Tag Archives: Job

Get Me a Water Gun! Satan’s out of control

A note I scribbled on a scrap piece of paper in my office said “More of an attack on my heart than the actual heart attack, has been the spiritual attack on me.” In recent months it’s been very, very real. The final icing on that well decorated cake was a hacker tearing down my web site on Tuesday. Years of labor disappeared into the oblivion of cyber space and I was a mess. I don’t understand the mentality of people who live to do something like that, but I understand their source of evil. Satan and his minions I’m sure had a huge laugh at my expense.

I don’t have a web designer or personal tech support. Everything I do is on my own through programs designed to make it easy, mainly by paying for godaddy.com hosting. I know just enough to be dangerous to my health when something like this happens. Three days, and a $120 poorer my site is back up but I am drained emotionally and physically.

It’s not been just the website issues. My overall health has been on the decline since the knee injury, another of those fiery darts meant to bring me down. Okay, I’m done whining, now onto lifting you and I up together!

Get me a Water Gun!

For the record, Satan only has the control that God allows him to have. An idiot tearing my website down did not catch God off guard. Satan never has one over on God. It’s why God has me in the book of Job right now. If He can bring Job through the heartache he went through, He as me covered too. I have no doubt.

There is Wisdom in the Water

I love Job’s response to his friends in Job 12:15

Behold, he withholdeth the waters, and they dry up: also he sendeth them out, and they overturn the earth. With him is strength and wisdom: the deceived and the deceiver are his.

Water is one of those biblical words that has great spiritual meaning and depth. Just in saying that God is the Water of the Word is like drinking a cool glass of water on a hot day. It soothes the soul, just like it does the body. How wonderful to understand that it is God who control such an amazing substance. The substance that will put out the fire of Hell that try to heat up the life of a child of God.

Satan will never see us in Hell, but he can try to make our lives Hell here on earth. He and his minions can tear down websites, families and even bodies, but they cannot have the Spirit of man. God control them all. Glory to God, I just wrote myself happy again! I love when that happens. I hope you read yourself happy too!

The Water Gun is loaded. And the fire is about to go out!

There is Life in the Water

Job 26:5-7

Dead things are formed from under the waters, and the inhabitants thereof. Hell is naked before him, and destruction hath no covering. He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.

Verse number 7 is one of my all-time favorite verses. But the words of Job leading into it cause me to ponder greatly. And then from the depths of my soul I heard this response.

“Water creates life, and fire causes death. God is water, Satan is fire. Nothing is concealed from God, even those who believe their destruction is hidden in the world wide web. God knows them. Personally. And they should fear. If he can hang this ball of dirt in the midst of space and keep it there, one web hacker is nothing.”

My knee pain is not too hard for God to fix or to work through it. My heart is fixable. Both the physical and the spiritual. God is in charge.

There is No Water without God

Job 38:34

Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover thee?

God’s response to Job was a reminder to us all that we better understand Who it is that’s in charge of every aspect of our life. The good, the bad and the ugly is under God’s thumb.

I found a warped humor in verse 3 of Chapter 38, because I think I too have had this conversation with God.

Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.

It almost felt like I heard God say, “Put on your big girl pants and answer me Shari, who did you think was in control?

In my ignorance I gave credence to the destructor of my website and forgot who had destroyed this body by not taking care of the temple. We have the power of destruction, but through God we can have the power of life. But only through Him.

We can pray for rain, but the final decision is His.

God asks Job in chapter 41, verse 1:

Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? Or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down?

Leviathan was a sea creature, whale and even Satan is referred to it in the scriptures.  Something larger than life. We cannot control it on our own. It would literally be like fishing for a whale with a Walmart rod. How long would that last before we too were destroyed by the beast?

Satan and his minions are not to be taken lightly. They certainly have destruction powers. But not when God intervenes. The question is have we given God full control to hand the situation before us. Or are we still trying to catch a whale with a $2.00 hook? or shoot Satan with a water gun.

Be Someone’s Reason

Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.

Job 2:9

What an odd scripture choice for Mother’s Day week, right?  Well, this is my thinking this morning as I ponder the upcoming weekend. Number one… I am blessed. My 83 year old Mother, who truthfully puts me to shame in her strength, ability and agility, lives next door. I watch as she meanders out at 8 a.m., fully dressed and make up donned and surveys her well-groomed lawn and flower beds. She cooks dinner for 30ish people every other weekend and not just a small meal. But multiple dishes and always amazing desserts. She is one of 8 children, 4 remaining. She has loved and lost family, including a son and husband she adored. She set the example before us; when I ask her how she did not blame God when she lost my brother Richard at the age of 19. Her response was “How can I blame the only One who will allow me to see him again.”

Yes… I’m blessed.

So now for what got me thinking about Job’s wife. Not everyone is so blessed.

Before I throw Mrs. Job under the bus, I have to acknowledge that she too had just lost ten children at once and her means for livelihood. She was no doubt fighting depression and anxiety as none of us could likely comprehend. But her response to Job was so bitter.

I’ve known bitter women. They have an ugliness inside that, regardless of their outward beauty, makes me cringe. I’ve known bitter men too, they ain’t handsome.  I’ve watched the damage they’ve done to their families, even though many are unaware that it’s an issue. It’s hard enough to face the battles of this world, without having a discouraging enemy living in your camp.

So Shari, again… how does this celebrate Mother’s Day?

We need to look at Job’s life and commit to ourselves that we will not be anyone’s Mrs. Job or Mr. Job’s friends, who added salt to his already open sores.

Learn to Respond

Proverbs 16:24

Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

That sounds much better than having your friends and family hide from you as suggested in Psalm 64:2-3

Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity: Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words.

That’s how I view the discouragement of people who without regard for what someone is going through, use their words to hurt rather than heal.

But I’ve experienced firsthand the healing words of family and friends who soothe my soul in times of trouble. I’m so grateful that God has put them in my life.

Be the reason someone is grateful.

Learn to Reason

While I know that nobody is perfect, and myself included can lose touch with logic and speak in frustration words of discouragement. But there are times when there’s no room for a lack of logic.

Someone needs you, and they need you now!

Be the reason someone never doubts your loyalty.

Learn Who to Rebuke

When Peter rebuked the Lord, which was not his finest hour, the Lord said in Matthew 16:23:

But he turned, and said unto  Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

Jesus said to Peter that he was Satan! While I don’t profess to understand the theological depth of that conversation, I understand that Jesus didn’t truly think Peter was Satan, but that perhaps Satan was controlling the conversation.

Ya think that happens to us? Oh yea. If Satan can use us and others to discourage us and others, under the guise of our stupidity he’ll do it.

When the feeling of rebuke comes into your mind, and you may be on the verge of tearing someone you love down further than they already are, rebuke Satan. Not your loved ones.

Be the reason someone feels supported.

Learn to Rejoice

I’ve not always appreciated or understood my Mother. I’ve been far from the perfect daughter. But I rejoice in the fact that my Mother brought me up with manners, respect and accountability for behaviors. She taught me that love was unconditional for children, therefore I understood that love was unconditional with God.

Be the reason someone feels loved and rejoices for you.

Isaiah 1:18

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

We all have a reason to rejoice!

Don’t Miss Your Shuttle

It was one of those words that caught me off guard; sent my mind pondering about what it was doing there.

Job 7:6

My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and are spent without hope.

I’m just focusing on part “a” of the verse. Part “b” is a little too sad for my spirit this bright sunny morning. Even though I spent the night battling blood pressure and sleep deprivation. Perhaps the two coincide. But it all coincides with age and the thought process that suddenly changes.

Please don’t think that I’m considering myself ready for the grave, but it’s a part of the mindset when you have several days of feeling poorly. Now back to the verse…

The weavers “shuttle.”

I viewed the word shuttle as a modern word, not one from the oldest book in the Bible. And being that I’m not a weaver, although I might like to be, I had no concept of what that instrument might be. So I had to Youtube it. Isn’t that a great tool in the ministry?!

And there it was, the little shuttle boat that goes rhythmically through the threads of a loom; swish, swishing back and forth, carrying the bobbin of thread through and intricately weaving a beautiful pattern of art. Just like life.

The years have swished by to the count of 56 for me, though I’ve been telling people I’m 57. I’m a nut! For Job, though the years of his life had passed quickly, time had suddenly slowed painfully down and in his sorrow, and the discouragement of his friends he had lost hope.

It’s easy to do.

It’s why I’d rather focus on part “a.”

In the words of Jerry Reed’s country song, “I’ve got a long way to go and short time to get there,” I want to weave more into that pattern of life.

The little shuttle boat is a handcrafted vessel that carries the fabric of the tapestry. Is that not us? Every single person is a beautiful piece of the Master’s work that He uses to weave into the lives of others. And together we all makes this beautiful piece of work called life.

Job had no concept of the impact his words would be making thousands of years after that terrible day.

My live video feed yesterday was along this same path. “Why we go through what we go through.” There is always a reason, and one of my favorites is the Overcomer’s Club. It’s those people, who against all odds became a victor. They weren’t supposed too. Just ask Job’s friends and they’ll tell you what a terrible person they thought Job to be. They thought he was a sinner deserving of his woes for being non repentant. When in truth he was a vessel of God’s amazing grace. A little boat passing swiftly through time but leaving beautiful colors in the path. His words encouraged my soul because I know the end of Job’s story.

He wanted to die. But God gave him a new reason to live! It will take a few chapters before I get to read about his victory again, but it reminds me that I may have a few chapters of my own before I get to sing the Victory song too.

So where is your little shuttle going today, and how are you going to weave the Word of God and the purpose of God into your day. Don’t miss it. Blessings!!!!

What to do with Fools

What To Do With Foolish People

Three times in Job 1 it says “While he was yet speaking,” when the four servants of Job delivered the heart wrenching news of his losses. Three times he loses livestock and servants, and the fourth and final blow was the loss of His ten children. As parents, we can’t imagine a greater loss. God totally understands. It’s why it makes today’s tolerance of the liberal agenda so much harder to stomach.

I’ve stated in this blog on more than one occasion that I don’t “watch” the news. But it has a way of sneaking into my world through social media. So today I sought a way to deal with foolish people. There’s plenty of them out there to deal with and they seek to destroy every work of the Spirit.

They love tearing down ministries, and governments that bring glory to the Name of Jesus and discourage those that support them; convincing them all they are the victors. Part of the reason they are so successful is that we, as the children of God, are not stepping into our roles.

Silence the Fool

Easier said than done, right?

1 Peter 2:15

For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:

It’s the will of God! Glory!

So how do we do it? By doing well.

That’s not speaking of prosperity, as some would have you believe, but rather speaks of the character of God’s people. Arguing with a fool seldom creates silence. It usually just creates chaos. But silencing the fools with righteous living, honest conversation and good works is extremely satisfying to the soul.

Jesus told Paul in Acts 9:5 I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.”

Paul trembled at Christ’s words. Number 1, because it was God, but also because His words pricked, pierced Paul’s heart. That’s what the word of God does to the unsaved. It’s like a bee sting, or a slap in the face. It catches them off guard and it is for certain our greatest tool in our weapons of warfare. It’s why it send the liberal news agencies into a feeding frenzy when they hear someone in Washington quote scripture or mention the name of Jesus. There is power in those words. There is also power in His people when we’re doing His work. The Lord has an agenda too. It’s to get as many people to Heaven as we can. And it is so easy to lose sight of that with all the rhetoric we’re hearing in the world.

If you want to silence the masses, start by telling them how Jesus saves.

If that doesn’t work

Avoid the Fool

Titus 3:9

But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.

I so often just want to see the liberal losers put in their place. But God said that it is sometimes better just to avoid them all together. They’re just talking to hear themselves and sometimes so are we. Or so is “me.” I just need to say anything because I’m tired of everything.

We’d do much better if we’d just speak an appropriate scripture to the situation and then drop the mic. Sometimes that takes a little research, and sometimes the Holy Spirit will just speak it into your soul if you’re listening.

My third, final and most appropriate point for my own study is

Don’t forget, you were the fool

Titus 3:3

For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.

Tell me it’s not true? I have to confess it was the case with me pre-salvation and I’ve been known to linger on a few of those issues even post salvation.

Satan has the liberal lot, and many who are caught somewhere between liberal and conservatives, deceived; because they don’t trust either side and with good reason. We do not always speak the words Jesus would have us speak. And we forget that we once were just as mislead.

While I want to silence, and in the worst kind of fleshly way, wipe the arrogant grins off CNN and the likes of news reporters, I need to remember who it is that I represent.

Jesus’ people ought to have more class than to get into a shouting match with the fools.

Just speak His word, walk away and then pray for the enemy. That too is a weapon of warfare that they can never have in the arsenal. They don’t have anyone to pray to.

The Appointment

Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? Are not his days also like the days of an hireling? As a servant earnestly desireth the shadow, and as an hireling looketh for the reward of his work.

Job 7:1-2

Not a soul on earth has likely ever felt the frustration of ministry work like Job. Here he was, a man who the scripture described as “Perfect and upright and one that feared God,” ~ Job 1:1, and because of that he was targeted by Satan and tested by God. There is a vast difference between Job and I. Yet it doesn’t stop the ministry frustrations at times and the feeling that my eternal difference making is sparse. The only difference, I’m not worthy of the right to complain. Still doesn’t stop me from doing it though.

This morning Job 7:1-2 gave me the kick in the pants that I needed.

The Appointed Time

I have not felt well lately. Mainly because I’m not taking care of myself. My friend Gloria has told me that she is having a difficult time raising me. This damaged knee of mine has me feeling like I’m a rebellious teen ager who has just been told they’re grounded. I’m sneaking out at every turn, but unfortunately I’m closer to being a senior citizen than a senior in high school, and sneaking out means that I’m walking and working more than I should around the house. That’s sad isn’t it?

But my ministry work suffers because my psyche suffers.  If I sit, I feel worthless. Imagine how Job felt. It literally makes me nauseous to think what that man went through. It’s why his words carries weight. He earned that right.

Job knew that there was an appointed time to die, and that unfortunately this wasn’t it for him. He was wishing for death.

I am wishing for life! If there is an appointed time to die (and there is) there is also an appointed time to live; and by live I mean serve. Until we draw our last breath there is work to be done. This is our appointed time. What are we going to do with it?

If you’re not dead, God’s not done!

The Appointed Work

Job’s work for that time in his life was to be a witness. He didn’t realize. He didn’t know we’d be writing, talking and preaching about him for thousands of years later. And we don’t know what our tough times will mean either on the other side of eternity. 

I think God has some reading for us to do when we get to Heaven.

Psalm 56:8 says “Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?”

When we’re serving, they’re talking about us in Heaven. Our tears are in a bottle and there is a book of our story!  I don’t want my book covered in dust because it’s never written in. (not that they’ll be dust in heaven.” Maybe angel glitter. But I want my book to be a best seller!

The Appointed Reward

Revelation 22:12

And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

We forget that God’s idea of quickly and ours is two separate notions. But “quickly” just might mean before this day is through, and the opportunity to collect those rewards are limited.

My rewards are those I love. I have a house full of kids today, I’m believing that they’re going to make my life easier. Yeah…. I didn’t believe that any more than you do. But, it’s an opportunity for them to see Noni serving God in hopes that they too will have that desire. And that will be reward enough!

Do You?

But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.  ~ Proverbs 1:33

The grey skies of November mess with my head even in the wake of the holiday season. Sometimes because of the holiday season. I seriously try to be honest with myself and struggle. Even though the truth is within me…the literal truth of Jesus Christ; I can still suppress the wisdom of God and allow depression, fear, anxiety to creep into my heart. Reading through Proverbs 1 this morning I found one of the countless nuggets of truth that surfaced and refused to let the clouds over power it. So I thought I’d share it with you. Perhaps you need it as well.

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Yes, that Christmas tune is now playing in my head, but it’s a worthy tune.

Do you hear what I hear
A song, a song
High above the trees
With a voice as big as the sea
With a voice as big as the sea

The voice of God can thunder or it can be as still as a whisper, and most usually it’s the latter. What I hear is the voice of God asking “Who’s listening?”

Are you the ‘whoso?’ Am I? Am I genuinely listening for the wisdom of God or am I waiting until He says what I want to hear?  And so I ask myself, why am I not listening? Mainly because I fear. I don’t fear death, I fear life. Dying’s easy. I have no control over that with the exception of how I take care of my body. And because I know that I know that being absent from the body is to be present with God, it’s not something I fear. But life. I struggle with it. It can get so out of control and I’m the queen of roller coaster living. Finances. Responsibilities. Accountabilities. Deeds undone. Those things make those November clouds and cold rains feel like a cloak of evil around me.

Yes… I’m a tad dramatic. My grandchildren don’t get that drama from anyone strange.

Do You Feel What I feel?

Do you feel safe? I honestly do. I know that God will not leave me nor forsake me in my hour of need! But the people of the world will. Though I have the comfort of the Holy Spirit, I don’t always feel comforted by people. Sometimes I’d rather avoid them too. A friend of mine struggles with depression far greater than I, but depression isn’t fun for anyone no matter the level. We spoke the other day about times when we’d rather not leave the house for any reason, no matter how joyous. It’s much easier to retreat inside my head and pretend that all is right with the world than to go outside and prove it’s not.

I don’t consider myself akin to Job in struggles but I understand his words when he wrote, “I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.” Job 3:26. He no doubt felt very overwhelmed. King David, felt overwhelmed and shared that thought in Psalms on 7 occasions. It’s why I felt the need to share that the Jesus Chick struggles too. For Pete’s sake if David can confess that he struggle, why cannot I?

It’s not the struggle that I want to share though, I want to share the process of victory. It’s usually not an immediate response from God that gives me peace and removes the dark clouds. It’s a conversation… You can’t hear if you’re not listening, and you can’t listen unless someone is talking.

Do You Know What I Know?

Even on days like today, when I struggle to get out of my Pajama’s and I don’t really care if the bed’s made, because I’d like to retreat back to it, I still know what I know.

I know that there is quiet from the fear of evil and it’s found in (1) the Word of God. (2) The Wisdom of God through prayer. And (3) the Way of God by hearkening to what He says.

If I’m brutally and shamefaced honest I have to tell you that sometimes I still don’t listen and the clouds continue to hover. But if I search His word and speak what I find He is faithful…

Ephesians 3:17-20 King James Version (KJV)

17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

It’s Your Job

upside down chick

My ministry is diverse to say the least. Every day I am wife, mother, Noni and friend, Sunday’s I’m kind of a jack of all trades: Sunday School Superintendent, teacher, pray-er, marketing, and music. Monday–Friday I’m in Jesus Chick mode – the writer, Tuesday’s I’m Violin instructor, and tonight I’m devotion leader, Wednesday’s I’m youth group leader, Thursday’s I’m a student of guitar, Friday’s I’m a fiddle instructor and advanced fiddle student and Saturday I plan for Sunday. Any given day I can be scheduling music groups or planning events, I have two on the horizon this week! Wow… I just wore myself out. I said all that not to get a feather in my cap, but to say life is busy. Yours is no doubt the same but the list and purpose may differ. My question for you is my question for me as I go through the day to day “stuff”  –   Is this stuff fluff or faith.

I love it. After God dragged me for 5 years I finally got with the program, although it’s still not always clearly defined for me, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt for the first time in my life I’m exactly where God wants me to be. If only I could become who He wants me to be… He’s still working on that. I’ve gone through months and months of guilt about not having a “real job.” Because that’s who I’ve always been and how my life has been defined. I needed a title. I always wanted a job with a uniform because I thought that would be fun and official, I almost had one once… and about the time the company was going to order them and I was settling in to the new me, God yanked that job out from under me and said “Are you kidding?” You’d trade me for a cute shirt? What can I say… I’m fickle.

I’ve always considered my career as a place of ministry, that I would be a light in those dark places. And some of them were very, very dark. And I know I made an impact because many of the people I worked with still come to me for prayer or advice and what a blessing that is! And perhaps for you that is where you are, you are that light in that dark place. That’s a real ministry. But are you treating it as such. Is it fluff or is it faith. Fluff will pay the bills, but faith paves the way to eternity with eternal rewards and if you’re a child of God, it’s your real job regardless of position or title, or cute shirt you wear.

In Act Chapter 18 we find Paul being a tent maker. At least for a while he helped his friends, Priscilla and Aquila, make tents.

Verse 1-3

After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them. And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.

After these things… it really was some “thing” if you read Chapter 17. In verse six it is said that they have turned the world upside down” and following that he was run out of a few other cities. There wasn’t any fluff involved in what Paul did. He continued in service to the Lord in the position he was in. Whether it be preacher, teacher or tent maker, he preached Christ and he stirred the people up.

That’s what I hope I do for you today. I hope I stir you up and cause you to realize that where ever you are it is your job to speak Christ. You may say, “But it’s forbidden.” That’s a tough place to be in, I’ve been there… and I was asked to stop. But somehow or another God paved the way for me to speak Jesus anyway. I’m not saying it will be easy, and it may take some creativity to bring it to pass, but it’s your job. You may also say, “But there’s nobody around.” If you’re reading my blog, you have a means of spreading the gospel… be creative! I want us to turn the world upside down!

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Digging for the Truth

chick pondering

Oh the irony! Or should I say iron. (See Job 28) I had just spoken at a retreat on getting past the hurts of the ministry and then WHAM! Somebody hurt me. What? That ain’t right!… well I should have been wearing a helmet, because that’s life.

So Friday morning, I got up and prayed and prayed and ask God to get me through this. My second conference of the week was in one more day and I didn’t want to go in with this baggage on my shoulder for fear I’d drop it on the platform and hurt someone myself. So God parked me in Job. That’ll fix ya! Talk about a man that experienced hurt and kept going.

Will Grahahm & The Jesus Chick! 🙂 His sermon title… “Open Your Big Stinkin’ Mouth!” I think I can do that 😀

Well here I am on the other side of those two conferences. Both blessed events. The first event was the Southern Baptist Pastor’s Conference where I spoke to the wives. At the same conference with Billy Graham’s grandson, Will Graham. How awesome was that! (see the goofy looking selfie) On the weekend of Billy Graham’s 97th birthday. I’d venture a guess in his 97 years Billy has experienced more than a few hurts in the ministry.

The second conference was in Franklin Furnace, Ohio and to say that Heaven came down and touched my soul wouldn’t begin to describe the weekend. Woman after woman came and told me words of encouragement of how I’d touched them. No one is ever as shocked as I am when God uses me in such a way.

Storms and hurts come. But Glory to God! they are not forever. And I know this because of digging in God’s Precious Word, for His Precious Promises and truth.

Job 28:20

Whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding?

Reading through this chapter caused me smile. Great big. God’s wisdom always amazes me because mine is so limited. And yet I have but to ask and He provides. But it doesn’t stop there. Just as Job said, wisdom is buried like riches in ground, and if you want it, you’re going to have to work for it.

God doesn’t throw precious jewels above ground for us to stumble upon and gain wealth. If you want those riches you’re going to have to dig for them. Well… the same holds true for the riches of the wisdom of God. While it’s wonderful hear from God through preaching and teaching, God wants us to spend time in His word so that he can direct our paths.

Sunday morning’s the launching point! I’m ready to be in my own church with my own people and hear my own preacher. But I am so glad that this morning I have my own God! The Creator of Heaven and earth who put precious jewels in the Word of God that guide me to the answers that I need. Hurts come and go, troubles and trials come and go, but God is our Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Healer of the broken spirit.

Job 28

Read it  for yourself!

But now… I get it God

chick winner

I wish I could say that quicker. Meaning that I wish that I got “it” (the understanding of God’s plan) earlier. I wish that when I was facing a struggle in my life back here, I could see “waaaay” out there and understand why I must go through what I’m going through. If I’d be honest with myself I usually know why; it’s because I’m stupid. I sin, I don’t wait on God, I design my life and then ask for God’s stamp of approval. That’s not how God works. God allows me to go ahead and play house with my life and then He comes in, moves all my furniture out and leaves me sitting with nothing and starting from scratch.

That wasn’t really the case with Job. He was a good man, he trusted God, he prayed and sacrificed, went to church three times a week, gave to the widows fund and bought Girl Scout cookies every time they came to the door. He did not deserve this treatment! I don’t’ want to make light of Job’s issues of life, lest I might face even one of them and crumble to my knees crying for mercy. What Job went through I can’t fathom, nor do I want to. But it still didn’t change the fact that you never assume you’re without sin.

In the final “but now” of Job’s life he gets it. He now understands that he was a part of a bigger plan, one that would still have us talking 4,000 years later. Is that not amazing!

Job 42:5

I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.

I get it God. Not only did Job get it, he gave it.

He gave the repentance necessary to heal his relationship with the Lord. Job was a righteous man, but he was not a sin free man. During his days of despair in the worst of it all, as his wife forsook him, his friends ridiculed him and his body was racked with misery, he questioned God. I would have too and likely worse than that. But in the end Job tells God, I’m sorry. And at God’s urging so did the three Awful Amigos.

And it was so, that after the Lord had spoken these words unto Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.

Job had spoken what was right? Complaining doesn’t surprise God, and He’s up to it. But self-righteousness, nope… He’ll have no part of it. Job’s sin wasn’t the complaining, it was that he didn’t think he’d sinned, and he had. The bible is clear that there is “None Righteous.” But we can get in that mode can’t we? We know we’re sinners, but we’re not as bad as “they” are. We’re quick to say when a sinner falls that “we seen it coming.” But when we fall… “why on earth did that happen!”

Maybe because of sin, or maybe because it’s a part of a plan “waaaay out there” that will have us standing in awe of the great things God has done.

I don’t like trouble, aches, pains or heartaches. But it is those very things that usually draw us to God and drive us to our knees acknowledging Who it is that’s in charge of the universe. Just as the abrasive sanding down of a piece of wood brings out the grain of artistic beauty, so does the troubles in our life. Everything we go through now has us in a position to encourage a brother or sister in Christ to hang on, they’ll make it too!

Job’s friends repented, but not until God called them out on it. Learn from Job, go first… God’s first place rewards are way better!!!

But Now… a little LIP service please

chick lip service

Job 16:5-7

But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should asswage your grief. Though I speak, my grief is not asswaged: and though I forbear, what am I eased? But now he hath made me weary: thou hast made desolate all my company.

It appears that the winner of the “But Now” award would go to Job. There is still a few more “but now’s” in his book and there is no doubt in my mind that we all feel like we’re suffering the afflictions of Job in our life occasionally. Although in reality ours are likely none to compare, but it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. We still have issues and we still serve a God who cares as much about us as He cared about Job. Scary thought though, because look at what He allowed Job to suffer at the hands of Satan.

In these verses I can hear Job’s frustrations with everyone!

There are days when I get into a Job mode and would “like” to say, “But Now, just shut-up and  go away.” I’m tired of listening to Satan, I’m tired of listening to “negative nelliies”, I’m tired of listening to myself! I think that’s where Job had gotten to at this point. His friends had all but driven him to violence and he just wished they’d go away. But even if they went away, Job would still be there in his miseries. So what’s a fella to do?

In reading chapter 16 it’s another dissertation of doom, and Job is crying with voice and tears that he’s aged far beyond his years, he’s been forsaken by all and done nothing to deserve such agony. He has friends who are arrogant idiots  He feels as though he’s been trampled to death by giants and death will come as a relief, but he gives one last plea in verses 21-22,  “Will somebody please pray!”

O that one might plead for a man with God, as a man pleadeth for his neighbour! When a few years are come, then I shall go the way whence I shall not return.

Today may or may not be a “Job” kind of day for you; so you are either the prayee, or the prayer. But you’re one or the other. I think we’ll be shocked when we get to Heaven and God plays the movie reel of our life where we discover what we’ve been spared, or how we’ve been encouraged because of the petitions of a friend, or the prayer of an unknown. There are prayer warriors out there who utter the prayers of saints, they know not who, but  they know someone’s in need.

Prayer is a failed resource. I know it is in my life.  I’m the Job, I’m the crier, o woe is me! I know prayer warriors; I’ve called on them. But even that is a rarity with me because I want everyone to think I’m fine. Besides the “Dear God, I’m stupid,” theme song, my other one is “I’m fine.” It’s what I tell everyone who asks how I am because I either don’t  think they really care, or if they do really care and I don’t want them to know because I’ll then be their burden.

I may need to add a new theme song into the mix… “Are you crazy?”

Job’s friends did need to shut up and pray. It’s the one time we need to give lip service as children of God.

Listen, Intercede, Petition

Listen to what someone says.

Intercede on their behalf.

And petition God for their needs.

We’ll all need it someday, and someone will return the favor. Maybe someone you don’t even know.