I’m sitting in the local coffee shop with my computer, my Bible, and my coffee trying to think how to begin the end of this story when the end is only a beginning in and of itself. There really is never a proper “the end” with God because He’s never just sitting around doing nothing. He’s moving and doing and loving and giving grace constantly. So I guess really, I could go on with this forever with part 5 and part 6 and part 99 thousand, but I do feel like this little bit was meant to bring a bit more clarity and understanding to the covering God has given me and you so I’ll call this Part 4 and be done with this chapter…but most certainly not done with the book. Not when the Author is the Great I AM.
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned much about Job in the past. I don’t make a habit much of going back and reading previous blog posts (which probably I’ve also said before). I guess I should read back over them just to see what works God has done in me and in my life, and I suppose I will eventually go back and re-read some of them. I’m telling you this because if you’ve followed me along for any amount of time, you may find that I tell something I’ve told before…sorry about that if I do. If it applies, I’ll tell it even if I’ve told it a hundred times because I know in my own life, God unfortunately sometimes has to tell me stuff a bunch of times before I get it.
Okay, so back to Job. Job was a book of the Bible I always struggled with. Such pain and such loss. I could never understand how all that stuff could have happened to him considering he was a Godly man. He was obedient and the Bible even says he was upright and blameless, but still the enemy hammered him until just about all he had left was a few ridiculous friends, a nagging wife and the breath in his own body. And you know, we certainly see believers all the time suffer loss. I have a dear friend, a Godly man, who just lost his home during the storms in North Carolina this past weekend. Peeled the roof right off his house.
Now if you and I are both honest with ourselves, we will be able to admit that a time or two or maybe three or maybe even fifty, we’ve asked God just what kind of covering it is He’s offering. I mean just how sturdy can it be if all this junk can get through it? It would seem to the naked eye that the followers of Christ aren’t really any better off here than the rest of the world, no?
Well, that depends on which eyes you are looking through…man’s or God’s. Because man looks at the outside, but God sees the heart of things (1 Samuel 16:7). And God looks with eternal eyes. Our vision is bound by time and often very short-sighted.
So I was working through this thought when out of nowhere the words of Shakespeare popped in my head…a line from Romeo and Juliet. It was just one little line from the scene where Tybalt stabbed Mercutio. And Mercutio’s response was
Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch
He just got stabbed and his initial response was, hey it’s just a scratch. And it occurred to me at that moment that in the grand scheme of things, that’s really all the attacks of the enemy are…surface wounds.
Now believe me, I know that the accuser of the brethren can wound. He’s had lots of practice…he’s been doing this thing for a long time you know. And when he comes at you with everything in his arsenal, you will bleed. Sometimes he leaves you limping, exhausted, confused and you are just about ready to lay down your weapons but here’s the thing. No matter how spot-on his attacks are, there’s a part of you that he cannot touch. He can plunge his dagger into you, fire his arrows at you and they very well may hit their target but his wounds can only go but so deep before he will hit the rock hard armor of God. See I’ve always thought about the armor being worn on the outside…protection against all attacks, but it never really occurred to me just what that armor was protecting. God’s armor isn’t external…it’s internal. Ephesians 1:13 says this:
You, too, have heard the word of truth,
the gospel of your salvation.
When you believed in the Messiah,
you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit
We are sealed by the Spirit of God, protected and covered by the hand of God. And no matter how hard he tries, the enemy can’t take the joy of your salvation. He can’t diminish God’s love for you. The enemy’s purpose is to steal, kill and destroy for sure. Jesus however, came to give us life and if you’ve received Him, He’s sealed that life in you by the power of the Holy Spirit and nothing the enemy does will ever take that life away from you…that life is eternal. Jesus clearly said in John 16:33 that we would have troubles in this world…but He follows that statement by telling us to be courageous because He has overcome the world.
That word for being courageous in that verse is tharseó and it refers to us having a bold inner attitude because of the strength the Lord gives us…to live our lives in this world based on what we know in our spirit versus what we see with our eyes. And what we know is that the same power that conquered the grave is alive in us. The same power that shines a light into all darkness. The same power that overcame the world. Alive in us.
Walk boldly in joy, dear one. Regardless to what happens on the outside, on the inside you are a warrior clothed in the armor of light and moving by power of the Spirit of the Lord of Hosts. You will not be shaken.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
He is my fortress,
I will not be shaken.