Genesis 22:1-18 After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, you only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I shall tell you.” . . . and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”
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.
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.”
Psalm 11:5 The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, and the one who loves violence His soul hates.
Proverbs 17:. 3 The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests hearts
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.
John 6:6 He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do.
James 1:3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
When I first accepted Jesus’s invitation the gospel reading was Judges 6:36-40. I took the message to heart and was forever testing to see what God would have me do. I bombarded Him with “If this….then that. Show me how You want me to proceed.” And He was faithful and answered me a lot over the years. But it stunted me as I became dependent on that kind of testing and was not deepening, or actually developing a true relationship with Him. But eventually He called me on it, letting me know He was not to be treated like a genie in a bottle, but as GOD, CREATOR, LORD OF ALL.
All my closest people knew I depended on these fleeces. But I was upfront with all so that if I ‘slipped’ they could remind me I was not to proceed that way. So, although I rarely am so bedraggled, I cannot figure the direction He wants for me, when I am truly unsure, I do put out the fleece. . . and make my decision on whether it is wet or dry in the morning! I can’t say I totally gave up my ‘fleece’ guidance, but I saved these for when I was totally confused, totally unsure of really big decisions.
Thankfully, I had folks in my life who could guide me to the biblical churches, different bible studies, and I found some tv pastors I enjoyed—Charles Stanley, Dr, Jeremiah, Andy Stanley—and I was able to grow. God does open doors!!
But I was in a discussion about whether God tests or does not. I had several verses that sprang into my mind that He certainly does test us. I don’t think God tests us for Himself. Nothing comes as a surprise for God, but I think He tests us for us; to show us yes, we choose Him first. Or, unfortunately that we do not choose Him first, and we need to repent and realize we are more like Peter in the courtyard than we could imagine.
I also find strength in the testing and the acknowledgment from James that ‘testing produces endurance.’ Jesus promised that we would have difficulties, hardships and sometimes be overcome with troubles. I believe we are tested, and our responses are to show us we did not stand strong, believing that Jesus had this covered. Or that we did stand strong and trusted in Him even though grief stricken and screaming in agony. But we trusted. And that’s the test. And how awesome when you pass.
I do believe God knows all. He knows what we will do and choose and how we will behave before we are confronted with an incident. He doesn’t need to test us to show Himself our choices, but to show US our choices, poor or good. He wants us to succeed, and by testing us He can show us we have made the correct choices, and He gives us a pat-on-the-back sense of satisfaction because we recognize we did not fail the test. Just like getting an exam paper back in school marked with an ‘A.’ That is the kind of excitement and happiness I get when I realize I made a correct decision in His eyes.
Lord, I spent years testing You and You always passed. I like things so much better now that I’m developing a deeper relationship and trust with You. You prod and encourage me to go deeper, and I know how You have blessed me and ‘mybellaviews.’ Thank You and all Praise to You.