Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! Indeed, the Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?” Zechariah 3: 2

This is a strange conversation to imagine with God talking to Satan and saying such powerful yet odd things; although, I do admit that the oddness is not really so far from what I might expect from God, who does say and do some things that are way outside of my usual understanding. So why does God need to speak so sternly to Satan, and what is this little encounter really about?

It would seem that Satan has been going about his usual business of accusing people who love God of being flawed failures, hypocrites, and sinful wrecks so that he can convince us that we are of no earthly good to God’s kingdom and that we should just stop trying to serve the Lord, for we are just getting in the way. This is the sort of thing that evil has been speaking to people since those first whispered lies, and he hasn’t slowed his poisonous outpouring for even a moment since. Thus, when this is the sort of thing that Satan is saying to you or me, we need to consider what is true and what is righteous in our world and tune in our hearts to listen to the voice of Christ as He defends us, and as He provides us with the factual perspective that we need to function well as God’s children.

For the Lord is quick to remind us that we were once much like the stick that is in the center of the blazing fire with our substance being consumed by the heat of sin in our lives; thus, our future was one of waste and certain destruction. Yet, while we were still in the center of the fire, Christ reached out His hand of grace, and He retrieved us and brought us to the safety of His eternal presence; then, the Lord stands mightily before evil and defends us absolutely.

If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.

1 Corinthians 8: 2, 3


When I think that I know the answers and when I believe that I have gained complete understanding, I am frequently living in the moment right before a big disappointment, for my world often shows me how little of God’s truth about it is in my grasp. When my thinking is out there on its own, and I am feeling confident in what I am thinking; thus, I am not choosing to seek the Lord’s wisdom before I take action, I often find myself lying face down on the floor, trying to figure out who pulled that old slippery rug out from under my feet, and looking for the biggest towel that I can find to get all of the mud off of my chin. 


When I need to back up, go back over what I have done and said, and figure out how to start over in the process of solving problems and dealing with people, it is always hard to admit that most of the missteps and wrong solutions were caused because of my own stubborn failure to utilize the best resource available to me in the Spirit of God. 


How much better it is to allow that I don’t have the answers and to accept my need for wisdom that is deeper, greater, and more loving than any other form of understanding that is in my world. As I embrace my relationship with God and realize the depth of my love for Him, I am set free from the need to be the authority, and I am empowered to allow that my loving Father will lead me to all the knowledge that I require to handle everything that comes my way in life.