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Calling My Bluff

This week God has been speaking to me through His written word, through dynamic preachers, devotions, music, and, wait for it...through Winnie the Pooh. Yep. You read that right. Each day, God was telling me to be on the inside what I say on the outside. If I tell others that my hope and trust is found in Him, well then, I cannot be doubting and fretful on the inside.

I know you are curious where Pooh-bear comes into this. I will get to that. (I had to wait until the end of the week, so you can wait till the end of this post. No skipping ahead.)

First, the Holy Spirit spoke through these lyrics:

Cause this is do or die. The time has come to make a choice....

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of night, oh, with You by my side I'm stepping into the light. I choose joy.

Joy, Performed by for King and Country

When I cannot stand I'll fall on You. Jesus, You're my hope and stay. Lord, I need You, oh, I need You. Every hour, I need You.

I Need You, Performed by Matt Maher

The world is watching our story as it unfolds. Our living, breathing testimony. Those we are in contact with on a regular basis, who knew us before we knew Christ, they are sizing-up our differences. Not just to see if we are different from the others at the office or on the street who don't wear the christian t-shirts and don't drive around with the fish symbol on the back windshield, but are we different than we were before? Ever told your neighbor about this great sermon that was preached on Sunday about ____ and how it really made you think. "Wow. Good stuff. Man, I can really trust God with my life because____." Hmm? Then the next week, you get a surprise bill in the mail or surprising test results back from the doctor. Did you tell that same neighbor how upset you were? How about scared? Angry? Doubtful? Worried? Where did your hope and trust go?

Go to 1 Kings 18: 21

Make a choice. Either you believe completely in God, or you are dependent upon the world.

Now, read a little further, through verse 29. While the voices that cry out to someone other than the Living God are louder than your one voice, it is of no use. Those crying out are only left breathless and frustrated. You and I, on the other hand, when we choose to cry out to God, He hears us. Not just our voices, but He hears what our hearts cannot put into words. The fire He sends down will not burn us. It will refine us.

This week I did get an unexpected bill and I am also expecting, not with enthusiasm, another. I also had a morning where my footsteps went from ones of light and playful to heavy with just one telephone ring followed by a doctor appointment sending me to another doctor. News that rocks us, needs to rock us to our knees.

I end on a lively note, yet one that I hope will tie this into a neat package. I was watching on Netflix the film, Christopher Robin. Pooh says to Christopher Robin, "I find the best way to get where I am going is to walk away from where I have been." I keep rolling this around in my head. When I was living my life for myself, and even after accepting Christ but still so focused on what I can do (you know, not putting it in His hands and acknowledging God is in control), I would have zeroed-in on the worst possible outcome. Well, if I am truly changed. If I know God is in control and my joy comes from Him and not from the situation or from the people who may say all the right words to make me feel better (for a moment), then I must turn away from the old way of reacting and put on the assurance of my salvation and of who I am in Christ. I am God's child. He is not going to forget me in this moment. He was not surprised when I got the news. He knew before the doctor did. He already knows the outcome. The only thing I am in control of is how I will react to the situation and how I will put my own self in the background and praise my Creator and Sustainer when nothing makes sense. This is why I need Him every hour, so my old self doesn't creep back in.

So, do as Pooh would. Walk away from where you have been. Put distance between the new you and the old you. You will get where you are going. You will enter into a deeper relationship with your Father. And I will see you at the throne.

p.s. Admit it, you skipped ahead and peeked. Didn't you. Haha. I would have, too. Patience is not my strength.

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