Guidance and Counsel

I have learned from my pastor that the Holy Spirit is able to teach Truth from anything, even secular movies. Over the years, I have learned that the Spirit of God will use any tool to teach you if you will simply open yourself to Him and allow Him to work. That is His job in our lives and He loves every minute of it!

Well, this afternoon I once again watched the Disney’s film, “The Kid. I have seen the movie several times and enjoy it each time. Sure, I can almost quote most of the script, but it does not lessen my enjoyment of the movie.

In the movie, Russ Duritz (Bruce Willis) is visited by his younger eight-year-old self and he has to figure out why he arrived. So, one day he decides to cancel his appointments and spend an afternoon walking and driving around the city with Rusty (his younger self), to learn this great “mystery.”

As they drive through a tunnel, Russ recalls a fight he lost with some school bullies who were abusing a three-legged dog named Tripod. They emerge from the tunnel to find themselves reliving Rusty’s eighth birthday in 1968.

Russ helps Rusty win the fight and save Tripod, but suddenly remembers that because of the fight, his sick mother also came to school for him that day. When they get home, Rusty’s father angrily shakes and scolds him for getting into trouble and causing his mother more stress. Rusty cries and his father tells him to grow up, rubbing Rusty’s eyes painfully and causing a lifelong facial tic. Russ tells Rusty that his mother will die before his next birthday, then comforts him. Russ tells Rusty that his father was angry and scared because of the huge responsibility of raising a boy alone.

During a conversation between Russ and Deidre Lefever (Jean Smart, whom he had met previously on an airplane) Russ finally realizes that his younger-self was there to teach the adult-self something:

Deidre asked, “Why wouldn’t your eight-year-old self time travel here to give you a hand? You’re obviously in trouble. He could straighten you out!”

Russ looks shocked and asks, “You think he’s here to straighten ‘me’ out?”

“Well of course!” Deidre explained. “You didn’t think it was the other way around, didja?”

[Russ nods hesitantly]

Maybe he’s here for you to teach him some things . . . but maybe he’s here for you to remember some things, ever thought about that?” Deidre asked.

Russ admitted, “Not until just now, no.”

Deirdre said, “Look, you’re turning forty tomorrow, you haven’t acquired a single thing of real value in your life . . .”

“Hey…” Russ retorted.

Deidre interupted, “and no, no, money doesn’t count. You’re virtually friendless, you barely talk to your family, and you’ve just lost the only woman in the world who’s ever meant anything to you.”

Russ defended himself, “Who, Amy? Oh come on, she’s not . . . we work together, that’s all. She’s neurotic! She bites her nails . . . well, nail.” [holds up his finger] “This one.”

[Russ finall realizes the truth and pounds his fist onto his forehead] “Oh, my God . . .”

Deirdre looks at the waitress and says, “While he’s getting a clue, could I get a warm-up, please?” [referring to her coffee].

Russ explains, “He (his child-self) keeps asking about his future — my past. I never tell him much.”

“Good” Deidre responds.

“Good, that’s good? Why? What would you do?” Russ asks.

Deidre explains, “What? If little Deidre was suddenly here, bursting out of her St. Mary’s uniform asking me what comes next? I’d say, ‘Baby, don’t worry about a thing. Everything’s gonna be just great.”

Then she sips her coffee and goes on, “I mean, when we are kids how many of us turn out the way we think we wil? How many of us grow up to be Astronauts or Prima Ballerinas? We all do the best we can.”

How true is that? Don’t you wish you could go meet your younger self and help guide him/her out of some troubles they will experience? Unfortunately, this is only possible in the wonderful world of fantasy tales.

Oh, by the way, as Russ and Deidre were leaving the bar, Russ thanked her for the help, and Deidre added, “Don’t stop asking for help, Russ. You just might get it.”

How many of us need to be reminded of that? Anyway, that is so true in our spiritual lives. No, you cannot go back and teach your younger self anything, but there are many things that you can teach your older self! Solomon shared his wisdom and insights  to “teach people how to live — how to act in every circumstance, for he wanted them to be understanding, just and fair in everything they did. ‘I want to make the simpleminded wise!’ he said. ‘I want to warn young men about some problems they will face. I want those already wise to become wiser and become leaders by exploring the depths of meaning in these nuggets of truth‘” (Proverbs 1:2-6).

All of us need guidance, directions on how to live our lives.
Don’t shut yourself off from receiving instructions, wherever they happen to come from. James wrote, “You fool! Do you have to be shown that faith which does nothing is useless?” (James 4:10). In answer to James’ question, yep! We need to receive directions from our parents, pastors, teachers, books, radio shows, TV shows and most certainly, the Scriptures. Mose wrote, “Yahweh is the one who is going ahead of you. He will be with you. He won’t abandon you or leave you. So don’t be afraid or terrified” (Deuteronomy 31:8)

Yesterday, I discussed how the Scriptures are to be a “lamp” for our path. Notice I did not say that Scripture was to serve as a lamp, but to actually be a lamp! That is more than just verbiage. It must become a reality in your life.

Those words from Deuteronomy were strong words that were originally spoken by Moses as he was turning over to Joshua, the staggering responsibilities of guiding the people of God. He needed that confirmation and encouragement.

The first time I had read those words,
I never once questioned my right to claim them for myself. It just seemed reasonable to believe that the God who was able to lead Joshua and had promised to never fail or forsake him, would most certainly never fail or forsake me! If there was nothing for Joshua to worry about, and he certainly faced much greater problems than I would ever meet, there was nothing for me to worry about.

But just to confirm I am not spiritual giant, over the years, many I have had instances when I was afraid and worried that the Lord wouldn’t be there when I needed Him. Times when I questioned whether those words were really true and whether I could depend on them.

But you know, the lamp has always been there, shining its light if only I would pay attention and walk where it shone on my path, reminding me that there is, after all, no real reason to fear.

Over the years, many have asked me for help and direction for their lives. It is always on honor and very heartening to know that there are indeed those who are willing to receive the kind of help they know I want to offer, for I always go back to my original source: “the path of His commandments,” and I desperately want them to find what I have found along that path: joy.

So often they fear it will be something quite other than joy. “But look,” I say, “if we are confused, we need somebody to show us the way and tell us what to do — in other words, we need a Master. He has traveled tis path before. Wouldn’t a sensible person pay attention to what He says and conscientiously try to understand, to apply the truth, and obey the instructions? He is leading us to the Promised Land! There will be a fullness of joy there, and there is plenty of joy en route. Believe me.” I simply offer what I have learned from my Lord and offer them to you.

I feel the Lord is telling you,

“I am nearer than you think. I am closer than you know. I am always with you, waiting. I am waiting for you to engage in a conversation with Me. I want to show you things to come. I desire to reveal more of my Son to you. I love it when you ask Me questions because it is My joy to lead you into all truth. I am right here. I have all knowledge. What do you want to know? Ask Me, in faith, and I will lead you and guide you to the information you desire.”

I think we need to pray!

Father, you are the revealer of truth and the giver of wisdom. Will you give me the wisdom to ask You what I really need to know? Show me what to ask, and I will grow in Your wisdom and joy. I am open to receiving Your wise counsel in every area of my life. Please, complete the work You have begun in my life! Amen

Doulos Studies

(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you—a to the list: Mail List)

I do thank you for your gifts. It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.

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