I had loads of assumptions about what I thought God wanted from me as a Christian. I thought- Oh!! If I stayed in church and joined the workforce in church then God would definitely be pleased with me. I also thought I couldn’t wait to start making money so I could give God the kind of money He deserves- I mean, I shouldn’t be paying my tithes in peanuts. What if I told everyone I knew just how much God loved me? Wouldn’t that be enough? I had to make sure my actions were in line with God’s Words just so I can remain holy. Wasn’t that exactly what God wanted? He said it in His words didn’t He? Be holy for I am holy (1 Peter 1:16). So I thought, if I remained holy then my making Heaven is guaranteed. Now all of these thoughts were not wrong, they are the exact things that God wants. If He didn’t want them, I wouldn’t find it in the Bible. However, that was definitely not enough. I was a bit far from the mark. Have you ever put in your absolute best in something and just felt like there was one thing missing? Well, that was exactly how I felt after working hard at trying to do what God wants. Then I realized that I was just seeing Him as my God (which is not wrong btw). Just seeing Him like that was limiting my relationship with Him. If I only saw Him as a deity, then how could I really call Him Father? I had to truly search the scriptures to find out what it took to truly be a child of God. I didn’t want to go on assuming so I don’t end up just pursuing Heaven after death and miss out on living the reality of Heaven on earth. What God truly wants from me- above all else, is to have a genuine relationship with me. It becomes very easy to do all other things when we know God and He knows us as well. But the question is- how deep of a relationship are we wiling to pursue? Are you just going to turn around when it seems like your loving God has left you to suffer when indeed all He’s doing is boasting of the great relationship you have with Him? Sometimes we just get so engrossed in our services that we forget to hear those three words- I Love You. God says this all the time, but we’re too busy being a chorister, an usher, a teacher; that we never pause to hear it.
I had a conversation with someone recently about choices and how God doesn’t impose on us. The person really wanted to prove that God does take away our choices, so he asked, what about Job? For a minute there, I thought I had all the answers since I was actually reading about the story of Job. Boy was I wrong! I realized that God still had a lot to teach me concerning that story. The thought that came to my head after hearing that made me go back to the first chapter of Job and tried to gain a new perspective on God’s role in Job’s horror story (as a friend would like to call it). I realized that God just wants a good relationship with His children, because that’s how He sees us- as His children. God is proud of us just as much as our parents are, if not more. You know how parents can know their children’s abilities /personalities and can vouch for them? Well, that was what God did with Job. He wasn’t taking Job’s destiny away from Him, God was simply bragging about His child to anyone who was willing to hear (granted the devil was the audience).
Job simply had to choose how his life would turn out. I guess the reason we all assume it’s God’s imposition is that we are used to attributing people’s successes to their stories. The first chapter of Job simply made us know that Job was successful. We didn’t get details about how he struggled so hard to get to where he was at the time. The devil was counting on the fact that Job simply was successful without any sad story. He thought that at the first sight of problems, Job would deny God. Despite going through the worst time in His life- He chose to stick with God. This reminds me of a song that helped me through a difficult time as well. Praise Him in advance- Marvin Sapp….. The lyrics just touches me every time:
I’ve had my share of ups and downs
Times when there was no one around
God came and spoke these words to me
Praise will confuse the enemy ………
How often do we allow the devil re-write our story and actually win? Job was displeased with what happened to Him and He couldn’t imagine why God would allow that, but His story ended up being the way God had said it’d be. God saw past Job’s success. He knew what was in Job’s heart. I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind…. (Jeremiah 17:10). God made sure the devil knew that being successful at the first attempt does not make you an easy target, or that your love for God is dependent on your possessions; it just means that God has ordered a stress-free life for you(who doesn’t want that?). Job’s story is actually one of the best examples of God giving us the ability to choose. So, choose God irrespective of the situation you find yourself in and watch Him turn things around for you.