(Kelly is the author of the new book Take Every Thought Captive, which is being released today!)
My Epic Fail at Taking Thoughts Captive (and my learnings)
I don’t know how to improve. Is God’s grace really for me – such a mess up? How could God ever save me when I’m acting like this? Will He really change me, or the situation I’ve found myself in?
Friends, yesterday I was so deep in a pit of stinking thinking, I could no longer see God’s faithfulness. It was bad. God seemed far. Self-condemnation was near. I was getting everything all wrong. I was thinking all wrong and I knew it. I’m a bad wife. I’m not loving my kids well. I haven’t made good decisions. I am letting people down. A heavy weight of sadness was trying to creep up on me. I could feel it calling my name. It wanted me to give up, ball up, and cry out in bed.
Ever been there?
I can’t say I handled everything right yesterday. In fact, I did horrible. And, for me, as an author of the book, “Take Every Thought Captive: Exchange Lies of the Enemy for the Mind of Christ,” it made me feel like a hyper-hypocrite.
Here I am presenting a book on how to stand firm in truth, and to be like Jesus and I am in a pit of despair. Ain’t one of us perfect. There by the grace of God, go I. All I know is – I stand hand-in-hand with you, as a fellow sinner, without Jesus.
This I know about me: Without God, there’s not much good to report.
Frankly, not one of us is going to think perfectly. Not one of us will be positive all the time. Not one of us will always believe the best about others, hope the best about our future, and love like a perfect little angel. What do we do in this place when, like Paul said, what we don’t want to do, we do?
Do we scream and give up? Do we fight like a wild woman? Do we numb ourselves?
Frankly, seeing the weight of our own mistake feels crushing – like French-pressed coffee – under the weight of everything being forced down on it.
There is only thing that gets us out; it is a key to taking thoughts captive. It is something we can’t just know cerebrally, but we must receive wholeheartedly. It must go past just being mental to being heart-transformational; then, we break prison bars open!
Do you know what I am talking about? It is a little 5-letter word that changes everything: grace (God’s equipping, empowering, and enabling free gift of help and restoration).
Not one, not ever, has saved themselves.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—9 not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9 NIV)
It is God’s undeserved, unwarranted, and unearned grace that is still working, still saving, still transforming, still making a way for us, on Earth as it is in Heaven. Yes, we are saved for eternity, but grace still has earthly application.
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:16 KJV)
When we receive God’s grace, we receive gain prison-bar-breaking freedom.
A mind receiving grace goes about thinking:
- My mess is big but God’s empowering grace – that sets me free – is bigger.
- I can’t change me, but His power to sanctify me and to change me is radical and working.
- Jesus saved me and, by grace, He still saves and helps those who come to Him in prayer.
- God’s grace is enough; His power is made perfect even in my weakness.
- God knows me, right where I am today. He still loves me and helps me.
- I am not lost or abandoned; I am wanted.
- All of God + none of me = a complete work of what He wants to do.
- The pressure is off.
Friends, I can’t say that I was the picture-perfect image of a biblical woman taking thoughts captive yesterday. Hardly! But I can say God’s grace is enough. It is working for me. It is helping me, even when I don’t feel worthy. It is teaching me, even when I feel like a lost cause. His grace is more powerful than my natural mind. And, in receiving, I trust in that!
Prayer: Father God, frankly, I don’t feel that great about me. I feel like I have let you down. I am sorry. Will you forgive me? Will you also give me all the grace and mercy I so desperately need? I don’t want to be just a hearer of your Word. I want to be a doer of it. I want to show love to others and myself. I want to be kind towards myself even when I falter. I want to see myself as holy and blameless because of the finished work of Jesus on the cross. God, help me to receive your grace and not to mark myself out because of what I see in the natural. I trust you. I ask for your grace and I receive it now. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
About the Book, “Take Every Thought Captive”
In Take Every Thought Captive: Exchange Lies of the Enemy for the Mind of Christ, author and speaker Kelly Balarie encourages readers to seize the power of God’s Word to not only profess truth, but possess it in their mind, heart, and actions.
Take Every Thought Captive helps readers:
· transform their minds and release the worries, burdens, and lies from the enemy
· pray through times of mental and emotional strife
· become warriors and fight for God’s plan and purpose
· use God’s Word proactively instead of living defensively and defeated
For prayers, scriptural encouragement and a Take Every Thought Captive Worksheet, visit: www.ITakeThoughtsCaptive.com
About Kelly Balarie
Get all of Kelly’s blog posts by email! Kelly Balarie, author (Battle Ready, Rest Now, Take Every Thought Captive), speaker, and blogger, delights in joining hands with women as they go through life’s ups and downs. To see God move to revive hearts, to restore relationships, and to bring hope to weary souls are highlight moments for Kelly. Beyond this, Kelly has led spiritual growth Bible study groups and has been seen on TODAY, The 700 Club, Crosswalk.com, iBelieve.com, and (in)courage. Her work has also been featured by Relevant and Today’s Christian Woman. She lives with her husband and two kiddos on the East Coast.