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Friday, July 3, 2009

To Close To Fail

In a recent sermon, David Wilkerson titled the message "GOD KNOWS..."

I recently reread the thoughts of Job in his hour of great trial and uncertainty. He had no idea what was going on. He lost everything; his family, his wealth and health.
Job had three men who offered advice regarding his situation. These must have been men close to Job because they were the only ones who would come near a man in such distress. People gazed at Job in disbelief. His physical condition brought amazement, horror and loneliness. And God was watching the whole time.

Job was like a chess piece on a board with Satan and the LORD awaiting the outcome of the decisions Job would make. He made profound statements in his hour of testing and trial. I have felt some of these emotions lately in my recent season of trial and testing; when prayers seem to hit the roof and bounce back into my lap. When it seems that God does not answer my prayers or requests; or even that the Almighty is angry with me for mistakes I have made in the past.

We are entering a season of great trial. God sits as a refiner of gold and silver and I feel in my spirit that anything that is not acceptable to Him, He will burn down to ash. In this process, as intense and confusing as it is, we must not lose our faith or lose hope in His love for us. The trials of Job are real. They were recorded for our encouragement and learning, so we will know how to properly respond.

I can identify with these particular words of Job: ( Oh that my grief were thoroughly weighed, and my calamity laid in the balances together; it would be heavier than the sand of the sea. My words are swallowed up, they sink low. The arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinketh up my spirit; the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me.

Oh that I might have my request; and that God would grant me the thing that I long for! Would that it would please God to destroy me; that He would let lose His hand and cut me off! Then should I yet have comfort; yea, I would harden my self in sorrow; let Him not spare for I have not concealed the word of the Holy One.

What is my strength, that I should hope? What is my end, that I should prolong my life? Is my strength like the strength of stones? Is my flesh as brass? My brethren have dealt deceitfully as a brook, and as the stream of brooks they pass away. Those who see my casting down are afraid; they were ashamed.

Teach me, and I will hold my tongue; and cause me to understand wherein I have erred. The speeches of one that is desperate are as the wind. Is there not an appointed time for man on the earth? Are not his days like the days of a slave? As a servant earnestly desires the shadow from the heat, and as a slave looks for a reward for his work, so am I made to possess months of vanity, and wearisome nights are appointed to me.

When I lie down, I say, when shall I arise and the night be gone? I am full of tossings to and fro until the dawning of the day. My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust; my skin is broken and become loathsome. My days are swifter than a weavers shuttle and are spent without hope.

O, remember that my life is wind; mine eye shall no more see good. the eye of him that hath seen me shall see me no more; thine eyes are upon me, and I am not. As the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away; so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more. He shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know him any more.

Therefore, I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul. What is man, that Thou shouldest magnify him? and that Thou shouldest set Thine heart upon him? And that Thou shouldest visit him every morning, and try him every moment?

I can identify with recent experiences some of what Job is saying. My battles are not your battles; although they are for the same purpose. To draw us closer to, not farther away from Him. It is not easy and will grow more difficult as the age draws to a close. Now is not the time to draw back from God. We are in the battle of the ages; the culmination of all things. The fires are being stoked as I write and the Refiner is at work preparing His children for what is around the corner.

No matter what happens in the near future, we must not lose heart.

Deep down in his heart of hearts, Job ended his ordeals by proclaiming loudly and unequivocally that " though He slay me I will trust Him..." and "yet I know that in my flesh I shall see God..."

Father Abraham said " shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?"

He is with us always; no matter the battle. It could be financial, besetting sin such as lust or anger or unbelief, it may be marital or loneliness; no matter the issue, as the heat increases we must draw closer to Him, and He will draw closer to us. We have a hiding place, no matter our circumstance. He will stick closer than a brother til the very end.

Look up! Our redemption is nearer than we could imagine!

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