My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4

 

It’s Just a Test

Written by Michael Herbert

 

Testing can be a hard word for people to embrace for sure, however, God has a way of refining that, by nature is put through the fire. Those who call themselves Christians can escape God’s testing, but also with a lack of testing the pure work of God’s mission and will for your life is left unfulfilled. What happens then? The person you could have become in the Lord will never be known as long as stubbornness is blocking what God wants to do. It is God who sees your potential as a man, woman or child of God. It is God who molds us on the potter’s wheel into a delightful Christian who is totally open to what God wants to do in their life. The end result of testing is patience; however, it is also a reality of self-control. Many of us are emotional which is good on the one hand, but left out of the working of God’s hands is left wild. The emotions are in need of greater development if they are going to bless the people you are contacting. “Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. Isaiah 48:10 My emotions tell me to run and forget what God wants, but my spirit thrives for more of God’s testing and refining. It is only in the furnace of refining that we can be made more like Christ. There is no end to what God can do to a person who has completely submitted their life to him and his will. God is looking to help us overcome our shortcomings and help us to sail beyond the stubborn habits we find impossible to overcome. Ideas and principles we once hung onto because we thought we were right all fade away and the Lord elevates to a new level of relationship with him.

The stage was set at the time of salvation to enter into God’s testing. This testing, although it may sound negative becomes an awesome time of transformation. In Matthew 17:2 the passage reveals Jesus being transformed into angelic being from a mere man. The same transformation takes place in our lives as well as God takes us through the refining process. What we end up being is nowhere close to what we were when the Holy Spirit started working in our life. His job was to lead us into all truth. John 14:26 Everything that we potentially could be up for grabs as the Holy Spirit starts the process of sanctification. Because God created you and I he also knows what he wants to do in our lives. He knows what we are capable of even though you and I might be clueless as to our abilities. Hidden within us are magical moments God wants to reveal as another avenue for him to be gloried. The question becomes, are we willing to give our wills to God in order to release the work in us or are we going to resist and lose out on our finest moments. You might think I’m over exaggerating this point, however, consider the following. In every man or woman in history who accomplished unbelievable feats for God did you ever hear of a single one who boasted at a young age that they had things all together and believed they were the ticket? No. Take for example, and I could literately have taken anyone, Charles Spurgeon. When asked to pastor his first church history tells us he ran for dear life, not wanting anything to do with pastoring. 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. Jeremiah 17:10 God wasn’t impressed with Spurgeon’s ability to run, but tested his heart and knew he could refine Charles into a preacher who wanted others to see their lostness and come to the cross of Christ for the forgiveness of sins.

It is during the times of testing that you truly see who you really are. Many can be fooled by the outward appearance, but God looks inwardly in a never-ending pursuit of changing us from the old life into the fulfillment of the new. Some of my most embarrassing moments have been during God’s testing where I not only failed but failed miserably. Solomon said 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 Ecclesiastes 3:18 The good news is once you’ve passed a test from God he brings the same test into your life. Why? It is to prove to you that you have passed and are not the same person you once were. It’s in the passing of tests that you are brought to a new level of intimacy with God. Each test pass brings us into a new realm with God. Levels of intimacy you and I never knew existed become reality, why? Because never yielded to the Lord to this degree before or to put it simply, you’ve been here before. It is the will and desire of God that all who are called to be his would be tested. The Christian walk should never become stagnant. There should always be a place in our hearts that the Holy Spirit is testing. Sometimes we feel it and pain ensues, but there are also times of grace and mercy where the Lord in his goodness just removes obstacles that hold us back from achieving the fullest of this Christian life. All I know is there needs to be a reality check in our hearts to answer the question, Have we completely surrendered unto the Lord?

Prayer: Lord have all of us. Mold with your gentle hands every aspect of who we are that we may be for the praise of your glory. Let me start today.