The book of Job is full of challenges to every Christian but I believe it poses particular challenges to those of us who call ourselves Charismatic Christians.
Spiritual Warfare: Chapters 1 and 2 of Job give us an insight into the nature of spiritual warfare and the way God protects his children. Satan can’t just do what he wants to Job because God is protecting him. Job is someone whose heart is right with God and God likes what he sees in Job but when he mentions Job to Satan, Satan says if you didn’t protect him, he would not be faithful. god allows Satan to attack Job in a variety of soul destroying ways but he remains faithful. Here comes the first challenge to our charismatic outlook, we expect if a person is faithful that God will bless them with health and prosperity but that does not happen, in fact thing go from bad to worse,Satan is now allowed to inflict all sorts of pain on Job. Job’s wife is so upset that she wants him to curse god and die but Job steadfastly puts his trust in God. Then Job has to endure the advice of his so called friends. Just read their speeches and put yourself in Jobs shoes and you will see how unhelpful this all was. We have to wait to the end of the book to see Job restored and blessed.
Job’s speeches and the absence of positive confession. So often today we are told that if we confess rightly, things will go well with us. We are told we need not be ill and we have a right to prosperity. The book of Job radically challenges all of that, Job is not condemned by God for the complaints that he has made. In fact the book of Job along with the Psalms shows us that we can be honest with God without provoking his displeasure. In fact in chapter 42 the Lord says that Job has spoken rightly about him.
What is interesting is that the turning point for Job is not positive confession but prayers of forgiveness for his friends. Job does repent after the Lord has appeared to him but his prosperity is not restored until he has prayed for his friends.
Job’s Questions are not Answered: What is interesting about the appearance of God on the scene is the fact that none of Job’s questions and complaints are replied to. Job receives something far better than answers he receives a revelation of God himself in all his power and glory, this more than satisfies Job. He sees the greatness of God and although life has been perplexing he is just glad and can rejoice in the greatness of God. We too like Job need a fresh revelation of the greatness of God and we like Job will realize our own smallness and brokenness and will worship our God in a spirit of repentance.