I know and understand now from my own life and experience why Jesus calls us sheep and not co-shepherds with Him. Sheep are really dumb, hard-headed creatures. They follow blindly, even to fall off a cliff. They bleed and whine and beg even if what they want is horrible for them. They fall for wolves in sheep’s clothing. Sheep need direction. They will literally eat their grass roots and all until there is no grass to propogate and they starve, so have to be moved around conatantly.
I digress, the bigger story is this. Job. I get Job. His story is our story but with a great man who made right decisions but still had to be put straight by God in thr end. He got more than what he wanted. He got everything then nothing then more than he had with everything. And it was to prove a point.
Job started with good decisions and God blessed him for it. The devil wanted to put him down to size, jealous of him and how much God had given him or something or just wanted to bring down and destroy a good man because he’s evil. Regardless, God allow the test, first with all his stuff and then his body illness. He left him with 4 well-meaning but incorrect friends and one nagging fish wife. And Job said the one thing that proved his worth as a righteous man. He said (my paraphrase), “Can I rejoice in only the good things God gives and not the bad?” And that attitude is epic and contrite and amazing. He also wished for God to tell him if he sinned somehow to deserve this. So God did. He told Job what’s up and how enormous He is and that we cannot comprehend why He does what He does. And God of course is always right. So to show Job who n is n really in charge through it all, God gives him health and double what he had before materially and 10 more kids.
God is in charge. He is huge and we cannot comprehend why He does what He does and hoe much is His design versus our bad choices or sins. We take the good with the bad. That is our act of contrition to the Lord. It is our salvation. We are contrite of heart and so can accept Jesus’ forgiveness and sacrifice for our sins. Then we accept a permanent (Lord willing and with His help) state of contrition to accept whatever comes our way. And God rewards this obedience and praise and thanks by blessing us, either now or in and with heaven. We have eternal liven in luxury for bowing low.
And if we consider this story in light of our own, it is very clear why Job is a book in the Bible and why Jesus considers us sheep and the importance of contrition and trust in God for every little thing.❤
When things come down on you hard,and I mean hard, it is easy to let your pride stand tall and focus your attention on yourself or those problems. Our pride is our greatest enemy, greater than even the forces of evil because it is in us all the time. At some level, we need it to live with other people or we would never feel compelled to bathe or comb our hair or brush our teeth. However, this well meaning pride most often causes us to think more highly of ourselves than we ought. And that leads to narcissism and egotism and even law breaking to follow desires. These laws can be man’s but of course God’s laws are significantly more important. This pride says, “Poor me, comfort me, help me,”or on the flip side pride can even say, “I can handle this, I don’t need any help.” Both attitudes show a level of spiritual immaturity and ignorance because God works the opposite way. He tells us in His Word to humble ourselves and He will lift us up. This teaching is simple and clear, however, it is counterintuitive to our pride. When we fall on our faces before the Lord and acknowledge that we are unable to handle these things alone and that it is not all about us but about His kingdom and what He is working to accomplish and yield up our struggles to His capable hands, He picks up the struggles and gives us peace and joy and blessing and solves the problems in whatever way is best for us in the long run. He is so very good and so very faithful. When we have more than we can bear, if we are contrite and as God for help, He will always help. God can and will help the humble requestor. There is not a plan B when the plan A is humbly asking God for help. Things will start to happen and wounds will start to heal and the most desperate and rather impossible looking problems will work out in the best way for everyone. God can do anything with our faith and humble obedience and requests/prayers. It is the combination He likes the best.
Noah, Rahab, Joseph, Esther, Job, Paul, Abraham, and so many more heroes of the Bible all shared one thing. They were primarily solitary individuals who did amazing things for the Lord. When He is ready to work, He is not looking for a flock to do His will every time. Sometimes, with the important stuff, solitary individuals were called upon to obey and did. The reason He did this is so that we know God can accomplish His will through even single obedient people. We do not have to be any sort of significant (Rahab was a prostitute) to be able to be a vessel for the Lord’s work. We just have to humbly obey. When one person obeys, amazing things can happen. It is true we have no control over much of what happens in the world or anyone around us, but when we obey we can control ourselves which can yield amazing fruit. One obedient soul in the kingdom of God is worth a million disobedient narcissists. And you never know how great a work can be carried out for the Lord with one act of obedience or the lifetime of obedience of one single person. From experience, when I am humble and obedient and submissive to the Father God of the universe, He takes excellent care of me every time. He honors that and expands it and blesses to encourage me. He can do that for you. It just takes a contrite heart and one act of obedience at a time until a habit forms. That is the type of addiction I want to have. I want to be addicted to humble obedience to God. No telling what we all could accomplish for Him if we each adopted such an attitude! Wow.
Things are easiest to study when they are in the past. “Hindsight is 20/20”, so they say (whoever “they” are). And I am here wondering why we work so hard with figuring out who is to blame for what and why things happened the way they did. Why or who we can we blame for the occurrence is so much of a priority to determine than where we go from here and what we can do to prevent further occurrences. We seem to view our flaws and sins forensically, parsing and scrubbing and cataloging each one and determining who did what and why it happened, trying to explain and reason sin out. One elephant in the room with this forensic analysis of sin/flaws/mistakes is that- now hear me big- it does not make any sense at all. We work at trying to reason away sins and why we reacted how we did when and where, and blame this and that for these and those and it is all nonsense. Sin doesn’t make sense as we know sense. We can’t reason away sin because it holds no reason as we know reason. How can this be? Because we think humanly and sin is spiritual. It is an intangible phenomenon that we are trying to put in human form. Grasp if you will the concept of smoke from a roaring fire of partially wet wood spreading rapidly toward your house in all directions. The smoke gets everywhere it possibly can working to take in oxygen and stay alive to burn everything it can, to destroy. Sin is like that fire and smoke. Our flaws are sin and fire and smoke producers and if left unchecked will destroy everything in its path. We must harness our flaws and realize them so we can build up our defenses against them with prayer and Bible reading. There is no reason to fear it but until you admit the fire is there, you are lost already. When pride says there is no fire and it’s not your fault, destruction still happens anyway, only to a much greater degree because denial keeps you from defending your house and soul. Without defense, a fire will burn out of control. Amazingly, the great Fireman has allowed us to call him anytime night or day to put out the fire in our house and defend us from damage. He is amazing and skilled and has a vested interest because He is our Father in Heaven. So, we need to think of our flaws not as a focus and distraction of forensic study, guilt laden or rich with denial, but proactively as a realistic need for God to come and help us restructure to defend our house and those around us. The blame, according to contrition, must always be on us for what we could do but failed to do to prevent the flaw from becoming destructive sin. It you want to keep your soul from destruction, the key is to admit the flaws/sins/mistakes on your part and ask the Lord to intervene on your behalf and save/defend your soul. He always answers that prayer. The flawless One loves to remove our flaws. He does sometimes do it overnight, but sometimes reconstruction takes a bit longer so we can handle it. Either way, He always does what is best for us when we ask Him to.
Our country was founded the right way by the Puritans through God’s leading. They worked with their authorities and governing bodies of England for as long as they were reasonable and cohesive with their beliefs. When that ceased happening, these people all went up against the greatest military force on earth at the time and won. We were the underdogs but had a great Provider who stepped in several times with just the right timing, natural interferences, etc. and led us to victory. Many ups and downs later, we the people can still be proud of our heritage, both our Spiritual and our physical heritage. We owe much to those who have through the years bravely fought for our freedoms that we enjoy and we can be so proud of them! Many freedoms were achieved at enormous cost! And yet here we remain. A battle still rages on for freedom. Now, our freedoms are being challenged from within. That enemy has infiltrated our children and public and personal lives and governing bodies and churches so prevalently that we are very much at risk of losing the freedoms we hold so dear. What can we do to stop this degradation? We as Christ followers can humble ourselves and pray and seek God’s face and turn from our wicked ways. Then God will hear us from heaven and will forgive our sins and heal our land. It is not the job of those serving the enemy to accomplish this grave task but the sole responsibility of us Christ followers. God responds to the pleas of His children when offered from contrite hearts. We can bring back our former glory and protect the freedoms so many gave so much for. We are the only ones who can. And we can’t do it proudly preaching and sinning in the same breath. We can only do it on our knees, praying earnestly with a contrite heart and pure motives. We Christians need to make this our Independence Day and independently take up our crosses and follow Christ. He is the One who makes us free and we are free indeed and we can bring freedom recharged to our beloved America.