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Testing and Remembering

08 Apr

CrossI’m posting about Abraham and what he learned about being tested by God. God tests us by allowing us to go through challenges that bring out what’s in our heart.

King Hezekiah of Israel learned this.

But when envoys were sent by the rulers of Babylon to ask him about the miraculous sign that had occurred in the land, God left him to test him and to know everything that was in his heart.
2 Chronicles 32:31

The word left in that verse means to loosen. Basically this means the God let him make his own choices without any further guidance. The Lord had already given Hezekiah all that he needed to make a right choice.

From our natural perspective it looks like God has stopped speaking – God left. This begins our wilderness experience. When God is quiet; that’s when stuff starts to come up from our heart.

Throughout the years people have come up with many names for this type of experience. Many call this the “dark night of the soul.” Others call it “the death of a vision.” It happens in the lives of all who desire to move forward with God.

We see it happening with Joseph, Moses, and Abraham. If we’re going to go through this testing victoriously then we must get through it as Abraham did.

What came from his heart?

Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.
Hebrews 11:19

The verse says that Abraham reasoned or literally took inventory, estimated that God was powerful enough to raise Isaac from the dead.

Contrast this to how the nation of Israel went through their wilderness experience.

Again and again they put God to the test; they vexed the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember his power– the day he redeemed them from the oppressor…
Psalm 78:41-42

It’s during these times that we’re tested concerning our memories. Will we remember God’s power? Do we truly believe that God is able to perform what He promises in our lives?

But they put God to the test and rebelled against the Most High; they did not keep his statutes. Like their fathers they were disloyal and faithless, as unreliable as a faulty bow.
Psalm 78:56-57

What an illustration! A faulty bow breaks under pressure. The goal of a bow and arrow is to destroy the enemy. We are that bow in the hands of a mighty God.

He pulls back on the string. The pressure increases. Sometimes in my weakness, I feel like I can’t take it. But if I continue to persevere; suddenly there’s a TWANG!!! – and I’m rejoicing again as the arrow of God’s promise flies true.

During the test, when it seems hopeless, can we give the promise back to God? Let Him resurrect it. Let Him reveal His glory in due time. I realize that it’s not easy to lay the promise of God back on the altar.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable– if anything is excellent or praiseworthy– think about such things.
Philippians 4:8

In this phrase, think about also means to estimate, take inventory. It’s thinking on these things that will bring us through the desert without testing God. Offer your future to God for His glory.

Question: What was the last big test that you went through? What did you learn by it?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

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