Friday, August 28, 2009

2009 – Day 239.Aug 28 – Skimming The Surface

Passage of the Day: Job 11 … Linked for study …

My Journal for Today:
Okay, … here in Chapter 11, Job is confronted by the least sympathetic of his three friends, Zophar, the so-called Naamathite, who takes a theological approach much the same as the other two advisers … that Job is where he is because of some hidden sin from which Job has yet to have confessed and repented. But Zophar gets more specific in his counsel; and it is ironic that much of what he says has a basis in truth.

And Swindoll in his book, Great Days With The Great Lives and his devotional for today, brings out one segment of Zophar’s argument which bears some application study for us all. Verses 7-8 of Chapter 11 ask some very poignant questions for Job – and for us – to ponder. They are these …
7 “Can you search out the deep things of God?
Can you find out the limits of the Almighty?
8 They are higher than heaven— what can you do?

Deeper than Sheol— what can you know?”

Now, ... Zophar came at Job with a very unGodly, haughty, and better-than-thou attitude. However, his questions are deserving of consideration as we isolate them as to their truth in the context of today’s world and life.

Don’t we have a tendency these days, as Christians seeking meaning in this world, to do what I call “Christianity lite.” By that I mean that we try to reduce our Christian existence to a “to do” list of surface performance items. In other words, Christianity means …
1. Go to church on Sunday and put something in the offering plate.
2. Do a Bible study once a year.
3. Don’t smoke, drink, or cuss.
4. Provide for my family; and stay married. [and others]

And if I do these things, and probably a few more on my own list, I’m a “good Christian believer.” And in making sure we have the Christian “to-do” list covered, we’re not answering Zophar’s very pertinent questions. Job’s friend was trying to get Job to go deep and look at his life to see if Job was really living for God in the way God would have us live. And though Zophar’s approach was one of self righteousness, his questions are heavy-weight in their relevance.

When we consider what our lives are all about, are we going deep with our relationship with Christ? Or are we doing what the world deems as “successful” and “righteous” as Christians? And right now I’m thinking about the Joel Osteen or “word of faith” brand of Christianity, where believers are being lulled into pursuits of self esteem and self actualization rather than into disciplines which truly glorify God or develop us as Christians in ways Jesus Himself commanded in Luke 9: 23. Are we denying self, taking up our crosses daily, and really following our Lord? Or are we merely trying to do “good stuff,” thinking that what we think and say about ourselves is enough to be within God’s will? In other words, if we think better about ourselves, does that really make us more like Christ? Or do we need to go deeper and discover God’s will through His word and live out His way in this world?

I think Zophar has asked many of the $64,000 questions; and though Job was not getting the attitude he deserved from his friend, we all need to answer these question in light of how we’re living these days to see if we need to dig deeper into our relationship with Christ so that we might know Him more intimately and to follow Him more closely.

My Prayer for Today: Lord, help me to know You more deeply so that I might serve you more deeply. Amen

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