The church is full of people who spend the lion’s share of their time trying to broker God’s favor and bind His conscience for a blessing. They believe their “good works” can obligate omnipotence. They have lost sight of our Lord’s words in Luke 17:10 . . .
So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, “We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.”
Even if we were to live a life of perfect obedience (which, by the way, we cannot do) we would only be doing our duty . . . and at the end of the day, we still would be unworthy servants. Think about it this way: if we were to keep the laws of our state perfectly, would the state be under any obligation to reward us for our obedient behavior? Of course not! We would have only done what our duty as American citizens. The same is true when it comes to our relationship with God. And on top of that, even our best works are no more than filthy rags in God’s sight (Isaiah 64:6).
Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me. (Job 41:11)
You will remember the story of Job, who lost everything except his life—his health, his wealth, and his children. Even his wife turned against him and urged him to curse God. Then Job’s three friends showed up and hurled false accusations Job’s way. In defending himself, he began to demonstrate an attitude of “deserving better from God” . . . and God quickly corrected Job’s misguided thinking.
To be sure, Job suffered through an unimaginable season of tragedy. He started out well, saying “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, may the name of the Lord be praised” (Job 1:21). But Job drifted into an “I deserve better” mentality, complaining that “It profits a man nothing when he tries to please God” (Job 34:9). At that point, the Lord stepped in and redirected Job’s focus away from himself and back toward God.
Regardless of the life we live—even a righteous life like Job’s—we simply cannot obligate Omnipotence. We live in a fallen and broken world, and storms winds will blow our way; our comfort is found in the fact that Jesus is in the middle of the storm with us. Knowing that Gospel truth helps us to weather any storm, trusting that God has delivered it for our ultimate good and His glory. Instead of trying to obligate Omnipotence we must simply open our heart to gratefully receive whatever He sends our way.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!