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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Job Experience

The Work of the Holy Spirit In the Life and Experience of Job, i.e. - In the Lives of God's People

We are going to consider the work of the Holy Spirit in the life and experience of Job; and we must consider this in the light of God's eternal purpose in Christ. This will lead us right into the great spiritual conflict that is taking place in the heavenlies. In the Body of Christ, those who are on the front lines of this intense spiritual conflict are those who are committed to intercessory prayer: they are committed to intercession that has one intent, one purpose, and one motive, and that is that God have His End through His Way - and that Way is always the Way of the Cross, and its principle of self-denial.

This kind of intercession becomes a progressive reality and power in and through our lives in the measure that we yield ourselves to the chastening of the Lord. Therefore, the measure in which we yield to the chastening and the discipline and the training and the correction and the purging of the Lord is the measure that we are being filled with, and controlled by, the Holy Spirit; consequently, true intercession - effectual prayer that results in God's End - can only be realized in our lives as we submit to the chastening of the Lord! God laid down this basic principle of chastening and intercession right from the beginning of the Recorded Word, in what is probably one of the oldest books in the Bible, Job. Here we find one of the greatest examples of God's principle of chastening, which results in intercession, and we find it in the life and experience of Job.

In His Word, God places great value upon Job as an intercessor, for in Ezekiel 14:14 we find him in the company of two other effectual prayer warriors, Noah and Daniel. When all else was against them, these three men - "Noah, Daniel, and Job" - stood at all cost for God's End: they endured, they remained faithful, and they submitted to God's dealings in their lives until God has His End through His Way. And in doing so, "these three men" participated in the great unseen battle that was taking place in the heavenlies: - they participated in the battle which would consummate "all things in Christ" and at the same time destroy the works of the enemy.

In the fiercest of times "these three men" interceded and prevailed on the behalf of others, and on the behalf of God. Noah stood in faith and travailed for the saving of his family and for the continuance of the human race and, most important of all, for the preserving of "The Seed," which is Christ. Daniel interceded for the nation of Israel and for the "remnant" ("The remnant" from each and every age) which would build and restore the temple - the spiritual house of God. And Job, who went through some of the fiercest trials that man can face, prayed for his friends - he interceded for those who, when he needed them most, had been unkind, judgmental, and needlessly cruel to him - perhaps this is one of the greatest tests of all - and when Job, the one who God called "My servant," prayed for his friends, the Lord turned Job's captivity and abundantly blessed him. And we shall see as we go on that Job's blessings had much more than an earthly or natural significance, for God had prepared Job to be a vessel of eternal intercession, a vessel through whom the God of all comfort could freely flow.

Therefore, in Ezekiel 14:14-20, in order to emphasize this kind of intercession ... intercession that produces that which God intends ... the Holy Spirit three times refers to "these three men." And three is the number of Divine fullness, and Divine fullness will be the central heme as we consider the life and experience of Job in the light of God's full purpose in Christ. We shall see that the number three, as it is used in connection with "these three men", indicates that God brought forth His Fullness in and through the lives of Noah, Daniel, and Job. Let us examine why.

In the Scripture, the word "fullness" is used three times to describe The Divine Fullness:

THE FULLNESS OF GOD (EPHESIANS 3:19)
THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST (EPHESIANS 4:13)
THE FULLNESS OF THE GODHEAD (COLOSSIANS 2:9).

Now each time the word "fullness" is used in the above scriptures, it is used in connection with the work that God is doing in the lives of His people, in order that they may become the fullness of Christ.

"...that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:19)

"...till we all come ... unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Ephesians 4:13)

"For in Him (in Christ) the whole fullness of Deity (the fullness of the Godhead) dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete (made full and have come to fullness of life) ... (Col.2:9, 10)

This great work of God - to bring about the fullness of Christ in the lives of His people - is summed up in Ephesians 1:22 AND 23 where the word "fullness" is used to describe Christ and His Body:

"And He (God) put all things in subjection under His (Christ's) feet, and gave Him as Head over all things to the Church, which is His Body, the fullness of Him Who fills ALL in ALL.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 2)

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