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  • elenaham87


As I was in worship on a Sunday morning, during church service, I heard the word “abide“. I began to pray into that, and I felt God was saying, “I want my people to abide in me”’. As I continued praying, I felt it stronger in my spirit. This remained in my heart for the days that followed, so I continued to pray over it. As I prayed, I began to dive deeper. What is the true definition of abide and how exactly do we achieve a state of abiding in God? It took a few days of me praying and asking the Lord for revelation on how we abide in him, but he spoke and directed me to the book of Job. When God placed Job in my heart, I immediately thought about all the things Job endured and still he did not sin with his lips the Bible says. Even when his wife saw how much he suffered, she told him to curse God and die, but Job refused to do such a thing. So I began to pray, and ask God for the courage that Job had, as he remained in God, even in all his suffering. After praying, I thought to myself that I had never really read the whole book of Job. I wasn’t sure what else the book spoke about and I felt God nudge me to go read it and I did. So, I would like to take you on a journey and share with you how God revealed to me some culprits as to how our abiding status can be compromised and on how we must continue to press on and why we should, even when it’s hard.

First, I want to share with you the definition for abide per my Google search.

Abide – to bear patiently – tolerate; to endure without yielding; withstand; to wait for; to accept without objection; to remain stable or fixed in a state; to continue in a place – sojourn.

The definition calls us to action. It requires some tough things from us. All of them are necessary if you desire and plan on being on this journey with Jesus.

As I began to read further in the book of Job God allowed me to identify some things in life that can cause us to lose our abiding status in him. Things that come our way that essentially try to knock us off our square and some of these things actually do succeed in pulling us away. The first two chapters of Job consist of an introduction as to who he is and the attacks that hit his possessions/family and his body. Read the Scripture below to understand how these attacks came to be.

“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.”

‭‭Job‬ ‭1‬:‭6‬-‭12‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Verses 9-10 were a bit eye-catching to me. Satan basically tells God that the only reason why Job is a blameless, upright man who fears God, and turns from evil is because he blesses him, he protects him and his house. Meaning that all goes well for him, why wouldn’t he be all these great things. We often hear it said that it’s easy to love and praise God when all is going well but what about when your life takes a few hits. Will you still remain? This is what Satan wanted to prove, that Job indeed, would break with a few hits. So Satan goes on, and in a matter of 24 hours Job loses everything, his livestock, and all his children. He was devastated but still he worshiped God.

“Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.”

‭‭Job‬ ‭1‬:‭20‬-‭22‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Job remained, and he still abided in God. How about you, would you have still remained and abided in God? I can’t quite say I would have, but maybe I would. I don't know. That’s why we’re digging into his word, so we can get some instructions on how to press and endure, so that we remain in him, no matter our circumstances.

Now, the attacks on Job didn’t stop there. Let's dive into the next piece of scripture to see what comes next.

“And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself while he sat in the ashes. Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.”

‭‭Job‬ ‭2‬:‭3‬-‭10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

In the scripture above, we see that God suggests Job to Satan again. God tells him that he still held onto his integrity although he brought forth those attacks. Satan is out to prove something here. He wants to be right so badly. He wants to break Job down to the point where he turns away from God. He is on a mission to destroy him mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. His last attempt is to his body. “Skin for skin” the scripture reads. He tells God that if his bone and flesh is attacked, he would curse God to his face. God gave him permission to proceed, but to only spare his life.

Jobs' total health was attacked. Losing his livestock and children, I believe, attacked his mental and emotional health. He endured this part of the attack. Next, the sores that Satan inflicted on his body attacked his physical health, and it also began to attack his spiritual health. The end of chapter 2 states that Job sits in silence for seven days and nights with his three friends that came to see about him. As I read into chapter 3, Job begins to cry out to God. Job breaks his silence in chapter 3, and here are a few of the opening verses that really give a glimpse into how he is feeling.

“After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. And Job said: “Let the day perish on which I was born, and the night that said, ‘A man is conceived.’ Let that day be darkness! May God above not seek it, nor light shine upon it. Let gloom and deep darkness claim it. Let clouds dwell upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it. That night—let thick darkness seize it! Let it not rejoice among the days of the year; let it not come into the number of the months.”

‭‭Job‬ ‭3‬:‭1‬-‭6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Job regrets even being born. That's heavy. His suffering is great and seems to have no end in sight.

Here is my question to you…

How is your health?

Our health is one of the main things the enemy attacks us with. Why? Because our flesh is weak. He knows this very well. If he can attack our health, then he can have an opportunity in attacking our abiding status in God. Are we opening these doors or are we catching the attack ahead of time and staying firmly rooted in Jesus?

Mental Health

Our minds are the battlefield. If the enemy can get our mind, then he can get access to everything. The enemy can, and will flood our thoughts with garbage but we have to be vigilant. This is something I relate all too well with. The enemy attacks me in my mind with my health at times. He was very successful at this early on in my walk with Christ, but I have learned how to fight back and declare the word of God over my life. He attacks me with doubt, my worthiness, my purpose and even just feeling positive consistently. I once fought depression. I felt empty and without purpose. I remember sitting in my parents living room and I told God that I wanted everything to go back to the way things were. I hated feeling lost, empty, defeated, alone, and sad. I hated the thoughts the enemy plagued me with. Even in all this, I knew that only God was the answer. Not depression meds, not suicide, but Jesus! So, I chased after him, and he met me every step of the way. He helped me fight against the enemy and I haven’t lost yet, nor will I ever, because if God is for me, then who can be against me? I'm so glad he didn't listen to me when I asked for everything to go back to the way things were, what a loving Father. The reality is that the attacks will never stop, but I am not the same person I once was. I now know who fights for me. I know that in Jesus, I have authority. And guess what? So do you! This journey is a transformative journey. The goal is to not be who you were yesterday or the day before that. The Bible says that we go from glory to glory so that means that we are constantly changing. If we allow Jesus to move in our lives, then it is inevitable for us to grow, and to be stronger and wiser and more knowledgeable than what we were when he first found us. If you have received Jesus into your life, then you are now the temple of the Holy Spirit and the scripture says that because we have the Holy Spirit, we also have the mind of Christ. (I Corinthians 2:14-16) Here are a few of my favorite scriptures regarding the mind. These Scriptures have helped me and still do today. They help me fight the war in my mind and they ground me in truth.

1. II Corinthians 10:3-6
2. John 8:31-32
3. Romans 8:5
4. Romans 12:1-2

Physical Health

I find that if our mental health is not in order, then when attacked in our physical body, we can have a recipe for disaster. When my mind would get attacked early on in my walk with Jesus, it would almost always be regarding my physical health. The enemy knew this weakness about me, and he took advantage of it. Just with the simple lie the enemy would plant in my mind I would begin to suffer. Just with a thought! I don’t even want to imagine what it would have been like if I would have had to endure any of the physical ailments that he would lie about. Like Job, I would have probably cursed the day I was born because I was extremely weak in this area. Having to endure a physical ailment can be very devastating and draining. I think about the woman with the issue of blood int the Bible. She bled for 12 years. She lived in misery. But she still decided to not let go of hope. Through hope and her faith her healing came. Being attacked in your body is hard, and it may seem as if you can’t go any further, but lift up your head and keep your eyes on Jesus. Where your strength ends, His begins. He is the great physician! He is Jehovah Rapha our healer! Hold onto hope, and remain in faith. He will never leave you, nor forsake you.

Emotional Health

My emotional health is something I’ve been monitoring more closely these days. Being a stay at home mom can get a little crazy. Being overstimulated with the kids all day can really get me on edge. I have to make sure to ground myself in truth, and allow myself a breather from time to time. I’m learning to see the blessing in everything instead of getting frustrated. I’ve learned to be more present, and be grateful for healthy children that can play with their toys even if it makes a mess. The mess can be cleaned up. I’m grateful for full bellies, even if the sink is full of dishes. What a change in perspective when we choose gratitude. I’m learning to not stress about our finances even when things get tight. I want to look at everything in a positive light. That doesn’t mean that I am walking in denial of tough situations, but I am learning to not let them consume me. Living stressed out about every little thing is not good. Stress can open the door to so many negative things in our lives, including sickness, but it also causes us to live a defeated life. Others may even struggle with their emotional health because they are out to please the world. This robs you of your own personal peace. You can lose your identity because you’re chasing acceptance from people that don’t even sow positively into your lives. All for what, so they can be happy while you’re miserable? Stop being a people pleaser! It’s OK to say “no“. You don’t have to say yes to every invitation, and you don’t have to overextend yourself to others if it means compromising your peace and joy. It’s not worth it! Protect your peace at all cost! Jesus didn’t die for you to live a defeated life. Enjoy your life, walk in the peace Jesus has given you.

Spiritual Health

How is your relationship with Jesus? Are you guys tight or is it just on an emergency basis only? Are you mad at God for something that happened to you or someone you love? How about church hurt? Did something happen or did someone let you down in the church that now your spiritual health is suffering? All of the things I stated above are all devices the enemy uses to drive a wedge between you and God. If you’re mad at God, that’s OK. He's pretty strong and he can take it but it would be to your benefit to talk to him. Get to know him and understand him and even when you can’t understand all of it, you have to get to the point where even if you don’t understand the “why” that you will still trust that he is sovereign. If you are struggling with church hurt, then I pray that you understand that it wasn’t God that hurt you, but a human being that is imperfect like you and me, and no matter how hard we try, and no matter the titles people hold in ministry we all still fall short of the glory of God. I also want to warn against the spirit of offense. The church is known to have so many cases of offended people. The spirit of offense runs rampant in ministry and in the church. Please use caution that you don’t get entangled with a spirit of offense. John Bevere wrote a book called “The Bait of Satan“. I strongly suggest you get this book even if you don’t struggle with offense because it has a lot of wisdom and knowledge and educates you on what to look for. Ultimately, you have to protect your spiritual health. If you are making Jesus your number one priority, then it safe guards your health, and assures you will remain abiding in Him.

And now that we’ve taken inventory of our health, I want to go into the last points that God revealed to me in the book of Job.

Job’s Three Friends

At the end of chapter 2, it introduces Job's three friends.

“Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that had come upon him, they came each from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They made an appointment together to come to show him sympathy and comfort him. And when they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him. And they raised their voices and wept, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads toward heaven. And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.”

‭‭Job‬ ‭2‬:‭11‬-‭13‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Job’s friends show up for him. The Scriptures stated they were distraught when they saw Job and that they remained in silence with him for the seven days and nights. From chapter 3–37, Job and his three friends embark on a steady conversation. The conversation was primarily rooted in trying to figure out why God allowed such things to happen to Job. Job‘s responses slowly began to turn into his defense and ultimately ends in pleading his case to God and asking that he respond to him. Job declares that he has done nothing wrong to deserve this and still upholds his righteous standing.

So here’s my next question…

What does your circle of friends look like?

Your circle can serve as a safeguard. They can also serve as accountability. Now the story of Job’s friends doesn’t really portray these qualities as the story carries on. They come to the conclusion that Job had to have done something wrong to deserve what had happened to him. They were very limited in their thinking, and had a very skewed outlook of God and how he operates the universe when it comes to justice. Job had friends and I would like to believe that they were good but from what I read, they weren’t very open to the wonders of God. They judged God’s character off of their own interpretation of justice and accused Job of sinning. Basically what I gathered is that in order for us to continue abiding in Jesus, our close circle of friends can either help enforce this or hinder it. Discernment will be key in choosing your close friends. Be sure that they are Christ centered, and if they are then their fruit will bear witness to this. I am grateful for a circle that is truly Christ centered. They will go to war for me and my family and we would do the same for them. We encourage one another, but we are also open to corrections. This can only happen because we know their hearts. A good friend should be able to both love and advise you as well as rebuke you in love. We were never meant to do life alone, so ask God for friends that will have his heart and that will help fan your flame as you continue on this journey.

"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!"

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Hebrews 10:23-25

Trust God

Most of the debate between Job and his friends was about God, and whether or not he is just, and if God runs the universe on the strict principle of justice. Their dialogue was based on their own assumptions. Their assumptions were summed up as believing that everything was ran on God’s justice, and if you were wise and good, then you would succeed and receive rewards, but if you were evil and stupid, then you would encounter disaster and punishment.

Finally, God responds to Job’s call. His response is deep and undeniably correct. He begins by questioning Job and asks him a slew of questions. Here’s a small portion of the beginning to God’s response to Job:

“Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? “Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb, when I made clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed limits for it and set bars and doors, and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed’? “Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place, that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth, and the wicked be shaken out of it? It is changed like clay under the seal, and its features stand out like a garment. From the wicked their light is withheld, and their uplifted arm is broken.”

‭‭Job‬ ‭38‬:‭1‬-‭15‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The questions get deeper and more intense as the Scriptures continue. I want to encourage you to read it for yourself but for now I want you to see Job’s response to God with all these questions.

“Then Job answered the Lord and said: “Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth. I have spoken once, and I will not answer; twice, but I will proceed no further.””

‭‭Job‬ ‭40‬:‭3‬-‭5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

After Job’s response, God continues with more questioning. After God’s second round of questioning, here is Job’s final response to God:

“Then Job answered the Lord and said: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’ I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.””

‭‭Job‬ ‭42‬:‭1‬-‭6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

It is hard to understand why God does what he does, or why he allows certain things. But one thing I’ve always understood and even more now after reading the book of Job is that God‘s wisdom is infinite. It is far too deep for us to even begin to fathom or break down. What God spoke to me was that in order to abide in him continually we have to get comfortable trusting him, even when it doesn’t make sense or maybe even feel good.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭55‬:‭8‬-‭9‬ ‭ESV‬‬

When we walk with Jesus, and truly know him, when we build a relationship with him, that is when it gets easier to abide in him. Why? Because you know him. You know the truth. You know his character. You know that he is not a God that would lie. You know that he would never leave you, nor forsake you. You know that he never promises a life free from afflictions, but you also know that in your weakness, he is made strong. You know that when you are carrying something heavy, he asks you to bring it to him to carry. He gives rest for our souls.

This journey with Jesus is not easy, but it is worth every single trial and tribulation that I have gone through. So much so that I would do it all over again. God is desiring us to remain in him. Don't wait any longer. This world has nothing to give us that will last. Everything we can obtain here on earth will quickly pass away on the day of Jesus's return. The only thing that will remain is Him. Choose him, chase him, as he does the same for you daily even if you don't realize it. Choose to not give into fear, worry, or doubt. I’m sure there are many other tactics the enemy may be using to pull you away from abiding in Jesus, but I need you to take a deep breath and remind yourself whose you are! Resolve today that you will abide, you will endure every obstacle, and choose to remain in his presence. ❤️🙏🏼

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