Thursday, February 12, 2015

confidence to approach God

I would give him an account of all my steps;
like a prince I would approach him.
Job 31:37

Integrity is a confidence builder. When you can approach God in your integrity, you can confidently trust in His gracious acceptance. In Job's final speech, he defends his integrity. He knows that he is born a sinner. But he also knows by God's mercy, Job has found the grace to obey God. He has rejected a life defined by his sin. He has repented of lust, materialism, selfishness, and pleasure seeking in the stuff of this life. He honestly has sought to follow God all the days of his life. He can in clean conscience approach God to give an account of every step he has ever taken.

I have heard some people take Job to task for this. They accuse him of self-righteousness. But if that were the case, wouldn't God point this out in His final monologue to Job that concludes the book? No, Job is not self-righteous. Job's error was not being in awe of God quite enough, which is why God simply confronts Job with His power over creation and Job's complete human frailty. Job's only response to God coming to him is to worship and admit the powerful, sovereign greatness of a glorious God. In no way does Job need to repent of some secret sin that was the root of all his suffering.

In that sense Job is instructive to us. He is a more righteous man than I am at the moment. I can't make Job's claims with quite the same confidence. I struggle mightily to do the simplest of righteous deeds. But I do believe God sees me through the righteousness of His Son. Christ Jesus' blood pleads for me so that my Lord's innocent steps now mark my path and lead me to the Father. And with that mercy always before me, I can confidently approach the Father, following in my Savior's own footsteps.

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