Tuesday, January 20, 2009

When God Takes the initiative

"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" (Job I:8). Please notice it is God who brings up Jobs' name to Satan. The Lord takes the initiative knowing well the events that would transpire. The Lord calls Job His servant, Job was a godly man and a good servant. The Lord is honoring Job, pointing out the the evil one that there is no one like Job on the earth. Without a doubt He is contrasting the misery of the evil angel who so dishonorably fell with the joyful life of His servant Job. Our Lord was saying "You are the very opposite of Job." The joy of the Lord in the lives of His saints bring shame and torment to the evil hosts of hell. He asked Satan where he had been. The evil one answers "Walking back and forth on the earth." He failed to add "Seeking whom he could devour." Satan can boast but he can never triumph, for after Calvary he is a defeated foe. The evil one still walks the earth today,seeking to destroy that which is holy and good. He and a hoard of demons seek to undo that which God is doing in His Kingdom. The only thing that the adversary could come against Job with was a trumpeted up charge of hypocrisy. He says Job is a mercenary, that he only served the Lord for the blessings he received from Him. Satan asked "Does Job fear God for nothing"? The truth is no man can serve both God and mammon. Should Job have served God for the mammon he received, in time his heart would have turned to the mammon. The Psalmist wrote "When riches increase set not your heart upon them." Living an upright life does not mean you will escape the attack of the devil. Holy living can make you his target. He had been checking out Job, but God had placed a hedge around him and Satan couldn't touch him. God in His great wisdom may allow the enemy to attack us to fulfill His purposes. Paul had a thorn in the flesh, Peter was told "Satan will sift you." Job came under horrible attack from the evil one. The early church came under demonic attacks in the form of persecution. The truth is Satan is under God's control. He can do nothing without the Lord's permission. Satan, in essence obeys God. Many believers when under attack, gripe, complain, lay down and give up. James says this we are to "Draw close to God, resist the devil and he will flee from us." He will run like a scared rabbit when we are snuggled up to Jesus. How do we live through times of enemy activity in our lives. By staying close to the Lord, using the Scriptures, trusting the Lord and doing right. Oh by the way, when you are going through a difficult period of life you can count on three of Job's friends to pitch their tents in your back yard. Just as in the case of Job they have come to "Help" you. Their pithy one liners will add to your torment, hang in there this also works into the plan of God. Their time of growth is coming, they will experience their own three friends. Suffering, its part of the Christian life. Victory, its just around the corner because in Christ we are more than conquerors. Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.

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