One of the things we must repent of is the judgments we have made against God. How many of us have believed lies about the goodness of God and doubted His bold and clear promises to love us and keep us and protect us because of what we have experienced? The disappointments, the prayers that lay unanswered, the pain, and delays that have bound us have come to steal away our faith and hope in God.
Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and him who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” Matthew 7:7-8.
Is God a man that He should lie? Does He not say, “… let your “Yes” be “Yes and your “No” be “No”. Because whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”? If this is the standard He holds us to, how could we even imagine thinking of Him not keeping His Own Word Himself? In Him all the promises of Christ are “yes and amen”.
One of the greatest temptations we will ever face and often do is to be tested and tried by the Enemy of our soul to believe that God is not good. That He has abandoned us and is mad at us. That He has left us because we are bad, or made a bad choice and sinned and God is punishing us through what is happening to us. We are tempted to make harsh judgments against God even as we are tempted to make harsh judgments against ourselves, blaming either God or ourselves for the hard things that are happening in our lives, never suspecting that this is the work of an Enemy.
Job was tempted too, by his circumstances, to believe he did something wrong. His friends pressured him to confess his sins so God would relent. They all believed Job’s calamities were God’s anger poured out on him, but that is not what the Bible tells us.
The book of Job opens with God bragging on “his righteous servant Job” “on the day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them” . “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” (Job 1:7-8)
Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing?” You have hedged him in and protected him and blessed him and increased his possessions. “But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely cures you to your face!” “So the LORD said to Satan, ‘Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.’” (Job 1:12)
Job remained steadfast in his upright behavior. Satan comes again, before the throne. God again brags on Job adding “And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause. “ Satan does not back down. He asks for Job’s skin as a final way to test and break him and prove to God that Job only serves Him for the benefits it brings.
Satan boldly requested that he be permitted to “test” Job again. He did not believe Job’s love and loyalty to God were genuine. He believed it was only given in response to a bribe. Satan wanted to prove God’s blessings were buying Job’s favor and obedience. Satan did not believe job really trusted God and believed he could expose Job’s shallow service and weak faith by testing him.
Job’s failure to pass this test was also designed to put God to the test in His ability to keep Job’s faith in the midst of this fiery trial. Job’s recanting of his faith would make God look weak and Job’s love for Him a lie. WE are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, (Eph2:10) Satan is always delighted to test our love for God to prove God is a fool for caring about us in the first place and that He is wasting His time in ever trying to find someone to love Him.
If Satan can keep us from loving God back, he has succeeded in keeping God in a position of unrequited love. If Satan can get us to not love God back, in essence, we have rejected God and made Him out to be a delusional despot for thinking we would love Him back. That is why our response to God’s love through accepting the Gospel of Grace and the shed Blood of the Son is essential to proving God is justified in His love for us and not a fool for taking a risk in inviting us to become part of His family.
In chapter 13 Job cries out, “Though Hi slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him. He also shall be my salvation.” (Job 13:15-16) Job held onto his faith in God’s faithfulness no matter what things looked like or how he felt. Even if it got to the place where he would have to lay down his life, he was still trusting that God would save him and be his salvation. Notice, Job, did not try to make a deal with God or admit to the charges made against him by his friends, that he was guilty and needed to confess to sin.
Job was not willing to embrace the guilt to agree with a lie or to defend himself because he knew God knew the truth. He knew that his friends were not speaking the truth about God. God did not do what they were claiming He did. It was the hand of the Enemy who was setting God up to look bad to Job and wanted Job to question God’s integrity.
When things are not fair, the Devil often tempts, as he may have tempted Job to become bitter against God. Why me, God? Why has this happened to me after all the good things I have done for You? Job’s faith was being refined. He was learning the difference between punishment and chastening, discipline and instruction. Job knew he had not transgressed in his love for God by sinning.
This trial was not about Job’s loyalty or his sin as much as it was about the Devil’s jealousy, about the Devils’ contempt for both Job and God and their relationship with each other. Through this trial the Enemy was challenging God‘s workmanship in Job, to test the strength and depth and quality of their love to see if he could break it. This is always the Accuser’s agenda.
Though Job did not know the “behind the scenes” conversation between God and Satan, he was confident enough to trust God to save him even if he perished. This is the kind of faith that brings peace and delivers us from the anxiety condemnation brings. Condemnation uses guilt, the feeling of or fact of doing something wrong, to get me to conclude that “I am bad because I have sinned. God never calls us bad. He refers to those who reject Him and His word and walk contrary to it as wicked and their deeds as wickedness. God separates our being from our behavior as a wise parent must do in many situations where their child gets deceived, and disobeys.
God knows how severely the Devil tests us and God permits it because he is faithful to keep us in the midst of the severe trail and to complete the work He has begun in us. (I Thess. 5:23-24). He also is using the Devil’s contempt for us to justify His blessing of us.
II Thess. 1:3-9 “We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other. So that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith In all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure. Which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God for which you also suffer; since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God will “repay with tribulation those who trouble you and give you who are troubled rest”. God cannot be tempted with evil, even though it is the Evil One who provokes God to permit him, the devil, to do evil, nor does God Himself tempt anyone. (Ja. 1:13)
We are tempted when we are drawn away by our own desires, (needs) and enticed (tempted). We are weak, vulnerable, and tempted to become fearful, anxious or angry. All of these feelings that are manifesting in our souls are not from God. These are the temptations Satan arouses in us to provoke us, to entice us, to tempt us to believe lies, to get us to agree with him, to use his solutions to solve the problems that he has set up in our lives.
We panic, we take control, we get mad and get offended and take the matters of justice into our own hands. “Then, when desire has conceived,” when in our desperation, (our need) we embrace, choose to use the devil’s solution to our problem, we come into agreement with the Enemy. That agreement is our yielding to the temptation which “gives birth to sin, and sin, when is full-grown”, (matures) brings forth death, (Ja. 1:14-15).
As human beings, we are incredibly weak, frail, and vulnerable to many things. The Devil knows this. He takes advantage of our situation and creates a lack, or puts pressure on us, not enough money or food or threatens our personal safety, then he proceeds to offer us a solution to “help us” fix the problem. We do not realize that taking his solution takes us away from faith in trusting God. He wants us to rely upon ourselves, which is the same as not trusting God. When we doubt the goodness of God because we think God is mad at us, because we have disobeyed, we are being pushed further into believing more lies.
When we are deceived (tricked) into believing lies about God or ourselves, we disobey God. We think that God is mad at me because I broke the Law and now He won’t help me until I learn my lesson and suffer. No. God tells us what to do when we sin in I Jn. 1:8-10. He knows the Enemy is a deceiver and will try to trick us into believing fear, even after we are saved. God tells us to admit we are wrong, and we believed the liar He tells us to confess our sin. Confession of sin cancels out our agreement with fear, pride, and the plans of the Devil for our life. Sin is always based on fear and is in essence, the rejection of God’s love. When we repent, we change our minds and come back to the truth.
God is faithful to “forgive us of our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. He is quick to forgive, full of goodness and tender mercy because He knows the relentless hatred the Devil has for us and how we are no match for his clever wiles and schemes.
So do not judge God that He is mad at you and punishing you to teach you a lesson and is withholding His goodness when you “ask, seek, or knock” because you are bad.
The curses that follow disobedience in Deuteronomy 27 & 28 are not anything God wants to put on His children. These are the consequences of people who do not follow or cling to God. If we live outside of the parameters of God’s law we live outside of the covering of His protection. Those who live outside of the law in the Old Testament were snatched up by God’s enemy who led them away into idolatry and then made accusation against them in the court of heaven. They were found guilty so the Enemy provoked God to let him punish them with curses and consequences for their disobedience and unbelief.
In the New Testament, Jesus fulfilled the law. He satisfied its demands. When he said “it is finished”, everything in the spirit world changed! He gave His disciples a new commandment, to love Him and each other and to “follow Him”. The new commandment He gave us was to forgive, and love, even your enemies. Jesus set us free from the demands of the law which says, “the soul that sins shall die” by dying once for all in our place. He died in your place so you and I could live as forgiven, confident as the sons and daughters of the Most High God, His servants who have been sent to declare His work and do His will.
Not out of fear but out of love. This is the kind of relationship that brings us peace and confidence in trusting in God’s goodness and love to answer our prayers and know that ”all things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). So we can come boldly to the throne of grace to find help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16) and know that we have the things we ask of Him because we ask them according to His will (I John 5:14-15)and His will for us is good (Romans 12:2).
Let us repent of judging God based on our circumstances and the long list of unanswered prayers and the lies the Enemy has told us to get us to doubt the goodness of God and who I am. Let us know that the Enemy’s whole plot is to get us to believe lies about ourselves, that I am bad, unworthy, nothing, no good, a failure, I sinner, etc., and to believe lies about God, that He does not care, is not there, mad at me, and punishing me. None of these thoughts or feelings bring peace or reconciliation in my relationship with My Heavenly Father. We must not let the Enemy’s lies determine our lives or the true nature of anything. We are caught in a war between God and Satan where we are both the price and the target.
Failure to repent for believing fear or unbelief only opens us up to being devoured by the Enemy. We not only can stand in a place of repentance for ourselves, we can also, as the authorized representatives of our generational bloodline, do business on behalf the agreements and decisions they have made that continue to affect us in our generations. We can cancel out those agreements with the Evil One and declare out allegiance and loyalty and love for the one true God and live in His power and peace.