Friday, July 4, 2014

The Freedom Zone

Half over … it’s July 4th already and less than six months until Christmas. 

Wow, and here we are about to celebrate one of the biggest events for America in the summer.

Throughout the week I have been looking back over all the things we have studied along our Inner Journey to Jesus.  We have covered a lot of ground. 
However, a question came to mind wondering if people really understood what the weekly challenges were about and why we were doing them.
While sitting in a parking lot of a grocery story last night I asked my husband to sum up our activities, and if he understood why Christians received favor.  His answer took me by surprise.

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I don’t know, maybe it was because he was exhausted, but it was like pulling teeth to get a response out of him.  He wasn’t sure where this was leading and danced all over the question with a final “obedience” as his one word answer.
 
“Think about the heroes of faith chapter in Hebrews.” I said trying to draw the correct answer out of him.  He quoted some of the passages when I chimed in, “What did Abraham do? All of them, what caused God to show them favor? They …. because of their …” I paused hoping he would fill in the blanks. 

Back it up …

We had to go out of town a few weeks ago; you know about that because I wrote on how God favored this "Blessed Girl".  God didn’t just drop his blessings on us all day because I asked Him to shower us with it.  Favor came as a result of all the ingredients coming together that met the plan of God.

Something I didn’t share with you was what happened when we returned the car. 
 
Let me back up a few days to Friday the 13th when we picked up the vehicle.  The rental place closed before we would be able to get there, and since we rent from this establishment on a regular basis they didn’t have a problem leaving the car on the lot ready for us.

It was around 6 o’clock in the evening when we arrived on the sales lot.  I was in our car and my husband was the one who would drive the other vehicle.  We sat in the parking lot about five minutes.  As I was getting out of the car to see what the problem was he pulled out on to the highway.

When we got home I asked him what was wrong. “The windows had a film over them making it hard to see.”  A few good wipes with a cleaner and we were set for our trip the following morning.

Fast forward to Monday night; when we returned the car.  Waiting for the sales clerk to check us in, when it was our turn my husband followed the gentleman and spoke to him outside in private.  He didn’t want to say anything in front of the other customers who were waiting for their cars.

When they returned to the sales room we waited for him to serve the others.  The manager took a business card, flipped it over and wrote “50% off” your next rental.

Why did the manager give us favor and bless us?  Was it “good policy” or “the customer is always right?”  Maybe, but even so that doesn’t always happen unless God’s hand is in on the equation.

This is why we received favor from man. I believed we would, based on God's Word.  It is already in God's plan for our journey.

In our career fields we travel a bit and usually rent a vehicle, this way the miles aren’t racked up on our own car and it’s generally good business practice.  God provided the vehicle for us to use for His plan, and we did.

When my husband told of his disappointment all I said was, “God will take care of it”.  I didn’t even think about it after that point.  The Lord honored His word in that He would cause man to show favor on us.  Yes we were obedient, but our faith got God’s attention when we believed by going into action.
 
 
When We Believe

If I haven’t stressed it enough, please get this. 

Faith and favor go together. Faith in action is belief.

If we merely say we have faith and never act on it, then it’s really not worth anything.

James (the brother of Jesus in the Bible) bluntly says it like this: faith without action (belief) is dead, worthless and it won’t get you very far.  (See James 3:20 AMP)

It’s true, obedience is more important than sacrifice as stated in the Bible.  However, obedience to God should be our choice based on love, and that we want to obey because we believe.

Our faith needs to be seen.  Years ago a woman told me that she would believe what I taught when she saw it working in my life.  Well lady, it is, but she didn’t stick around to see it.

How much more can I show or tell you?  My faith is nothing if I don’t act on it believing God will be faithful to His Word and promises.

My husband did get to the answer that it was “their faith believing in God” that caused those individuals mentioned in Hebrews chapter 11 to receive His favor.

Jesus has already chosen to give us His favor, but He is waiting for us to do something.  No, it’s not tithing, doing good deeds or praying more. It’s not getting our life in order before He can show mercy, blessing and favor either.  All He is asking is that we BELIEVE HIM. 

Action shows you believe in something, whether it’s good or bad. When we believe in God, miracles happen, favor shows up in blessings that cannot be explained by any human.

The whole point of taking this Inner Journey isn’t so we get rid of all our vices and become "holier than thou", self-righteous Christians.  Why do we want to be close to God anyway? Is it so we can get stuff or to stay in His good graces?

Do we think we are better than others if we pray or read our Bibles, and that’s why we receive more favor than anyone else?  If that is what you were working towards I’m sorry to inform you that your journey will take a lot longer than God had ordained.

The Freedom Zone is for All Mankind

As I’m typing this, fireworks are going off in the streets.  People are already celebrating the fact that they live in America, the “land of the free”. 
 
It is a false freedom zone that is governed by rules and regulations.  When the day is done the celebration stops, but for the believer our freedom is eternal so the festivities should be ongoing.

We are living in a time when we need the favor of God and man to accomplish the commission of Jesus.  If we are not willing to use the freedom of God to change lives, He will distribute blessing and favor on those who will.

Each of us chooses which freedom zone we want to live by in how we believe.  Zones have boundaries that bind people to their restrictions. The only zone that cannot hold back an individual is the faith zone, where there are no boundaries.  Christians are encouraged to take liberties in that zone, breaking into new areas of faith that will bring more blessings and favor.

Don’t get taken in by the devil’s lies thinking that salvation is a big set of rules you have to follow or God won’t give you entrance into His Heaven.  Let me enlighten you. The only thing that will keep you out of Heaven is if you choose not to believe God.  That zone is reserved strictly for those who did believe.  The Inner Journey, in belief by faith, will lead all who believe right into the arms of Jesus. 
 
For the past week the USA has been planning a "freedom" event. They "planned" menus, beverages - "planning serious liver damage a woman posted", fireworks, clothes, music, etc.  We're free to make all these plans and carry them out without persecution.   That's how the world defines freedom.

Freedom is a gift that is available to every person who has ever lived, whether they are rich, poor, slaves, in chains or without any bondage.  All mankind is free to serve or not to serve God; to believe or not believe. 
Christians are being persecuted because they chose the freedom to believe in a living God rather than anything or anyone else.  God said we have a free will to believe in whatever we want, and it doesn’t have to be Him.  Just don't expect His favor if you refuse and reject Him.

Man has changed the rules and states who we are permitted to believe in and what.

The Bible tells us that the blessings are ours through redemption, because we believed the Lord’s Word.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the Heavenly places in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3 NKJV)
 

Believe & Thank You

We no longer live under the Old Testament Covenant that kept us inside a zone of laws, but we now abide “in” the New Testament Covenant zone. It’s a place where freedom is the rule.

Our part is to believe and thank God by acting on what we believe He has already done through salvation.

The Holy Spirit wants to teach us how to nurture godly living so we can receive the favor of God in every situation in our life. This is why we need the Inner Journey to Jesus – so the Holy Spirit can work in us to reach the goal of our High calling. (See 2 Corinthians 3:8-9 AMP)
 
Living in the Zone

When I go about my day, I'm not constantly asking God questions or debating back and forth with Him.  At the beginning of the day I have already been in prayer and fellowship with the Lord asking Him what He wants or needs me to do.

As I progress in my tasks I lean on the prompting of the Holy Spirit to guide me into all truth.  He always lets me know if this is the direction I need to take.  When we're living in the peace zone of God, His favor has to come.

My husband and I never make a decision if we are not at total peace about it and in agreement. 

If Christians believe God, they won't have a problem doing what He asks and will feel comfortable about their life.

Jehovah Jesus promises He will keep us in perfect peace if we trust Him and go about doing His plan.

"You (God) will keep him (us) in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed (focused) on You, because he trusts in You." (Isaiah 26:3 NKJV)


Crossing Over into Opportunity
Our next leg on this journey will lead us into the Outward Life of the Favored One.  That is, we have crossed over into living the life of a believer, one who really believes not just one who believes in salvation.  There is a difference.
A true believer knows how to do what Christ said and “Labors into rest, not (laboring) into work.”  We are going to operate in the Freedom Zone to help others, because Jesus gave us the power to make a difference.  People are going to notice we are serious about what we believe.
Bill O'Reilly of FOX News made this statement about freedom on June 30th, 2014 concerning being a proud American:
 
Last night we rented another car for our travels this holiday weekend.  We haven’t even left town and God is already at work.  I saw fireworks, which I love. 
Remember that 50% off deal from the rental company?  The man kept his word and then some.  To rent the car it was $43.99 a day totaling $175.96. The cost of the 4 day rental was reduced to $110. With the manager’s deal it became $55.00. 

It didn’t stop there. God’s favor showed up again and it turned out to be $43.50 saving us $132.46.  The final cost was less than the original cost to rent the car for only one day!

Maybe you don’t think this is a big deal, because you don’t understand or you think I am bragging.  I'm not, I promised to share my adventures along our journey based on what's happening in my own life.

This company doesn’t make “deals” as they would say, especially on holiday weekends when they sell out of rental vehicles.  Prices don’t go down on holidays, they go up!

When we crossed over in faith, opportunity for favor followed. It didn't come from America or man, but from God.

The believing zone led us to more favor, with my husband receiving travel expense reimbursements the same day. 

This Week’s Challenge: 

Move into the Freedom to Believe Zone

It’s a simple challenge, but may be the hardest one for you yet.

Christians don’t have to beg God for these blessings, they are ours through salvation. Why, because we believe!

Accept the challenge to believe, no matter what comes your way. Begin by making the proclamation that:

"Freedom reigns in this place,
with showers of mercy, favor and grace!"


Sing about our Freedom in Jesus ...

 
and what we believe ...
 
 

Until next time, true freedom blesses with favor.

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Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provide by Gateway Bible
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Image: Animated lag by Photobucket  Faith in Action James  Faith in Action Blessed  Freedom Zone  John 14:26  Peace Zone