Tuesday, April 29, 2014

What's the best way to attract Satan? Be unsure of your righteousness.

From a timeless age unknown to man, his legend is known the world over. Yet for all this man's fame, Job's ordeal is one of the least understood stories of Scripture.

Courtesy of Flick - Kevin O'Mara
Job was a righteous man. But despite his good standing, he never felt secure of God's love and favor. Day after day, he would offer sacrifices on behalf of his entire family... not because of any particular sins but "just in case" they sinned unknowingly. He felt that at any moment terror and calamity could strike his house if he didn't appease the God of heaven for their trespasses. You can hardly blame him, for he lived ages before Abraham and had no book speaking of the grace to come in Christ... only old tales handed down to him from his fathers who had heard them from Noah and his sons.

And sure enough, one day Job's fears were realized and was attacked by the most evil figure under heaven... the devil. The Scripture is clear that God did not hold out Job like bait on a stick to Satan. Rather, God upheld Job's honor and asked his enemy "Why do you care for Job?" (Click here to find out more about how God wasn't the source of Job's troubles). Satan had fixed his attention on the most righteous person around. Why?

The answer lies in the fact that Job wasn't sure of his righteousness - though he clearly was righteous. How sad it is to see the same plaguing believers in Jesus today. They are all under God's grace - permanently - yet they are in constant doubt that their sins will cause them to fall from grace. Are you in this position? Guilt is like blood to sharks... as it oozes out of you the enemy catches its scent.

I remember one day being tormented by guilt. And a brother came to me and said something that I will always remember. "When Jesus died for you, all your sins were in the future." In other words, my forgiveness was entirely settled before a single sin of my life was committed. We are in a state of forgiveness because the blood of Jesus is so powerful to work across time and ages. And that's why you need never fear the wrath of God. He will never strike you! That strike fell on to the Son of God 2000 years ago... once and for all, and never again will it fall.

Yes, Job attracted Satan by his guilt and condemnation. He had a heart that berated him for his failings instead of reminding him of his God-given righteousness. Though everyday he performed sacrifices - which declared ever so faintly the future coming of Jesus as the sacrificed Lamb of God - he did not perceive it. And when all of Satan's calamities struck this man, he blamed and condemned God, "Why did you do this if I was righteous?" (Job 40:8). This infuriated the Almighty who bellowed from the thunder storm, "O Job! Be quiet and stop saying such foolish things!"

Job thought that if he acted well he should be rewarded with good. And if he did bad he should be punished with evil; that's the essence of the law and precisely why Satan found Job a great target. If he could succeed to destroy this man, he would forever tarnish God and make future generations think that God is the source of good and evil. He would forever ruin and make miserable God's righteous children by permanently instilling the law, and the fear that comes with it, into their hearts. His aim was to make us afraid of God's hands... the very hands that were nailed declaring His eternal love for us! Thankfully, Satan failed.

Everyday Job saw a picture of Jesus in the animal sacrifices he offered, but his guilt so thoroughly tainted the few glimpses of grace he saw of Christ that he lived in constant fear not knowing that he was divinely favored. But you are not like Job. You know what Jesus did for you. You believe it. So now, it's time to live like it really is true. Cherish His mercy over you and think no more of your sins.

"Sin is out of My mind, son. Why bring what is forgotten to remembrance? Such is the work I have done for you and such is the power of My blood shed for you. Don't worry nor fear Me. I am your shield and My hand is raised, not to strike you, but to uphold and honor you. Grace is the window of My nature... look through it to see who I really Am!

By David Roiel
The Green Leaf Blog - Discover your inheritance!

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