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  


Monthly Mashup

Welcome to my monthly mashup! These are some of the things I’ve enjoyed or pondered this month:

Book I’m reading: When, The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink. This was a book that I read quickly. Then, when I realized how important the information was, I went back and read it slowly while taking notes. The research in this book is shaping when I approach certain tasks in my day. My efficiency, as well as my overall satisfaction with how I organize my time has increased greatly. From chapter one, The Hidden Pattern of Everyday Life: “Across continents and time zones, as predictable as the ocean tides, was the same daily oscillation—a peak, a trough and a rebound. Beneath the surface of our everyday life is a hidden pattern: crucial, unexpected, and revealing.” (p 11)

Music I’m listening to: www.MaverickCityMusic.com Sometimes during the day I want to connect with God but I don’t really want to read scripture. I might have ten minutes in between meetings and that’s when I play a song from Maverick City to help connect my heart to God’s…instantly. Check out Temple on Vol 3 Part 2 or The Story I’ll Tell. From the Maverick City website: “What brings us together, and that sound that is vivaciously smacking you in the face the first time you hit play on a Maverick track, isn’t the sound of a community that centered around their deprivation, it’s the audacious sound of true belonging. The beautiful harmony of long-lost family. Maybe now more than ever not just the Church but the world needs a plurality of strong diverse voices carrying messages that can help reshape the world.” Their music is truly something to be experienced.

Toy I’m enjoying—The Revolution FIT 3-in-1 Balance Training System. It’s a balance board with 3 interchangeable bases-the rocker, the air cushion, and the roller (my fav). From their website: “The FIT balance board is designed to add a whole new dimension to your workout. Harnessing balance as a fitness tool, the FIT will maximize the burn and add excitement to your exercise routine.” With our entire family working from home, it’s a fun little exercise tool we keep out in the living room for those five-minute breaks in between meetings and calls. I noticed a total difference in my balance on the first day snowboarding this season.

What I’m celebrating—We asked our kids to be in charge of a portion of our charitable giving this year. We gave them a designated amount of money and asked that they collaborate on finding non-profits to receive funds and how much. We have four kids, ages 19 to 25, plus a son-in-law. Together they researched groups they had interacted with at some point in their lives. They contacted many non-profits to discover if there were any special projects or needs at the moment. The kids made presentations on their findings, much like a TedX talk to decide how to designate the funds. Through this, we all have become quite excited to share our time, talent, and treasure with some fabulous non-profits doing heroic work. Giving, as a group effort, is actually a lot of fun.

Quote I’m pondering–“What if instead of calling people out, we called them in?” Prof. Loretta J. Ross

As always, please give me feedback on the blog. What do you want more or less of? I would love to hear how God is at work in your life. You can sign up to receive this blog in your email every Monday at www.MargaretAllen.org at the bottom of Mondays With Margaret. If you are reading through my book, Gracious Living, I want to hear what resonates for you! Tag me on insta @margaretallen.gl


God’s Promises

“I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring, and My blessing on your descendants.” (Isaiah 44:3)

My daughter recently started leading worship at church. As you can probably guess, my momma heart is thrilled to see her experiencing God in such powerful ways. My little girl has grown up to be an inspiring, godly young woman. She listens to God and translates faith to her peers. Her life is blessed and I’m constantly reminded of God’s promises to honor those who honor Him. 

I remember driving with our four kids in the minivan, racing from school to activities, changing clothes in the car and inhaling a quick snack. We’d speed from soccer for one child to gymnastics for three; next, piano lessons with Grandma and then home to make dinner and do homework. The thought was always close by though, none of this will matter if they don’t know Jesus! Our children can be talented in sports, music, theater, whatever—but if they have not been nurtured in their friendship with Christ then we missed the mark! We could be busy doing urgent things but not the most important.   O Lord, please keep our lives centered in You!  

Faithful Mommas out there, take these scriptures as God’s promises to you:

“I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring, and My blessing on your descendants. This one will say, ‘I am the Lord’s; And another will write on his hand, ‘Belonging to the Lord’” (Isaiah 44:3,5)

“Your children will be like olive plants around your table. Behold, for thus shall the one be blessed who fears the Lord.” (Psalm 128:3-4)

“Let our sons in their youth be as grown-up plants, and our daughters as corner pillars fashioned for a palace. How blessed are the people whose God is the Lord!” (Psalm 144:12,15)

If like me, you were not brought up as a Christian, there’s great interest in growing as a godly parent. I’ve looked at our home priorities and asked, do we have a heart for worship? Do we love and serve people? Do we know our worth and identity, not according to the world, but according to God?  Mentoring a generation to walk with God in our complex world doesn’t happen accidently. It is a beautiful, intentional process that I describe in my book, Gracious Living, creating a culture of honor, love, and compassion. “Gracious parenting is a seed watered by emotional maturity—one that bears fruit for generations.” (Gracious Living, p 84)

Yes, the seeds I planted in my kids twenty years ago are bearing fruit today. Prayers I prayed, deposits I made in their hearts—and withdrawals as well, are bearing fruit today. God promises blessing and fruitfulness to those who walk with Him. If you are in the throes of raising little ones, be encouraged that God is faithful about His promises. Christian parenting is not about doing it perfectly; but rather loving our children as we follow and obey God’s voice.

God promised that He would pour out His Spirit on our offspring. Bless your kids today as you partner with Him, dreaming beautiful dreams and sowing seeds for their destiny. Get my book, Gracious Living as encouragement for your journey and please subscribe to my blog at http://www.MargaretAllen.org Encourage the moms you know by sharing this post!


What is Essential?

Our lives have been reduced in the last six months. Besides the closing of many small businesses, movie theaters, and salons, here in Silicon Valley, churches are online or extremely limited in-person capacity. Have you missed gathering?  I’ve been to three in-person church services over the past month. They were unique settings in different cities but they had one common denominator.

We looked up a church to attend while traveling in Idaho. “Let’s try something different,” I told my family. We chose a small Pentecostal church. Arriving, we realized it was PENTECOSTAL, as women wore dresses, no makeup, and some wore little doily head coverings. Instantly I regretted my bright red lipstick. Our family grinned at each other, rolled our eyes a bit, and expected little from this odd group of people. “Man looks on the outside, but God looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7) Guilty here! The worship was sincere and pure. The message was genuine, thoughtful, and Christ-centered. We were surprised and refreshed.

The next service we attended was a mountain chapel in Twain Harte, California. I had been invited to preach and to bring my book, Gracious Living. It felt so good to worship at church together. I was pretty certain about the message God had put on my heart and could see the chord it struck in people by their heart-felt responses. I felt fully alive!

The third service was a Wednesday night women’s meeting in South San Jose. A rockin’ worship band played and we sang our guts out (not easy to do as we all wore masks). The sermon was an interview of mother and daughter pairs discussing their relationship with each other. They shared with honesty and raw vulnerability. It was inspiring and also informative.

The differences within these meetings were profound: we were white, black, and brown. Democrat and Republican. Rich and dangerously poor. Solid Christian families alongside many from very broken backgrounds. Pentecostal to charismatic to evangelical. The common denominator? Jesus in the room! Being fully present with people and God. Tears. Many cried at these meetings, encountering the pure love of God through Christ. We experienced His speaking voice in our hearts. We shared our stories and discovered we all have hurts in this life, but Jesus brings restoration. My friend, worshipping together with Jesus is the real deal!

“The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I have hope in Him. The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him.” (Lamentations 3:24-25) 

“and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together.” (Hebrews 10:25) 

Is church essential in your life? For me, these three services were some of the most genuine, transcendent moments of my month. What’s happening in your walk with God these days? Are you gathering in-person to worship? Are you feeling connected to God and people or are there adjustments to make? I would love to hear about your journey.