Friday, September 13, 2013

Not On Any Scale

On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate God’s performance in your life today, this past week, month or year? What nerve to ask such a question, but I think in some way we probably all have done this, maybe without being so brazen in stating it this way, but we’ve probably all done it in one area of our life (or more, much more). When we express dissatisfaction with our hand in life aren’t we in some way judging God as the one through whose hands both the good and the bad are allowed into our lives? This does not mean that we have to be pleased with evil, but do we fall into that sometimes subtle trap of judging God or rating His performance? Or maybe, just maybe, we are even viewing such things as God punishing us in some way.

I know when I step back from this I first must soundly proclaim that God is perfect in His judgment and that includes all that He allows into my life. I also know that we do live in a fallen world, and that God has chosen to allow even the ‘fallenness’ of things around us to impact our lives and even be used for our growth and His good purposes.  Then I have to recognize that more than anything else, I live in two worlds. As a believer in Christ I stand fully accepted and forever forgiven before God—justified in Christ. As a human, still walking in my body, I know that I still struggle with all that comes with living in this body, in this world, and which is still struggling with the desires of the flesh.

I see things in a very limited way, but God sees everything fully and perfectly. I have ideas about where I am going or would like to go, but God knows perfectly what will happen, how it will happen, and exactly when every single piece of the happening comes into play. I am limited in my ability to accomplish things, being dependent of circumstance and other such things to go in my favor. But God controls all circumstance and shows His favor in exactly the right way.

So, when I am tempted to rate God I need to stop myself and focus on who He is and that He cannot be measured in any way. Rather, it is I who am limited and who is in need of His perfect help, and as such I should look at these times of questioning God not as His failing but that my trust is wavering.

In the book of Job we find a man who lost much at the hand of Satan, as Satan was granted permission by God to afflict Job in severe but limited ways. Much of the book is the account of three friends who tried to justify God’s dealings with Job through some failing on Job’s part, followed by a fourth who while defending God’s right to act as He chooses, also appeared to be a bit angry in his attack of Job. None of these are really things that we need or even appreciate, and which can even lead to unwarranted feelings of guilt and rejection.

Then starting with chapter 38 God began to speak to Job. In God’s answering Job we read a large number of who’s, what’s, where’s and other such questions about Job’s ability to do anything that God had done. All of them demonstrating God’s power alone in all things.

To this Job responded a few times. The first is found in Job 40:3-5 where we read, “Behold, I am insignificant; what can I reply to You? I lay my hand on my mouth. Once I have spoken, and I will not answer; even twice, and I will add nothing more.” (Job 40:3–5, NASB95) John MacArthur, in his study Bible commented, “Job’s first response to God was “I am guilty as charged. I will say no more.” He knows he should not have found fault with the Almighty. He should not have insisted on his own understanding. He should not have thought God unjust. So he was reduced to silence at last.”

In Job 42:1-5 we read Job’s second response. “Then Job answered the Lord and said, “I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.” ‘Hear, now, and I will speak; I will ask You, and You instruct me.’ I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees You;” (Job 42:1–5, NASB95)

In this we find that Job repented of his judgment of God and submitted to the fact that while he may not know why God permitted such things to happen, it is enough for Him to know that God does.

Today in “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young (9/13)

Come to Me and rest. Give your mind a break from its habitual judging. You form judgments about this situation, that situation, this person, that person, yourself, even the weather—as if judging were your main function in life. But I created you first and foremost to know Me and to live in rich communication with Me. When you become preoccupied with passing judgment, you usurp My role.

Relate to Me as creature to Creator, sheep to Shepherd , subject to King, clay to Potter. Allow Me to have My way in your life. Rather than evaluating My ways with you, accept them thankfully. The intimacy I offer you is not an invitation to act as if you were My equal. Worship Me as King of kings while walking hand in hand with Me down the path of Life.

“Do not judge so that you will not be judged.” (Matthew 7:1, NASB95)

“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17:3, NASB95)

“On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?” (Romans 9:20–21, NASB95)

“which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords,” (1 Timothy 6:15, NASB95) 

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