Whose Job Was It? (Part 2)

As I mentioned in the previous post, Job’s story is included in the Bible, so that we can profit from his experiences and not repeat the same mistakes (1 Corinthians 10:6).

In the last post, I shared how our actions have spiritual implications, which in turn would determine the quality of our experiences in life. This time around, we’d be examining more actions that clearly mark out Job as the architect of his predicaments.

First off, from Job’s story, it is crystal clear that the man was more sin-conscious than he was God-conscious. The Bible records that the first thing Job did each day was to offer burnt offerings in case his children had sinned and cursed God ‘in their hearts’ (Job 1:4 -5).

Job didn’t offer sacrifices of thanksgiving or those of praise.

He didn’t meditate on the awesomeness of God.

Oddest of all, he didn’t even wait for his children to commit the sins first, before he started worrying about offering sacrifices for them!

You have to understand that since Job lived in the patriachal times – long before the advent of the law (Genesis 46:13), he wasn’t obligated to have offered sacrifices solely for sins. After all, Abel, Noah and Abraham, all offered burnt offerings for diverse reasons other than sin. Ironically, Noah got drunk and Abraham lied that Sarah was his sister, yet not once did the Bible record that these men offered sacrifices for sins.

Why?

These men were more God-conscious than they were sin-conscious. Noah found grace in God’s eyes at all times, while the Bible calls Abraham a Friend of God. The sins of these men could have easily given the devil a foothold in their lives, but, listen, nothing can beset a God-conscious man. He is unbeatable!

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating for a riotous lifestyle where we don’t give a rip about God and His Holy Standards. But what I’m really against is becoming so ‘over-religiously’ paranoid about sin that we start treading that fine line between sanity and outright madness.

The truth is that you’d never be able to overcome sin by focusing on sin. The effect of that would always be counterproductive. That’s why Ephesians 5:16 has got to be one of my favorite verses in the Bible. It says,

“…walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh”

It’s simple.

The only way to overcome sin is to shift your focus to walking in the Spirit. In other words, be Spirit-conscious, be Word-conscious, and then, as a result, you’d not fulfil the lusts of the flesh.

While Job’s intentions are good, it’s clear that his decision to be sin-conscious, rather than God-conscious somehow kickstarted spiritual events that led to his unpalatable experiences.

Secondly, Job had the problem of speculative imagination, or as Psalms 19:13 puts it, ‘presumptuousness’ (i.e, using your imagination to picture bad things based on wrong or incomplete information). When you observe his practice of offering sin offerings every morning, you’d see speculative imagination at work.

I mean, how could Job have known that his children may have been nursing the idea of cursing God?

Well, it takes an actively misused imagination to do that!

You cannot have constant and continual evil imaginations and then expect good to happen to you. Proverbs 24:14b says, ‘…and thy expectation shall not be cut off’.

Job later says plainly in Job 3:25, ‘For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me’.

It’s my belief that Job’s continual choice to be more sin-conscious, than God-conscious, somehow led him to have an expectation of the worst from God someday. You can see that much when Job tells his wife: “…shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?”

What a statement!

Because Job was so sin-conscious, his theology was totally messed up. The devil was able to convince Job that all his sufferings were the handywork of the Loving Father!

Listen, God is a good God. He’s all together wonderful, loving and caring for His children. He would never use sickness, poverty or tragedies to ‘teach His children sense’.

No! No!! No!!!

It’s inconsistent with His very Nature!

However, if you’re sin-conscious, you’d never see this side of God. Instead, you’d continue to see yourself as a miserable sinner that God’s out to get. And once this happens, you’d gullibly accept every ware of tares that the devil brings at your doorstep – all in the name of receiving the punishment for your sins.

Friend, Jesus has paid the price in full for your sins. You don’t have to believe the lies of the devil and continue to ‘serve punishment’ for your sins. Instead, shift your focus away from your sins to Jesus’ grace. Shift your attention to God’s deep love for you. And as you do so, you’d find that you’d can have an expectation of good experiences in your life, resulting in an exponential increase in the quality of your life and all that’s associated with you!

God bless you.

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Whose Job Was It? (Part 1)

The Book of Job introduces Job as a perfect and upright man who feared God and eschewed evil. In a generation of men whose imagination constantly churned out evil, Job was God’s Quintessential Man. Yet, for years, I struggled with the notion that the innocent Job had to suffer so much hurt and pain. At that time, it seemed to me that Job was caught up within a ‘power tussle’ between God and the devil. It looked so unfair that Job was treated as the proverbial grass that suffered while two elephants were at war. The picture I had in my mind was that Job was so helpless….

Or was he?

Upon a closer examination of the story from a pair of unbiased, non-religious eyes, we’d find that neither God, nor satan was the primitive cause of Job’s predicament!

As it were, Job was the unwitting designer who took up the thankless job of orchestrating his own misery.

How?

Well, to understand the ‘how’, we have to appreciate the reality that all our actions have spritual significances. All through Job 1 and 2, we can observe the narrative seamlessly switching from Job’s actions and activities in the physical realm; and the spiritual realities of God, angels and the devil. This is because Job was doing some things in the physical realm that was having spiritual implications.

You see, the causal realm is the spiritual realm. That’s the Ultimate reality that gives rise to our individual apparent realities. 2 Corinthians 4:18 tells us that the seen physical realm is temporal, time-bound, while the unseen spiritual realm is eternal.

While it is true that the unseen gives rise to the seen, our actions in the physical realm trigger events in the spiritual realm that would ultimately determine the quality of our next experiences in the physical realm. These experiences, in turn would cause us to take further actions and decisions in the physical realm that have spiritual significances which would in turn determine the quality of our next experiences, and the cycle repeats itself again and again for the rest of our lives.

This is why Romans 6:16a tells us this:

“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey….”

God is Love. And that’s why He has given us our Freewill. He would never, ever force Himself on you. Revelations 3:20 shows man’s Owner and Creator, at the door of man’s heart, saying, almost respectfully, ‘Behold, I…knock…’

If you decide to use the freewill God has given you to choose to yield yourself to Him through your thoughts, decisions and actions, it would cause a series of spiritual events that would ‘allow’ God the right of way to make your next experience in the physical and prosperous one.

Conversely, if you choose to yield your members to the devil, you’d give him the right of way to make your next experiences in the natural to be deleterious!

Job’s story is included in the Bible, so that we can profit from his experiences and not repeat the same mistakes (1 Corinthians 10:6). I’ve shared one thing that Job didn’t understand, there are still others I’d like to share in the continuation of this truth in the next post.

Remain blessed.