Another Lesson from Job

In my last post I pondered what might have happened if Job had asked God for deliverance rather than blaming Him for his troubles.

I’m reading his friends’ responses to Job and I’m reminded of my early experiences in the Charismatic Movement. When prayers weren’t answered, many times the explanations offered were “You just don’t have enough faith”, or ‘There must be some unconfessed sin in your life,” as Job’s friends said.

If you believe that those are the primary reasons someone else’s prayers aren’t answered, you don’t understand God’s grace and mercy. First, Jesus said all you need is faith the size of a mustard seed to move mountains (Matt 17:20). It’s not the level of your faith, but the level of His faithfulness that extends grace to us when we don’t deserve it. If your prayers aren’t answered, perhaps it’s because you “ask with the wrong motives (James 4:3). Or, it may be the answer you think is “No” is actually “Not yet”. Bottom line regarding “enough faith” is not evaluating your level of faith, but trusting His faithfulness, understanding He knows the end from the beginning, and is working things for your good (Romans 8:28). That’s grace.

The “unconfessed sin” accusation fails to recognize God’s mercy. Yes, if you are living in continued willful sin you have a sin problem, and you are blocking the flow of God’s blessing for your life. But to point a finger of accusation, telling them they “must have some unconfessed sin in their lives” is self-righteous and judgmental. We probably all have some unconfessed sin—sin either forgotten or unrealized—yet God’s mercy extends to all. It’s the Holy Spirit’s job to convict someone of sin. It’s not our job to condemn them because they “must (or might) have some unconfessed sin in their lives.

Yes, I wonder what might have happened if Job had prayed for deliverance. But I also wonder what might have happened if Job’s friends has supported him instead of condemning him for the “unconfessed sin in his life”.

About Pastor Jim Dixon

Jim Dixon is a husband, father, grandfather, pastor, missionary and with his wife, Marsha, an author. Jim and Marsha are founders of God's Blueprint for Marriage, a ministry based on the experiences they had during reconciliation and restoration of their tumultuous marriage that would have ended in divorce, had it not been for God's intervention. Their marriage workshop called, not surprisingly, "God's Blueprint for Marriage" shares details of their failing marriage and, more importantly, the lessons they learned during the restoration process. Their book, "God's Blueprint for Marriage", is available through their web site, Jim is Missions and Small Groups Pastor at their church, Word of Life Fellowship. He and Marsha have a strong ministry presence in Peru, where he is a leader in the Evangelical Church of Christ of Peru, a Peruvian denomination. And Marsha is founder of Mujeres de Valor (Women of Worth), a ministry helping women in Peru find their place in service to God. They also work with Victory Bible College-Peru and Victory Fellowship of Ministries, organizations dedicated to training and supporting pastors and church leaders in that nation. Their two sons, Michael and Jeffrey, are also in ministry, Jeffrey full time as Youth Pastor of their church. Additionally they have a number of "adopted" sons and daughters, many of whom are in ministry as well. Jim is a professional storm chaser. You can hear him during severe weather in NW Arkansas on 40/29.
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