Then the Lord asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.” Satan replied to the Lord, “Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God. You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is! But reach out and take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!” “All right, you may test him,” the Lord said to Satan. “Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don’t harm him physically.” So Satan left the Lord’s presence
It is said that bad news comes in threes but if you are Job then you know it can come ineven greater denominations. Job received four messengers all simultaneously. The first three described the complete devastation of his business and the fourth described the death of all of his children. There are days when it seems the hits just keep on coming. We try to separate God from our problems because surely He would never allow such devastation and catastrophe to envelope His People. But the Word of the Lord stands true, “All right, you may test him, do whatever you want with everything he possesses…” How could the Lord allow this to happen to His Beloved? Does such an occurrence really demonstrate a loving God who cares for His People? I fear the messenger more so now than ever before. Later this week, our son will have four more scans of his body. He will have a scan of his head, neck and pelvis followed by a PET scan of his entire body looking for more cancer sites. My heart can barely beat as I hear the pounding hooves of the messengers pressing closer each day. We are doing everything medically possible to halt the devastating disease and its progression. Along with a multitude of other people, we pray each day for God to perform a miracle in his young body. Why must we know what we are facing rather than remaining blissfully in peace that passes all understanding? Has our name come up at the Throne of God today? What is our test? Can we endure it? Lord, help me not to fear the messenger and be prepared for the message.
I Samuel 11:6-7 (NLT)
Then the Spirit of God came powerfully upon Saul, and he became very angry. He took two oxen and cut them into pieces and sent the messengers to carry them throughout Israel with this message: “This is what will happen to the oxen of anyone who refuses to follow Saul and Samuel into battle!” And the Lord made the people afraid of Saul’s anger, and all of them came out together as one.
Human beings love comfort zones. It is human nature to choose the known over the unknown. God knows our innermost thoughts and workings. In fact, God knows exactly what it will take to move you from your comfort zone into victory. Saul was mad. The Spirit of the Lord had stirred up righteous rage in Israel’s King. The people were fearful thanks to an earlier messenger from the opposing camp. God made Saul mad and he sent a message to the people that spurred them into action. They came together as one with Saul and the Lord. Victory would belong to them. God will cause uncomfortable circumstances and stressful situations to roust you from your quiet comfort zone of compromise. You cannot experience God’s Best and His Victory from such a place. So He will do whatever it takes to move you even if that means hard times and bad news.
2 Kings 5:9-12 (NLT)
So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and waited at the door of Elisha’s house. But Elisha sent a messenger out to him with this message: “Go and wash yourself seven times in the Jordan River. Then your skin will be restored, and you will be healed of your leprosy.” But Naaman became angry and stalked away. “I thought he would certainly come out to meet me!” he said. “I expected him to wave his hand over the leprosy and call on the name of the Lord his God and heal me! Aren’t the rivers of Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar, better than any of the rivers of Israel? Why shouldn’t I wash in them and be healed?” So Naaman turned and went away in a rage.
Naaman was an army commander who was used to the respect of others. He spoke the word and others carried out his orders. When he was afflicted with leprosy, Naaman sought the help of Elisha. When he came to the door of the prophet rather than experiencing an immediate healing and miracle, he encountered the Word of the Lord by messenger giving him careful instructions. It was not what he expected. Naaman became angry and was insulted that the prophet would not come out to meet him. Had others not encouraged him to carry out Elisha’s instructions, Naaman may have missed his opportunity to be healed, whole and restored. The Lord was not as concerned with Naaman’s physical condition as He was with his spiritual condition with a prideful heart. How many times do we become angry when God does not do what we want when we want Him to? Do you follow the Lord’s Instructions or become offended? God’s Ways are clearly higher than our own. His Thoughts are outside the realm of human reasoning. (Isaiah 55:8-9) When believers stop reciting this verse and begin to live by it, they will begin to experience the Lord’s Restoration. If you believe that God is doing something greater than we can see or ask for then our faith will allow us to do exactly what God says even when it makes no sense at all by faith. “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us…”(Ephesians 3:20) If your faith is in man, you will fail the test every time. But if your faith is real and genuine, you will take the Lord at His Word and do what He says even when it does not make sense.
2 Kings 19:14-16 (NLT)
After Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it, he went up to the Lord’s Temple and spread it out before the Lord. And Hezekiah prayed this prayer before the Lord: “O Lord, God of Israel, you are enthroned between the mighty cherubim! You alone are God of all the kingdoms of the earth. You alone created the heavens and the earth. Bend down, O Lord, and listen! Open your eyes, O Lord, and see! Listen to Sennacherib’s words of defiance against the living God.
It doesn’t matter who your message is from today, you have the right as a believer to spread it before the Lord and let Him explain it to you. He will direct your steps and form your response if you will give it him. Hezekiah received the letter, read it AND went straight to the Lord. He didn’t share it with everyone else until he knew what God had to say about it. The Lord tells us to test the spirits. (I John 4:1) God will speak directly to you if you ask Him to. He doesn’t want to tell other people your business. It is best kept between the two of you while a testimony is formed. Look what the Lord has done comes after the answer has been revealed, but do not keep God out of it until then. God desires an intimate relationship with His People. It is to be a union of constant confidence, communication and trust. When bad news comes, take it straight to the Lord, do not pass go or be tempted to collect the opinion of others. What does God say about your situation? After all, He is where your help comes from. Other people will let you down but God is faithful and true. Spread your business in front of Jesus Christ, He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. (John 14:6) He will show you what to do, how to do it and work out all the details for victory along the way. The messenger holds no power. The message is just a test! Jesus is your answer. He is the solution. He is the author and finisher of your faith! (Hebrews 12:2) Jesus was the recipient of bad news, too. Imagine an angry mob yelling, “Crucify Him” probably was not the news that He wanted to hear, but Jesus refused to back down and established faith and righteous for His People. He shed His Precious Blood so we could experience victory again! His Test became a Testimony called the Gospel! Even Jesus took his situation to God in prayer! (Matthew 26:39) Why shouldn’t you or I do the very same thing?
Isaiah 52:6-8 (NLT)
But I will reveal my name to my people, and they will come to know its power. Then at last they will recognize that I am the one who speaks to them.” How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation,
the news that the God of Israelreigns! The watchmen shout and sing with joy, for before their very eyes they see the Lord returning to Jerusalem.
As we watch and wait for the return of Jesus Christ, it is important to listen for the Word of the Lord concerning your life. It is important to maintain righteousness which is only attainable through Jesus Christ. We have no power over sin outside of His Precious Blood. God promises to reveal His Name to His People and they will come to know His Power. Who asks for God to reveal His Power outside of negative circumstances? Sadly, not many people diligently seek the Lord outside of their trial and tests. God is shaking your life to reveal what is shakable and moveable because His Kingdom is neither. That which can be shaken and broken is irrelevant in the Kingdom of God for it is neither.
Hebrews 12:25-27 (NLT)
Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking. For if the people of Israel did not escape when they refused to listen to Moses, the earthly messenger, we will certainly not escape if we reject the One who speaks to us from heaven! When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.”This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain.
It is imperative that God’s People listen for His Voice in the midst of every situation in life. His Voice is speaking but when doubt, fear and panic overtake us we no longer can hear the message of faith that He is speaking. The People of Israel could barely listen to Moses and constantly tried to escape the Voice of the Lord. These people would have chosen to return to slavery in Egypt if allowed to. It is human nature to embrace the known, but it is the unseen reality of Jesus and His Kingdom that leads to everlasting life. Falling back into your old ways and sinful life to escape God’s Divine Intervention in fear and doubt will never lead to life but always to death. God is shaking the earth. He is removing those things that get in the way of righteousness to establish His People firmly in His Kingdom. Do not run from God’s Message or His Potential Messengers but embrace the Power of God at work in your life today!
John 13:19-20 (NLT)
I tell you this beforehand, so that when it happens you will believe that I Am the Messiah.I tell you the truth, anyone who welcomes my messenger is welcoming me, and anyone who welcomes me is welcoming the Father who sent me.”
Faith makes it possible to take God at His Word no matter what the circumstances. Perfect love casts out all fear and comes from a deep, abiding relationship with Jesus Christ. Outside of such a union, you will not survive the knock of the messenger or his potential message. But by faith, you can overcome the world (John 16:33) and all of its problems through Jesus Christ. Do not fear the messenger but embrace God’s Word as it protects your heart, guards your mind and saves your soul!
Revelation 12:10-11 (NLT)
Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens, “It has come at last—salvation and power and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth—the one who accuses them before our God day and night. And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.
The enemy of your soul stays at the foot of God’s Throne asking for a shot at you. If God agrees, will you survive the test? You can by the Blood of Jesus Christ and the power of your testimony. A testimony is a personal account of what you have witnessed. You cannot testify of the Power of God until you have encountered God for yourself. God is giving you an opportunity to do so before the message arrives and your life is turned upside down. Those who take advantage of the opportunity to know Him more will be well-equipped for the battle for our heart and mind. What will you do if bad news comes? Live covered in the Blood of Jesus and encounter God every day and you will overcome!
Job 1:20-22 (NLT)
Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship. He said, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave.
The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God.