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Steve Trullinger

Am I a Friend of the Father?

Am I a Friend of the Father?

by Steve Trullinger

This is a profound question for the believer. How can I know if I am Father’s friend? Do I have to hear his voice from a cloud declaring such? Are my shortcomings an impediment to friendship with Abba? Is it even possible to be regarded as his friend, and not just his son or daughter?

These are just some of the questions that can swirl through our minds as we contemplate the question posed in the title.

Let me settle the swirl straight away! What matters is Abba’s opinion, not our own perceptions. He calls you his friend, because Jesus has done so. When did Jesus call you his friend? The moment you desired to entwine your heart with his! Jesus announced to his disciples that 

Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.   [John 14:23]

The desire of Jesus and the Father is to “take up residence” with those who love them, with the obvious implication of entwinement of their hearts with the believer. This is one of the hallmarks of close friendship.  

A friend of Jesus is a friend of the Father, because Jesus is the exact representation of the Father. [See Hebrews 1:3] He explicitly said to Philip: 

Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.   [John 14:9]

It will not change reality if you claim to be unqualified to be Father’s friend. Your desire for entwinement of your heart with his (e.g., your love for him!) is sufficient, and it trumps all your imperfections that you might list for disqualification. 

So, let your heart be settled from any swirling in your mind. Receive your status as a friend of the Father, because his desire is stronger than your shortcomings.

Keeping this in mind, you can gain encouragement as you consider some of the fruit of this glorious, loving, friendship with Abba and that will serve to help you deepen your friendship with him because love begets more love!

© 2022 The Father’s Touch Ministries

The Reason for Reproduction

The Reason for Reproduction

by Steve Trullinger

Many years ago, I asked the Father this question: “Abba, when you made Adam why didn’t you just make the rest of us right along with him? It seems to me that it would have been a much more efficient and quicker way to fill the earth with humans than the long process of reproductive multiplication. And surely there was enough dirt available to make us all at once!”

I could sense Abba’s chuckle at my suggestion of a better way to populate the earth, but I didn’t hear an answer to my question, at least not a verbal one. Instead, I began to sense an emotion that was not mine, and I realized that I was sensing something in the heart of my Father, who has made his home with me. With the help of Holy Spirit, I gradually zeroed in on what this emotion was – I was feeling the joy that the Father had in being a “father!” In other words, his heart treasures the joy of “parenthood.”

Because of his sharing of this feeling in his heart with me, I began to get very excited as I remembered that Abba is, in a sense, “compelled” by his love to share every good thing (with those whose walk is blameless) because that is the nature of pure love.

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.   [Psalm 84:11 (ESV)]

Before Adam and Eve sinned, their walk was blameless and thus God was pleased to share this good thing (the “joy of parenthood”) with them (and consequently with us). In other words,

Abba shared his joy of parenthood by not making us all at once!

© 2022 The Father’s Touch Ministries

The Very Best Image!

The Very Best Image!

by Steve Trullinger

I somewhat playfully asked the Father one day, “Abba, why did you make us in your image, and not something else, like a giraffe, for example?”

His answer was immediate and “dripping” with loving-kindness: “Because my image is the very best I could give you!” I could feel the joy in his heart as he shared his motive, and I had yet another glimpse into his incredible heart, the most fascinating place in the universe.

I have meditated on this love-driven choice by Abba for quite some time, and I encourage you to do the same because the delightful revelations of his infinitely textured love will keep coming to you!

For example, a shift in understanding will likely occur as we realize that the process of becoming like Jesus (and hence like the Father since they are one) will enable us to share in the blessings of this First-Born Brother of ours (see Romans 8:29). “Cleaning up” our behavior is just a rudimentary benefit of becoming like Christ. We shall also partake (in a substantial way) of the tremendous blessings that Jesus experienced as a son of God (see Ephesians 1:3)!

The list of such blessings would be very long, of course, but I can mention just a few. As we become like Christ, we develop “Jesus levels” of love, confidence, joy, peace, and “oneness” with he and Abba. We shall experience these blessings (and many more!) because Abba loves us in the same way that he loves Jesus (see John 17:23, 26).

Abba’s purpose in making us in his image goes far beyond fashioning creatures with behavioral perfection. Indeed, he was “compelled” by his love to share every good thing with us because that is the nature of pure love (see, for example, Psalm 84:11). The only way we can experience those good things is if we are like him!  Let me put it this way,

Abba foresaw your pleasure in becoming like him!

© 2022 The Father’s Touch Ministries

Yes, We Have Bananas!

Yes, We Have Bananas!

by Steve Trullinger

Not only does Abba sometimes surprise us when someone is in desperate need for healing, but he also delights in meeting even our less-pressing needs. Here is an example that not only ratchets up our faith, but also encourages us to ask and not be silent because we think it wouldn’t be important enough for God to be “bothered.” We “… do not have because [we] do not ask God.” [Js. 4:2] All of our needs are important to our Father! 

On a 3-day weekend retreat trip to Mexico from Los Angeles, some of the Father’s Touch team members were riding in a car together and one of them remarked how disappointed she was that she wouldn’t be able to eat her favorite, spicy Mexican foods because of her recent bout with stomach trouble, including an ulcer. 

Rather than praying for healing for the stomach outright, one of the team members felt led to first ask the question, “What is the food that is easiest for your stomach to tolerate?” She replied, “Well, that would be bananas. They give me no trouble at all.” The Holy Spirit then prompted the following prayer: “Lord, while she is in Mexico, please let her savor the taste of whatever she eats, but change it into bananas before it reaches her stomach!” 

As you may have guessed by now, that is exactly what happened over the three days of feasting on wonderful, spicy Mexican cuisine. Anything and everything she ate did not irritate her stomach in the slightest! The Lord blessed her wonderfully by answering that simple, but rather unconventional, prayer. What an awesome God we serve! You can imagine how the faith of the people around her, and that of many others who have heard that story since then, was ratcheted up another notch! 

An interesting side lesson was learned through this experience, by the way. Recall the exact wording of the prayer prayed before leaving California: “…while she is in Mexico…” On the way back home to California, the carload stopped at this lady’s favorite taco stand in Tijuana so she could get two of her favorite super deluxe, spicy tacos! She ate one of them while waiting in the long line of cars at the border, and in keeping with the fact that she was still in Mexico, her stomach was fine! 

About an hour later, however, as the group was well within California heading home to Los Angeles, she ate the other taco. Big mistake! Her stomach rebelled and required a fast dose of peppermint! So, Abba honored the prayer request to change all she ate in Mexico to bananas, but once back across the border, the miracle ended! He evidently wanted to teach everyone a lesson about the power of our words and to think carefully about our requests, since he took the request literally! Be forewarned! 

© 2022 The Father’s Touch Ministries

Am I a Friend of the Father?

This is a profound question for the believer.  How can I know if I am Father’s friend?  Do I have to hear his voice from a cloud declaring such?  Are my shortcomings an impediment to friendship with Abba?  Is it even possible to be regarded as his friend, and not just his son or daughter?

These are just some of the questions that can swirl through our minds as we contemplate the question posed in the title.

Let me settle the swirl straight away!  What matters is Abba’s opinion, not our own perceptions.  He calls you his friend, because Jesus has done so.  When did Jesus call you his friend?  The moment you desired to entwine your heart with his!  Jesus announced to his disciples that 

Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.  My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.   [John 14:23]

The desire of Jesus and the Father is to “take up residence” with those who love them, with the obvious implication of entwinement of their hearts with the believer.  This is one of the hallmarks of close friendship.  

A friend of Jesus is a friend of the Father, because Jesus is the exact representation of the Father. [See Hebrews 1:3] He explicitly said to Philip: 

Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.   [John 14:9]

It will not change reality if you claim to be unqualified to be Father’s friend.  Your desire for entwinement of your heart with his (e.g., your love for him!) is sufficient, and it trumps all your imperfections that you might list for disqualification. 

So, let your heart be settled from any swirling in your mind.  Receive your status as a friend of the Father, because his desire is stronger than your shortcomings.

Keeping this in mind, you can gain encouragement as you consider some of the fruit of this glorious, loving, friendship with Abba and that will serve to help you deepen your friendship with him because love begets more love!

–Steve Trullinger, July 2022

Ready … Fire … Aim!

Ready … Fire … Aim!

by Steve Trullinger

Yes, you read the title correctly! The order of the words in this familiar sequence of commands is purposely altered to make a point. Your Abba desires to free you from the trap of “all ducks in a row” preparation before you can expect a miracle to happen at your command.

When I was a vocational physicist I usually needed to understand something before I was ready to believe it. Soon after I was saved, I was blessed with freedom from Abba to believe before I understood (if that should occur in the future – it doesn’t always).

What I learned was this:

Your “wait times” will be shorter when you do not predicate your belief upon understanding!

Abba is eager to show himself strong on your behalf (see 2 Chron. 16:9a [ESV]) to accomplish a miracle and will amaze you when you have decided to trust him before you have understanding (if ever!) of how such a thing could happen. Remember Proverbs 3:5 as a wise piece of advice:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” (Prov 3:5)

Whole-hearted trust in the Lord enables your choices to believe, in spite of your possible lack of understanding, and this in turn paves the way for miracles in your life and ministry (see Mark 9:23).

So, make a choice today to trust your Lord with all your heart and then get ready for the activation of miracles in your life! The need for your own understanding will deliciously fade away!

© 2022 The Father’s Touch Ministries

To Whom Do You Belong?

To Whom Do You Belong?

by Steve Trullinger

One of my favorite “fathers” in the faith was Brennan Manning, who endeared himself to more than one generation of believers seeking intimacy with Abba. One of his contagious habits was that every morning as his first utterance and every evening as his last was this:

“Abba, I belong to you!”

The repetitive remembrance of this fact fosters security that is so deep and rock-solid that it becomes impossible to even consider that Abba is distant from us!

But there is even deeper blessing in this declaration, as I am sure Brennan would agree. Namely, belonging to Abba implies a belonging to Jesus as well, since Jesus and the Father are one [see John 17:22-23]! Our belonging to the Lover of our souls contains blessings too numerous and profound to even imagine, and yet, there is even more blessing that awaits.

As the perfect unity among the disciples of Jesus that he prayed for in John 17:20-23 becomes a reality, we will experience an incredible “belonging” that Abba intends for us as an expression of his incredible love. Namely, because of our perfect, complete unity we will, in effect, belong to each other!

This is one of the amazing blessings of complete unity among the saints, an inter-connectedness that is a core characteristic of the unified Body of Christ! [See several of the writings of the Apostle Paul, for example.] In other words,

I belong to you, and you belong to me!

One of my favorite conclusions stemming from this “belonging” is that my expression of Jesus belongs to you, and yours belongs to me! Seeing Jesus in each other is my strong recommendation to facilitate love for one another.  Even if I don’t seem all that “lovable,” Jesus in me certainly is! Hallelujah!

© 2022 The Father’s Touch Ministries

Where Your Destiny Lives!

Where Your Destiny Lives!

by Steve Trullinger

Your destiny lives in a place of perfect nurture and protection:  Abba’s heart!

Jeremiah 29:11 is one of the favorite verses of many Christians:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. [Jer 29:11]

Among the reasons for this verse being a favorite is the fact that there is no judgment, warning, or condition contained in this exhilarating declaration by the Father.  

Indeed, it is better than we first realize! For example, the Hebrew word translated as “know” is yada, which implies much more than simple “awareness.” It connotates intimate, complete, relational knowledge of the plans he has for us.

In other words, Abba “holds” his plans for us within his heart, as treasures to be protected and nurtured.

If that is not enough to bring you thrill, there is more!  In the Hebrew culture of the day, a man’s thoughts were regarded as part of the man. Contrast that with the Greek way of regarding thoughts as somehow greater than the thinker, and to be valued more highly on their own “merits.” But to the Hebrew, God could no more separate himself from his plans for us than he could separate himself from the Holy Spirit!

So, the Hebrew reader of Jeremiah 29:11 would understand that God’s plans for him were in fact a part of God himself! Thus, we can be greatly encouraged by this conclusion:

Your future is a part of God!

Abba’s plans for you most certainly have, as an integral component, your destiny at their core. In view of the immense value this destiny has in Abba’s sight, you can be thrilled concerning the place where it lives: in the most fascinating place in the universe!

© 2022 The Father’s Touch Ministries

Forgiveness – One Kind Only!

Forgiveness – One Kind Only!

by Steve Trullinger

There is only one kind of biblical forgiveness:  TOTAL!

In our journey into Christlikeness, Jesus’ command to forgive offenses (see Mt 6:14-15; 18:21-35; Mk 11:25; Lk 17:4) is central to the eventual development of an unoffendable heart like his. Yet, all too often, we are tempted to partially forgive while still harboring a remnant of judgment, bitterness, disgust, superiority, etc. While we may say that we have forgiven someone, sometimes our hearts are slow to line up with our words.

But Jesus calls us to total forgiveness! Ouch! Because our old nature fights against this kind of total surrender to our Lord, we simply must have the help of Holy Spirit to teach us how to bring our partial forgiveness up to the standard of “total.” This is where the link to the companion command to love those who offend us comes in. In other words, total forgiveness is coupled with Jesus-level love for the person we need to forgive.

Let me phrase this connection another way:  

Jesus-level love is embedded in a heart that forgives totally!

A testimony I heard over 25 years ago encouraged me in this regard even as it “haunted” me. A member of the church stood during a Sunday morning service to share what he had seen on a television talk show that week. He related the essentials of a conversation between the host of the popular show and his guest who had an amazing story to tell.  

This guest was a father who had lost his teenage son, murdered in a horrific drive-by shooting by a gang member who was himself only a young teenager. The murderer was caught and sentenced to a long time in prison. The father learned that the murderer had no father in his life, and that he had a very troubled upbringing with no moral compass. He began to have compassion on this boy murderer and visited him on a regular basis in prison, developing a fatherly love for this boy over time.  

The man eventually petitioned the court to allow him to adopt the boy and bring him into his home as a member of his family. The judge agreed to this probationary arrangement and the boy grew into adulthood as he finally experienced the love of a father, and he became an upstanding citizen in the community!

When the show host expressed shock and surprise at this father’s total forgiveness of his son’s murderer, he asked “How could you possibly bring this murderer of your son into your own home and raise him as your own?” The father answered, “Because I am a Christian!”

Jesus-level love begets total forgiveness. May we all let the love of Abba transform us so completely.

© 2022 The Father’s Touch Ministries

With a Little Help From Our Friends!

With a Little Help From Our Friends!

by Steve Trullinger

As I return from an amazing four weeks in Uganda, helping to encourage more than 1,300 leaders in five locations, I am reminded of my first visit to the “Pearl of Africa,” in 2002. So many incredible “God-sightings” occurred on that mission, it would take quite a bit of space to even touch on them briefly.

But let me zero in on an adventure during that trip that impacted our whole team in dramatic fashion.  

During our brief game-viewing safari to Murchison Falls National Park, we were told by our guide that we needed to leave early to try to make it back to the main road (paved), since it had begun to rain and we had quite a distance to travel back along the dirt access road to the Falls.  He was concerned that we might experience significant delay as that road would surely turn into a “mud strip” due to the powerful storm that was about to drench our “escape route.”

Sure enough, our drive to our hotel turned into an all-night “adventure” along the muddy “road!”  This included the team pushing our van back up on the road after sliding off into the ditch at the side, more than once. One of our team members offered to drive the vehicle since he felt a special empowerment from the Lord to control the slippery critter better than our guide, and indeed he did a much better job!  

As we were waiting at about midnight for vehicles in front of us to make their way up a slippery hill, we had a break for a few minutes to stretch a bit. I felt led to encourage the team to prophetically “shovel” mud out of the way in front of our van, as we needed to get some traction to make it up the hill. The team went along with this “crazy idea from Steve” and used their pretend shovels in the prophetic act. Can’t hurt, right?

A few minutes later, six African men came out of the bush along the side of the road in the middle of nowhere with shovels and spades and cleared a way for our van to get some traction! They were wearing tattered clothes like many men in the rural areas but it seemed very strange that they would even be available to help us at midnight! One of our team members offered to pay them something for their trouble, but I discouraged him from doing so, saying that “they don’t need your money.”   

You see, I had the sense that these were not in fact African men, but helpers sent by Abba! As we boarded our van to head up the hill, we turned around to wave goodbye to the “men,” but they had suddenly vanished!  

The rest of the journey to our hotel was accompanied by the loud praise and wonder of our muddied team, grateful for a little help from our “friends!”    

© 2022 The Father’s Touch Ministries