I know that I have given Job’s friends a bit of a hard time. They aren’t being very good friends and seem to still be pushing Job … but that doesn’t mean to say that what they are saying is all wrong.
Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you. Accept instruction from His mouth and lay up His words in your heart. Job 22:21-22
I hope that Job’s friends mean well, but I wonder if Eliphaz, the friend who says this, was really saying ‘Submit to me and what I say’ but was dressing it up. I think we all have times when we want to manipulate others and dress it up in religious language in order for it to sound better. After all, if we word it that way we come out looking better ourselves. Eliphaz believes he is right and when in that position he wants Job to submit to what he ‘knows’. Eliphaz thinks that Job has done something terrible and GOD is punishing him for it, he thinks that Job doesn’t want to admit it. His advice is to listen to his self-righteous wisdom … and submit.
I am actually really glad that Eliphaz has worded this little section this way though because he is speaking truth even if his motive could have been wrong. How often does GOD use the words of someone else, often in what could be a worse state than us to reveal His truth? It is in His mercy for us that He does this.
Submitting to GOD is the best place to position ourselves. It is what we should do as the church – submitting to Christ as our head, leader and husband. But it is easier said than done! It is so easy to take control and tell GOD what we want and how we want it. Submission to Him means letting Him decide, letting Him choose, letting Him be in control.
This submission is not forced and isn’t just throwing our hands in the air as an expression of exasperation. It isn’t tossing the control over to GOD because we have had enough. This submission is willing and giving. It isn’t made under duress but is an offer of worship to Him. You see, this verse describes a submission to GOD that is at peace with Him. If we don’t have peace with GOD when we submit it is likely to end in snatching back control and rising above GOD in our attitudes.
It is so encouraging to see that these verses are full of promise. Submission with peace will bring prosperity … prosperity will actively seek you out! Prosperity – a successful, flourishing and thriving condition. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like it is worth it giving over full control and submitting!
GOD is big and good. If we are being obedient to Him we have no need to fight His ways. Even when things don’t seem to be going our way we can know that GOD sees the whole picture and is working all things for good.
Maybe it is time to just submit and be at peace with Him. My life is broken without Him.
How do we submit? Eliphaz points out two things: accept instruction from His mouth, lay up His words in your heart.
When I read about GOD’s instruction and words I think of the Bible. The words contained in this amazing book are authored by Him. Yes, we can receive prophetic words and encouragements from others, but this book is the best source and weighs all those things. This book contains all the instruction we need. And the advice … lay up His words in our hearts. Let’s not take this book for granted. Perhaps it is time to start memorising verses again, texting them to a friend, meditating on what is written.
I have slackened in my Bible Journaling over the past few weeks … I have plenty of very valid excuses for my lack. But it has taken its toll on how I think and feel. Maybe at the beginning of the year you decided to read your Bible more but as the weeks have passed you just haven’t got around to doing so. It is an easy place to slip into. Why not pick it up again today?! There are so many Bible reading apps, daily verses and read through the Bible in year programs that can help. I’m taking this opportunity to get back into reading my Bible and meditating on what GOD has said for my instruction. This is as good a time as any to stitch His word into our hearts, to make them permanent and fixed.
Perhaps you would like to leave a comment below with the verse that you are currently stitching into your heart.