There’s always a …
There is a saying: “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.” It means there is always a hook or a “gotcha”–a condition that prevents us from getting the whatever-it-is. ALMOST always.
Today’s Scripture passage seems to be one of those. It appears to promise restoration … with a hook. The hook is that we must live with complete integrity. And who can do that? Can you? I can’t. Does this mean that we will not get what God promises here? The short answer is “No.”
Though possible, we must understand a few things. One is that this passage is not a direct promise from God. The speaker is a friend of Job’s named Bildad. What he and Job’s other friends say is refuted by God later in the book. On the other hand, there is a principle supported by Scripture and action that God can restore things in our lives. Therefore, though this passage is not an authentic promise, it is not without merit.
Does restoration mean that if I lost ten dollars, ten dollars will be restored? No. It CAN work this way but seldom does. God brings things back into balance from HIS perspective. Is this a “gotcha”? No. This is how restoration works.
What then is the hook? The hook is like a trick question: We are unable to meet the condition. Our best efforts are failures before we begin. Are we then doomed from the outset? Yes and no. In our own efforts, we are. We are not, however, limited to our own efforts. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
This is the “gotcha”–in a good way. While it is impossible for us to live in perfect integrity, Jesus DID. Now, here’s the rub: We accept that He became our sin easier than we accept that we become His righteousness. Though difficult, it is not a question of belief but of ACCEPTANCE because there is no ambiguity in the words.
Jesus lived a sinless life in complete agreement with God. Because God sees us THROUGH JESUS to be as pure, sinless, and in agreement with Him as Jesus is, we meet the condition.
What do you need in your life? Restoration? Direction? Revelation? God’s intervention? Whatever it is, there is a promise or principle that covers it. You can be assured as well that where there is a promise, there are conditions. The incredible, amazing, hard-to-accept-yet-true truth is that Jesus has already met the most important condition–which means that through Him, so have we.
Because of this, know that your present circumstances are not permanent in God’s perspective. He can bring everything into balance regardless of where or how they are now. Our responsibility is to seek what we need to do in the process and accept what He has already done. We can do this. He made it so.
Today’s Seed™ Scripture and Prayer for May 4, 2023:
But if you pray to God and seek the favor of the Almighty, if you are pure and live with complete integrity, he will rise up and restore your happy home. And though you started with little, you will end with much. (Job 8:5-7 NLT)
Prayer: LORD, I am grateful that regardless of what has happened, You are able to restore what would otherwise be impossible. Help me keep my hope focused on Who You are, Your unfailing love, and Your unlimited mercy and grace. Thank You for the hope that You can make my end better than my beginning. Do whatever You need to do to make it so. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
(c) 2023 Randall Vaughn • All Rights Reserved • http://www.e-min.org
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‘Today’s Seed’ from E-MIN • May 4, 2023
About Randall Vaughn:
With 40+ years as pastor, author, teacher, worship leader, and songwriter, Randall pioneered E-MIN in 1997–one of the earliest online ministries and today the longest operating. His passion is leading people to deeper, genuine relationship with God. He lives in Alabama with his lovely wife, Karen, and their dogs, Hadi and Rayah. He enjoys hiking, exploring new tech, and “prayer walks”.
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