Why Do We Test Our Faith?
Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! - 2 Corinthians 13:5 ESV
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. - Romans 12:2 ESV
If God is all powerful and all knowing, why do we test him? We all test him to some degree, don't we? Every day we get up and make mistakes with either our thoughts or deeds in some way or another. This world would be so different if we all lived for him 24/7, but the truth is most of us either lapse, skip a beat or mess up as we go about our day. I think the main reason why we test our faith is to see how far we can push the envelope. We all flirt with danger one way or another in hopes that we aren't the ones who will get burned, but the truth is that people get burned every day. You hear it on the news and in your neighborhood. You just pray that you're not next. Testing our faith is a lot like skating on thin ice. You know it's wrong, but you do it any way. We know there are consequences for the things we do, but that doesn't seem to stop us, but it should.
Jesus didn't die on the cross just so he could see how much we'd test him. He died on the cross for our sins because he loves us and wants to give us eternal life. So why aren't we more mindful of the actions we choose? Whatever happened to having a healthy fear of God? Not a fear as in a horror flick kind of way, but fear as in you're dealing with the holy creator of our universe and you should be mindful of that throughout the day. You wouldn't mind if a God fearing man moved in next door, but you'd definately mind if an ex-con did. We desire it more in the people around us, but is that because we are too lazy to do our part?
I think another reason we test God is because we lack obedience. The word "obey" is rarely ever heard these days. To obey someone is to honor them. How can we protest to love God if we don't honor and obey him? Obedience is not easy. It takes a lot of discipline to walk with Jesus in this day and age. We are bombarded with worldly messages that go against the very truth that the Bible preaches. A truth that has stood the test of time for over 2,000 years. Did you notice I just used the word "test" in that last sentence? Think about it for a moment. It doesn't seem to matter how many years go by because our sinful human nature is always working in the background like a thorn in our side.
Thankfully, we do have three very important things to keep us on the straight and narrow when we actually do get tested by God as he throws us a curve ball or we choose to test God with our pride ten steps ahead of us. The first is the Word of God, which is rich in wisdom and guidance. God's Word will never never never lead you astray. The second is the church. By worshiping and keeping fellowship with other like minded Christians, we keep our faith strong and we know that we aren't alone in our struggle. And finally through prayer. Prayer is our life line to Jesus. Prayer calms our nerves, lifts up our spirits and keeps us in check, and when we pray for others, we feel a sense of peace wash over our souls. We know it's part of our divine purpose to live for one another and not for ourselves. We know that we are part of an intricate fabric that works for the body of Christ. Each of us carries an important task in carrying out God's Will with our lives on a daily basis. These three things will protect us as we get tested on a daily basis.
If you're struggling with all the tests that you're currently facing, surrender and pray. Invite the Holy Spirit into your life to transform your mind, body and soul. He will transform your life and you will begin to understand just what it means to follow him, and I'm not talking about just part of the day, I'm talking about all day, 24/7!! Every part of our being belongs to him, to carry out his Will with love, honor and obedience. Amen.