Transferred Trust

Shock washed over me as I sat motionless against my fabric headboard. What seemed muddled just moments ago was now painfully clear. I took a deep breath, my eyes scanning the words again and again.

“Because [King Asa] relied on the king of Aram and not on the Lord [His] God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from [His] hand.” 2 Chron. 16:7

King Asa won many battles by following the Lord’s instructions, but this day was marked by defeat because he transferred trust. See, King Asa was in a tough spot- a foreign army was causing trouble for his people. But instead of seeking God’s instruction, he relied on his own strategies and foreign kings. From that point on, God opposed him.

Fresh tears burned my eyes. Truth settled in. Defeat is guaranteed when I transfer trust.

And isn’t it so easy to do? We begin in the right place. But then our dreams meet the daily grind. Our hope is deferred. We encounter trials like storms on the sea, struggling to keep our heads up as we choke on wave after wave of salty water.

Before we realize it we have begun relying on people or things or ideas or behaviors to deliver us from the undertow.

But then God, rich in grace, brings us back to faith.

The Bible’s life-giving messages are beautifully interwoven, all sprouting from the same seed: faith. The greatest men and women in history put their trust in God alone in their most trying moments. Their reward was deliverance. Their reward was the mighty move of God on their behalf!

Transferred Trust pic.png

So what can we do if we realize we have transferred trust?

  • Be honest with God. One of the most quoted scriptures in the Bible is Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” Coming clean with God that we’ve relied on our own wisdom prepares us for the next step.
  • Ask for help. Psalm 25:4-5 is a specific go-to prayer: “Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” This is a simple request to God for help. It is also a confession that He alone knows the best way out of our mess and is more than able to direct us in it.
  • As we wait for guidance, we remember. 1 Chronicles 16:11-12 says, “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek His face always. Remember the wonders He has done, his miracles, and the judgments He pronounced.” It helps me to mentally list every move of God I’ve witnessed. If you’re a new believer, ask seasoned believers to share testimonies. Read books on mighty moves of God. Remembering His faithfulness in the past increases our trust for the future.

Sometimes we’re weary because we’re trying to solve in our own strength what was only meant to be solved through His. If we’ve transferred trust, may today be the day we withdraw the funds and deposit it back into God’s account.

To My Fellow Sister Warriors

I have been inspired, fired up, moved to tears, and face-to-the-ground humbled by you, the incredible women of faith God has put in my path. Some of your stories I know only through social media or chance encounters, while others of you are long-time friends that I’ve had the privilege of sharing life with. All of you, though, are waging war in heavenly places for your God-given promise. To say you’ve encouraged me to press on in my own battle is an understatement. Your tenacity, faith, and utter dependence on God have been the wind that has kept my waffling boat on top of the waves.

You see, I have this little problem. Many of you already know. It’s called control. I love(hate) to analyze, figure out, ponder, and play out every possible scenario in my mind. But somehow above all the inner noise, I found a moment of clarity. Actually, the moment was given. And I want to share it with you as encouragement in your fight.

It was 11 pm and I was completely exhausted. My anxious heart wanted to pray but my body needed to sleep. So I set my alarm for 2:30 am. Now before you go thinking this was so spiritual, keep reading. Just before I drifted off, I ran across this quote:

“Overachievers, planners, and anxious hearts: He doesn’t need us to wring our hands or to keep watch; He’s got the whole world in HIS hands. ‘Sleep is a daily reminder from God that we are not Him.’ (Piper)” -Ruth Simons

Sometimes even our spiritual disciplines are a disguise for a lack of faith.

So shutting off the alarm, I turned over and slept. That night I dreamed I was wrestling evil. The more I fought, striving to defeat it, the bigger and stronger it became. Soon I was completely outmatched. Knowing I had no other option, I planted my feet firmly, stood tall, and began to speak the truth: “You are defeated. Jesus is Lord. God is stronger.” As I stood confidently in the strength of the Lord, the enemy shrank before my eyes until he was completely incapacitated. I woke up with a whole new understanding of spiritual warfare. It’s really not about my trying and striving at all. It’s about rest. About confident trust in His power, His armor.

So here’s to all my fellow sister warriors- we will battle together with the assurance that every word from the Lord proves true. We will pray in faith with a thankful heart because the enemy is already defeated. Because we know that no weapon formed against us will prosper, and every fiery dart that is launched our way will be extinguished. Not with our own strength, but simply by standing firm in His. He will build His church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.

We will war as if we are already victors. Confidently. Trusting. In rest. Because, courageous sister warriors, we are victors. Our redemption is at hand. Standing firm, we will see the deliverance the Lord will bring. The enemy we fight today will be defeated. The battle belongs to the Lord!

“For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, ‘In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.’” (Isaiah 30:15a, ESV)

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.” (Ephesians 6:10, ESV)

“Cease striving and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10, NASB)

“And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again.” (Exodus 14:13, ESV)

 ”And he said, “Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.” (2 Chronicles 20:15, ESV)

One Simple Step to Changing Your Child’s Behavior

First things first: I am no expert oBenjamin grumpyn parenting. Most days I’m either sending up desperate prayers for wisdom or lying in the fetal position as my 3-year old sends himself flailing on the floor after a failed attempt at putting on his own shirt or, heaven forbid, being given the wrong cup at the dinner table. OK, the fetal position is a bit of a stretch, but you get the picture. Threes are tough! And I never really realized this until recently because my first has always been pretty logical and mostly non-reactive. All that to say, I’ve had to take a step back and do some evaluating to figure out how to help my little man through his dramatic season. Today I want to pass along some information that I recently read in The Connected Child (recommended in a friend’s blog a few times, so I finally downloaded a copy of my own). Although the book is written primarily to adoptive parents, it has plenty of great advice for everyone with kids. One particular insight made a lot of sense to me- changing behavior through repeated practice. In the book it’s referred to as “the beauty of the re-do”.

Here’s how it works in real life. Say your toddler, when asked to share a toy, instead throws it in anger because his turn is over (completely hypothetical, of course ;)). Every single time he throws he gets a meaningful consequence of some kind, so you’re puzzled. Why in the world would he continue to throw toys when he knows for a fact that the result will not be pleasant?

The authors of the book say that one of the reasons is that the child’s brain has cemented the wrong behavior (throwing) and not had adequate training to produce the right behavior. We see this in grown-ups all the time. We do what we’re in the habit of doing, not necessarily what we know is best for us. So the question becomes, how do we change the child’s habit?

Proverbs 22:6 says to “train up a child in the way he should go; when he is old he will not depart from it.” Here’s google’s definition for train: “to teach a particular skill through practice and instruction over a period of time.” The keyword is practice; it’s allowing the child to physically rehearse the right behavior. So often I was correcting my son’s behavior and giving a consequence, but I didn’t actually go back and allow him to re-enact the situation and make the right choice.

The key is having them practice what you preach.

Here’s a quote from The Connected Child about why this is so effective:

“By actively replacing misbehavior with correct behavior in your child’s memory banks, you can help the child encode competency. A re-do ‘erases’ the muscle memory of the failed behavior and gives the child the physical and emotional experience of substituting a successful one in its place. Re-do’s are a wonderful tool for reshaping behavior. They help a child feel successful and activate motor memory.”

In the example above, the child would be taken back to the place where the misbehavior happened and guided through gently handing the toy to his friend or sibling. Once practiced, the child would be praised to reinforce the right behavior and build confidence in his ability to stay calm and make a good choice. This method can work for anything from table manners (making the child repeat “May I please have…”) to chores (having the child re-do the chore when it’s not done properly) to treating others with respect (making the child re-phrase or change the tone of his/her words).

So there you have it: “the beauty of the re-do”, a common-sense principle that helps the right behavior stick. I hope it’s helpful for you (and me)!