One of the most difficult yet important things for any Christian to understand about faith is that, in order to prove that what you believe is trust, you will not have the ability to see it. You don’t need faith for things you can see or touch or sense. Faith is a spiritual perspective that the natural mind cannot comprehend – that’s why so many Christians struggle with it at times! Sometimes what you’re praying for is so important or desperate or painful that your spiritual perspective becomes clouded by the physical need and then your faith starts to waver. Just me?
One of the most beautifully painful things you’ll ever experience as a Christian is those seasons when God is testing you. Remember that the testing of God only comes at your invitation. God is good, kind, patient and long-suffering and not mean or wicked nor does He put people to the test for His entertainment. To be tested and tried by God is a serious, intricate and purposeful endeavor. Testing and proving is not so God can know you better, it’s so you can know Him better, and know yourself better! And remember that, “the trying of your faith develops patience” as James wrote. (James 1:3) If you’ve asked God to test you as David did in Psalm 139 23-24, He will- and He’ll help you pass! But did you realize that God has invited you to put Him to the test??
In the Bible, there is always a blessing attached to obedience. God’s desire is to bless you, but is your desire to obey?
In Malachi 3:10-12 the Lord said, “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this, says the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing, that there will not be room enough to receive it. I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that it will not destroy the fruit of your ground, and the vines in your field will not fail to bear fruit, says the Lord of Hosts. Then all the nations will call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land, says the Lord of Hosts.“ In the Bible, there is always a blessing attached to obedience. God’s desire is to bless you, but is your desire to obey? One comes before the other! This Scripture in Malachi is the one and only time in the Bible the Lord invites you to “test” Him- and look what He is will to do as proof of His faithfulness! Remember this promise: “To the faithful You show Yourself faithful.” (Psalm 18:25)
A number of times in the Bible people tried to put God to the test – with disastrous results! Why? Because testing always comes by invitation only – from you and from God. When God says “test Me” – He means it! BUT here’s the catch: You can only test the Lord in the area where He has invited you to do so. The “tithes” the Lord notes in Malachi 3:10 are often referred to as being financial, but more accurately it’s simply “one-tenth” of all that God has given you. While finances are easiest to give, don’t stop there! Bring your money, yes, but also bring whatever He’s asked of you. TEST ME, the Lord said. You have a standing invitation to test God by bringing Him everything – He wants to show you His greatness. How much can you bring to the Lord out of all He’s given you? He’s ready to pass the test! Have faith in the invisible God!! (Hebrews 11:27)
Thought for today
“Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name; worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness,” David wrote. (Psalm 29:2) Worship is what God is deserves and what He wants. He has asked for your willing praise and He’s even tied blessing to that as well! In Genesis 22:17 the Lord said, “… in blessing I will bless you…” stating His plan to bless those who bow before Him as the King in worship. The Lord wants to prove Himself to you, not because you deserve it, but because He loves you! “Every word of God proves true.” (Proverbs 30:5) and He watches over His Word to make sure that happens! (Jeremiah 1:12) But remember, the blessings are attached to obedience. If you want to “test” God, make sure you understand what your role is as well. Worship. Sacrifice. Obedience. TEST ME, the Lord said. He’s challenging you let Him prove Himself- are you up to the challenge?