Encouragement 2

Kelly Balarie July 5, 2018

How to Be Battle-Ready
KELLY BALARIE

“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1b (NIV)

I huffed. I puffed. I hunched over in pain. I wanted to make it to the end of the run. Yet as much as I tried to go, my legs, mind and oozy head — wouldn’t. All this was too much.

I hobbled home with squeaky, worn, blue shoes and a defeated spirit.

I don’t know how I ever thought I was cut out for this. How I ever thought I could do this … others are stronger. I’m weak. I don’t have the energy. I’m embarrassing. A loser.

For me, running is a battle. But, so is life. One battle after another. Early in my life, I faced an eating disorder, depression and debt. More recently, I hit a near-debilitating health scare, relational issues and a never-ending waiting period. And, I continually battle the idea, I’m not enough.

Do battles tend to defeat you, too? Or, do you rise up victoriously?

We all face battles, especially within our mind. Here, emotional reactions, quick insults and worst-case scenarios tend to speak louder than God’s truth. They leave us feeling defeated, demotivated and discouraged.

Where do your thoughts stand?

Take a moment to “mind your mind.” Ask yourself: If I audibly voiced my thoughts in a day, would I be proud of them? Would they be honorable and of good report? Would they convey Christ’s heart or my insecurities and fears? Do they cause me to run all-out for God or sit-it-out on the sidelines? 

Hebrews 12:1b encourages us: “And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”
To run a race well, we must continually mind our mind. Why? Because renewed minds lead to transformed lives. Lives mentally prepared to run.

Are you prepared? Perhaps these three battle-ready areas will help you wisely run your race with more power:

1. Strategy (Consider this your pre-race prep.)

To do this, you:

  • Eat, sleep and rest well. When you’re sleepy or starving, you’re also an open target for the enemy of this world.
  • Prepare the playlist. Get near people that build you up in faith, rather than tear you down. If you can’t find them, listen to messages or music that encourages you.
  • Decide training time is important time. Say no to anything that steals your learning and growing time with God.

2. Mentality (Get your game face on.)

To do this, you:

  • Acknowledge: Yes, my legs hurt, but God has the strength I need to see this through.
  • Never permit the words I can’t to slow you down. God always can.
  • Ditch heavy-weighted negativity that claims It’s impossible, I’ll never or I don’t have enough _______________. God gives power to the weak. (Isaiah 40:29)
  • Keep in mind that you are not alone. There are countless other women huffing and puffing alongside you. Strength often comes through encouraging others.

3. Intentionality (See the finish line.)

To do this, you:

  • Keep your eyes fixed on what matters — Jesus. Let go of your earthly perspective to find the heavenly one.
  • Select a small mini-goal; choose to get there. Then, do it again. Acknowledge that each time you reach a new goal, you’ve hit a new victory. Celebrate!
  • Remember, every new day has new mercies.
  • Ask God for help, strength and courage. Ask again. Keep asking.
  • Don’t look left or right at those ahead or behind you. Instead, dwell on the perfect love of God that casts out all fear. Let it compel and propel you toward your goal.

Victorious champions in God’s economy are no different than you and I are. They’re simply people who, rather than complaining, blaming, negating, doubting or wanting to sit-it-out on the sidelines, return to truth alone.

They believe: All things are possible through Christ. There will be a good ending to this slow beginning. God is good. Love never fails. Grace is ample. Hope is abundant. Help is coming and found through prayer. Jesus saves. God is always victorious.

They take the time to grab hold of biblical fight-back strategies, faith-building thought patterns, habit-changing approaches. They renew their mind and find their life transformed. They’re battle-ready; they run their race well.

Dear God, help me remember that anything set up by You is good. You are faithful, and You will see me through. I can trust that You give me power, and You will be my success. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY: Psalm 18:32, “It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.” (NIV)

John 7:38, “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES: Too often we fail to prepare for our battles. So when challenges, troubles or opportunities arise, we rapidly become burdened with limiting thoughts of self-doubt and fear. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We can train our minds to conquer uncertainty, beat insecurity and step past the tragedies of yesterday. To learn more about Kelly Balarie’s book, Battle Ready, visit her online, or get your copy here.

CONNECT: To hear more from Kelly, visit her website.

To celebrate Battle Ready, Baker Publishing Group is giving away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We’ll randomly select 5 winners and email notifications to each one by Monday, July 9, 2018.}

REFLECT AND RESPOND: Do you ever feel like you’re weak? When are those times?

How have you seen God meet you with strength in your battles? What’s one thing you can do today to arm your mind?

© 2018 by Kelly Balarie. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Baker Publishing Group for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

Click here to view our policy on 3rd party links.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org

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