Have you ever found yourself the recipient of some critical advice? My Granddad would often offer his help in the form of critical advice. Looking back now, I would have to say in regard to me, he was most always right. I have come to appreciate every bit of advice the longer time goes by. A number of months ago someone sent me an e-mail offering me some help in the form of critical advice. I found myself at a loss for what to say or how to respond. I either didn’t respond or kept my response to something like, “thanks”. The e-mail bothered me greatly then and I saved the mail, but had done little with it until something made me remember that it was sent. I looked back at at the nearly 8 month old note only with the same continued loss for how to make any meaningful response to such a well intended criticism. I mean in my head I could think of all kinds of one liners and little zingers which could justify my solid position and the choices I had made, but none of them seemed the appropriate or Godly response. I continued on with my Saturday plan deciding to go for a bike ride in the morning hours. I had a planned route in mind, but as the ride progressed I was having second thoughts about going the full distance. Rather than turn back, I made a decision to continue my ride to endure the full course. Somewhere at 3/4 of the trip I began to go up hill; it was one with a long climb. I knew it was there but thought somehow I might be able to coast my way through some of it. It proved to be more a mind game than anything else and the thought to turn around going back the other way did occur to me. I heard the Lord say, ‘Come to Me‘! There is a word that has been spoken about you, it may be true, completely unfounded, or a half truth spoken out of wrong motives, but no matter, God says, ‘Listen to Me! God says reflect on Me…and I will give to you an abundance of wisdom.’ The exercise of ‘going up the hill’ brought forth some lessons worth learning; these offer insight into your trial. Have you ever felt like you were going up a hill? People had some advice for you, although you weren’t entirely convinced they understood your struggle. Don’t worry, God in His wisdom presents you with this trial, and He has answers meant for your overcoming. God revealed, this exercise before you is really a battle for your mind. On the basis of Proverbs 22:13, I believe God says, ‘the way of wisdom is in believing you will overcome not be overcome.’ Last I checked, we overcome because of the blood of the cross. God says based on Isaiah 55, ‘My thoughts are not yours and you don’t even think like Me, If it was up to your thinking, you would have turned around, missed the hill and with it My insight for overcoming.’ In Proverbs 22:17 God says, ‘apply your mind to My knowledge….’ You see, the hill not only tests your mind, but it tests your will. You are going to have to commit yourself completely. It is applying your mind to the body of God’s thinking, not taking a little dab of truth here and there as you want to apply it. God says, ‘your spirit is willing but your flesh is weak and you need the exercise the hill provides. So make up your mind and renew your resolve to trust Me up the hill and strength will be given to you that you know not.’ As Jesus faced the up-hill of the cross, He found strength there in the garden by surrendering His will to the Father’s good pleasure and obtained the will to overcome. God says to your hill, ‘I will that you overcome….Come to Me and I will give you My mind and My strong resolve and you will overcome.’ This hill you face may have come in the form of a rebuke, or personal attack. It may be be a trial that is very real or maybe even imagined. But God says to you, ‘this hill represents a clear place for your victory.’ ‘Come to Me and I will set your face like flint and give to you the understanding you need to respond to you friends, critics and enemies….It will be a glorious testimony of Me and My power to deliver you from what the enemy says, and I will make you to overcome.’ Psalm 37:5-6 (nlt) says, ‘trust in the Lord and He will make your innocence radiate.‘ So go ahead and trust Him, your victory has been assured!