Hearing His Word

It’s important to learn the Word so your relationship becomes more vivid. God speaks to us in many ways, but I find it most comforting when He teaches me through the Word. Memorize a daily devotional scripture each day and watch it strengthen your faith and emotional stamina.

Christopher Robin, Winnie the Pooh and Overcoming our Carnal Nature

Christopher-Robin-Live-Action-Animation-ComparisonRecently I watched the movie, Christopher Robin set in the mid-1940s. The story is about the adult Christopher Robin suffering through the stresses of war and then as a procurement officer for a suitcase company, a husband, and a father. While his name was Christopher Robin, he was no longer the whimsical child whose friends were wise stuffed animals. As an adult, he lost himself and became overwhelmed by life allowing his carnal (sin) nature to take hold of him.

How many of us become overwhelmed by life? How many of us lost our way when we became adults? How many of us have or had careers, families, and life only to find that we have been misplaced by the facade of what we thought an adult was? In effect, we have allowed our sin nature to become our master. Our sin nature is our carnal self. When we are not alert, the essence of who God created us to be is overtaken by the world. Fortunately, possessing the Holy Spirit alerts us of the takeover and awakens us to live a life like Christ. 2 Kings 2:3 tells us God will remove the master of our carnal being and free us to be who he created us to be.

“Then the sons of the prophets who were at Bethel came out to Elisha and said to him. “Do you know that the Lord will take away your master from over you today?” And he said, “Yes, I know; be still.”

As the story proceeds, Pooh looked for Christopher Robin for years because he missed the relationship they had years ago. Do you miss the relationship you had with God when you were a newly saved Christian? One day Pooh decided to venture out and find him. Are you seeking the Lord and your relationship with Him?

Jumping ahead, Pooh found Christopher Robin in London and hoped he would still be his friend and return to the 100-Acre Wood. When he saw a man approaching him in the park, Pooh did not recognize him. His adult (carnal) personality was nothing close to who he was as a youth, his essence was missing, and he was a mere shell of who he was earlier in life.

Pooh then said, it is always a sunny day when Christopher Robin comes to play. Christopher heard Pooh but knew the old Christopher was dormant and lost. He could not find himself and therefore could not play with them. This was his wake-up moment. Up until that moment, he did not realize he was lost. Luke 5:26 says,

“They were all stuck with astonishment and began glorifying God; and they were filled with fear, saying, “We have seen remarkable things today.”

To shift the story a bit, this morning at church Pastor Paul Sheppard (Destiny Christian Fellowship, USA), shared a God showed him a paradigm shift about of what he had been in prayer about for some time. Pastor Paul shared that paradigm shifts change the perspective of how you see something. In essence, what you thought a thing was, was, in fact, something completely different when the shift takes place. I share this because Christopher Robin experienced a paradigm shift when he found his daughter (who went back to the city to give him his papers he left behind) and she gave him one of the pages of his report. The diagram was a pyramid showing percentages of who purchased suitcases, reflecting a loss in sales (that could result in the company closing down). However, when the diagram was inverted, it showed a potential increase in sales if you looked at the economics of what part of the population would purchase suitcases when they received vacation time to travel. Before the paradigm shift, the target market was the rich, the inverted diagram reflected that as the market changed to include the average working man, suitcase sales would increase exponentially.

In the end, everything worked out. Christopher Robin saved the day, the company remained open, he reclaimed his essence, found himself and began to focus on his family. The final minutes of the movie focused on Pooh and Christopher Robin sitting

on a tree trunk. Pooh asked Christopher Robin what day is it? Christopher Robin quickly responded ‘it is today’. Pooh smiled and said, good, it is today, that’s great because when it was yesterday, it was too much of a day for me. This was a key point when Christopher replied, it is today, we are witnessing his turning point, indicating that he found his essence, his carnal self would have given the day and month. Hebrews 3:13 says,

“But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”

Earlier when Pooh said, it always a sunny day when Christopher Robin comes to play is the moment when he established who he was, just as we do when we repent and ask God to be part of our life. Pooh recognized that Christopher Robin was no longer lost. He had found himself, he reclaimed his essence while searching for an answer to his dilemmas and searching for his daughter who was much like him. Sometimes it is to do nothing when we have been tasked with finding the answer.

Doing nothing for Christians is stepping back and going into prayer asking God for direction. We are instructed to be still and wait on the Holy Spirit to direct us, in so doing we step away from our carnal, sinful self and rely on the Lord. Why is forging ahead without Gods direction carnal? Our carnal self is self-serving, conceited, and stubborn, seeking to draw attention to self and not the intended outcome.

Generally, as we search for purpose, we grow as Christians and eventually receive Christ as our Lord and Savior. In so doing, we reclaim our person in Christ and relinquish our carnal self. However, like Christopher Robin, we can slip into the chaos of the world and lose ourselves. As long as we live in this world we will be challenged, sometimes we need to step back, be still, and let God lead us.

Images – Google Images

Scriptures – BibleGateway.com

What Does God Want You To Do?

God is all truth and truth cannot initiate negative actions. God does not create confusion, chaos, or distraction in our lives. However, he does use them to move us forward seeking our destiny. All challenges and victories are accompanied with lessons. Everything in life is a learning opportunity. Do you believe and surrender all of who you are to God, or are you the architect of your own destiny?

Psalm 16_2A chosen life – lived so differently from the rest of the world-will forever hold the truth that apart from God, we have ‘no good thing’ (Psalm 16:2)

A chosen life is a surrendered life, a life that exalts Jesus Christ and follows Him in obedience.

I’ve heard this message in some form for three days now. Yes, it’s apparently personal, but we can all learn from this message.

My Take Away

The Lord told us we would experience good times and bad. Jesus suffered. Job suffered. David suffered. Countless men and women suffered in the Bible. What makes us any different? In each instance, the sufferer literally and figuratively fell to their knees and first asked God why are you doing this to me, or why are you allowing this to happen to me? We are projecting blame. After wallowing in our discomfort, we should reach the point where we change the conversation and ask God, what do you want me to learn from this? God will answer, but not until we fully surrender to Him and reiterate Jesus statement of God,

“Not my will, but your will be done.”
Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42 NIV

Faith

I read on FaceBook of all places – ‘Walking with God and not seeing where He is taking you is faith. Walking with God and demanding that he tell you where He is taking you is sight.’

“For we walk by faith and not by sight.”
2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV

We cannot ask, what do you want me to learn if we cannot surrender to God first. If we still blame others, think we are always right,  remain stuck in our own stuff, there is no way we can hear God. There is too much white noise. White noise is noise containing too many frequencies with equal intensities.

The white noise is the selfish, fleshly you, the faithless you. The whiner crying why me! The person with the attitude confronting God. This may be an ‘ah-ha’ moment for some. When we are in this place, our faith is not authentic. It is solid when things are going well, and we are happy with God, but when things go wrong, we tend to blame God, our faith wanes. Our self-righteous selves question the creator of the universe, our God who created us, knew us before we knew ourselves, has a plan for us, loves us, is devoted to us, cares for us, and protects us.

Jesus said to the disciples, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?  Matthew 8:26 KJV

Surrender

Surrendering requires faith. When we surrender, we hand our lives over to God. We say, we will walk with you into the unknown, and will faint not. I read on FaceBook of all places – ‘Walking with God and not seeing where He is taking us is faith. Walking with God and demanding that he tell us where He is taking us is sight.’

Surrendering and living faith-filled life sounds easy, but if your fleshly self is a controller, is always right, strong-willed, and is comfortable mapping paths for themselves and others, it is not easy to hand the steering wheel over to God or anyone else. Surrendering is choosing dependence in, and obedience to, God and God alone. Our flesh fights dependence and obedience. They come in tandem, both are necessary factors required when we fully surrender to God our Father.

Back to the initial question – What is God telling you to do?

*He is telling you/us to surrender to Him, not to ask questions or reinterpret what He said to us – we must surrender all.
*He is telling you/us to follow Him, respond, yes God and Amen.
*He is telling you/us to be dependent and know He is God and created our life plan.
*He is telling you/us to remain obedient, even in the darkest hours. He will never leave us or forsake us.
*He is telling you/us to be quiet, know He is God and listen to His quiet voice directing our paths.
*He is telling you/us to love Him and trust Him with our lives.

When we surrender –
*We will be free,
*We will have real faith,
*We will be delivered, and God will lead us to our salvation.

 

Called To Stand Out

bible.com/111/act.20.24.niv

Our lives reflect an open book. The book is the Bible. The scriptures are our lessons about living a Christ-like life, and how we invest in sharing the Word through our actions and deeds. Works will not pay entrance into heaven, there are no works that great, but works are expected of all followers.

How can we spread the Word if we do not demonstrate what it is saying to nonbelievers and believers alike?

Image by Caleb Warren. Bible.com, YouVersion