Should we be “paying close attention” to the non-clappers among us?

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 the post!

Our world is full of people inspiring us with their brand of quotations–some good, some not so much. Every now and again one of these pop culture quotes becomes the “flavor of the month”, to the point where even the body of Christ start to adopt and use them. Now, I am not saying that we can’t learn a thing or two outside of our “66” aka, The Word of God. The question is, does what we’re repeating line up with the Word of God? The phrase in question: “Pay close attention to those who don’t clap when you win.” This mindset is full of pride and has no business on the lips of a Christian. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why.

1. If I happen to “win” (get an award, recognition, a new job, career, minister to someone) or whatever the “win”(I prefer blessing) is, rather than paying attention to who isn’t clapping, the FIRST thing I should be focused on giving God praise for it! Period. God’s Word reminds us that apart from Him, we can do NOTHING (John 15:5b).  Also, Acts 17:28 declares, it is in Him [Jesus] we live, move and have our being! So whatever blessing we get is due to Him giving us the ability to think, reason, and follow through. So, any recognition is a result of God blessing us to allow our light to shine before men so they saw our good works–and those works bring glory to our heavenly Father (Matthew 5:16), not ourselves–that invites trouble. Case in point: after giving a wonderful speech, King Herod was killed instantly because “he gave not God the glory” (See Acts 12:21-23).

2. If we’re constantly counting the number or taking names of the “non-clappers,” exactly where is our focus? On people or on God? Yes, we are human and will notice when someone isn’t for us—there is a difference between noticing and focusing. When we “zoom in” to the non-clappers, the enemy gets a good foothold, as he starts whispering all sorts of thoughts, scenarios and plans full of malice, hate and retaliation, which are all rooted in pride. Any form of pride is directly opposite of God’s will for our lives and set us up for destruction. Remember Satan is a fallen angel–and it was his pride that got him thrown out of heaven. Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18).

3. In close relation to the last point, what’s the motive behind your “win”? Exactly why are you doing what you do? Is it to gain attention and notoriety from people? Or is it to  allow God to use you to be a blessing to someone else? In Matthew 6:1-2, Jesus warned the disciples of intentionally and willfully giving their alms or offerings in front of people. The Pharisees did their works publicly to be admired by the people watching which, happens to be the reward–the people watching! Once again, pride is out, front and center!

When you think about it, seeking out “people-admiration” is fleeting, temporal, “sometimey” and the works we do fade in peoples’ minds. What good are man-made accolades beyond the moment they are given? Will they ever wake us up in the morning? Protect us from danger? Reward us at all? Never! The Word of God admonishes us to give secretly, knowing God is watching and will reward openly (Matthew 6:3-4). I guarantee the reward God has is much richer than a few pats on the back!

4. What about the ones who do clap? A wise man of God shared that early in his ministry, while getting ready to teach during a Bible study,  he was disappointed at the number of people who did not show—and fussed about it to the ones who were present. Someone finally asked, “well, what about those of us who ARE here?” At that moment, the pastor realized he was in error, apologized and said he would NEVER [fuss about who isn’t present] again! He admonished of us listening to rejoice and thank God for the ones who are with you. Psalm 68:3 says, let the righteous be exceedingly glad; let them rejoice before God, yea, let them exceedingly rejoice (Psalm 68:3).

BCU Family, I believe most everyone loves and needs support and encouragement, myself included–there is nothing unscriptural about that. We should be available, excited and willing to cheer on whoever is being blessed in whatever way God sees fit. The reality is at some point, there will be times that the people we feel should be there for us will not be, for some reason or another–and yes, it can hurt. The awesome thing about God is we can take our hurt to Him, allow His balm to heal us right away, and keep our love toward the offenders consistent, just like God’s love is toward us. In addition, we also should be reminded that we should never make flesh (people) our arm–the flesh will fail! Rather our trust should be in the God of all flesh (See Jeremiah 17:5-8), as we endeavor to please Him. In the end, we want Jesus to “clap” for us by saying “well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord.” (Matthew 25:23). Once you hear those words, whoever did or did not support you in this life will not matter.

What are your thoughts on this “watch for the non-clappers” mindset? Please drop me a line in the comments so we can continue the conversation.

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

Love,

BCU

Don’t miss your “flight”

Hey family,

As a person who likes to fly, I am usually very fastidious about printing my boarding pass, getting to the airport early, getting my baggie with the liquids out, checking my gate, etc.

A couple of months ago, I was connecting to a flight in Chicago and had a 2 hour layover. I checked the gate location a few times, and proceeded to it, while getting breakfast and coffee enroute. Once I got to my gate, I had my nourishment and chatted with friends via telephone/text checked emails, social networked..just doing my thing.

When I saw the plane come in, I waited for the announcement so I could board. When the counter flight attendant started talking about customs forms, I got a little nervous…it turns out that flight was going to Toronto, CANADA! Apparently there had been a gate change and I didn’t hear it/check again. Thank God, the new gate wasn’t far away and I made my flight–I was the very last one to board. As I sat down, the Lord spoke to my heart and put my faux paux in a spiritual lesson.

Family, I was so busy with other things, I didn’t pay attention to anything that may have told me that my gate had changed. I didn’t hear an announcement, see that people had left the area or look up to quintuple check my gate information. Many times, we are so caught up with the cares of this life, we don’t hear or heed the small, still voice of God. We don’t double check His word about the things we should be doing (or not). And we let people (rather the spirit that operates within people) to grieve and vex our spirits, rather than going to God in prayer about it. These actions can cause us to miss the blessings of God. Even more grave, we can miss Heaven or the rapture!

Keep the lamps trimmed…

Remember the parable of ten virgins from Matthew 25:1-13? Five were foolish and five were wise. While waiting for the Bridegroom, the foolish ones let their lamps go out rather than keeping them trimmed with oil, as the wise ones did. Consequently, when the bridegroom came, the foolish virgins were left behind. I wonder if it was because they were too concerned with the cares of this world? Maybe they thought they had plenty of time to get right? Mayhap they were not listening/paying attention to the Lord’s voice and followed someone else’s? Walking in the flesh, rather than the spirit? We’ll never know, but we can learn from their error.

With all the noisome pestilence about us, it’s not always easy to stay Christ-focused, I admit. God provided ways to stay on high alert, though. Along with the baptism in Jesus name and the gift of the Holy Ghost, (Acts 2:38-39) reading God’s Word daily, committing it to memory and making an effort to practice living it will help us to hear God’s voice clearly. This way, we don’t follow a strange voice, but flee as Jesus said in John 10:5. Strange voices are full of trouble! The more we listen to God and practice following His word, the stranger the voice of the enemy will become.

Bottom line? As we journey on to our Heavenly destination, let us keep in mind that God gives wisdom liberally and wants us to use it liberally. Some things we do can be recovered from, while others can be life-altering and regrettable. Every word, thought or deed has a consequence and rather than making fleshly decisions that will cause pain, grief and suffering, let us walk in the Spirit so we suffer for the cause of Christ, reap blessings, God be glorified through us and we go back with Him when He comes.

Don’t let anything make you miss your flight! God bless you!

Blen

Flight pic courtesy of: http://www.examiner.com/cruise-travel-in-baltimore/fly-on-day-of-cruise-or-travel-early

Lamp pic courtesy of: http://www.finehomelamps.com/Hurricane-Lamps.html