1 May 2011
Have you heard of the patience of Job? I read the book but somehow must have overlooked it. Maybe it is too subtle for an untrained eye or maybe there is need for more enlightenment concerning this matter.
For example in Chapter 19 Job seems to be at the end of his rope with his friends. Job 19:3 (AMP)
These ten times you have reproached me; you are not ashamed that you make yourselves strange [harden yourselves against me and deal severely with me].
He also seems a bit displeased with God. Job 19:6 (AMP)
Know that God has overthrown and put me in the wrong and has closed His net about me.
He goes on to say about God’s dealings with him: He has walled up my way so that I cannot pass, and He has set darkness upon my paths. - Job 19:8 He is saying, in effect, that God has fenced him in and then turned off the light.
Have you ever felt that you are fenced in? Are the very things that you are trying to do to build God’s kingdom being be fenced in? Does it seem like the light that you need for your path has been extinguished?
It is nice that in this case God allowed us see behind the curtain. We know that by Job’s faithfulness he is actually being an advocate for Godin the high court of heaven. How could such a high calling be performed from such a low position? Does this remind you of the One who died on a lonely Roman cross? This reminds me of how much I do not know about God’s ways. His ways are certainly not like our ways but His ways always bring Him glory!
Isaiah, or rather God speaking through Isaiah, has some great advice when we find ourselves in the dark with no idea where to go next. Isaiah 50:10-11 (NASB95)
Who is among you that fears the LORD, That obeys the voice of His servant, That walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God.
Behold, all you who kindle a fire, Who encircle yourselves with firebrands, Walk in the light of your fire And among the brands you have set ablaze. This you will have from My hand: You will lie down in torment.
God wants us to trust Him! He shouts this on nearly every page of scripture. When we have no idea how to proceed He wants us to wait …. but to continue to trust in Him. We usually think, since God has called us to serve Him, if we are in the dark, something must be wrong with the universe or with the One who is controlling it. We seem to have the propensity to think we know what we know and what we know is correct. Even Job’s thinking seemed to be saturated with malady. But we should not be too hard on Job. Remember what God said about Job: there isno one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil." - Job 1:8b
It may also be possible that our darkness is not brought on by our God but rather by ourselves. Moses pitched his tent of meeting outside the camp. Do you have a tent of meeting outside the camp, away from the activity of decision making and strategy sessions and daily mundane tasks? A more difficult question: do you regularly find in your tent the presence of God? Exodus 33:9 (NASB95)
Whenever Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent; and the LORD would speak with Moses.
Of course we can each accurately say that we are not Moses, but on the other hand God has given each of us spiritual gifts and given us a calling in some sphere of influence. So let’s take another brief look at Moses and see what we may glean, what we may apply to our lives and our journey.
Exodus 33:15-16 (NASB95)
Then he said to Him, "If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here.
"For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?"
Moses expresses two very important perspectives in his commitment to God’s presence. First he understood that this is God’s work and He is the only One who gets it done. Moses knew that he could only carry out God’s calling if he was walking in the powerful presence of God. And further Moses knew that the people of God were to be different. They were to show off the power and righteousness and mercy of their God, the only God of the universe, to the unbelieving gentile world.
In what way would the Lord have us view these things related to the call to pray for revival?
In Isaiah chapter 43 the Lord again pulls back the curtain a bit and shares with us His plans. Though this was written to others hundreds of years ago, the Lord has given me the assurance that this is for us today. Isaiah 43:15-19 (AMP)
15 I am the Lord, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.
16 Thus says the Lord, Who makes a way through the sea and a path through the mighty waters,
17 Who brings forth chariot and horse, army and mighty warrior. They lie down together, they cannot rise; they are extinguished, they are quenched like a lampwick:
18 Do not [earnestly] remember the former things; neither consider the things of old.
19 Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. [bold added]
First, He tells us that it was He, the Lord Himself that brought forth the army and chariot and horse to oppose His people at the Red Sea. He brings great opposition to demonstrate great power with the purpose of bringing great glory to His name. He is bringing opposition today in the USA and around the entire globe. Do not be surprised if His opposition increases.
Then He tells us that what He did to bring honor and glory to His name at the Red Sea was in effect nothing compared with what He is planning to do NOW! He is doing a new thing now. We need to ask for eyes to read the signs of the times. Just as He brought tremendous difficulties to Job and to Moses with the expressed purpose of bringing Himself glory, He is doing that again today in our very midst. Do you perceive and know it? Will you not give heed to it?
His plan is also revealed. He will break the bondage of those lost in the wilderness of sin and make a way for them to return in righteousness to Him. He will create rivers in the desert for those who are dry and thirsty that they may drink from His rivers of living water. His plan is worldwide revival of a scope this world has never seen. Oh how we should pray for this revival to come soon. We must not pray for patience, we must pray for the persistence of Job. No matter what happens know that God has a plan. He wants to use you and He wants you to trust Him and pray. Let’s give Him the sacrifice of praise and the offering of prayer.
We have no assurance that our lives will end up as Job’s with great physical and relational and spiritual blessings on this earth. [ Job 42] But we must always know with unshaken confidence and the persistence of Job, that God’s justice and mercy and grace will have their way in God’s time. We do not have to figure it all out. We must simply continue seek His face, trust Him, obey what He commands, and pray with fervent persistence.
Psalms 27:8 (AMP)
You have said, Seek My face [inquire for and require My presence as your vital need]. My heart says to You, Your face (Your presence), Lord, will I seek, inquire for, and require [of necessity and on the authority of Your Word].