The importance of rest…

Hey there BCU Fam,

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! 

Generally speaking, we are a “busy” society–especially women. Many ladies work (in and/or outside of the home), are married, have children, care for aging parents, are on a committee, in ministry of some sort (choir, ushering, teaching, etc.), and in some cases, all of the above, right?  Furthermore, one or more of these plates we are spinning can get a little heavier as we add housework, homework, school plays, practices, games, spouse time, family time, self care,  appointments, bake sales and week-long anniversary services. All of these things can cause pressure and stress at any given time, making the already heavy load we carry about 40 pounds heavier and leaves little to no time seemingly to get some down time or rest properly. In fact, I did not get into bed until after 11p.m. last night and was up this morning about 5:30 a.m. Can you tell I speak from place of experience?

In the list of all we need to do, intentional rest needs to be at the top of that list.  God has designed us to need rest. What exactly is rest, though? The dictionary defines rest as:

 Ceasing work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.

An instance or period of relaxing or ceasing to engage in strenuous or stressful activity.

An interval of silence of a specified duration.

Additionally, AustinPrecept.com has an even more wonderful detailed definition:

Rest is freedom from work, toil, strain or activity. Rest is the cessation of motion or action of any kind, and applicable to any body or being, as rest from labor, rest from mental exertion or rest of body or mind. A body is at rest, when it ceases to move. The mind is at rest, when it ceases to be disturbed or agitated. The sea is never at rest! (And many believers live their lives more like the sea than their Savior!)

I am a firm believer that many of us do not rest in the body or mind properly. We have so many things to do and “not enough hours in the day” (not true–God made the hours we need–we have to manage the things we PACK those hours with) that we get anxious, frustrated, nervous, upset, angry, depressed, or any combination thereof when we do not get everything on the list done. Then we lie in bed mentally replaying the list and berating ourselves as we attempt to get the schedule right in our minds for the next day. The stress of trying to get it all done keeps us awake, has us taking sleep aids and medication to try and rest for short periods and using artificial stimulents to stay awake. We have to break this cycle, BCUFam! I know it seems impossible, but with God ALL things are possible!

Rest comes through prayer —Above all things, we need to go to Jesus in prayer. As much as possible, this NEEDS to happen at the START of your day. Our time with Jesus need not be two hours if that’s not possible, but quality, quiet time in prayer and reading the Word will help to frame your day for success.  David said, “O God, thou are my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirstest for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.” (Psalm 63:1). The more we thirst for God, the more want and need to get into his presence. Also, Proverbs 16:19 says commit your works to the Lord and He will establish your thoughts. If we are asking God to help our thought process, He will regulate our minds for the day, which brings us to the next point.

Rest comes through going God’s way––meaning as we go about our day, we should be asking God what need to do. Sure we know we need to go to work, drop off the kids, do housework, run errands, et cetera, but Proverbs 3:6 says, in ALL YOUR ways acknowledge Him (The Lord), and He shall direct your paths. Maybe the path we take to get to work or the direction God wants us to go is different from what we normally do and for His purpose and glory.

A few months ago, I really wanted to go to a particular restaurant for dinner, but the Lord put it my mind to go to a different eatery. Thankfully, in being obedient and following the Lord’s directed path, I ran into a dear sister whom I haven’t seen in years! It was wonderful to fellowship and actually pray with her on a few things she was waiting on the Lord for. In another instance in following God’s instructions for the day, I bumped one of my elderly friends who had been on my mind, but had lost contact with. What does this have to do with resting you ask? When following God’s will, some things on our to-do list just WILL NOT GET DONE, and we need to rest in that. While it would have been “easier” to go where I wanted to, in doing what God said, His plans became mine—and I was rested in my heart and mind that I was in His perfect will for the day.

Speaking of heart and mind, it is tantamount to our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health to ensure we are adequately rested here. Let’s go to the Word about that.

Rest comes through letting burdens go–Are you tired? Overwhelmed? Feeling like things are crashing down on you? Jesus said, come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).   

The heaviness comes in because many times, we are handling the cares of this life ourselves. We sometimes say “Lord, help me”, and we do not wait or listen for or to His directions. We run from task to appointment carrying frazzled, frustrated and agitated mind–and that’s heavy! BCU Fam, we will likely always have things to take care of and the weight of responsibility can get to us. What we need to do is take Jesus up on His offer and come to Him about whatever is weighing us down. Allow Him to exchange our heavy load for His light load. Now, God may absolve not us from the responsibility altogether, but if we learn of Him, He will show is how to deal with the situation His light and easy way. Amen? Amen!

Rest comes through “care-casting”. Casting all your care upon Him [Jesus] for He cares for you (I Peter 5:7). The cares of this life— work, family, bills, conflicts, situations, what will I have, why does she have more? When is it my turn? Those things we care so deeply about that we cannot do anything about? We need to cast them on Jesus. As we begin to trust the Lord with our cares, He will direct us in the path of what, if anything, we need to do about the concerns. 

Rest comes through getting your mind right. 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 (Philippians 4:6-8). After we pray, with fervency and thanksgiving, we have to mediate on what God recommends, rather than the situation. By the time we ruminate on the list of eight things to think of in Philippians 4:8, we will be so busy praising God, that the anxiety-inducing situation you handed over to God will make the victory list as well!  

BCU Fam, I could go on and on about the importance of rest—-our bodies and minds need to rest on the regular in order to hear God and to function optimally. Why needlessly continue to be restless in your heart and mind when our good Father wants to take care of us? Let’s practice resting starting today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rest is freedom from anxiety or disturbance.
To rest is to dispose oneself at ease in order to relieve or avoid fatigue (cp spiritual “burnout”)
In poetry, a rest describes a short pause of the voice in reading (Can we not apply this truth to our lives?)
In spiritual terms rest means primarily to cease from one’s works with the idea of release from anxiety, worry and insecurity. This rest is offered to all and is freely available by grace through personal faith in Jesus Christ (Mt 11:28, 29, 30). Only in Christ is our soul fully and truly at rest. In this context rest means to be done with self-effort as far as salvation is concerned. It means the end of trying to please God by our feeble, fleshly works. In short, God’s unmerited perfect rest is a rest in free grace which can only be entered into or appropriated by faith.
John MacArthur adds that…
Rest also means freedom from whatever worries or disturbs you. Some people cannot rest mentally and emotionally because they are so easily annoyed. Every little nuisance upsets them and they always feel hassled. Rest does not mean freedom from all nuisances and hassles; it means freedom from being so easily bothered by them (Ed: It means freedom in the face of whatever would disturb your rest!). Rest means to be inwardly quiet, composed, peaceful. To enter God’s restmeans to be at peace with God (Ro 5:1-note), to possess the perfect peace He gives (Is 26:3). It means to be free from guilt and even unnecessary feelings of guilt. It means freedom from worry about sin, because sin is forgiven. God’s rest is the end of legalistic works and the experience of peace in the total forgiveness of God.
Rest can mean to lie down, be settled, fixed, secure. There is no more shifting about in frustration from one thing to another, no more running in circles. In God’s rest we are forever established in Christ. We are freed from running from philosophy to philosophy, from religion to religion, from life-style to life-style (Jn 8:36). We are freed from being tossed about by every doctrinal wind, every idea or fad, that blows our way. In Christ, we are established, rooted, grounded, unmoveable (Col 2:7-note). That is the Christian’s rest.
Rest involves remaining confident, keeping trust. In other words, to rest in something or someone means to maintain our confidence in it or him. To enter God’s rest, therefore, means to enjoy the perfect, unshakeable confidence of salvation in our Lord. We have no more reason to fear. We have absolute trust and confidence in God’s power and care.
Rest also means to lean on (Ed: Play Leaning on the Everlasting Arms). To enter into God’s rest means that for the remainder of our lives and for all eternity we can lean on God. We can be sure that He will never fail to support us. In the new relationship with God, we can depend on Him for everything and in everything-for support, for health, for strength, for all we need. It is a relationship in which we are confident and secure that we have committed our life to God and that He holds it in perfect, eternal love. It is a relationship that involves being settled and fixed. No more floating around. We know whom we have believed and we stand in Him. (MacArthur, John: Hebrews. Moody Press)
Know Christ and you will know rest.

No Christ and there will be no rest!

… In this life or the one to come!
Relation of rest to refreshment: Rest was built into the natural rhythms of life by the Creator, Who Himself rested on the seventh day of creation (Ge 2:1, 2, 3). The rest of God includes the crucial element of refreshment. Exodus 31:17 tells us that God not only rested on the seventh day but also “was refreshed” (Hebrew = napas = renewal of energy of mind and body, Lxx = katapauo = to put to an end, give rest to) (Cp “refresh” in Ex 23:12, Pr 25:13, Ro 15:30, 31, 32-note, [Do others find refreshing rest in your company beloved? cp 1Co 16:17, 18, 2Co 7:13, 2Ti 1:16-note, Philemon 7, 20] Acts 3:19, 20 [Where {Who} does true refreshment come from? What must we do to enter the times of refreshing?], Je 31:25NIV, Pr 3:7, 8 [fear of the LORD causes us to turn from evil and brings refreshment to our bones! Beloved, if you are reading this and sensing a deep “inner gnawing”, perhaps God is calling you to an attitude of reverential fear which might prompt you to turn away from evil and experience His refreshing!] 1Sa 16:14, 23 = “evil spirit”, ponder the power of God glorifying, Christ exalting, Word centered spiritual music to refresh! Does your time in worship yield such “times of refreshing”? Why not?)

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth (Psalm 46:10).

Mark 6:30-32 King James Version (KJV)

30 And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.
31 And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.
32 And they departed into a desert place by ship privately.

Hebrews 4
4 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.
5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.
6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:
7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
Proverbs 3:24 King James Version (KJV)

24 When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.

Psalm 4:8
I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety

Psalm 127:2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.

Mark 4:37-39 King James Version (KJV)

37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.
38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
Matthew 11
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

 

 

Resting is biblical and essential to our health and well-being.

On the seventh day, God rested…

Come apart and rest.

Yes, you’re likely saying, well I’m not Jesus. I agree–that position is filled.

You don’t understand my schedule.

If I don’t do it, it won’t get done.

No one is here to help.

I completely understand what you are saying. And what’s even better is that God does, too and WANTS to help you. Yes, He does.

 

Honest look:

 

If you say yes to one thing, you say no to something else. Let’s just face it, some of our busyness is self-inflicted.  I cannot tell you the number of invitations I agreed to out of guilt, obligation or concern go what the requester would think if I didn’t or not wanting to go thought the verbal gymnastics of explaining my “no”.

As believers of God, we are admonished to not be too hasty to utter anything hasty out of our mouths. (Ecclesiates 5: ). Unless God gives you an answer right away, it’s very okay to tell you need to get back to them before committing. This gives you time to pray and weight your “yes” against other commitments you may have.

 

Let your yay be yay and your nay be nay. Once you say yes or no to something, with the help of the Lord, and outside an emergecy,  stick to what you said you’d do, even if you’re not feeling it. Psalm 15 Unrest comes when we flip-flop between the two answers or lament about saying yes and spend hours trying to think of a way to get out of the commitment.

When your mind is settled about what you are committed to doing, it rests and helps your body to rest.

 

Let go of what’s unnecessary.

Do we need to be on the school bake sale committee? How important is that paper drive? How many XXX meetings have you attended, only to be scrolling through your phone or making grocery lists under the guise of taking notes? After inventorying excess rest-snatchers, do what you can to serve out your time, find a replacement (if needed), and give your notice with a brief explanation:

 

Enlist help:

Within: Get the family to pitch in. If you ask Jr. to vaccum, he may miss a few spots, yes–the job got done. Gently coach him on it after you thank him. Kids can help tidy up rooms, separate and  folk clothes and

 

If you can get someone to clean, take care of Mom and Dad for a few hours a week,  use a grocery service and get the kids

 

 

 

 

Generally speaking, we are a “busy” society–especially women. Many ladies work (in and/or outside of the home), are married, have children, care for aging parents, are on a committee, in ministry of some sort (choir, ushering, teaching, etc.), and in some cases, all of the above, right?  Furthermore, one or more of these plates we are spinning can get a little heavier as we add housework, homework, school plays, practices, games, spouse time, family time, self care,  appointments, bake sales and week-long anniversary services. All of these things can cause pressure and stress at any given time, making the already heavy load we carry about 40 pounds heavier and leaves little to no time seemingly to get some down time or rest properly. In fact, I did not get into bed until after 11p.m. last night and was up this morning about 5:30 a.m. Can you tell I speak from place of experience?

In the list of all we need to do, intentional rest needs to be at the top of that list.  God has designed us to need rest. What exactly is rest, though? The dictionary defines rest as:

 Ceasing work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.

An instance or period of relaxing or ceasing to engage in strenuous or stressful activity.

An interval of silence of a specified duration.

Additionally, AustinPrecept.com has an even more wonderful detailed definition:

Rest is freedom from work, toil, strain or activity. Rest is the cessation of motion or action of any kind, and applicable to any body or being, as rest from labor, rest from mental exertion or rest of body or mind. A body is at rest, when it ceases to move. The mind is at rest, when it ceases to be disturbed or agitated. The sea is never at rest! (And many believers live their lives more like the sea than their Savior!)

I am a firm believer that many of us do not rest in the body or mind properly. We have so many things to do and “not enough hours in the day” (not true–God made the hours we need–we have to manage the things we PACK those hours with) that we get anxious, frustrated, nervous, upset, angry, depressed, or any combination thereof when we do not get everything on the list done. Then we lie in bed mentally replaying the list and berating ourselves as we attempt to get the schedule right in our minds for the next day. The stress of trying to get it all done keeps us awake, has us taking sleep aids and medication to try and rest for short periods and using artificial stimulents to stay awake. We have to break this cycle, BCUFam! I know it seems impossible, but with God ALL things are possible!

PRAY–Above all things, we need to go to Jesus in prayer. As much as possible, this NEEDS to happen at the START of your day. Our time with Jesus need not be two hours if that’s not possible, but quality, quiet time in prayer and reading the Word will help to frame your day for success.  David said, “O God, thou are my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirstest for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.” (Psalm 63:1). The more we thirst for God, the more want and need to get into his presence. Also, Proverbs 16:19 says commit your works to the Lord and He will establish your thoughts. If we are asking God to help our thought process, He will regulate our minds for the day, which brings us to the next point.

VAYA CON DIOS (Go with God)–meaning as we go about our day, we should be asking God what need to do. Sure we know we need to go to work, drop off the kids, do housework, run errands, et cetera, but Proverbs 3:6 says, in ALL YOUR ways acknowledge Him (The Lord), and He shall direct your paths. Maybe the path we take to get to work or the direction God wants us to go is different from what we normally do and for His purpose and glory.

A few months ago, I really wanted to go to a particular restaurant for dinner, but the Lord put it my mind to go to a different eatery. Thankfully, in being obedient and following the Lord’s directed path, I ran into a dear sister whom I haven’t seen in years! It was wonderful to fellowship and actually pray with her on a few things she was waiting on the Lord for. In another instance in following God’s instructions for the day, I bumped one of my elderly friends who had been on my mind, but had lost contact with. What does this have to do with resting you ask? When following God’s will, some things on our to-do list just WILL NOT GET DONE, and we need to rest in that. While it would have been “easier” to go where I wanted to, in doing what God said, His plans became mine—and I was rested in my heart and mind that I was in His perfect will for the day.

Speaking of heart and mind  it is tantamount to our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health to ensure we are adequately rested here. Let’s go to the Word about that.

Jesus said, come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30). Now this is an invitation we want to take Jesus up! He wants to take on our heavy loads while He gives us the light load–the thing is we have to go to Jesus and leave every burden there. Why needlessly continue to be restless in your heart and mind when our good Father wants to take care of us?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The day the encourager was encouraged…

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:

  • From time to time, our hearts can get heavy about situations that come up in our lives.
  • Discouragement can happen to the most seasoned veteran in the Lord. While we can encourage ourselves and rely on the Ultimate Encourager, Jesus, sometimes it is good to hear a word from a person.
  • God has a way of using people to lift your heart up at a time you least expect it.
  • This podcast is dedicated to one of the people who blessed me by her testimony over 15 YEARS ago—my beautiful sister, treasured family and special friend, Sister Marcella Anderson! I love you!

Scripture meditation:

Heaviness in the heart of man makes it stoop: but a good word makes it glad (Proverbs 12:25).

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver (Proverbs 25:11).

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers (Ephesians 4:29).

So BCU Fam, what do you think about our topic du jour? How are you about encouraging others? Is it a struggle? Do you get enough encouragement? Let’s talk about it 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 , 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

Think quick?

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! 

So, for the past couple of podcasts we’ve been talking about our thoughts…the runaway imagination and the over-thinker. This week, let’s round out our “unintentional” mind renewal series  (God knew I was going this way..I didn’t) and talk about the “under-thinker” a.k.a. the hasty thinker.

Many of us, including myself have been this individual—at the first sign of seeing or hearing something, we immediately jump to a conclusion AND often speak without having all the “facts in evidence”. Here are some examples:

A co-worker says a cheery  good morning to you. Immediately you think, “what does SHE want? I bet she needs me to cover her break! NOT today!” You blurt out, “Morning. I cannot cover the desk this morning. I have a meeting.” She says sadly, “My break is covered…I was just saying hi”.

Someone at church does not greet you as they normally do. You think to yourself, “They must be upset I wasn’t at the church picnic last Saturday.” Right after that, your mood is altered to the point where you stop speaking to the individual for the next few Sundays. The whole story? At the time the person saw you, they were in deep thought about a serious family decision that needed an immediate answer. They meant no harm, rather they needed prayer and some encouragement.

It’s Saturday evening and a neighbor who can be long-winded starts walking toward your car as soon as you pull into your driveway. You quickly think about an “escape route” and call a family member to start a conversation, smiling and pointing to your phone as you get out. The neighbor walks away and sends a text later the next day, saying he had wanted to attend your church on Sunday–he just needed the address. Maybe next time. Next time never happens.

Sobering, right BCU Family? Hasty thoughts lead to hasty conclusions and hasty actions.  The Bible warns us of doing things in haste–so we really need to get an understanding of what haste is and what God says. Let’s start with the definition of haste from Dictionary.com

swiftness of motion; speed; celerity: 
urgent need of quick action; a hurry or rush.
unnecessarily quick action; thoughtless, rash, or undue speed.

That last definition is exactly where we are going to focus.

Judges 11 tells the story of Jephthah, a mighty warrior who was called for by the Israelites to help them win a war against the Ammonites.

After a failed attempt to avoid the war, Jephthah made a vow to God, saying, “If you give the Ammonites into my hands, whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the Lord’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering” (Judges 11:30–31). Jephthah then defeated the Ammonites and returned home to Mizpah (Judges 11:32–34).

When Jephthah arrived at home, his daughter, an only child, was the first to come out of his house (Judges 11:34). Upon seeing her, Jephthah obviously remembered his vow and tore his clothes in mourning. When he told his daughter of his promise, she accepted the consequences, asking for two months to mourn beforehand (Judges 11:37–38). The Bible records that it actually became a custom for the daughters of Israel to mourn the event each year for four days (Judges 11:39-40).

In this case, Jepthath’s hasty thinking (or not thinking at all) lead to hasty speech that caused his only child trouble for the remainder of her life. How many  have lives/are living of us are living out unfavorable consequences from quick thinking/actions? While we cannot change what we did/said, we can ask God for the grace to walk out our decisions. Additionally, we can avoid repeating the same lesson by applying Jephthah’s story to our lives–and by taking into our hearts some additional scriptures.

 He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: But he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly (Proverbs 14:29).

 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him (Proverbs 18:13).

👉🏾Folly means lack of good sense; wicked or someone who lacks the proper fear or respect of God. 

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Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? There is more hope of a fool than of him (Proverbs 29:20).

👉🏾The Pulpit Commentary says the dull, stupid man (kesil) may be instructed and guided and made to listen to reason—but the hasty and ill-advised speaker consults no one, takes no thought before he speaks, nor reflects on the effect of his words; such a man it is almost impossible to reform..

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 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God (James 1:19-20).

👉🏾Not only should we be swift to hear the other person, we should be swift to hear what God is saying to us, before we speak or get angry. Otherwise we end up sinning. 

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2 Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.

3 For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.

4 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.

5 Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.

6 Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands? (Ecclesiastes 5:2-6).

👉🏾Unlike the world says, promises were NOT made to be broken. God takes our words seriously and expects us to follow through on what we say, even it it hurts us (See Psalm 15:4).   

So what can we do about this rash thinking/mouth? God has an answer!

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). If we start by taking a moment to pray, God will supply us with the direction to go in, so He is glorified through what we THINK, SAY and DO! 

You know, BCU Fam, while the basis of salvation is Acts 2:38 (repentance, baptism in Jesus name, and being filled with the Holy Ghost), the Lord calls us to live a holy life which includes  being mindful of our thoughts, words and actions. In fact,we are accountable (we will give an answer) to God for our words and deeds (See Matthew 12:36 and 2 Corinthians 5:10), so while we can, with the help of the Lord, let’s be intentional about applying the Word of God to our thought process, which is the basis of everything. Amen? Amen!

As much as it disappoints me when people jump to conclusions about me, I have been guilty of doing the very same thing if I do not allow the Lord to govern my thoughts! How about you? How do you deal with your quick thinking? Let’s talk more in the comments section below!

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

Overcoming over-thinking.

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! 

The last time we were together, we talked about our runaway imaginations– the thoughts that go on in our heads (worry, anxiety and rage) when our expectations and reality do not meet up.

As I ponder that post from last week, the Lord started talking with me about the thoughts we have about others…and what they think about us. And why.

A. You throw on old clothes to run out to the market. A fellow shopper casually glances in your direction. You think to yourself, I should have put on better clothes…they must think I am a bum or here to steal something.

B. After greeting a person you haven’t seen in a while, you think, “she must be wondering why I gained so much weight.”  You think about this so much that don’t hear anything she is saying–and then—you interrupt her conversation to explain your weight gain.

C. You are tardy to a function and think that everyone is wondering why you are late. As you greet each individual, you apologize over and over profusely.  No one noticed you were late.

D. You overanalyze conversations, facial expressions and electronic communication.

  • You mention to a person that the color green (a color they hardly wear) looks good on them. You start to think they may be thinking that you were saying they did not look good in any other colors except for green and should only wear that color.
  • Why did Boss raise his eyebrow when I mentioned I liked Costco–I bet he thought I was going to apply!  I LIKE my job. I don’t want to get fired! I better start looking for a job.
  • I think this mass email is directed toward the length of my presentation. Joe and I were the only ones who presented last week and his presentation was 10 minutes and mine was 11.5 minutes.

Does any of this ring true at all, BCU Fam? 🤦🏽‍♀️

Overthinking can happen to any of us in times of stress, anger, or heavy decision making. For many over thinkers, it’s an everyday process that can rob you of time, drain your emotions and your peace and security with God. While God has given us the ability to think and reason for ourselves, guessing what people are thinking, attempting to correct what we are guessing and/or living in terror of what people think is rooted in FEAR. which doesn’t come from God.  Let’s look at what the word of God has to say about this.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

  • We have power in the name of Jesus and His perfect love in us casts out all fear (I John 4;18). A sound mind in the Greek is sophronismos which means self-control; discipline or moderation.  If we allow the power and love of Jesus to rule our minds, our thoughts will be under control and disciplined to what the Lord and His Word tells us versus what circumstances or situations tell us.

The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe (Proverbs 29:25). 

 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ (Galatians 1:10).

  • Truthfully speaking, overthinking, fear and people-pleasing are a vicious cycle. Solomon says that the fear of man is a snare–a trap that the enemy sets to rob you of your spiritual, financial, mental, emotional and sometimes even physical liberty. Fearing people will always keep us in bondage to them and their ever-changing and often out-of God’s will agenda. It takes practice and yielding, but, true servants of the Lord seek to please only Him.

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Me: because he trusteth in Me (Isaiah 26:3).

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).

  • Peace is a benefit God provides to those who keep their minds on and trust God. It also comes as a result from us exchanging our cares, anxiety or worry (a by-product of overthinking) by praying humbly and with fervency, along with thanking God for what we are asking for. The peace (tranquility, rest, quietness in mind) that comes about will allow you to hear God’s thoughts on what, if anything to think/say.

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer (Psalm 19:14).

It is interesting that David included words and thoughts that need to be acceptable in the sight of God. Meditations mean to turn or revolve subjects in mind; continued thoughts or contemplation. When we feel the desire contemplate certain thoughts over and over, we should head back to Philippians 4:8 and use it as our “thought sifter” and ensure they line up with the Word of God. 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. What we allow our minds to ruminate on will eventually spill out of our mouths. Isn’t it better to speak what Jesus would want us to say?

You know, BCU Fam, our minds are SO powerful, thanks be to the God that made us! The Lord knows some of us overthink and has made a provision for our deliverance–we just need to ask for His help. Once He heals our minds, we can maintain our healing by continual prayer and mediation on His word. In additionEphesians 5:18-20 reminds us to be filled with His Spirit, as well as speaking to ourselves in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord–along with giving God thanks for all things. With all of these spiritual measures in place, BCU Family, we are assured of the victory of overthinking and over speaking. Amen? Amen!

As an introvert, I can DEFINITELY relate to this topic! With God’s help, I really have to be intentional about allow the Spirit of God to govern my thoughts. What about you? How do you deal with your overthinking tendencies? Let’s talk more in the comments section below!

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

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