The power of the surrender

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! 

A number of years ago, I was praying and “randomly” (nothing with God is random–we are the random ones) asked the Lord to please make sure a particular “unpleasant” assignment that was being assigned to others never came to me.

A few years after that, someone told me I may need to take that unpleasant task on. I bristled and prayed some more.

The next year, the Lord started letting me know that what I prayed for Him NOT to give me was coming my way.

I prayed. I cried. I pleaded. I had people interceding for me. And…then it looked like someone else would get to do the work I was trying to avoid.

But shortly after that, the Lord let me know the task was officially all mine.

God was clear, BCU Fam. I sort of accepted what He told me, but as a “temporary assignment”.  You know, how you get it done, but don’t give your all? That was me. Oh, I did what He said, but half-way, half-heartedly–and with a spirit of resistance. And with each passing day, as I eagerly waited for God to reassign what I knew that He knew that  I did not want, the weight of the frustration, confusion, anger, lack of understanding and general “fighting” against God’s orders were starting to exhaust me physically, mentally and most of all in my spirit.

When I got tired enough and actually started to listen to God, He let me know to accept His will and that I was to rely only on Him to carry out what He tasked me with. Basically, I needed to surrender my understanding, my way of wanting to do things, my anger, my hurt, my pain, my will—- in exchange for trusting God to walk me through this unexpected season in my life. Key word here is surrender. Let’s look at how Webster’s dictionary defines surrender:

To cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority. To give in, give (oneself) up, yield, concede or submit. 

Obviously, God is not an enemy or opponent, but we can become oppositional to Him when we are unwilling or slow to obey and that never goes or ends well, right?  It 3was now time to yield to to the perfect will of God. BCU Family, can I tell you that once I fully surrendered–took my posture of submission to God, I felt so much lighter, clearer in my thoughts and wasn’t as wiped out. As a matter of fact, someone actually commented on how much more rested I looked, so I was wearing the battle on my face–that could nor have been a good look!  Let’s take a look at this whole situation through the lens of the Word of God.

  • Isaiah 55:8-9 reminds us that our ways and thoughts are not God’s at ALL. In fact, they are  are higher. So that tells us that what God has in mind for us is so much better than what our finite, limited  minds can comprehend.

  • David said, “as for God, His way is perfect, the word of the LORD is tried: He is a buckler to all those that trust in Him” (Psalms 18:30).  Perfect here means complete and whole, so that lines up the verses from Isaiah 55:8-9, right? PLUS, God’s word is proven — meaning He does what He says AND He is a buckler [a shield that protects], to those who trust Him. We are guaranteed that in exchange for our trust, God’s complete way, word and protection is with us throughout the battle.

  • Finally, Romans 8:28 says, “and we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.  That verse tells me that God is intentional about what He allows to take place in our lives. And that intentionality serves such a greater purpose that we may not always see, like, understand or quite frankly enjoy–but it is for our good and His glory.

As we wrap up, it’s important to note that surrendering may not always mean God will immediately remove or quickly end our situation, but, as we submit to Him, His perfect (there’s that word again), peace comes. We clearly hear God’s instructions and as we obey them, we begin to feel more equipped and start to adjust to our charge, thereby adjusting to being more like Jesus. Remember—being more like Jesus now paves the way for us to be with Jesus in eternity.  Amen? Amen!

So BCU Fam, about those special assignments God has given you… you know, the spouse/family member that constantly irks, the co-worker or neighbor that rubs everyone the wrong way, the kids that half-listen, the “repeat offender” who seems to enjoy patience-testing others? With His help, I have to be intentional about surrendering to what God says when these pop quizzes come—how about you? Let’s talk about that some more in the comments section below. I’m excited to continue our conversation.


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

Let’s make a deal…

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 podcast blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy your study!

So while it’s back on now, as I child, I remember watching the original “Let’s Make A Deal”, with Monte Hall as host. For those unfamiliar with the show, Wikipedia describes it this way:

  • The format of Let’s Make a Deal involves selected members of the studio audience, referred to as “traders,” making deals with the host.
  • In most cases, a trader will be offered something of value and given a choice of whether to keep it or exchange it for a different item.
  • The program’s defining game mechanism is that the other item is hidden from the trader until that choice is made.
  • The trader thus does not know if he or she is getting something of greater value or a prize that is referred to as a “zonk,” an item purposely chosen to be of little or no value to the trader.

In watching the show, I’ve observed people trade good money or a solid prize in intrigue, mystery, curiosity and greed for the hidden items behind doors number 1, 2 or 3.

While the show was entertaining and fun, we can apply the Let’s Make a Deal premise to our own lives. When we think about it, those of us who know Christ in the pardoning of our sins and have the gift of the Holy Ghost (see Acts 2:38), received the best “deal”–eternal life in Heaven in exchange for the one-way reservation we had to hell. While God blessed us with salvation, it’s our responsibility to maintain that salvation–and that means making the right decisions according to what the Word of God says, versus exchanging His will and Word for what may seem better–until you get it.

How many of us have traded what God said for “the hidden item” or zonk you’d find out about after your exchange?

  • Our purity for a little love aka lust (which can end in unwanted pregnancy, unexpected responsibilities,  disease and heartbreak).
  • Our honesty for a larger income tax refund (which will rapidly be blown through or the item not be as wonderful as when you purchased it).
  • Our time with God for a movie or TV show (leaving your flesh temporarily satisfied and your spirit restless and empty). All these consequences are the “zonk” that wasn’t calculated into your exchange.

The adversary works through our flesh, if we let him. And he who would like nothing more than for us to “make a deal” with him to trade what we KNOW to be true–what we have in hand– (what God said or asks for),  for something that might seem better, but after the reveal,  turns out to be of of little or no value.  Let’s take King Saul for example.

In 1 Samuel 15, Saul, the anointed king of Israel, was told by God to destroy Amalek and spare NOTHING. Rather, Saul spared Agog, the king of the Amalakites and choice sheep, calves, oxen and lambs (vs 9). The Lord then spoke to Samuel, the prophet telling him that he regretted making Saul king, because he turned his back on God–and would not keep His commandments. This upset Samuel so much he cried the whole night.

The next day, Saul told Samuel he had done what the Lord said, to whit, Samuel asked about the animals he heard bleating. Let’s take a look at the exchange:

15 And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.

16 Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the LORD hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on.

17 And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel?

18 And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed.

19 Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD?

20 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.

21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal.

22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

24 And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.

25 Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD.

26 And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel.

Saul made a deal.

He exchanged what He KNEW to do, what was sure, traded the divine will of God for people approval and choice animals—that God didn’t even ask for. In fact, He said t DESTROY everything.

Saul’s trade cost him his place on the throne.

And no matter how sorry Saul was—he could not and did not get his throne back.

Once God says “no”, His decision is final.

This is SO sobering, BCU Family. And yes, while we live in the dispensation of grace, we STILL are accountable to God to maintain holy living which means not practicing sin. I know firsthand how tempting going outside of God’s will is to get what you want–especially if you’ve been waiting a long time. While trading God’s commands for what looks/sounds good or may offer instant gratification, the trade always ends up with us losing. Losing our blessings, miracles, peace of mind, favor with God and yes, even our place in Heaven. Is anything on Earth worth that? Saul would tell us no.

With the help of the Lord, let’s hold onto God’s Word and obey it as He asks. In doing so, we can rest assured that His gifts will never compromise His Word and they will ALWAYS be perfect! Amen? Amen!

What are you thoughts about what we chatted about? Are you all done with deal-making with the help of the Lord? Please head down to the comments section to share your thoughts so we can continue our conversation!

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

So a pigeon walks on to this bus…

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 conversational story, please tune into the podcast recording and refer to the written post for the corresponding Scriptures. We pray the post blesses and encourages you.  If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!

Last week, the kiddos, Jaz and The Professor read me the story, Don’t let the pigeon drive the bus” by Mo Williams. While it’s geared for younger readers, it’s a very cute story about a pigeon who has aspirations of driving a city bus full of passengers—against the instructions of the driver, who had to step away.

Now BCU Family, I got a kick out of the story, and I totally understand it’s just a story meant for entertainment. As the kids finished up reading, the Lord brought to my attention a way we could apply this lesson spiritually and also in a way to help children (well….and adults) view and understand the pigeon’s actions and how we can act the same way, if we’re not mindful, intentional and walking in the Spirit of God.

Listen in as my trusty sidekick, Jaz, aged 8 and I talk through the lessons we learned around the word the general theme of disobedience, accepting “no” and manipulation.

Scriptures to ponder:

Therefore to him that knows to do good, and does it not, to him it is sin (James 4:17). 

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful (Proverbs 27:6).

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? (Matthew 7:11).

And Samuel said, has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than to sacrifice, and to hearken, than the fat of rams (I Samuel 15:22). 

So, BCU Fam, what’s your reaction to the story? In what ways has the pigeon shown up in your life or the lives of your kids? What do you do about it? Please scroll on down to the comments section and let’s continue our conversation!

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 Instagram, and  YouTube! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and iTunes!

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

Love,

BCU

The repeat offender…

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 conversational format, please tune into the podcast recording and refer to the written post for the corresponding Scriptures. We pray the post blesses and encourages you.  If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!

A while back the Lord blessed us to conclude a study on #TamingTheTongue–where we talked about how we will be offended (Matthew 18:1-7) or we will OFFEND others (James 3:2). Armed with this knowledge, we want to respond to offenses and apologize to those we offend in a spirit of love and humility.

During a conversation with a friend of mine, we talked about “repeat offenders”,  and how that type of disobedience is offensive. Moreover, not only is it offensive to the person who gave the directive or asked a behavior be stopped, but offensive to others who are actually obedient (it’s distracting and often causes more work for the compliant people–for example, getting to work on time, etc.), and most of all, practiced offending offends God. Yes, it does.

Please click below to listen in!

Scriptures to meditate on:

Woe unto the world because of the offenses! For it is needful that offenses will come, but woe to the that man who brings the offense (Matthew 18:7).

In many things, we offend all. If any man offends not in word, the same is a perfect man, and is able to also bridle the whole body (James 3:2). 

To him that knows to do good and doesn’t do it, it is sin (James 4:17). 

And Samuel said, has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than to sacrifice, and to hearken, than the fat of rams (I Samuel 15:22). 

So, BCU Fam, what’s your reaction to practiced disobedience equating to sin? What is it that you may be holding on to, in the way of repeat offending? What other thoughts do you have on this call to action?  Please scroll on down to the comments section and let’s continue our conversation!

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 Instagram, and  YouTube! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and iTunes!

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

Love,

BCU

And one thing led to another..

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 conversational story, please tune into the podcast recording and refer to the written post for the corresponding Scriptures. We pray the post blesses and encourages you.  If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!

You know, I believe this post is my first BCU testimony! I am GLAD to tell it because it boasts of the goodness of God and the reward of obedience. BCU Fam, I have seen God work in my life before, but this day was just AMAZING!  Listen in and praise the Lord with me for His divine intervention throughout the day.

Click below to listen in!

 

Scriptures to meditate on:

Acknowledge the Lord in all your ways and He will direct your paths (Proverbs 3:6).

And Samuel said, has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than to sacrifice, and to hearken, than the fat of rams (I Samuel 15:22). 

So, BCU Fam, what’s your reaction to the testimony? What awesome way has God shown up in your life?  Please scroll on down to the comments section and let’s continue our conversation!

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 Instagram, and  YouTube! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and iTunes!

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

Love,

 

BCU