I know this family. They are truly a remarkable family. The parents are so kind to each other and to their children. The Dad really is that guy who can respectfully say to other men, “Man up!” Why? Because he’s a stud. He’s provides for the family, prays consistently for his kids, takes amazing care of his wife and gives her opportunities to thrive in her own endeavors. He’s really benevolent and always seems to land on his feet. He’s not only emotionally stable and wise and godly in his behavior, he’s very successful financially and generous to all he meets.
What was sad is that they recently had a crisis in the family. His kids, it turns out, all have this hereditary disease that affects their minds. They are unstable and have disappeared from his life. His wife has quickly turned on him as things have gone sour, and he has become a wasted looking man. In all of this, however, he’s shown respect to God while asking, like God’s children shouldn’t be afraid to do, “Why all of this suffering, God?”
As I’ve talked with this man and men like him, I’ve been amazed by his constant honoring of God while being able to ask God the hard questions and trust Him with the answers, whenever, if ever they will be given to him. This guy, look at the picture of him early in his life with his wife and perfect nuclear family. Everything was going so right for him! He was doing everything right. What is God up to in his life? Okay, so I’m not talking about a specific person that I know, but this is the hypothetical of what many men and women fear will happen to them in some respect. We fear that we will more and more get our lives “put together” and then God will take it all away. We look to God for cause and effect, input and output, good consequences for good efforts in this life.
Imagine a community were we see God rightly! Imagine a community where we are less about comparing our lifestyles and more about doing what God has called us to do until we breathe our last breaths, living for Christ in His eternity rather than living for perfect consequences here in this life.
God loved us, who sin and make mistakes and don’t always have ideal circumstances and consequences, and He continues to love us. Our responsibility is to be like Job at the end of all the human monologues in the book of the Bible that bears his name. We should be repentant and humble, submitted to whatever the LORD has in store for each day, excited to serve God regardless of what inputs and outputs He gives us grace to participate in during any given day. The Old Testament Proverbs kinds of cause and effect principles are still very wise and still often true in our lives. We reap what we sow very often. I learn more every year about how to make my business more successful for instance based on how well I apply these principles.
However, if I don’t get the lesson God is teaching us through Job’s life, all of my success will distract those in my life. My growing of my business and raising of my family could easily be me trying to compete with the Mormon commercials by living my life to a brimming over with joy and positive consequences for my godly inputs and then saying at the end of my life, “My name is Torrey Moe, and I am a Christian!” In effect, I’d be saying, “You can have your best life now, you guys! Just follow all of my amazing ideas for living a full Christian EARTHLY life!”
There is where the problem lies. We are so absorbed in the activities of carving out an ideal earthly experience of life that we forget to be absorbed into the Person and Work of JESUS CHRIST. If we are caught up in worshiping Him with all we are, moment by moment, we much more readily spend our time SERVING instead of taking good feelings from what life has to offer. We are not merely positive thinkers, good people, seeking the good results of good behavior.
Men in particular must learn this along with me. I’m just learning. Join me. Let’s bend and break and serve and love in response to what Christ has done for us on the cross. Often the ladies in our lives are ahead of us in this area. Let’s be reminded that we have our eternal life secure in Christ, all who trust with their full weight on Jesus Christ as their sufficiency. So, let’s live with abandon lives that are surrendered, repentant in a daily sense, broken and contrite, ready for action in all humility, depending on God for our sustaining, as long as He sees fit for us to be of some use in His kingdom.
This week, I sit and consider the weeks of hard mental and emotional and physical investment into making my ship turn around so-to-speak with my business. I’m aware of how much investment I need to make into making my business get on its feet and start growing, more consistently paying down my business loans and floating so I can consistently pay myself and my team what we need to live. It will take some real investment of myself make this turn-around a lasting and strong one. It’s still a new business, so I can’t get arrogant and think it will float fine on auto-pilot. These have been humbling weeks for me, admitting I need to apply a lot more Proverbs principles than I thought I was applying in the last three years. As I’m doing this, however, I am deeply aware of the temptation to see myself as the potential Job one day, the successful guy who everyone admires because he’s gotten his business to take off and he’s a real nice guy and he’s real generous, etc…
I don’t want this for myself, not at the surface level. I want to be responsible, and I love what I do with my business. I do believe God has placed me here to do well with it, yet I’m so aware of what is most important for all of us, to KNOW CHRIST AND TO MAKE HIM KNOWN.
As I lay all of this out there for you, my friends, to read and learn about my life and what I’m seeing to learn from Job’s life in the Bible, I hope it’s helpful. We are all at different places when it comes to consequences regarding our actions/investments of time and resources and heart. Yet, we are all at THE SAME PLACE as believers when it comes to our standing before God. We all have the same righteousness of Jesus Christ, given to us when He died for us on the cross. We all, every day, have the same opportunity to GIVE instead of take, SERVE instead of seek other’s serving of us, and LOVE instead of being embittered toward one another, always defending and always evaluating each other and the lost. We have the opportunity to be deeply satisfied in Jesus Christ, that deep and eternal satisfaction being the true result of this great salvation.
Wherever any one of us is in the realm of consequences, may we all pick up at the same place of THANKFUL HEARTS every morning. May we rest in the grace of our Savior, and may we bask in the glory of the Trinity, amazed that we can worship this God in all of His perfection. He makes no errors. His GRACE is sufficient. We will worship Him for eternity.
This attitude of heart is where God wants us. We will much more steadily serve one another in love and through good deeds, not building earthly kingdoms of good consequences for our good behavior, but rather trusting fully in the sufficiency of our GOOD and AWESOME GOD.
In His kindness and friendship,