Tuesday, January 31, 2012

One Minute Devotion: Jeremiah 33:3

Jeremiah 33:3

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

This verse is best titled your Heavenly Father knows best. For those of you thirty or younger, the reference may escape you. For us fogies, it makes perfect sense. I believe the question posed here is how does one pray? Contextually this was a promise to Judah who was about to experience a horrific captivity and the destruction of Jerusalem resulting from their rebellion against God. God, through Jeremiah, promised Israel, that despite this coming hardship, if they submitted and repented to Him, he would deliver and restore them. However, God's word is timeless, and this passage holds true in relation to prayer today. Call unto me, and I will answer. The issue with today is that we expect God to give answers we want based off of our finite understanding of what is best for us. As if God is some divine Santa Claus. Many times God answers no. That answer does not sit well with a culture that has become more and more entitled with every passing year. The church owns much of the blame in the misinterpretation of prayer as the focus has shifted from developing disciples to filling pews. The ideas of instant prosperity, feeling happy all the time, and God owing us His blessing occupy modern doctrines in an effort to keep church attendance growing. We have traded the microwave generation for a WiFi society where all our answers and needs can be satisfied at the speed of a key stroke. The reality, clearly and openly stated, is in the latter part of the verse, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. The focus should be on the last four words; which thou knowest not. The given is that God always provides great and mighty things. We do not always see them as that. There are two agendas at work in life, ours and Gods. The two never meet only contradict. God's agenda must trump ours in every case. Is not the expression, make your plans and God laughs at them? Sounds cruel, but remember, we see today, tomorrow, and yesterday, God sees eternity. Whatever plans you have, God's are superior. God knows what we can achieve through Him, He and He alone knows the plans He has for us. Does that mean we forgo goals and aspirations? Absolutely not. Instead, our focus needs to be replacing our desires with Gods and check our hopes with Him to confirm that they meet with His will. It is a tough process, but if you are seeking a deeper, more intimate relationship with your creator and have your life masterfully crafted, then it is the only process. Remember those last few precious words, which thou knowest, not. That is what faith is all about, trusting in God, with everything, possessions, hopes, dreams, life. Knowing that when God says no, or veers from your ideas of what is best for your life, He has the best in mind for you. We are a people who believe by sight and physical connection.  Faith is a complete surrender to God and His purposes without resistance. Prayer is a tough thing. There are many who will try to sell you step programs to better your prayer life, beware those who sell things that God provides for free. You want to find the right answers to your supplications, diligently and faithfully ask God to replace your desires with His. Seek God's answers with a willingness to accept no as joyously as we celebrate yes. Pray that God opens your heart to Him and Him alone. Pray for the patience needed so your faith is made strong and your walk steady. Life is not a sprint it is a marathon with hurdles. Only God provides us the endurance to cross the finish line, and the integrity and righteousness to run a good race. Why is it so hard to trust in the one who not only knows the outcome but crafted it? God bless.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

One Minute Movie Review: Apollo 18

This is the worst so called "found footage" flick I have seen to date. First, the good news; the acting and character chemistry is natural and effortless, remarkably realistic and believable. The bad news is everything else about this movie. This film can best be described as the little movie that tried to do too much with too little. To say the plot was conflicted and convoluted would be an understatement. The director could not decide if he wanted to make an alien contagion film, straight up alien monster movie, or goverment conspiracy tale. Combining the three, in this case, leaves the audience scratching their heads as neither work. As for the special effects, sophisticated and slick CGI is replaced by shaky camera work, black and white conversions, and mere glimpses and peaks of a decidedly limited creature design. I have to admit, as far as, the footage goes, it was pretty authentic looking, but the confused and murky plot ruins the final production. By the end of the credits, I was left with the nagging feeling that there was originally potential here, but it never blossomed. Kudos to a solid cast of B listers; Warren Christie, Ryan Robbins, Ali Liebert, Lloyd Owen, Andrew Airlie who gave an A+ effort in a D- film. Director Gonzalo L√≥pez-Gallego, his second film, has the character element down, but should have thoroughly rewritten the script.  1 out of 5 Kernels, the acting got the corn popping but the story burned the bag and stunk up the room.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

One Minute Devotion: Jeremiah 29:11

Jeremiah 29:11 

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 
This was my mother in law's favorite verse. I have called it finding hope in a hopeless world. I have later come to realize it is what God says loudly when we think He is silent. Contextually this was directed at Judah via Jeremiah regarding a hope and future for a nation whose collective disregard for the Lord resulted in a horrific occupation. God was letting the Israelites know that, despite the misery and suffering they were facing; His goal was not to punish but to pull them back into obedience. However, God's word is timeless. I believe this verse has a contemporary theme that speaks to all of us. Many would misinterpret this as a blank check of blessings from God. That would be a colossal error because this is a verse of hope through struggle, not emanating from evil but God's refining fire. Judah had rebelled against God, forsaken Him, and turned to their own ideologies and agendas. The only way God could bring them back to Himself was to provide a circumstance that would require no other choice but complete repentance and surrender to Him. That event was Israel’s falling to its enemies. However, no weapon formed against us shall prosper. Although Judah's enemies thought they had the power and authority to conquer, in fact that ability was merely an illusion. God used them to provide a communal penance from His people; their success was the result of His ultimate plan and providence. It is hard to wrap our minds around sovereignty. How could God use something bad to finish something undeniably good? It was through Israel's turmoil that the Messiah was foretold, a salvation message that would not only deliver them from their calamity, but provide an avenue for eternity for us all. Does God use trials to refine us today? Absolutely. At this point, most tune out because it seems absurd to believe God, the author of love, would allow His children to suffer anything. It is because of His love that He tries us. If it were not for that process, our faith and relationship with Him would utterly stagnate and growth would be fully stunted.  God calls his working within us refining for a purpose. The act of refining is to heat a solid, like gold or copper until it liquefies in order to remove the impurities to create a better product. God's refining process is the same. He takes you to the point where all opposition to His moving is melted away and your submission to His will filters the impurities. The key part of this verse is not the hope and future, but the fact that we are always on God's mind. We are ever-present in His every thought. In those thoughts, He is developing ways to mold us and shape us into the masterpiece he yearns for us to be. Beyond an artist or craftsman, He is forging us from the ground up, from a weak damaged soul into a beautiful new creation constructed by the master's hands. Where we encounter trouble, He sees progress. Where we see trial, He sees revelation. Where we only see the problem at hand, He sees a wondrous future of renewed strength, courage, and triumph. We need to look past the circumstance and see God. When we trust in Him we will find boldness and support that we could never muster alone. God's way leads to completeness. He never leaves our side, even when we think He is silent, He is there, preserving us. Are you willing to face the refining fire? Can you find the vision to see past the calamity and straight into God's will? God bless.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

One Minute Movie Review: The Help

Very rarely am I truly affected by a movie. I am disappointed most of the time as hype consistently trumps substance. I am extremely ecstatic to report, this film is one of the few that has quickly become one of my favorite films of all time. It is the Color Purple for the new generation. Deeply moving, complexly written, rich in character development and chemistry, I was riveted to my Lazy Boy with each inspired moment. I was angry inspired and entertained all at the same time. This was Emma Stone's shining moment. Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer undoubtedly drive this film with some of the finest acting to come out of Hollywood in a frightfully long time. This is only Tate Taylor's third directorial outing, which was a surprise to me. Based on the quality of this picture I would have thought he was a well established crafty and skilled veteran. I can only hope a few well deserved Oscar nods are coming, if not the cinematic heirachy has lost what is left of their already feeble minds. This is not just a must see, it should be required viewing for anyone of seeking theatrical excellence. 5 out of 5 Kernels, a triumphant story of humanity and courage.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

One Minute Devotion: Isaiah 55:8 & 9

Isaiah 55: 8&9

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

How do you figure out God? How does the finite mind of man understand an infinitesimal God? A man sees life as only what is in front of him and learns, hopefully, from what is behind. God created life, created man, and knows every step he will ever take, ever decision he will ever make.  He intervenes in a billion and more lives in the blink of His eye. He is everywhere and anywhere. He has no beginning and end. He is the ultimate presence defining power, love, mercy, wisdom, peace, eternity, forgiveness, salvation, and perfection. How can any man comprehend an incomprehensible God? There in lies the dilemma. Or does it? How does an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, God reveal Himself to us in a way that we can understand, learn, and develop a deep, personal relationship with Him? God is known through His infallible, fluid, living word. Isaiah's prophecies to the Israelites were conclusive proof of that. Not only did his prophecies serve the people of Israel, but they foretold theabsolute lifeline for all of us in Jesus Christ. Despite that fact, they were forced to live through a horrendous period in their history.  Yet they were delivered, preserved, and lifted above those who sought to dispose of them. God used that turmoil, to strengthen their faith and bring them back to Him. As hard as it is to digest, it was the only way they would and God knew that. It is difficult for us to accept what it may take to bring us back to God, refine us, increase us, and build our spiritual muscles. It is hard because we only see today, moment by moment, hour by hour. God sees it all, knows it all, and it is by faith that we accept that and trust in Him through adversity and triumph. His ways are higher than ours.  He compares that vastness using the distance from the endless heavens to the limited earth. Lets break it down even further. Israel's disobedience led them to the edge of extinction. God used that tribulation to announce his eternal deliverance through His only Son for all mankind. He is at is strongest, when we are at our weakest. Why? It is at that moment of weakness that we truly realize that God is the only one in control and we have utterly nothing without Him. At that moment, we submit mind spirit body all. At that moment, we finally unite with the God who wants what is best for us. That is if we will only get out of the way. When the load become so heavy to carry that you feel crushed under its weight, instead of surrendering to it, surrender to God. He is higher, greater, deeper, and more powerful than anything that stands before you. God bless.

Monday, January 16, 2012

One Minute Devotion: Isaiah 54:17

Isaiah 54:17

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgement thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from me, saith the Lord.

Never has a passage in the bible been more misunderstood, abused, and misused than this verse. For those seeking instant gratification, you have come to the wrong text. Contextually, it is directed at the people of Israel informing them that God would see them through no matter what enemy they may face, specifically, the Babylonians. That although they felt as though they were losing the battle in the present, the war has been most definitively won in their favor for the future. You may also note that there is much more to this scripture than you have ever been made aware. That is why it is so crucial, upon examining the word, that you dig deep into the text's history, purpose, and meaning. First, we must realize that there is utterly no weapon that can thrive against God. If you look at the second portion of this verse, you see that this is the heritage or inheritance freely given to those who serve God. Those who are made righteous, not by their own actions or words, but by the Lord. So no weapon formed against those who serve God will prosper. So why then do we feel bruised, beaten, and defeated so many times in our lives? How many times have you felt naked on the battlefield, with no armor, weapon, or entourage to speak of? Remember context is everything and there is always a deeper meaning of God's Holy word. If we break through the surface, we will find it. For the Israelites, they were about to experience a dark and dismal period of near total decimation. Their enemies would literally take them to the brink of extinction. Wouldn't that appear as though the weapons used against them not only prospered but did so abundantly? Isaiah is a book of prophecy, not of the things experienced in the present, but a foretelling of what is to come. What the end of the journey will look like. For those of us who live in NC, when we travel to the beach at Myrtle Beach, SC for a summer break, it seems like an endless journey with no, true direct, route. But as my wife says, "if you follow the signs, you will get there." In the prophecies of Isaiah to Israel, although the journey seemed endless, even hopeless, he provided them with the signs to let them know they would eventually arrive at their destination, a destination of salvation. This verse lets us know that although the enemy is at the gate, heavily equipped and well armed, in the end their effort will not prosper. Victory in Christ is always ours. It comes to us in three parts. First, that victory is eternity through Christ's grace and salvation. Which for Paul the apostle, who faced numerous weapons, felt that was enough to outweigh all of his sufferings. Second, through every trial and turmoil, if we hold steadfast to God through our faith in His sovereignty and providence, we will grow spiritually and develop a deeper, more intimate relationship with our creator. Finally, it equips us to face the next onslaught, better prepared, more secure, and holding tighter to God's hand as we face the smoke and fire of tragedy and hardship. So the weapon may pierce, wound, and even draw blood, but it will not crush or destroy us. In conclusion, I think the last eight words of this verse are the most compelling, "their righteousness is from me saith the Lord." We are unworthy of His righteousness, yet his enduring love bestows it upon us liberally. The fact is that righteousness belongs to and comes from God and God alone. When the battle comes to you, do you panic or do you pray? What weapon forged by sin do you face daily? Is it prospering? If so, its not a victory for it, it is a surrender by you. God bless.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

One Minute Devotion: Isaiah 40:31

Isaiah 40:31

But that they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

This is by far my favorite verse. It was my mother's, as well. It has been since I was young and first saw the movie Chariots of Fire. Contextually its goal was to encourage the people of Israel who were facing the growing threat of Assyrian imperialism and spiritual universalism. During it's author's lifetime, Judah was decimated by the Babylonians. Isaiah was, in fact, a prophet of judgement whose sole purpose was to reveal God's ultimate salvation for His people and anticipate the coming Messiah. However, the theme of the passage holds true in every aspect of our contemporary spiritual lives. To breakdown the verse, we must ask an important question. What does it mean to wait upon the Lord? The 1913 Webester's definition of the word wait is to stay or rest in expectation; to stop or remain stationary till the arrival of some person or event; to rest in patience; to stay; not to depart or to watch; to observe; to take notice. All of the elements in these two descriptions give us insight into the concept of waiting Isaiah is trying to convey. To wait on God is to rest in the faith that God is sovereign and the peace of in His unconditional care. It is a sharp focus on His word, to trust, decisively in its direction and wisdom. To take notice of God's providence and His working within our lives and ultimately, to seek out how God can use any situation we are in or issue we encounter, for His glory and our spiritual growth. When we wait on God it results in an extraordinary promise. God will renew our strength. He will pull us up and carry us. He will provide the courage and ability to overcome  when every drop of human energy and resource are spent. Why? So that, like so many heroes of the bible came to recognize, God provides the only source of true achievement. Without God's intervention, David would not have defeated Goliath. Joshua's army would have been stopped and destroyed at the walls of Jericho. Moses would have been just a murderer on the run. Noah would have drown with everyone else. Finally, we would be utterly lost in sin and condemned to an unimaginably horrific fate. God wants there to be no doubt, without Him, we are unable to move even one step ahead. There is no better description of how God renews our strength than this passage. It is powerfully expressive and intensely visual. Through his revival, we rise on wings as eagles. We soar through the sky on the currents of his love and grace, reaching heights we could have never imagined. Through his moving, we will run the marathon of our lives with legs that will not tire. We can walk through the paths of our existence through all the stress or strife without fainting. This is a stunning promise. Can we truly comprehend it? How can anyone lose hope with such a beautiful note of pure love and encouragement from our creator? His word is alive, current, never ending, and absolute truth. Digest that for a moment and you will understand how wonderous our God is. He will never leave us or forsake us. Even when He seems silent, or the problem looks bigger than any possible solution God is there. He is carrying us through the storm, unaffected by the winds and wail. He molds and refines us so that we may become all that He hopes us to be. Do you know how much God loves you? Is His truth or fiction? What issue in your life is bigger than God? Are you ready to allow God to shape you, no matter what trials and tribulations may come, into the man or woman that He knows you can be? God bless.

Monday, January 9, 2012

One Minute Devotion: Proverbs 16:9

Proverbs 16:9
A man's heart plans his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.
When preparing this latest installment I had a choice between two particularly moving passages, Proverbs 16: 5 and 9. I went with the latter this go round and will save verse 5 for another time. I call this verse the definition of actual control. It sets up the architectural design of the reality of control. To put it simply, if control was a house, God provides the foundation, infrastructure, roof, electrical and plumbing, paint, tile, flooring, landscaping, and all aspects of pre and post construction. We in turn hang a couple of pictures set out the welcome mat and mow the lawn. In fact, we do not own the funds to sign the check and pay the contractor. A person may even be bold enough to think he provided the blueprint for his domain when, in fact, his schematics would not pass the smallest of spiritual building codes. A wise man once told me, man conceives the goals for his life with consummate enthusiasm and pride only to hand them to God and watch Him laugh at them. Does that mean God is cruel? Absolutely not, instead; God knows that left to our own resources we would build sandcastles in the midst of hurricanes. Our agendas always fall somewhere between selfish, materialistic, narcissistic, and self promoting usually ending in failure. God's plan provides us with the ability to be everything He created us to be. To be useful in a way we may never have imagined, bless others in extraordinary ways, and literally move His kingdom plan forward. Impressive compared to our so called ideas of accomplishment or greatness. To better understand this we must first examine the word sovereign which describes the primary attribute of our creator. Dictionary.com defines sovereign in this way;  as being above all others in character, importance, and excellence and greatest in degree. God possess all authority over the universe as He is the one who crafted it. So his sovereignty over our lives is a given. This may seem to us, who are entitled and proud thoroughly unappealing. How dare God rule over us?  How could this sound like a positive proposition? The answer to the question is found in the word providence. The same website states providence is the foreseeing care and guidance of God or nature over the creatures of earth and a manifestation of divine care or direction. Providence is the highest form of care, guidance, and direction. Providence is only successful when applied by a sovereign God. God's interest is not in ruling over us that is what sin does. We are addicted obsessed manipulated cajoled and decimated through the course of our sins. We have no choice when we are in sin it sits as king on the throne of our hearts and governs us without mercy. It is a ruthless dictator that insists that its commands are followed without contradiction. God freed us from that power through His Son's sacrifice on the cross. His passion is to be our sovereign Lord, so He may bestow His prefect providence to us. He knows all the trappings that sin has left behind, where we will make our mistakes, what relationships will be a benefit and not a burden, and what we can become shaped by the potter's hands. Our best interest is always where His heart is. So does that mean we do not plan? That we sit idle and do nothing. Again, absolutely not. Instead, God wants us to have our desires match His, to seek out what God's desires are for our life. The process is uncomplicated, pray and plan, not the reverse, seeking God's wisdom to find the best plan for our lives. As His word says, "Trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not unto our own understanding." Without God's guidance how do we navigate life and survive its squalls and rogue waves? Without God's care how do we overcome tragedy and trial? Without God's direction how do we truly know where we are headed? For finite beings, control is an illusion. We are either puppets of the world or free men following the wisest and greatest of leaders. Life is a losing game of tug of war when God is left out of the equation. We are pulled away from a future in Christ while being pulled to our own destruction. Now the thing that will blow your mind is that God is never absent from the equation. Whether we accept His providence or not, He will work His will. He forged all existence from the words of His mouth and holds the only keys to history and time in the palm of His hand. He is called almighty for a reason and this almighty God's greatest desire is to have you submit to Him so that he may perform a complete work in your life. Think for a moment, have you ever been offered anything better than that? Who is sovereign over your life? Who has control? God bless.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

One Minute Devotion: Proverbs 4:23 & 24

Proverbs 4:23 & 24

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Put away from thee a deceitful mouth and perverse lips put far from thee.

This is a difficult passage from any perspective, a tall order to fill. To understand it one has to know what the word heart means in this context. There is no seperate word for heart and mind in the Hebrew language, so they are perceived as one and the same. The idea of the heart is often referenced as the literal seat of intellect. It represents man as a whole; mind, soul, intelligence, and being. Although we disagree on many points of doctrine, Jerry Falwell has incredible clarity when he writes, "The key to the whole man is his mind, whatever captures the mind, captures the man." A powerful statement. So how does one, keep their heart, mind, soul, essence, entirety with all diligence? Let me pose the solution through a second question.  If you need to know someone or something definitively what does one do? We research it. We Google it, use Wilkpedia (with much discretion), Bing it, cross reference it, and exhaust every resource. I remember, recently, spending several hours trying to recall a song that stuck in my mind by The Outfield. An obvious example of time well spent. I was totally diligent in my quest. After all, I had the vastness of the internet at my disposal. To know God intimately, His Word and prayer are required. I know it sounds so basic it borders on ridiculous, but it is absolute truth. His word contains pure, inspired, irrefutable truth about God's utlimate plan for our lives. Prayer provides the mind frame, the spirit frame, to digest the Word properly. Prayer focused uniterreputed, desperate, and submissive. A total dependence on God's providence and wisdom. Continuous, unconditional seeking of what He wants us to know and how He wants us to live. It is the literal casting of our cares and needs upon Him.  To let go and allow God to work without our own personal resistance. The Word is the lamp and prayer is the oil. It is complete obedience, which in our entitled little worlds is difficult to accept. To keep our hearts diligent to God means that we trust in His word and his sovereignty alone. There is an intriguing aspect to the first part of this verse, "for out of it are the issues of life." What does that mean? The heart is the source of life, not just in the anatomical sense, but in the spiritual. Every good and bad facet of our lives emanates from the "heart" choices we make. We are drawn away and enticed by the lusts of our heart. Seek to serve God with all of our heart. Chose the ones we are in relationship with based on the pull of our heart. It is where love begins and ends and where hate and anger ferment. It is where we keep our dreams, goals, agendas, and secrets. The heart is the engine that drives every journey of our existence. It is where, how, and why we start and finish. It is the loom from which we weave the tapestry of our legacy. Is it any wonder why God directs us to keep it with diligence. In fact in many translations the word "keep" is replaced by guard or defend. To guard or defend the source of your life with all diligence. Have you ever considered it from that perspective? The rest of the verse is obvious and yet its principles are far from easy. "To put away," does not mean to store, conceal, or fold neatly until later use. It means wholly and utterly dispose. To cast out from our very existence, cease immediately. Deceit does not just cover lies we tell to others, but to ourselves. A lie isn't just the anitphasis of the truth it voids it. You can not serve lies and truth at the same time it would be as useless as freezing a flame or drying yourself off with a bucket of water. A contemporary list of what deceit includes is; gossip, hypocrisy, racism, lust, and envy. How? Everyone one of those items involve a way we lie against the creator, His principles, our course to a deeper relationship with Christ and others, and spiritual growth. The word perverse in this context does not just apply to sexual deviance but to anything we say that works against our testimony in Christ. Words carry weight, what we say create points of historical record. Once spoken they can not be taken back and their ramifications for good or evil have everlasting effects. They can save lives or devastate relationships, teach, rebuke, ostrasize, comfort, depress, hurt, and destroy. Our source of life, must be guarded, because what comes forth from it, has an undeniable influence on everything around us. It has that much power. Even when we realize its potency we ignore its assistance or damage. It is how we spread the gospel or tear down or witness. God wants us to defend our heart and the words that flow from it because He understands, even when we do not, both the cost and blessing. To serve God with the diligence required and master what proceeds from our hearts are life long processes.  What is your current heart condition? What pours forth from your well spring, is it words of life? How do protect the most precious possession God has given you? God bless.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

One Minute Devotion: Proverbs 3:5-7

Proverbs 3:5-7

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.

Proverbs can be summed up best as the book of wisdom, an education in how God works within our lives. This passage is one of the most comforting of the Proverbs, especially when your world seems turned upside down, inside out. It deserves a brief but thorough analysis, beginning with the meaning of trust. Dictionary.com defines trust as the reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, and surety of a person on whom one relies. Trust further amplified in this Proverb as an absolute dependance on God through the verbage, with all thine heart. The heart is the representation of the entire soul, essence, and being. How does one accomplish a trust in God like that? Think of it this way, you are dangling by a rope, you can not determine what is below or above, God tells you to let go, and you do so without hesitation. It is the ultimate trust fall knowing if I let go of my only source of control God will be there to catch me. The most appropriate explanation for lean in this context is two fold, one; to rest on something for support, and two; to depend or rely on it. We abandon what we interpret about any given situation, crisis, or trial, and reside solely under the ever present care of Christ. We exchange the agitation created by stress and anxiety of any predicament, for true rest in Christ, the Prince of Peace. Instead of self reliance we move to selfless dependance upon God's providence. The meaning of acknowledge is to accept something or someone as real or true and express gratitude. Both fit perfectly to demonstrate how we are to acknowledge God in every way. To experience God's providence, one must be entirely convinced that God is who says He is. Faith, the size of a mustard seed, can move mountains. A mustard seed measures about 1 to 2 mm in diameter. Compared to the size of a mountain the mustard seed appears, to us, insignificant. However, that small measure of faith is unbelievably potent in the hands of an almighty God. In addition to this unyielding belief is an indebtedness to the unconditional and unending love, grace, and strength that God supplies us on a daily, moment by moment basis. An absolute submission, to God, availing ourselves of any preconceived notion or conception of what is before us, combined with total commitment to God's character and appreciation for his care and support, results in guidance, wisdom, and correction in life that will carry us deeper and deeper into His will. This Proverb has not finished in its teaching yet. We are warned not be satisfied in our own knowledge. How can a limited mind in any way compete with or comprehend an infinite Lord? The reason why we struggle so intensely may be because we create complexities through our own judgement and miss the simplicity of God's direction. We see only the problem at hand God sees every millisecond of our life as a whole including every decision and resulting aftermath of each choice. We are as blind as a moles forging in the dark and as helpless as a fly trapped in a web. Its hard to argue our intelligence with the very author of it. How does one fear the Lord? What does that mean? Fear of the Lord is a devout respect of who He is, an understanding that He is all powerful, all knowing, existing eternally. He is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end. Time has no influence on Him because He invented it. Nothing is higher or greater than God. The fear of God is when God is placed first, and everything else is last, especially ourselves. Finally, to escape evil, you have to depart from it. This is not merely a quiet exodus, but a rapid, urgent, running from evil. We need to, at all cost, avoid those things that would lead us into temptation, walking away from the trappings of sin and its habits that once owned our soul. It is not a halfway process it is all or nothing. Sin hinders wisdom, it blinds us from the path of God’s plan. How many times have we perceived that prayers go unanswered when, in fact, the answers are drowned out by our own reasoning or the noise and calamity of sin? How many times do we stray from God’s leading because we believe, thanks to our own understanding, that we have a better way only to end up in a dead end? Trust, acknowledge, and respect, God and flee from evil. Very straightforward requests that God provides the strength and ability to fulfill. God bless.