Where Are You Looking?

Overwhelmed.

That’s how I felt last week. To be honest, I’ve felt that way numerous days since the new year began. For someone who doesn’t have an identic mind (like Sheldon Cooper on TBBT), I’ve been doing a significantly accurate job of remembering every problem and concern in my mind. Frankly, it has consumed me.

It all boils down to a conglomeration of worry about friends and family, relationships, finances, and fear of the unknown. I’ve been researching on Google and speaking with other people in similar circumstances. Wrapping my head around it has been nearly impossible.

I’m back in the ninth grade, standing at the chalkboard during Algebra 1, stuck in an equation. My stomach hurts. I’m having performance anxiety. The fear of failure is pervasive. Every time I try to solve, it is clear that I am just not equipped to do so. Then Mrs. Randleman gently takes the chalk from my hand, looks me in the eye and smiles. AT THAT MOMENT, I know that she KNOWS the answer and is going to help me find the answer. And she does.

God is waiting for me to “turn over the chalk.”

“I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will never be shaken.” Psalm 16:8

I HAVE TAKEN MY EYES OFF GOD!

I’ve trusted in myself and forgotten to trust in the One who is always trustworthy. I’ve convinced myself that I’m smart enough to figure these things out and ignored the One who is Omnipotent. I’ve chosen to stomp through the high grass, hacking away at the underbrush, and crawling through uncharted territory, even though God can make a way when there seems to be no way (Philippians 2:13-14).

If you’re there with me in that “I can do it myself” mentality, let me ask you to just lay the burden down. You don’t even realize how heavy it is. If it helps, you can cry all the frustration out. I did, and when that was over, I cried out to God and confessed my sin to Him.

Don’t be surprised if you get tempted to pick it all up and try it your way again. That’s the urging of the devil. He will come to you in your weakest moments and say that you can handle this all on your own. Remember that the devil is a liar and the father of all lies. (John 8:44).

I am praying the promises of Psalm 121 and claiming them. For everyone who has lost sight of the Source of our strength, I’m praying for you and I ask that you pray for me.

Psalm 121:
1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

2 My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.

3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.

4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.

6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.

7 The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.

8 The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

shr

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HCIKFS: You Are God Alone

Have you ever been fooled?

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Instead of a real diamond, perhaps you’re seeing a cubic zirconia stone.

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Instead of a real hamburger, perhaps you’ve been served a veggie burger.

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Instead of a real friend, perhaps you’ve just made a passing acquaintance.

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While Kelly was preparing to grill tonight, Joshlyn and I were visiting him and sitting in his “man cave.”  Kelly has a cigar store Indian that we call “Chief” and he stands beside the television, straight as an arrow, guarding the man cave.  Joshlyn sat in Kelly’s lap, just being her normal, happy self.

Joshlyn – Her Normal, Happy Self

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She waved her right hand…at Chief.  When Chief didn’t return the gesture, she raised both hands and waved at him.  She even said, “Hey!”  Still Chief did not respond.  Finally, in a last-ditch effort to get his attention, she stretched out her arms to Chief, doing the little hand movements that mean, “I want you to pick me up.”

Highlander Cigar Company - Fayetteville, NC

Kelly, Chief, and our friend Mary Beth Bedsole

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We all know that Chief didn’t respond to Joshlyn and that he’s never going to respond to her, but Joshlyn hasn’t learned the difference between what’s 100% real and what’s 100% fake quite yet.  She was fooled.

Have you ever been fooled by the world?

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good.  God looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.  Psalm 53:1-2 (NIV)

At www.wiki.answers.com, it’s estimated that the word “fool” is used about sixty-six times in the KJV of the Bible.  The reason there are so many references to fools and foolishness is because it’s an easy trap for us.  The prince of this world delights in making us his fools.  He eats it up when society questions God’s existence.  Corruptness and vileness are the devil’s tools in making fools of us in this world. As Christians, it’s our job to leave the foolishness of the world behind.  It’s hard because the devil uses enticing elements to deceive us and make us believe things that are simply not true.

One day, when Joshlyn is older, she will understand that Chief is just a statue and that he can never interact with her, no matter how many times she holds our her arms to him.  But there will be many other ways that she may be fooled.  I am praying that what Kelly and I, as her grandfather and grandmother, teach her about the one, true God — who is not made by human hands, but Who is omnipotent and omnipresent and omniscient, will help her defeat the devil’s entrapments.

100% Fake

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Personally, the most foolish thing the devil’s ever made me believe is that I can do it all on my own because I know what’s best for me.  It took me forty years, off and on, to leave that foolish notion behind and FROG (Fully Rely On God).  Today, I’ve chosen “You Are God Alone” because it speaks to all the reasons we have to fully rely on our Heavenly Father so that we are less likely to be fooled.

When have you been “fooled?”  Please share some bit of foolishness with which the devil’s reeled you in hook, line, and sinker.  And don’t worry — whatever it is, you aren’t alone.  We’ve all been there.

You Are God Alone”  (Phillips, Craig, and Dean)

shr