Friday, May 30, 2014

Repurposed Christians

Several years ago a friend of my husband’s gave us a small charcoal barbecue grill.  It had been ages since we had one like this, because we switched to gas.  His friend was going to throw it out since they replaced it with a larger one, but decided to give it to us.

The hand-me-down grill had seen some serious barbecuing, and its days for working as it was intended only lasted one season.  No longer using it for food we started burning bits of mail with personal information.  I loved the idea that we could recycle the ashes into the garden and re-purpose the grill.

Eventually there was a big hole in the bottom so we couldn’t use it for burning any more.  Now what?  Was it time to give it the old heave-ho?  Can something outlive its purpose?

Welcome new friends this week from:

New on DFB –Venezuela; Estonia; Lebanon; Cayman Islands; Jamaica; Brunei; Latvia; Morocco; Nigeria; Belgium; Singapore; Brazil; Sweden; Poland; Malaysia; Kenya; Japan.

USA: Thank you faithful ones.

God has sent us visits from so many countries.  What a blessing to meet you and share this Inner Journey together on Daily Favor.  (DFB - Daily Favor Blog)

Feel free to leave your comments or prayer requests.  I would love to hear from you and how Daily Favor has worked in your life.

You have made a difference by sharing this challenge with others. Thank you so much for your faithfulness.

Don’t miss out on this week’s challenge (below).  Q & A

Re-purposed Grill Flower Box
By now I think you are getting a good idea of what I’m like and know I didn’t chuck the old worn out grill, but actually turned it into something it wasn’t made for originally. 

Thinking about this week’s challenge the Lord reminded me of an area I had a hard time dealing with in the past…
“What good am I anymore if my purpose in life has changed?”

When I first started to write I really wanted to call this “Recycled Christians”, but didn’t think it would go over big.  What do you think?  It’s sort of how I feel at times and a feeling I had to deal with if God was to use me for His glory.

My life was all planned out – by me.  I was doing what I wanted teaching special needs children, lived in a great home, traveled, family was nearby, had a good income and basically did whatever I felt like that fell in the boundaries of  a “good” Christian.  My life had purpose … you could say it was a “purpose driven life” so to speak, where I was extremely blessed and favored by God doing wonderful things for Him.  So why did it have to change?

I Didn't Expect This

Have you ever felt like everything you worked for was for nothing?  Maybe you were employed at the same place for years when they decided to let you go by downsizing. 
What about those relationships that you thought would last a life time and poof, it was over?  Did you ever reach a dream only to have it snatched away from you?  I’ve got something to say on those situations: 

The bad thing about life is that it changes!

The good thing about life is that it changes!

Going over my notes I got a revelation about myself and all believers.  What God showed me concerning our grill is that it was a vessel for whatever I needed and never stopped being a vessel.  The only thing that changed was its purpose, and that was because I decided to change its use.  Vessels get repurposed according to the need.

God revealed to me that He moves people (His vessels) for His purpose.  We don’t always have to be broken to be used if we are already in His will.  Sometimes He moves us when we are no longer needed in certain areas or positions.   What looks like a bad change is in reality a good change only we haven’t recognized it as such.

This was made perfectly clear to us when we moved to a new neighborhood.  The old location we fed 65-120 people every week, but where we are now food programs aren’t an issue.  Our service of feeding people changed and we became vessels God could use for feeding rescue animals with special needs.

Now that might seem strange and not a godly thing, but it fell right into place.  I can’t remember a time when we haven’t fed people and it seemed natural to make meals.  What you don’t know is that God knew the desires of my husband’s heart. 

Faithfulness Brings Favor 

Since childhood he wanted to become a veterinarian, but was never given the opportunity to go to college for it.  Now he is in position to work with various clinics and animals, discovering a world he thought was out of reach to him. 

Although our life is extremely different, it’s never dull and we are exposed to things that we wouldn’t have experienced if we stayed in the same place and remained unchanged.

Seriously, how many of us have gotten the opportunity to work on an alligator, put an IV in a cat, create an instrument for the doctor in surgery or hold a tumor from a dog?  My husband has.  There are some things I really don’t need to know the details of, you know what I mean?

My husband is still a vessel God uses, but he has been re-purposed and re-positioned to be in a place the Lord needs him.  I didn’t understand this at first, but it wasn’t long before I realized why God moved my husband into a new area using the same skills he had.

Allowing God to re-purpose our lives for His use opened doors for me as well in teaching far beyond a regular classroom into college levels and in travel.  With my new vessel assignment God has allowed me to pursue other interests that I didn’t have time for working in the school systems. 

Do people outlive their purpose?  Absolutely not, but they can be re-purposed for something even more exciting if they allow God to use them for His plan. 

Maybe your life has changed dramatically and you can’t find a reason or purpose for being on Earth, let me remind you of what God has said in Genesis 1:31 (NLT).

 “Then God looked over all He had made (including you & me),
and saw that it was very good! (How good? Very good.)”

When God makes a vessel for His use, He may redesign, remold, rebuild, recast, recycle or re-purpose it, but you can be sure it’s never discarded or destroyed.  As long as the vessel is willing to remain a vessel, there is always a purpose for its existence. 

“… and the vessel that He made of clay was marred in the hand of the Potter; so He made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the Potter to make.”(Jeremiah 18:4 NKJV)

So maybe we’re going through a bit of reshaping, that’s OK.  Think of it as a spiritual makeover with God footing the bill.  The “newer” vessel is going to be better than the last, do greater things and be more effective.

Vessels of Honor

On this part of our journey back to Jesus we need to take a look at the vessel God wants to use for His glory and to fulfill His promise of giving us a good end.  

“Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity (sin).  But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. 

Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter (dishonor), he will be a vessel of honor, sanctified and useful for the Master (Jesus), prepared for every good work.” (2 Timothy 2: 19-21 NKJV)

When I came to terms with God re-purposing me so He could still use this vessel, I spent most of my time in His Word and prayer.  There really wasn’t much else to do without furniture, television, car or computer.  In the beginning it was a house with walls and a yard … not much to keep one occupied.

That “down time” or what some may say “small beginnings” was exactly what I needed.  It allowed me to develop skills I had, apply them to new ways changing me into a versatile vessel that could be used in so many more areas along my journey.  This is where God is leading us.

 “Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work.” (Titus 3:1 NKJV)

Remember the envelope from step 1 in last week’s challenge where you had to list things that changed your life that you couldn’t let go or forget?  No, don’t go get it.  You know what it says.  Anyway, you gave it to God so no peeking.

Looking back on those things, pick the one that really changed your life.  You no longer have that burden, but are letting God repurpose it for your good.  What has the Lord done since that time to turn the situation around?  If you don’t see anything happening it’s time to resubmit the vessel!

Challenge of the Week:
Re-purposed into Vessels of Honor

Last week we learned that we needed to let go of some things in our past so God could do something in our present and future. (See last week's challenge.)  

Our challenge this week is to identify the things that may seem to be bad situations and let God re-purpose them making us vessels of honor He can use for every good work.  
We’re going to do 2 things to accomplish this task in one week.

1) Become a prayer vessel throughout our study time.

2) Re-purpose our vessel by volunteering. 

Need some examples?  Let suppose you lost your job and had to go on government assistance. It’s embarrassing, your pride is hurt and you don’t want anyone to know.

Prayer Vessel: How can God use this situation for good so that you become a vessel of honor?  This is a great opportunity to be humbled giving insight and compassion for something you never understood.  Instead of taking this personally, take it globally praying Matthew 6:9-13 for others in the same situation.
Re-purpose Vessel: Volunteer your skills.  Remember that vessels get re-purposed according to other people’s needs, not our own. 

If you were in sales you know how to deal with people.  Use those people skills for an event or program in your community such as fundraisers. 

Are you a builder or contractor?  Commit one day to making minor repairs for seniors or widows housing needs.  Fix a sign for someone, nail something back in place, change a light bulb … whatever it takes to get you out of the house and take your mind off of the problem.  

Broken relationship? Build one for someone else by introducing people of like interests. A child without grandparents or friends can be matched with people who have lost loved ones.

If you are a teacher who didn’t get asked back for next year, don’t volunteer to teach something around the same age level or subject you taught.  Use those talents for age levels higher or much lower and not for school related things. 

By seeking God and allowing Him to re-purpose your life, you will be overwhelmed by the favor He shows you because of your submissive spirit.

Heavenly Father,

Make me a Vessel of Honor for You.
Mold me so I become all that You want me to be.
Manifest the patience of the Holy Spirit in me,
Help me so that I’ll stay and not run.
I submit my vessel; finish the work that You started in me...
Please click on the music video links of the week to encourage your faith.

 Until next time, become a vessel God can favor.

What's New this Week:  Go Green – Recycle What You Have 

Maybe you don’t know the Living God that I know, but would like to have this kind of favor in your life also.  Click on the above tab “Tell Me About Jesus” for more information on becoming a child of the Savior. 

Content and Image Copyright from Favored1. Do not copy. A.N.A. logo by J.C.Penney, Inc.
Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provide by Bible Gateway.
Image credit: Google Images Creative Common License if not specified.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Let It Go

Image of Lori A. Moore
Lori's books are available below.
A few weeks ago I had a brief conversation with author friend Lori A. Moore about people setting a time limit on grieving or any kind of grief for that matter. 

Grief doesn’t have to be only from losing a loved one, but comes in many forms.  This is a subject I’ve studied extensively for counseling people. 

There are numerous reasons why we grieve. People grieve over a job, pet, relationship, bad decisions, material things or loss of dreams.  Did you know that women even grieve over moving?

Lori made it clear that she doesn’t believe there is a time one should “be over it,” but there is a process along the journey. 

She explains in her book “Missing Andy” how she had to walk out the process with God in order to regain the “living” part of her life.

It was her journey through grief that “furthered her relationship with God and showed her how to truly live again. Come out of a place of inconsolable sadness and discover the joy that can only be found through Christ Jesus.” (Description quote)

Turning something that was meant for bad into good can only take place when you learn the meaning of trusting God.

Moving on from our past and the things we know is one of the hardest things someone can do.  Unfortunately, I can say this from too many experiences where I had to let go of my emotions in order to move forward in my life. 

Welcome new friends this week from: 

New on DFB Kuwait; El Salvador; Dominican Republic; Lithuania; Kranj, Bohinj, Slovenia; Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India; Taiwan; France; Chili.  USA: Thank you faithful ones.
It gives me great joy welcoming new people each week.  What fun to meet you and share this Inner Journey together on Daily Favor?  (DFB - Daily Favor Blog) 
Feel free to leave your comments or prayer requests.  I would love to hear from you and how Daily Favor has worked in your life.  If I’ve missed anyone forgive me. Please share this challenge and invite more friends to join us.  You are making a difference!
Don’t miss out on this week’s challenge (below). Q & A

It’s funny that I’m sharing this writing with you this week.  I wrote it on April 10th 2014, but the timing wasn’t right. 
How I came about writing this was triggered by some teaching and a single movie clip from years ago that helped me step out in faith after some tragedies.  Yes, there have been a ton of books and videos that I watched to help me deal with the emotional part of loss and some helped.  
However, there was a silly opening scene from Night at the Museum 2 (Smithsonian) that my husband and I have ingrained in our thoughts whenever the devil tries to suck us back in past hurts...  “Let it go, baby!” 

It seems that the Apostle Paul felt the same way ...
“Brothers and sister (in Christ), as I said, I know I have not arrived; but there’s one thing I am doing: I’m leaving my old life behind, (letting it go) putting everything on the line for this mission (journey).  I am sprinting toward the only goal that counts: to cross the line, to win the prize, and to hear God’s call to resurrection life found exclusively in Jesus the Anointed.” (from Philippians 3:13-14 the Voice)

Vessels of Grace

About ten years ago there was a woman in our church that couldn’t let go of her pain and guilt.  The problem wasn’t something she did, but what she felt she didn’t do.  Her teenage son committed suicide.  The devil tried convincing her that it was her fault, even though it wasn’t true. 
The grief and emotional roller coaster she experienced literally prevented her from leaving her house and functioning in society.  It almost destroyed her marriage.

Instead of giving in to fear, by faith her husband allowed God to work through him and her other children.  The process was slow, but it was a journey the family needed to take with God where they learned “we are vessels of grace.”

Beyond the Comfort Fence

There will be a time in all of our lives where we will have to go beyond what we know.  Some refer to it as “leaving their comfort zone.” 
When we moved from all that we knew in life our lives changed dramatically – some good, some bad events transpired over the course of a few short years. 
There were things I was holding on to that I wasn't aware of until after we moved.  Bitterness, anger, resentment and unforgiveness stemmed as far back to when I was four years old. 

Not having television or a car allowed me plenty of time to think.  That's when my writing really got serious and so did my walk with God.

I knew if I didn’t get my act together emotionally that I would never reach any more of my goals or my potential.  My life could have easily been swept away in depression, self-pity and disappointment.

God showed me through simple things that were taking place in my “new life” how to move from the past and let things go.  Honestly, this wasn’t easy at first, but as I practiced what I learned the healing would come.

Lessons from My Dog

It has to make you laugh at times when God reveals things to you in the most unusual forms, for example, my dog.

When Sunshine and I went on our walks, she was always on a lead and could only go as far as the leash stretched.  If I dropped the leash on the ground she would sit down at my feet.
Even if I moved away from her, she wouldn’t move, I mean ever.  It was if she was ground tied.  I never taught her that, she did it on her own (making me look good).  It was a behavior I needed to retrain if she was to experience new things I had planned for her. 

While traveling in New York there were places we visited in Lake George that had great open fields where we could run our pets.  One particular place I loved the entire football field was fenced. 

We decided to take the pets off the leashes and let them go, running free to do what they were meant to do in life – be happy, carefree and one with nature.  As soon as I took off the leash, Sunshine would run around in every direction literally popping in the air.  Although she was free to play, she was always aware of where I was on the field and kept me in her sight. 

Sunshine would run a bit and then run right back to me.  When I called her away from an unsafe place she listened and moved with me trusting that the decision was in her best interest.

God showed me/us that no matter where we go, He is worthy of our trust.  The Lord is always going to be there and His Holy Spirit will comfort us as we venture into new territories.  He isn’t leading us into places that will cause us harm. 

Moving the Boundaries

Our lessons of trust and moving past our comfort zone wasn’t nearly over.  If we are to grow on our journey with Jesus we have to get our “emotional pain” under control.  That will take moving beyond our own boundaries of faith and into God’s faith world.

A few years ago we realized that Sunshine needed to move past some pain in her life both physically and emotionally.  Her sister moved to Heaven and so we wanted her to build new relationships with our neighbor’s dog.  In order to do that we had to make a big decision – move the fence!

When we moved the boundaries of the fence and created a new larger space for Sunshine, she still wouldn’t go past the old fence line.  The fence wasn’t there, but in her mind it was and she refused to cross over to the new area beyond the former boundaries.

Invisible Fences 

Even though we enlarged her world, Sunshine stayed in the “old” part of the yard with invisible fences holding her back.  Is that what’s happening in your world?  Perhaps God is trying to get you to cross over into the new things and has removed some fence boundaries in your life, but you are being bound by invisible fences

It took some retraining, but my pup learned that I was always with her guiding her into the new territory.  Don’t you get it?  I was the one who moved the fence and expanded her boundaries.  She didn’t ask me to do it, nor did I consult her on my actions.  Her “Master” saw that giving her more room would help her stay emotionally and physically fit.  Once she accepted the move, Sunshine thrived in the new area.  

For the longest time we could still see where the fence used to be.  It took a few summers for the grass to completely cover the line, and now you can’t even tell where the old fence was.

Holding on to God and letting go of the past.
Unleashed Faith

Sometimes God takes off the short leash we had as new born Christians and moves the fences in our lives to stretch our faith.  It is a testing that is implemented to encourage us to step out in faith knowing that God will be with us no matter where the fences are moved. 

In the new places He takes us, we learn different ways or approaches that we never knew existed or were needed.  Instead of getting overtaken by the “grief” of whatever it is, God helps us take that new approach so we can accomplish greater things for Him.

Jesus gave us a reason to hope when He made the statement that we would do greater things than He did.  How could that be possible?  All things are possible with God when we unleash our faith and act on His promises.  

“Jesus said to him, “If you (He meant you or me) can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” (Mark 9:23 NKJV)
Knowing Christ said we will do greater things tells us that there is more to be done, and that God wants to do it through us.  How exciting is that?  

A preacher once spoke on a conversation he had with God (in his spirit, not vocally). The Lord asked him this question:  “What things would you do if you had unlimited resources and money?”

I can imagine a list of things that popped in your head as did in mine when I heard him share this story.  You might even say, “…but I don’t have those things.”  Once more, “What if you did?”  You would be able to do all sorts of things, but that wouldn’t require faith. 

God wants us to understand we do have access to anything through Christ Jesus, but it will come through our faith when we let go of what’s holding us in the same places.

Challenge of the Week:
Unleash Your Faith

Every person who has chosen to walk this journey to Jesus on Daily Favor is experiencing new growth, whatever the level or pace.  God is removing some boundaries and asking us to let go of things that are stopping Him from taking us beyond our expectations or “more than we could ask or dream.”

Our challenge will require three things of us.

First: Literally write down the things that you haven’t let go of that are stopping your promotion in God’s favor.  These are the things that are keeping you bound and preventing you from being the best you. Be honest, you’re dreams and desires are at risk here.  Bring that list into your prayer closet and give them to the Lord one by one.

After you’ve prayed put the list inside an envelope.  On the front write this statement:

“These no longer belong to me but God, because I let them go.”

Then tuck it into your Bible at Mark 9:23 as if you were handing it to God Himself.  Use the Bible as your point of contact, believing all things are possible with God.  Ask Him to strengthen you as you take this step of faith not to steal back what you have given over to the Lord.

The next two steps involve memorization of God’s promises, so when satan tries to talk you out of your deliverance, you can say, “Not this time devil, I’ve got a promise from God!”

Second: If we are to believe by faith for our dreams, we have to believe God will first meet our needs.  Memorize Philippians 4:19.

“And my God shall supply all (speak your name here) according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Expect things to start going according to your prayers based on God’s Word.  It’s easy to recognize huge things, but make sure you don’t overlook the smallest boundary changes.  God is doing something, notice Him.

Third:  Every day (even past this week’s quest ending) pray the Disciple’s Prayer (some call it the Lord’s Prayer) in Matthew.  When you pray it, not quote, it something changes in the Heavenly atmosphere realm.  As you pray “us and our” be mindful that it is referring to the entire Body of Christ, not just you or your family.  

By praying for others, your prayers will be heard. In turn, God will respond to your faith granting His unlimited grace, mercy and favor. 

Jesus said, after this manner pray (say it like this):

Our Father, which is in Heaven, Holy is Your Name.
Your Kingdom come, Your will be done in Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from (all) evil: For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.  Amen.” (taken from Matthew 6:9-13 NKJV)

When we call on the Lord to lead us, we can freely let go of old painful boundaries and walk into a new life of hope.   Don’t count yourself out based on the fact that you lost your way on the path.  Hold on to the One who is faithful and makes all things possible.

Let your faith run wide (not your behavior) into places where you can grow.  In showing yourself faithful, God will expand the boundaries.  With your “griefs, worries and boundaries” taken away by the blood seal promise of Jesus, you are now an empty vessel waiting to be filled and used for the greater things. Unleash your faith; let it (faith) go and see where God takes you.  


Until next time, receive favor by unleashing your faith.

What's New this Week:  Missing Andy by Lori A.

Maybe you don’t know the Living God that I know, but would like to have this kind of favor in your life also.  Click on the above tab “Tell Me” for more information on becoming a child of the Savior.

Content and Image Copyright from Favored1. Do not copy. A.N.A. logo by J.C.Penney, Inc.
Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provide by Gateway Bible.
Image credit: Google Images or Dreamstime Creative Common License if not specified.

“Missing Andy” by Lori A. Moore (Tate Publishing 2010)

Vessels of Grace, Favored1, Daily Favor Blog, Invisible Fences, Lori Moore,

Friday, May 16, 2014

It Takes Two

“Can’t we just sing again next week?”  That’s what my husband said when he heard our topic for this week.  I secretly wanted to agree with him more than you could know.

It’s been about two months or so that I’ve been trying to avoid writing on this subject (Still wondering aren’t you?).  Actually, I really believed I had this area pretty much down in my Inner Journey. 

Of course, I was wrong or it wouldn’t have shown up here.  I’d tell you not to share that tidbit with my hubby, but he’s also taking the challenge.
Welcome new friends this week from:

New on DFB – Ghana; Qatar; Curacao; Hong Kong; Poland; Malaysia; South Africa, Kenya, Puerto Rico, Mexico; Cairo, Al Qahirah, Eqypt; Zdunska Wola, Sieradz, Poland; Dhaka, Bangladesh; Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, India; Melbourne, VIC, Australia; Ireland; Hove, England, United Kingdom; The Hague, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands; New Plymouth, Tarankaki, New Zealand & Yokosuka-shi, Kanagawa Japan. 

USA – Portland, Oregon; Chester, PA; Mountain View, Missouri; Hoisington, Kansas; Smyrna, Georgia; Fairmont, Kabetogama, Minnesota; Sicklerville, Gloucester City, Pitman, Mantua, Malaga, Millville, Williamstown, Newfield, Glassboro, Hammonton, Franklinville, North Wildwood & Swedesboro, New Jersey.

I’m happy to see new people each week along with our faithful followers.  What fun to meet you and share this Inner Journey together on Daily Favor.  (DFB - Daily Favor Blog)

If I’ve missed anyone forgive me. Please share this challenge and invite more friends to join us.  You are making a difference! 

Don’t miss out on this week’s challenge (below).  Q & A

It Takes Two

In order for there to be a relationship of any kind it takes two components, usually people.  Part of something turning into a true relationship is the ingredient trust, without it there really isn’t much of a foundation. 

I used to be a person that trusted practically everyone.  It wasn’t until I was in my late 20’s that the trust factor was broken, and since then it hasn’t been the same. 
We all have times where trust has been destroyed, whether it’s in a work situation, friend, family or spouse.  Those kinds of things I sort of expected, but what about the trust factor with God? 

When I began studying people who trusted God in the Bible it made me question where my trust really was in my Inner Journey to Jesus.  I reverted to the "Question Everything" challenge and debated this issue back and forth in my mind. 

Did I really trust the Lord or was my trust based on whether or not my prayers were answered according to my will?  There is no doubt that I’ve had tons of prayers answered over the years, but I’ve also been upset with God when some of them didn’t go my way.  Can I get a witness?

The question I asked myself was “Do I really put my trust in God or am I putting my trust in God doing what I wanted?”  To settle this “trust vs. no trust” problem I tried listing times when I really did know it was trust in God that carried me through something.  I’m ashamed to share that I couldn’t really rattle off a long list of times when I knew I totally trusted God for the outcome no matter what it was. 

Doesn’t believing God mean that you always trust Him?  If you were to look at my track record you wouldn’t think I did.  So many times I have believed and trusted God to answer my prayers for someone else, but not for myself.  Why is it that our faith seems stronger when it comes to other people’s problems? 

I found that on some occasions my trust would take me so far until I saw a situation or was in the middle of it, and then fear replaced trust.  As soon as that happens, God has nothing to work with in carrying out our requests.  Without faith it’s impossible to please Him, and without faith there is no trust. 

Limited Trust in Relationships

Can you remember having a conversation like this with your parents? “Daddy, you don’t trust me?”  His response might have been, “No I don’t.”  Or maybe a parent said they trusted you but not your friends or the place you wanted to go.  There was usually a reason that they didn’t divulge clearly to you, but it was enough for the relationship to be breached in some way.

With many of my students trust was a rare thing to them, because their parents never kept their word on things. 

To a child, the word of a parent goes a long way, and to have that trust broken by inconsistency causes doubt to build in any future relationships they may have as adults.

We want our kids to trust us, but we don’t keep our word.  If you want people to trust you, keep your word and follow through with what you promised.  That thought is what brought me to look up individuals in the Bible that really understood what it means to trust someone completely. 

They Trusted Unconditionally

Most of the time we base trust on the activities of the other person on our behalf; I trust you because … and so forth.  They gave us a reason to believe their word and trust naturally followed.

Would these same people still trust even if things weren’t going their way?  We know of the account where Abraham took his son Isaac to be sacrificed. 

How do we know Abraham trusted God unconditionally? 

Following the passage in Genesis, Abraham lets us know by his very words and actions that he puts his trust in God even if it meant killing His son.

Can you imagine how this was all playing out in Abraham’s mind?  “OK GOD, You said that I’m going to be the Father of Nations through Isaac.  Somehow, someway You’ll make it happen, even if I sacrifice my son.  Two came up the mountain and two will be returning.”

“Stay here with the donkey,” Abraham told the servants.  Now this is where you know he trusted God. “The boy and I will travel a little farther.  We will worship there, and then we will come right back.” (from Genesis 22 NLT)
Abraham obviously believed in miracles, since Isaac was one, so this wouldn’t be a problem for God in his eyes. 

This one was too easy; I needed another example.  Looking up the word “trust” in my concordance I turned to the book of Daniel chapter 6, and read about him in the lion’s den.  Now this was impressive.  His faith and trust in God was so strong that even the ruler King Darius changed his tune, and openly proclaimed that Daniel’s God was the only Living and true God. 
It was obvious even to the King that Daniel received great favor from the Lord, because of his unwavering faith and trust in Him. 

“… For He is the Living God, and He will endure forever. His Kingdom will never be destroyed and His rule will never end.  He rescues and saves His people; He performs miraculous signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth …” (from Daniel 6 NLT) 
Even that didn’t convince me because things still went his way.

I kept looking and came upon the event that practically everyone knows – the men in the fire.  This was what I was looking for … I knew from what the subjects said to the King.  You’ve got to read this for yourself: 

“Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego that you refuse to serve my gods or to worship the gold statue I have set up?”

All these men had to do was change their confession and the King would let them live.  This is what I was looking for as evidence of absolute trust in God without getting anything in return. 

They responded,
“O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you.
If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, your Majesty.
But even if he doesn’t (this is where it’s settled), we want to make it clear to you … we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” (from Daniel 3:14-18 NLT)  

They continue to trust God in the midst of their worst trial, and remained steadfast causing Jesus Himself to show up on the scene.  Their faith and trust in the Lord wasn’t ever in question. As a result God saved them, the King promoted all three men and anyone who spoke against their God would be destroyed.  That’s what some like to say is the “double favor” blessing. 

Did I Do That? Could I?

From the passages that I was reading anyone could tell that they certainly trusted God no matter what happened - good or bad.  When did I ever trust God like that? I had a hard time remembering if I ever did.  
Could I?

Thankfully, the Holy Spirit helped me remember times when I did have that kind of trust.  What was my evidence that it was being manifested in me?  I had complete peace about a situation and never fretted over it, even when things didn’t go my way. 

During those times I didn’t ask why, but rather said, “God must have something better for me.”   However, this is my most frequent statement, and I remember it well, because I use it so often …

“Lean not unto your own understanding.”  I don’t even have to finish the sentence and it quickens my actions and reactions from sliding into unbelief.  (Learn this verse in song.) JumpStart3 | Proverbs 3:5-6 

This is the kicker …

In prayer I heard this in my spirit … “Give me a reason to trust you so I can build this trust thing with you.”  To me, that sounded like a Father - child relationship.  My Heavenly Father was looking for ways He could trust me to carry out something He needed accomplished here on Earth.

There are times God knows we trust Him, but can He trust us?  Our actions prove that we aren’t always trustworthy when we don’t believe the promises of God He speaks of in His Word.

Trust is a two way thing and it takes two to build it.  Have you checked your trust scale level with God lately? 

What things of value can He trust you with from His Kingdom?  The amount of trust you release to Him is the exact amount you will receive from the Lord.  How much trust are you willing to let go of in order to gain trust (which results in favor from God and man)?

 Challenge of the Week:
Finding Our Trust Level.

As we progress in our Inner Journey to Christ, the tasks may be more difficult, because we have to really take a microscope to the true feelings behind our behavior. 
If God is going to bless His children, He has to be sure the trust factor is built into it.  We’re going to do two things to measure that trust. 

First: Write down a list of times you specifically knew that you trusted God no matter how things went.  Think about when you were at peace over decisions and that will help you to select the true trust incidents.  

This may take you all week to do as you contemplate each situation, weighing the evidence as to whether or not it was trust or mere “hoping” things would work out your way. 

Second: List the ways God can trust you.  What examples can you name that give evidence of your faithfulness so that He can entrust something big to you?  Look at the things you have held back on as a percentage.  If the “It takes two” factor is at 50%, than you need to make the adjustments, not God. 

The question is why should God give us His all when we’re only willing to give Him a portion of our trust?  Let’s be willing to make some major changes in learning to trust God with all our hearts, even when we don’t understand or the answer to our prayers is no.

The old 1967 Marvin Gaye song sings like this … “It takes two, to make a dream come true.”  Well, that is true for believers, but the other person isn’t from here (Earth).

I’m looking for ways to be promoted, because God saw I was trustworthy and cannot be shaken or moved from my faith.  How about you? 

We are not walking this journey alone, it will take two (God and you/me) to make it to the end.  Will we trust the Lord to get us to our destination?  Trust Him to make your dreams and desires of your heart come true.

Song of the Week.  Click on the link.

 Until next time, favor comes through trusting God.

 What's New this Week: Click on the link.

 by Jason Crabb

Lessons I've Learned about Grace, Loss, and Love

Maybe you don’t know the Living God that I know, but would like to have this kind of favor in your life also.  Click on the above tab “Tell Me” for more information on becoming a child of the Savior.
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Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provide by Gateway Bible

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