Today’s bible study is Job 22:21: Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you.
Submit is never a word that goes down easily. It’s very hard for most to feel that they need to be submissive to anyone. The New King James Version words this passage a bit differently, instructing us not to ‘submit to’ but to ‘acquaint ourselves with.’ That is much more palatable for many. We look forward to acquainting ourselves with the past, with our lost family members, with new neighbors and friends and even with strangers. We acquaint ourselves with new places, new hobbies, new interests and new knowledge every day. This is a natural part of our growth. From the time we are little children who are first learning new things we keep acquainting ourselves with situations, people and locales. So, let us choose to use the word ‘acquaint’ and acquaint ourselves with God and be at peace with Him.
Acquainting ourselves with God sounds easy, but may take a lot of time and practice. It’s not like being introduced to someone, shaking their hand and remembering their face. It’s getting to know God on a spiritual level, a level that can only be reached through belief and prayer. Often, a relationship that can best be nurtured in solitude and silence. Many acquaint themselves with God through meditation, writing, reading, questioning, sharing with other Christians and prayerful moments. For me, the best time to reaffirm my acquaintance with God is early in the morning when I see the sunrise. As I sit in silence, meditating upon the vastness of the universe and the glory of the sunrise, I feel at one with God and, with His creation. I feel at peace. Each of you will, undoubtedly, has your own place. It may be in a church, while reading this your bible, while you are settling for a restful sleep, or when you are fishing on a lake. What works best for one may not work well for someone else.
Now that we have tried to acquaint ourselves with God, how can we best be at peace with Him? The answer to this is quite simple and can be compared to being at peace with other people. How can I best be at peace with my friend, my neighbor, my husband or my children? By treating them with unconditional love, by opening my arms to them, by listening to them and truly hearing what they are saying, to share in their gladness and in the pain, to cry with their frustrations and sorrows and jump for joy with their accomplishments. The same can be true for God. We simply need to attune ourselves to His way, to His love, His grace, His path and His divine plan for us. When God speaks, we need to listen. When he opens His arms, we can nestle in His nurturing love. When he pronounces a warning, we can respond with action.
The final line of this verse truly causes me a problem. I have always been one to not believe in prosperity Christianity. I have always believed that we have had to provide material things for ourselves and that God and/or faith would provide the spiritual part of our lives. Too often I have seen people pray for homes, cars, jobs, food, clothing, and other material things, only to be sadly disappointed. I seriously doubt that God will give us the deed to a home or a shopping cart filled with groceries. But He does give us the intelligence and health to earn these things. He leads us toward paths that will provide these necessities. He gives us the faith and strength to carry on and to provide. God will nourish us spiritually at any moment when we are feeling a hunger. It is up to us to provide the calories that sustain us. It is for us to better acquaint ourselves with God and enjoy the richness of spiritual prosperity. You might also like to read:
- Broad Brook Bible Study Examiner, Grace Dooley
- Daily Bible Guide
- Growing in Christ
- Bible Study Tools Online
- The Jesus Walk Bible Study Series