2 “I know that you can do all things,
and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
4‘Hear, and I will speak;
I will question you, and you make it known to me.’
5I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
but now my eye sees you;
6therefore I despise myself,
and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:2 & 4-6. ESV.)
The Warfare Within
I remember when I first felt God pulling my heart to Him. I had grown up in the church and had a lot of the head knowledge but I did not have eyes to see or ears to hear. I did not have the Holy Spirit nor God's grace. It felt like there was spiritual warfare going on inside of me. (The good verses evil like that illustrated in cartoons where an angel is sitting on one shoulder and a devil perched upon the other.) Some days I was so close...I could almost feel the peace. Other moments I was immersed in my sin...still a slave to it.
I can still feel it tempting me, truth be told...the sin. "Brook," it says, "I know what would make you happy and it's not what you have now. What is missing from your life? What is it for which you yearn? You know what it is and so do I. I can give that to you. Don't you want it?" And, I do. But I'm not willing to give up God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and eternal life. I'm not willing to (as the song says) gain the world but lose my soul. (Yes, I know, to some it's cheesy to quote lyrics but oh well. It's a great line! And, it applies.)
A Slave to Righteousness
So, why do I get so frustrated at times when I see someone else struggling with their "battle" within? It is not as though I was never in those shoes. The feelings were so strong I can recall them as if it was yesterday when they had been present. I recognize the "warfare" when I see it...the back and forth, roller coaster ride. I plead with God at each downward plummet. "Please, Lord, save this person and the family that depends on him/her. May all of them be pleasing in your sight."
It might appear my prayer remains unanswered but 1. God's ways and thinking are not like my own, 2. His timing is absolutely perfect, and 3. I cannot see the heart (and THAT is where God's work is being done). It is so easy to question God. "Why, Lord, why?" However, it is insanely challenging to wait on and trust completely in Him. I wonder why that is? Do you know?
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
forever. (Palms 23:5-6. ESV.)