SN – 7 May 2022
Testing, Trials or Fire … are all part of our spiritual walk
…Why is it necessary?
Last week we looked at Abraham..
… and how his faith was tested through obedience & sacrifice
… and the resulting learning points of
– Faith made perfect (complete) by works ( of faith),
– Counted as righteous
– Being considered a friend of God
– and so on… as found on the link below
Today we continue to delve deeper into – the testing of our faith
… through Moses and the Israelites.
Welcome to today’s Manna for Thought…
… and be blessed
What I do is a reflection of my faith – the true condition of my heart…
>> As I think in my heart, so am I … Proverbs 23:7
>> Out of the overflow of my heart, my mouth speaks … Luke 6:45
… we are therefore urged
>> To guard our hearts (care for what we keep in it) for out of it will flow the issues of life (issue pertaining to my life)… Proverbs 4:23
>> Jeremiah 17:9-10 (NKJV)
“ The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?
I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.
… The genuineness (extent) of my faith, or lack thereof, is proved by the actions I take …
– Whether I pray or not
– Whether I enter a plane or not
– Whether I will jump in the deep end of a pool or not
Taking the example of whether I pray over a situation or not…
… will reflect if I have more faith in God or the problem
… if I believe that God is bigger than the problem or the problem is bigger than God !!
… and I can’t please God without faith ( believing in Him and in His reward – ability to take care of the situation – if I diligently seek Him)… Hebrews 11:6
That is where some of us are caught out…
… Where my Christian faith is not reflected ( possibly is contravened ) through my actions !!
… I don’t produce fruit worthy of repentance… Matthew 3:8
… Just being a signpost to others, but I myself being disqualified … 1 Corinthians 9:27
… A good example being in Ezekiel 44:10-14 >> serve the people but don’t come into My presence
… Hence risking being shocked when Jesus says – I don’t know you!! … Luke 13:27
…when I preach water and drink wine ( a worker of iniquity..)
… knowing about Jesus, but not knowing Him
… because knowing Him necessitates a level of intimacy & faith(fullness) … (personal relationship)
… and how can 2 walk together unless they are in agreement…Amos 3:3
One aspect of testing is therefore …
… to reveal where I fall short in my journey towards pursing God in righteousness and holiness
… so that it is exposed and I have a chance to get the anomaly rectified.
Luke 1:74-75 (NLT)
– We have been rescued from our enemies so we can serve God without fear ,
– in holiness and righteousness for as long as we live.
… God reveals to redeem?? ( though I have not found this particular saying in scripture)
… but alluded in
Deuteronomy 29:29 (NKJV)
“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
Proverbs 25:2 (NKJV)
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.
>> …part of working out our salvation with fear and trembling??
… our act (works) of faith in salvation
… with the responsibility for my own life squarely in my hands & my decisions
… where we seek God with pleasing faith and seek out His Amazing Love, Mercy & Grace… Romans 9:16-17
… to help us out and guide us through the maze of life and into His presence, into eternity.
>> The example of Peter in Luke 22:32 (NLT)
But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.”
Indeed it is to ensure that I am properly founded (rooted) in Christ Jesus…
… the True Vine, the Solid Rock…John 15, Luke 6:46-49
… for if my foundations are destroyed (corrupted, not on Christ)
… there is no possibility of me doing the right thing (righteousness) however hard I try…Psalm 11:3
… for all my righteous acts are as filthy rags … Isaiah 64:6
… I can’t do the right thing if I have the wrong source (foundation)
… I can’t produce good fruit from corrupted roots (sources) …Matthew 12:33-37, Luke 6:43-45
John 15:4-6 (BSB)
– Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself unless it remains in the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me.
– I am the vine and you are the branches. The one who remains in Me, and I in him, will bear much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing.
– If anyone does not remain in Me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers. Such branches are gathered up, thrown into the fire, and burned.
Testing is therefore necessary, for among other things…
– To set the standard of faithfulness
– To test my obedience & faithfulness to the end
– To set up character that will guide and help in my walk of faith
– To test the type, content and quality of my fruit
– To be perfected, established, strengthened, settled…
– … and so on
>> Examples through Moses & the Israelites
Exodus 15:25-26 (NLT)
– So Moses cried out to the LORD for help, and the LORD showed him a piece of wood. Moses threw it into the water, and this made the water good to drink. It was there at Marah that the LORD set before them the following decree as a standard to test their faithfulness to him.
– He said, “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying His commands and keeping all His decrees , then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the LORD who heals you.”
Exodus 16:4 (NIV)
Then the LORD said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day . In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.
Exodus 20:20 (NIV)
Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning. ”
Judges 2:20-23 (NKJV)
– Then the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and He said, “Because this nation has transgressed My covenant which I commanded their fathers, and has not heeded My voice,
– I also will no longer drive out before them any of the nations which Joshua left when he died,
– so that through them I may test Israel, whether they will keep the ways of the LORD , to walk in them as their fathers kept them, or not.”
– So the LORD allowed those nations to remain, not driving them out quickly; and He did not hand them over to Joshua.
>> The old and young prophet – 1 Kings 13
Follow the Lord and not the sign and wonder
– Seek His Face and you will not be distracted by the Hand
Deuteronomy 13:1-4 (BSB)
– If a prophet or dreamer of dreams arises among you and proclaims a sign or wonder to you,
– and if the sign or wonder he has spoken to you comes about, but he says, “Let us follow other gods (which you have not known) and let us worship them,”
– you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. For the LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love Him with all your heart and with all your soul.
You are to follow the LORD your God and fear Him. Keep His commandments and listen to His voice; serve Him and hold fast to Him.
1 Peter 1:6-7
– In this I rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, I have been grieved by various trials,
– so that
the tested genuineness of my faith —more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested (refined) by fire — may be found to
result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 5:10
– But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus,
after we have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle us.
– To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever.
When I can indeed consider it pure joy when I encounter trials of many kinds…
…knowing that the testing of my faith develops perseverance
… and that I should allow perseverance (through God’s wisdom) to finish its work in me
… making me mature and complete and not lacking anything (quality assured and tested)
… pressing on towards the goal to win the prize of the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus… Philippians 3:14
… and eventually receiving the Crown of Life promised to all those who love the Lord (endure the labor of love for the Lord to the end)…
… fighting the good fight
… finishing the race
… keeping the faith
AMEN & AMEN!!