Now that we have cleared our house (meaning us, of course) of all sin, then built up a defense mechanism to keep us out of it, we find ourselves with another brand new problem. Some things just aren’t temptation, and aren’t because of sin, and they are downright trials and hardship.
Many times we blame our situation on the devil, and he simply hasn’t earned that blame. They are just life situations that come from living in a fallen world, and that blame goes to Adam and Eve. Part of the issue is the very hardship itself, but the most important thing is how we respond to it.
Here is where we meet Job (pronounced joeb, not jahb. You should already know this). He lost his children, all his wealth and property, and by the end of the day, he had lost his health, too. But he still had his wife, and a couple of friends left. If he had a choice he might have just traded them, instead.
His wife’s loving words were, “Curse God and die.” Mostly because she was a blinding ray of freaking sunshine, and a special little snowflake on top of that. Or more probably because she had lost most of the same things Job had because, well, she was his wife and wives own everything.
His friends were even worse.
But Job responded by worshiping God in the midst of the trial. Don’t get the impression that he was some little saint of EWTN art, gazing lovingly out the window in a tapestry or bronze. Job was in serious heart and physical pain. Like John Rambo sewing up his lacerated arm kind of pain, or Terminator prying things from his body pain.
Of course he wanted to know if God was still there. We all do. But at no time did he ever actually blame God of doing anything wrong. Many of us do the exact opposite. Many of us are still mad at God for some perceived wrong we think He foisted upon us. But God has never come to steal, kill, and destroy. That would be our enemy.
The reason Job did not think to accuse God was the simple fact that he had prepared himself for just an event. This tactic would later be expounded upon by King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 12.
So today, as far as a day of fasting, things should be starting to get a little easier, and the body should be in the stages of saying, “Okay, I get what we’re doing here.” The little bit of clarity that you are getting should be helpful as we ponder what is going on. At the same time, we don’t want to forget the dangerous prayer that we started on Sunday and are continuing through this week, that God would search our hearts and find those things He cannot abide with. This is need to know information for us, critical to helping us trust Him in our upcoming hardships and struggles.
Many things in life are learned through muscle memory, and this in a sense is no different. If we continually prepare ourselves to respond with prayer and fasting, humbleness before God, and active worship and praise, we will doubtless be blessed with wisdom and guidance as it becomes necessary.
My own personal undertaking in this fast is to help learn and align myself with what God’s plans are for the ministry path He has assigned to me, and the future of The Jesus Underground- what it should be, what it should become, and where the targets are in the future.
Right now, the Underground is for nomads and travelers, people that live the way we do. But it is not only to be a source of godliness and a refuge for Jesus followers, it is meant to be a resource in helpful, physical ways as well. Much of what is growing in my heart is orbiting around that thought process, and now I am asking God to clarify that and bring it to fruition.
We have prayed several times for newer technology, for a laptop or other such tools, and one thing I used to say when I worked in the tech industry was that if you are not getting the answer you are looking for, perhaps you are asking the wrong question.
So we are now fasting for better questions to be answered by a perfect Lord.