Have you considered my servant Job? – Job 1:8
The story of Job takes us right back to the absolute fundamentals of our Christian faith. Job 1:8 recounts God’s words to Satan:
Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?
God is actually proud of this man, of his faith and his obedience. The incredible thing is that Job is able to please God by his own personal faith, regardless of circumstances. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians reveals the heavenly and spiritual nature of God’s Kingdom and the part that we play in it. We, the Church are responsible for making known God’s wisdom, not primarily in this world, but to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places (Ephesians 3:10).
Job’s story goes on to show how even when everything is taken away from him Job is still honouring God with his life. He loses his family, his wealth, his health and even the support of his wife. Yet, the Bible tells us that: “In all this Job did not sin with his lips.” – Job 2:10. With nothing but himself Job was able to honour God and please him; Job was making God’s manifold wisdom known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places.
What do you think that you need to be able to please God? Do you think you must be in ministry in your local church, or on the mission field? Do you think that you must be doing something with someone? The bottom line answer is “No”. Ultimately your ministry must flow from a personal faith relationship with God: you and Him alone.
God can, and may allow everything that you hold onto as your ‘service’ to be taken away from you and yet still expect to see spiritual fruit from your life. If the arena of our life is in the heavenly places then this is possible; if we are working in our own strength to ‘do stuff’ at church we will fail miserably and feel a miserable failure!
We need to ask ourselves: “If God were to take away everything but me and Him would there be anything left?” We need to be sure of this before we do anything else. Job could say with certainty:
For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. – Job 19:25
Job was looking only to God: He was his only hope. God must be our only hope. With the psalmist we must be able to say:
Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. – Psalm 73:25-26
Only then can we begin to do again in the strength of our relationship with God and the certain knowledge that it is Him alone that we honour with our lives, whatever the circumstances.