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Good Friends

“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:15

Do we consider ourselves friends of Christ? Honestly, sometimes it’s easier to just be a servant! We secretly attempt to compartmentalize our faith by choosing to “serve” at strategic junctures while keeping some parts of our heart separate, private. And even while Christ deserves obedience, what He has called us to is actual friendship. This friendship is a little key that opens the big doors of blessing from God.

When we consider friendship with Christ as the overarching principle of being a Christian, then the underlying character traits make sense. Stay with me: last week we saw that humility and worship were ways of partnering with God to unlock the doors to a full life. If I am truly focused on being a close friend with Christ, humility is a natural response! Worship makes total sense. If I am vulnerable and transparent before the Lord, seeking to be His friend, then a hunger for righteousness is completely in line. Gratitude isn’t so much a practice as it is a natural outflow of my friendship with our loving Savior.

This week I’ve reflected on my friendship with God. I’ve asked Him how we could be closer. I’ve also asked if there were thoughts or behaviors that initiated distance rather than intimacy. I have discovered over and over that distance is my choice and not His. But when Jesus said, “I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you,” He was establishing His desire for closeness and communication.

Think about your friendship with God this week. Do the things that good friends do: spend time together, share your heart with honesty and vulnerability, laugh, sing, cry. Give honor and credit. Be grateful. Value what He values. Ask questions.

May the joy and peace that uniquely belongs to Christ, fill you to overflowing this week. May this key of friendship with Christ open beautiful doors of blessing in your life.

Check out my book, Gracious Living, creating a culture of honor, love, and compassion. Read it on your own or go through it with friends. I enjoy zoom calls with groups that are reading through Gracious Living together and discovering such joy in the journey. Check out my website for more at http://www.MargaretAllen.org

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Partnering with God

A few weeks ago, I posted a reader’s question concerning the law of partnership. We talked about ways we inadvertently partner with the enemy through our participation in fear, anxiety, shame, anger, pride and so on.  Today I want to focus on specific ways of partnering with God that bring blessing and peace into our lives. Little keys open big doors. What are the little keys, the ways we hold hands with God, that open the big doors of blessing and peace?

One key is humility to seek God’s Face

“all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God is opposed to the proud, but He gives grace to the humble. Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time, having cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares about you.” 1 Peter 5: 5-7 You might need to reread this scripture in order to see that one of the ways we humble ourselves is by casting all of our anxiety on Him.

Proverbs 22:4 “True humility and fear of the Lord lead to riches, honor, and long life.”

 Let’s dig into a story that illustrates this key of humility unlocking the door to God’s blessing: in 2 Chronicles 20 Jehoshaphat, King of Judah faced terrifying armies coming against him and he was deeply troubled. But rather than partner with fear and anxiety, he humbled himself and turned his attention to seeking God. He fasted. Then he stood before his nation and proclaimed the promises and faithful nature of God. He recounted God’s goodness out loud. In faith he declared that God would hear and save because they had cried out to Him in their affliction. Jehoshaphat prayed, “For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us, nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” 2 Chron 20:12

We all have prayed that prayer at some time, haven’t we? Lord, I don’t know what to do but my eyes are on you! And just as God answered the humble and vulnerable prayer of King Jehoshaphat, He answers us as well. “Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” v 15 God was saying your problems are now MY problems! I got this. Study your Bible my friend and see if you don’t find time and time again, God exalts the humble. This one little key will open the door to riches, honor, and long life.

Praise, Worship, and Adoration

Listen to how King Jehoshaphat responded when he heard from God: “Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and everyone worshipped the Lord. They stood up to praise the Lord God with voices loud and high.” 2 Chron 20:19

Does God come through for you and then it’s back to business as usual? Let me encourage you, after doing the hard spiritual work of seeking God’s face and fasting, get your praise on. Shout hallelujah. Proclaim His goodness and His faithful promises out loud to your own self and to anyone else around. And when the Spirit of God shows up, no matter how He shows up, worship and adore Him with voices LOUD and HIGH! That’s right, get your praise on! 

Jehoshaphat believed so strongly in the faithfulness of God that he put singers in front of his soldiers. They praised the beauty of God’s holiness, saying “Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever.” Get this now: WHEN they began to sing and to praise, THEN the Lord ambushed the enemy. (2 Chron 20:22) God inhabits the praises of His people. (Psalm 22:3) He waits for one sign of our worship, our obedience, our trust in Him, and He reveals His goodness and faithfulness. 

When you don’t know what to do with the multitude coming against you, whether it’s health issues, marriage problems, finances, or more, partner with God through these simple key acts of obedience.  Humble yourself, cry out to God and seek His face. As you worship Him and proclaim His goodness you will experience God’s blessing and peace. 

These are just a few of the keys to unlocking doors to blessing. Do you have a testimony of God coming through for you? Please share it in the comments. We will examine a few more keys next week as we set our hearts on partnering with God to walk in blessing.

Check out my website for more information at www.margaretallen.org. Find me on insta @margaretallen.gl