Sunday, December 5, 2010

That Which Don't Kill Me, Can Only Make Me Stronger

Alright, Boys and Girls… please turn to Job 1:1… we have a lot of scripture to cover. Don’t like that? Don’t care… :) 

This devotional is all about struggling… 

Job 1:1-3: In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. 2 He had seven sons and three daughters, 3 and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East. 

- Alright we see here that Job is a very good man, the bible says blameless… BLAMELESS. He was a man seeking after the Lord’s heart and was blessed. The Lord had blessed him tremendously, and he was a godly man, living by Godly rules. Please remember this…

Job 1:6-12: One day the angels[a] came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan[b] also came with them. 7 The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.” 8 Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” 9 “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. 10 “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11 But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” 12 The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” 

- Notice something here. Do you see how God brought Job into the conversation first? It wasn’t like the devil came to him and asked if he could tempt Job. No, God himself introduced Job. It seems that God wanted to have Job tested, or else… why would he bring him up? The devil agrees to that challenge and is basically given free reign over Job. I think this shows a good amount of faith on God’s part. He believed that Job wouldn’t curse him, even when every thing was going wrong. 

Job 1:13-15 13 One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, 14 a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, 15 and the Sabeans attacked and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” 

(There are more things that happen: but it is more of the idea…)

20 At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21 and said: 
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, 
and naked I will depart.[c] 
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; 
may the name of the LORD be praised.” 
22 In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. 

All right, that is a lot of scripture… but here is the devotion part. 
Job didn’t do anything wrong. Job didn’t sin against God. But, yet he was under an attack. In today’s world, when something goes wrong with us, we immediately conclude that we’ve done something to anger God, and he is trying to get our attention. While, this is the case sometimes, it’s not all of the time. When we go through a hardship, our first thought is to try to repent for something. Job was blameless. 

But, so many times we take an attack and turn it into a personal “struggle”. Attacks and struggles are two different things. An attack is a conflict between two opposing sides, and to overcome this attack, we have to build up strength and work hard. But, a struggle is an internal fight between yourself, and usually you don’t have to work so hard at it. This is why we decide to “struggle”. An attack requires us to press in harder to God, to get his strength, to seek him harder. A struggle is an excuse to slack off on all of those things, because, honestly… it’s so much easier to struggle. “Oh, I don’t have to do my quiet time today, because I’m struggling.” “I can watch that TV show, because I’m struggling.” Etc… We get into the “struggling” mindset and mentality, even if it’s not a personal struggling resulting from sin, but an attack of the devil. 

When we turn an attack into a struggle, we then do the most STUPID thing you can do in that situation. We turn from God. Oh, get off your holy pedestal; we’ve all done it… It’d true though, we turn away from him. This is stupid, because he’s the only thing that can help us overcome this attack. 

Now, Job lost everything. EVERYTHING. And if you see in verse 20-21, immediately after he was told what happened, he worshiped God. This guy lost everything including his children. Now, unless you’ve had a fire rage through your house, destroying all your things and killing your family, it’s safe to say that you are not really in Job’s league here. And yet, he immediately worshiped. If my house burned down and such, you and I both know we wouldn’t immediately get down in the ashes and praise God. Most of us wouldn’t even praise God for a long time. How bad is your situation really?

But, the ultimate question here is… Why? Why did God bring up Job? Why did he allow the devil to take everything? Well, Job grew exponentially throughout this trial; he was given strength and wisdom from God. And when it was all over, God blessed Job, not only restoring doubly what he had, but he KEPT on blessing him, until he died. Maybe, God brought up you’re name, because he wants to help you grow, become wise, and to forever bless you. Instead of turning an attack into a struggle, then praying for God to take it away: challenge to devil and pray for strength to beat him at his own game. Just try it, I have this week- and the effects are enormous…



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