and to own it in our lives!

This is why I feel an immense importance to teach a workshop on how to engage with God’s Word. In this day and age, a day of deception and confusion, it is more important than ever that we understand what God is saying.

Join me for the workshop, “Understanding and Loving God’s Word”,
where you will learn how to:

–  Connect deeply with Scripture, to understand God’s heart of the matter.
– Activate scriptural truth in your life, to be set free.
– Bring bible stories to life.
– Use scripture to become a powerful prayer warrior.
– Defeat depression, discouragement and disillusion.
– Cultivate a hunger for God’s Word that sets you on fire with love for your Maker.
– Dig deeper into Hebrew and Greek meanings, to truly gain insight as to what God is saying.
– Encounter God’s heart for you.

This workshop is $30.

Join me on Tuesday, June 18  at 6:00 ET  via Zoom (the event will also be recorded). Bring your bible, a journal and expect to grow in love with God’s Word. Register today.

The charge for this event, covers the costs it takes to run this encouraging ministry. If you feel led to donate more to this ministry, please let me know.

Subscribe for all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.


Never Let this 1 Thing Rule your Life

One of the greatest lessons I learned, while writing the book, “Take Every Thought Captive” is: feelings are great indicators, but lousy masters.

There is only one Master, Father God. There is only one truth, The Word of God. There is only one guide to our life, Holy Spirit. There is only one Savior, Jesus Christ.

Feelings often overexert as masters, dictating how we respond. The “master of feelings” tells us to find our own solutions, come to our own answers, and handle it quickly…

Kelly, you need to fix the stressful situation…search the internet.
Kelly, jump in and make sure everyone is okay…speak up.
Kelly, you need to handle your fear by getting to the bottom of things.

As a result, we move to fast action, quick responses, or with human reasoning, when Father God may be saying, “Be Still. Wait on me. Pray.”

Paul told the Corinthian church, “I may have to be very bold with those who think we act from purely human motives.” (2 Cor. 10:2). He went on to say, “The trouble with you is you make your decision based on appearance.” (2 Cor. 10:7)

How often do we do the same thing? We feel a thing so we do a thing… We think a thing so we react to something… We realize a thing and feel the burden to handle everything.

Do we consult God on what His Word has to say?
Do we pray and find God’s way?
Do we seek and seek again, trusting to find?

Eph. 5:17 is one of my favorite verses: “Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.”

Waiting on the Lord can feel like sitting around and doing nothing. But, while we are still, He is fighting for us. While we are waiting on Him, He may be working on others. While we are trusting Him, He is giving us the wisdom to walk on the straight path, rather than the windy one.

No situation is hopeless or helpless.

“There is surely a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.” (Prov. 23:18)

I guess it comes down to—will we really believe Him to work in the absence of our fast-moving work?

Prayer: Father, I acknowledge before you that I am quick to act and to react. Father, I ask for your grace to pause, to ask, to seek, and to knock. I ask that you would open new doors, and ways, and means up to me as I do so. Give me such a grace on my life to seek wisdom before I speak quick solutions. Give me power to ask you, before I go by my natural mind. I want to be wise, discerning, understanding, and knowledgeable about your ways. Grow me in them. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Subscribe for all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.


Triumph in Christ May Look Different Than We Think

love

“But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, “Why are you loosing the colt?”

And they said, “The Lord has need of him.”  Then they brought him to Jesus. And they threw their own clothes on the colt, and they set Jesus on him. And as He went, many spread their clothes on the road.

Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, 38 saying:

“‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.”
But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”

(Lu. 19:33-40)

The title of this section of scripture in the bible is called: “The Triumphal Entry of Jesus”.

This is odd, right?

Triumph is Jesus riding in on a colt? Shouldn’t He be on a chariot or a throne?

Triumph is clothes laid on top of a colt as a saddle? Shouldn’t He have a saddle of gold?

Triumph is Jesus walking on clothes down a road? Shouldn’t He walk on a red carpet?

Triumph is being questioned by religious leaders? Shouldn’t they know His heart?

Friends, triumph in the kingdom of God looks nothing like the ways of the world.

Jesus is most triumphant when He is most triumphed in our heart!

“… the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying:

“ ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!””

This is triumph! Triumph first happens in our hearts and outlooks before it ever happens in our surroundings or circumstances.

The King of Kings is realized, before us! The Lord of Lords is honored, even in the laying of measly clothes on dirty ground! The Name of the Lord is adored, even as He rides in on measly low-level colt.

My friends, the triumph of God in our lives looks far different than the triumph the world demands and expects.

Don’t ever let that throw you off…. Don’t ever let the worlds ideas of triumph confuse you…

God doesn’t need you to donate large sums of money and to have your name on a plaque to be honored; He just needs your heart. God doesn’t need millions of dollars in order to do some huge worldwide thing; He just needs your small alabastar jar. God doesn’t need you to be a well-known speaker with a hundred-million followers; He just wants a willing vessel ready to talk to the one.

God doesn’t size you up based how many bible verses you have memorized; He loves your heart of adoration.

You can be triumphing, in Christ, and look horrible to everyone else.

You can be triumphing, in Christ, and have the worst clothes ever.

You can be triumphing, in Christ, and look like an idiot and a fool to those around you.

You can be triumphing, in Christ, and be as poor as dirt.

You can be triumphing, in Christ, and be completely misunderstood.

Do not judge triumph by the standards of the world or the standards of the world will yell at you like that Pharisee did. It’ll yell: “Hey, is that God really worthy of being followed?”

Oh, yes He is! Because the triumph of God is different than the ways of the world!

“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us [a]diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things?” (2 Cor. 14-16, NKJV)

Prayer: Father God, I thank you for every single thing you are doing in my life. I thank you that you are my everything, my all-in-all, my Redeemer. I thank you that you are Faithful and True. I thank you that triumph in you looks different than the world. I thank you that you are reigning in all these things. I pray that people can see you in me. I pray that my life would be a living testimony to your goodness. I pray that all my actions, my words and intents would be like a fragrant aroma unto your throne. I thank you that triumph is being fully committed to you. I am committed and will never turn back. Thank you for that. Continue to give me strength to stand firm and to stand strong in you. IN Jesus’ name. Amen.

Subscribe for all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.


The Power of Resurrection

reconstruction zone

Behind every dark cloud still remains — the sun.
Below the depths of the earth — are diamonds formed with pressure.
Blooming at the first gleam of day — are flowers springing open.

Beyond what is seen, God is working in the unseen. Behind darkness is the power of the light of day! It isn’t just coming; it is here!

Although the wait, on some days, is long and agonizing… Although it seems we live a thousand Holy Saturdays wondering if Sunday will come… Although there appears to be no light of hope beyond the dark clouds…  Always remember: Good Friday gives way to Resurrection Sunday.

Could you imagine how the disciples felt on Holy Saturday? They may have thought, “Nothing is happening now. What is going on? And, what happened to the One we put all our trust in? We gave this man everything and now He is dead? What are we supposed to do with our lives?”

The situation appeared bleak. They may have felt out of control. Maybe they remembered how they  deserted Jesus before His death.

“Then all his disciples deserted him and ran away.” (Mk. 14:50)

They messed up.

Likely, though, they thought little of the great purpose behind Holy Saturday and its tee-up power for Resurrection Sunday! The darkness of Saturday would give-way to glorious Sunday!

That’s what the Light of the World does…

There is no tomb that the light of Christ can’t touch.
There is no darkness that the Son is not behind.
There is no pressure of Earth that God is not working in.

Take hope! Christ has overcome the world; He has saved us for eternity; He has conquered sin and death; He has defeated all darkness; He has made a way where there is no way; He has makes all things new — including you!

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (Jo. 16:33)

Prayer: Father, thank you for sending your Son. We are eternally grateful. We are honored to know, love, serve and to receive Jesus. We thank you that there is always hope. We thank you that there is always the light of day. We thank you for your Son. May we love Him more and more. May we know Him more and more. May we be like Him in all ways. In Jesus’ Name.

Friends, today is my birthday!!! I am an April fool! As a birthday gift, will you pray this prayer (Gal. 2:20) for me?

“Father, I pray that Kelly will be 100% “crucified with Christ (so that she) no longer live(s), but Christ lives in her (and from her).  (I pray) the life (she) now lives in the body, (that she will) live by (complete) faith in the Son of God, who love(s) (her) and gave himself for (her).” With this,  I pray that Kelly will, not by her power or might, but by the Spirit of God will be 100% completely given over. I pray that all she thinks, hears, does and says will be Jesus. I pray her every move will be submitted to the fullness of Jesus. I pray that she does the great works that Jesus did. And, I pray that her whole life, in every way, will be so overcome by Him that she overflows with Him in all things. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

P.S. *If you want to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, please reply to this email and let me know. I would like to encourage you and help you in receiving Him.

Subscribe for all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.


Are You Suffering Alone?

Are you suffering alone?

A moment ago, I wiped a tear from my eye. Dear friends, it feels like I suffer alone today.

Maybe some of you, like me, suffer alone today. Maybe you suffer alone because you desperately hope a family member will change, but day after day they do not change. Maybe you suffer alone because you are always lonely. Maybe you suffer alone because your spouse is physically or emotionally missing. Maybe you suffer alone because your BIG hope only belongs to you and you alone; no one understands how you could believe that way. Maybe you suffer alone because no one can relate to that immense pain you feel.

There you are, alone. Like Jesus…

In the garden, Jesus told the disciples, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”
Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, “My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away[f] unless I drink it, your will be done.” When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open.” (Mt. 26:37-43)
Jesus requested that his disciples enter in to this moment with Him. He wanted them to be present with Him. He requested their prayer. He wanted His friends to watch.

Yet, they fell asleep and Jesus was left all alone.

My friend, if this is you, I want to encourage you: Jesus understands. He knows what it is to walk through the garden of agony without a present friend in sight. He knows what it is to pray from depths that most souls can’t call out from. He knows what it’s like to feel all alone in an hour of need.

And make no mistake, from that heart of compassion, Jesus is there for you today.

He empathizes with your plight:
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses…” (Heb. 4:15)

He has compassion for the harassed, helpless, and Shepherdless:
“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Mt. 9:36)*

He does not leave you, but keeps tabs on your every way:
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. (Ps. 139:3)

Man may have left you, but Jesus has not. God is with you. Holy Spirit is inside you. Although it may feel like it, you, my dear friend are never, ever alone.

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Ps. 23:4)

Prayer: Father, I thank you that you are familiar with my every way. I thank you that you know exactly what is happening in my life. I thank you that you fear nothing that I face. Because you have the whole world in your hands, certainly you can handle my problem. I call out to you today like Jesus did in the garden and I ask that the cup I face can pass. But even if it doesn’t right now, still I will praise your Holy Name! Worthy is the Lamb who never leaves me. Glory to the Name above all Names, who always helps me. Praise be to the King of Kings, who rules above all things. I know you are with me and have the very best plan in mind. I trust you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

*While this verse does seem to be directed to unbelievers, I believe, even as believers, we can feel Shepherdless at times. God has compassion not only for unbelievers, but also for His children.

P.S. Send me any prayer breakthroughs from last week (I have found a resource that is a God  -send!). God is most certainly on the move! Sometimes the oven has to heat up, before the bread comes out — fully baked. But, make no mistake, the Lord has heard our prayers and we will taste of His goodness and providence. Keep strong, my friends and trust in the Lord! I stand with you today in your wait for His great!

Subscribe for all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.


A Reviving Prayer for What Looks Dead

Have you ever put your whole heart, your valuable time, and heartfelt effort into something only to see it die right before you? Maybe you were sure that God called you to it… Maybe you trusted God all the way through it… Maybe you did your part in it…

…but, nonetheless, it died, flopped, and/or blew up in your face.

That can feel so confusing, can’t it? Disorienting. Disillusioning, for sure.

I should know. I went all out on a specific project, trusting God all the way, hoping when the going got tough, and praying in the morning. Yet the thing flopped like a pancake. Done. And, dead.

This morning, I sat down in my morning lounge chair considering the wreckage. It’s hard to understand.

What happened, God? I trusted You.

I sat there in silence. Bible testimonies popped in my mind. Lazarus was 4-days dead and gone. Jairus’ daughter died. Jesus himself was crucified.

Such hope. Dead and gone. I can only think of how everyone was freaking out at the natural sight of it all. No one likes to look at dead things.

But, even in death, there is always hope.

Lazarus was raised by Jesus. He said to Martha, “Did I not tell you if you believe you would see the glory of God?” (Jo. 11:40)

Jairus’ daughter was also raised by Jesus. He said, “Don’t be afraid, only believe and your daughter will be healed.” (Lu. 8:50)

Jesus died on the cross. For three days He was dead and gone in the tomb. Jesus said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.” (Lu. 9:22)

If it looks dead, friends, that doesn’t mean it is done. Jesus is Resurrection Life.

Jesus said to Martha, ““I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die…” (Jo. 11:25)

Friends, life may look different than you think.

You may lose a job and see a dead work life, only to find a new one where you abound with your new co-workers.

You may see a dead marriage, only to go to a weekend event that stokes marital revival in your house.

You may see a child who has given themself over to “the wages of sin is death”, yet God meets them right on time to lead them to Him.

Just as a plant requires good soil, water, or sun to grow, life can take many shapes and forms. It may come differently than expected.

But any way we slice it — Jesus IS The Resurrection and The Life. There is absolutely nothing He can’t raise up. There is not a soul He can’t redeem. There is not a situation that is marked completely untouchable by the finger of God.

There are a couple of situations in my life that need a radical miracle, my friends. You probably have those, too.

Where or how do you need a miracle? What do you want?

What if we were to ask, right here and right now, for one another? What if we call out to heaven on every reader’s behalf, believing Jesus is who He says He is?

Let’s Pray Now:
Father, virtually, I am holding hands with every reader of Purposeful Faith. Right now, as believers, as the body of Christ, united we stand in one mind and heart to ask for miracle-breakthroughs for not only our needs, but for every reader’s needs. Father, we ask you to move heaven and earth for our need of ____. Also, we ask you to answer the miracle prayer request needs of our brothers or sisters who are also praying via this blog post and raising up their requests before you. On one accord, we ask you to come with resurrection-life power and to swiftly answer our prayers via this blog post today. We are one body in Christ. We trust you. We are expectant of what you will do. We thank you for the powerful unity, and for the peace that comes through thanksgiving, supplication, and in making our requests known to you. We receive that peace right now and thank you, for it guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Friends, please share your testimony from this prayer by emailing me. I am expectant that we will have a bunch of answered prayers. God hears our prayers. Our prayers work. They are powerful. Please reply to this email and tell me about your breakthrough. With so many praying for each other, I am SO expectant.

Subscribe for all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

 


Are You Waiting on God?

The text read: “When you get off the plane there will be a cheering committee waiting for you!”

Wow, now that’s a thought, and quite a picture, for that matter. I wish there was a cheering committee everywhere I went. Wouldn’t that be fun?

I knew, though, this was a unique time. I was the last one to arrive to a specific city amongst a group of other women who got there earlier. They were waiting for me. My plane arrived an hour or so later. When I got there, we would all jet off in a rental car. It was kind of them to wait for me. They didn’t have to. I could have ridden solo.

But they did. Their waiting honored me. It valued me. It showed me they trusted that my plane would arrive and that we would all absolutely make our way, together.

Waiting, in large part, is trusting. It is faith that says: this person is coming. And I trust them to do that.

When we wait on God, we trust Him. When we say He will show up even though His timing feels a day past due, we honor Him. When we say, absolutely He will arrive, we value His character of faithfulness.

There is only one thing God can be: faithful.

He may show up in a different way than we think. Just as I may show up and look different than these new friends expected – or I may have to make them wait a little more at the luggage carousel – sometimes God shows up differently.

He is the Maker of Heaven and Earth; He has every right to do this.

Either way, we can bank on this: His plan is the absolute best for us!

What would it look like for us to wait with joy? With anticipation? With thankfulness?

Indeed, God is coming! Always, Jesus shows up! Victory can’t be taken from Him!

“Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength.” (Isa 40:31)

This verse is true because while waiting feels excruciating, the joy of His coming is exhilarating.

“Take heart! Christ has overcome the world!” (Jo 16:33) He not only has the whole world in His hands, but also what you are waiting for!

Prayer: Father, you have a good plan for me. Your timing is perfect. I ask you to give me the strength to wait and to trust you. I ask that I can wait in a way where I am full of joy, praise and hope. I want to honor you with all my heart, mind, and soul. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Subscribe for all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.


What Makes All the Difference

“Shh…” is what my insides wanted to yell to the kids upstairs. The last thing I wanted was for them to mess up my friend’s husband’s Zoom call. He needed quiet.

So, we shuttled the kids downstairs.

Before long, the hour passed and the man — done with his video that was conducted one flight above the absolute ball the kids were having downstairs — said he was leaving the house.

Oh no. Did we wreck his call? Were we too loud?

“Bye,” my friend atold him as he headed out the door, adding something like, “I’m glad your Zoom call is done.”

He laughed an odd laugh.

And at this point, I was sure we’d ruined his call. Ugh. That they would never want to have us over again. That he was upset.

Looking at my friend, I asked, “Is he upset?”

“No, he is not upset at all. He just laughs about doing these calls at home.”

I was completely misguided in my interpretation of his laugh. But she understood him because she knew him.

Knowing someone makes all the difference in understanding them. It also gives context as to what the person is doing. Whereas I thought my friend’s husband was leaving because he was upset; he was fine. Without the intimacy of relationship, the moves another makes can be misinterpreted.

How often do we misinterpret God’s intent? How often do we figure God is out to harm us when He is really out to help us?

There is power in regularly praying this prayer over ourselves:

“. . . And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Eph. 3:17-19 NIV)

When we know God’s ways intimately, we better understand God’s heart. When we know God’s love, we understand how He is leading us into a fullness in this world, rather than destitute barrenness. When we know God cares, suddenly we don’t feel so alone.

Ask to know God more, because to know God deeply, is to trust Him all the more.

Let’s pray:
Father God, I pray that we, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and that we will know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Eph. 3:17-19 NIV) For you are Love. Help us to know you as love, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Subscribe for all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

 


Don’t Look Back

I misunderstood a person. I condemned someone because I believed a lie. I botched a good relationship. I judged motives and removed relationships. I made rash decisions along the way.

Sometimes, I am sad when I look back. Are you?

There is a horrible thing that happens when people look back. Remember the story of Lot…

God was going to utterly destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because of their wickedness…

“At dawn the next day, the angels hurried Lot and his family out of Sodom so they would not be destroyed with the city. When Lot hesitated, “the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the LORD was merciful to them. As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, ‘Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!’” (Genesis 19:15–17).

As the family fled, “the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the Lord out of the heavens” (Genesis 19:24). But, then, in disobedience to the angel’s command, “…Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt” (verse 26).

Looking back destroys us.

Jesus, later, instructed the disciples, “Remember Lot’s wife!” (Luke 17:32).

Looking back hinders going forward.

Looking back is like trying to continually run through a high-voltage fence; you think you can bust through to fix what was, but you get jolted, every time by the agony of everything you cannot change.

How can you stay with God in the present moment when you run back to — what was, what should have been, and what you/they didn’t do right? How can you be at peace when you keep looking at what mistakes happened there? How can you walk in hope when the past keeps convicting you? Or, because of it you blame and convict God?

Don’t look back.

Looking back makes us callous; focusing on God makes us soft.

Looking back breeds negativity; looking ahead with hope builds expectancy.

Looking back decreases hope, joy, and life; staying with God builds relationship.

Where have you been living? Your mind cannot live in two places at once.

God does have good for you in the land in which you are living. No season lasts for a lifetime. No rains continue forever. Rest assured, the new land you are going to may be different, but God will be there.

You don’t have to look back because, with God, your future is bright.

Prayer: Father, thank you that you love me, you have good for me, and you are leading me by your Holy Spirit. Give me the grace right now not to look back. I don’t want to be discouraged, downcast, or defeated anymore. Help me to stay with you. Thank you that I am receiving and believing right now the new grace to do a new thing. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Subscribe for all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.


Sign up for Purposeful Faith blog posts by email!

I'll also send you "3 Ways to See More of God."

Enter your Email:

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Subscribe!