Cross Promotion: Job 29 and 30
He Thought He Had It
Job thought he had it all. He thought he had reached the highest promotion from God. He said, God's lamp shone on his head (what a glory!), God's light guided him in darkness (what protection!), his house was blessed (what security!), his path was "drenched with cream" and there was a stream of olive oil beside him (what laxity in life!). What promotion could be higher?
Job had the honor and respect of the whole community, from the youngest to the elders to the chiefs. He was the father of the community, deciding matters, choosing the way of life for the people. It was every pastor's dream--to be treated with the highest respect from his or her sphere of influence. Job was confident, it was the zenith of God's favor, nothing higher could be attained. "My roots will reach to the water, and the dew will lie all night on my branches. My glory will remain fresh in me..." (29.19-20). Or so he thought.
The Highest Promotion
But Job didn't know that there was a higher promotion. An out-of-this-world promotion. One that earth can never appreciate. In fact men abhor it. And he didn't realize he was up for it. Soon, his glory days on earth were crushed with sudden disasters and violence. When they came, he felt demoted to the lowest nadir of despair, deeming that "God has unstrung my bow (rendered his strength useless) and afflicted me...I cry out to you, O God, but you do not respond; I stand up, but you just look at me," (30.11 and 20).
What he thought was punishment and evil days were actually promotion from God. God was giving him the highest appraisal possible at the time. "Have you considered my servant, Job," God had boasted of him to Satan, "there is no on one earth like him," God had further said, adding to Job's high credentials. Imagine God himself calling you his servant, and saying there's none like you in all the earth! What a promotion! But Job knew nothing about this. As far as he saw it, God had turned his back on him and was drowning him in his wrath.
The highest promotion from God is the cross. And nobody appreciates that, not even you, except God. But now we hold the key through this revelation. Now we can see how God promotes one to the highest level possible. It is through the cross of Jesus. if you are in that down trend of life similar to what Job had, and you check yourself and see that you are not at fault spiritually, then cheer up and worship God. You are being promoted!
Cheering up in the midst of a heavy cross is itself a great act of faith that pleases God. In the end God commended Job for hanging on to faith, though Job was somewhat desperately troubled in the process. "You have not spoken of me what is right (referring to Job's friends), as my servant Job has," (42.7). God is so pleased with such faith.
And the good news today is that, we have Jesus in our bodies to act as shock absorber of troubles, while Job had none. We can do all things in Christ who strengthens us!
Prosperity promises are definitely in the bible, and we must believe them with all our hearts. God is going to prosper his true servants in the last days--as we are now living in the last days. But a higher anointing is the cross of Jesus. The real cross seems a curse to live out; even spiritual leaders who are near-sighted despise it and it's carrier--because to them a good life in the world is the highest blessing and favor. Peter deserved a "Satan" name-calling from Jesus when he had even the slightest mind for things that men valued.
Let the church start to recognize it and put it in the highest regard from now on--the cross promotion.
Real Promotion is When Everything Seems to Go Wrong and God is in Control!
My Jesus was performing wonderful miracles right and left. He was becoming popular--well accepted by the people! He and his ministry seemed to have reached their utmost potential in God. But wrong--the best was yet to come.
...When the people started hating Jesus and decided unequivocally to have him killed on the cross...when the disciples abandoned Jesus, each running for his own dear life...when Jesus was left all alone, crying "My God, why have you forsaken me?"....when Jesus was all beaten black and blue, unidentifiable because of the welts and sores and wounds and scraped skin and swells and blisters...when everything seemed to be getting out of hand, that was the time the Father was about to do the greatest plan of all and Jesus was getting genuine promotion.
How about you? Where are you now in your spiritual life and ministry? Genuinely promoted or merely earthly blessed?