Friday, June 20, 2014

Not of this World

For an entire month the world is going to be fixated on the spectacular games taking place in Brazil for the 2014 World’s Best Soccer Team. 

Fans will be singing their praises, buying memorabilia, messaging words of encouragement to their favorite teams and players.   

Last week we learned that it is OK to give honor to individuals without making heroes out of them.  Can we take our minds off the game for a short time and focus on those not of this world? 

Welcome new friends this week from:
See if your state/country/region made the list. 

New on DFB – Belgium; Dominica; Argentina; Ireland; Kenya; Bahrain; Estonia; Jordan; Switzerland; Mexico; Moldova; Denmark; Chichester, England, UK; New Castle, NSW, Australia; Fruitvale, B.C., Canada. 

USA: Memphis, Madisonville, Greenville, Knoxville, TN; Schenectady, Utica, Jamestown, Albany, Rotterdam, Delanson, Brooklyn, New York, New York; Benton, Kentucky; Elyria, Ohio; Springfield, Missouri; Medford, Oregon; Concord, North Carolina; Souderton, Pennsylvania; Boise, ID; Clayton, Pennsville, Rosenhayn, Alloway, Buena, Hardingville, Woodbury, Marlton, Morganville, Jersey City, Washington Twsp. in Gloucester County, NJ.  

Aren’t you excited to see so many new cities and countries log into Daily Favor each day?  It gives encouragement that there are people in need of the lessons we’ve been learning.  Thank you to all who have remained faithful in sharing this Inner Journey on Daily Favor.  (DFB - Daily Favor Blog) 

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It’s easy to get caught up with the things of this world; after all it is where we are living right?  Technically yes, but spiritually no.
I realized that we were coming to the tail end of our Inner Journey a while back. In prayer I asked the Lord to show me what was the main thing holding back favor from His children.   He didn’t give me a long drawn out list, but said, “You.” 
“Me” … I quickly rebutted.  “No ... You.” He said again, but this time explained what “You” meant.  You as each individual … like each one all by themselves. 
If you asked me a question my response would be directed to you personally.  So the real person holding back God’s favor is you, me, I, he, she, we, us … get it.  You, yourself, personally determine the amount of favor based on certain things.
The reason why God’s children aren’t experiencing the blessings, favor and mercy from Him is because we have been looking at this world’s benefit package and not Heaven’s world. 
Right now people are traveling from all over the world to get to Brazil for the games. They realize that they are only there for a short time and make temporary arrangements for their visitation.  People do what they can to fit into that part of the world, but are not caught up in learning everything about it while engaging in the sporting events. 
Are the Brazilians upset by this? Of course not.  They are doing their best so that people have a nice stay in their part of the world, but know they are leaving when the games are finished to where they really live.  When the World Cup is presented their part is finished and they will have succeeded in their task.
Christians have forgotten that they are not of this world and that we have an assignment as Ambassadors of the Lord.  In order for us to complete the job we need the favor of God and man to succeed.
Give Me A Reason to Believe …
Book by  Maurice Wiles
You want reasons why believers aren’t experiencing the best from God, even in difficult times?  Here are a few.
One is they don’t see the small blessings and are looking for the big buck items, forgetting the dollar gifts they already have.  They aren’t grateful or content with what God has given them for this part of their journey.
Another reason is the untamed tongue mentioned in James chapter 3.
It’s the most powerful weapon a Christian has, but we’re using it to destroy and not build up the Body of Christ. 
Now think about it, some of the things that come out of our mouths are pretty dumb.  I get on people all the time for saying, “That cake (or whatever food it is) is to die for.”  How stupid would you feel if you really did die from eating a piece of cake? 
The Bible says that "life and death are in the power of the tongue", so stop putting a gun to your life with your own words of destruction. 
This cake is terrific, best I’ve had in years.”  Would that be so hard to say?  Certainly our desire for God’s blessings on our life is more important than food.
There are many more reasons why favor hasn’t happened in some lives, but one stands out from the rest, pure belief.  We do not receive what we do not believe when it comes to blessings for ourselves.
A few weeks back we touched on this, but it’s still a huge problem.  Until we believe what God says about us, we’ll never have everything we need in this world to finish our journey with joy.  God has a vision and place for each of us. His favor will lead you to that place to accomplish His purpose for your life.

Blessed Girl
My husband wanted to buy a new shirt for Flag Day, which was June 14th.  We looked through several pieces of clothing until he found what he wanted on sale for $5.00. 

I was going to get a matching shirt, but saw a dangling tag across from where I was standing.  It read, “Blessed Girl.”  Now I was intrigued and had to see what it meant.
Separating the hangers on the rack I pulled one out to see what was on the front.  Nothing fancy, just a small design on the upper left side of the T-shirt.  Then I turned it over and read the back.
Those who know me know that pink isn’t my favorite color, but I liked the message. There was a big girly boot design with raised bold lettering splashed across the entire back of the shirt. 
These boots are made for walkin' in the Light. Blessed Girl.
 John 8:12
Well, I had to have that, because I believed it.
My point is, that (like Jesus said) “You” (personally) have to believe what God says about you (me, us, etc…) when it refers to the blessings that come from obedience as stated in Deuteronomy 28, if they are going to go before and after you (verse 6). 
Do you really believe? For twenty-five weeks we’ve been learning about this, so favor should be knocking at our doors. 
Our lives reflect what we believe. Right now each team believes they will win that World Cup, if they didn’t why would they have worked so hard to get to into the series?  If you don’t believe in what you are doing you won’t win the prize. 
We are in this world physically to achieve our calling and do it with excellence.  That requires believing what the Word of God says about blessings.
Yield of Favor
Do you realize that it’s not what God thinks about you? He already thinks good things.  What do you think about yourself? God doesn’t have the problem believing, we do.  It’s our lack of faith to believe in His promises that stops favor from coming to pass. 
Remember Jesus did explain this issue of faith to us when He said in several passages, “Have faith … they received the gift by faith … to all have been given a measure of faith.”
We’re not using what was given to us by the Lord.  If I give you a full glass of water but you only drink half of it, you didn’t consume all I gave you.  That was your choice.  I gave you more than you needed. 
Can you see how this has happened in our mindset concerning the blessings of God?
Our yield in favor will be measured by what we’ve received, and dispersed through our believing the Word of God.  If you only believe for half blessings, that’s all you’ll receive and all you can dispense. 
Let me tell you what happened when I believed that I was a “Blessed Girl".
Walking in “Not of this World’s” Blessings
It didn’t take long for the favor of God to show up last week after I purchased the “Blessed Girl” shirt.  From the time I put it on literally until the time I took it off almost 20 hours later favor was showered upon me.
Last Saturday was Smile Power Day and I took it literally, planting smiles everywhere I went. God says we are to “be” friendly, so I was what “I am” in Christ. (A friend in/of/for Jesus.)
Our first stop was meeting some loved ones we hadn’t seen in several years along with some new people.  We decided to catch up at the IHOP where we met a “super” gentleman named Jason.  No wait, that’s what I called him …, Larry “Jason” lavished us with his smile, outgoing kindness and eagerness to please.
Our friends picked up the tab even though my husband tried to pay for theirs.  God allowed someone to bless us, because He positioned us to bless someone else.
Leaving the building we gathered in front of the couple’s vehicle to pray over their travels.  The Holy Spirit led someone to that specific parking lot that needed favor in their life.  If we didn’t take the blessing that was given to us by our friends, we wouldn't have been in position to be a blessing by giving favor in finances to a stranger in need.   
Not of this World Logo (TM)
Moving on from the restaurant we found extreme favor everywhere.  I’m talking “crazy, out of this world” favor and blessings. Each time we received a blessing, we gave one.  Throughout the day they kept multiplying when people commented on my shirt.
As people would speak, my confidence levels rose; I couldn’t wait to see what else God was about to do.  It was as if God was testing my faith to see if He really would do anything for “me.” 
My husband needed shoes.  We found a pair he liked and I used my $10 coupon toward purchasing them. When the price came up the saleswoman said, “You have a $20 rewards coupon.  Would you like to use it?” I didn’t know anything about this and with a big smile I nodded my head in agreement.  The shoes ended up being less than half price.
After the sale was complete, she gave me a 20% off slip for my next purchase.  With it I bought a much needed pair of sneakers for myself.  I do not want to boast, but shout praises of what God will do when we dare to take Him at His Word.  Favor will not always come through finances, but other things as well.
We received the best parking spots (I’m talking right outside the door) in crowed cities, free food, free gifts, and great service, rebuked prices for deep discounts all went before and followed us the entire day just like Deuteronomy said it would.
All we had to do was be obedient to God by being where He needed us to be, and do what He wanted us to do for Him that day.  Friends, favor and blessings are out there, even in bad times.
It all happened because I (we both) believed and acted on what God said:
“YOU (meaning me) are blessed and have favor as a shield about YOU Favored1.”
Put your name in where my name is and start acting like it is a done deal.  If favor is like a shield that surrounds us, then we should be bumping into it with every turn we make.
Hey, You!
Don’t think that the shirt was what made me believe.  It was just a biblical “point of contact” (much like a prayer cloth), and reminder of what I already believed.  Sometimes we need that.
When others read my shirt, it stirred up a conversation allowing an open door for the gospel. That was my part of the journey for last Saturday. 
It was if God was saying, "Hey, I'm talking to You." 
When “you” believe that your blessings will come from God (Who isn’t of this world), He will give them to you for His plan “in this world.”
It’s not about being cocky or arrogant; but becoming the vessel Jesus needs for His blessings to be disbursed. 
We cannot be generous in blessings if we aren’t receiving any. That is why we learned about becoming what God needs for His plan along our journey to Him.  Part of the process is identifying or attaching your life with the blessings as “yours” for the mission.  This is how to do that.
Call Me “Love”
It’s easier than you think … You didn’t get that. 
Easier … than WE THINK.
Our thinking is what has made it hard, because we don’t think the way God thinks when it comes to His blessings and being loved by Him.
When I realized that my thinker was wrong, I had to make outward adjustments along with the inner changes.  This change happened many years ago when I was trying to “decide” if God loved me, instead of believing He did.
Every night before we went to bed I asked my husband to call me “love” instead of honey or sweetheart.  He would say, “Goodnight Love (as if it were my name), I love you.”  Over the course of weeks it became a part of our speech not just for bedtime, but all the time.  In a matter of time I didn’t think I was loved, it was if love became my name and who I was.  Does that make sense to you?
1 John 4:16
We are not of this world but of God; we are “part of Love”.  Love is not a characteristic of God, He is love, just like I am a girl or my husband is a boy.  It’s genetics, the “AM” factor of an individual; it isn’t something you work at but is who you are.
If we are of God, doesn’t that mean through Christ we are love also, and not a characteristic of it?  It no longer is a name, but part of our being. It’s difficult being “love”, especially if we never knew that’s what we’re supposed to be in the first place.
Accepting what God has given us through salvation enables favor to be part of our lives continually. 
This is why identifying yourself with God is vital, and where our challenge for this week takes us.  Jesus said, “I have called you by name.” (See Isaiah 43 & Isaiah 45:4)

Don’t think of it as just your name of identification that people refer to you as, rather open yourself up for “all” the names God has called you that connect you to His favor.
This Week’s Challenge:
Connecting You to Favor
Step 1 - You will need ten large index cards and a bold marker. Colors would be nice.
Write the words “I am” on each one, leaving a space for an adjective (descriptive word) about what God says you are to Him.  (We did a partial exercise of this in the "Hello My Name Is" challenge.)
Step 2 To make this a shorter challenge we’re only going to use one letter of the alphabet. Taking the first letter in your given name (like “F” in Favored1), write down the positive terms that God calls His children.  Mine would look like this:
I am Fabulous (I know that one doesn’t count, just testing you.)
I am Favored.  (Luke 1:28)
I am Fruitful. (John 15:5)
I am Friendly. (Proverbs 18:24)
I am Fragrant (Yes, people have a spiritual smell. 2 Corinthians 2:14-16)
Here is another example. 
Let’s say your name begins with the letter G.  What words beginning with G does God say about us?  Rule out “good” because Jesus said,  "No one is good, but God."

How about giving, gracious or generous. What blessings are attached to those kinds of people?  OK, you get the idea. 

Don’t list your talents or gifts, but the character traits God is looking for in His children.  Those character traits will release favor in your life.
Step 3 - Find a verse that backs up the word you used to describe who you are to God through Christ like I showed you above, then write out the entire verse on the opposite side of the card.
OK, this isn't an index card, but it worked.
Step 4 Tape the cards throughout your home.  Do this for every member of your house.  When you see a member of your family, don’t call them by their earthly name. 
Call them their “out of this world” name, by speaking the descriptive favor words they learned.
Say “Hello, Love (or loved by God)” … whatever the word may be.  You will start to think of them in the Light of Jesus, and they will begin thinking of themselves as God does.

As you hear the words on a continual basis your faith to believe will grow.  It has to according to God.  “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” (Romans 10:17)

Verbalizing what God says about “you” shows the Lord that you agree with Him.  Through Christ we are Not of this World, and our blessings need to be “Out of this World” spectacular, to finish the journey that leads us to a prize more precious than a silver cup.

They are not of this world, just as I am not of this world

Place in this World by Michael W. Smith

Until next time “Love”, expect “out of this world” favor from God.
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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.
Notes: Blessed Girl is a TM. Walmart; NOTW is a trademarked brand. World Cup, World Series Google Images, IHOP trademark for International House of Pancakes.