Archive for the ‘Testing’ Category


Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Day 260

“And these three men, firmly tied,
fell into the blazing furnace”
Daniel 3:1-30

It is a well-known story: Shadrach, Mesach and Abednego refused to bow before King Nebuchadnezzar’s image of gold that he had made. The King also had given an order that anyone not falling down to worship the image would be thrown into a blazing furnace. He was so furious over the three men’s refusal that he ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual. The three were bound with their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes on and thrown in the furnace by three of the strongest soldiers. The three soldiers were killed when they threw the three men in the furnace because the flames were so hot

Viewing the fierce fire, the King saw four men walking around; unbound and unharmed. He approached the furnace and called them out. The account tells us they were not harmed and “there was no smell of smoke on them.” The King then gave recognition and honor to God, and promoted the three men.

There are many trials and tribulations in life. Note that God intervened only after the flames surrounded them. God did not save them from accusation, sentencing, and being cast into the flames. Christ did not come to Lazarus’ bedside when he was sick. He died and then Christ came and raised him from the dead. In both incidents, there was a greater purpose in the suffering. We seek God’s intervention the minute we enter a crises, but He responds when He responds, which is in His time. In the end, He is there with us and His glory will be seen.

“When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze”
Isaiah 43:2


Monday, November 1st, 2010

Day 238

“You have striven with God and men and have prevailed”
Genesis 32:25-28

This story is one of the more interesting ones detailed in the scriptures. Jacob lived filled with conflict that took his spiritual life to heights and depths. His life began in deceit, cheating his brother out of his birthright. It did not get any better as time went on, but through it all, He was a chosen man of God.

Later in the story, Jacob was to meet his brother and he feared for his life. He earnestly prayed humbling himself before God. That night, when alone, this self-sufficient man wrestled all night with a man. He became involved in a struggle of his body, soul and spirit and as He wrestled with this angelic being. He persisted and refused to let go. He knew he was contending with God, yet he prevailed in the struggle. He wept and interceded in agonizing prayer. He was as he was in birth—he grabbed a hold of his brother’s heel and would not let go. Now he grabbed a hold of God and would not let go.

Prayer is to be conformed to God’s will. He will contend with us in prayer to bring us into conformity to His purposes. Yes, He will even oppose us. And, as we learn to more perfectly submit our will to God’s will, God will no longer prevail against us. Jacob was humbled in his wrestling with God and He was made limp in his hip as a physical reminder of the encounter.

It would do well for many of us to pursue God with this passion.

“So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, ‘It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared'”
Genesis 32:30


Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Day 222

“And you shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart”
Deuteronomy 8:2

What is in our heart? The circumstances of life, trials and tribulations quickly can show us what is in our heart. Why me? Anger, bitterness, grumbling, etc. may show itself – or even worse attitudes and actions. Our Father is very interested in our reactions; not because He needs to know –you do.

There is no being static, standing still in the Lord. We are to grow every day more and more like our Lord. Maturity is being in the fullness of Christ and to walk in the light as He is in the light. It means a continual cleansing and purging of all that does not conform to Him and His glory. To attain this means being refined through testing. As soon as Jesus was baptized, He was tested—“Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted [tested] ….” And it is our God who leads us.

We have a good Father who understands our frailties. He leads us to His pasture and proves (test) us so we will be mature sons and daughters in Him and to enjoy His fullness and glory. Testing will humble us and we will come to understand that we can do nothing apart from Him (John 15:5b). We are to live on His bread alone. And as a good Father, He has gone before us to show us the way.

“It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’”
Matthew 4:4; Deuteronomy 8:3


Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Day 90

“Accounting that God was able”
Hebrews 11:17-19

The Scriptures do not record what Abraham went through the night before he took his only son up the mountain to sacrifice him. God had instructed him to make this sacrifice, even though this was the promised son for whom Abraham had waited for many years. God’s directive seemed to contradict His promise; it didn’t make sense.

One can only imagine what a tremendous inward struggle Abraham must have had. To him, it would have seemed like the last night with his young son. Then in the morning the boy asks, “Where is the sacrifice?” Abraham said God would provide. This great man walked in great faith, trusting completely in the sovereignty of God. Even when he bound his son on the altar and had lifted the sacrificial knife, he was prepared to do what God had said. As he lifted the knife to sacrifice his son God stayed his hand and provided a ram for the sacrifice.

This profound experience changed Abraham. When he left that mountain, his relationship with the boy was no longer in the flesh – he now possessed him through God.

How about you? If God tests you with directions that contradict your desires, or which you do not understand, will you obey? Only those who know God, His sovereignty, and have faith can cross these bridges. Otherwise, we possess everything in the natural instead of the Spirit. Abraham found God in a new way that day – the God who will provide.

“Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead,
and figuratively speaking, he did receive
Isaac back from death”
Hebrews 11:27