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

God’s Miracles Never Cease To Amaze

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Posted on 

I mentioned a young boy who drowned in his pool and whose family, friends, and extended family are praying for a miracle in my previous post, Praying Through The Darkest Times. I am one of the extended family members. His grandmother and I serve as group leaders at a local Bible Study Fellowship group. It is an International Bible study organization, established on the fact that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior.

I believe God is using Malachi in a mighty way. I will post some of the family’s daily experiences of how God’s miracles are often procedural, a process over time. Not all miracles are immediate, but they are all miraculous. His ways are not our ways and He uses various experiences to mature our Christian walk, some are very difficult to digest, others easier to understand at face value, they are obvious. Join us in praying for full recovery. Malachi has already defied the odds. The posts are from Facebook, Miracle for Malachi.

This post was written by Brenda Johnson on FaceBook

I don’t know your family, but your faith is absolutely inspiring. I’m sure every second has been trying, but your trust in Gods plan shows what beautiful people you are. I’m not a well versed Christian, but I believe God is doing something bigger than we can see on the surface. He sees your pain and sees your faithfulness in the most difficult time. 2 Corinthians 5:7 For we live by faith, not by sight. Continued prayers that God has something planned for Malachi that the doctors have never seen and didn’t learn about in med school. I’ve heard Pastor Steven Furtick say a setback is a setup for a miracle.

This post was written. By Trisha Bernal, Malachi’s mother.

Malachi’s Story

It is with heavy and grieving hearts that we write this. When God hears our prayers sometimes he answers them in ways that we would never imagine, or wish for, and yet it is somehow intertwined in the overall story of life and even in the beauty of redemption. As I texted a friend this morning, I mentioned that I was grateful that Malachi- my little messenger of God, has thus far been used to bring thousands of people to their knees in prayer. I have been encouraged and blessed by so many people, many of whom, I have never met before.

We were hoping for an immediate miracle of healing by our human definition. Unfortunately the quick fix is not always the victory that God calls us to. Instead, sometimes the victory is in proclaiming God’s grace and goodness in the struggle no matter how long it lasts. Sometimes the victory is in finding joy and unity in standing for one who will never stand on their own again. Sometimes the ultimate victory looks so very different than we had hoped and we have no idea how we’ll get past the pain to see the blessing.

According to doctors, our little Malachi will never be able to walk or talk or even eat on his own again, and this is the best case scenario. But… he is alive and his story is still being told. He may not use his mouth to speak but he is truly a messenger of God. His life is not lifeless. He will lead the way in wheelchair races driven on of course by his big brother. He will have the coolest hats ever. He will still bring joy to his family and those around him. His life and injury will not be in vain. Pray for us. We need it. Pray that we better understand God’s perfect plan in all this. Pray that the church is unified and built up by my son.

As I was crying over his bedside a minute ago, in agony I prayed “God how could You have given Your only Son to die on the cross?” My pain in this moment is intense. He CHOSE that pain so that we could experience blessing in the form of ultimate salvation. May Malachi’s life continue to proclaim this truth as we unite as a family, as a community and as a church. God has called my boy to big things.

Earlier post from Trisha B, mother

Tip for a child friendly way to tell kids: Trisha and Goose told their kids that Malachi’s brain isn’t waking up. Since his brain controls his body, he won’t be able to move or talk, but he’s still very much alive. We’ll all be able to still hug him and cuddle him and care for him – and have wheel chair races! Malachi is alive and still with us. Praise God!

I pray that each one of you processes this with a kingdom mindset knowing that God’s perspective is not our perspective. God is good. There is no plan B with God. He is not surprised by this and he is still in control. He WILL work all things together for our good, and His glory, for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purposes.

Please remember that we are STILL praying for healing for Malachi and peace, comfort and strength for family and friends. There is a tough road ahead but it is not without hope. Our God is mighty! We WILL see his glory. Although we don’t yet know what that looks like, we approach His throne of mercy and grace, with thanksgiving and make our requests known to Him.

Photos and Content from Facebook, Miracle for Malachi.

Stay Faithful–Stay Focused. Brenda Walsh Ministries

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Today is the day the Lord has made; stay focused, stay present, stay faithful.

LAB Photos

God never promised that if you would follow Him, your life will be perfect. He never promised the sun would always shine or that you would never experience pain. The truth is, this journey on earth is difficult and challenging. There are so many twists and turns to life and is critically important to stay focused on Jesus.

The devil would like nothing better than to separate you from the only One who can save you, and he will stop at nothing to get your attention. He loves to plant seeds of doubt–especially when you are going through a crisis and are the most vulnerable. Satan loves to whisper his lies, encouraging you to blame God for your troubles. But Satan is the creator of sin and he gets all the credit for pain and heartache–not God!

Stay focused on your heavenly Father who loves you more than anyone else ever could! When you are in trouble–call upon Him for help. The Bible says in Psalm 34:17-19, “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”

You don’t have to be afraid of life’s challenges, heartache, and pain because you are never alone! Stay faithful–stay focused on the only one who can save you from all your trials, misery, and suffering–Jesus Christ, your Lord, and Savior.

Text: Deuteronomy 31:6, Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 147:3, Psalm 55:22, Isaiah 42:16

Giving Peter Props

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Peter’s walk on the water is a look at what pure faith delivers, the unfathomable.

~ Lisa Blair

Jesus instructed Peter to step out of the boat and walk to him. Yes, he told him to walk on water, can any of us do so without reservation? Is our faith that strong? Peter responded by climbing out of the boat and began walking on water. When he looked down, worldly logic informed him that he was doing the impossible, that he was defying gravity, and as quickly as his faith lifted him, faithlessness caused him to sink.

Satan is our weight, and he is our sinker, he is our albatross. As long as we allow him to dictate our lives, our faith waivers, and from time to time fails. The lack of faith causes doubt. Christ asked the disciples in Matthew 8:26, why are you afraid? O ye of little faith,’ then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was calm.  Christ was saying, faith has no bounds but those we place on it. Faith requires total focus on Christ. The scripture says, do not look to the left or right, I’ll add – do not look down, keep your eyes on me (Christ), and follow me. Like Ruth told Naomi, where you go, I will go; what you believe in, I will believe in as well, meaning your God is my God. That is a statement of faith and dedication. Her affirmation yielded action; Ruth followed Naomi. This story, along with the story about Peter shows us that dependence and commitment are an act of faith, faith in what? Faith is the belief in God – the belief in the Almighty.

Peter’s faith placed him on the water. His faith supported him above the water. How well does our faith help us? Can we walk on water even for a second, or better yet, take multiple steps? The story generally refers to Peter’s lack of faith. Once he focused on what he was doing, he no longer kept his eyes on Christ. When he looked away, he began to sink. As Christians, our goal should be to keep our eyes on Christ. We should intentionally stop ourselves from looking to the left or right or down, and when we do, refocus on Christ, who is the Word.

Peter demonstrated his faith in Christ, and we often do the same. Then when life gets tough, we begin to doubt, which leads to sinking into the problem; it begins to encompass our every thought. That is when we must remember Christ’s query, why are you afraid, O ye of little faith, of wavering faith? It is time to lock your focus, your trust in me (Christ), and move forward in your walk.

Scriptures

Matthew 8:26

Ruth 1:16-17

Matthew 14:22-33

Proverbs 4:25-27

I Had A Dream

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When God commands we are to do more than listen. We are to act.

~ Lisa Blair

God speaks to us in many ways. He uses us as needed, and empowers His gifts as He sees fit. Earlier this week, I had a clear impartation from God. It was clear and precise. Last night He called me to prayer at 4am and my instruction was to share the dream He had given me. I am no prophet and was not inclined to share the dream with the world, but on command I am stepping out in faith. I am not comfortable, but trusting in the Lord is not a request to follow it is a command.

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DREAM – Night of May 3, 2020/Morning of May 4, 2020

The dream opened with a clear, discernable voice telling me to go grocery shopping before May 11 and do not go out shopping after the 11th for three weeks.

The voice (God) said, the States were reopening too soon and that the majority were reopening in some degree May 11. The day after re-opening businesses, the death rates and critical care hospitalizations will quadruple within days to a few weeks. Then I was shown a map of the United States, and there were pins, red for death, and blue for increased areas of hospitalizations. The pins were so close together, they seemed to be on top of each other. There was no map space spared. The pins canvassed the entire map.

The voice (God) told me, those who stay indoors and honor the the shelter-in-place rules would survive, and those who return to their old lifestyle, before the pandemic, will be throwing the nation into greater risk, despair and loss.

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In the last few days we see towns, cities and countries attempting to reopen to stop the drain and loss of businesses, and the rise of unemployment throughout the world. We have also heard from the scientists that the next wave will be much worse than the initial wave we are currently living through. We are in unprecedented times, the balance between life and liberty (economic security) are in the balance. Our survival depends on our new behavior, are we listening to the scientists, the specialists or are we ignoring what we are currently going through as if it is a common cold?

I believe my (prophetic) dream is a wake up call. Take one day at a time and treat each day as if it is the last. We are called to be alert, wise and discerning. We are not of this world and clearly should not be a part of the blind.

Scriptures (Biblestudytools.org; bible.knowing-jesus.com)

Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. THough it cost all you have, get understanding. ~ Proverbs 4:6-7

If any if you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. ~ James 1:5

Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise. ~ Proverbs 19:20

And he will delight in the fear of the Lord, and he will not judge by what his eyes see, nor make a decision by what his ears hear. ~ Isaiah 11:3

Teach me good discernment and knowledge, for I believe in Your commandments. ~ Psalm 119:66

An do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. ~ Romans 12:2