Quitting Spiritual Gymnastics

Quitting Spiritual Gymnastics

Please welcome Katie M. Reid to By His Grace this week. On the podcast, we discussed the struggle between Law vs. Grace. As a Martha type-A get it done kinda gal, Katie has had a life-long struggle with law vs. grace. After spending years of trying to earn her place with God, Katie learned to enjoy her place in God’s Kingdom, as a daughter, not a slave.

You can listen to that episode here Katie Reid: Law vs. Grace.


Quitting Spiritual Gymnastics

by Katie M Reid

I am not a quitter. By God’s grace, I have been called a finisher. 

But, I’m done. This get-it-done gal is giving up spiritual gymnastics.

To explain further, tag along with the Ghost of Sixth Grade Past, and enter the bustling gym, packed with girls sporting a colorful array of leotards—a gymnastic meet is in full swing. A lean gymnast is in the middle of a compelling floor exercise, her choreography synced to the latest 80’s pop song. Now, divert your eyes away from the natural talent to the pear-shaped sixth grader, in the wedgie-inducing leotard (okay don’t think too much about that last part).

What I lack in talent, I make up for in determination. Inspired by Mary Lou Retton, my 12-year-old self approaches the balance beam, for a springboard spilt mount to start things off and….I fall off the beam, again and again. I try so hard to nail a flawless routine that I topple under the pressure. 

It was my first and last gymnastic meet. 

Dismounting the Beam

I asked Jesus into my heart when I was four, pumping my little legs on the swing, declaring my faith to the heavens with a simple melody. But as I grew, my childlike faith morphed into try-hard faith, where I worked to keep up appearances and avoid missteps and embarrassing situations, like ill-fitting leotards. 

I knew I was saved by grace, yet I acted like it was all up to me to earn a perfect score. When I failed to live up to my holier-than-thou standard, I felt like God was distant and angry. When I felt good about my efforts, I stood tall—puffed up and pleased with myself for hitting the mark. 

This tiring ping pong match of discouragement and pride did a number on me. 

Then, a few months before my 40th birthday, God invited me to quit what I had worked so hard to grasp. 

He showed me that I didn’t have to perform for His love, it was already mine, in Christ. I didn’t have to leap and twist my way into His favor, because Christ had died to gift it to me. Click To Tweet

I could get off the balance beam and stop trying to measure up because Jesus had made a way when I felt short.

 

Call It Quits

Friend, you are invited to call it quits too. You are invited to exchange your sin for Jesus’ sufficiency, your legalism for His lavish grace. Stop wearing yourself out trying to prove yourself, and instead, run into His loving arms that were outstretched on the cross to prove His love for you, once and for all.

Spiritual contortions are not required to wow this judge. Jesus already earned the perfect score, so whether you fall or fly, you are a champion. The gift of grace isn’t like getting a participation ribbon for showing up, this is like getting an Olympic gold medal for existing. 

You receive what you don’t deserve and it seems unbelievable. You receive pardon for guilt, favor for failures, forgiveness for sins. On one hand it’s ludicrous and the other it is overwhelmingly good news. 

It’s like offering a lump of coal at a gift exchange and receiving a ten-carat diamond ring in return. Although the ring is valuable and breathtakingly beautiful, you are embarrassed to take it. It is so lavish and you feel so lacking. Yet there is nothing left to do but allow yourself to enjoy the gift. And sometimes doing so is the hardest “to do” of all. 

If you have accepted the gift of salvation then relish in what is true:

•Jesus’ performance determines your worth.

•His good work leads you to right standing with God.

•God’s pleasure with you is directly correlated to His Son’s finished work on the cross.

God, help us not to add to or take away from that which is perfectly wrapped in human flesh, provided by You, with love. 

Jesus: Grace Incarnate.

We don’t have to strive to receive that which has been gifted. We receive salvation, through faith, and we enjoy it. We don’t have to earn it, pay it back, or promise to be flawless. Click To Tweet

The beam of Jesus’ love supports us. His grace is strong enough to hold us. His open arms offer what we can’t ever obtain on our own. 

Grace is not just a pleasantry. Once grasped, it is truly a lasting motivator to live set apart—pure and holy, for the Lord’s glory. It doesn’t mean we will never struggle or sin after receiving it, but we are changed by it, and we are freed from legalism, through it.

Consider yourself invited to quit spiritual gymnastics too. Get off the balance beam and sync up to God’s love, as you leap and twirl to some fantastic 80’s music. 

 

Katie M. Reid is a speaker, singer/songwriter, and author of Made Like Martha. She holds a Masters Degree in Secondary Education and has been published on: Focus on the Family, LightWorkers, Proverbs 31, TODAY’s Parenting Team Blog, and For Every Mom. Katie is a fan of musicals and cut-to-the-chase conversations over tea. Katie lives with her husband and five children in the middle of Michigan. She and her husband host “Stop! Hammock Time” on Facebook, to encourages couples to get closer and grow deeper. Subscribe to katiemreid.com to receive resources to help you walk free and live out your God-given purpose.

 

 


This week I kicked off the online study for The Struggle is Real: But So is God. I am so excited to gather with women from across the country to dig into God’s Word online and declare truth over ourselves so that we can walk in the freedom of Jesus! There is still time to join us. We meet at 8 PM CST on Tuesday evenings in The Struggle is Real Online Bible Study Group for a Facebook Live.

So excited to gather women from across the country to dig into God’s Word and declare truth over ourselves so that we can walk in the freedom of Jesus! Grab your copy of The Struggle is Real: But So is God on Amazon today and come join the fun!

Much Love,

 

 

Misty Phillip

Katie M. Reid: Law vs. Grace

Katie M. Reid: Law vs. Grace

Katie M. Reid, author of Made Like Martha: Good News for the Woman Who Gets Things Done and I have a great conversation about the battle between law and grace. As a Martha type-A get it done kinda gal, Katie has had a life-long struggle with law vs. grace. After spending years of trying to earn her place with God instead of enjoying the place, He had already given her as a daughter. Listen in to hear about Katie’s encounter with grace that prompted her to write Made Like Martha.

To learn more about Katie you can find her at the following. Website: KatieMReid.com Facebook:@KatieMReidWriter

 

 

Bungee Jumping with God

Bungee Jumping with God

I can’t wait for you to meet my brave beautiful friend Kate Battistelli this week on By His Grace Believing God-Sized Dreams!! Author and speaker Kate Battistelli and I have an incredible conversation about choosing to believe God for the impossible. Please welcome Kate to the blog today!


Bungee Jumping with God 

By Kate Battistelli

Have you ever gone bungee jumping? I’m a complete chicken and in the natural realm, there is no way on this earth you will ever catch me strapping up and stepping off a ledge. My common sense doesn’t trust the equipment or the guide. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. People make mistakes, amiright???

But common sense, when it comes to God, will always try and contradict the still, small voice deep in my spirit. Every time…every stinkin’ time.

Do you ever get those wild thoughts, those ridiculous impressions or giant glimpses of the future and think, no way, that can’t be for me in fact, it’s completely crazy and I don’t live in crazy town.

However, if you’re like me you sometimes let those thoughts marinate a bit and think …what if? Just what if God is directing me and it’s not just me being hormonal or menopausal or a hundred other excuses I could give for not taking a risk and daring to dream? What if God wants me to step out in faith when I can’t see the end from the beginning? It’s super easy to brush those thoughts away because usually, they will require us to make a change and choose to abandon our comfort zones. And admit it, we all crave comfort. We don’t like stepping off ledges into the unknown.

I don’t like change. Change in behavior, change in environment, change in attitude. Okay, I admit it, I like the predictable parts of life. I like writing my lists and checking them off. But I’ve learned over the years God is anything but predictable! God wants each of us to live by faith, not by certainty.

Here are some basics I’ve learned about faith:

  • If you can see it, it isn’t faith.
  • Common sense is the enemy of faith.
  • Faith is a gift and we can ask for more of it.
  • Faith is spiritually discerned
  • Faith asks us to believe in the impossible

(And those are just the easy ones!)

Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

No wonder more of us don't take God at His word. It makes us uncomfortable. It disrupts our perfectly planned routine. It forces us to face our fears and often, it completely defies common sense. Click To Tweet

So, here’s what I’ve learned after traveling with God for more than thirty-five years:

  1. If you can see it, it isn’t faith. Hebrews 11:1 tells us: “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” It’s like a shadow that your prayer and belief and vision put substance to. Faith is actual substance and true evidence but you can’t see or touch it, you can only apprehend it. Faith alone knows that the “not yet” eventually turns into the “will be.” It’s assurance that what we’re hoping for will really and truly come to pass. Faith is a gift and we can ask for more of it. (Luke 17:5)

 

  1. Common sense is faith’s enemy because it’s…common. It shuts down the supernatural in our lives. What starts as a shadow, an inkling, or a knowing deep inside, causes your common sense to rise up and try to shut it down. Faith is unique, unusual, exotic, dangerous and courageous because it takes courage to act on the unseen, to bungee-jump into God’s miraculous plan and throw caution to the wind! Most of us will never take God up on His offer to step into adventure with Him, to walk into the unknown and plunge with Him into the place where dreams are born.

 

  1. Faith is a gift. I remember telling God years ago, I don’t just want faith–I want GREAT FAITH! I wanted to believe for gigantic things for myself, my daughter, my husband. Let me tell you when you pray that prayer, God answers and it’s not always in the way you hoped. I thought He would make me more spiritual but He used it to humble me. He caused me to depend on Him in ways I never imagined but He’s proved over and over that He is enough. He’s still humbling me and reminding me that:

 

  1. Faith is spiritually discerned. My natural man and spirit man are at odds and I won’t be able to figure it out with my intellect or common sense. I’ve learned to let go of what I don’t know and come to Him as a child.

 

  1. Faith asks me to believe the impossible. Could you believe for a miracle of divine healing or provision for a desperate need? Do you believe your child has a phenomenal future ahead of her or that your life can leave a lasting impact on others? Paul teaches us to “…call those things that are not as though they are.” romans 4:17. Don’t you just love that about God? It sounds so easy but it drives me to my knees!

You can’t figure this out with intellect or common sense. I’ve learned to let go of what I know and come to Him as a child because children are able to believe anything is possible. I’m learning to walk in faith day by day, sometimes moment by moment, hand in hand with God. On the hard days my prayer simply becomes, “I believe Lord, help my unbelief!” Mark 9:24

Our faith will be tested; you can take that to the bank. How else can you develop faith unless God gives you something to have faith for, knowing He’s the only one who can provide it? He has to test us in our faith journey and here’s why:

Faith is just a doorway. A doorway into trust.

And that, dear friends, is the ultimate goal. Knowing and trusting every day that He has your best interests at heart.

If I were to really go bungee jumping, I’d want to be absolutely certain that the person in charge knew what he was doing and had taken all the proper safety measures. As I stepped out on the edge of the cliff, you better believe I’d be praying the cords were tight and the harness fastened correctly before I took that bungee plunge. Holding my breath and squeezing my eyes shut I’d count to three and jump. So far, my Father has always been there to catch me. And I’m certain He always will.

What about you? Are you willing to step out into your incredible future? Will you risk everything, jump and trust the cord will hold?


Kate Battistelli is the author of The God Dare: Will You Choose to Believe the Impossible? I know this book and her story will encourage you to step out on the water and walk in radical obedience to God!

Kate is a wife to Mike, and an author, speaker, and former actress/singer. She is the mother to Grammy award-winning Contemporary Christian artist Francesca Battistelli. Kate has faced all kinds of trials throughout her life from having an abortion, ectopic pregnancy and struggling with infertility. She has also struggled with anxiety and nocturnal seizures, but through it all, she is keenly aware of God’s continual presence in her life. For more information visit: Kate Battistelli

 

 

Misty Phillip

Book Review: The Logic of God

Book Review: The Logic of God

“God wants us to know Him personally and live out our faith day by day in meaningful ways, but the noise, chaos, clutter, and busyness of life so often overwhelm that we find it difficult, if not impossible.” -Ravi Zacharias

The Logic of God by Ravi Zacharias is an invitation to know God more deeply, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review it. I firmly believe we all have a worldview or a lens in which we view the world. What we believe and what we believe about God matters! It affects every area of our life and those within our sphere of influence.

“For the Christian this is where the battle must be fought, for no worldview suffers more from the loss of belief in God than the Christian one. And unless the “logic” of God – the evidence has provided us of His existence – is defended, I sought after, is fully engaged with our hearts and minds, every essential of the Christian faith will be deemed illogical and untrue, thereby making them unworthy of rational assent “- Introduction to The Logic of God

According to CARM – Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry, Worldview is defined as:

“A worldview is a set of beliefs and assumptions that a person uses when interpreting the world around him.  A worldview deals with issues like . . .

1. What are we?
2. Were we created or did we evolve?
3. What is our purpose in life?
4. Does God exist?
5. From where do we derive our morals?
6. Are there moral absolutes?
7. Why is there suffering in the world?

 

All people have a worldview.  Some believe in God, and others do not.  Some affirm evolution, and others do not.  Some believe there are absolute morals, and others do not. Some worldviews are more refined than others, but all people have them because all people have a set of beliefs through which they view the world.”

What we believe matters! I have a Biblical Worldview and so everything in my life filters through that lens. I also believe in the sufficiency of scripture. We see this concept clearly illustrated in Psalm 19:7-14 English Standard Version (ESV)

“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”

John MacArthur on the sufficiency of scripture states,

“God’s Word is sufficient to meet every need of the human soul as David verifies frequently in his psalms. Psalm 19:7-14 is the most comprehensive statement regarding the sufficiency of Scripture. It is an inspired statement about Scripture as a qualified guide for every situation. Scripture is comprehensive, containing everything necessary for one’s spiritual life. Scripture is surer than a human experience that one may look to in proving God’s power and presence. Scripture contains divine principles that are the best guide for character and conduct. Scripture is lucid rather than mystifying so that it enlightens the eyes. Scripture is void of any flaws and therefore lasts forever. Scripture is true regarding all things that matter, making it capable of producing comprehensive righteousness. Because it meets every need in life, Scripture is infinitely more precious than anything this world has to offer.”

He goes on to say,

“It is significant that one of the biblical names of Christ is Wonderful Counselor (Isa 9:6). He is the highest and ultimate One to whom Christians may turn for counsel, and His Word is the well from which we may draw divine wisdom.”

Ravi Zacharias clearly lays out similar principles in his devotional book The Logic of God.

 

“At the very heart of Christianity, Jesus is the image and the incarnation of the invisible God – the one who came to live among us to show us God’s love, perfection, and grace. And this reality changes everything” – Ravi Zacharias, The Logic of God

Book Description:

We all have doubts that challenge our faith. We wonder whether the Bible still matters, or whether God is truly as loving and personal as we hope. In his first ever devotional, The Logic of God, apologist Ravi Zacharias offers 52 readings that explain how and why Christianity, the Bible, and God are still relevant, vital, and life-changing for us today. To all our dilemmas Ravi says, “I am convinced that Jesus Christ alone uniquely answers the deepest questions of our hearts and minds.”

With a remarkable grasp of biblical facts and a deep understanding of the questions that trouble our hearts, Ravi tackles the most difficult topics with ease and understanding. But The Logic of God is more than intellectual; it is also personal, offering thoughtful wisdom on:

when Jesus draws especially near you

the deep ray of hope found in God’s Word

how God transforms disappointments

why prayer matters

how genuine peace is possible

making sense of suffering

Ravi makes profound biblical truth easy to understand. And if your life is busy, this book is designed for you! It addresses 52 topics that you can read over the course of one year or slowly digest at your own pace. Each entry includes a Scripture, questions for reflection, and some practical application steps.

When you're struggling with questions and doubts, confused, curious, or just want a clearer way to express your faith The Logic of God has answers that satisfy the heart and the mind. Click To Tweet

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Logic of God and highly recommend it to anyone wanting to know God more deeply and walk closer to Jesus! Each of these 52 devotions begins with a scripture, and a short devotional thought followed by reflection questions and personal application to strengthen your faith.

Enter to win a signed copy of The Logic of God By Ravi Zacharias here:  The Logic of God Giveaway

Much Love, 

 

 

Misty Phillip

Kate Battistelli: Believing God-Sized Dreams

Kate Battistelli: Believing God-Sized Dreams

Kate Battistelli and I have a far-reaching incredible conversation about choosing to believe God for the impossible. Kate is a wife to Mike, and an author, speaker, and former actress/singer. She is the mother to Grammy award-winning Contemporary Christian artist Francesca Battistelli.

We begin our conversation talking about having a daughter in the spotlight. Then move on to God-sized dreams, answering God’s call to move in a completely opposite direction and living a life of faith and obedience. Kate has faced all kinds of trials throughout her life from having an abortion, ectopic pregnancy and struggling with infertility. She has struggled with anxiety, and nocturnal seizures, but is keenly aware God’s continual presence in her life.

Please welcome, Kate Battistelli author of The God Dare: Will You Choose to Believe the Impossible? to By His Grace.

 

 

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