FEBRUARY 14: CLOSE PROXIMITY WITH GOD

CLOSE PROXIMITY WITH GOD
By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground and worshipped. And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. In all this Job sinned not nor charged God foolishly.
Job 1:20-22
Today's Read: Job 1-2,42; Psalm 138
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Job was different than all the rest;
His was a heart composed and beating with a supernatural holy rhythm.
He experienced an unusual and close proximity with God:
-He feared Him.
-He removed himself from evil.
-His desire for purity within his own household prompted offerings and sacrifices on behalf of his beloved children continually.
-His concern for fellow man was demonstrated in tangible ways.
A man of prayer, empowered by God, Job displayed a unique fostering and forging of increasing intimate depth with God as he experienced unexplainable, excruciatingly painful earthly realities.
One by one blessings were stripped from Job and, one by one, virtues came forth:
-Job's children were taken from him and still he held fast to God.
-Job's vocation was stripped from him and still he held fast to God.
-Job's finances were removed from him and still he held fast to God.
-Job's friends betrayed him and still he held fast to God.
-Job's health eroded and still he held fast to God.
-Job's wife distanced herself and still he held fast to God.
The life Job knew had been removed from him and "there" Job experienced ...
 More of God.
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When men are confined to pain,
They become refined and defined within it.
Some men grow bitter and some men grow better.
Some distance themselves from God,
And others hold fast to God.
Those who hold fast to God ...
Receive a closer proximity with God which cannot be substituted or replaced by anything or anyone on earth.
Earthly stripping conforms the soul to the glorious state of its Maker.
And in that state ...
Man grows a little bit smaller,
And the Maker grows a little bit bigger.
And God is glorified.
To worship God in whatever place we find ourselves in and to fear Him alone,
Is undeniably and unarguably the best place to be with God,
Both on earth ...
 And here everafter.
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Job's naked soul knew God in pen and posture and he saved the best for the last.
Read his provoking naked soul:
I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear; but now mine eye seeth Thee.
Wherefore I abhor myself ...
 and repent in dust and ashes.

Job 42:5-6
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Three Study Suggestions:
1) Read and meditate on the first and final chapter of Job and let it sink into you.
2) What do you note about Job in the "before and after" of his losses initially and then in the closing chapter.
3) What is your pain doing to you? Have you considered the option of worship?