How To Trust God’s Plan For Your Life

The Secret To Living The Life You Were Meant To Live

http://larryshankle.com/how-to-trust-gods-plan-for-your-life

I don’t think trust comes naturally. Let’s face it, trust doesn’t come easily or naturally to most people. The reason? We’ve been through hurts or difficult seasons that leave us feeling a little jaded.

Trust involves awkward moments. Those situations when you don’t know exactly what to do or say.

You’ve been in one of those haven’t you?

It was when you started a new relationship or took that new job. Maybe when you were trying to open yourself up and be more transparent because you knew transparency was the right thing to pursue in your life.

But you found it hard to trust what others would think or say. We never get too old to feel those emotions that many people relegate to the grade school playground. In fact, that is probably the place where you began developing some of your trust issues.

Trust is hard because it involves fearful moments when we are unsure of other’s reactions and thoughts.

http://larryshankle.com/how-to-trust-gods-plan-for-your-life

You’re going to Pin this, right? I sure hope you will!

Navigating through the emotions surrounding trust can make you feel like you are on unstable footing. The highly guarded areas of your life could topple at any moment, it seems.

Yet in all the tension that surrounds opening up and allowing trust in your heart, you find that trust is the exact quality God uses to propel your life forward into his plan.

[clickToTweet tweet=”#trust is the exact quality #God uses to propel your life forward into his plan. #faith #Jesus” quote=”Trust is the exact quality God uses to propel your life forward into his plan.” theme=”style3″]

Without trust, it is impossible to fully realize the plan and purpose of God for your life. In the absence of a trusting heart, you cannot experience the joy God so longs to bring into your life.

So…How do you trust?

What are the essentials of it?

On this, I will take my cue from scripture.

Proverbs 3:5–6 NLTse

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.

6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

The secret to living the life you were meant to live is wrapped up in a package called trust.

Here’s how you do that.

How To Trust God’s Plan For Your Life:

  1. Give God all your heart. (Trust the Lord with all your heart.)

    • Don’t hold anything back.
    • Allowing someone, even God, into the recesses of your heart isn’t always an easy task. Why? Your heart is the place you’ve shoved your unresolved issues and deepest fears. But unless God has access to every area of your heart, he cannot do a recreative and restorative work in it. Trust begins by giving God complete access…no closed doors.
  2. Stop trying to make sense of everything. (Do not depend on your own understanding.)

    • There are people who will never be able to trust God’s plan in their life because they simply have to get it all figured out before they will act upon it. But here’s the question…Isn’t trust about taking action when things seem blurry, hazy, or obscure? Isn’t trust all about taking steps and relying on the direction of someone other than yourself?
  3. Seek God’s desire instead of your own. (Seek his will in all you do.)

    • Trusting God’s plan means seeking God’s desire and will for your life. Sometimes it might seem to involve risk, pain, or difficulty. At other moments, joy is overwhelming. But this one thing is true either way: You cannot trust God and seek your own way at the same time. 
  4. Be open to his leading. (He will show you which path to take.)

    • The one thing I’ve found true about God through my own journey is that he never leaves you hanging. God demands trust, but also proves to be trustworthy by virtue of his leadership in your life. God won’t require trust without also walking ahead of you and leading your life in the right direction. If you’re open to his voice, he will show you which path to take every time.

Question: In what areas of life are you currently learning to trust God?

Here’s a growing list of articles, posts, and resources to help you build strong faith. If you grow your faith, it will be a key to living an effective life. Enjoy!

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4 Elements Of Big Prayers And The Great Potential Of Them

Praying Big Prayers Can Change Your Life For The Better

http://larryshankle.com/big-prayers/

Let me ask you question today: What big prayers are you praying?

A better question is: Are you praying for anything BIG?

Here’s what Scripture says about your prayers…

Mark 11:22–24 NLTse

22 Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God.

23 I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart.

24 I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.

Jesus connects two thoughts: Belief & Prayer

Why would you even waste your time praying for something that you don’t believe will happen?

I think many times we just HOPE God will do something but we don’t BELIEVE that he REALLY WILL.

We are like the little kid who looks at mom in the check out line and hopes she will give us the candy bar.

We don’t really believe she will, but we hope she will.

When you come to God…you have to BELIEVE BIG, but you have to do more than that. You also have to Pray BIG.

Praying big is the proof that you actually do believe big.

When you start to ask God for things that might seem crazy or impossible, it’s the proof that you believe BIG.

[clickToTweet tweet=”When you ask #God for things that seem crazy or impossible, it’s the proof that you believe BIG. ” quote=”When you ask God for things that seem crazy or impossible, it’s the proof that you believe BIG. ” theme=”style3″]

You can pray for anything is a statement that needs to be taken literally again. In fact, you should pray for things that are so BIG it scares you just a little.

[clickToTweet tweet=”You should #pray for things that are so BIG it scares you just a little. #Faith #Quote” quote=”You should pray for things that are so BIG it scares you just a little.” theme=”style3″]

Why? Because you are praying for things that are bigger than your ability to control.

If you don’t get anything else from this email, I hope that you will desire to pray for things bigger than you can handle, and bigger than you can control, and bigger than you can understand…and bigger than you can figure out HOW God will do it.

Here’s four things you need to know about praying Big:

1. BIG PRAYERS ARE BOLD

You’ll know when you are praying big because it will push you out of your comfort zone.

I have some things I’m praying right now that push me out of my comfort zone everytime I pray them.

In fact, praying BIG PRAYERS may even make you feel a little foolish at first. You may feel like, “How can I pray THIS? God has never done THIS for anyone else I know. Why would God do THIS for me? Why would God answer THIS prayer for me.”

I’m telling you, when those thoughts start to cross your mind…when you are a little afraid to tell people what you are praying for because you know that they might laugh…that’s when you are beginning to pray big enough.

Big prayers are bold.

How do you think the disciples felt when they walked up to the gate called beautiful?

They saw the beggar looking for some spare change from them. They knew that they weren’t going to give him what he asked for.

See…when you pray small…it’s like you are asking God for some spare change. It’s like that’s all you think he can do for you…Just a little bit.

Acts 3:6 NLTse

6 But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!”

How much faith do you think it took for Peter to say that out loud where every one could hear him?

Peter said I don’t have money…but I have something else. Where do think Peter got ahold of the something else? He got ahold of the power of God through prayer.

Peter saw the move of God and experienced the response of God to a church in prayer, in unity, in faith, and in expectancy. It happened in Acts chapter 2.

2. BIG PRAYERS ARE PROPHETIC.

What I mean is that BIG PRAYERS literally shape your future.

If you really believe that God is going to answer your prayers, you’ll be careful what you pray because you understand that it is going to come true in your life.

Show me the size of a person’s prayers, and I will show you a picture of their future.

3. BIG PRAYERS STRETCH YOUR REALITY

Scripture says that God has endowed your words with creative power and ability.

Let me ask you a question: If YOUR words have the power to create reality…HOW MUCH MORE does BIG PRAYER have the power stretch and create your reality?

  • WHEN YOU PRAY, YOU ARE CREATING THE REALITY THAT YOU WANT TO LIVE IN.
  • WHEN YOU DON’T PRAY YOU ARE ACCEPTING THE REALITY THAT YOU NOW POSSESS.

I hear Christians complain about where they are in life and what is happening or not happening and my response is: If you don’t like your life, start praying for it.

Don’t just pray…but PRAY BIG!

4. BIG PRAYERS ALTER YOUR VISION

Here’s my challenge to you: Start praying BIG whether you believe God will answer or not.

The simple act of BIG, FAITH-STRETCHING PRAYERS will begin to grow your faith. If you keep on praying them, you will eventually believe what you are praying for and God WILL MOVE according to your faith.

BIG PRAYERS increase your vision.

They open your eyes to possibilities.

The longer you pray something big the more faith you grow to receive it.

In conclusion…

I challenge you to:

  • Pray for BIG things…even when BIG THINGS seem completely impossible.
  • Pray for BIG things…even when you are not sure how it will all work out.
  • Pray for BIG things…even when you are a little afraid of how it will push you personally when God DOES IT.

What is YOUR VISION?

What do YOU SEE GOD DOING IN YOUR LIFE?

Are you praying BIG for anything?

  • I challenge you to write down 5 things that you need to pray about.
  • Then, write down 5 BIG PRAYERS that you will pray about them.
  • START PRAYING THEM EVERY SINGLE DAY UNTIL YOU CAN SEE THE ANSWER MORE CLEARLY THAN YOU CAN SEE THE PROBLEM.

Here’s a growing list of articles, posts, and resources to help you build strong faith. If you grow your faith, it will be a key to living an effective life. Enjoy!

Join My 5 Day Faith Building Challenge

Take the step to increase your faith. My 5 day challenge is just the jump start you need to get your faith going and growing again!

http://larryshankle.com/fbc

5 Good Reasons To Keep Going When You Feel Like Quitting

Not Giving Up Might Be Your Best Decision

http://larryshankle.com/feel-like-quitting

When things in life get difficult, often quitting seems like the best option. You don’t know what to do or how to handle what life is throwing at you. When the pressure builds, the stakes are high, and everything is riding on your decision, you may feel like quitting. However, quitting too soon is never the best option.

Don’t get me wrong. It certainly seems like quitting is the best option. I mean think about the instant stress relief — The thing is, you know as well as I do that once you quit, you will instantly regret it.

You’ve struggled, prayed, planned and pursued the vision in your heart, or your purpose in life and quitting too soon isn’t going to be the relief you think it will be. When you give up and quit too soon, you have the tendency to look back and wonder how things might have been.

If you are like me, there have probably been moments when giving up seemed like the path to travel…perhaps you are at a crossroads right now. I can make you one promise that will prove true: When you look at life in the rearview mirror, you will wish you had not given up and quit.

Pressing to reach your vision will stretch you. At one time or another, you will probably feel like quitting. It will push your resources and mental capacity to the limit. Reaching a vision is never easy, in fact, it’s really hard. Stepping into the plan of God for your life is exciting, and it sets your heart on fire, but pursuing the God-given vision for your life will take all the hard work you have to give.

There is a God-given vision for every person’s life.

[clickToTweet tweet=”There is a God-given #vision for every person’s life. #Leadership #pastor #church ” quote=”There is a God-given vision for every person’s life. ” theme=”style2″]

Yours may be to:

◆    Build a more stable family dynamic in your home

◆    Strengthen your relationship with your spouse

◆    Pursue Ministry

◆    Provide outreach and compassion to hurting people around the world

◆    Simply to make ends meet financially

◆    Grow closer to God

Whatever your vision, no matter how big or how small, there will be moments when you feel like quitting. This post is, in fact, a follow-up to an article I wrote some time ago. In that article, I wrote about the top 5 times to keep going in life and not quit. You need to read it…it will help you. But I thought you might need to know more than the times not to quit; you need to know good reasons to keep going when you feel like quitting.

So let me give you five…

5 Good Reasons To Keep Going When You Feel Like Quitting 

Quitting kills your potential

You are going to see a recurring theme among all five reasons I’m giving you. They all involve the word kill. It’s a strong word to use, I know, but you need to understand what really happens when you quit. Quitting always kills something in your life.

When you feel like quitting and then give in to that feeling, it kills your potential. Your potential gets stopped dead in its tracks. What might have been, will never be, once you make the choice to quit. If you quit on your marriage, what might have been will never be. If you make the decision to quit on God’s vision for your life, what might have been will never be.

Having potential means that something exists in possibility, so when you have potential, it means that something is capable of developing into reality. So, let me ask you a question: What possibilities are in your life right now that you’re willing to kill off just because you feel like quitting?

Quitting kills your confidence

You’ve probably quit things before…we all have. When you quit, did it make you fell better or worse? I guess it depends on the situation, but when you feel like quitting, chances are good that you are on the right path, you’re  just tired. Quitting, under those circumstances, will kill your future confidence. You will always wonder what might have happened if you had stuck it out just a little longer.

I remember starting a small blog back in 2005. The blogging movement was just getting started, and I wasn’t sure what to write about. Discouragement got the best of me, so…I quit. Every time I write a new post now, I wonder who my words might have reached if only I wouldn’t have given up and quit. You may feel like quitting but if you do your confidence will suffer for it.

Quitting kills your leadership

Now, some of you may not feel like this applies to you. But make no mistake about it, you are a leader. “Everyone leads someone,” is a belief that I’ve held on to for over two decades now. You don’t need me to draw out the implications of all your relationships. The fact is, you influence someone every single day. Even if you don’t think you lead anyone else, you are still responsible for leading yourself.

When you quit on your vision or give up in the heat of the moment, it destroys your credibility and trust with those who are watching you. Trust is essential to great leadership. You can’t influence people without it. If you feel like quitting, take a step back and think about the consequences of what you’re about to do. How will it affect your kids? How will it affect your marriage? How will it affect your ministry and relationship with God?

The truth is, when you quit, it gives those who are watching you the green light to quit also.

[clickToTweet tweet=”When you quit, it gives those who are watching you the green light to quit also. #Leader #pastor ” quote=”The truth is, when you quit, it gives those who are watching you the green light to quit also. ” theme=”style2″]

Quitting kills your faith

You may not agree with me on this, but hear me out. First of all, I’m not talking about “salvation faith.” The message I’m trying to send is NOT that quitting on your vision or making the decision to give up will somehow affect your salvation. My point is every time you quit it erodes a little bit of your capacity to believe again in the future.

If you’ve ever taken a risk, or leap of faith, only to find yourself in a position where you had to scale back, let people go, or stop pursuing what you feel God put in your heart, then you understand what I’m saying. It’s a little bit harder to take the risk the second time around because your thoughts are skewed by the fact that you had to quit the last time.

Often when you feel like quitting, it’s NOT the time to stop. When you feel like quitting, it’s a good opportunity to seek some encouragement. Reach out to someone who has wisdom and perspective and seek their advice. Make sure that you have a solid support system in place to help you when your faith feels faint. Pray…get ahold of God…seek him…spend time with him…recharge your spiritual batteries. In fact, I wrote about the importance of seeking God in another post. 

Quitting kills your dream

Your dreams are too important to give up just because things are a little rough right now and you feel like quitting. DON’T DO IT! DON’T QUIT!

Your dream is your gift from God. It weaves itself into every part of your life. Your dream is what pushes you to get up in the morning and work hard. Are you honestly ready to throw in the towel? You feel like quitting right now, but the feeling will pass.

About a year ago (at the time of this post), I had back surgery. The pain was the most intense thing I’ver ever felt. It radiated down through my hip and seemed like someone was pulling my right leg off of my body. There were bone fragments trapped behind a nerve, tearing and cutting at it. I felt like quitting. The dreams I had for my life seemed gone for a little while. There were some days during my recovery when I wondered if I would be able to continue my ministry (I’m a pastor). When I look in the rearview mirror of life, I’m so glad I didn’t quit, because today my dream feels stronger than ever.

At some point, you will feel like quitting. Your dream will be too difficult, too big, too unattainable or too uncomfortable. You won’t know what to do, and life will seem uncertain. In those moments when you feel like quitting, take a step back and reassess why you started in the first place.

You probably didn’t start chasing your dream because it was easy. You chase your dream because the outcome is worth the fight. 

[clickToTweet tweet=”You chase your #dream because the outcome is worth the fight. #pastor #faith #leadership” quote=”You chase your dream because the outcome is worth the fight. ” theme=”style2″]

So what about you? What are your reasons for not quitting? I would love to hear what keeps you going when life is hardest.

Here’s a growing list of articles, posts, and resources to help you build strong faith. If you grow your faith, it will be a key to living an effective life. Enjoy!

Faith Building Challenge

If your faith needs a kickstart, join my 5 Day Faith Building Challenge below.

http://larryshankle.com/fbc

Why is seeking God important?

Seeking God is the key that unlocks the life you were created for

It seems that everyone is looking for a magic key that will help them unlock all the things they need or want for their life. If you have lived for very long, you know that no such key exists.

Hard work and effort are rewarded. If you work hard and strive to put in your best effort, most of the time you will be rewarded for your effort. This isn’t always true, but it works most of the time.

The Bible says that we reap what we sow. This principle of sowing and reaping is something that we should take into account as we make our decisions. The reason is simple: What you do plants a seed that comes back to you.

However, we still long for an edge in life…a secret that will take us further faster. It is the quest for a magic key.

  • Everyone wants to ease the stress-load they carry, so they seek a magic key.
  • Everyone wants to make life easier, so they seek a magic key.
  • Everyone wants to have a better life, so they seek a magic key.

I’ve observed this in all kinds of people over the years.

What I’m about to show you is not a magic key, but it is a key secret to living the life you were created to live. What is the key secret? Seeking God.

Seeking God is the key that unlocks the life you were created for.

It seems that Christians don’t want to hear this statement anymore. We had rather pursue the latest and greatest advice from an “expert.” Life, we assume, would be better and easier if everything was simply “done for you.”

What If you never had to make a hard choice, and all the stress you feel could just disappear? What if you could simply avoid failure, and you never had to worry about the direction your life was going? Wouldn’t it be nice to live like that?

What believers once understood as the most important thing in our spiritual arsenal, has now been relegated to the spiritual storage room.

However, I will say again: Seeking God is the key that unlocks the life you were created for.

The truth is, seeking God still works…

  • If you want to live the life God designed for you to live, you need to seek God. 
  • If you want to go forward and find the peace that you long for, you need to seek God. 
  • If you want to make a difference in your life, you need to seek God.

This spiritual action of seeking God is the key to nearly everything in life. Some people have such trouble with being obedient and faithful to God. They are in the boat one minute and out of it the next. There’s a reason for that; they are living life from the standpoint of their own strength and effort.

Seeking God is the key that unlocks the life you were created for. It is the secret to a life well-lived. Why? Because, when you seek God, several powerful actions take place.

Why is seeking God important?

  1. You begin to draw near to God. James 4:8
  2. God draws near to you. James 4:8
  3. Your mind becomes aware of God’s presence. Acts 17:28
  4. You start gaining clarity because of God’s promptings. Acts 15:28
  5. A sense of direction and mission envelope you. Acts 4:20
  6. You feel peace, security, God’s love, and acceptance. Philippians 4:7 | Romans 8:37-39

Any one of these things are important, but having all six is life-changing. I hear some believers talk about how you should not seek to have the best life possible like somehow it is wrong to want your life to be good. But come on, I don’t know anyone who wants their life to be the worst life possible, do you? NO.

If seeking God not only brings me closer to him but also leads me to the life he designed me to live, then I am going to seek God for BOTH reasons! 

Now, someone may be asking the question: What does it mean to seek God?

The action of seeking God is simply this: Pursuing God’s desires instead of your own while talking to him and getting to know him better.

Learning to seek God is not hard.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Learning to #SeekGod is not hard. #Faith #Jesus #Prayer” quote=”Learning to seek God is not hard. ” theme=”style3″]

Some super-spiritual types would lead you to believe that seeking God is a painful process that requires long hours and quitting everything in life that you enjoy. However, this is NOT TRUE.

Seeking God brings joy into your life. If you end up spending hours in the presence of God, it will be because you want to, not because you have to. When you seek God, you build a relationship with him. Humans are created for relationships, so building one with God will come naturally. Any relationship with God that doesn’t feel completely natural is something that’s taking you down the wrong path.

Every relationship involves give and take. It is no different in your relationship with God. He wants you to enjoy being with him and hearing from him. I’ve seen people who run from seeking God because they are so afraid of what he might ask of them, that they run from the very thing that would set them free.

Listen: God has your best interests in mind. He wants what is good for you, and he has a desire to bring great joy into your life.

Seeking God is the key that unlocks the life you were created for.

If joy, peace, security, freedom from fear, and acceptance sounds like something you want and need, I want you to know; you can have them.

[clickToTweet tweet=”A relationship with #God that doesn’t feel natural is one that’s taking you down the wrong path.” quote=” Any relationship with God that doesn’t feel completely natural is something that’s taking you down the wrong path.” theme=”style3″]

Here’s what you need to do you to do this week:

  1. Start talking to God. Talk to him like a real person. Don’t think of it as prayer time. Instead, think of your prayers as communicating with your best friend.
  2. Read examples of prayer in the Bible. The book of Psalms is one of the best places I know to start looking for prayer examples. Once you see how other people have communicated with God, you can do the same.
  3. Share your secret desires with God. What is it that you want out of life? Tell God. What are you sad, upset, or encouraged about? Tell God. What is the one thing you hope beyond hope will work out? Tell God. As you let God in on your secret desires, he will open up your mind to see even greater possibilities.

If there is a magic key, seeking God is the closest thing to it. Seeking God is the key that unlocks the life you were created for.

Here’s a growing list of articles, posts, and resources to help you build strong faith. If you grow your faith, it will be a key to living an effective life. Enjoy!

Faith Building Challenge

Sometimes we know we need a little push, but we can’t seem to do it on our own. My five-day faith building challenge is the little push you need to jump start your faith. In it, you will find easy, actionable, and strategic steps to help you build your faith. I would love the opportunity to help you along the way. To join the challenge, sign up below, and I’ll send you an email to get you started.

http://larryshankle.com/fbc

Perfectionist: Quit Trying To Be Perfect

Three Thoughts To Help You Conquer Your Pursuit Of Perfection

Perfectionist, there is no such thing as perfect.

Often we are tempted to look at other people and compare our self to them. Their glaring weaknesses are never what show up in our thoughts, but rather we see all the spectacular wins and successes they seem to acquire.
Perfection gets even more elusive when you couple it with a comparison. However, today I want you to know that there is a freedom you can live in…Freedom from being perfect.

You were never perfect, to begin with. Your flaws and mistakes are absolutely part of you, but in Jesus, all of those qualities disappear. God covers you with the blood of Jesus Christ his Son, and you become a new person.

I know you probably remember the verse I am about to quote, but I ask you to please read it again with fresh eyes.

2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Perfectionism has to bow to the new life found in Jesus Christ. The person you never thought you could live up to being, the one with perfectionist tendencies, is dead, and a brand new person had breathed in the breath of life when you became a Christian. Jesus takes away the old and brings in the new, and thank God for it.

The key to winning your battle with perfectionism is to stay in Christ. You have to keep yourself rooted and grounded in him. Don’t slip away from your relationship with him.
The most valuable qualities you will ever possess, find their way to the surface through your relationship with Jesus. He recreates you and forms you into the person you were created to be in the first place, and it is not a perfectionist.
It is likely that when you think of yourself, you think of the imperfections and all the qualities about yourself that you do not like. However, if you are a Christian, I am asking you to stop thinking about yourself and set your eyes on Jesus. He is the author and finisher of your faith, and he can build up a new set of qualities in your life based on the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Here are a couple of things a perfectionist should think about this week:

1.) Perfection is not possible so quit striving for it.

Humans are flawed. We make mistakes. We fall short of the goal. Jesus came to span the space between YOUR best effort and God’s creative power and purpose in your life. You cannot get there on your own. It will require the power of God in your life. Quit trying to be a perfectionist and start living a simpler life by following God’s path.

2.) God never expected perfection from you in the first place.

Even though you are a perfectionist, God knows you are not perfect. He understands your weaknesses. He sees when you put forth your best effort, even though your effort cannot reach the goal line. However, unlike the world, God does not expect you to be perfect. In fact, he knows you cannot be.
[clickToTweet tweet=”God never expected your to be perfect. #perfectionism” quote=”God never expected your to be perfect. ” theme=”style3″]
You are clothed with perfection when you put on Jesus Christ as Lord of your life. Perfection is not something you can be; it is something you put on. You put on the perfection of Jesus. You live in him and walk in him with the complete understanding that he never sinned and never made a mistake. You allow him to guide and direct your life. When you do these simple things, the pressure leaves, and peace starts to grow in your heart and mind.

3.) Getting to the goal line in life takes one simple quality. Faithfulness.

One time Jesus spoke a parable about money. In the parable, he compared the efforts of those who had received a degree of money to manage. Those who had received the money were expected to show effort and try to increase it through wise investments.
One of the money managers was afraid. He thought he would lose the money his master gave him if he invested it. So he just hid it in the ground. At least he would not lose it, right? Wrong.
When the master returned from his journey and inquired with each money manager, he found that the first two men had increased his money through wise investments, but when he came to the third, the master was angry because the man had no effort to show. What the master said is eye-opening: “You should have at least put my money in the bank so it could gain some interest.” (paraphrase)
Listen, banks do not provide excellent interest. The master was not looking to become wealthy from the effort of those he put in charge of his money. The master was already rich. He was giving his men a test of FAITHFULNESS. What would these men decide to DO with the opportunity they had received? Their faithfulness was the quality being tested, not their skill.
The master was only looking for faithfulness. Listen to what he said to those who put forth effort:

Matthew 25:21 NKJV – His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

Well done.

Who had done well? The ones who were faithful.

He called them “good” and “faithful.” They were not good because of what they did. They were good because they were the master’s servants. However, faithfulness was THEIR choice. They chose to be faithful in the little things, and because of their choice, the master was pleased.
God is not looking for perfection from you. He is looking for faithfulness. Quit being a perfectionist. God would much rather have a person who makes mistakes, admits them, and receives guidance or forgiveness, than an individual who strives for a perfection they can never reach on their own.
What will you be? Perfect or faithful? Perfection on your own merits is an illusion, but you can choose to be faithful.

Here’s a growing list of articles, posts, and resources to help you build strong faith. If you grow your faith, it will be a key to living an effective life. Enjoy!

Faith Building Challenge

Sometimes we know we need a little push, but we can’t seem to do it on our own. My five-day faith building challenge is the little push you need to jump start your faith. In it, you will find easy, actionable, and strategic steps to help you build your faith. I would love the opportunity to help you along the way. To join the challenge, sign up below, and I’ll send you an email to get you started.

http://larryshankle.com/fbc