God tests us
Exodus 15:25, 26 Then Moses cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water and the water became fit to drink. There the Lord issued a ruling and instruction for them and put them to the test. He said, “IF you listen carefully to the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, IF you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brough on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.” (Capitization of IF, mine to stress)
Deuteronomy 8:2 You shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.
Psalm 7:9 O let the evil of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous; for the righteous God tries the heart and minds.
Psalm 26:2 Examine me, O LORD, and try me; test my mind and my heart.
Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts.
Proverbs 17:3 The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for god, but the LORD tests hearts.
Ecclesiastes 3:18 I said to myself concerning the sons of men, “God has surely tested them in order for them to see that they are but beasts.”
Isaiah 48:10 “Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
Jeremiah 17:10 I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind. Even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds.
James 1:3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance
James 1:13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
Nivine Richie from Wilmington NC, a professor of finance and involved with Christian faculty at the university wrote regarding God testing us: “Tests are not for the sake of the teacher, but for the benefit of the student.”. . . “God ordains tests for us, not for his sake, but for ours.”
In the OT He certainly tested his people, and it was not long before they failed. We all fail sometimes out of fear–will we suffer? Will we ever get water? Will our bills really get paid? Will God really come through? In the OT, crossing the desert, one of His first commandments was I am the only God; do not have false gods. In less than 40 days, the people begged Aaron for a god, and the community threw in their gold, melted it down and formed a calf. Aaron was one of the leaders, he was with Moses during all the plagues handed to pharaoh–he saw God’s greatness CLOSE UP AND PERSONAL.
he never tests someone to sin, but does test to show us the weakness in our heart, the strength, or lack of our spiritual condition toward sinning, and to show us the way to overcome sin; we need Him. He may put a test in front of us to determine our reaction. Has our response become more godlike since He threw the last test at us.
How are you when you have left on time to get somewhere, and then work is being done on the road and you have to WAIT before the worker turns the sign to indicate your side of the road may now advance forward SLOWLY? How did you react the last time? What about when something is askew–incorrect amount on a bill, a charge you did not agree to, or some error that causes stress. Okay, time to make a phone call to see about getting the matter straightened out. You have to go through numerous computer-generated voice commands to get to the correct department, and it seems close to impossible, and finally you get through to a human being. But the human’s English is so difficult to understand your problem is still not being resolved. Do you become angry, impatient, unkind? Do you typically pass the test or fail it?
We may be tested to see our weaknesses. Will you gossip about someone, spread a story? You do know it can spread as fast and far and be as damaging as fire in a wooded area. Will you complain about your lazy husband or children? Will you complain about how hard you work, all the burdens you carry? Will you have spouts of anger, impatience, discontentment, and frustration. Will you feel your anger is entirely righteous and therefore no need to apologize? Are you impatient and unkind? Do you vent your household issues to others? Kids leave their rooms a mess and seem to have follow through for any of the commands given to clean their room, pick up clothes, help with household chores–taking trash out, feeding the pets, mowing the lawn, getting the mail, and anything else that routine, daily needs to be done to run the household.
Do you given in to some of your lusts? Do you feel justified in shopping for new clothes even though you don’t need them because of stress, boredom, overwork, and or something else? Was it part of the planned monthly budget? Was it needed–or you were just tempted and rather than seek Him and check about the purchase, you quickly bought it, quelling the warning sensation? If you bought it, did you wear it right away, or shove it into the back of your closet? Do you recognize you cheated your monthly budget? Do you recognize you actually sinned? If you have done this, do you recognize you were also selfish? Out of selfish lust, you spent money not granted in the budget, then hid the evidence and repeatedly tried to justify it in your mind. There’re a few sins in there if you think about it.
Once we recognize our weak response, or that we did fully commit the sin, it shows us clearly our need for Him, and how easy it is for us to fall into temptation and if given into, we fall into full blown sin. God wants us to be aware of areas we are weak in, and with each test, it is an opportunity for it to dawn on us, and we can choose to NOT sin, to take another way to prevent sin.
If I have an appointed time to be somewhere, I try to leave in enough time to ensure I get there at least a few minutes early. Many things can impede that plan, baking something took longer than package said, dog still needed to be walked before I could leave and she was in a dawdling mood, not caring about the urgency of my time, and then the traffic was heavier than expected or there was some work being done which slowed traffic to a stop for a few minutes. I have groaned and reminded God testily, “You know I am supposed to be somewhere, and I HATE being late.” Now, I get the reminder that I am exactly where I am supposed to be at that moment. I don’t like the reminder, I still feel a bit stressed, but I could have started out fifteen minutes earlier, I could have at least not complained and groaned, I could have looked around at all the signs of Spring and sent up a prayer of thanks, I could also remind myself I am not homeless, I have a vehicle that gets me where I need to be, and the world is not going to crash if I am a few minutes tardy.
How many times am I going to fail the test? I can see God seeing my sin, shaking His head, and saying, ‘We will have to do this one AGAIN with her. She still doesn’t have it down.’
Lord, I thank You for Your patience with me as I continue to stumble and fall over so much of the testing. Forgive me impatient and disobedient spirit–AGAIN, and I pray someday, I will be able to pass the tests and recognize You have refined me. Thank You Lord for all You continue to teach and do for me and ‘mybellaviews.’