We Can Know That We Have His Spirit Within
Read Job Chapter 21
Job 21:14 Yet they say to God, ‘Leave us alone! We have no desire to know Your ways. 15 Who is the Almighty, that we should serve Him? What would we gain by praying to Him?’
In this passage, Job is speaking of the wicked, those who have rejected God. I know we are not supposed to compare ourselves to others, because there is a danger of puffing ourselves up. But there is a way we can use these verses to help us understand more about God’s mercy. Often times we are very hard on ourselves, especially after we have given in to temptation. Our enemy brings us to a point of self-loathing as we think of what we have done. We also sometimes wonder if we are not the most evil person in the whole of humanity.
On one hand, we should be sorry that we have sinned, as the Holy Spirit convicts us of our misdeed. But in the course of our repentance we must never let that progress to a point of self-hatred. Further, we cannot allow ourselves to believe we are beyond hope. When we sense ourselves going too far in that direction, this passage from Job can be used to help us see ourselves more clearly. We can see the obvious here. The person Job describes is not us.
We haven’t asked God to leave us alone. We may have asked Him to look away for a moment, but that is never a permanent attitude of our hearts. We most assuredly have a desire to know His ways. If that were not so, we would have no concern whatsoever over our transgressions. We would not be experiencing conviction of the Spirit. Further, we do not question who the Almighty is, that we should serve Him. We have more than adequate knowledge of who He is, and we know full well that we must serve Him.
Finally, we never give up praying to Him. Sure, we have our moments when we wonder “what’s the use.” But we always come back to His throne of grace. We know, deep down in our hearts, that we have no other option. His Spirit will not allow us to remain away from Him for very long.
Our comparison here is not to enhance our importance within the Kingdom. It is not for the purpose of looking down our noses at the unsaved world. Those attitudes are arrogant and prideful. Our only purpose is to help us realize that we are children of God. We must know that His Spirit within us is the only thing for which we can boast. The Pharisee in Luke 18:9-14 thanked God that He was not like the tax collector. We are instead thanking Him for His hand upon our lives, with full knowledge that we have nothing to brag about. We know we have no righteousness of our own. But we can be completely sure that we belong to Christ, because of the work He has done within our hearts.
Ps 119:176 I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek Your servant, for I have not forgotten Your commands.
Yes, we are painfully aware that we have strayed. But we haven’t forgotten His commands. And we don’t have the capacity to do that.
Prayer: Thank You, Father, for Your Spirit. Because of the Spirit within each of us, we are aware of our transgressions. It is only by the Spirit that we come to You for our forgiveness and mercy. We know that You are our only source of strength and hope. All these blessings are gifts from Your hand. They are not of our own making. Not by works, but by faith.