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What Rumors Have You Heard About God?
Have Your Eyes Seen God?
I have so much within me that I want to speak about - it's like rivers of Living water just bubbling up in my soul! It's funny because as a child, I used to go to Sunday school on a bus and there was always a Sunday school teacher riding with us and she would sing to us this song, (you might remember it)....it says:
"It's bubbling, it's bubbling...It's bubbling in my soul....I'm singing, I'm shouting...!
Since Jesus made me whole....Some folks don't understand it, But I can't keep it quiet...It's B.U.B.B.L.I.N.G.....! Bubbling day and night......!
She Saw God...
Her name was Sister Sandy Shortridge. I will never forget her. She was (to this day) the most godly woman that I have ever met. She used to smile so big and hug us soooo much, and she would sing so loudly even though her voice was very soft-spoken. I seen her cry before the altar after each service and then I used to go over to her house on occasions, with her children, and I would hear her in her room crying out, weeping before the Lord in prayer. I didn't know then, but I know now - She had seen God. I was only 12.
What did I know about God? Nothing really. Sure, I had heard a lot of things about Him. I heard that He created the whole world and that the whole world was in His hands. I knew that God made all of us, all the animals, and everything on the earth. I even knew that He had different names, actually so many names that I couldn't even remember all of them! I didn't know "why" He had different names...I just knew that He did. I had heard "all" of the stories in the Bible, matter of fact, I have read the Bible several times through. But to my knowledge, I had never crossed paths with God, I had never spoken to Him nor did He speak to me.
In those Darkest Times, Call Out to God for Help...
I was the One Broken...
I met Him in my darkest hour. I met Him when my heart was broken and my spirit was crushed so that I would know Psalms 34:17-18 for myself. So, that I would know that no matter how hard it was going to be to get past this one....that God himself heard me.
He heard me.
I felt as though my whole world was pulled from underneath me, literally. I had already went through a very long and drawn out divorce, lost pretty much everything....I lost my home, my job, my car was repossessed, and on top of all of that he filed for full custody of our two children. I didn't understand what had just happened. I kicked and screamed and fought off everyone around me that really was trying to help me, I just didn't want to hear what anyone said. I especially didn't want to hear what God had to say because after all, didn't He have the power to stop all of this non-sense from the very beginning. I didn't ask for this. I didn't even cause this. I was left with all of the broken pieces that were left after everyone trampled over them on their way out the door. Checking out. There was my whole life in little tiny pieces. I found myself sitting all alone with all of my emotions stirring up within me. Anger was present, jealousy, fear, shame, guilt, fury....I wanted to give up in that moment, I promise you that the thoughts that were going through my head were somehow silenced. I felt the Lord's presence enter my room. I felt this warmth all over me. I felt so much peace come over me and I heard the Lord say that laying before me were only two options, to keep it or give it over to Him. If I kept it, I would be bitter but if I gave it to Him, I would be better. I decided in my heart that I did not want to be bitter and angry and miserable for the rest of my life. Life was not over for me. There was something that I needed to do for the Lord, but I needed to be better. I knew that I had a decision to make, but mostly...I had a divine intervention from the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and He heard my cry and He gave me the strength to pull myself together and stand up on my feet. He gave me a new heart. I can honestly say, that mine eyes have seen the Lord. Whatever rumors you heard.....they are most likely true. He is powerful and He is a supernatural being....God is a spirit and those that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.
The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence
Job is about to meet Evil...
The Bible has a wonderful way of showing us different scenes in Heaven. If you were to ask most people about a scene that took place in Heaven, I don't know if too many people would mention this particular scene in between God and Satan. I mean, really? What is Satan even doing in Heaven? I thought he would be slivering around down in deep dark pits passing out lame orders, but not so. I think Peter and John knew all about this devil when they wrote this:
- "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." (1 Peter 5:8)
- "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy." (John 10:10)
Job chapter one reveals him as the greatest man known among all the people of the East. He is blessed beyond measure with a wife and ten children, owns an abundance of both servants and animals. He is known to host the largest feasts, as well as, the best birthday parties for his children. He walks with the Lord, as Noah did, and he is an upright man, blameless before God.
Now, let's go back to this scene, remember at this point, Job is praying and offering his morning sacrifice for himself and his children. As he is doing this, the scene quickly changes to showing us how these angels have come to present themselves before God, and what do you know? Satan comes right along with the angels! God asks Satan where he has just come from? (As if God didn't already know) he replies and says that he has just come from roaming throughout the earth.
**Sidenote - I wonder when we pray, do our angels take our prayers and present them to the Lord for us? Could this be what really happens when we pray and seek the Lord? Do angels literally take our prayers and requests up to God? I don't know about you, but I truly believe that these were Jobs angels that came to present themselves to the Lord. There are two references to others seeing staircases with angels going up and down, up and down.
- "And he (Jacob) dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it." (Genesis 28:12)
- "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man. (John 1:51)
It is very possible, but to get back to the story...God says, "Have you considered my servant Job? And obviously Satan had considered Job because he knew everything about him!
Satan says, “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD. (Job 1:11-12)
The Affliction of Job - 1st Strike
The hedges come down...
- 500 yokes of oxen stolen.
- 500 donkeys stolen.
- All the servants with the oxen and donkeys dead, except one.
- Fire burned up 7,000 sheep and all the servants with the sheep, except one.
- Raiding parties ran off with 3,000 camels.
- All the servants with the camels dead, except one.
- A mighty wind swept on his home, killing his 7 sons and 3 daughters.
"At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”
"In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing." (Job 1:20-22)
"What? Shall we accept only good at the hand of God and shall we not accept also misfortune and what is of a bad nature? In spite of all this, Job did not sin with his lips."
The Affliction of Job - 2nd Strike
The Physical Attack
Chapter 2 opens up yet another scene repeating the same scenario. The angels of the Lord come to present themselves to the Lord and Satan is there as well. God asks him the same question just as before,
"Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who [reverently] fears God and abstains from and shuns all evil [because it is wrong]? And still he holds fast his integrity, although you moved Me against him to destroy him without cause."
4 Then Satan answered the Lord, Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has will he give for his life.
5 But put forth Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse and renounce You to Your face.
6 And the Lord said to Satan, Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life.
7 So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord and smote Job with loathsome and painful sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.
In all of this, Job still maintained his faith in God. I believe that Job was holding tight to the words of the psalmist in Psalms 16:8,
"I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken."
Though he was broken and his wife told him to curse God and die, still he did not utter a charge or complaint toward God! Matter of fact, he told her that she speaks as a foolish woman..."what? Shall we accept only good at the hand of God and shall we not accept also misfortune and what is of a bad nature? In spite of all this, Job did not sin with his lips." Job 2:10
"I had heard rumors about you, but now my eyes have seen you." Those were the famous words of God's precious servant, Job. (Job 42:2)
I love what Job says about his disastrous situation....I had heard rumors about you, God...But now my eyes have actually seen you! I wanted answers but God was not talking, or at least not yet.
God does not speak to Job until chapter 38. He does not answer Job's questions, but asks him series of questions that Job would never be able to answer. I think that they were more retorical than anything, questions like.....
- Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding.
- Who determined the measures of the earth, if you know? Or who stretched the measuring line upon it?
- When I made the clouds the garment of it, and thick darkness a swaddling band for it, And marked for it My appointed boundary and set bars and doors, And said, Thus far shall you come and no farther; and here shall your proud waves be stayed?
- Who provides for the raven its prey when its young ones cry to God and wander about for lack of food?
God continues questioning Job and Job's answer to all of these things was:
"Lord, I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted."
You see, there is always a purpose even if we don't yet understand it. The end of the story ends with God redeeming everything that he lost. He blessed Job with a double portion of everything that he lost during this testing, even the ten children that died, God restored Job with ten more children! How awesome is God!
I cannot say that everything that you have lost, God has to replace; however, God is Sovereign. He's God and only He gets to make those decisions. One thing I know is that He lives. He is alive and well today and His promise to His children is that if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us!
May God Bless You Richly today and tomorrow. Keep your eyes on Jesus because our Redemption draws near.
A Message for Me...
Unlike Job, I was angry and didn't want to talk about it anymore with anybody else. I got to a point where I didn't even want to talk to God about it anymore. I just wanted to forget all about it, and pretend like it didn't happen. One day, the mailman had dropped off mail at my sister-in-law's house like he did everyday. I had just moved in with her and my brother shortly after my divorce. I was going to be staying temporarily. Well, apparently I got some mail at their address with my name on it and the mailman handed the letter to my sister-in-law, he told her that he had a message for me. She told him that I was not there at that moment, but that she would give me the message. He said ok and went on his way. She came and gave me the message sometime later that day. Well, I just thought he was going to tell me to put in a change of address or something, but I made sure that I was there the next day to meet him when he dropped off the mail. My sister-in-law said he normally comes around the same time everyday, so we are sitting in the backyard, and as he passed by, he looked over at the two of us and turned in started walking in our direction. I approached him and gave him my name and asked him if he had a message for me. He said, I know this may sound crazy, because you don't know me and I don't know you. He paused for a minute and looked directly into my eyes and said, "I saw a piece of mail with your name on it and immediately when I touched the letter, God gave me a message for you." I was a little puzzled as to how to tell you, but I must be obedient and tell you what God has put in my heart. I was curious as to what this message could be, and as nervous as I was...I nodded my head and said ok, well...what's the message?
He said the Lord says to not get too far away from the gate. He started to describe God as the Shepard and me as the sheep that has somehow gotten out of the gate. He said that God sees me and he loves me and that everything was going to be ok. He said that there was a purpose in all that He was doing. I just had to trust Him.
I was blown away from the message because why would the God of this universe be worried about me? I accepted the message and in my heart I wanted to come back to God. I had stopped going to church after my divorce. I literally hated to hear anyone even talking about God. I didn't even want to go to Golden Coral on Sundays anymore because everyone coming out of church would go there to eat and I would feel like an outcast every time. Uugh!! I hated it. I had felt like I was getting further and further away from God. I felt like God owed me an explanation. I also felt like I did not deserve what had happened to me. It was not fair. I felt myself in a downward spiral, but I was able to humble myself and cry out to God and ask Him to please forgive me for my attitude and my negative thoughts and reactions through this storm. I had to let go of the anger, bitterness, and hate that was trying to infiltrate my mind, soul, and my spirit. I had to ask God to help me to love and trust again. I had to cry many tears until one day, I started rejoicing because I had seen how merciful God is to me. And until later, the day the Lord actually spoke to me directly, it wasn't until then that I understood why I went through all of this. God was teaching me how to forgive.
This whole life is not about me. It's about Jesus Christ and how loving and forgiving He is. Though He knows how evil man is, yet His love for us is so great that he made a way for us to go back to the Garden of Eden. Back to a place where their is no evil, no liars, no unbelievers, no tears, no fears, no sorrows, no pain...He has become our Salvation! He is the ultimate saving power! He understands that in this life, trouble is going to come, but He has overcome the world! He has overcome Satan, that old dragon, the devil! He has taken the keys to hell and the grave and set captives free!
What rumors about God have you heard?
I didn't have any problems believing that God was real. I know that God is real. I grew up in the church. I have seen miracles! I have seen people healed instantly. I have seen demons being prayed out of people and physical demon manifestations. I have had many experiences with God and I walk and talk with Him everyday now, but then, after I had lost custody of my children to their dad, I gave up on life. I had no hope. I didn't even want to see other mother's with their children because it hurt me so bad that I couldn't have mine. Thank God that they were still alive and well, but to not be able to see them was, by far, the hardest thing a mother can ever experience. I felt helpless and I was missing out on precious moments of them growing up, which is something that you can never, ever get back. You can't re-capture that moment again, it's gone.
Through all of my trials and tribulations, I learned now that no matter what happens to me or my family in this life, it's just temporary. The truth of the matter is that this is not our home. Jesus has went away to prepare a place for us and that where He is, there we will be also. That is what matters, not where we are for eternity, but who we are going to spend it with!
The Bible Project has a wonderful short videos if you want to follow along with this study on Job ----->CHECK IT OUT!
I wonder how many times we charge God with wrongdoing?
Bible Gateway: The Book of Job
- Job 7 AMPC - Is there not an [appointed] warfare and - Bible Gateway
Is there not an [appointed] warfare and hard labor to man upon earth? And are not his days like the days of a hireling? As a servant earnestly longs