Motivated to Surrender

Heart, Soul & Mind … Who Has You?

Song:  Withholding Nothing by William McDowell

I had to make this post today after our bible study last night, and after hearing this song this morning! The teacher spoke on Psalm 46:10.  My heart was immediately overwhelmed with a sense of confirmation, myself being in a mind space where I know I need to BE STILL and wait on the Lord more consistently and faithfully!

The teacher gave examples of how we get so busy with pursuing life that we tend to push God to the side, giving him a minuscule of our time, talents and energy.

I felt the SLAP upside my head – intuitively and spiritually!

When you are operating day in and day out on automatic pilot, going through the motions, checking off your long, sometimes extensive lists of things to be done, and especially those things done in the name of God, stop and ask yourself:

  • Am I living a life that is totally SURRENDERED to God?
  • Am I working off a mental checklist in autopilot mode?
  • Am I working in conjunction with the Holy Spirit to accomplish God’s plan(s) for my life?

Jesus left it ALL at the CROSS – For You and For Me! – He WITHHELD NOTHING from us in His defeat of death to ensure we had a clear path to salvation, free of flesh-guided works.

What are you WITHHOLDING from the Lord of Your Salvation when all he wants is YOU – Heart, Soul and Mind (Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27)?

Today, and in the days following, I encourage you to BE STILL & KNOW HE IS GOD!  Make your future plans, but freely allow God to supply the final answer and direction of the path he wants you to follow!

Intentional Ignorance: An Unhealthy Option

Biblical History (His-Story) is for our benefit, while ignorance is our enemy’s deception tactic!

Ignorance is defined as a lack of knowledge; especially of divine things; or, of moral blindness. The Webster dictionary says it is: Want, absence or destitution of knowledge; the negative state of the mind which has not been instructed in arts, literature or science, or has not been informed of facts. (Ignorance may be general, or it may be limited to particular subjects. Ignorance of the law does not excuse a man for violating it.)

God never intended that anyone should be without knowledge concerning the Godhead. God didn’t make the gospel difficult to understand, nor the gift of salvation hard to obtain. Sin and its origins was made known, and intentional ignorance of scriptural knowledge will provide no excuses.

I like that Paul opens 1 Corinthians 10 with these words… “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant,…” In other words, he didn’t want you (1) not to know, (2) not to understand, or (3) err or sin through mistake. 

God has intentionally given us plenty of history (His-Story) that provides panoramic views of healthy and unhealthy spiritual options. Though he at one time gave passes, this option has been eliminated as a “get out of hell free” card. Aptly written are the words found in Romans 7:24 wherein is said, Old wretched man that I am… indeed!

In 1 Corinthians 10, we are given the wilderness journey for our learning:

But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.

To anyone tired of vicious cycles, there are exit signs for every situation designed to help us avoid snake pits and quicksand. We can be better, live better, act better and witness better. But nothing changes without intentionally gaining AND applying knowledge.

There is something to be learned through studying this timeless book of scriptures which contains the mind, heart and Words of God.  Anything to the contrary is an unhealthy option.

11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

WANTED: Intentional Models

When being intentional for God is challenged against worldly standards.

Years ago, I took my then 12 year old daughter to a model agency tryout. As she demonstrated her runway walk amidst the attendees, her natural gait made her a great candidate. Both judges and attendees inquired of her training which was non-existent. She was only modeling and imitating what she had been instructed on and seen.

A pastor’s wife recently asked Facebook about the type of church body they’d prefer:  a church body of 15 with godly integrity, or a church body of 100 unconcerned about how they represent Christ. Her question spoke to a need for stronger bible-based anchors girded by sound biblical understanding. Hence, to model and imitate are defined as:

  • Model: A pattern, example: any thing to be imitated; standard by which a thing is to be measured
  • Imitate: To follow in manners; To copy in form, color or quality

Years ago, Jesus stepped out of the Godhead into flesh to offer himself as the final sacrificial Lamb. He not only modeled walking in the Spirit while in the flesh, but imitated in deed the will of the Father (John 5:19, 30). Unlike the Nation of Israel, Jesus passed the test in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). The Believers dual nature is not an excuse when we read Hebrews 4:14-16:

14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.  15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.  16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

In these days, there is an increasing need for intentional “Christ” models! The Body of Christ is being exposed in our country. If you search the internet on where Christianity is growing, you’ll be disheartened to know that America has fallen behind in the Great Commission. The Body of Christ where I attend is challenged in its walk, and held accountable to not only the visions and goals of the ministry, but to the Great Commission. We are reminded that the fields are white for harvest (Matthew 9:37-38)!

If the heart attitude is truly to please God, then the heart intention should be to Model Christ!  Today is an Open Call for Intentional Models!

Intentional: Extending Energy

Working While it is Yet “Day”

On yesterday, I watched from my side and rear view mirrors as a man tried to wave down a Metro Bus that had already passed him by. I could tell this gentleman’s gait was slight, and that he wouldn’t be able to run fast enough to get the driver’s attention. My heart made a decision as I watched the bus continue on, and the gentleman stop. I pulled over by the bus stop. I waited for the gentleman to draw near, and then offered him a ride.

He wasn’t going far, and the detour kept me from eating junk food for dinner. We made small talk as he shared his love of playing the guitar. It was helpful information since one of my grandchildren had expressed an interest in learning how to play. I dropped the gentleman at his destination, and knew his gratitude was genuine. I doubt it mattered that we were of different ethnic backgrounds; we were of the same race – humanity!

My heart is more inclined and dedicated to extending my hand to LIFT UP another, than it is to simply GIVE to another (though I do give freely and willingly many times).

The FIRST – LIFTING UP – requires a DUAL EFFORT to establish reachable goals that build valuable humanity, skills, and lessons in the life of both parties. The example Jesus provided in John 5:5-9 has stayed with me over the years.

5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? 7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. 8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. 9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.

The LATTER often becomes a bottomless pit that holds the GIVER ransom. The TAKER settles comfortably into victim mode while waiting to be fed, clothed and catered to as they languish in sleep and slumber. We find a clear picture of this mentality in Proverbs 6:6-11:

6 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:..9 How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? 10 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: 11 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man. (vv. 6, 9-11)

My hope, at the end of the day, is as I lay down to rest from my labors, that God will find me worthy for the day’s hire in both the physical and spiritual fields.

Be Intentional: CHOOSE

Your preference is demonstrated in your imitation

BE INTENTIONAL:  CHOOSE, COMMUNE, BE STILL

In my parenting role, I elected to set boundaries in place to create a balance in the roles of womanhood. I compartmentalized my life into three areas:  home/family, work, self.

  • Each day, I elected to wake my children with a kiss, a smile, and a hug. I either fed them a decent breakfast at home, or used the school’s breakfast program. Junk food not allowed.
  • Each day, I elected to go to a job with people I enjoyed working with. I chose a field I enjoyed so that work was more of an extension of me than it was work.
  • Each evening, I elected to leave my job where I found it—in a building of wood, brick or stone. Occasionally, by choice and not by requirement, I brought work home.
  • Each evening, I elected to greet my children with a kiss or hug, ask about their day, and check that chores and homework were done. I cooked a full meal, and allowed them to sip from their cups only after eating at least half of their plate.
  • Each night, I elected to spend time after dinner talking, laughing, reading or watching movies with them. They took baths, said prayers, and I kissed them goodnight.
  • Each night, once they were in bed, I elected time for myself. I read a book, listened to music, or wrote my thoughts in a book. I was normally in bed by 10:00 P.M.

I Choose, therefore, no one is blamed. When a person practices looking outwardly at issues in their life, they form a habit of personal deception. They turn the mirror in the opposite direction, and attempting to dodge blame, they set the stage to be repeat offenders in the repetitive messiness of their lives; victims by their own choosing.

Unfortunately, God also gets the blame. When their plans fail to produce the fruit they desired it becomes a charge against God–why would a loving God allow hurt or harm to his children, they ask. They live by their own rules with the expectation that God should get with their program (Isaiah 55:8-9). But error is housed in darkness, where the light of knowledge shines not.  “O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing (a lie, untruth, falsehood, deceptive thing)? Selah.” 

The lesson is to learn how to CHOOSE wisely. Commune with your own heart says the author of Psalm 4. Contemplate, Meditate, Study the course of your choices. Learning to pray and be still, as you consider your past, your present and the future you desire is a must. It is considering the outcomes of each road you contemplate, and examining it under a microscope! It takes practice, quieting your flesh and your emotions, until you see the true light of the matter.

It is then that we learn to CHOOSE his way.

Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. Psalm 4 (v.4)

Be Intentional: Get Knowledge

Only depending on the words spoken from the pulpit to help guide us into living for/in/through Christ, is similar to sitting at the table with a delicious meal before you but never tasting the dish. While there are awesome preachers/teachers in pulpits (I have sat up under some), you can only develop an intimate relationship with God by reading his Word for yourself.

If we have any knowledge at all, we know that we can never have all the knowledge about God, though he willingly gives us more as we seek more. It is the knowledge of him, the deeper understanding of him, that aids us in applying his word to our life. Reading the entire bible often instead of just snippets of it occasionally, opens the door for the Holy Spirit to teach us its application. This is how we learn to make the Bible the final answer in our decisions. Reading also brings clearer focus to the workings of God, decreasing our emotional response to world events, and replacing it with a better understanding of what God is doing spiritually.

Leaving your spiritual feeding and growth to outward sources creates an inward spiritual hunger we mistakenly try to feed from worldly menus. Attempting to live for Christ from another’s personal relationship with God causes spiritually malnutrition. This can leave us internally unsatisfied and prone to accept false biblical rhetoric. Such are the designs of the enemies of God to leave us weak and powerless in our faith. I speak boldly from the position of a silly woman (though it is not gender restricted) with souvenirs in areas where I fell as prey.

If you choose intentionally to forsake the reading and study of God’s Word regularly (including the application of it), you set yourself up to be deceived intentionally.

Therefore, take heed to the message given to Timothy, and relevant for all believers in Jesus Christ as found in 2 Timothy 3 (5-7)

5 Having a form of godliness, (we have the appearance of reverencing God)

  but denying the power thereof: (but we contradict the unlimited power of God)

  from such turn away. (we are to avoid such)

For of this sort are they which creep into houses, (these are they who move secretly,    undetected into our lives-homes-presence)

  and lead captive silly women laden with sins, (these make slaves of spiritually weak women (and men), who are loaded with many sins)

 led away with divers lusts, (who are urged on by blind impulses into various desires, cravings, longings, forbidden by God)

Ever learning, (always listening, increasing in the (head) knowledge)

  and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (never gain precise or correct knowledge or the ability to distinguish divine truth from falsehood as pertains to the things of holiness).

Be Intentional: Be Honest With Yourself!

The “New” Starts With You!

I have heard many people talk about things they want to accomplish in life.  I have watched and listened in silence as people point fingers at others for the failures or dramas in their life.  I have observed the parades people put on to convince the world of blessings in their life.

I have yet to see those (especially those who play out their dramas in the social media/public arena) who take ownership and responsibility for their failures and/or dramas.

If this message resonates with you, do yourself a huge favor in this year – Be Intentional – Be Honest With Yourself!  The “new” really does start with YOU!

If you were FORCED into a situation, that’s one thing. However, the truth is more likely that you made some decisions in your life that most likely did not come by way of seeking/listening/adhering to wise counsel, fervent prayer, and/or being still (in heart, mind, and body) to really hear God’s opinion and direction on a matter.

When you are honest with yourself, you don’t blame others or attempt to make them a debtor because of the outcome of your choices, even if their choices affect you adversely.  When you are honest with yourself, you seek God to for repentance and deliverance from the lies and sins that brought you into error (1 John 1:5-10).  It really boils down to being a maturity thing.

So, be intentional towards your well-being (heart, mind & body); make a commitment to yourself, to be honest with yourself in every situation/circumstance that has left you bruised, broken or burdened.  A true life change begins with a confession!

I can honestly say that 42 years of practicing not lying to myself has kept me from holding grudges and, from carrying around physical, emotional or spiritual baggage!  And that, brethren, has given me 42 years of freedom to grow in Christ, and Speak True Life!

3They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.

(Proverbs 1:30-31)

INTENTIONAL

That’s what 2017 will be for me … Intentional.  In everything that I do, everything that I say, everything that I write, to every work of my hand, my heart, and my mind … it will be intentional and purposed.  Why, you may ask?

Because GOD IS INTENTIONAL!

As I mentioned in my first post, in reading the scriptures and looking at all that God did and is doing in the world today, it is evident that God is intentional in everything that he allows or denies.  With the new year, several of my church brethren have taken up the challenge of reading through the bible in 90-days.  I’m sure you can image how intense this might be — already in day-4, we are ending with the last book of Genesis.

Since I am just getting back in the groove of writing a blog, I will be intentionally starting with brief encouragements and inspirations. However, I must warn you, depending on how the Holy Spirit moves me, and what I’m given to say …. some of my writings will be a little longer and fuller.  I hope to touch your heart, your mind or your soul … one way or another … one word at a time…with the love of God.

So, here are my beginnings for 2017:

January 1, 2017 – A Day of Communing with the Lord – Silence….
January 2, 2017 – Music Motivations Monday
Song:  “Walking Like Giants” by Stars Go Dim
In this New Year, I am deeming Mondays as Music Motivations! Today’s melodic motivation is Stars Go Dim’s “Walking Like Giants”. If we walk INTENTIONALLY in our faith this year, we will run into some Giants! God wants to build our spiritual muscle and there is no victory by caving in as the spiritual battles we face heat up. Whatever comes our way we, who are the Children of the Most High God, don’t fight alone. We are raised up together with Jesus Christ, and are made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: (Ephesians 2:6)
PURPOSE in your heart to fight from the right positions: that of the spiritual realm and from the stance of victory!

 

January 3, 2017 – BE INTENTIONAL – FIRST: BE HONEST WITH GOD

“12-Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. 13- Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.” Psalm 19:12-13

January 4, 2017 – GOD IS INTENTIONAL: GOD IS A GENTLEMAN

He doesn’t mind opening doors for you, and yet, he doesn’t mind moving out of YOUR WAY when you want to open your own door!

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33

 

Out With The Old

No new resolutions – Just a continuation of the newness of life!

On December 30, 2016 I posted the below message to my Facebook “Speak True Life” page. It is the foundation from which I will write in 2017.

As we prepare for the countdown to 2017, I am thinking about how GOD IS INTENTIONAL IN EVERYTHING HE DOES, ALLOWING OR DENYING things in our lives that will either conform us to the image of his son (Rom. 8:29), or turn us over to the lusts of our flesh, eyes, and pride.

I am going into 2017 with anticipation of the things that God will put together for my good (Romans 8:28).  And, because I know he has my best interest in mind, I will be INTENTIONAL in:

  • READING GOD’S WORD DAILY (“Bible in 90-Day” challenge is on (GTC—you know who you are!!)
  • SEEKING GOD’S COUNSEL in the use of my talents/gifts for the Glory of his kingdom (He gave them to me for a reason: the ministry of reconciliation!)
  • DAILY PRAYER to experience more of his power to better equip me for the spiritual battles that lie ahead (the work He has performed in my life these last 42 years has been truly AMAZING!! – I expect the future to be more of the same!)

In 2017, BE INTENTIONAL WITH GODeither make the tree good or make the tree corrupt (Matthew 12:33), for I am thoroughly inspired by His written Word:

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

(1 Corinthians 2:9)