I’m thrilled to welcome my sweet friend Kelly Balarie to Grace and Graffiti. Kelly chose the post that would appear on this page, and as I opened the files and began to post them, I was overwhelmed by God’s goodness.
The sting is fresh. Last week I was criticized and it felt so personal. God knows I want to be brave, but deep in my heart, he also knows that I struggle with a desire to please people. Oh, thank you Father! You see the hearts of your children and you call us to be your servants; your burden is easy and your yoke is light.
Let Kelly’s words wash over you, friends. I am deep into her book and recommend that you gift yourself and a friend with a copy this beautiful Christmas season. Joy!
God told me to pray with all my heart. So, I did. I don’t think they liked it very much.
I think they had thoughts about it. Opinions. Perspectives. Perceptions.
What do you do when God prompts your heart, but man judges it? They may not say it. They may not whisper it. They may not even admit it, but somehow you know, under the cover of their Christian guise it brews. What do you do with that?
This is what I’ve been considering. Do I take care of man or do I take care to follow God’s lead?
There’s risk, big risk, in following God. Moving outside norms, beyond bounds or having an air of “different” can feel like a punishment waiting to happen. It can feel like you’re letting people down. It can feel like their charge over you marks you condemned.
Even more, the fear of being judged, ostracized or talked about behind your back – is real. It is really real. Even worse, in some cases, it is likely to happen. Add that to the enemy, who spits out ugly words, like: “Bad child, you are messing things up and stirring up problems,” and, at this point, you can be thrown into the sea of doubt, in a split-second.
Still, I want to do what is right by God, don’t you? I want to live for Him – first. I want to answer to Him – above all. I want to be like Christ – in every way.
God knows, I want to be brave. I think he sees my heart. So, like a gracious father, He leads me, his child, to truth; He brings me to these words:
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. Gal. 1:10
I can either with the approval of man. It’s fleeting and tiring.
Or, I can win the approval of God. It’s enduring and up building.
I can either please people. It’s short-lived and peace-depleting.
Or, I can serve Christ. It’s long-lasting and peace-giving.
What man gives today, is gone tomorrow. What you put in to satiating him, is eaten up by his desires for more – the next day. However, the will of God, does not waver. It does not grow old. It does not change course. It has a destination. There, lives joy, His glory and grand purpose.
Will we push into it? We can’t do it if we are sitting on man’s lap and eating up the delight of his face of approval. Jesus didn’t get a face of approval on the cross. His on-fire pursuit of doing God’s appeared nuts to man. It appeared worthy of their highest condemnation.
Still, Jesus didn’t change course. He stood fast to his belief in what his Father had called him to. He walked the road assigned to him, anyway.
What road do you need to walk anyway? What person’s demands do you need to release? What calling of love do you need to pursue?
Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. Jo. 12:26
About the book, Fear Fighting, Awakening the Courage to Overcome Your Fears:
Author and Speaker, Kelly Balarie didn’t always fight fear – for a large part of her life, she was controlled by it. Yet, in her book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears, with God, Kelly charts a new course. Join Kelly, on the journey to go and grow with Christ’s bravery, the Spirit’s counsel and God’s unending love that squelches fear. This book reads like a love letter from God, while offering practical heart-calming prayers, anxiety-reducing tips, and courage-building decrees that will transform your day.
About Kelly Balarie:
Kelly is both a Cheerleader of Faith and a Fighter of Fear. She leans on the power of God, rests on the shoulder of Christ, and discovers how to glow in the dark places of life. Get all Kelly’s blog posts by email or visit her on her blog, Purposeful Faith. You can also find a variety of resources for your fight against fear at http://www.fearfightingbook.com/.