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Head held high

Okay, I would like us to get a little honest with ourselves and each other this morning. Just how many of us have wanted God to deal with those who stand against us in some form or fashion? It is not unusual to actually converse with God, telling him how much we need him to 'deal with it' as we open up in our frustration, fear, or even anger about how someone is treating us or others. At the same time, God hopes we will allow him to use us in the lives of others - even when they are kind of 'pickles' to deal with! Being perfectly honest here, I actually EXPECT God to help me live my life well - even when what I want isn't perfectly aligned, I EXPECT him to help me get right alignment before I go too far in the wrong direction. Why can I EXPECT this of God? He loves me! His grace has changed my course many times in the past, just because of his love!

Let the fast-talking tricksters be exposed as frauds; they tried to sell me a bill of goods, but I kept my mind fixed on your counsel. Let those who fear you turn to me for evidence of your wise guidance.
And let me live whole and holy, soul and body, so I can always walk with my head held high.
(Psalm 119:78-80)

According to our psalmist, he was dealing with fast-talking tricksters who tried to sell him a bill of goods. When we are encountered by someone "selling a bill of goods" we usually see that we have one of two choices: accept what they say at face-value, or reject it based on what we see. In truth, we have a third choice: investigate it for truth rather than trusting the face-value! When someone is trying to sell us a bill of goods, they are attempting to have us accept something that is untrue or is of little value to us. Investigating 'under the hood' often reveals a little bit of a 'bitter lemon', if you get my drift! When our life has been exposed to this kind of "trickery" and it is not unusual to want God to expose the lack of truth in the bill of goods our enemies have been trying to pass off as true.

We often are exposed to these kinds of "schemes" in life these days. Just think back to the last set of TV commercials or printed advertisements you encountered. How about that immediate release of stains with a generous application of this or that magic cleaner - did you ever try one of those products only to find the stain was still there? A promise of teeth bright enough to signal men in outer space with the simple application of a tiny strip - did you really think fifty years of tea stains could be removed in one simple application? The list could go on and on. You get my point. The fast-talking tricksters WILL be exposed for their 'untruths' - their trickery is God's business to expose, not ours. We "deal" with their trickery by having an accurate "test" whereby to "filter" their claims - - the counsel of God (his Word).

God will use our life to touch the lives of others. Do you and I have a desire to be a living "testimony" of what God does when he has complete access to a life? When our prayers begin to turn to an examination of ourselves, God is then free to begin to move within us in a way that changes our lives in a positive manner. God is always working to create evidence of truth deep within our internal framework. In turn, when we ask God to use that evidence to give both assurance and hope to those who will turn to him in search of the reality they cannot find elsewhere, God is honored. There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking God to make your life an open declaration of all that God has been doing within your life!

Think about the 'bravery' or 'courage' it takes to ask God expose the work he is doing in us. I don't know about you, but anytime I get to the part where I think God might just expose what has been going on in my life, I get a little nervous! Why is that? I think it might be the fact we are not always comfortable with others knowing our struggles - it is one thing for God to know them, but to open up about them to anyone else is kind of scary. If others see that we struggle inwardly with some of this stuff, they see us as human! Really all God wants of us if for us to want others to see the reality of what God can do when a heart is perfectly yielded to his care. There is nothing shameful in exposure when God does the work of exposing!

It isn't wrong to pray for yourself. This is not a selfish prayer in any respect. We are really asking God to "cement" the work he has been doing so that he need not be ashamed of our behavior at any point in our day. When we ask God to let us live whole and holy, soul and body, so we can always walk with our head held high, we're beginning the process of yielding. We need to be willing to submit mind, will, emotions, and spirit to the care of God - - giving up the need to be in control of self. This is a prayer God delights in answering. In fact, when we see this prayer coupled with the other two, we understand the importance.

I don't know if you are dealing with fast-talking tricksters today, but if you find that your path is riddled with their schemes, take them to God. He has both the "filter" by which you can evaluate their claims and the ability to silence them with evidence beyond argument! If you have been struggling with something you just don't think God will ever use, don't be surprised when God urges you to allow him to make it a testimony of his power and grace. When he urges, he also empowers. Walking with head held high is God's greatest honor. When he sees us yielded, engaged in this walk we call Christianity, he is honored greatly. Just sayin!

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