Friday, July 26, 2013

Having an Attitude of Faith for Favor

A bright pink paper was fastened to our door.  It was from the sheriff's office. 

Immediately my mind tried to take me on a journey that faith would not follow. 

My husband went to the station to retrieve the letter, but they wouldn’t release it to him.  It had my name on it and I would have to go get it myself.

By the time I learned that there was a pending letter for me it was late, and I would have to wait until Thursday to find out what it was.  I can tell you that the faith walk never takes a rest, and in order for me to get through the night I would have to stay in an attitude of faith and not waver if I was to receive any favor from the Lord.  In other words, I had to believe what James 1:6-8 says by acting on it.

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man (or woman) think they will receive anything from the Lord.  A double minded person is unstable in all their ways.

How do you view life when the unexpected comes knocking?

When you see things like God sees things, it’s the spirit of faith ruling your life and you will do things differently.  You will see things as “all things possible”, not “Oh my, that looks impossible.”

All things are possible with God.  Do you believe it?  You may say yes, but don’t really believe it for yourself.  Sometimes I find it much easier to believe for others than I do for myself.  The Bible says that “all things are possible to those that believe.” (Mark 9:23) That means believing for myself as well as for others, that God is going to show Himself mightily in this situation.

The spirit of faith speaks what it believes.

The Word of God tells us that "our light affliction" works for us. (2 Corinthians 4:17)  God’s favor will come on those who operate in a spirit of faith.  He will take what the devil slings at us and make it work for us and not against us.

We need to say, God is going to strengthen me with all this. I know it’s light and isn’t going to last; this is temporal.  If we realize that, we cannot lose or be beaten.  We will live as a winner, the way God sees us.

The problem I was facing wasn’t wondering what the papers were (good or bad), but having difficulty guarding my heart to what the devil was trying to sell me. 

Solomon gave us a scripture that should help us recognize an attack on our faith from Proverbs 4:20-23 in the Amplified Bible.
My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings. Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart.  For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh.  Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flows the springs of life.
 Why do we need to guard our hearts? 

We need to keep and guard our heart against the things of this world and the devil.  It makes good sense that if we are blessed from within to the outward man that we need to work on guarding our “innards”. 

Look at it like this.  Do you lock your doors?  Where do you keep your money?  Under lock and key, guarding them, right?  We guard what is valuable.  The most important thing of value we need to guard is our heart. It is vulnerable and satan knows it.  If we think on the wrong things, our faith (heart) to trust in the things of God won’t be visible or in effect.  We become a target.

Let me remind you ...
Time after time in the Bible we see how God showed favor to those who believed Him and followed His Word.  Joseph, Moses, Caleb and Joshua to name a few. These people kept an attitude of faith when others caved in to the circumstances.  Do you remember what Caleb said when he came back with a report to Moses? 

God had promised a land flowing with milk and honey to the Israelites.  When they came to a certain place it was overrun by the enemy.  They would have to conquer the land and take possession of it by force.  Moses sent 12 spies in to take a look at what they were up against.  Only Caleb and Joshua had a report that pleased God.  This is told to us in the book of Numbers 13:17-33.

Caleb said let’s go take the land, but the others thought he was nuts. The attitude of faith spoke “we are able to take the land,” while the others felt they weren’t able to overcome.  He remembered how great the Lord had been to them. Even though the Israelites all witnessed the abundance, they saw themselves as small and powerless.  You have to realize that there were thousands and thousands of Israelites, plus they had a record of winning battles.  God showed them He was more powerful than anything or anyone, but they still saw themselves as small and able to be whipped.  How do you see yourself?  Small and powerless or great and full of the power of God.

The devil was able to get to their mind making them believe they would fail, even though they had been successful.  In your life, you are in control of what you believe, not God.  He has given you the power through Jesus Christ to guard your heart and life, so you can experience victory.  “I have given you power” Jesus said in Luke 10:19.  Now we have to cooperate with God in order to gain the victory, but without faith God has nothing to work with.

Let’s say it together: We are able!

Only three people believed “we are able” Caleb, Joshua and Moses.  The majority was wrong!  Hey, God and you are a majority. The Israelites quit on God.  Will you?

I’m not going to pick up on the talk that is going on in the world, no matter how it looks.   Stop following the headlines, turn off the radio or television, put down the paper and guard your heart with an “I can” attitude.  People will think you’re not living in reality, but in fact, you are living in spiritual reality.  What’s happening in this world is not a reality in God’s world, so why take part in fantasy?

Even though we have things come against us, remind yourself that this too will pass.  Storms come, but they also go. Some leave damage and others just pose as being dangerous.  You need to have the faith to identify which kind of storm it is, how to wait it out, and where to turn when it is over so you don’t enter back into the storm.

Pilots know how to ride above a storm.  With God we can do the same.  When God gives us clearance to move forward then we can go safely.  The Israelites were in a holding pattern for 40 years because of unbelief.

Refuse to take on board the lies of the devil and talk of unbelief.  Only those who believe will see the blessing. 
Remember what happened to all those who didn’t believe God in the wilderness?  Only Joshua and Caleb were left out of all the adults who first left Egypt.  Even though they were delayed, they saw the promise.  They were the only ones who maintained an attitude of faith.

No matter what you have done in the past or what others try to do in discouraging you, maintain the attitude of faith so God can give you the favor.  There are even Christian’s that will try to talk you out of your faith and tell you to get real and see what’s going on around you.  There are some preachers that get me so discouraged that I can’t watch them. Matthew 7 says we’ll be known by our fruit, and faith is part of that fruit. If people can recognize you’re not a faith person, be sure God knows it.
I asked the Lord ...
On July 24th, 2013 I received a Word from the Lord about something that I kept praying for concerning the lack of strength and energy. He simply reminded me what my down fall had been. 
I was looking for strength and energy when what I was missing was my joy (or should I say God's joy).
Nehemiah 8:10 says the joy of the Lord is my strength. Duh!  I knew that!  But still began struggling with it over a paper I had yet to see.  Without joy we are weak.  I refused to give in to weakness over the unknown, and went to bed encouraging myself in the Lord as David did.  Over and over I reminded myself that I will believe a good report, the Lord only has good things in store for me ...

Those who are living in peace in spite of all that is happening are the ones who will inherit the things of God.  We aren’t to try and figure everything out, but to believe and stay in peace.  That's what I did.

Quit the blame game, stop looking for answers you can’t find and believe God even if your stomach is in butterflies.  Eventually, they’ll leave.  Expect things to change.  Since God doesn’t change, the circumstance has to and your faith will take you to levels you never knew.  The devil can’t take what you haven’t given him permission to take.  Don't give up your peace, joy or faith.

So what happened?
I didn’t know how God was going to turn things around, but I knew He could, so I have to act like it has already happened.  I chose to maintain an attitude of faith.
Wednesday night I went to bed confessing that God is working this out for my good.  I will not fear, I will hold on to my peace.  (You may need to do this also.)   Thursday came and the devil didn’t have victory.  If I gave into the fear and doubt I wouldn’t have seen God move. 
The whole thing turned out only to be estate legal papers my family wanted me to have, and the lawyer sent them to the sheriff's station for delivery.  Devil, you are such a liar!
Only you can maintain your attitude of faith.

If you need to change the people you eat lunch with, turn the dial on the radio, and walk away from naysayers then do it.  They’ll talk you out of your favor and faith if you let them.  Remind yourself that you are the one who has something to lose if you give up on your faith to believe God will deliver as He promised.

Ask yourself this question … "If I believe, why am I worrying?” Worry isn’t belief. Stay in peace, joy and follow after righteousness until you come into the favor God promised. Rise up, believe and enjoy the journey.
Thought to take away:  Great is the Lord!  Don't let your mind (thought life) take you to places your faith cannot follow.  Believe God is able to do more than we ask or think .. He Is God, Almighty!  Now sing it with me!
Great is the Lord!
  Daily Favor Requires Daily Faith
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Image credit if not listed by Google Images Creative Common License
Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provide by Gateway Bible

Friday, July 19, 2013

There's A Fly in My Pineapple!

Time was getting away from me so I decided to eat my fruit lunch at the computer.  Between bites I kept working to finish an article for a magazine, when what did I see?  A fly munching out on my pineapple! 

I tried to get the fly out of the container, but it refused to leave.  When I moved my fork (trying to get him out) he just moved to the other side.  No matter what I did that pesky bugger wouldn’t give up his territory.  His intent was to stay put and have a victory dance on my berries as well as the pineapple.  (I was able to catch him in action, because the camera was right beside me.)

I’m sure that everyone who reads this will be able to relate about something that has made its way into your life that tries to upset the “Pine”apple cart.  The fly wasn’t the only bug that was trying to set my emotions to flight; it was all the events of the week.  Let me backtrack a few days to last Sunday.

As you know last week I talked about things that were stopping us from success.  You can be sure the devil read that post, and immediately went into action to test me.  Sunday morning we had to make an emergency visit to the animal clinic/hospital for a rescue cat named Zoe.  Now mind you, her name actually means "the God-kind of life, nothing missing, nothing broken. (I haven’t written about her yet, but seems like I will be soon.)  That's how the week started, and it only got more complicated.

Monday we entered our baked goods and herbs in the county fair contest.  There was so much to do every day, besides work, ministry and the rescue center to prepare for the entire week.  It seemed like the “flies” were in the ointment of my whole life trying to destroy any fruit I would bear for Christ. 

Fear, nerves, worry and panic tried to surface even though I continually cast it down.  By Tuesday morning I thought I was going to “lose it”, twice.  Not my temper, but the breakfast I hadn’t eaten if you know what I mean.  Our thoughts were on Zoe and the disease that is virtually never seen in cats.  For the rest of the week she would have to go back and forth to the doctor's for testing, shots and medication. 

All week in my study and prayer time I’ve been asking what to share with you.  Wednesday God led me to Ephesians chapter 3.  This is a prayer I used to say daily in ministry, but for some reason stopped making that confession.  No wonder the door was left open for anything to try and creep into my household.

There were a lot of last minute things I had to do for the flower contest on Thursday.  You really can't make fresh arrangements that much ahead of time, so the rest of the day was spent getting my entries ready.

Thursday brought sadness with a home going of a family friend, and cause for panic with urgent emails.  My voice was almost hoarse from counseling for hours.  I was exhausted and the day wasn’t over.

However, this morning God renewed my hope when I read from Romans 8 beginning with verse 31. 

What then shall we say to these things?
If God is for us, who can be against us?

What things were trying to come against me?  I had to identify them first, and that's what I did all week long.  It was fear trying to steal my joy, peace and faith.  After identifying the problem, I needed to believe that none of those things could work against me, because God is on my side.

32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things.
33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.

But I didn’t stop reading there.  The scripture continues in that it tells me how I know God is aware of my problems.

Not only does God know about my life, He knows it because Jesus is reminding Him of me in prayer. 

34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us (that means you and me).

We need to make this effective by placing our own name in the verse like this:  Jesus is making intercession for Favored1 (put your own name in there).

There isn’t any situation that is too big for God to handle.  He freely gives us some things … no ALL things.  When my husband preaches, every time he reads a passage that has the word all in it, he makes us shout it out loud. So go ahead, shout God has given me, “ALL” things freely. It sounds real when you speak what God has already spoken.  Look at these two passages in Hebrews chapters 7 and 9.

25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25 (NKJV)

24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into Heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us. Hebrews 9:24

lord of the lies ...

We need to recognize who was feeding the flies the lies, telling them that they could swarm onto whatever we have or do.   Who did it? You know, satan.  Then we need to remember the "always' clause. What part in time does “always” cover?  Always! Yes, Jesus is ready and completely able to save our souls for eternity, but He is also able to save us from the works of the devil and our own negative thoughts now, tomorrow and forever.  In other words, God is for me now and always.

Knowing that we have all things through Christ and that He is on our side voicing our needs before God, should be enough to send the devil on his way.

We can't just read what the scriptures say, but have to believe it as well. How do we know we believe what God says?  When we do it.  Jesus told Peter how he would be able to operate in belief.  This is something we all need to keep foremost in our minds.

You may not believe this, but it’s true – the devil can’t do whatever he wants with you. He can’t have a “field day” without God’s or your permission.  The cross of Jesus stopped satan from using God's children as a playground. Since God won’t give him an opening, guess who is letting the flies in?  The devil can only go as far as God will let him.  How far will you let him go?

31 And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” Luke 22:31-31 (NKJV)

Read aloud only the words I have underlined.  It says something powerful does it?

Someone is asking for permission to sift and grind you into unbelief; satan.  Don’t get discouraged, God knows what he is doing and Jesus said He prayed that your faith would not fail.  Not only are you going to be victorious, when you come to the other side of the trial, you will be so strong that your testimony will help others through their circumstances. 

There may be all kinds of things you are facing right now, but let God get hold of your heart and believe Him.

So how did this work in my own life this week? 

Prayer stopped the pests that tried to steal my faith.  The fly didn’t get the rest of my pineapple, we won several first place ribbons at the fair (I won’t know exactly how everything went until Sunday.) and a few minutes ago we got a good update report on Zoe (No, the battle isn’t over, but we are believing for total victory for her).  Jesus kept His word through intercession and God moved on each situation.  Our journey this week has been bumpy, but God continues to give us favor and success.

We cannot stop satan from sending the “flies” (trials), but we can stop them from consuming what God has given us by staying in faith.  This week keep this confession of hope active and watch the favor of God come on “all things” in every situation.  Jesus will help you stand strong if you wholly trust in Him.

Christ the Solid Rock I Stand


Confession of Hope:

God is for me (put your name there) and gives all things needed for this trial and test.  I cannot fail. Jesus said I won’t, because He is continually praying for my faith daily.  When I come through this, I will be so strong that I will recognize this test in the future, and be able to help someone else in the same situation.  You will not sift me into failure satan, because I don’t give you any permission in my life.  I believe God and only listen to His voice.  My success is on its way and I thank You Jesus for it in advance!
Daily Favor Requires Daily Faith

(The word "satan" isn't capitalized intentionally for we give him no place in our lives."

Content and Image Copyright from Favored1. Do not copy.
Image credit if not listed by Google Images Creative Common License
Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provide by Gateway Bible



Friday, July 12, 2013

Journey to Success

When we think of success, I would venture to say that most of us automatically have thoughts of things having to do with money, fame and material things.  Wouldn’t you say that’s true for the most part?

If we fail in any of these areas, we tend to think of ourselves as being less successful.  Our outlook on life and what it’s supposed to be becomes somewhat blurred in our thoughts, and if we aren’t mindful of it, we will start to believe the lies of the devil.

Then there are some that may even go as far as believing they aren’t supposed to have anything and believe you are to take what life hands you.  That’s straight from the pits of hell my friend, and that way of thinking will hinder your journey to success.

In my study time the other day God pointed out something as I was listening to Lindsey Roberts teach on what God says about success.  Just like many Christians, it wasn’t something I hadn’t heard before, but it was something that I needed reminding of that particular day.

A verse that my husband and I have taught on so many times is 3 John 2. Now you would think I’d have this down pat in my thinking, but like every Christian, I needed to be encouraged by what God said concerning my overall well-being.

“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health,  just as your soul prospers.”  (NKJV)

Do you know what that says to me?  It says that it is God’s absolute desire that I live in success in every area of my life, just as my soul is solid in Christ.  He planned a successful journey for me and if that’s not happening, there is a reason.  Something is preventing me from prospering or being successful.  Now what is it?

If my entire life (spirit, soul and body) is not in union, my “all things” will be affected and success won’t happen.  So what’s preventing me from prospering and being in good health?  Could it be my seeking God has been placed on the back burner when it comes to certain things?  Have financial setbacks, health issues, social events or personal things been inundated with fear causing me not to seek God as I normally would?  I’m just asking.

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him,
for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.  (Hebrews 11:6 NKJV)

If I want to get back on the journey to success that God has already laid out for me, I need to continually seek Him no matter what life tries to hand me.

This goes for all of us. So when a spouse comes home and says, “My boss just cut my hours,” we aren’t to let those words pull us off our journey to success.  Do you think God didn’t know that was going to happen?  It’s another testing of our faith.  Our job is to please Him by believing He will set us on a road to success and reward us for not wavering when things get rough.  Can you do that?  Can I? Yes, we can, so let’s do it.  Let’s take God at His Word and not get bumped off the “all things” prosperous path.  No matter what happens, choose to believe that it is God’s desire that you prosper in all areas of your life – health, finances, social, mental, spiritually and personally. 

Declare this today:

Lord Jesus, I give my heart to You and praise You for all You are about to do in my life.  I will trust You for the journey, no matter where it takes me.
I prosper in all areas of my life which includes my marriage, family, health, finances, socially, mentally and spiritually.  I have God’s favor on my life and it is evident in the rewards that have shown up in my life.  Thank You Jesus for setting my feet on a successful path, and I look forward to the next part of my journey.
Now spend some time in His presence as you receive this message in faith.
Hillsong United - I Give you my heart

P.S.  You can read about the “fireworks” of that event here.

Content Copyright from Favored1. Do not copy.
Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Version provided by Gateway Bible.
Image credit Google Images Creative Commons License




Friday, July 5, 2013

Favor in Being Married

Being married for a long time one might think you know your spouse.  But that's not always the case is it?

With a smile on his face my husband sheepishly said to me,
"I know what flowers to get you for your birthday or Valentine's Day, but what flowers are for anniversaries?"
It made me laugh, so I let him off the hook.  Today we're going to stay around town and hunt down some fudge.  We've been looking for some since Christmas, so we'll have a good time doing a few simple things.
Life doesn't have to be complicated and full of over the top events.  It's about enjoying everything that has been brought into your life at the moment.
As I looked out my kitchen window I noticed a pair of doves playing in the yard.  They were bouncing in and out of the bird bath, swirling around the air, hopping on the phone lines and enjoying each other's company.  They knew how to enjoy the moment and one another.  Basically, they were playing.
What's on your agenda for the weekend?  Have you set some time aside to just play?  When God created Adam and Eve He expected them to delight in being together.  Isaac was found "sporting" with his wife in the courtyard.  When was the last time anyone saw you sporting with your spouse?
Although you may have some pressing business, be sure to take time to be with loved ones.   Marriage is a special thing to God, so why not make it special yourself?  When you do, you're sure to find favor from the Lord and your spouse.
He who finds a wife finds a good thing,
and obtains favor from the Lord.
P.S.  Are there anniversary flowers? According to Amazon, they are called  "enduring passion."
Content Copyright from Favored1. Do not copy.
Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Version provided by Gateway Bible.
Image credit Amazon