January 20, 2015

Job 40:6-7 Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm:
“Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.”

What comes across to me here is not anger, but maybe even wry amusement. The Creator is pointing reality out to His creature, because the creature had lost his sense of perspective. It’s like someone has said, “foolproof” is a misnomer, because there’s no limit to the foolishness of mankind. Job had allowed his circumstances and the well-meaning but misguided remarks of his friends to distract him from the calm faith he expressed right after the disasters happened to him. (Job 1:21, 2:10) We are no better than Job, certainly; most of us don’t start with his level of faith! When things happen to us we need to take a deep breath, let it out, and then look up, to recognize that God is still God, He is still love, (1 John 4:8, 16) and His grace is sufficient for us. (2 Corinthians 12:9) We have a strong tendency to want to control our own destinies, but we are limited in that; all we can really do is choose to cooperate with God’s plan for us, or rebel against it. Guess which choice has the better outcome? This is not fatalism, and it’s not passive. Paul tells us to “work out our salvation.” (Philippians 2:12) We are to be active participants in God’s plan, but we must not think for a moment that we are in charge. When we try to take control we lose the fellowship for which we were created, exactly as happened with Adam and Even in Eden, and that is a huge loss indeed.

I’ve had my moments of being mad at God, and they’ve never done me any good! I have almost 60 years of active relationship with Him, and there have certainly been ups and downs. The closer I walk with Him here, the more I look forward to eternity with Him in heaven. All misunderstanding will be taken away then, and it will be more glorious than I can now comprehend. (1 Corinthians 13:12) As a pastor I am continually dealing with people who can’t seem to get that reality through their heads and hearts. Caught up in the mole hill in front of them, they can’t see the mountain of God’s grace and love for them. I am to be gentle but I am to be firm, pointing them to Jesus consistently, speaking and demonstrating God’s truth to them so that they may receive and know it and so be set free from the dead-end traps of the enemy.

Father, You know who came to mind as I wrote that. I pray a sense of perspective for them. They seem to have almost none at the moment! Recently You have allowed me to speak into several people’s lives, and I feel that is going to increase. Keep me from speaking out of my own head, but rather out of Your heart, so that they may be lifted out of where they are wallowing and set on their feet, to recognize Your grace and love for them and accept it with joy, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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