This is a brief post/episode on my worldview and how it impacts everything on my life.
If you're reading this on iTunes the blog post can be found on PrMarlon.com
One book in the Bible that has significantly shaped my worldview is the book of Job. The book of Job is not easy reading and to this day still challenges me, my worldview and my theology. Especially because right after Job comes the book of Psalms that seems to challenge and even perhaps contradict the theology developed in Job. But the tension created by these two books in the tension we live in.
The book of Psalms describes how the righteous prosper and the wicked perish (Psalm 1), and the book of Job tells the story of a righteous man (Job 1:1) who loses everything (Job 1-2)! Not to mention that Job has three friends who come to him and share theological arguments that seem to me to be very solid (suffering comes to those who rebel against God i.e. Job 4:7-9).
But I must resist the temptation of making this a blog about the book of Job.
The way that the book of Job has significantly shaped my worldview is that it
- Clearly identifies Satan as a powerful being who can harm the inhabitants of the earth (Job 1-2).
- Clearly established God as sovereign.
- Satan needs permission from God to harm Job and God limited how much harm Satan could cause (Job 1-2).
- Clearly demonstrates that suffering is not always directly related to someone's sin.
- Clearly shows that God's faithful followers do not always understand everything that is going on.
- We do not always have the full picture or a complete grasp of reality (Job 42:1-6). There are things beyond our understanding taking place, a reality beyond the grasp of our human senses.
- Reality is not limited to what my senses pick up, or to what my mind can grasp.
- It is okay to have questions, as long as I don't rebel against God (Job 29-31). Throughout the book Job does not understand what is happening, he asks God questions, he gets angry, and frustrated, he gets depressed, he even cursed the day of his birth (Job 3:1).
- Yet when all is said and done, Job is still blessed by God and has to intercede for his friends who apparently had all the answers and good theology (Job 42).
There are blessings that come from having a loving relationship with God, but that does not mean that there won't be moments of incredible difficulties. The bad things that happen in your life are not necessarily your fault.
Satan is actively looking for ways to cause you to curse God. Satan is not passive, bad things are not always just cause and effect. There is a real enemy, but God is more powerful and limits what Satan can do.
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV)
Taking all these points into consideration I live my life, I make my decisions. This is what allows me to sleep at night and wake up in the morning. This allows me to wrestle with God, to even be angry, but never walk away from Him. This allows me to live with a certain amount of doubt, after all, it would be presumptuous of me to claim to understand everything.
When trials and tribulations come, I cling to God. When I am confused and angry, I bring it before God. When I don't know what to do and feel powerless, tired and confused, I humbly come to God.
In a very brief nutshell, this is my approach to life.