Where is your face?

I am not always a big fan of the book of Job. He had some pretty lousy friends who gave really crappy counsel. But as is the way of God, tucked in every messy relationship is a revelation of God, and a revelation of ourselves. Don’t even ask how I ended up at this passage. But it really hit me. I went back and read it in several translations.

Here is my take on it:

When we try to do it our way, then what we grasp and strive for is meaningless. Our impact on the world is very small. But when we do life God’s way, with Him as the source, the reward, the goal, the pleasure, then all of life is changed, not only our lives, but the lives of those around us.

“Give in to God, come to terms with him
and everything will turn out just fine.
Let him tell you what to do;
take his words to heart.
Come back to God Almighty
and he’ll rebuild your life.
Clean house of everything evil.
Relax your grip on your money
and abandon your gold-plated luxury.
God Almighty will be your treasure,
more wealth than you can imagine.
You’ll take delight in God, the Mighty One,
and look to him joyfully, boldly.

Job 22:21-26 The Message

Look at the actions required. Give in. Let Him tell you. Come back and He will rebuild. Clean house. Relax your grip and abandon. Take delight. And look to him.

Do you ever find yourself stuck in those Not Yet seasons? You know something in on the horizon but it’s not here yet?

Or you are poised in one of those Ready to Launch phases?

Or, perhaps, God has already Released you but you are not doing what He said?

Be faithful. Do what He tells you. Clean house. Let go of your notions about money and treasure. Delight in the Lord first and foremost. Turn your face toward Him. Not toward yourself. Not your pride or problems. Not someone else to “rescue” you. Just face him.

In one of the translations, the word God is Shaddai. How funny. That means All Sufficient. Lacking nothing. Looking to God is more than passive Jesus talk. It is intently listening and doing whatever He says.  There you find delight. And so does He.

 21 “Yield now and be at peace with Him;
Thereby good will come to you.
22 “Please receive instruction from His mouth
And establish His words in your heart.
23 “If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored;
If you remove unrighteousness far from your tent,
24 And place your gold in the dust,
And the gold of Ophir among the stones of the brooks,
25 Then the Almighty will be your gold
And choice silver to you.
26 “For then you will delight in the Almighty
And lift up your face to God. NASB



The Power Behind the Storm

Where is God when it storms?

Our region has really taken a hit. My particular neighborhood has been especially shaken. After the last storm there were trees down over every road surrounding our house. That is a total of five roads. A huge tree from our front yard landed across the road jerking our meter and power lines with it. A steel pipe was bent at a 45 degree angle. That is one heck of a pull. We lost electricity for five days and phone service for ten.  We also lost a lot of sleep and food.

But we did not lose our house. Or our lives. Or honestly, our hope. Once the storm had passed, again, and I was cleaning up the yard, again, from all the limbs and broken clusters of leaves, I asked the Lord, “What are You up to? This is really scary and You are breaking off Your own trees.”


It was all He said. Pruning. And it occurred to me, no one prunes the trees but Him. No one pulls down rotten trees or prunes His garden but Him. The tree that fell from our yard was a beautiful oak, rotten in the core. Who knew but Him?

But He is also pruning me, you, us in the storm. Uprooting expectations and demands. Trimming back the excesses that weigh us down. Cutting off branches that left untended would cause us harm in the end. And just as He provided for our family in the aftermath through generous friends, God provides mercy for our hearts in the spiritual pruning. Do we like the pruning? Nope. Do we need it? Yep.

God also uses the storms to display REAL power. More than electricity, He is power. And when we are faced with our smallness and are pressed into our very great need for His protection, this is a good, good thing. As Rich Mullins said, “we are not as strong as we think we are.”

Finally, the Lord had me meandering through Job. It is so beautiful how the Spirit uses His word to teach and reveal.  Pay close attention to the thirteenth verse. Whether for correction, or for HIS world, or for lovingkindness.  Never presume that you know the WHY of storms.  Always press in to know the WHO behind them.

Job 37
Elihu Says God Is Back of the Storm
 1 “At this also my heart trembles,
And leaps from its place.
2 “Listen closely to the thunder of His voice,
And the rumbling that goes out from His mouth.
3 “Under the whole heaven He lets it loose,
And His lightning to the ends of the earth.
4 “After it, a voice roars;
He thunders with His majestic voice,
And He does not restrain the lightnings when His voice is heard.
5 “God thunders with His voice wondrously,
Doing great things which we cannot comprehend.
6 “For to the snow He says, ‘Fall on the earth,’
And to the downpour and the rain, ‘Be strong.’
7 “He seals the hand of every man,
That all men may know His work.
8 “Then the beast goes into its lair
And remains in its den.
9 “Out of the south comes the storm,
And out of the north the cold.
10 “From the breath of God ice is made,
And the expanse of the waters is frozen.
11 “Also with moisture He loads the thick cloud;
He disperses the cloud of His lightning.
12 “It changes direction, turning around by His guidance,
That it may do whatever He commands it
On the face of the inhabited earth.
13 “Whether for correction, or for His world,
Or for lovingkindness, He causes it to happen.