Answer me, if you can

“But now, hear my speech, O Job, and listen to all my words. Behold, I open my mouth; the tongue in my mouth speaks. My words declare the uprightness of my heart, and what my lips know they speak sincerely. The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. Answer me, if you can; set your words in order before me; take your stand. Behold, I am toward God as you are; I too was pinched off from a piece of clay. Behold, no fear of me need terrify you; my pressure will not be heavy upon youJob 33:1-7

These words of Elihu have taken me to a place I had not anticipated. My first reactions were the deep truths I needed to examine, to assure myself I truly had an upright heart, and that there is confidence in sincerely speaking the truth as God has provided. Basically, as the Word says, Answer me, if you can.

And I have to tell you some of the examinations have been difficult, which led to my going about it with a negative attitude, expecting to fail in so many areas. I was pleasantly surprised when God was gracious to remind me that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Jesus Christ. But that did not take away from the truth that there were some areas that had not been surrendered to Him. Areas of my life I could call minor, things pushed back, even buried, because they did not seem to create problems. But the reality is there are no minor areas in sin. Any sin can be either an ocean or a thread of separation from God and the joy He has for me. It doesn’t mean He has stopped loving me. It means I am shorting myself of the abundance of life that a right relationship with God gives me.

As I share these things, I hope you remember the last two verses shared: Behold, I am toward God as you are; I too was pinched off from a piece of clay. Behold, no fear of me need terrify you; my pressure will not be heavy upon you

I am not going to go around pointing fingers and insisting action be taken. Why? First, I’m not God, I did not write the Word that guides us. Second, I too was pinched off from a piece of clay. But I can share scripture verses that minister to me, and that I hope will enable you to determine where you stand in your walk of faith. What you do with any revelation that is based on God’s truth is vital to the peace you have. Circumstances impact how we do the work God has given us. He is not unaware of what we face. But He is more than willing to help us live our heart’s desire no matter what life has thrown at us.

Live in, rejoice in, the truth in this verse: The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

Posted in God's Word, Life Lessons

Speak, I’m listening

I’ve recently finished the Book of Job as one of my yearly Bible Verse plans. Many years ago, we studied the Book of Job in a college humanities class. I found it interesting that this book was part of a secular class, but I enjoyed the study of it as literature and studied the many different art forms used at different times to share Job’s story. I found it beautifully written, and it was part of a significant final grade-determining exam. I confess, with still a bit of pride, that I aced that exam. The interesting thing, though, is that I was not a born-again believer then. God had chosen to plant seeds in fascinating places. As a reporter for the college paper, I covered Christian programs held on campus. Those articles got more positive responses because I took extra care with them, not even realizing I was doing it at the time. I took classes with a strong Christian lady who was planning on being a missionary and found myself listening to her dreams, her love of Jesus, and her desire for me to join her in life as a believer. Eventually, I accompanied her to some of the events at their denominational student center off-campus. I also took the same classes with a woman from India who seemed to find the Christian faith interesting, but was firmly established in her own faith. She saw I was safe to discuss our mutual friend’s faith, examining it and learning more as time passed. It’s almost funny to realize at that time that I confessed to believe in God. I read my Bible, I read apocalyptic books that kept me up at night, and I had unbelievable nightmares due to those books sometimes. I lived what I considered as good a life as I could so as not to disappoint God or my parents. But I didn’t factor Jesus as the promised Christ into my beliefs. There was only so much commitment I would take on. When I started listening to Job, there were several times I backed it up to listen again. Especially when I got to Chapter 33 and listened to all Elihu had to say to Job. So, because so much of it spoke to me, now an older and hopefully wiser believer some 47 years later, I’m going to spend some more time on it. Prepare for The Book of Job in future posts, my friends. There may be questions and/or statements to consider for next week’s post. If so, the questions will come sometime this week. Here’s a beginning to read on which the questions/statements will be based. Blessings – Vicki ​“But now, hear my speech, O Job, and listen to all my words. Behold, I open my mouth; the tongue in my mouth speaks. My words declare the uprightness of my heart, and what my lips know they speak sincerely. The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. Answer me, if you can; set your words in order before me; take your stand. Behold, I am toward God as you are; I too was pinched off from a piece of clay. Behold, no fear of me need terrify you; my pressure will not be heavy upon you. Job 33:1-7
Posted in Life Lessons

Our great guard

There are just some nights that a person doesn’t sleep well. I’ve discovered as I get older that it happens with more regularity. As do the aches that are sometimes the culprit in the difficulty in sleeping. So, God and I have some interesting conversations at odd hours of the night and early morning.

On one such early morning, as often happens, I turned on the Bible app on the phone and listened. I love listening to the Word of God, it is often richer and more powerful for me that way. Things I know I’ve read before somehow, suddenly, are like something new and fresh. The fun thing about times like those is that I hear exactly what I need to hear. An emotion, a concern, perhaps even a fear that was just under the surface is revealed and God gives me the answer I need in those beautiful words.

Sometimes, when listening to one or both of the letters to Timothy, I have thought “this doesn’t apply to me”. I’m not a preacher, I’m not a man. Then the depth of the messages in the words speaks volumes. Not only to the young preacher Timothy, but to this not so young woman who, like all believers, is a minister to all she meets. And I rejoice. I am comforted. I find peace, and yes, I return to sleep.

God’s love encompasses every inch of who we are, and what we need as His children. Reach out to Him, trust that He is waiting and more than willing to reach a hand back to you.

I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me. Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.
2 Timothy 1:3-14 (ESV)