Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"Have You Considered My Servant (fill in the blank)?", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

How about you? Have you considered Job? Do you know that if you are a believer today you are equally considered as Job was?

That's right, even if there was some remote possibility that God could forget who you are, Satan himself will never allow it.

Especially if you are doing a righteous work for God and furthering His Kingdom by your faith and actions.

Are you ready for that? Have you been tested? Do you think you could stand up like Job did?

Job 1:8 - "And the Lord said to Satan, Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who [reverently] fears God and abstains from and shuns evil [because it is wrong]?"

All indications point to the fact that while Job was not perfect by any means, he was indeed a believer in God.

However (and this is a huge HOWEVER), something needed to be refined in Job. There was obviously another level God wanted Job to rise to and it would have to be done by a test of fire.

Could you stand up to such a test today?

(9) - "Then Satan answered the Lord, Does Job [reverently] fear God for nothing? (10) Have You not put a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have conferred prosperity and happiness upon him in the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. (11) But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has, and he will curse You to Your face."

There he is. The Accuser. Old Scratch himself standing in front of the Great Bar of Heaven along with the good angels. The Prosecutor. Pointing out your every fault and shortcoming to God and DARING Him to try you out for size! This is the "sifting like wheat" that Jesus spoke about.

Indeed, Satan would like to sift you like wheat today. Can you rise to its challenge?

Read on...

(12) - "And the Lord said to Satan (the adversary and the accuser), Behold, all that he has is in your power, only upon the man himself put not forth your hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord."

And still later...

Job 2:4-6 - "Then Satan answered the Lord, Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has will he give for his life. (5) But put forth Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse and renounce You to Your face. (6) And the Lord said to Satan, Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life.

There you have it. God allowed Satan to strike Job in the most profound and heinous ways.

He took his family. He took his possessions and wealth. He finally took his health and self-respect.

All that was left was a shell of his former self. There was no resemblance whatsoever of the former wealthy, healthy, pinnacle of the community, the God fearing man...Job.

There he sat in the town garbage dump scratching his open oozing sores with shards of broken pottery. A spectacle for all to see.

How could God allow such a thing to happen to such a "blameless" and "upright" man?

There have been many suggestions as to the why's and how's of Job's dilemma. Most of all surrounding that God could actually allow such a thing.

Considering that God allows EVERYTHING that happens in this world, it's not such a leap. However, God does not allow just for fun and kicks. He allows for His greater purpose to be accomplished, both in the world at large, but more particularly, in us.

Woe is Job. Why him?

I have a theory. It's in the next verse...

Job 3:25 - "For the thing which I greatly fear comes upon me, and that of which I am afraid befalls me."

Job, for all of his good qualities, was a fearful man. He feared everything. The loss of his wealth, family, health, power, good standing.

ALL that he had feared (worry, anxiety) was going to happen to him happened to him.

Fear is a faith killer, and when we are not living by faith in God then we are living by our own strength.

If there is anything in us that God sees worthy of saving He will go to the extremes to do so.

Including allowing us to go through the most terrible of trials to accomplish it.

Do you fear that? Sort of like chasing ones own tail isn't it. A literal Catch-22.

You fear God will test you, but the fear is what will cause God to test you. Yikes.

There is a solution. Trust God. With everything. Just do it. No fear. No worry. No anxiety.

Being "upright" and "blameless" isn't going to cut it on its own. It didn't for Job. Do you think it will for you?

God wants it all from you. He wants you sold out completely to Him and all that you have at His disposal.

Your life. Your family. Your bank account. Your possessions. EVERYTHING.

Have you done that willfully? Or do you need a "nudge" from God?

Better willfully in my opinion than a nudge.

By the way, if you are finding yourself in the midst of such a trial today, think on the bright side. God thinks enough of you to allow it. He has a great plan of restoration for you at the end!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

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