Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Necessary Identity Crisis

God allowed Job to have an identity crisis. God loved Job and His love made Job special before the crisis but God used the crisis to restructure Job's soul so Job would have a capacity for fellowship.

Job was driven to the end of himself. The religious structures and disciplines he invented as a way of honoring God would not serve him anymore. He was brought to the end of them.

At the end... God showed him creation from His perspective...

"Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" Job 38:3-7

...and it goes on and on like that through chapter 38 into chapter 39. Mind bending.... throwing Job from the beginning until the end... top to bottom... into nature and then geology and back again... like a person pulling and rocking a cork back and forth to loosen and remove it from a bottle until it releases with a 'pop'.

"Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said, Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.

Then Job answered the LORD, and said, Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth." Job 40:1-3

Job's soul needed to be reordered and that was a traumatic and dramatic process. In it God elevated Job's thinking... his religion was gone... his hyper-spirituality was gone or greatly diminished.

Job was kind now... he was gentle with the daughters God gave him... his prayers had power. His soul had been divided from his spirit and he was blessed much more than before.

God loved Job just as much as He did at the beginning and Job had a capacity now to receive that love.

Jesus, the Living Word, will do this... not because He hates us... but because He loves us and sees we have a desire for more... He wants to give us more but we need to have "a shape" that can hold it.

We need to see the flip side... the eternal side... grace is on the eternal side of things... grace will settle us but at times it will "rock our cork"... both are needed to really be able to enter into rest.

Job couldn't go back to living like he did before... he couldn't endlessly sacrifice and worry... that life was gone... God gave him something new so he could live in newness.

We can live in newness in the same place... in the same life... restructured with "new children".

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