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The Testing of God

“And so the Lord says, "These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.”                            –Isaiah 29:13

Does God test the heart?  Anyone can say they are a follower of Christ, but until they are tested, do they really understand what it takes to make a commitment to be a follower of Jesus Christ?

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.

This testing of course is not for God but for you to know how sincere your commitment is to follow Him. So how does God test you?

1. Endurance:  James 1:3 Knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

2. Refining Process: Zechariah 13:9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested.

3. Quality of Commitment: Psalm 26:2 and Psalm 139:23 David sought God’s testing, asking Him to examine his heart and mind and see that they were true to Him.

4. Obedience: Hebrews 11:17-19 When Abram was tested by God in the matter of sacrificing Isaac, Abram obeyed.

5. To Evaluate:  How strong your faith is and upon what is it built upon: Matthew 7:24-25 Jesus said when the storms come they will test to see if you built the house on solid ground.

God tests us to see if we have the right motives and perspectives in what we say we believe. Many followers of Christ don’t know him just like Matthew 7:21:23 describes:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy  in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”

It is my personal belief that many Western Christians will be tested in similar ways just as Christians who are being persecuted in countries around the world. Our testing may look different than those in other countries, but nevertheless it will be a testing of the heart to see if we know God and to see if we are faithful in keeping His Word.

No testing is easy nor is it pleasant but at the end of the day testing is the only way to evaluate how well you are following God. Cheap talk about believing in God is quickly evaluated by how you react under the pressure of being disappointed, full of grief, or being hurt.  Many people live with great pain in their lives from past events, which creates a stumbling block in receiving anything from the Lord. God’s testing is like the quality control in a manufacturing plant where they test their product to see if it was made to the standards of the company. 

I see His testing working in me everyday and I see it around me in the lives of others as they evaluate their own growth as believers. It is extremely important to become self-aware in how you follow Christ, and it is in this self-awareness that you can truly grow in Christ. Most of us do not have self-awareness because we don’t want to be honest with ourselves about how others see us. Yet, if quality control in business is about how a product is built, we as Christians should have a ‘quality control system’ to see how we are growing.

Most of us do not have people in our lives who will give us an honest self-awareness talk - the kind of honest dialogue we need to achieve a quality control check on the kind of disciple we are becoming. Growth as a disciple of Christ comes when we are aware of what is missing in our lives. It is only when we know what those missing pieces are can we then pursue ways of making changes to achieve them.  

What is missing in your life?  Well, you might be tested to find out.

Keeping it honest and truthful…K

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