The Christian experience – Job

Today, as I read from the Book of Job I was reminded of the promises of God. I was reminded that we live out our earthly experience in flesh, but often we forget our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against forces we can’t even imagine.
 
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12).”

The Job narrative truly paints one picture of the Christian experience. The enemy always has his sights set on the children of God. And if I know anything about God, it is that He desires obedience above all things (1 Samuel 15:22, Proverbs 21:3, John 14:15, Romans 6:16, Romans 5:19), and sometimes He will test our faith. As a believer, I know I have an Advocate, a Mediator in Christ Jesus. I pray unceasingly for His mercy and His grace upon me and mine, as Job prayed for his. When adversity comes, the Lord has already prepared a path for me. Surrender and obedience to the things of God is not always easy, or pleasant, yet He lays out that path. Mine is to remain faithful when the world, my world collapses, compelling me, manipulating me, to stray from the path He set before me. The world wants me to fear. It wants me to question, to ignore, to accept man’s interpretation of God’s word rather than test the spirit from which is spews. 

The spirit of the antichrist has perfected a false gospel, false prophesy, false teaching. It sounds rather pleasant to the ear. Remember in the Garden of Eden when the serpent deceived the woman by uttering, “Did God really say that … “Well, nowadays, all that matters is that the pastor, the self-proclaimed prophet said it, so it has to be from God.

When Jesus prayed for His disciples, He says, “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.” 

Jesus does that for His followers. 

Job’s experience has been interpreted different ways, but what it tells me is simple. God will test me. And God will keep me. And God will bless me according to His will. How I respond to adversity depends on what confronts me, but trusting God and in His promises is key. It does not necessarily have to be “evil.”

Someone is always writing about why bad things happen to good people. For that matter, why do bad things happen to bad people? What kind of person kicks someone who is already down? Why do good things happen to bad people? What’s that question on the mind of many? Why do the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer? Why is one man’s opportunity another man’s exploitation? Why is one man’s blessing another man’s persecution?

Why does God bless a man with another wife and more children who - abused his first wife, was unfaithful the entire marriage and after he divorced his first wife abandons his children? Meanwhile, the first wife and children struggle? Why? 

Why does a random gunshot go through one wall and stop short of another wall? Momentum, or grace? 

Why does a pregnant woman’s water break early? The doctors expect to deliver a premature baby within hours and yet the baby thrives in its new setting? Why? It just happens, or grace?

The city has been searching and praying for a little girl that disappeared about 6 days ago, a couple of miles from here. I pray and ask my Lord, “Where is she?” Why have the police and FBI not been able to find her? The parents are frantic. Please pray that she will be found. 

There are some questions that will never have answers, at least not in this world, maybe not even in the next. Situations happen that are too difficult to accept or understand. How do I make sense of such things? I can turn to worldly reason, or I can trust God and pray for grace. But I remember, 2 Corinthians 12:8-9, “Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”


Job 1 (NKJV) 
There was a man in the land __________ and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil.

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, 

“From where do you come?”

So Satan answered the Lord and said, 

“From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”
Then the Lord said to Satan, 

“Have you considered My servant _________ , that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”

So Satan answered the Lord and said, 

“Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”

And the Lord said to Satan, 

“Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.”

Now there was a day .... family was eating and drinking, and a messenger came to ________ and said, “………” 
and I alone have escaped to tell you!”

While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven ………”; 
and I alone have escaped to tell you!”

While he was still speaking, another also came and said, ““The Chaldeans formed ………”; 
and I alone have escaped to tell you!”

While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, and suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house …..”; 
and I alone have escaped to tell you!”

Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there.
The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.

Again, there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the Lord.

And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?”

Satan answered the Lord and said, 

“From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”

Then 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 fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause.”

So Satan answered the Lord and said, 
“Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”

And the Lord said to Satan, 
“Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life.”

So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord, and struck __________ with ______________ from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he __________”

Then a loved one said to him, 
“Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!”

But __________ said, “You speak as one of the foolish speaks. 

Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” 

In all this __________ did not sin with his lips.

This is part of the Christian experience. Our battles are not against flesh and blood.

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