What if you heard this in your place of work today, or in the midst of your home responsibilities: “This is your chance to shame the devil. This is your chance to glorify the Lord.”
Would it thrill you?
This is what the Holy Spirit wants to remind us in the midst of our trials. Even in the Old Testament, we see wonderful examples of how the Lord used trials to shame the devil and bring glory to His name:
“Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped.”
Job 1:20 NASB1995
This line immediately follows Job’s discovery of the many tragedies that the enemy had wreaked upon him. Imagine the enemy’s surprise when his plan backfired - he must have been ashamed that something he had done had prompted a human being to worship God.
And just as Job made the most of an opportunity to shame the devil, so also do you and I have the same opportunity in our daily trials.
Ours may not be to the scale of Job’s trials, but what the book of Job teaches us is that there’s a conversation in the heavenlies — where God and Satan are discussing the people of the earth — and we have the opportunity to shame the devil in our daily lives, if only we have the heavenly vision to see it.
We Need Heavenly Vision
When David came to meet Goliath, we see the stage he knew he was playing on: “This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down… that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel…”
1 Samuel 17:46 NASB1995
Even though the battle was staged in a remote valley, yet David’s passion was “that all the earth may know!”
His example convicted me: do I bring that same passion to the trials of my life, “that all the earth may know there is a God in Heaven, Who is my Father…”
These Old Testament saints (like Job and David, in the stories above) had such a reverence for God, that it brought a heavenly perspective to all their temporal circumstances!
It can be the same for us today. We are told that “momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory…” only as we “…look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen...”
2 Corinthians 4:17-18a NASB1995
How do we look at "things which are not seen"? We give them primary consideration! God’s glory is far beyond the reach of human sight, but to the eyes of faith, it is the main focus and purpose of our lives. Far more than deliverance from some difficulty, our hopes and desires are transformed into those of our Lord, who did not pray, "Save Me from this hour," but rather, "Father, Glorify Your name" (John 12:25). We need to ask the Lord to give us heavenly vision by the power of the Holy Spirit.
We Need A Heavenly Burden
When David encountered Goliath, “the all the earth may know…” was only the first part of his concern. The second part, he continues, was “…that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hands.””
1 Samuel 17:47 NASB1995
A true man of God has particular concern for God’s people. David wasn’t just interested in giving a testimony to the earth, but also, and especially, a testimony to the fearful Israelites around him who had lost sight of their Awesome God’s power and might.
I believe it is God’s desire that there would be men and women on earth who have a burden for His people, that they might be unshakably established in God’s love and power.
“And He saw that there was no man, And was astonished that there was no one to intercede…”
Isaiah 59:16 NASB1995
We see here that God had a hope in His heart: “Surely someone will share My burden for My people.”
We have that opportunity today, in the midst of our trials, to acquire something of the comfort and strength of the Lord, specifically so that we might pass it on to others in need - 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 makes that clear.
Do we have a passion “that all this assembly may know…” the Lord? We can start with our own homes! Is that the burden of my heart, the stage I see I'm playing on in my trials: a chance to strengthen my family’s faith and confidence in God’s power, wisdom, goodness, and love?
May it be so!
And then extend to the church: what’s the testimony of my trials? “Things are pretty tough right now…” or “The battle is the Lord’s! He will deliver the enemy into our hands!”
We Have A Heavenly Calling
In the new covenant, we have a calling that no one in the old covenant could have possibly fathomed. Our responsibility (our opportunity!) in trials goes far beyond “all the earth” and even beyond “all this assembly”:
“so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.”
Ephesians 3:10 NASB1995
Jesus Christ was the first Person to ever deal directly with the enemy, since the fall in the garden. But now, the church is meant to display God’s unfathomable wisdom to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.
Which is to say: “Brother, Sister, this day, this trial, this moment — it’s our opportunity to shame the devil and exalt the name of Jesus Christ.”
It’s something we cannot do on our own, individually, but that can be made known through the church: a body knitted together in love and unity, intent on one purpose, that the name of Christ might be lifted up to the glory of God.
Lord, give us heavenly vision to see the eternal purpose for which You have appointed these fleeting circumstances, that brief, light, momentary affliction might indeed produce a tremendous weight of glory — a testimony to all the earth, all the church, and all the rulers in the heavenlies — of Your supreme worth.