“Be Still and Know that I AM GOD.”

Nowhere in the Bible is our need to understand God’s sovereignty made more evident than in the Book of Job. The Book of Job opens with God asking Satan whether he had noticed Job’s blameless and upright actions. Job feared God and shunned evil.

Satan responded by stating that God had blessed Job with abundance, and without such abundance, Job would curse God. God then permitted Satan to take away Job’s blessings, so Satan took Job’s material goods, family, and health. Job cried out in his pain, yet rather than blame God, he praised Him.

Soon three of his friends arrived to comfort him and Job began questioning God. He wondered where he went wrong and which sins he had committed. He exalted himself by saying his beliefs were flawless and he was pure and blameless.

Job’s friends scolded him, telling him he had sinned and was acting in self-righteous and wicked, evil ways. Job had tried to earn his way to God, but in his quest for perfect actions, he grew in his own sense of self-righteousness. He considered himself superior to his friends and others in his town. Job was like the brother of the prodigal son whose indignation and self-righteousness became apparent when his wayward brother returned from his debauchery and was rewarded by his dad with the fattened calf.[1] Job’s friends soon left him, saying he was righteous in his own eyes.

Elihu then approached Job and reminded him that humans are not righteous in the eyes of God, but God restores them, even after being struck down with illnesses and pain. God pays the ransom for their sins and makes them even better than before.

“…and he is gracious to that person and says to God, ‘Spare them from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom for them— let their flesh be renewed like a child’s; let them be restored as in the days of their youth’— then that person can pray to God and find favor with him, they will see God’s face and shout for joy; he will restore them to full well-being. And they will go to others and say, ‘I have sinned, I have perverted what is right, but I did not get what I deserved. God has delivered me from going down to the pit, and I shall live to enjoy the light of life.’ “God does all these things to a person— twice, even three times— to turn them back from the pit, that the light of life may shine on them.”[2]

Job may have been at his lowest when God finally called out to him, asking him where he was when God created the world and revealed His glory. He reminded Job of His sovereignty, which Job was in no place to question. After Job realized his own errors and repented, God rewarded him with many blessings and abundance.

God corrects those whom He loves.[3]

Pride is the source of all of the world’s most deadly sins. It is the reason Satan departed from God and laid claim to the sinners of this world. It is in the hearts of those who claim there is no God or question His sovereignty.

Our first example of pride comes from the questioning serpent in Genesis.

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’? The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ‘You will not certainly die,’ the serpent said to the woman. ‘For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’”

Pride has infected the souls of many today. We find evidence on social media when people deny God’s existence or question His sovereignty. Pride darkens souls. Those who’ve attached themselves to darkness refuse to see the light, though the light overcomes them.

“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.”[4]

Yet God is patient, merciful, and just. He lets those who wish to be without Him have their own way.[5] Some will return, as the prodigal son returned, while others will choose to remain in the dark forever.

The sins of the first man and woman ushered in death and decay in all of us. But Jesus gave us hope and an eternal life. Rather than mingle at the pedestals with the high and mighty, Jesus blessed those in the pits. The prostitutes and tax collectors had far less pride than the Pharisees. They were closer to God and their eyes and ears were open to the truth.

“A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.’

Jesus answered him, ‘Simon, I have something to tell you.’

‘Tell me, teacher,’ he said.

‘Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?’

Simon replied, ‘I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.’

‘You have judged correctly,’ Jesus said.”[6]

We need to trust the Lord to steer the world through its turbulent times and bitter plagues.

“Be still and know that I am God.”[7]

In the rockiest times of Job’s life, Job called out to the Lord multiple times before God answered him. He answers us when He has determined we are ready. He is not on our clock; we are on His. We have to trust Him even when it seems like He’s not there for us. He knows best.

I’ve met many people on social media who’ve suffered through major tribulations in their lives. They called out to God in prayers, yet felt He never answered them. Some have said they would rather believe that God doesn’t exist than He doesn’t care for them at all. But they’re mistaken. God loves all.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”[8]

We need to remember that this life is but a speck of sand on the beach of heaven. God is testing us, shaping us, and making us spiritually strong. He wants us to succeed as pillars in our communities. He wants us to live our lives as Jesus lived His life as a servant for His people.

Servant Leaders

Servant leadership is a term that was coined in the 70s by Robert Greenleaf.

“The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions…The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature.”[9]

Servant leadership is closely related to what Jim Collins has coined as “level 5 leadership.” Level 5 leaders are those at the top of their games in life and business who have very high levels of personal humility and professional will. Personal humility consists of people who are genuine and humble team players with a servant attitude who don’t seek the spotlight.[10]  People with high levels of professional will have an intense resolve, a dedication to their organization, a clear catalyst in achieving results, a strong work-ethic, and self-motivation.[11] 

Jesus modeled the way we are to humble ourselves and serve others in deference to the will of the Lord, our Father. Our own will is to succeed in emulating Jesus. But humility and will are not enough to be a level 5 Christian leader. We need to also recognize and trust the sovereignty of the Lord. He is in charge and He will never forsake us.[12]

“The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the wilderness. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.”[13]

The Christian poem “Footprints in the Sand,” which has been attributed to Mary Stevenson in 1936, nicely sums up the overall message.

“One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.

In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there was one only.

This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints, so I said to the Lord,

‘You promised me Lord, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?’

The Lord replied, ‘The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.’”

[1] Luke 15:11-32

[2] Job 33:24-30

[3] Hebrews 12:6; Proverbs 3:12; Psalm 94:12; Psalm 118;18

[4] Psalm 14:1

[5] Romans 1

[6] Luke 7:37-42

[7] Psalm 46:10

[8] John 3:16

[9] Greenleaf, R.K. (1977). Servant Leadership. https://www.greenleaf.org/

[10] Reid III, W.A., West, G.R.B., Winston, B.E. & Wood, J. (2014). An instrument to measure level 5 leadership. Journal of Leadership Studies, 8(1), 17-33.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Hebrews 13:5

[13] Deuteronomy 1:30-31

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