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February 22, 1995

Knowing God

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God intends for us to enjoy more blessings from Him at the end of our lives than at the beginning.

That might sound like a rather brash statement, but that is only if you have preconceived notions of what those blessings should be. We're not saying that our lives will get easier or that we'll have larger bank accounts, bigger families, and fancier homes when we're older. What we are saying is that the longer we walk with Christ, the more spiritual blessings we will receive. At the finish line of life, we should find that our relationships with Jesus are significantly deeper, fuller, and more mature than they were when we first believed.

Many of the spiritual blessings we accumulate as we grow older come in the form of memories of His goodness to us. The memories of times when He showed up in our lives—when we had a financial need, when we were facing a difficult situation at work, or when we just needed a touch of His peace—are worth more than all the stock options in the world. The longer we walk with Christ, the more apt we are to recognize these blessings for what they really are—riches beyond compare.

It's easy to look at Job's story and conclude that life always has a happy ending. It certainly did in Job's case—his livestock holdings doubled, his wife had ten more children (the same number he had before), and he lived for 140 more years—long enough to enjoy several more generations of grandchildren. But it's critical that we don't attach spiritual performance formulas to this discussion. The text is clear. It doesn't say that God blessed Job because he was righteous or because he endured; rather, He blessed him out of His own sovereign plan.

If we start thinking that Job's behavior or attitude had anything to do with the blessings he received in the second half of his life, then we cycle all the way back to the first chapter of the book, where Satan claims that the only reason Job walked with God was that He had given him so much. If we do that, we miss the whole point of the book. Our walks with Jesus are not based on our performance. We don't practice horizontal-first Christianity. Rather, we must remember that it's our vertical relationships with God that results in horizontal expression of our faith.

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