God Wants Relationship—He Is Our Heart And Portion

Why do we struggle to live what we believe is enough, until we reach rough terrain, or old age and realize, God is our strength and relying on self is futile?

~ Lisa Blair

Cuzco, Peru- DMorris

Headstrong/Free-will

God created a headstrong people and gave us free-will. Free-will is the option to choose to live a carnal life or a Godly life. God does not stand in our way, but instead allows us to make the decision to choose Him, and live a Godly, eternal life, or flail about on our own, destined to rot in hell.

As we hunger for true life, we begin to understand that only God can provide the comfort we seek. Once we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, the comfort and strength we seek come through the Holy Spirit, who instantaneously takes up residence in us, and becomes our inner man.

It’s mind-boggling to think that even as Christians, who have surrendered our lives to Christ, still find it difficult to be obedient and dependent upon Him. If you are, or were, like me and so many others, we were raised to be independent, to forge ahead relying on our own decision-making abilities, and take the bull by the horns.

Hearts and Bodies Fail, Death is Inevitable

The truth is, our bodies and minds fail us time and time again. At some point, we become exhausted, and we search for strength and realize we must rely on God, who is our eternal strength. There is no other, especially self that can release the fear, and the weakness felt when our bodies and minds fail, in life and death.

The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. Psalms 18:2 KJV


God is our Rock, in Him, and only Him, do we have strength. When we realize He has given us options, we also realize free-will truly means surrender and not persevering on our own. It means relying on His strength to see us through.

Again, I emphasize, free-will has two sides. God wants us to choose to either accept Him as our Lord and Savior, thus being in relationship with Him and being insured of eternal life/salvation, or remain where we are in sin moving forward blindly.

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9 ESV

Complete Surrender

When we fully and completely surrender, there is clarity in understanding that it is attached to obedience and dependency upon God’s Word. What seems confusing to many is that surrender is two prong and relies on total obedience and dependence upon Him. It does not mean we should enter into a catatonic state and wait for God to move us like a chess piece, it means to go to Him in prayer and ask for guidance while planning. It means learning his Word through reading the Bible and strengthening your relationship with Him. Once we begin to move down His path, we understand that we should not stray to the left or the right but to listen to His quiet, strong voice and allow Him to inform our decision-making.

God’s Will and His Way

Quite often, His plans for our lives are different than ours. How many of you have had wealth, prestige, and career opportunities that in your carnal world were exciting and clearly placed you on the path of success? Likewise, how many of you also heard God’s quiet voice saying, ‘stay with me, this is not your path’? God is the source of our happiness, not wealth, not public acclaim, not the clamor of friends, but relationship with Him. Knowing God is your strength is knowing that He alone is your supreme joy and that He is your friend and portion, now and forever.

If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. John 7:17 ESV

Only God can give strength and comfort in the present and on our deathbed. Our flesh will always fail, but God is the strength of our soul and gifts us with eternal salvation. In health and in weakness, we should always attempt to persevere to walk in His Will and His Way, not our own. Without God, our life is only a self-inflicted burden without direction or cause. Without God in life and in death, we remain orphans, naked-without His covering, unprotected, and subject to eternal death. We remain portionless forever.

References – Studylight.org, Barnes Notes, Psalms 73:26

Scriptures- Biblegateway.org

Images – Pixby, Free Google Images, DMorris

What Does, God’s Will Be Done And Not My Own, Really Mean?

There are times in our lives when we surrender ourselves as a form of selfish need, and times when we surrender because we want a covenant relationship with the Lord. Where are you on the spectrum? It may be time to decide. You are on the precipice of surrender.

~ Lisa Blair
busy.org

Many of us tend to use this phrase nonchalantly. This is not a thoughtless statement or a decision to take lightly. When we express this thought, we are entering a covenant, a pack, with God. From this point forward, there is no looking back. This is the point of surrender.

I have heard this scripture spoken in many contexts during my lifetime. I imagine you have, as well. You may have glibly spoken it during a conversation. As a student of the Word, I now pose the question, how many times have I broken covenant with God? How many times have I uttered this statement and then chosen my own path, made my own decision, or followed others, overriding God’s purpose and plan for my life?

This gives rise to three questions we all struggle with:

1) What does ‘your will be done’ mean?

2) What does surrender mean?

3) Are you ready to commit to the covenant with God?

WHAT DOES YOUR WILL BE DONE MEAN?

When Jesus was preparing to take his place up the cross, after he could no longer take the pain, and wanted to be released from his duty, he cried out,

My father! If it is possible, let this Cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” (Matthew 26: 39 NLT)

This is the turning point in Christ’s prayer. “Here, Jesus demonstrated the turning point in prayer for all of us. Prayer is not about bending God’s will to get what we want. The purpose of prayer is to seek God’s will and then align our desires with his. Jesus willingly placed his desires in full submission to the father’s will.” (Not my will but yours be done. Learn Religions.com)

When we make the statement, we are in effect, praying. We are committing ourselves to God’s Will for our lives. His plan for our lives was established long ago, long before we were born, perhaps before He created this universe. If we allow God to lead us, He will show us the path to take. Your will be done means you will abide by His will and not your own. 99% of the time, your purpose will be different than His. You are not first in His Will, but you surrender regardless and are bound by the covenant you created when you cried out the phrase.

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. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:11 NJKV)

In effect, when you call on God, pray to Him and listen to Him, you are abiding in His Will for your life. Your (totally) surrender yourself, holding nothing back, to His Will and His Way.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO SURRENDER?

Surrendering means yielding ownership, to relinquish control over what we consider to be ours, to relinquish our life, all of it. We surrender what God has given us and how we wanted to use it to become His steward of this life. When we surrender to God, we are acknowledging His ultimate control of everything, including our circumstances, past, present, and future.

Billy Graham wrote: If you want a change in your life, if you want forgiveness and peace and joy that you’ve never known before, God demands total surrender, in so doing, our Lord becomes the ruler of your life.

When we surrender and give up all we are, we no longer seek personal gain, we are delivered from sin, and become useful to God to conduct His work on earth.

When we reach this point in our lives, making moral choices, we must choose to follow our own sinful nature (our carnal life) or seek God and surrender ourselves to Him.

ARE YOU READY TO COMMIT TO THE COVENANT WITH GOD?

Once someone speaks this statement, utters this prayer, recites this scripture, conversion has been set in place, you are on the precipice of changing your life to become God’s tool, His steward, and His servant.

Take heed, think this through before you find yourself amid the war for your soul. It is a choice, do you follow your carnal desires, or surrender them to our Lord and Savior, the head of our lives?

Are you ready to enter into covenant with God and all that it entails? Are you ready to allow God to take you wherever He needs you? Are you prepared to commit?

Internet Resources – Thy Will Be Done. lifehopeandtruth.com; A Message From Billy Graham. billygraham.org; Surrender To God. http://www.allaboutfollowingjesus.org; Total Surrender| My Utmost For His Highest. utmost.org; What Does It Mean To Surrender To God? http://www.gotquestions.org

Free Yourself From The Shackles

Jesus humbled himself to the point of death to give us life. We should be able and willing to humble ourselves and, honestly, repent for our sins (stating what they are or were) and start anew (fresh). It is never too late, God forgives us when we repent, allowing us to move-on shackle free. Christ gave us the opportunity to rise above who we (presently) are. It is time to change our home location,  we are in this world, but not of this world. 

Go to a quiet place and speak to God, ask Him to forgive you. You choose the place. It could be in the midst of a train station, bar, standing on the corner in busy traffic. Just still yourself and pray. He will receive you wherever you are at the moment.

We belong to Christ. New Beginnings.

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Hearing His Word

It’s important to learn the Word so your relationship becomes more vivid. God speaks to us in many ways, but I find it most comforting when He teaches me through the Word. Memorize a daily devotional scripture each day and watch it strengthen your faith and emotional stamina.

Christopher Robin, Winnie the Pooh and Overcoming our Carnal Nature

Christopher-Robin-Live-Action-Animation-ComparisonRecently I watched the movie, Christopher Robin set in the mid-1940s. The story is about the adult Christopher Robin suffering through the stresses of war and then as a procurement officer for a suitcase company, a husband, and a father. While his name was Christopher Robin, he was no longer the whimsical child whose friends were wise stuffed animals. As an adult, he lost himself and became overwhelmed by life allowing his carnal (sin) nature to take hold of him.

How many of us become overwhelmed by life? How many of us lost our way when we became adults? How many of us have or had careers, families, and life only to find that we have been misplaced by the facade of what we thought an adult was? In effect, we have allowed our sin nature to become our master. Our sin nature is our carnal self. When we are not alert, the essence of who God created us to be is overtaken by the world. Fortunately, possessing the Holy Spirit alerts us of the takeover and awakens us to live a life like Christ. 2 Kings 2:3 tells us God will remove the master of our carnal being and free us to be who he created us to be.

“Then the sons of the prophets who were at Bethel came out to Elisha and said to him. “Do you know that the Lord will take away your master from over you today?” And he said, “Yes, I know; be still.”

As the story proceeds, Pooh looked for Christopher Robin for years because he missed the relationship they had years ago. Do you miss the relationship you had with God when you were a newly saved Christian? One day Pooh decided to venture out and find him. Are you seeking the Lord and your relationship with Him?

Jumping ahead, Pooh found Christopher Robin in London and hoped he would still be his friend and return to the 100-Acre Wood. When he saw a man approaching him in the park, Pooh did not recognize him. His adult (carnal) personality was nothing close to who he was as a youth, his essence was missing, and he was a mere shell of who he was earlier in life.

Pooh then said, it is always a sunny day when Christopher Robin comes to play. Christopher heard Pooh but knew the old Christopher was dormant and lost. He could not find himself and therefore could not play with them. This was his wake-up moment. Up until that moment, he did not realize he was lost. Luke 5:26 says,

“They were all stuck with astonishment and began glorifying God; and they were filled with fear, saying, “We have seen remarkable things today.”

To shift the story a bit, this morning at church Pastor Paul Sheppard (Destiny Christian Fellowship, USA), shared a God showed him a paradigm shift about of what he had been in prayer about for some time. Pastor Paul shared that paradigm shifts change the perspective of how you see something. In essence, what you thought a thing was, was, in fact, something completely different when the shift takes place. I share this because Christopher Robin experienced a paradigm shift when he found his daughter (who went back to the city to give him his papers he left behind) and she gave him one of the pages of his report. The diagram was a pyramid showing percentages of who purchased suitcases, reflecting a loss in sales (that could result in the company closing down). However, when the diagram was inverted, it showed a potential increase in sales if you looked at the economics of what part of the population would purchase suitcases when they received vacation time to travel. Before the paradigm shift, the target market was the rich, the inverted diagram reflected that as the market changed to include the average working man, suitcase sales would increase exponentially.

In the end, everything worked out. Christopher Robin saved the day, the company remained open, he reclaimed his essence, found himself and began to focus on his family. The final minutes of the movie focused on Pooh and Christopher Robin sitting

on a tree trunk. Pooh asked Christopher Robin what day is it? Christopher Robin quickly responded ‘it is today’. Pooh smiled and said, good, it is today, that’s great because when it was yesterday, it was too much of a day for me. This was a key point when Christopher replied, it is today, we are witnessing his turning point, indicating that he found his essence, his carnal self would have given the day and month. Hebrews 3:13 says,

“But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”

Earlier when Pooh said, it always a sunny day when Christopher Robin comes to play is the moment when he established who he was, just as we do when we repent and ask God to be part of our life. Pooh recognized that Christopher Robin was no longer lost. He had found himself, he reclaimed his essence while searching for an answer to his dilemmas and searching for his daughter who was much like him. Sometimes it is to do nothing when we have been tasked with finding the answer.

Doing nothing for Christians is stepping back and going into prayer asking God for direction. We are instructed to be still and wait on the Holy Spirit to direct us, in so doing we step away from our carnal, sinful self and rely on the Lord. Why is forging ahead without Gods direction carnal? Our carnal self is self-serving, conceited, and stubborn, seeking to draw attention to self and not the intended outcome.

Generally, as we search for purpose, we grow as Christians and eventually receive Christ as our Lord and Savior. In so doing, we reclaim our person in Christ and relinquish our carnal self. However, like Christopher Robin, we can slip into the chaos of the world and lose ourselves. As long as we live in this world we will be challenged, sometimes we need to step back, be still, and let God lead us.

Images – Google Images

Scriptures – BibleGateway.com