“The Lord has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind” (11 Tim. 1:7).
Penny and I visited Lawrence Drive Baptist Church this past week and had an opportunity to teach to a couples class. If you are in the Macon area and not attending a church, it is a great place to grow in the Lord. The people there were precious lovers of the Lord. As I began teaching, it became evident that there were some present who were being oppressed by a strong spirit of fear, so much so that the Word was being hindered. I stopped, rebuked the evil one and then continued. We enjoyed a great time together. Let’s be clear, a demonic spirit cannot possess a born again believer, but they can and will oppress the elect of God if we fail to daily put on our spiritual armour. That is what happened to Job. Scripture makes it abundantly clear that God had placed a strong hedge of protection around Job and caused great blessings to come upon him (Job 1:10). Job and all of his family were doing exceedingly well, but Job began to worry that his sons and daughter’s actions were not pleasing to the Lord. The bible says that he was so worried that he continually made sacrifices for them (Job 1:5). Concern gave way to worry, and worry became captive to fear. Job said, “For what I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me” (Job 3:25). When Job spoke those words he was one hundred per cent correct, but when he said, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away” he missed it. This may come as a revelation to some, but the fact that Job said what he believed to be true did not make it true. Another example of this can be seen in the prophet Elijah. Elijah lamented, “I am the only prophet left in Israel” (1 Kings 19:10). It is true that he said it, but what Elijah said was not true. God spoke and said, “No, but I have set aside seven thousand men for myself.” Here is the truth. when we allow fear to dethrone the Spirit, our mind, will, and emotions become fodder for the enemy. It was true in the life of Job, and it is also true in our lives. Why did God give Satan permission to attack Job? Because Satan is the prince and power of the air (Eph. 2:2). That means that Satan has power and dominion over the earth and the first heaven. Satan stole his authority from Adam, and he will continue to be the prince and power of the air until Jesus makes his glorious return to earth. However, that does not mean that God is limited here on earth, for all power and dominion has been given to His Son. Satan has absolutely no power over any born-again Christian unless they are ignorant of their spiritual rights. Every Christian needs to get this Truth settled in their heart, mind, and soul, (your Spirit is already settled) Satan is not God’s messenger boy! God did not send Satan to harm Job and He did not remove Job’s hedge of protection. Let’s continue as there are valuable lessons to be learned from the life of Job ——–
Suddenly, Job found himself in the center of a firestorm. His wife was so angry at God and her husband that she said, “Curse God and die!” Three of his friends came by to assure him that the death and calamity that had befallen him were the result of God’s judgment. Job did not fully understand why calamity had befallen him and his family, but he resisted their accusations. Finally, a young man by the name of Elihu showed up who was full of zeal but short on wisdom, claiming to be God’s mouthpiece. In essence he said, “Job, you keep on saying that you are not guilty, but you are guilty and you are getting what you deserve.” With family and friends like that, who needs enemies? What would we have done? Would we fall into the error that Job did when he said, “God gives and God takes away? It is beyond sad that many Christians are still convinced that God will send sickness and disease to teach us spiritual lessons. Can we learn valuable lessons when bad things come into our lives? Yes we can, but understanding that God is for us and not against us is huge. When we are under attack is not the best time to learn how to fight spiritual warfare. Job was confused, but he did the very thing that would ultimately give him victory – – – – –
He continued to seek the face of the Lord, and the Lord did not disappoint. In chapters 38-41 God began to reveal Himself to Job and He will do the same for us. Job finally got a revelation of God’s unconditional love for him. With that revelation came the understanding that it was not God who was killing, stealing, and destroying his life (John 10:10) but Satan, his adversary. Job then said, “Therefore, I have declared that which I did not understand” I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You; Therefore I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:3-5). Do you know why so many Christians believe that God teaches us with death, poverty, and disease? They received by the hearing of the ear, but they have not spent sufficient time studying scripture and seeking the face of the Lord for themselves.
There are lessons to be learned here: Lesson number one is that God is not the one who sends bad things into our lives to teach us something. He sent His Son Jesus to show us how good our heavenly Father is. Jesus said to Phillip, “Phillip, if you have seen me, you have seen the Father” (John 14:9). Lesson number two is that we should pick our friends very wisely. If their conversation rarely centers on spiritual things you many consider finding new friends. Lesson number three is that no matter how great the storm or how great the disappointment, we should never stop seeking the face of the Lord.
Of this we can all agree: God gives us eternal salvation and takes away our sin.
Over the next several weeks, we will take a look at some end time prophecies. Church, the last one hundred years have seen the fulfillment of some important Old Testament prophecies. Jesus himself validated the prophets and gave us great insight into past, present, and future events. Are you aware that the “Catching up of the Church” and the “Lord’s Return” are two separate events? Are you aware that the Church Age will soon come to an end? As Jesus has promised, the trumpet will sound, many graves will empty, and we who are alive will be caught up in the air to meet Him? Jesus will command the control tower as Christians fill the airways on their way to heaven – – – Got your ticket?