There’s a thin line between a performance to yourself and one to an audience, even an audience of one. It’s weird because so much is the same; it’s you, doing what you do best( or at least pretty well) but the first is like a self assessment and the latter invokes enough fear to cause your fingers to cramp and your heart to beat rampantly in your chest. What changes things? In that moment after you’ve performed your heart out, when there’s an audience we either let out a sigh of relief or release one of disappointment depending on whether our performance is followed by applause or the lack of it. How good we feel is decided in a matter of moments as people shower us in praise or choose to avoid eye-contact.
Lesson of last week: In life we live for the applause, the glory that comes from our personal achievements but as Christians the purpose of our lives is to glorify Jesus. Everything that happens to us from birth to when we bow out is for God to receive heartiest claps and the loudest shouts of praise.
My all time bible hero is Job. Job had faith. Not the kind of faith that is here today and gone tomorrow when the going gets tough but the kind of unwavering faith that has chosen to serve God no matter what, whether there’s joy in his heart or pain, whether he’s at a loss or period of gain. Job had faith.
If you don’t know about Job I’ll set the scene. Imagine your rich. Not ghetto fabulous rich that culminates in having a Louis Vuitton belt and an enviable shoe collection. The type that sees your children study at the most expensive schools in the country and pays for your ten bedroom house and puts the petrol in your recently shined lambo, and even sees all of your extended family with food on their tables and money in their bank accounts. Job was that kind of rich, and to top it off, he loved God. He knew where his wealth came from and served God with all his heart. However, his story soon changed when the devil started teasing God.
Here Job is, chilling in his richness and acknowledging his father in heaven that he’s dependent on, while Satan is roaming giving him major side eye and looking for a way to disgrace God. So Satan says ‘Listen God, you may think Job loves you, but I guarantee he’s just like any gold-digging human out there. As soon as you restrict his access to his cash, take away that family he loves so dearly, leave him in a place of desolation and grief, he isn’t still going to holla like he does‘ what God says in response shocked me forever and changed my perspective on life. God says ‘Oh you think so, ok take ALL those things away from Job and see if he doesn’t praise me all the same.’
So that was it. While one messenger was being the bearer of bad news and telling Job that he’d lost his riches another was arriving to say he’s lost his children, until heartache by heartache, Job lost it all. His money his loved ones, everything he’d ever worked hard for in this life and not only that God had commissioned it.
He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will return there. The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. May the name of the Lord be blessed!” In all this Job did not sin, nor did he charge God with moral impropriety. Job 1:21-22
We claim to live to give God praise but so many serve him in the hope that they’ll get enough things from God so that others will give them praise. Christianity is turned into a motivational too that is all about moving up in the world, but numbers of people lifting their hands depletes when worlds come crashing down. Last week was one of those weeks for me. I could see the world around me slowly crumbling and I had to decide if I was still going to seek God amongst the rubble. My logic was: You knew this would happen God, you gave me no warning and you didn’t save me, so why should I get down on my knees to praise you? My heart hurt and I didn’t feel like God was all too fussed. Just when I was about to have a sulk, my mind wandered to Job. Job wasn’t just attacked by the devil, his attack was commissioned by God, and when he rubbed his eyes in the midst of his own rubble, he didn’t see a God who had betrayed him, but a God whom he owed his life to.
So many of us lift our hands and claim that we’d serve God no matter what but are you ready for Satan to call your bluff and for God to agree. God was so confident in Job because God saw his heart, would God have the same faith in you being able to see yours? Are you in the faith while it’s rosy but ready to switch religion or give God the silent treatment as soon as things don’t go your way.
There’s a Newsflash that we can’t afford to miss: we live to bring God glory. If we also get a hand clap or some appreciation along the way then that is a bonus but it is not a requirement. Christ sacrificed his entire life for our sins but the moment we have to sacrifice our friends or our jobs or our families for him, it all becomes too much and we consider turning back on the road to him. But why? Glory belongs to God and we live as part of his masterpiece.
Let God’s will be done always, and glory be to him forevermore. Amen
Love Dani xxxx