Tag Archives: submission

Am I Mule-ish?

Am I Mule-ish?

by S.D. Hitchman

mules

Photo by Joe Schneid, Louisville, KY

 A sturdy, tall-eared mule hauled the wagon on which I rode. His driver asked me what sound a mule makes, then saucily informed me it was a ‘brinny’—a mixture of the ‘bray’
of his father and ‘whinny’ of his mother. While mules may be known for their sure-footedness and even temper, there is something about them we are instructed to avoid.

The Psalmist, David, quotes God as saying:

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.  Do not be like the horse or the mule which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you” (Psalm 32:8,9, NIV).

I say I want God’s guidance in my life. I claim to want to know His will for me. I profess to trust His counsel given in the Word. But just how deeply am I willing for life-change to happen, if that was prerequisite to God’s guidance? Do I act like I need to be moved by bit and bridle?

Earlier in the Psalm, David describes his own life experience: he discovers something essential to a deeper understanding of God’s interest in the internal affairs of our lives.  David comes to realize the need for complete honesty with God, especially in the arena of confession of sin.  He learns he has been mule-like, tending to move in the direction of his own preferences.

We are not dumb beasts. God does not want to externally control us.

God wants to invest His divine qualities into the heart of our being,
moving us from the inside out. (tweet this)

Like David, we must daily realize our need to submit to God’s will for us. We must confess sin. We must open our spirit, soul and body to His ways. Then He will be free to move us in life-changing ways.

David sums it up well: “Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you…”

Let’s be the people we were designed to be, and let mules be mules.

Sue Hitchman

Susan Hitchman

Sue  seeks to integrate the adventure of following Christ with her roles as wife, mother of five, co-leader of a women’s Bible study group and parent prayer group, and retreat speaker.  She is a member of The Word Guild and NCWA. Outdoor pursuits (cycling, gardening, hiking, & kayaking) remind her of God’s creative bent and constant presence. She writes to encourage others in their journey of faith in God.  Visit her blog at: Word Made Flesh

REAL SUBMISSION

Real Submission

by Jan Cox

Flower in Arizona

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about submission. I thought I had a good grasp of what God meant – not that I had perfected it – but I knew I was working toward that end (at least I thought I was!)

Last Sunday God opened my eyes wider to see submission in a deeper way. I watched Andy Stanley preach the second message of a sermon series on Love.

The sermon was based on Philippians 2:2-8. This passage showed me that I have not been loving my husband completely. This message was given to men and women with the focus on having respect for one another.

The one thing that jumped out and convicted me? My desire to be right – yes – that teacher correction mode. It had followed me through my marriage.

Here are two examples from Andy’s sermon “Being Staying in Love”

  1. When you are with a group of friends and your husband is telling a story, do you interrupt to correct the small details? Such as: “That was June 4th not 5th.” “No Sally wasn’t there.” “The car was red not maroon.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit” (Philippians 2:3 NIV).

  1. Are you totally interested in your spouse’s interests? WHAT? you say. I don’t like sports. So – Why does that matter? We need to be in love with what our partner loves.

“Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” (Philippians 2:3-4 NIV).

Andy Stanley and these Bible verses showed me that I need to stretch further so my attitude will be “the same as that of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5 NIV).

This loving can be taken beyond our spouses but for today that is how I am reading this Scripture – just for my hubby.

And to further underline my need for this lesson today I read again about how love is the most important thing we can do here on earth. From The Amazing Collection our Bible study group is reading 1 John. And here are the Scriptures that affected me.

“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them” (1 John 4:16 NIV).

“Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:12 NIV).

And of course, once convicted I needed to do the following:

  1. Confess
  2. Ask for forgiveness
  3. Be cleansed
  4. Be restored to God (walk in the Light)

The result – I am His again.

Prayer:

I acknowledge my sin of self-focus. Please forgive me and wipe the slate clean. Help me to remember this lesson and focus on others (especially my husband) rather than myself. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Here is Andy Stanley’s sermon. It is excellent and if you can make the time to watch – do so! I watched part 2 at church – I think I will watch the others as well.

Staying in Love

My Gratitude List for this week – Counting to 2000 – I am at 1117. I link to A Holy Experience on Mondays.

  • fun game with daughter and son-in-law – I won!
  • time to read and rest
  • Wayne teaching Snowball obedience lessons
  • seeing Wayne by using Facetime – MAC to IPAD – cool
  • good walks with the dogs
  • energy
  • inspiration to write
  • Tacos for dinner
  • lost hydro power over night but it came back before house got too cold and sump pump needed
  • lineup not too long for driver license renewal
  • great sermon from Andy Stanley
  • crisp cold day but saw the sun
  • laugh, relax and have fun while we await the arrival of new baby
  • -20 degrees Celsius this morning – You know you are alive in a Canadian winter!
  • chair seat covers that remind me of the 70s
  • Curry’s for art supplies
  • while waiting for baby – shopping, cooking dinners, painting, watching The King’s Speech
  • weather turning warmer
  • beautiful sunny day in Ontario – highs of over 10 degrees Celsius
  • granddaughter’s emails
  • making a quilt for new baby (needed a project)
  • a baby shower for my daughter
  • 3 days overdue for grandbaby – waiting!

Jan Cox

Jan, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. She has published two devotionals and a number of articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. She also writes at A Better Way. Jan is working on a couple children’s books in which she is also the watercolour illustrator.