One of my greatest fears is that I would walk in the presence of greatness and not allow it to affect me for good. I have walked in your presence and you have deeply and profoundly changed my way of life and thinking for good, for the cause of Christ. No fear is found there.
Based on the Bible’s account of the conversation between God and Satan over His faithful servant Job, I imagine there may have been a more recent conversation around the throne room of Jesus that went something like this:
“So, what have you been up to lately Satan?”
“Oh, just the usual, causing distrust, dissention and spreading disbelief. It seems to be so easy to get people to turn their backs on you that I am busy just counting my successes.”
“Perhaps it is because you are only winning those who are already yours. Have you considered my servant Steve who has been faithful in all of His ways?”
“Yeah, but what about the time he…”
“THAT is under the blood, I don’t remember it anymore!”
“Okay, but why wouldn’t he serve you? You’ve blessed him and protected him and given him a faithful loving wife. But if you let me at him, I’ll have him turning from you in no time.”
“Ha, Ha, Ha, you think so? My servants know that no circumstance that they face is without My express permission. And he knows I would only allow it for his good and My glory. So go ahead, give it a shot. But you are limited to what I permit. You may attempt to instill fear and doubt and physical suffering and whatever other tactics you think might work but you are wasting your time. No one will ever pluck any of my children out of my hand.”
So I would imagine that Satan went out to do just that. He brought distress and disease into the lives of some whom Steve knew just to plant and seeds which might take hold. Yet those difficult circumstances just emboldened Steve to spend even more time before God’s throne in prayer and praise. Finally in desperation Satan attacked him physically and personally. Surely, this would cause an avalanche of questioning God.
Where was His protection now? Why did it happen to the faithful? Who would of thought that a good God would allow this? ”Surely this will bring me success once again” muttered Satan.
Yet he was unprepared for the torrent of prayer which was unleashed; not only by Steve and his family members but by the faithful family of God and those whom Steve’s love for God and caring for others had impacted for years.
Satan was hurled aside as the rushing tide of love seeking God’s desire and healing and glory. Yet he persisted. He would not let go. But he could not win. As he crawled back before the presence of the Lord, he was reminded of their earlier conversation.
“Did I not tell you my servants are faithful? In spite of all your efforts not only are they stronger, but look at all those that used to be yours who are strengthened and have believed because of their faithfulness. “
But then that is just what we imagine… Right?
Steve never lost the battle. His war was already won.
He trusted in his Savior to bring him home when his day was done.
I want to ask my friends what it is like to Die Many of them have gone to their mansion in the sky While I suppose some are in Hell for believing in the lie Still I'd like to know what it's like to die Was there a big fanfare when they reached the other side Was the light warm and welcoming where they now abide Did peace overcome their doubts and fears inside Was the truth they believed what they found when they died I want to know if pain was no longer a concern Did the the joy they sang of cause their hearts to burn Are they floating high above of the rules they thought so stern Does what they now know match what they had to learn Was there a grand entrance from this life to the next Are they questioning why they got there or are they just perplexed Can my question be answered without my my soul being vexed Or Is there anyway they could just send a text Did the things we seemed to think surely mattered most Appear to be the matters preferred by the Holy Ghost Or are they in another place feeling like burnt toast Maybe they could get a moment to send a face book post I'd really like to know what they see when they breathe their last and die Will they know me when I get there and will I crawl or fly Is it true that Jesus is the way, the truth and not a lie Is there time for me to turn from the place where I will surely fry But there is no answer coming from beyond the grave For it has sealed the lips of the fearful and the brave There is but one way to find the answer that we crave By faith we believe Jesus is He who will save
Ease, pleasure and contentment are the desire but not the order of the day. Paul asks in Romans seven “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? ” Another perspective is the old poem of opposing worlds:
“Two natures beat within my breast,
The one is foul the on is blessed,
The one I love the one I hate,
The one I feed will dominate.”
It is true that choices result in consequences. It is also true that great influence is often brought to bear upon our choices by someone other than ourselves. We are influenced and make choices based upon our perception of the benefit or sacrifice we find agreeable or at least acceptable. Everyone is aware of this. We all choose. Sometimes we miss. Sometimes we lose.
It is the norm for expectations to be expressed and often to be unmet. Our perception of our situation is good or bad based on our expectations. I want to choose to be pleasing. I want to expect good things will come my way. I want to perceive that all things are working in concert for my eternal good. So I want the overwhelming influence in my choices to be the Word of Jesus Christ.
Ease, pleasure and contentment are simply perceptions based upon expectations. And I expect I am good with that.