Surrendering Looks Like…

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Surrendering is not an act of attrition, it is a deliberate act of contrition.

~ Lisa Blair

‘Looks like’ is a common idiom of our time. What does surrendering look like, you ask?


Surrendering is not a one-time event. It requires constant attention. “Until Jesus returns and takes His rightful place as the final authority and ruler overall, we have to make the decision over and over to surrender our minds, wills, and actions to Him (Romans 8:20–22; 12:1–2). Our first stage of surrender is the surrender of our lives to God when we are saved. www.compellingtruth.org/surrender-to-God.html

My thought for the day. There are many quotes of what people in the Bible have said when they surrendered their will to God’s will for their lives. The two that stand out to me today are:

  1. The angel came to Mary to inform her that God was pleased with her and chose her to give birth to His son. Mary, a young girl of marrying age, was betrothed to Joseph. Wouldn’t you imagine her first thinking, I cannot become pregnant until I marry, what will people think of me in particular and Joseph if I carry a child before the ceremony ends. However, Mary responded to the angel saying, “I am the Lord’s servant,” “May your word to me be fulfilled.” ~ Luke 1:38 NIV
  2. Jesus, the, was in deep prayer about the circumstances that would result in his death, He prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; this is the human condition, to ask God to remove the situation so we do not feel the pain. However, the second part of the prayer is one of submission – Jesus then prayed, “yet not my will, but yours be done.” ~ Luke 22:42 NIV

So, what does surrendering look like? Surrendering looks like the person who moves out of the way to submit to another’s wishes. In this case surrendering is looking to God for direction and following His path for our lives rather than forging ahead blindly satisfying our own urges and direction for our lives. If Mary had not accepted God’s will over her own, Jesus may not have been born to her and the story of Abraham may not have been written as we know it. Our decisions not only affect us but many others in our immediate and future sphere of influence. Our decisions affect our descendants. *

If Jesus, the man, chose to run from his purpose, again, the story would have differed, and the Son of God, Immanuel-the God with us, would have led to a different story. Thinking back, how many times has God instructed, or better said, invited you to do something His way, to follow Him, not turn to the left or the right, and you did just what you were instructed not to do, waiver to the left or right and not stay on the path He designed for us, how did that turn out for you? Ask yourself, what happened when you listened and surrendered to God? I am certain the latter set you on a path you couldn’t imagine you could ever attain.

Surrendering looks like victory. It feels like love. Surrendering lifts the burdens of life off of your shoulders and places it on Christs’ shoulders. In Jeremiah 38:17-18, the scripture reads, Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “Thus says the LORD, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: If you will surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then your life shall be spared, and this city shall not be burned with fire, and you and your house shall live. 18 But if you do not surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then this city shall be given into the hand of the Chaldeans, and they shall burn it with fire, and you shall not escape from their hand.” (Je 38.17-18)

Jeremiah presents him with a choice – Surrender Babylon, or Don’t surrender to Babylon. The writing is on the wall. (https://thescripturesays.org/2014/08/22/jeremiah-38-41-if-you-will-surrender-to-babylon-then-your-life-shall-be-spared/)

Surrendering looks like victory. The writing is on the wall. God does not promise it will look like success, sometimes the direction is pain staking, but looking deeper we reflect that it was part of the path we must take to become more like Christ, when he said, but your will be done. Surrendering looks like, choosing the path of righteousness over the path of selfishness. Surrendering to God looks like and feels like love, a connection greater than anything this life could afford you.

Surrendering is the establishment of your lineage to God the Father, Christ the Son-our Savior, and the Holy Spirit. Surrendering is the act of no longer resisting God’s love and is the state of acceptance and no longer defiance. It looks like victory when we spread our arms over our head and jump up and down in joy, no longer relying on our own focus for our lives but rather God’s plan for our lives that is often unseen and unexpected. Surrendering is the act of faith. Surrendering looks like and feels like – Victory over our carnal state of being. It is the act of intentionally becoming part of God’s family.

* The Book of Matthew begins with the genealogy of Christ. It is a look at the descendants of Jesus. In the Jewish faith and many others, the lineage is important, it defines who you belong to, it expresses your values and character. 

Just between us.org

Resources: Bible.com; the scripturesays.org; compellingtruth.org

Images: google images

Mercy and Merciful

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All too often we understand the term mercy and assume that we apply it in our lives. But having mercy and being merciful are two different things, one is a descriptor or a noun, the other an adjective, the way in which we apply mercy.

~ Lisa Blair

Mercy and Merciful Defined

Mercy  according to Easton’s Bible Dictionary (free app) defines mercy as: compassion for the miserable. It’s object is misery. By the atoning sacrifice of Christ a way is open for the exercise of mercy towards the son of men, in harmony with the demands of truth and righteousness. In Christ mercy and truth met together. Mercy is also a Christian grace.

Merciful is the act of expressing mercy, according to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. This is accomplished through the act of compassion, and tenderness. When you are merciful you become predisposed to forgive offenses, and are unwilling to allow the human, get-back nature to thrive. In short, you become unwilling to retaliate and instead forgive. When we are merciful and forgive as Christ forgave, it frees you from the restrictions of hate, anger, and  fear.

https://www.sacredspace.ie/scripture/luke-636-38

Resources: YouVersion.com; Easton’s Bible Dictionary; Bible Dictionary App

Fear The Lord

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The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7

How often do we read the first part of a scripture that is further explained in the second part of the thought? So often we rest our knowledge on the thought that as long as we fear God, we will have knowledge? We do not bother to read or ponder why the command is conditional.  This scripture informs us, it is instructional. Let us focus on Provers 1:7. The first part instructs us to fear the Lord and gain knowledge “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.” And, yes, fearing the Lord is the beginning, but let us not overlook the condition requiring us to accept wisdom and activate instruction. Choosing to overlook the second part of the scripture informs us that while we desire knowledge, we only possess an unactuated thought, the thought is not functional, it is folly. The second part of the scripture informs us that, when we despise wisdom and instruction,” we do not fear – meaning, we have not ‘taken to heart’ the Lord’s instructions, we are not obedient, nor do we surrender our thoughts in exchange for His thoughts. We lack wisdom and instruction.

True wisdom can only occur after we understand that God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent, God is Holy. When we understand this at a heart level, we begin to experience wisdom through the knowledge that He is Holy, just, and righteous.

Acquiring knowledge yields wisdom, and wisdom is acquired through faith, which is acquired through the unyielding instruction of the Word of God. His instruction states that we are to walk in His ways, to love as He loves, and to serve the Lord our God with all of our heart and with all of our soul. The beginning of knowledge begins with submission, surrender, and obedience. When we accomplish these three things, we can accept His knowledge without hesitancy or the need to understand His inspired Words in the Bible.

In Hebrew there are two types of fear: Pachad and Yirah. Pachad is the fear projected or of imagined things, it is over-reactive, irrational and stems from the worry of things to come, those things we imagine. Yirah is “the fear that overcomes us when we suddenly find ourselves in possession of considerably more energy than we are used to, inhabiting a larger space than we are used to inhabiting. It is also the feeling we get when we are in a sacred space, on sacred ground. (Makingdapennycooke,com. Ways Ways To Think About Fear)

As believer’s, we experience and understand the fear of God as reverence of God. This type of fear is the motivating factor in surrendering to the Almighty. Fear equals reverence. Yirah is the fear, the goose bumps we experience when we are in prayer or are praising the Lord and are in His presence. It is so much bigger that anything in our human sphere of understanding. We enter Holy (sacred) ground, the beginning of something new each time we experience it. It all contributes to our spiritual knowledge base and enables us to adhere to His wisdom and instruction and not our own.

Full circle – It is important to read an entire verse or scripture to gain the wisdom God intends in sharing His Word with us. Failing to do so does not result in wisdom, it results in folly, we become or remain fools, Proverbs 4:7 reads – Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Equip yourself, study the Word, do not simply read it and rely on your own understanding. Seek what He is conveying to your heart. Our life with Christ is a heart process. Step into Yirah, terrain that is beyond human understanding, feel His love and walk in His Word.

Resources: Holy Bible, Makingdapennycooke.com, Gotquestions.com

Images: Goggle Images

Heart Condition-Heavy Heart

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The weight of the world, at home and abroad, has created a heart condition that is weighing us down.

~Lisa Blair

This past weekend the level of violence, and mass shootings have devastated me.  I had a heavy heart and felt that I was sinking in the muck and mire of destruction. I think, many of us are experiencing a heavy heart in the United States. Mass shootings are becoming a norm, the pandemic has shifted our Nation, changing it’s economic, social and regional axes. Injustice, inequity, and inequality are raging to stay alive, embedded in the hearts of so many Americans. This is the exploit by the carnal world.

On the spiritual plane, the battle is raging, Satan is doing everything possible to thwart God’s promise of salvation. He manipulates man’s covetousness for power over all things, especially when it comes to race and economic wealth. And here we are, experiencing a heavy heart and a feeling of hopelessness.

Hopelessness is where Satan wants Christians to reside – in a state of hopelessness. He does not want us to have faith. He wants us to be overwhelmed by what we see and are experiencing. But as Christians we also have an arsenal of scriptures and Bible stories. For example, Hebrews 11:1 gives us assurance. What assurance? The assurance of hope. The NJKV version reads – “Now hope is the substance of things hoped-for, the evidence of things not seen.”

The New American Standard Version translates it using our contemporary lexicon to highlight and strengthen it’s meaning. “Now faith is the certainty of things hoped for, a proof of things not seen.”

Jesus died on the cross and rose on the third day. He sits at the right hand of God. The crucifixion gave us salvation. His promise of eternal life is alive, and we are alive because He died. Our faith is certainty. Our faith is strong. As we experience the hate, viciousness and injustice, our faith allows us to shift the lens to view the world through God’s eyes. The fact is, we are overcomers. It may not seem this way, but God makes a way out of no way. He uses worldly situations to challenge our faith. He also uses the situations to strengthen us to continue the race. Most importantly, He gripes our hands more tightly as we surrender to His Will and become more dependent upon Him to walk us through the fire.

The race is – standing our ground. Holding fast to our faith and finding ways to do God’s work in our daily lives. When we take the focus off of our feelings and emotions, we begin to focus our attention on God. I found a good article on-line (The 11 Ways to Implement Your Faith Into Your Daily Routine by Kathryn Elizabeth Wethen, Sept 1, 2016, Odysseyonline.com), that serves as a good reminder of how to strengthen our faith and hence not become a victim of Satan’s deception of heavy-heartedness.

  1. Pray throughout your day.
  2. Read your Bible.
  3. Read a devotional.
  4. Wear your faith on your sleeve.
  5. Listen to positive and encouraging music.
  6. Continue to be involved in your church.
  7. Make friends with people who share your values.
  8. Give yourself 15 minutes of alone time to separate yourself from everything around you.
  9. Not down your thoughts in a journal and refer back to when life is overridden by heavy-heartedness.
  10. Find a small group like BSF, Bible Study International.
  11. Choose Joy! A great way to implement your faith is to rejoice.

To paraphrase Kathryn Wathen, rejoice that you are alive. Rejoice that you have friends and family, and if you are alone rejoice in the fact that you are a child of God.

I awake each morning thanking God for another day’s journey, I recite Psalm 118:24, This is the day the LORD has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it. I may recite this scripture throughout the day as I experience my weighted heart lighten. As I recite the scripture, Jesus takes the things that are weighting me down and places them squarely on himself.  In Matthew 11 verses 28-30 Jesus instructs us to – “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Related Posts on this site:

Silence the Chaotic Internal Noise

Pray Through The Dark Times

Stay Faithful-Stay Focused. By Brenda Walsh Ministries

We Have Divine Power to Demolish Strongholds

Living Through the Muck and Mire of Life

Change Your Filter, Hear His Voice

Post from My Other Site – Youngchristianwarriors.com

Be Strong, Do Not Waver

Entering an Application Season Requires Commitment

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<p value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80"><br><strong>Our Application Season requires our commitment to relinquish our plans and strategies for God’s plan for our lives.</strong> This does not mean we are to sit back and wait for God to do everything, it means that before we do anything we must think about how we will accomplish what we plan to do and ask God for guidance. This includes reacting to situations and circumstances that may be driven by our own actions, as well as those out of our control. The immediate response for many is to snap back, which is waged through our fleshly desires to get back, or harm through words and deeds; cheating to succeed, telling white lies, skipping steps.
Our Application Season requires our commitment to relinquish our plans and strategies for God’s plan for our lives. This does not mean we are to sit back and wait for God to do everything, it means that before we do anything we must think about how we will accomplish what we plan to do and ask God for guidance. This includes reacting to situations and circumstances that may be driven by our own actions, as well as those out of our control. The immediate response for many is to snap back, which is waged through our fleshly desires to get back, or harm through words and deeds; cheating to succeed, telling white lies, skipping steps.

Applying Jesus’ attitude and character to how we approach life is a process. As we more frequently depend on His attitude and character, you will find that the process speeds up, you learn to immediately go into prayer and over time you will respond to life situations according to God’s will and way in a more involuntary manner, in short it becomes who you are, and rather than acting impetuously you act according to the Word of God, you act in a Christlike manner, exuding His demeanor, and if you fail, you immediately repent and attempt to do better the next time.

Scriptures About Commitment (ESV, openbible.info)

Psalm 37:5 – “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.”

Proverbs 16:3 – “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”

Galatians 6:9 –  “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

John 8:12 – “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.””

Ephesians 4:29 –  “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

Romans 12:1-2 – “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Main Point

Commitment is never easy. It requires that you do not take short cuts as you change/renew/convert your attitude and character. It is intentional. It is important to build a strong scriptural foundation. If you do not begin with the fundamentals, how do you know what Christ’s attitude, values, and character are? Just as children look to their parents, we must look to the Word of God for direction, wisdom, knowledge, and insight. But do not wait until you finished building a spiritual foundation. Begin today, remember, each day is a new day. Ask God for direction, and you will become more confident in praying and responding to His instructions. You will learn to feel comfortable in knowing that God intimately knows you and knows that you are growing in the Word. He will speak to you through ways you can understand. There have been times that while I was in prayer, God simply shared a Bible reference, such as – Psalm 63, often a scripture that I had not read, and had no idea what He was telling me until I read it. Once you have read the scripture, it all came together. God is amazing! He is the author and finisher, the alpha and omega, the Way maker, our counselor, and finisher of our faith. If you recall the first Application Season entry, I mentioned Isaiah who wrote, “Listen and hear my voice; pay attention and hear what I say. “ 

“Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for GOD ’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to GOD! Run from evil! 

Dear friend, guard wisdom and understanding with your life; don’t for a minute lose sight of them. They’ll keep your soul alive and well, they’ll keep you fit. No need to panic over alarms or surprises, or predictions that doomsday’s just around the corner, Because GOD will be right there with you; he’ll keep you safe and sound.”

Proverbs 3:5-12, 21-26 MSG

Bibleversestogo.com

Listen to God. Commit to this Application Season establishing the new you. Guard your thinking, use common sense and learn to become Christlike in nature, demonstrating God’s love in everything you do.

As we go through this APPLICATION SEASON together, ask God to personally relate each scripture that speaks to you and ask Him to explain how it applies to your life today. Interestingly, you will find that a scripture can speak to you in different ways during different seasons of your life. The Bible is an ever-evolving book unfolding new treasures as we become more like Christ. The Word meets us at the point  of our need is at the time. When praying, ask God what your next steps are in changing your attitude and character to align to His Word and Will, and believe me, He will provide the next steps. In many cases you will be asked to mobilize what you have learned within a short time of discussing it. Sometimes you will succeed and others times you will fall short, but each strengthens your walk and your character, each step places you closer to becoming like Christ.

References — openbible.info; biblegateway.com

Image — bibleversestogo.com; thepreachersword.com