A Shift In PerspectiveMar 13, 2020
photo by: @bekahthehedgephoto
Maybe you have several people in your sphere of influence that pray for you? If that’s the case…. that’s wonderful!
The majority of us, however, are the only ones praying for ourselves.
And that’s hard. Because you and I have stuff going on behind the scenes that no one knows about. Stuff that no one asks about. There are things that we don’t even want out in the open. Things that aren’t going right (for absolutely no reason whatsoever).
I’ll give you a few personal examples… I’ve been battling a seizure disorder since I was fourteen – that’s not fair. My sweet Mamaw has cancer and she doesn’t deserve that. Last week, my father fell off of the top of a house directly onto his face/chest and is in recovery. My daughter is sick during her spring break. One of my girl friend’s is struggling with infertility and it’s really difficult to walk her through that. Another one of my friend’s infant has RSV. A woman in my bible study has to wear a machine on the outside of her clothes (it weighs 7 pounds) that pumps her heart for her, because she can’t get a transfusion. Men and women all over the world lose their jobs every day (some eventually result in homelessness). Babies pass away. Children develop autism. Teenagers take their own lives. Coronavirus updates are causing paranoia. Stocks are plummeting. The world seems to be falling apart.
I say all of this not to discourage you, but to encourage you.
I know life can be so difficult sometimes, but we are called to live like Job. We are supposed to serve God with pure motives. Like, 100% pure. Completely humble. No ounce of pride or entitlement. I think humanity takes salvation for granted sometimes – like we were owed that somehow – myself included.
I’ve read the story of Job several times, but it carries more weight each time I sit and reflect on it.
Picture this story as if it were a movie:
Job’s life is about to be caught up in heavenly strategies as the scene moves from Earth to Heaven, where God is holding council with his heavenly court. Neither Job nor his friends ever knew about this. Angels came to God’s throne to render account of their ministry throughout the Earth. Like a Judas among the apostles, Satan was with the angels in this courtroom scene. Satan, empowered and prideful by the success he had with Adam and Eve in the garden, was confident that Job would not withstand his tests.
Of course we know that Satan was a fallen angel himself. Satan means “adversary” in either a personal or judicial sense. This demon is the ultimate spiritual adversary of all time and has been accusing the righteous throughout the ages, and will continue to do so.
Lest there be any question about God’s role in this whole ordeal, it was He who initiated this dialogue. Satan simply raised the question that might as well be asked by anyone: “Does Job serve God with pure motives, or is he in it only as long as the blessings flow?”
In Satan’s case, as prince of this world and ruler of demons, the Earth is his domain where he prowls like a “roaring lion looking for someone to devour” – so God gave him Job to test.
Satan asserted that true believers are only faithful as long as they prosper. Take away their prosperity, he claims, and they will reject God. He wanted to prove that salvation is not permanent, that saving faith can be broken and those who were God’s could become…… his.
God allowed Satan to test Job’s faith by attacking “everything he has.” With God’s sovereign permission, Satan was allowed to move on Job, except that he could not attack Job physically.
With 4 rapid-fire disasters, Satan destroyed Job’s business, his servants, and his children.
Job expressed all of the symptoms of grief. He tore off his robe, shaved his head, and fell to his knees and cried out, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. Lord you give, and Lord you take away!”
Job was what God claimed him to be after all, a true believer with faith that cannot be broken. He had done nothing to incur the pain and loss, though it was massive. This issue was purely a matter of conflict between God and Satan.
It’s crucial that we understand that, because when Job’s friends tried to explain why all of the disasters had occurred, they always put the blame on Job. His wife even argued with him, “Let go of your piety and curse God.” But he remained. He knew that hasty words against God in the midst of grief was foolish. He chose to submit to trials and still worship God, not because he sees the reasons for them, but because he trusts. Sometimes suffering is caused by divine purposes unknowable to us.
I know it’s easier said than done, but we can have a humble (even peaceful) perspective when our circumstances are poor. We have so much to look forward to in Heaven, but we need to make much of the time we are given on Earth. Let’s start by following Job’s example. He was in it for God and God only. God was enough to Job.
Is God enough for you today? If you were told one by one that everyone you loved was gone? If your house burned down with your pet and children inside? Would God still be enough?
This summary comes from a study bible I love. Thanks for stopping by. Let me know one thing I can be praying over your life today (either leave a comment below or message me on social).