Runaway imagination..

Hey there BCU Family!

You have the option of listening to our podcast (click the BCU avatar below to listen), reading the notes or BOTH. In any case, we pray the podcast blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy your study! 

Hebrews 12:1 reminds us that we are to lay aside every sin and weight that will beset us in this race that we are to run patiently. When we think about sin, many of us go to the “big” ones, aka lying, stealing, getting drunk–and the like. Have we stopped to consider the sin of our thoughts–our imaginations? Let’s take a pop quiz.

Scenario: You expect to connect with a loved one or good  friend. You reach out to the person and several hours goes by and they do not respond. Do you:

a. Give them the benefit of the doubt, considering they may not have had a moment to reach back. Or perhaps they may not have gotten your message.

b. Pray for their safety and for whatever may be happening that is delaying the callback.

c. Start to get worried, anxious, or enraged.

The worry is that something did happen and the person is someplace stranded or  hurt–unable to get to the phone.  Your mind starts to go into all kinds of places where the person could be–retracing possible steps, places visited, you start calling/texting over and over in an attempt to get the person to respond. Turns out the person’s phone suddenly and unexpectedly broke. They had several things to do at work and such before  they could look into getting it replaced.

The anxiety (close to worry) is more around what the person may be doing. You are thinking, they may not be hurt, just not considerate enough to return your call. So what’s so important that so and so cannot text back?  What kind of friend does that? Is he/she with another person? I noticed that they looked at each other last week when they were introduced. I THOUGHT I noticed a spark. Mom was right! (hysterical sobs).  What will I do? How will we divide everything? What about the Dittmeyer’s party? What will they think? Oh—we have to tell the kids. We should wait until after the holidays…

 The rage can come in after dwelling on the anxiety. In thinking about the person, you mentally plan how you will assault them in a verbal manner once you see them.

The nerve of them NOT calling you back. Are they upset about something? No…they just must be in of their moods–some nerve! There was a time I wasn’t feeling well and I STILL made sure I responded! Maybe we just are not the friends I thought we were. People change up very much. Just like that time with ________________. I did not do ANYTHING to them and all of the sudden we are arch enemies. Well, I do not need to put of with any of this.

When and IF they DO decide to get back to me, I plan to tell them EXACTLY how I feel. And when they say this, I will counter back with the five times they hurt my feelings. No…no..I will talk about the time I sacrificed everything to help them. And once I do, there will be apologies from them, but I will hold off accepting it for 2 days–that will teach them! And then they will BEG for my forgiveness again and I will forgive them..just deal with them out of a long-handled spoon. Or maybe silence is better. Icy silence…and when they ask me what’s wrong at the party, I’ll…

The real story? While walking back to their desk, Friend was called into an impromptu meeting by a manager about a client situation that needed immediate and complete attention that took a few hours to resolve.

Listen, our vain (worthless, idle; empty) imagination can take up places!  Strong’s concordance defines the word “imagination” (logismós) as  “bottom-line” reasoning that reflects someone’s values, i.e. how they personally assign weight in determining what they find reasonable; calculated arguments or thoughts; reaching a personal opinion, i.e. what comes out of a personal reckoning.

Notice the terms—what we find reasonable, personal opinions, personal reckoning—that translates into leaning to our own understanding which is limited, short sighted, finite and does not line up with the Word of God at all. We spend so much time in our heads debating a person or situation over and over until  we are mentally, spiritually, emotionally and sometimes physically drained.  In fact,  I am convinced that some afflictions in our bodies come from the constant deliberations that are in our minds. God knew that the adversary comes to steal, kill and destroy–and our thoughts are not off-limits. Rather than allow the entertain thoughts that come from the adversary, God has given us His word to help us.

  • Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; (2 Corinthians 10:5). 

So if the thought does not line up with the knowledge of God (His Word) we need to “get our minds right” by countering them with the Word of God. Psalm 1 reminds us of what happens when we meditate on what God says.

  • Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
  • But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
  • And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper (Psalm 1:1-3). 

If we are worried or anxious, then we go to God in prayer, fervently asking for what we need and thanking Him for it.

  • “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).

Then when our minds start to wander, we change our thought patterns.

  • Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things  ‭‭(Philippians‬ ‭4:8‬).

The Word of God reminds is that not only should our words be acceptable to God–our thoughts should be, too.

  • Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.

BCU Fam, at some time, most of us will experience fear, worry, anxiety, stressful confrontations and what-if’s–that is perfectly normal. What God wants us to do after those thoughts and emotions come is stay focused on Him and His Word to lead, guide, protect and perfect us. Our thoughts eventually come out in our speech and actions, so if we are full of Jesus, our thoughts, speech and actions will reflect Him. Amen? Amen!

So what are your thoughts on vain imaginations, self-arguments and entertaining the worse case scenarios over and over in your mind? Is the struggle real? I know with the help of the Lord I have to be REALLY intentional about my thoughts or they can overtake my spirit in a negative way. What are your go-to Scriptures? How do you handle things? Head on over to the comments section and let’s continue the conversation!

Finally, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter , and Instagram! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and Apple podcasts!

Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU

Can I truly live free from worry?

Hey there BCU Family!

Typically, you have the option of listening to our podcast, reading the notes or both. For this post, because of the informal format, please tune into the podcast recording and refer to the written post for the highlights. We pray the post blesses and encourages you. If so, please thumbs up AND leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!

Podcast highlights:

  • There are legitimate concerns that come up in all our lives from time to time, or even more often.
  • Dwelling on these concerns can get us to a state of consistent fret or worry.
  •  Merriam Webster defines worry as “to harass by tearing, biting, or snapping especially at the throat”, and then “to subject to persistent or nagging attention or effort” and “to afflict with mental distress or agitation = make anxious”. Yikes.
  • God knows that about us, so He’s given us His Word on what to do when we feel worried.
  • When we disobey what God says about not worrying, in essence we are calling Him a liar.
  • God wants us to trust that He knows everything going on with us and will take care of whatever we need in His way and timing.

Scripture references:

Matthew 6:25-34

25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

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

34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Philippians 4:6-9

6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.


BCU Fam, let me stress that there are things we will be concerned about. The diagnosis, prognosis, the marriage, the family, relationships, the job, finance–just the state of affairs happening in life—any of that enough for anyone to sit up day and night to worry about. For those of us who know the Lord in His fullness, we have His promise that He will take care of us. We can rest on His word. Amen? Amen!

So what are your thoughts on our topic-du-jour? What is your worry level?  What do you worry about the most? Knowing what the word of God says, what will you do differently? Please head to the comments section below and let’s chat some more!

In the meantime, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter , and Instagram! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and Apple podcasts!

Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU

 

Confronting the spirit of fear.

Hey there BCU Family!

As usual, you have the option of listening to our podcast (click the BCU avatar below to listen), reading the notes or BOTH. In any case, we pray the post blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy your study!

 

I “wrassled” with something awhile back and I thought I’d share  with you all, in case you have a similar situation. If not, take it on credit.

I had an acquaintance we’ll call “Jamie” (name changed), who I TOTALLY thank God for. The thing with Jaime? They have a penchant for being very talkative to the point where 1) you can’t get a word in edgewise 2) the conversations are not always fruitful (sometimes laced with complaints and backbiting) and 3) “mindless chatter”, all of which I have a low tolerance for (yes, I pray even now that God help me with this). Now to Jamie’s defense, they are very nice and will share the last Ring Ding with you, but listen, is a Ring Ding worth all of that conversation?!

While I would fraternize with Jamie when I needed to, it’s not something I wanted to do. In fact, I tried to avoid Jamie at as much as possible, fearing I’ll get into a long conversation, or say something (nicely, of course) that will hurt the über-sensitive feelings of this individual and lose my Christian witness.  Jamie was the type of person who you could say something to in the nicest way possible, but would still be hurt. I was in a tough place.

So one day, Jamie left me a message –apparently it was question that only I could answer. In a matter of seconds, my attitude changed from happy to irritation and anger because there was no way to avoid talking to this person. My mind raced wildly–what now? Didn’t I take care of that other situation we had last week? Is this question going to lead to a verbal bashing of a friend? Should I schedule our conversation in between appointments—that way I could limit my time talking? Then, I started practice responses to possible questions that could come up—-RARRRRRRRR!! (arms flailing).

While I was ranting in my car, the Lord invited me to talk to Him about it. Rather than let anxiety take over, as Philippians 4:6 reminded me, it was better that I make my requests known before God in prayer, supplication and with thanksgiving, so that God’s peace would keep my heart and mind.

In talking this through with God, the bottom line was FEAR! I was letting FEAR make me crazy before I even knew what the situation was. Also, I was running (related to fear) from this thing like it was a six-foot bear, when with God on my side, this situation was a plastic poodle! On top of it, I was tired of being afraid!

As a Holy Ghost filled woman, I have Christ on my side, and whatever the conversation was, I needed to be ready to tell Jamie with seasoned speech if what was being said was not agreeing with me or I needed to get going. I also needed to quit worrying (a by- product of fear) about hurting feelings in lieu of pleasing God.  In addition, Proverbs 27:5 reminded me that open rebuke is better than secret love, AND as long as my speech was seasoned with salt (Colossians 4:6), God would be pleased. In the final analysis, pleasing God is really the only thing that matters. After talking that over with Jesus, the peace that came over me was AMAZING!! I felt armed and ready to deal with Jamie or any other potentially sticky situation.

How did my Jamie story end? It turns out that a couple of emails answered Jamie’s questions (see, I didn’t even have to chat with him after all), and NOW with God’s grace and help, I’ll be better equipped to deal with a confrontation when needed with NO FEAR! Sure, tackling an unpleasant issue is uncomfortable and unnerving–but confrontation is biblical. We just have to know how to do God’s way and that starts with prayer! He will give us the words to say so the conversation will be perfect. So with have our directions from God and Holy Ghost leading us, there’s no need to be afraid–God’s got our back!

The final word on fear? II Timothy  1:7 reminds us that God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Let’s take God at His word and walk in what He says. Amen? Amen!

What are your experiences with fear? How have you handled it? Or do you let it handle you like I did? Let’s continue our conversation in the comments section below!

In the meantime, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook,Twitter, or Instagram! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and Apple podcasts!

Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU