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

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Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provide by Gateway Bible

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