Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Wednesday, Halloween and the day before Challenge

Happy Wednesday.

Just a retreat update! Went fabo. God is so good to us. He really blessed the leadership transition and we could feel the blessing of all the leaders and youth who'd gone before.

Today is Halloween. We don't celebrate, but church is having a havest fest type thing at the Mall. Should be fun. If not very sweet. (Lots-o-candy.)

Tomorrow begins the Favorite One challenge. All you have to do is wake up in the morning, and say, "Lord, here I am, Your favorite one." Say it throughout the day.

Now, if that language doesn't work for you, how about. "Here I am, one that You favor."

Or, "Here I am, one that You love."

Two people challenged me to back up the idea of being His favorite one, and/or asking Him to tell us what is on His heart, with Scripture.

So, I did.

The songwriter of Favorite One is using poetic language to describe her whole hearted devotion to Jesus. It's not possible in a song to add all the theologicial annotations, so she wrote what she studied of the Lord into this song.

Also, to be transparent here, I wouldn't sing the song if I wasn't sure of it's theology. Or, if I doubted the sincerety of the song's author.

Anyway, since I offered the Favorite One challenge, I felt it wise to back it up with scripture. The prayer retreat was a perfect place.

To be honest, I found so many verses, so many concepts of God's favor and love toward us it would be impossible to put them all in the blog. I consulted others versed in the Word, too. My hubby, and friend Stuart Greaves who teaches Bible course at the International House of Prayer. Thanks guys.

Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice." John 10:27. Isn't one way of hearing his voice by asking and then, waiting and listening.

"Can any two walk together unless they've agreed?" Amos 3:3. We have to know God to walk with Him. He reveals Himself to us primarily through His Word, but also through intimate whispers on our heart.

"Surely the Lord GOD does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets." Amos 3:7. Who are those prophets today? You and me.

In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit was given to a select few - kings and prophets.
In the New Testament, He's given to every believer! How amazing.

Mary worshipping at Jesus feat with extravagant love. She was confident of His love for her she braved breaking tradition. John 12.

John, the one Jesus loved.
He leaned against Jesus during the last supper, imploring Him to share who was going to betray Him. The other disciples were not confident enough to ask. But John was. He loved Jesus. Even more, he knew Jesus loved him.

Paul prayes that we may know love that surpasses knowledge, that God would do exceeding, abundantly beyond all we could ask or think in Ephesian 3:14- 21.

Daniel is touted as favored one or highly esteemed in Daniel 10:10, 19.

Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. James 5:17. A picture of the confidence when can have IF our hearts are right before the Lord.

The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in us. Romans 8:11.

One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to meditate (inquire) in His temple. Psalm 27:4

Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands. Psalm 90:17

The LORD favors those who fear Him, Those who wait for His lovingkindness. Psalm 147:11

The Favorite One challenge isn't about shoving our fist in God's face and demand answers! No!! It's about being confident in love.

In John 17 Jesus prays to the Father that we would be ONE with Him as He and the Father were one. I'd say that's a pretty close relationship.

The truth is, we are always asking God what's on His heart. I pray things like, "What is Your will for me?" "Tell me what to do." In essence, asking Him to serve me.

This challenge is about focusing on serving Him with confidence. "Lord, how can I serve You today?"

Confidence and humility woven together.

Philippians 3:10 says, "that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.."

The word know in this passage is the same know as in Adam "knew" his wife. It references intimacy. Closeness. Oneness. Paul is asking to know Jesus with every fiber of His being.

For me, that's what I want. To be wholehearted and consumed by Him. But for that to be real in my heart, for me to trust Him at the deepest level of my being, I have to know that I know He loves and favors me.

So, take the favorite one challenge this month. I think we'll have some great testimonies.


Kristy Dykes said...

Beautiful, Rachel! I'll take the challenge! It goes along with a saying I used to say to Milton every day and need to reactivate it: "You are a man of destiny!"

Thanks for this wonderful post. You are a blessing.

Georgiana said...

YES! I love this! Thanks for the scripture references. This was a perfect way to wake up =) I'm going to take the challenge!

Sharon Hayes said...

Thank you Rachel, I'm going to print this off and use it before I go to sleep tonight and then start doing it as you suggest.

Love Mom