September 15

Job 1:20-22 (NIV) 20At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21and said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised." 22In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing

We can scarcely imagine all that calamity striking in one day, though some readers have had the one thing that was dearest to them taken. Losing all is losing all regardless if it is little or much. Surely Job's greatest loss was that of his children. To lose even one child is worse than imaginable. How do you react to adversity?

When we read Job's reaction, we see that God was correct in His assessment of Job. I've never seen anyone react without even a "Why God?" Job will come to that later. If you are wondering why Satan allowed his wife to live, it is because she told him to curse God and die. It was about to get even worse, as Satan does not wish to admit defeat and longed to turn Job against God.

Job's response was to worship. His answer is quoted at funerals, but it should be considered throughout our lives. We came into the world without physical things and we will leave without them. There has never been a moving van following a casket. The Egyptians tried, but all those treasures sit in museums. If our children go first, we will meet them one day, but our earthly treasures will go to others. Praise the name of the LORD. Praise Him for His wisdom in bringing us to the things that last and separating us from the temporal. How attached are you to the things that you will leave behind?

Consider: When we have a realization of the little value of earthly things, it is much easier to share them with others at the leading of God.

September 15

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NIV) 3For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

The world wages war against physical locations and troops. Those who belong to Christ fight a different battle. Jesus told Pilate that if His kingdom was of the world, His servants would be fighting physically. The Kingdom of Christ is in the heart, in the spirit. There are territories and enemies in the spirit that must be taken.

Paul tells us that we have divine weapons that are powerful enough to demolish strongholds. He goes on to describe what those strongholds are. Arguments, pretense set against the knowledge of God, and thoughts can all be strongholds in which the enemy takes cover. A stronghold is a defensive position. The children of God are on the offense. Since Jesus conquered death, the enemy has been cowering in these strongholds. How people cling to one sham of an argument after another! When their life is on the line, they drop them all and run to God, but when the Holy Spirit is gently knocking, the argument stronghold keeps Him out.

That is when we come in as servants of Christ and use our divine weapons to break down the strongholds. Our weapons are the same as the fruits of the Spirit. Love conquers all. Faith is the victory that overcomes the world. We attack every thought that rises up against the knowledge of God, whether in another's life or our own.

Conquering our thought life with the fruit of self-discipline results in a major victory. Once our thoughts are made to obey Christ, our actions will follow. All the fruits of the Spirit are from the life of the Holy Spirit who indwells us.

Remember: As we yield to His promptings, the strongholds come tumbling down.