In the book of Job 1:10,11, there is a conversation between God and Satan. In this discussion Satan states that Job only follows God because of the provision and protection that God provides. It seems as if, in some way, Satan has noticed something about the followers of God. Satan has observed that God’s followers are more concerned about what they “get from God’, then how they “walk with God”. Unfortunately, the focus for many Christians, the messages heard, the books read and the prayers offered all centre upon what do I get, what are the steps for getting more and how do I use the power of God for my own gain. Perhaps a question that all Christians need to personally answer is, “Why do you follow God?” and, “What would be your response if everything was removed from you?”
In the book of Job, as Satan is challenging the reason for Job’s walking with God, God steps back. He removes His divine protection and leaves the tempter to his destructive activities. Job loses everything.
Could it be that in varying degrees this same narrative is played out in each of our lives? It would seem like there are tests which come before us to reveal our motive and show what really captivates our hearts. These challenges reveal the extent in which we walk with God. Do we walk with Him only because of His provision or do we walk with Him because He is the true God, the holder of truth?
In John 6:26 Jesus says to the crowds that followed Him that they sought Him because they ate the bread and were filled. He then challenged them not to seek only for the things which will perish with time but for that which endures producing eternal life. When Jesus didn’t fulfill the immediate desires of the crowds, the people left (vs 66). But there were 12 who continued to remain with Him. When asked if they too wanted to leave, they responded by saying, “To who shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
What if everything went wrong, if like Job, you lost your most important physical, emotional, and familial aspects of life. Would that cause you to pull away from the Lord Jesus or would it only cause to pull closer to Him? Would you reject Him because you did not get the temporary things which you wanted or would you declare like Job did in the midst of His difficulties, “For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God”? (Job 19:25,26)
Yes there are challenges and trials that come, even to believers in Christ Jesus, but may our confidence in Him increase so that we may boldly say, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” (Job 13:15)