We have all heard of the “strong believer” or even Pastor who cheated on his wife, got exposed for dealing drugs, becomes an alcoholic, etc… And haven’t you also heard that the person made the choice to sleep with someone else or to take that drug long before they ever committed the act? I recently learned of a friend of a friend’s “fall from grace” and I was moved by my remembrance of Job 1, which I read earlier that same day.
I thought I knew the story of Job well. I always knew Job’s reaction to the things that be-fell him was worship. But when I re-read it yesterday, it occured to me that I didn’t ever realize that he IMMEDIATELY worshiped. I guess I thought he questioned God, or mourned for a while before coming to the place where he could worship. But how encouraging that after learning that his entire life had been hit by severe tragedy and after being told he had not only lost possessions and servants, but also his own children whom he loved enough to regularly make sacrificial offerings for, his first response was to fall on the ground and worship!
I think this is so incredible. I can see myself getting to the place of worship after a week or two. Maybe. But after being hit with pain so deep in his heart that he probably could barely breathe, he falls on the ground and worships the God who could have stopped it.
But, see, worship was already in his heart. I don’t know that he had to make a choice in that moment to worship or not to worship. He already was a worshipper, so He did what he was. He responded out of what he was filled up with. The Proverb, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” sings the same tune.
Remember the WWJD bracelet craze of the 90’s? I have always had a slight issue with that saying. What would Jesus do? I don’t know what Jesus would do! I didn’t think He would turn over the tables in the Temple. I didn’t think he would tell the Gentile woman who wanted healing for her demon possessed daughter, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Also, Jesus probably wouldn’t BE in my situation, because I am probably in most of my situations because of SIN, which He never committed. So, most often, what Jesus would do is irrelevant. Even if I know what Jesus would do, He’s Jesus, the God-man; I am just (wo)man. I probably won’t have the strength or the God-likeness to do it myself. Getting side-tracked here. My point is: I think Jesus wants us to BE like Him, not just to DO like Him. He is more concerned with our being than with our doing. I want to be righteous, not just do righteous acts.
Because I have been made righteous, and because my being is Christ-like, as I am conformed into His image, being transformed by the renewing of my mind, I am able to be like Jesus was and is and not just do what He did or what I think He would do.
I don’t think Job made a decision to worship in that moment. Maybe he did. But I think he had made a decision a long time ago to worship. So that when he came to a moment of complete and utter bankruptcy, He could do what he had always been doing, and be what he had always been being: a worshipper.
We do what we are.
This is a hard truth. James says, “Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water?”
Be a worshipper. When tragedy hits or when you are in a situation where you have a choice to curse God, curse others, or worship, you can choose worship. Because you are a worshipper.