Being Submitted

Being submitted is yielding to the will or authority of another. That is not very popular in these days of independent thinking. There is just something innately in our flesh that resists submission, as if they win and we lose. It is however, the core of our faith in God through His son Jesus Christ. Submitting is about accepting and acknowledging where you are powerless and trusting God to take over.  

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding" Proverbs 3:5.

Most of us have difficulty trusting and submitting at some point or in some area of our life. Even though we know..."He who trusts in himself is a fool. . ." Proverbs 28:26. Being submitted to God is a process, a process of surrendering our own will to that of God's. For years I struggled with submitting to God's call for me to write. Then I discovered the wonderful world of blogging.

When God first called me to write I laughed like Sarah did when God said she would have a son in her old age. I also lacked the faith to believe God could make possible the impossible. My response was "I can't write." Not "may your will be done." I didn't understand...

"God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen.” I Corinthians 1:27-28

This foolish, weak thing, finally surrendered to the call and still every day is a struggle. A struggle to submit to God's will and not my own thoughts, insecurities, and plans. I planned to follow an outline and try to write everyday. Yep...I got nothing.

The main theme God has been speaking to me through out this journey is learning about control. About God being in control and I am not. If I was talented enough to write and physically able I would just go on in my own abilities. God has me in a position of being completely submitted to Him.

So, I don't know where this journey is going to take me. I will share what He is teaching me, when He is teaching me...or correcting me...and trust in His perfect timing. For I have learned that I do not have the ability or power to overcome my weaknesses.

Only Our Heavenly Father has the power to make the impossible possible. If I was able to do anything in my ability I would be able say it was by "my power" and "my talent" and "my strength"... not Christ in me the hope of Glory!
I have created this blog to share the lessons I have learned on the heart. I am not writing to make money or because I am witty and have any grand adventures to share. I am not writing because I enjoy writing, which I don't; nor because I am good at it, which I am not. I flunked several English classes because I neither understood grammar or cared to learn about it. I am writing out of submission.

I try to blog and share when I have the strength. I write two blogs: This is my Journey and Journey of the Heart. I contribute on HeartCry, Recipes and For a Brighter Day.  I would love to have you travel along with me by joining Networked Blogs or Google. I need the prayers and support of my friends. I am so blessed by the friends who have already joined.

I cherish the encouragement that has been given through the comments. I am strengthened by the prayers of my wonderful circle of friends. They are the Joshua and Aaron holding my arms up. May God richly bless you my dear friends!

A Heart For God ♥

On this holiday celebrating love and the tradition of exchanging man made hearts are we exchanging our spiritual hearts with God. Do you have A Heart for God? We will send Valentines and post love notes on walls, but is that real. Is that the love that comes from the heart of God? How wonderful to have a holiday based on love, but we are bombarded by so many distractions, so many versions of love in our life and on the media, that I believe the enemy is trying to distort and pervert our concept of love.

God has created our hearts to be filled by Him. There is an empty place in all of our hearts that only can be filled by God. If it is not we start looking...looking for things to fill that void. It can be food, possessions, activities, cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, and anything else the world has to offer, but mostly relationships. Especially women, we are taught from an early age that our "Prince Charming" will sweep us away and our life will be a fairy tale. It sets us up to replace that void for the "love" of a man.

If you haven't experienced or been taught at an early age to fill that void with God you believe that is what love is. Especially on Valentines Day. We focus on... our man... looking for a man... depressed because we don't have a man... maybe I will just eat chocolate. Many people are turning to food to fill the void that only God can fill. Again the answer is love. Not only the love of God, but love for ourselves. Not the self center kind, but a wholesome acceptance of our strengths and weaknesses.

So, on this Valentines Day, may you receive the most priceless heart of all...A heart for God. May you have a desire for more of God in your life...just as you hunger for food and thirst for water. May the desires of your flesh be turned into an intimate relationship with Christ. May your pain be healed and the emptiness filled. May the words "I love you" turn into actions of love. 

With much love, wishing you a Happy Valentines Day!
May God Richly Bless You ~ ♥~ Brenda


Waiting For The Snow to Melt

I don't get out very often, but every couple of weeks I try to get to the store. With one look out my window I decided to wait for the snow to melt... there will be sunshine in a couple of days.

It seems I have spent a lot of time waiting. Waiting to write until I feel better. I told myself it didn't matter. What did I really have to say anyway. Bottom line, it is not about what I have to is about what God has to say and Christ in me. There have been so many lessons the Holy Spirit has put on my heart. I would discuss a few with friends and think..."I will put that down when I feel better." Well...feel better never came...feel better may never come. Maybe that is the greater lesson. The lesson of perseverance in adversity.

I struggle believing that people can be blessed even with something that is less than perfect. It is not about "me" anyway...It is... "Christ in me, the hope of glory" Colossians 1-27. Instead of waiting for the sunshine...I needed to wait for the Son to Shine. I have let in too much darkness. The enemy had me thinking I just might take these lessons to the grave.

Sometimes when I walk around the cemetery while visiting my parents graves I think "this is probably the largest collection of unfulfilled dreams...people who died before their visions were realized." I pray I can endure. I pray I don't die before my visions are realized. I pray I don't let the enemy steal my dreams. I pray I can begin to live an abundant life. For my friends who might be struggling also...

Are you waiting for everything to be perfect? Do you have analysis paralysis? Don't die before your visions are realized. Don't let the enemy still your dreams. Don't wait to live an abundant life.

The Broken Road

For every Christian who has a had a broken heart, been disappointed, sick, and angry, be careful you are in danger of going down the broken road. The broken road is when a Christian gets their eyes off of Jesus and onto themselves. Be careful it is a slippery slope from focusing on yourself, to becoming self absorb, and having a wrong spirit. I have been angry, hurt, and focused on myself. My heart has been divided.

A heart divided will follow the broken road. You have accepted Jesus as your savior. Experienced the joy of your salvation. Walked in the fruits of The Spirit. Had wonderful communion with The Lord and fellowship with believers. Then life happens. The winds of the enemy blow. Are you like the willow tree that bends and sways, but remains firmly grounded in the Lord or has the enemy eaten away at your insides so much that when the wind blows you snap and become broken?

That has been my journey. This is my struggle. If you have struggled with life, had hurts and pain, then maybe you can relate to my journey. It has been a process of dying to self, kicking and screaming all the way. Praise God, I still have a heart that was aware that this is not a good place and not compatible with the Holy Spirit. Praise God, we have a savior who died for our sins! We have a Heavenly Father who waits with open arms for the prodigal son to return home. Back to the narrow path that leads straight to Him.

Whenever we become self consumed, be grateful when the Holy Spirit comes to burn it out, because our God is a consuming fire. He is a jealous God and will not abide in a divided heart. Are you are on the broken road my friend? Are you in need of Resurrection? Only Jesus can take the broken life and make it whole again.

"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire." Hebrews 12:28-29

"He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi... that they may offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness." Malachi 3:3

"You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God.” Exodus 20:4-5

Who's controlling your heart?

Few of us have made it through life without dealing with controlling people. They're your boss, spouse, parent, child. They make life difficult and crush the weak. Always demanding their selfish desires be met. Sometimes their goals are altruistic but their motivation is from the flesh or a controlling spirit. Even though some people are perceived to be more controlling than others, the truth is, we all can be controlling at some time or in some situations. It is a battle we all must learn to overcome.

I have read many books on controlling people. There was a time in the church when many were trying to cast out a "controlling/Jezebel spirit." The problem is, they are all focused on symptoms and behaviors. I have heard it said, "there is nothing you can do about the controlling spirit in the church." Yes, it is everywhere. I believe no one has found a solution because they approached it as a behavioral problem or a spiritual problem. Not that those issues don't need to be dealt with, but we must begin at the root of the problem...the heart.

The heart is the center most part of our being, our innermost thoughts and feelings. It controls our personality, emotions, behaviors, and attitudes. Proverbs 4:23 says, everything you do flows from your heart. The Lord searches our hearts night and day. What will He find there? A heart surrendered to God and the call of the Holy Spirit or a heart divided...tangled up in the the things of this world and the desires of the flesh.

The heart determines the path we will follow. A heart surrendered will follow the narrow path. A heart consumed with self and evil intentions will follow the broad road. A heart divided will follow the broken road. That is the road I have found myself on many times. I know I am not alone.

Whenever we become self absorbed, we open ourselves to the wrong spirit, which only leads to destruction. Praise God...we have a savior who died for our sins! We have a Heavenly Father who waits with open arms for the prodigal son to return home. No matter how many times we fall He is there to pick us up and make us whole again!
"The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

The Unguarded Heart

The unguarded heart has big flashing signs "open doors...come on down" and that is exactly what the enemy will do when you do not understand how imperative it is to keep your heart guarded. Proverbs 4:23 says "Above all else" nothing you do is more important than guarding your heart because everything you do flows from your heart. The heart is the center most part of our being, our innermost thoughts and feelings. It controls our personality, emotions, behaviors, and attitudes. Now the most important question is...

Who is controlling your heart?

A guarded heart is under the control of God, submitted to Christ, surrendered to the will of the Holy Spirit. Always being vigilant, always aware, ready to push back and destroy the enemy whenever he approaches. For me, I understood the need, had the desired, but was clueless about the process. Picturing myself as a guard made about as much sense as picturing myself in metal armor clamoring around going to shoo the devil away. Analogies are good for the enlightened, but can leave simple folk, such as myself, scratching their heads.

Simply put, guarding your heart is about discipline. Yep, anyone who has ever tried to loose weight knows how difficult that can be in the flesh. Here's the good news...we are not in this alone. I for one am not capable of prolonged acts of discipline. So, it is really about surrender. Surrendered to God, to say, "I can't do this alone, Jesus Take the Wheel, help me have the discipline to guard my heart. Help me to be disciplined enough to take every action, thought, and word captive so that it is pleasing to You."

I have made more mistakes than I care to remember. I personally must remain in prayer to guard my heart against romantic feelings. Not only for myself, but for others. I know the schemes of the enemy... "been there bought the t-shirt"...and really have a heart for the lonely. Especially when you are recovering from a divorce. Your heart is torn into and the unhealed heart is desperate to be made whole... looking for someone to fill the void.

I have learned it is easy to get distracted and caught up longing for something outside of God's plans...even if you believe it is God's plan. If God has a spouse for you, He will speak to the other person as well...if not...I am sorry you have been deceived. If you are married God is not going to bring someone else in your life, even if they are more "spiritual." These are all schemes of the enemy. Nip it, the first thought of what if, I want, or we could really do something for The Lord together.

It is our responsibility to not only take control of our actions, but our thought life. If you can't... pray. If you still can't... that is why we need the body. Other believers holding us up, standing in the gap, when the enemy has taken control of an unguarded heart. When the enemy takes control of an unguarded heart it becomes a source of defilement. You should not be too proud or embarrassed to ask for help. Whether it is controlling your thoughts, habits or your TONGUE!

"He [Jesus] went on: 'What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.'” Mark 7:20-23

Guard your Heart

Many people think guarding their heart means keeping people away and putting walls around yourself so no one can get in. They build walls and put up barricades thinking, if I don't let anyone close, I am not going to get hurt. It only serves to distance yourself from God and people, because before long that wall is going to turn into a hard heart. It is also the lazy way out. They put up walls dust of their hands and think that's that. Unfortunately, the enemy knows you are not paying attention and sends in his minions to crawl right over that wall and attack.

A guard is someone who stands on watch keeping an eye out ready to take action whenever the enemy approaches. It is a defensive position of one assigned to protect. That is what it means to guard your heart. Always being vigilant, always aware, ready to push back and destroy the enemy whenever he approaches. They also yield and open the gates for their Lord and comrades. Then they are back keeping watch. Keeping watch to protect from all the little things that can keep us distracted and big things that can destroy your heart.

The enemy can approach in various ways. Little ways by keeping us busy, entertaining things that undermined your faith, situations and people. The guard stands vigilant not to let the enemy in and ready to push back the arrows that try to kill and maim. The enemy sends arrows of anger, pride, worthlessness, lust, strife, control, greed, impatience...and anything contrary to the Love of God. If you are not vigilant these things will begin to manifest in your life.

I have learned nothing can get to your heart like romantic feelings. After all it is "love"...what could be wrong with "love"...we are called to "love"...right? We are called to Agape love, but so many people do not understand the difference. Preston has many blogs on the subject. Still... reading, understanding, and applying is a process. We are wired to desire a mate. We are bombarded with romance and Fairy Tales. The enemy barely has to wink to get our feelings, mind, and spirit confused.

I thought "love" makes the world go round and to be loving was to open your heart to everyone. Wrong! The guard opens the gate for their Lord and comrades...not the enemy! We open our heart to receive the salvation of Jesus Christ, to find comfort in the arms of The Father, to grow in the presence and knowledge from the Holy Spirit. We open our hearts with Agape love in fellowship with believers and binding the wounds of the injured we met along our path. We do not open our hearts to people, situations, or THOUGHTS that will divert our path or damage our heart.

The enemy knows if he can get to your heart he can keep you from the fullness of a relationship with Christ and the body. Are you guarding your heart? It took me years to understand. Not only was there no guard on my heart. I had big flashing signs "open doors...come on down." That is something I have learned the hard way, by not keeping watch... not understanding how to keep watch or how to guard my heart. It is a process I am continually learning.

"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it" Proverbs 4:23.

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