I have never known a darker time…and brother have I seen black in my day. The book of Job comes shining into my mind here, in what one may be tempted to call a “God-forsaken place”.
All that a man possesses is at times not in the hand of God, but in the hand of the Adversary, because God has never withdrawn that authority from Satan. The disasters that attend a man’s possessions are satanic in their origin and not of the haphazard order they seem to be. When Jesus Christ talked about discipleship, He indicated that a disciple must be detached from property and possessions, for if a man’s life is in what he possesses, when disaster comes to his possessions, His life goes too. ~ Oswald Chambers, When Disaster Comes
If I am cursed with attachment to anything at all, it is this wall I have been on for the past twelve years. I saw this coming in 2008, and have been singing, shouting, and calling out from the wall ever since. The book of Job is an amazing story about one man’s own tribulation, having been brought down from the pinnacle of having it all to losing it all as part of a bet between God and the Devil. The Devil wagered that Job’s love and devotion to God was attached to his wealth of possessions which, if stripped away, would lead Job to “curse God to His face.” Last week’s SMTU message was that we are ALL being tested in this, our darkest hour.
Why is light given to a man whose way is hidden, and whom God has hedged in? For my sighing comes before I eat, and my groanings pour out like water. For the thing I greatly feared has come upon (us), and what I dreaded has happened to (us). I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest, for trouble comes. ~ Job 3:23-26
The great lesson of Job is the danger that lies in wait for even the best of us when we interpret or assume anything regarding God’s judgement or plan for us. I tell you truly I am seeing these things now…these errors and grave mistakes in those I love and respect most, and it grieves me beyond words. Because these same friends of Job have come back to fill their shoes again, and attribute to God what has been the plan of the Adversary all the while, yielding to the wrong authority, and leaving us to face the wolf in this our darkest hour. Where is the perseverance, the character, and the hope in that? I have learned a very painful lesson by realizing cognitive dissonance is an equal opportunity destroyer and can only pray these dear friends are snatched from its grasp before Liberty breathes her last breath.
God speaks to us this day in my May 3rd Morning Maxwell “Leadership Promises”:
Trade Your Fears for Faith in God
Brokenness involves removing inappropriate pride and self-reliance and building healthy God-reliance. God tamed Moses’ self-reliance and pride in the desert, but to create trust He had to break the man’s fears. Moses dealt with different kinds of fear in his encounter with God:
- Fears concerning himself. God responded by assuring Moses of his purpose.
- Fears concerning God. God responded by overwhelming Moses with His presence.
- Fears concerning others. God responded by demonstrating His power and commitment.
- Fears concerning his ability. God responded by providing him with a partner, his brother, Aaron.
With his willfulness broken, his fears overcome, and his purpose affirmed, Moses finally placed himself in the hands of God. Life is filled with trade-offs. Moses sacrificed his status and material possessions to prepare for his life purpose. And then to fulfill it, he had to sacrifice it again, relinquishing the security and safety of obscurity in the desert. If you desire to lead, then you must make sacrifices. ~ John C. Maxwell
And then, from another Scotsman I so highly esteem…
The Spirit imparts a solemnity to our circumstances and makes us understand something of the travail of Jesus Christ. It is not that we enter into the agony of intercession, it is that we intercede for the people He has placed around us; we present their cases before Him and give the Holy Spirit a chance to intercede for them. We bring the particular people and circumstances before God’s throne, and the Holy Spirit in us has a chance to intercede for them. That is how God is going to sweep the whole world by His saints. ~ Oswald Chambers, The Spirit’s Intercession
Throughout the sands of time, through all life’s many tests both large and small, we finally come to rest on the head of a pin, in this our Darkest Hour. There is fear in our attachments to more than property and possessions. I can throw down with the wolf, because I have nothing to lose here. But false narratives can hold us just as tightly as any mountain of wealth, and the routines they lock us into can be harder to break out of than the strongest prison ever built. Father God, we pray in earnest for Your Holy Spirit to come in…here and now. Amen.