Please do not allow any of my titles to tell you what to do!
If you read the Intro and Part One: Trust the Lord, then you know what this one is about, but for those of you who don’t click on internal links because “It could be a virus or something,” here’s the gist in two sentences:
I, and a friend, had a conversation regarding trusting the Lord and testing Him. He believed the difference to be unnoticeable, whilst I believed it to be apparent.
To my friend, I admit, studying for this one was hard! During my reading plan, I read Genesis 18:22-33 and got stuck! Here we have Abraham, the father of a multitude, having a conversation with the Lord on whether or not the Lord would spare Sodom (a city very sinful and about to be destroyed) on account of 50, no 45, no 40, no 30, no 20, no 10 righteous people. “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” says Abraham in 18:25.
But then, in re-reading that same verse, it hit me; That clear and thick line separating the trust factor from the test factor, lifting me up from the heels of my cute black boots and setting me gently on the ground again. “Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you!“ says Abraham in that very same verse, vs. 25.
I KNOW YOU, LORD!
AND I CAN PUT MY TRUST IN WHAT I KNOW OF YOU!
All of us are tempted, are we not? Jesus being tempted in the wilderness amazes me- Matthew 4:1-11-because He shows us clearly how well we will fare by knowing the Word of God, especially when the Word being thrown at us is being misused. I mean, I truly think that if you start any argument with IT IS WRITTEN and you throw a good ol’, accurately-interpreted scripture punch, it would be a knockout. We see that throughout the selection, but look at Matthew 4:5-7:
Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’
“‘On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
The devil, the manipulator, the crafty one took the Word of Lord, expecting to use it to manipulate the Word in the flesh…and got dissed. What I mean by this is the Lord knows what our motives are and He knows where our heart is. He knows that the enemy will take the Word and manipulate it into fitting into whatever mood we are in that day, and He knows that we will allow our own misinterpretation to guide us and lead us astray.
“Oh, Lord. Don’t look at my heart. It’s deceitful. Listen to the words that come out of my mouth instead. I mean what I say.” Maybe…all of our hearts are deceitful at times, but maybe your mouth is as well, and surely the Lord knows where the truth is and where it isn’t. Your mouth may be saying “The Lord will provide,” but your heart may be saying “He better or else.” Your mouth may be saying “I’m doing this to glorify the Lord,” but your heart may be saying “I’m doing this for me and the Lord will make it work for me.” Your mouth may be saying “Your will be done,” but your heart might be saying “Here’s my plan, Lord, make it happen.” Which one do you think He listens to? Which one do you think speaks louder: the words coming out of your mouth or the truth that is in your heart? I can see these leading us ultimately into testing of the Lord’s faithfulness to us by placing so much weight on whether we receive or not receive what we believe to be good for us:
“I want the Lord to give me a husband, and He will.” What happens if He doesn’t?
“I’ve been dating this girl and she is not a believer, but I’m going to stay in this relationship and the Lord will make it work for us whether she believes in Him or not.” What happens if He doesn’t “make it work?” How much of you will He have to watch walk away from Him before you realize that you are off track? Do not be unequally yoked! (2 Corinthians 6:14)
“I’m here and I will follow you, Lord, if you give me this and this and this…” All things perishable and not eternal. What about the fruit of the Spirit that just keeps living and fulfilling no matter what? (Galatians 5:22-23)
The Lord is not in debt to any of us. The Lord does not owe you anything. What we deserve, Jesus took for us on the cross. If you truly believe that you can continue to live a life testing the Lord and expecting Him to hand you everything on a golden platter, the way you want it, with no substitutions, then you will be stuck in a subpar life. Our God does not aspire to give us the mediocre, but what is good and perfect. Your test is easy and passable to Him, but He does not have to prove His faithfulness to anyone, but you know how good He is? He still does! Over and over again, we read it! In Abraham’s previous conversation with Him, we see that as the city was preparing to be destroyed, an angel of the Lord guided Lot (Abraham’s nephew) and His daughters away from the city and into safety. Again in Genesis, we see a servant of Abraham who, in faith and trust, asks the Lord to show him the woman who will marry Issac clearly through a series of events, and HE DOES (Genesis 24). At the cross, we see an innocent man hanging by his hands and feet, given as a sacrifice, paying off the debts of our sins and re-bridging the gap between man and the Father…FINISHING IT!
We don’t have to test the faithfulness of our God!
He IS faithfulness! There is no one more faithful than Him.
Put down your list of test questions. Put down the weight you’ve put on things to test His faithfulness with. Hand Him your heart and let him fill it up with what is true about Him. Trust Him. Trust in Jesus. Trust that our Father’s love is not conditional. Trust that no matter what happens in your life it has already sifted through His hands, and He has it under control. It is finished.